Seattle Mariners 2007 Projections
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on January 29, 2007
Projections Say This Year’s M’s to Look Like ’06 Club
By Dave Clark and Jason A. Churchill
The 2007 Seattle Mariners do not appear to be any better on paper than they were a year ago – at least to the naked eye. We’ve sat here all winter watching the club throw millions of dollars at mediocre pitchers and ink conservative deals to shore up an offense that needed much more than shoring up.
So the 78-win version of the Mariners is back, with a few replacements. Things don’t look so good from afar, and there is truly nothing to be excited about in the Emerald City as far as wins and losses goes… or is there?
There are several projection formulas on the market these days, many of which have been developed by some pretty strong baseball minds. Zips and Marcel are two of the more known systems, and according to each, the Seattle Mariners aren’t going to be “so freakin’ bad” this season.
The tables below are a compilation of Zips and Marcel projections for 2006, combined equally into one single projection. The projection listed is for the player that started on opening day (as well as the five starters) while the actuals include other players that played the positions last season, in order to get a full season in which to compare.
Ultimately landing just 16 points below projection displays the accuracies of the systems combined, even if either individual system is flawed in certain ways.
Thanks to Frangraphs.com for housing each system’s projections in one place so Dave Clark could do all the hard work without having to actually do it the hard way.
|2006 Projections vs. Actuals|
|OD STARTER/POS.||06 PROJECTION||06 ACTUAL||DIFFERENTIAL|
|Ichiro/RF||.795 OPS||.778 OPS||-17|
|Jeremy Reed/CF||.726 OPS||.656 OPS||-70|
|Adrian Beltre/3B||.798 OPS||.775 OPS||-23|
|Richie Sexson/1B||.891 OPS||.831 OPS||-60|
|Raul Ibanez/LF||.781 OPS||.871 OPS||+90|
|Kenji Johjima/C||.812 OPS||.730 OPS||-82|
|Jose Lopez/2B||.711 OPS||.734 OPS||+23|
|Yuniesky Betancourt/SS||.641 OPS||.708 OPS||+67|
|Carl Everett/DH||.735 OPS||.667 OPS||-68|
|FULL TEAM TOTALS||.765 OPS||.749 OPS||-16|
As you can see, the projections systems, at least in tandem combination, were pretty accurate for the offense last season. Below is the same table for the starting rotation and bullpen.
|2006 Projections vs. Actuals|
|STARTER||06 PROJECTION||06 ACTUAL||DIFFERENTIAL|
|Jamie Moyer||4.76 ERA||4.39 ERA||-27|
|Gil Meche||4.94 ERA||4.48 ERA||-46|
|Jarrod Washburn||4.32 ERA||4.67 ERA||+35|
|Felix Hernandez||3.51 ERA||4.52 ERA||+101|
|Joel Pineiro||4.51 ERA||6.36 ERA||+185|
|FULL ROTATION TOTALS||4.48 ERA||4.89 ERA||+51|
|RELIEVER||06 PROJECTION||06 ACTUAL||DIFFERENTIAL|
|J.J. Putz||4.61 ERA||2.3 ERA||-231|
|Rafael Soriano||3.15 ERA||2.25 ERA||-90|
|George Sherrill||4.02 ERA||4.28 ERA||+26|
|Julio Mateo||3.89 ERA||4.19 ERA||+30|
|Eddie Guardado||3.83 ERA||5.48 ERA||+165|
|FULL PEN TOTALS||3.89 ERA||3.70 ERA||-19|
The projections laid out a season in which the Mariners should have won between 83-85 games. They underachieved both offensively and on the mound, and ended up winning 78 games, which was nearly dead-on per the club’s actual performance on the field.
The purpose of the above exercise will be carried out in the below tables – the 2007 projections for the Seattle Mariners. Again, this is a combination of the ZIPS and Marcel systems.
|OD STARTER/POS.||07 PROJECTION||BENCH||07 PROJECTION|
|Ichiro Suzuki, CF
||.787 OPS||Willie Bloomquist||.636 OPS
|Jose Vidro, DH
||.744 OPS||Rene Rivera||.636 OPS
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||.816 OPS||Ben Broussard||.772 OPS
|Richie Sexson, 1B||.831 OPS||Mike Morse||.772 OPS
|Raul Ibanez, LF||.806 OPS||Jeremy Reed||.727 OPS
|Kenji Johjima, C||.773 OPS||Sean Burroughs||.680 OPS
|Jose Lopez, 2B||.738 OPS||Adam Jones||.742 OPS
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||.718OPS||Jeff Clement||.628 OPS
|Jose Guillen, RF
||.788 OPS||Bryan LaHair||.643 OPS
|FULL LINEUP TOTALS||.779 OPS||FULL PT/RESERVE TOTALS
The offense is expected to dupe last year’s performance by 13 points, which isn’t much, but it is improvement. That is, if the club goes out and does what’s expected of them at the plate. The bench is terrible, even with Ben Broussard who is probably not going sniff a day on the roster this season as he is almost certain to be dealt by opening day.
|STARTER||07 PROJECTION||RELIEVER||07 PROJECTION|
|Felix Hernandez||3.83 ERA||J.J. Putz||3.31 ERA
|Jarrod Washburn||4.46 ERA||Chris Reitsma||4.69 ERA
|Jeff Weaver||4.61 ERA||George Sherrill
||4.71 ERA||Julio Mateo
||4.86 ERA||Jon Huber
|FULL ROTATION TOTALS||4.47 ERA||FULL PEN TOTALS
If all goes as formulated, the Mariners are slated to win 86 games, according to the runs scored – runs prevented systems, but as you can see, the 2006 starting rotation was ALSO expected to put up an ERA of just under 4.5, and they sputtered their way to suckocrity. If this year’s rotation is just as bad, the M’s will have trouble getting past the 78 victories they mustered a year ago.
The bullpen is not as strong, putting a lot of pressure on veterans Washburn, Weaver and Batista, but the key is clearly Felix Hernandez. If the King has a really good year – nothing ridiculous, but darned good – the club is probably an 85+-win team, and if some things fall their way offensively, i.e., Jose Lopez’s, Richie Sexson’s and Adrian Beltre’s consistency and the further development of Lopez and his double-play mate Yuniesky Betancourt, the Mariners might just win enough games to make this season quite interesting.
But that’s a lot of pressure to put on three players whose average age is barely 22.