With all the moves made by Mike Hazen and Diamondbacks at the trade deadline, I thought it would be a good time to check in on the Rest of Season Projections at Fangraphs. Their explanation at top of page reads as follows:
FanGraphs Depth Chart projections are a combination of ZiPS and Steamer projections with playing time allocated by our staff.
Original links below.
I made a few minor tweaks. In the pitching table below I removed Shelby Miller’s 3 starts they had allocated to him, and gave 1 more to Clay Buchholz, so it would total out to 53 Starts. I also removed Stefan Crichton. I didn’t bother changing any of the projected innings for relievers. Although I can see the distribution being a little different than what is below, it won’t have any major impact on the bottom line totals.
Dbacks ROS Pitcher Projections
The ERA’s above look slightly high, however it should be noted that the team’s ERA this year is below the FIP, which is due to a large variance in the bullpen, where the ERA is over a run lower than the FIP. The starters ERA are actually slightly higher than the FIP
ERA vs. FIP YTD
Here are links to the Starters and Relievers ranked by ERA-FIP. The bigger the negative , the “luckier” the pitcher has been. You can see in the reliever link, they almost all are “lucky” ;) Reliever ERA of course is notoriously fickle, but this year it may be really misleading for the Dbacks, and this probably gives you a view into how Mike Hazen viewed things and why he put so much emphasis on trying to upgrade the Bullpen depth. As a side note, the team Inherited Runners Scored rate of 30% is exactly League Average
Now on to the hitters. Some big decisions to make here.(Edit: or so I thought) Mostly revolving around the Jake Lamb injury. It happens to be my totally layman’s view that with Rotator Cuff injuries, rest is probably not going to heal it. Mark Grace echoed this sentiment on the post game show last night. (OK, I’m echoing him, but I was thinking it before he said it....). If Jake is to make it back at all this year, it’s probably going to be mid September at the earliest to get in a handful of games before the post season. I just don’t see the upside for either him or the team. His performance is likely to be even further diminished, and he was already having a career worst year. As much as he must want to play and contribute to the playoff run, if he puts it off and needs the surgery anyway, he loses 2 months of recovery time to get ready for next year, which will impact his arbitration and potentially free agent earnings in the long run. So because it’s my opinion he should get the surgery now, I’m removing Jake completely from the projections. I’m giving half his playing time to Eduardo Escobar, and half to Chris Owings, who clearly has Nine Lives.
Dbacks Hitters ROS Projections
|Steven Souza Jr.||41||172||.246||.335||.446||.781||0.6||-0.1||0.3||7||19||50|
|John Ryan Murphy||21||89||.228||.282||.372||.654||0.2||-0.1||0.0||3||6||20|
The changes I made turn out have very little impact on the projected win total that was already up at Fangraphs. The original Depth Chart page at FG shows them with 7.7 Batter WAR and 5.4 WAR Pitcher WAR, total 13.1 I have 7.6 and 5.2 respectively, or 12.8. This is due to Lamb having a better projection than Owings, and about the same as Escobar, and Miller actually having a better projection than Buchholz. (Go figure). So the total projected WAR is roughly 13 either way, but at least the playing time in the tables looks a little more realistic my way.
The Projected Standings shows the team going 28-25 the rest of the way (13 WAR, 15 Replacement Level Wins ttl 28 W) to finish with 88 wins. Notably, 538 and Baseball Prospectus also have the exact same total, 88.
Despite the ups and downs, the D Backs have outperformed projections all year, (mostly on the pitching side of course). The Rest of Season projections feel like they have caught up to the “true talent level” of the team now. But they will probably need to outperform the projections just a bit more the rest of the way to make the post season.