Bill James’ projections: Jays starting rotation


Here are the Bill James Handbook Projections for the Jays starting pitchers:

Ricky Romero:

Traditional: W-L: 12-13 / ERA: 3.91

Advanced: FIP: 4.07 / K/9: 7.13 / BB/9: 3.38 / HR/9: 0.90

James’ projections for Romero reflect what most sabermetrically inclined fans already know. Romero’s 2.92 ERA in 2011 was built on an unsustainably low BABIP (batting average on balls in play)-.242, which explains why his FIP (fielding independent pitching) was nearly a run and a half higher than his ERA (it was 4.20).

None of this is to say that Romero isn’t a terrific pitcher. He is- and I expect him to settle in closer to a 3.50-ish ERA next year.

Brandon Morrow:

W-L: 11-10 / ERA 3.68

FIP: 3.55 / K/9: 9.85 / BB/9: 3.72 / HR/9: 0.90

Morrow’s projected stats are the exact opposite of Romero’s. In his case, the traditional stats are likely to get better, corresponding to his stellar career advanced stats.

It’s puzzling though, that James thinks Morrow will shed more than a run off his ERA from last season while posting significantly worse BB-K/9 rates. It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that Morrow would equal his 11 win output from last year either, if he allows so many fewer runs.

Either way, everything points towards a big year from Morrow.

Brett Cecil:

W-L: 9-12 / ERA: 4.19

FIP: 4.31 / K/9: 6.88/ BB/9: 2.87 HR/9: 1.18

James’ system thinks Cecil is going to do a much better job at keeping the ball in the park- HR/9 rate dropping from 1.60 to 1.18. Thats pretty much where the improvement end though, as virtually all of his other peripheral stats stay about the same. James does see 191 innings from Cecil though- which I guess is a positive?

Kyle Drabek:

W-L: 5-9 / ERA: 4.85

FIP: 4.80 / K/9: 6.61/ BB/9: 4.85 / HR/9: 1.05

It was an ugly 2011 campaign for Drabek. The biggest issue: 6.29 BB/9.

James doesn’t expect Drabek’s command to dramatically improve and it hurts his overall numbers. There’s not a whole lot to say about a guy who had a 6+ ERA in MLB and a 7+ ERA in AAA. Except that he should eventually find a way to miss bats with his plus fastball and curve. It’s going to come sooner or later, unfortunately it looks like it’ll be more later than sooner.

Dustin McGowan:

W-L: 5-7 / ERA: 4.50

FIP: 4.43 / K/9: 7.79 / BB/9: 4.74 / HR/9: 0.96

112 innings of 4.50 ERA ball would be nice from McGowan, considering it wasn’t all that long a go that people thought he may never play pro ball again. It’s just really, really hard to predict what he’s going to give the Jays. He missed so much time and it’s not as if his tiny ’11 sample was overwhelming. While it’s unlikely that McGowan can pick up where his incredibly promising career left off back in ’08, his performance will be an intriguing story line next spring.

Henderson Alverez:

Curiously, there were no projected stats for Alverez, who figures to be a prominent part of the Jays 2012 rotation.

 

 

Tags: Brandon Morrow Brett Cecil Kyle Drabek Ricky Romero

  • ace frehley

    pretty ugly season if these projections come to pass.

  • ace frehley

    pretty ugly season if these projections come to pass.

  • Mylegacy

    Bill just doesn’t know the Jays situation.

    It’s unlikely Cecil and Drabek see any starting other than maybe in case of injuries. Clearly Alvarez will be the third pitcher – and a very good one. McGowan (please stay healthy) will be at worse the fifth starter (only in the five hole to give him extra days off) and he’ll be closer to what we all know he’s got in him. As far the the other pitcher is concerned – if AA doesn’t get us a ringer – one of McGuire, Hutchison or Molina will FORCE the issue. Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least two, if not all three, of those guys FORCE the Jays to seriously consider getting them into the Show.

    As far as the win / loss numbers – pshaw! A full year of Lawrie, Escobar, EE, Thames, Arencibia, Lind and a guy named Bautista will see a much improved and productive offense.

    The Jays will surprise – victory, victory is our cry, V – I – C -T -O -R-Y!

  • Mylegacy

    Bill just doesn’t know the Jays situation.

    It’s unlikely Cecil and Drabek see any starting other than maybe in case of injuries. Clearly Alvarez will be the third pitcher – and a very good one. McGowan (please stay healthy) will be at worse the fifth starter (only in the five hole to give him extra days off) and he’ll be closer to what we all know he’s got in him. As far the the other pitcher is concerned – if AA doesn’t get us a ringer – one of McGuire, Hutchison or Molina will FORCE the issue. Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least two, if not all three, of those guys FORCE the Jays to seriously consider getting them into the Show.

    As far as the win / loss numbers – pshaw! A full year of Lawrie, Escobar, EE, Thames, Arencibia, Lind and a guy named Bautista will see a much improved and productive offense.

    The Jays will surprise – victory, victory is our cry, V – I – C -T -O -R-Y!

  • Jared_Macdonald

    Agreed, the main ugly numbers are coming from Drabek and Cecil who, like Mylegacy pointed out, could very well be on the outside looking in come Opening Day. Cecil is the likelier one out of the two to break camp with the Jays, as I don’t believe the organization has given up on him just yet.

    It’s interesting that he predicts a below .500 win/loss record for every pitcher on his list except for Morrow. It’s impossible to accurately predict those figures. In addition to Alvarez being off his list, there’s going to be a fellow by the name of Nestor Molina–recently added to the 40-man roster–that will get the call sooner than later into the season if needed.

    With a solid number of great prospects inching closer to The Show, it’s going to be more exciting than ever next season to see them perform on the big stage!

  • gnor

    Nothing on Carlos V either. I am seriously thinking that he’s going to force them to give him a starting spot this Spring. Then if Dustin comes back rested and ready to go, Drabek and Cecil can work out of the pen, and all we need is a closer.

  • Mylegacy

    @Jared_Macdonald Jared you’re right that there is at least a snowballs chance in you know where that Cecil is in the rotation – however – I think the real Cecil question is – Does he pitch as a starter at Vegas or in the bigs from the pen. With the depth of our system I say put Cecil in the pen with the other failed starters, but good pen arms: Janssen, Perez, Villeneuva, Litsch, Mills and Carreno.

  • Mylegacy

    @gnor Until Drabek’s command and control VASTLY improve the only pen I’d like to see him in is the one in Vegas.

  • Jared_Macdonald

    Agreed, the main ugly numbers are coming from Drabek and Cecil who, like Mylegacy pointed out, could very well be on the outside looking in come Opening Day. Cecil is the likelier one out of the two to break camp with the Jays, as I don’t believe the organization has given up on him just yet.

    It’s interesting that he predicts a below .500 win/loss record for every pitcher on his list except for Morrow. It’s impossible to accurately predict those figures. In addition to Alvarez being off his list, there’s going to be a fellow by the name of Nestor Molina–recently added to the 40-man roster–that will get the call sooner than later into the season if needed.

    With a solid number of great prospects inching closer to The Show, it’s going to be more exciting than ever next season to see them perform on the big stage!

  • gnor

    Nothing on Carlos V either. I am seriously thinking that he’s going to force them to give him a starting spot this Spring. Then if Dustin comes back rested and ready to go, Drabek and Cecil can work out of the pen, and all we need is a closer.

  • Mylegacy

    @Jared_Macdonald Jared you’re right that there is at least a snowballs chance in you know where that Cecil is in the rotation – however – I think the real Cecil question is – Does he pitch as a starter at Vegas or in the bigs from the pen. With the depth of our system I say put Cecil in the pen with the other failed starters, but good pen arms: Janssen, Perez, Villeneuva, Litsch, Mills and Carreno.

  • Mylegacy

    @gnor Until Drabek’s command and control VASTLY improve the only pen I’d like to see him in is the one in Vegas.

  • ace frehley

    @Mylegacy@gnor Unfortunately I think it may be Drabek’s head that needs fixing

  • ace frehley

    @Mylegacy@gnor Unfortunately I think it may be Drabek’s head that needs fixing

  • Sniderville

    I’m hoping that they move Cecil to the pen. His ceiling is much lower than any other candidate for the rotation like Mcgowan, Alvarez, Molina and Drabek. And he is very effective against lefty hitters. But he could force his way into the rotation in Spring Training.

  • Sniderville

    I’m hoping that they move Cecil to the pen. His ceiling is much lower than any other candidate for the rotation like Mcgowan, Alvarez, Molina and Drabek. And he is very effective against lefty hitters. But he could force his way into the rotation in Spring Training.

  • flatjacket1

    @Sniderville I never understood how Cecil got labeled as a “low ceiling” player. He was only 24 last season and has a career mark of 26-22 and had his first 2 complete games (one a shutout) last season. I would argue Cecil is progressing along well in his development and if started for the rest of his career would finish above .500 and have some seasons below 4.00 ERA. His numbers went to heck after his awful start and if you look at his numbers after the call up, he wasn’t too terrible other than the odd game he let get away. He does nasty things to left handed batters which should be a positive sign that it could one day translate to the other side of the plate.

  • flatjacket1

    @Sniderville I never understood how Cecil got labeled as a “low ceiling” player. He was only 24 last season and has a career mark of 26-22 and had his first 2 complete games (one a shutout) last season. I would argue Cecil is progressing along well in his development and if started for the rest of his career would finish above .500 and have some seasons below 4.00 ERA. His numbers went to heck after his awful start and if you look at his numbers after the call up, he wasn’t too terrible other than the odd game he let get away. He does nasty things to left handed batters which should be a positive sign that it could one day translate to the other side of the plate.

  • Mylegacy

    @flatjacket1@Sniderville Flatjacket, you’re correct. However, with the depth of seriously high end guys like Hutchison, Molina, Syndergaard and Nicolini (not mention at least another 10 or so other guys) who have clearly more upside than Cecil – his only chance for a long term career with the Jays is in the pen – or else he could be trade bait.

  • Mylegacy

    @flatjacket1@Sniderville Flatjacket, you’re correct. However, with the depth of seriously high end guys like Hutchison, Molina, Syndergaard and Nicolini (not mention at least another 10 or so other guys) who have clearly more upside than Cecil – his only chance for a long term career with the Jays is in the pen – or else he could be trade bait.

  • flatjacket1

    @Mylegacy@Sniderville I agree with you to a degree. At one point Cecil had #2 projections but now it looks like his ceiling is a good #3 on most teams or an end of the rotation guy in the AL East. I think for next season it makes more sense to not rush any of those guys you mentioned and let Cecil have another spin. Then we would have a better idea of what the do the next year. The talent of the pitching in the low minors is vast and once that starts coming out to the Majors, were set. My argument is just the until then. I do think the Jays would trade Cecil before converting him to a LOOGY.

  • flatjacket1

    @Mylegacy@Sniderville I agree with you to a degree. At one point Cecil had #2 projections but now it looks like his ceiling is a good #3 on most teams or an end of the rotation guy in the AL East. I think for next season it makes more sense to not rush any of those guys you mentioned and let Cecil have another spin. Then we would have a better idea of what the do the next year. The talent of the pitching in the low minors is vast and once that starts coming out to the Majors, were set. My argument is just the until then. I do think the Jays would trade Cecil before converting him to a LOOGY.

  • scottbarber

    @flatjacket1@Mylegacy@Sniderville Chances are Cecil’s going to get a pretty good run in 2012. But as mentioned, with the pitching depth in the minors, he’s got to pitch well to avoid being bumped to the pen, or out of town.

  • scottbarber

    @flatjacket1@Mylegacy@Sniderville Chances are Cecil’s going to get a pretty good run in 2012. But as mentioned, with the pitching depth in the minors, he’s got to pitch well to avoid being bumped to the pen, or out of town.