Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 Bill James Projections - Red Sox Rotation

I've waited long enough to see if we'll be getting any new and exciting pitching additions - Spring Training is fast approaching (and Lester is already in camp!), so it's high time to finish out the 2012 projections.

LHP Jon Lester:
2011 projection: 14-9, 31 starts, 204 IP, 3.53 ERA, 82 BB, 193 SO
2011: 15-9, 31 starts, 191.2 IP, 3.47 ERA, 75 BB, 182 SO
2012 projection: 15-9, 31 starts, 192 IP, 3.61 ERA, 74 BB, 180 SO
I thought James was being too pessimistic about Lester in his projection for 2011, and he turned out to be pretty much right on the nose.  Hopefully Lester can top this, but these numbers certainly aren't anything to scoff at.

RHP Josh Beckett:
2011 projection: 10-9, 26 starts, 168 IP, 3.86 ERA, 49 BB, 155 SO
2011: 13-7, 30 starts, 193 IP, 2.89 ERA, 52 BB, 175 SO
2012 projection: 12-9, 29 starts, 186 IP, 3.63 ERA, 53 BB, 169 SO
James underestimated Beckett last year, and I think there's a good chance he's done so again. Beckett came into camp last year with something to prove after his injury-marred 2010, and this year he'll have a chip on his shoulder about the way last year ended.

RHP Clay Buchholz:
2011 projection: 13-9, 29 starts, 193 IP, 3.54 ERA, 74 BB, 168 SO
2011: 6-3, 14 starts, 82.2 IP, 3.48 ERA, 31 BB, 60 SO
2012 projection: 13-8, 30 starts, 191 IP, 3.53 ERA, 73 BB, 162 SO
A lot of things went wrong in 2011, but losing Buchholz for the entire second half should not be overlooked: a healthy Clay and we probably would have been playing in October. That said, Buchholz has the Sox counting on him to be healthy, and he'll want to show that they were right to trust him - I think James is spot on.

Now comes the guesswork: will Alfredo Aceves be starting in 2012? How about Daniel Bard, who has also expressed interest? Will Tim Wakefield get invited to camp, or will we finally be saying goodbye? For the purposes of this post, I'll only be doing the projections for players James projected assuming they were starters (this means Aceves and Bard will be in the bullpen post - even if Valentine has them in the rotation).

RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka:
2011 projection: 10-9, 27 starts, 173 IP, 3.85 ERA, 73 BB, 158 SO
2011: 3-3, 7 starts, 37.1 IP, 5.30 ERA, 23 BB, 26 SO
2012 projection: 4-4, 12 starts, 74 IP, 4.14 ERA, 37 BB, 66 SO
If you're like me, when Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John surgery last June, you were probably thinking "good riddance." I'd had enough of Matsuzaka, who has never been the pitcher for the Sox that he seems to be in Japan.  But on the bright side, he can't get much worse, and maybe after TJ he'll be better for his presumptive midseason return.

LHP Andrew Miller:
2011 projection: 3-5, 14 starts, 65 IP, 5.68 ERA, 43 BB, 54 SO
2011: 6-3, 12 starts, 65 IP, 5.54 ERA, 41 BB, 50 SO
2012 projection: 3-5, 12 starts, 70 IP, 5.40 ERA, 47 BB, 58 SO
Obviously James isn't expecting Miller to start too much this year - and with those projected numbers, hopefully he won't.

RHP Tim Wakefield:
2011 projection: 6-6, 14 starts, 115 IP, 4.07 ERA, 37 BB, 72 SO
2011: 7-8, 23 starts, 154 IP, 5.12 ERA, 47 BB, 93 SO
2012 projection: 4-4, 12 starts, 80 IP, 4.16 ERA, 24 BB, 48 SO
Obviously, Wake's not even signed right now, and it would be putting Valentine in a rough position if they invited the 45-year-old knuckleballer to Spring Training. But for some reason, James thinks Wakefield's ERA will fall by nearly a run, but that he'll throw barely half the innings he did last year. We'll see.

After the top three (37- 27 combined), the dropoff is pretty steep. Though I wasn't sad to see the back of John Lackey for Tommy John surgery of his own, his absence really exposes how shallow this rotation is. Hopefully Cherington can pull something out of thin air.  In-house possibilities include Junichi Tazawa, Stolmy Pimentel (though he's just 22 and needs some more seasoning), Felix Doubront, Aceves, and Bard (though the latter two would leave GAPING holes in the bullpen). None of these players were included in James' 2012 Handbook as starters, so their numbers aren't in this post.

1 comment:

  1. dude's a retard. he should stop writing if he doesnt have a clue..