Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wrap Ups

A couple of weeks ago, I had something on Edwin Jackson and promised a part two. I started going through each top 10 prospect from BA and tracked their career progress. After going through about three years of prospects I was bored to tears. Rather than go through everything, I will say that I never found a top 10 prospect who became a star if they had lost their shine within the next five years. In other words, based on that brief analysis, the likelihood of Jackson tapping into that potential everybody seems so fond of is very low. I apologize I couldn't go more in depth.

Speaking of Jackson, I commented last week on the XM radio host who had no clue he had been traded. After doing some digging, I found out that XM's MLB station has gone through a lot of personnel changes since the XM/Sirius merger. They have let go of several of their hosts, including the very knowledgeable Chuck Wilson and Jeff Erickson. There has been a noticible decline in the quality of the station, and replacing baseball experts with people who don't pay attention to recent transactions is a large part of that.

And while we are on the subject of wrap ups, I wanted to say that I am scaling on baseball related research projects in a big way going forward. The New Year is an admittedly cliche time to make priority changes, but I need to do just that. 2008 was a rough year for me on a personal level, as I have had to endure a seemingly endless job search after losing my first job out of college last January. While this has been a great distraction, it is a distraction I need to minimize as I focus on getting my personal life in order in 2009 and beyond. This is not to say that the blog will be gone, but the content will be cut back significantly for an indefinite period. Thank you to everybody who has followed along.

Monday, December 22, 2008

People in the MSM Earning Their Keep Moment of the Day: December 22, 2008

I was just listening to MLB on XM 175, and there was this great exchange between Buck Martinez and host Seth Everett after a caller asks if David Price will be in the rotation this year.

Martinez goes on a typical cliche-ridden discussion about not rushing rookies and how nothing is a given even though there is a spot for him. I had no problem with this. It was Everett's subsequent commentary that, had I not been driving, would have made me put my head into my hands.

"That's why the talks of trading Edwin Jackson have quieted down."

Martinez proceeded to correct him, and there was the embarrassing "Oh. I'm sorry." An honest mistake, but the type of mistake that is all too common for people who have privileges that many would kill for.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Hit-and-Run and Adam Everett

I've never been a big fan of the hit-and-run. Unless you have somebody whose bat control skills are out of this world, the hit-and-run can just as easily move the fielder into the ball as it creates a hole. Throw in the double play risk from a line drive, and I really don't view the hit-and-run as a strategy that is wise to use too frequently.

That's why I squirmed a bit when saw this quote from Jim Leyland after the Adam Everett signing:

"I'm very tickled about adding Adam. We're thrilled to get a great defensive shortstop who can also hit-and-run, bunt, and handle the bat well."

The first thought I had was something along the lines of "If he handles the bat so well, why is his career OPS in the .600's." Obviously, Jim Leyland was referring to his ability to hit and run, but I'd bet there is a pretty high correlation between hit and run ability and straight hitting ability. Luckily, there are some numbers out there that may help us figure out how good of a bat handler Adam Everett is.

There are two main objectives the hitter has during a hit-and-run. The first and most important of those objectives is to make contact. A whiff can hang the runner out to dry. The second is directional hitting. When they do hit the ball, it does no good to just hit the ball anywhere. A hit-and-run is only useful when the ball is hit in a place where there is no fielder. displays the contact percentages for each player since 2005. The method for calculating this statistic is pretty basic. Simply divide the amount of times making contact by the amount of times the player swings at the ball. The more you swing and miss, the lower your contact percentage. Below, I have two lists. The first list includes the Tigers' projected starting nine with their combined contact percentages since 2005. The second list includes some shortstops available this offseason. Both are ranked in order of their 2005-2008 contact percenteges.

Placido Polanco 93.2
Carlos Guillen 84.1
Magglio Ordonez 84.0
Gary Sheffield 83.4
Adam Everett 83.1
Gerald Laird 79.8
Miguel Cabrera 78.5
Brandon Inge 76.6
Curtis Granderson 76.1

Cesar Izturis 92.7
Jack Wilson 89.3
Orlando Cabrera 86.1
Ramon Santiago 86.0
Edgar Renteria 84.1
Adam Everett 83.1
Khalil Greene 77.2

Based on these numbers, it does not appear if Everett is a star at making contact. To nobody's surprise, Polanco was the Tigers' best. If Leyland wanted to hit and run, he probably should have done it with Polanco. The big shock is that the Tigers' two shortstops from last year, Santiago and Renteria, each make contact more often than Everett. We'll just have to hope that Leyland keeps the hit-and-run attempts with Everett to a minimum, as there will be a runner hung out to dry one out of every six attempts.

Now, contact was only one piece of the equation. There is no statistic to directly measure how well a batter can direct the ball towards the holes. While this happens on a hit and run, you'd have to think that players are always trying to handle the bat, so somebody you want to be hitting and running should have a high batting average. With his .246 (and falling) career batting average, Everett is hardly the guy who is going to find holes on the hit and run. Unless there are scouts that have found that Everett has an inate ability to turn on his bat control only when the hit-and-run is put on, it does not seem like he is an ideal option for this play.

Luckily, Everett will not have to play small ball for this move to work. So long as his defense is near the top of the league, he will help the pitchers and the team regardless of how often his at bats are wasted on a hit-and-run.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Edwin Jackson's Prospect History

One of the most common defenses of the Edwin Jackson acquisition that I have seen goes something like this.

"Edwin Jackson was one of the top prospects in baseball a few years back. This is a great chance to see if he can recapture that status."

At first glance, I don't buy that argument. For some perspective on the state of affairs when his prospect status was at its pinnacle:
  • The Tigers were just coming off of a 119 loss season.
  • Dontrelle Willis had just gone 14-6 in his rookie season, Miguel Cabrera had just emerged as the starting left fielder, and Pudge Rodriguez was an apparent leader. These three helped lead the Florida Marlins to a World Series title.
  • This was 163 home runs ago for Cabrera and 205 home runs ago for Albert Pujols.
  • Rick Porcello was starting his freshman year... of High School. Justin Verlander had just started his Junior year of College.
  • George W. Bush's approval rating was north of 50%.
If I haven't convinced you a lot has changed since the 2003-2004 prospect lists have come out, I probably never will. If you are willing to admit that this is a dynamic and ever-changing world, you have to at least consider that Edwin Jackson's stock may have fallen just a wee bit from those times. If you still aren't convinced, ask a Dodger fan. Still not convinced, head on over to Paul DePodesta's blog. While he's probably not allowed to discuss players on other teams, if Edwin Jackson had been all he was cracked up to be, there's a pretty good chance the blog would be in Dodger blue instead of whatever color the Padres are these days.

Edwin Jackson was a sixth round pick by the Dodgers in 2001, straight out of high school. After sitting the rest of the 2001 season out, Jackson was assigned to South Georgia of the South Atlantic League (Tigers' fans, this is the equivalent of West Michigan in the Midwest League) where he and Francisco Cruceta -- yes, that Francisco Cruceta -- were the anchors of their '02 starting rotation. Baseball America ranked him the 99th best prospect in baseball after that season, placing him square between Seth McClung and Nic Jackson.

It was the 2003 season when Jackson really started to make waves. Skipping high-A, he went to AA and didn't miss a beat, dominating the league and moving to the top of most people's prospect lists. There were some warning signs, however, in this AA domination. In 148 innings, Jackson did manage to walk 53 guys and post an ERA of 3.71. While those aren't bad numbers and his 157 strikeouts were impressive, they aren't the numbers of the top pitching prospect in baseball, especially at a pitcher's park like Jacksonville. This was a very impressive performance for a 19 year-old pitcher in AA. While the season in AA gained him attention, it was the September cup of Coffee that vaulted Jackson into the limelight. Specifically, it was his victorious duel with Randy Johnson on his Major League debut that is still remembered to this day by those lamenting what could have been. I will be quick to point out this game to those who want to pin their hopes on one cherry picked game in a player's past. While the season was an extreme success for Edwin Jackson, one has to look back with some hesitation. The slightly above average ERA and walk rate may suggest that he wasn't dominant in AA, and the MLB experience was just 20 innnings... not nearly enough to draw a meaningful sample. (You could make the same points about Matt Joyce, and it would be fair.)

After 2003, Baseball America ranked Edwin Jackson as the #4 player in baseball behind Joe Mauer, B.J. Upton, and Delmon Young and just ahead of Rickie Weeks, Alexis Rios, Kaz Matsui, Greg Miller, Grady Sizemore, and Prince Fielder. I'll get back to this list in a moment, because I want to go over the past five years of Edwin Jackson's career.

As great as his '03 season was, Jackson's '04 was as much of a disaster. Penciled into the starting rotation in the spring, Jackson proceeded to blow up in the spring and lose his spot. In AAA-Las Vegas, a tremendous hitter's environment, he was awful, posting an ERA of 5.84 and walking 55 guys in 91 innings. Nonetheless, injuries to the Dodgers' starting staff pushed Jackson into a spot starter's role in the summer. Upon filling in for Odalis Perez in July, he had to leave a game in the second inning with an elbow injury, yet started again five days later. No word on if Kevin Rand was consulted for this decision. It should come as no surprise that Jackson spent some time in July on the disabled list after this before heading back to Las Vegas for further struggles before a pretty brutal cup of coffee in September with the Dodgers. It was a year to forget for Edwin Jackson.

It was more of the same in 2005 for this enigma. Despite constant praise from his Major League manager Jim Tracy, Jackson just couldn't put it together in the minors, warranting a June demotion from Las Vegas back to AA Jacksonville, where he recovered somewhat. Unfortunately, it was more of the same in the late season call-up. Edwin Jackson was quickly becoming a flop.

With his biggest supporter, Jim Tracy, out of a job, the Dodgers shipped Edwin Jackson to Tampa Bay in a deal for relievers Danys Baez and Lance Carter. Clearly his stock had fallen hard, and very few players were in need of a change of scenery than Jackson. However, the 2006 season wasn't much different for Jackson. He struggled in AAA Durham before a complete lack of Tampa Bay pitching forced him into being completely overmatched to the tune of a 5.45 ERA in relief.

Jackson has been in the Majors for good for the past two years, but it was only because he was out of options and the Rays felt they would lose him on waivers. They simply didn't have any other pitchers to force him off the staff, either. This past year, Jackson stayed on as the Rays' fifth starter, but was clearly a notch below everybody else on the staff, only appearing in three games during the postseason, each in a mop up role. Jackson's improvement in his ERA and win totals were largely the results of improvements around him. The Rays' defense was upgraded from one of the league's worst to the league's best, and they were simply keeping runs off the scoreboard. While it appears that Jackson may have found himself, it is likely that he is the same middling pitcher that has frustrated the Rays, Devil Rays, and Dodgers for the past five years.

This post is much longer than I anticipated when I started writing, so I will save the rest for another post. The one question I want to address is whether or not we can expect a resurgance out of Edwin Jackson because of his former prospect status. We'll take a look at that later in the week.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Aquilino Lopez Non-tendered

The Tigers non-tendered Aquilino Lopez last night. This is not a big surprise, as he was among the league's worst in keeping inherited runners from scoring. Turning 34 in April, Lopez was not likely to improve, so keeping him around didn't serve much of a purpose. Before people start complaining about losing Skelton while a roster spot was going to be opened, bear in mind that the Tigers may be signing 2-3 more free agents, so the open roster spot is a bit misleading at this point. If Eddie Bonine survives the offseason, complaints are valid.

Mlbtraderumors has a list of the non-tenders. Some pitchers (a lot of which are recovering from injuries) on the list include:

Daniel Cabrera
Joe Nelson
Takashi Saito

Chris Capuano
Scott Proctor
Tyler Johnson
Chris Britton
Gary Majewski
Chuck James

And former Tigers:
Denny Bautista
Wilfredo Ledezma
Jason Smith

One really interesting player non-tendered was Jairo Cuevas, who has had an eventful offseason. Claimed off waivers from the Braves by the Royals on October 24, he was claimed back by Atlanta on November 26 before Kansas City claimed him back this Wednesday. Now Cuevas has been non-tendered, and is a free agent, presumably so that Kansas City can bypass the waiver process, but interesting nonetheless.

Sometime next week I'll go through some of these non-tenders. Odds are that at least one of them will end up on the Tigers roster next year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's okay. He's skinny.

James Skelton was taken by Arizona in the Rule 5 draft. Kyle Bloom was taken by the Tigers from Pittsburgh. I'll have more on this after the dust settles. A lot of trades tend to take place after the draft.

The good news is that Alfredo Figaro could not have possibly been taken today. Thank God.

As of yet, James Skelton still hasn't been traded by Arizona. Why is this important? The Diamondbacks already have two quality catchers under 30 in Chris Snyder and Miguel Montero. As it stands, there is no room to stash Skelton on the roster. Unless he or Montero is traded, there is no room for Skelton on the roster, meaning he'd have to be returned. This still isn't sitting very well, although this would probably not be a catastrophic loss. Would is the key word in that sentence. The odds that Skelton sticks all year on Arizona's roster are very low right now, however they have carried three catchers in the past. I still don't like this one bit, as we have yet another sign of backwards thinking by the Tigers' front office this year.

Kyle Bloom is an interesting pick. He'll be 26 when the season starts, so he's no spring chicken. His minor league splits mesh with various reports that he made significant mechanical changes during this season, posting FIP's of 5.40, 4.51, 5.61, 3.33, and 3.33 in April, May, June, July, and August respectively. This improvement continued in the Hawaiian Leagues, where he posted a 1.5 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched. It certainly looks as if the mechanical changes have set Bloom in the right direction, and this is a worthwhile gamble to take.

Finally, the Tigers passed in the minor league phase, and lost no players. In case you were worried, the math professor stays in the organization.

Update #2:
From the Tiger's website:
"If he throws the way he threw for [Egan], I think he'll be interesting and have a chance to make our ballclub," Dombrowski said.
Isn't this how we ended up with Francisco Cruceta?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Andrew Friedman Takes DD to the Cleaners

Edwin Jackson for Matt Joyce?

This makes no sense at first. I'll update after I do some digging on Edwin Jackson and gather my thoughts. This doesn't look good though. Jackson is exactly the type of pitcher the Tigers shouldn't be going after.

Okay, here we go in bullet point format.
  • Like Laird, Edwin Jackson is eligible for arbitration. Unlike Laird, i doubt anybody else was going to acquire Jackson. Could this have waited for two days just in case he was non-tendered?
  • Edwin Jackson is out of options. This means if he takes a slight step back, he can't be sent to the minors without slipping through waivers.
  • And the difference between Jackson's 2008 and needing to be sent to the minors isn't as great as you would think. Yes, he had a "shiny" 4.42 ERA, but some of that was due to factors outside of his control. The 4.90 FIP suggests that he really was pretty bad this year. 77 BB and 108 K's in 183 innings is pretty bad.
  • Why is it that all the pitchers the Tigers are linked to have fluky ERA's? Jackson? Joe Beimel? John Parrish? Either the Tigers aren't even looking at peripherals or they are seeing something I don't. I hope it's the latter, but fear it's the former.
  • This only works out if Jackson finds something and becomes a better pitcher. He's simply not a good pitcher right now, and that will need to work.
  • After years trying to find a left-handed bat and spending plate appearances offensive nonentities Sean Casey and Jacque Jones for their left-handedness, Matt Joyce finally provided a decent option there. He was cast to the bench this offseason because he wasn't being overpaid like Gary Sheffield and Brandon Inge. Now he's been sent to the American League's best team for a thrower.
  • Matt Joyce was the Tigers' best defensive player last year.
I don't see how this trade makes sense. In doing this, Dombrowski is essentially betting on Carlos Guillen and Gary Sheffield playing 150 games apiece this year. I don't like those odds.

If somebody drafts James Skelton tomorrow, I'll lose it.

Note: Andrew Friedman is the Tampa Bay Rays' GM, not a guest author.

In an Attempt to Raise Joe Beimel's Relative Stock,

The Tigers are interested in one of the worst pitchers on the market.

Some career numbers for John Parrish:

271.2 IP
188 BB
221 K
25 HR
4.54 ERA

The walk rate is unacceptable and there is nothing there to offset it. Stay away! I'm sure there are dozens of LOOGY's available for $50,000 on Thursday in the Rule 5 draft that would do a better job than Parrish, including this guy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Looking Over Laird's Shoulder

From Gerald Laird's teleconference yesterday:

"Knowing that I'm not going to look over my shoulder, it's relaxing now. I'm just going to play baseball. I'm not going to worry about the small things I did over the last couple years.
Well, two things have changed since I had a post on acquiring Gerald Laird yesterday. At the time, it seemed likely that there was going to be some sort of a time share arrangement between Laird and Dusty Ryan. That doesn't appear to be the case, as Laird has been annointed the team's starter. This only turns out to be a bad thing if a struggling Laird is taking playing time away from a capable Ryan. There's a possibility that series of events could occur and Jim Leyland's trademark veteran stubbornness could block the Tigers' best option. Then again, Dusty Ryan could have been a fluke this year, and Laird could be saving us from disaster. Regardless, it is difficult to approve Laird's dismissal of Dusty Ryan, and could make for an awkward situation during the season.

Could the Tigers be in the market for Laird's backup now? Here's a quote from Dombrowski yesterday.
"Ideally," Dombrowski said, "our (plan) is that it will benefit him to play every day at Triple-A."
I am perfectly fine with Dusty Ryan getting seasoning in AAA. However, the implication here seems to be that the Tigers are content having Dane Sardinha as the team's backup. I see no reason why Dane Sardinha should be any higher than fourth on any catching depth chart, and if this trade makes the Tigers feel comfortable with him on the roster, it would be an unfortunate consequence.

Onto Adam Everett, whom the Tigers worked out last week and have apparently signed. For $1 million plus incentives, this isn't a bad deal. However, there are some question marks surrounding him. The biggest of which is his shoulder, which caused him to miss much of last season. They apparently feel confident that his shoulder is healthy and will not hamper him defensively this year. Forgive me if I'm skeptical of the Tigers' scouting after they felt Jacque Jones was still an MLB caliber outfielder or that Edgar Renteria was an above average defensive shortstop. We'll just have to wait and see if he is and capable of playing a full season at a high level. I cannot blindly trust this organization anymore.

Everett was one of the top, if not the top, defensive shortstops in the game before his injuries, but he needs to continue to be elite in order to be useful, because the career .653 OPS will not cut it if he is merely good out there. It will also do no good if he is only able to play 40 or 50 games, as the Tigers would then have to go right back to square one. In which case, we would be subjected to the seemingly endless Jack Wilson rumors.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Transactions/Eligibilties Post Updated

Just a reminder, I am keeping the transactions and eligibilities post updated this off-season. With the winter meetings looming, you can see who is eligible for arbitration, who is eligible to be selected for the Rule 5 draft, and how many roster spots the Tigers have open.

I will also be keeping track of options and service time for all players on the 40-man roster. That page is now updated to include Gerald Laird and the new 40-man additions.

Laird for Moscoso (and Melo)

The long rumored Gerald Laird trade finally happened last night. After worrying about the cost (especially after hearing the names Matt Joyce and Jeff Larish thrown around in the Jack Wilson discussions), giving up just Guillermo Moscoso and Carlos Melo is a bit of a relief.

Even despite the incredible ratios this year, I'm really not that high on Moscoso. He started out the season missing some time with a shoulder issue and was assigned to Lakeland when healthy. There, as a 24 year old, Moscoso struck out 72 in 54 innings while being used both in relief and in the rotation. He moved to Erie and posted a 50/8 K/BB ratio in 34 innings. That is out of this world. However, there are some problems.

He is a big time fly ball pitcher, posting an abysmal 29% ground ball rate in Erie. Actually, that's an okay fit for the Tigers so long as Curtis Granderson's average defensive season was a fluke. However, the Rangers may regret acquiring him, as the ball simply flies out of Ameriquest Field. It also remains to be seen if he'd be able to keep the ball in the park against MLB hitters, who punish mistakes up in the zone much more than his minor league brethren. Also, Moscoso does have a history of shoulder issues, and reports of fatigue have come out of his time in the winter leagues. While I will admit I said this about trading Jair Jurrjens, this could be a very good time to trade Guillermo. Overall, this isn't as big of a loss as one would think.

Now, to Carlos Melo, a guy who I honestly don't know much about. This was his first year in the Tigers' organization, and I'd be remiss if I didn't point out how similar his final line looked to Moscoso's. It may sound like a cop out, but Melo is so far away that I have a hard time seeing his loss affecting the Tigers.

As for Gerald Laird, I can live with him. Given the options on the free agent market, this is an okay pickup at a reasonable rate. I don't think he's anything close to a long term answer at catcher. So long as there is a reasonable time share between him and Ryan, I am okay with this trade. If Laird is hitting .220/.280/.320 and chucking only 15% of baserunners out in the middle of July, my hope is that Leyland realizes he may be better off using Dusty Ryan. If not, like the Sean Casey and Neifi Perez trades before, this one could backfire.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

No Arbitration for Renteria

It's not a huge surprise, but Edgar Renteria was denied arbitration yesterday. Yes, this means that the Tigers will not be receiving those two draft picks as compensation. Looking around the league, there were less arbitration offers than I figured. Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn were two other type A free agents who teams did not want to take the risk on. Clearly teams -- The Tigers included -- want no part in giving up in excess of $10-million to keep players they don't necessarily want. In addition to their 2008 salaries, there is another common thread between those three players: they are all poor defensively.

I was upset at first about this move, but the more I look at it, the more it makes sense. Clearly a team which is up to its neck in payroll in a city whose main industry could be on the brink of a collapse isn't in position to risk paying $8-10M for a player only worth $1-2M. The 35th pick in the draft would have been nice, though.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giants Sign Renteria?

According to mlbtraderumors, it appears as if that is the case. The Tigers get a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds, and one of the Giants draft picks. It will likely be the second round pick (sixth in the round), unless the Giants sign a second (and higher ranked) Type A free agent.

Update: It looks like it's not quite official, and potentially not imminent. Let's not count our draft picks until they hatch.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why Marte Wasn't Eligible

It turns out it's not the age on signing day, it's the age on June 5 on the signing year. This would mean Marte counted as an 18 year old signee and has an extra year before he can be taken in the Rule 5 draft. My apologies for having this wrong on the list. It will be corrected next year.

Still no word on why James Skelton was left unprotected.

Tigers Foolishly Leave Skelton Unprotected

The Tigers' catching at the upper levels is thin right now. How thin? Dusty Ryan is the only player in the organization capable of performing well in Toledo or Detroit this year. That is, if they get their way and James Skelton becomes somebody else's problem.

I'm not saying that James Skelton is a guarantee to step in and become the Tigers' everyday catcher, but when you have one capable upper level catcher and a weak free agent class, it makes no sense to expose a player -- one who has succeeded at every step of the minors -- to the Rule 5 draft. In this situation, the Tigers should be looking anywhere and everywhere for possible catchers next year. Whether it is for insurance for Dusty Ryan and his eventual backup, or to fill the holes left in Toledo (No, Andrew Graham and Max St. Pierre are not valid third catcher options). Risking losing a potential late season option is not the answer. Risking losing somebody who could be a viable catching option long term is worse.

My biggest fear is that the Tigers neglected Skelton for the wrong reasons. Not because Alex Avila and Dusty Ryan may project as better prospects than him. Not because of the lack of power. No, my fear is that he was left off the 40 man roster because he doesn't look like a catcher. While I've gone into the fallacies of that argument before, we can hopefully rest assured that if this move blows up in the Tigers' face, they will have learned their lesson. Unfortunately, by that time it would be too late.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Setting the 40-Man Roster

Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to submit their final reserve lists. These lists are in place to protect people from the Rule 5 draft in December. Players who signed at 18 or younger are eligible to be selected on their fifth draft since signing while others are eligible to be drafted in their fourth. The most notable reserve list is the team's 40-man roster, which protects players from the Major League draft. Meanwhile, there are are also reserve lists set for every level, protecting players from the minor league phases of the draft. These lists, however, are not made available to the public, so speculating on them would prove to be fruitless.

In trying to predict the Tigers' 40 man roster, the desire to protect young players with potential needs to be balanced with the needs of the Major League roster. While it would make sense to fill up all seven available spots with prospects, what happens when the team starts filling its needs and those same prospects are the ones exposed to waivers before their first spring training? For that reason, the first step I am going to take is to subjectively rank the players based on their likelihood of being removed from the 40 man roster.

The first group of players are those signed to big deals. These are the guys who have contracts or the service time to make it unlikely the Tigers will push them from the 40-man roster.
  1. Miguel Cabrera
  2. Curtis Granderson
  3. Magglio Ordonez
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Placido Polanco
  6. Carlos Guillen
  7. Jeremy Bonderman
  8. Brandon inge
  9. Gary Sheffield
  10. Nate Robertson
  11. Dontrelle Willis
I am going to assume that all of these players will stay on the 40 man roster -- unless traded-- this offseason. Will it's not inconcievable to see Dontrelle Willis passed through waivers, he has the right to refuse an assignment and the Tigers would be out the $22 million in the process.

The next group of players are those who are not signed or are signed to very cheap deals for just the 2009 season, ranked again in a subjective manner estimating their approximate value to the Tigers on the 40 man roster this offseason. The players at the top of this list are safe from being outrighted, while the ones at the bottom are likely to be on the chopping block.
  1. Justin Verlander
  2. Joel Zumaya
  3. Matt Joyce
  4. Armando Galarraga
  5. Jeff Larish
  6. Dusty Ryan
  7. Bobby Seay
  8. Zach Miner
  9. Clete Thomas
  10. Michael Hollimon
  11. Ramon Santiago
  12. Marcus Thames
  13. Ryan Raburn
  14. Freddy Dolsi
  15. Clay Rapada
  16. Macay McBride
  17. Brent Clevlen
  18. Chris Lambert
  19. Fernando Rodney
  20. Aquilino Lopez
  21. Mike Hessman
  22. Eddie Bonine
Bonine is clearly the most expendable of the players on the 40-man now. Because of an ambiguously worded provision in the CBA, could be protected from removal from the roster between tomorrow and March 15 on account of his ending the season on the disabled list. For that reason, I'd expect him to be passed through waivers this week. Hessman, a minor league veteran, seems to be pretty expendable. Rodney and Lopez are eligible for arbitration and could be non-tender candidates. Chris Lambert was pretty awful in his cup of coffee and doesn't have the type of stuff that would justify keeping him on the roster in leu of some harder throwers. Brent Clevlen would be the last player whose spot is in jeopardy, as he is out of options and didn't even earn the call up in September.

Now, before I get into the players who need to be protected, I want to account for five roster spots that the Tigers could be using on free agents this offseason. One starting pitcher, two relievers, a catcher, and a shortstop are all likely to be acquired in some way or another. Will they all be free agents? Will some come via trades for other players on the 40 man roster, thereby not requiring a roster spot? For the purposes of this, I'll assume all five players will require a roster spot.

In order to figure out whether or not these players will need to be protected, we will need to place them in the list above and see if they still project to be in the top 40 at the end of the offseason. Some of the top players who need to be protected include:

Wilkin Ramirez-
The pros: Impressed in spring training last year, coming off a breakthrough season, scouts love his tools, almost certainly will be drafted if left unprotected.
The cons: Plate discipline is still lacking, could this season have been a fluke?
The verdict: One of the top prospects in the system, I would slot him between Larish and Galarraga on the list. He's a no-brainer to protect.

James Skelton-
The pros: Great OBP skills and contact ability. Has now sustained his performance in Erie and the Hawaii winter league.
The cons: The durability concerns, which are largely bogus, are likely to turn opposing scouts off of him, the lack of power could bring the OBP down later on.
The verdict: I ranked him just below Ryan on my prospect list, but there's a better chance he makes it through the draft. Because the Tigers don't have an incumbant at catcher, it makes sense to protect him. I'll slide him right between Dolsi and Rapada.

Luis Marte-
The pros: Dominated Lakeland, big arm, came on strong in the AFL.
The cons: The elbow questions still linger.
The verdict: As a possible bullpen contributer with injury concerns, it makes sense to rank him right above Macay McBride.

Casper Wells-
The pros: The power has shown at Erie and now in the AFL.
The cons: Scouts aren't convinced, and he could slip through the Rule 5 draft. Outfield depth is a strength of the Tigers, so he may not be missed if taken in the draft.
The verdict: We'll slot him right above Aquilino Lopez.

Zach Simons-
The pros: Big fastball, wowed scouts in Lakeland.
The cons: May not be MLB ready, struggled in the AFL.
The verdict: Worth protecting, but could be squeezed. I'll put him right below Wells, above Lopez.

Guillermo Moscoso-
The pros: Blew through Erie and Lakeland this year.
The cons: A bit old for those levels, doesn't have overpowering stuff, struggling in Venezuelan winter leagues.
The verdict: A notch below Simons, but still more appealing than Lopez.

Jay Sborz-
The pros: Big arm, succeeded in Lakeland.
The cons: Injury history, not MLB ready.
The verdict: Just between Hessman and Lopez.

Alfredo Figaro-
The pros: Hard thrower, good movement on his fastball, dominated in West Michigan.
The cons: Only success was in the biggest pitchers' park in organized baseball against players two years younger than him. Struggled in Lakeland, not MLB ready.
The verdict: Below Bonine.

Everybody else, including Williams Rhymes, Max Leon, and Josh Rainwater slots behind Alfredo Figaro.

So, wrapping this up, we have:
  1. Miguel Cabrera
  2. Curtis Granderson
  3. Magglio Ordonez
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Placido Polanco
  6. Carlos Guillen
  7. Jeremy Bonderman
  8. Brandon Inge
  9. FA SS
  10. FA C
  11. FA SP
  12. FA RP
  13. FA/Rule 5 RP
  14. Gary Sheffield
  15. Nate Robertson
  16. Dontrelle Willis
  17. Justin Verlander
  18. Joel Zumaya
  19. Matt Joyce
  20. Armando Galarraga
  21. Wilkin Ramirez
  22. Jeff Larish
  23. Dusty Ryan
  24. Bobby Seay
  25. Zach Miner
  26. Clete Thomas
  27. Michael Hollimon
  28. Ramon Santiago
  29. Marcus Thames
  30. Ryan Raburn
  31. Freddy Dolsi
  32. James Skelton
  33. Clay Rapada
  34. Luis Marte
  35. Macay McBride
  36. Brent Clevlen
  37. Chris Lambert
  38. Fernando Rodney
  39. Casper Wells
  40. Zach Simons
  41. Guillermo Moscoso
  42. Aquilino Lopez
  43. Jay Sborz
  44. Mike Hessman
  45. Eddie Bonine
  46. Alfredo Figaro
  47. William Rhymes
According to this excercise, Guillermo Moscoso may be the odd man out if the team needs five roster spots this offseason. You may get a good idea of how close the Tigers are to making a trade if more than five players are added. As it stands, while Lopez, Hessman, and Bonine fall outside of the top 40, there is no reason to cut them loose quite yet. They can each be outrighted or non-tendered as the need for roster space requires. For now, I'll make the following transaction projection for tomorrow:

Purchased the contracts of P's Luis Marte and Zach Simons, C James Skelton, and OF's Wilkin Ramirez and Casper Wells.

Monday, November 17, 2008

IC Rankings - Week 13

  1. Alabama (1 Last Week)
  2. Texas Tech (2)
  3. Texas (3)
  4. Florida (4)
  5. Utah (5)
  6. Oklahoma (6)
  7. Ball State (7)
  8. Boise State (8)
  9. Penn State (9)
  10. Ohio State (10)
  11. Michigan State (12)
  12. USC (13)
  13. Oklahoma State (14)
  14. BYU (16)
  15. Cincinnati (17)
  16. Georgia (18)
  17. TCU (19)
  18. LSU (20)
  19. Pittsburgh (21)
  20. Missouri (23)
  21. Northwestern (22)
  22. North Carolina (15)
  23. Georgia Tech (NR)
  24. Oregon State (NR)
  25. Tulsa (11)
Also Receiving Votes: Western Michigan, Boston College, West Virginia, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, Air Force, Oregon, Florida State.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Free Agent Catchers

For the Tigers, catcher is a position that is in a different situation than in the recent past. For the past five years, Ivan Rodriguez has had a hold on the position and there was very little in the way of prospects pushing him out the door. With Rodriguez gone, his replacement Brandon Inge back to third base, possible backup Vance Wilson gone via free agency, there is very little in the way of veteran incumbency. Looking down on the farm, Dusty Ryan had a breakout year, James Skelton continued to impress with his on base skills, and Alex Avila turned some heads in Instructional League after being drafted in the fifth round this year.

While a catcher in the short term is needed to split the time with Dusty Ryan and ensure that the position is covered if he isn't ready, with three pretty good catching prospects on the horizon, the Tigers probably won't feel like committing themselves to a catcher on a long term contract. As it stands right now, here is a really quick projection of the opening day catchers on each full season roster.

-Dusty Ryan

-Max St. Pierre
-Andrew Graham

-James Skelton
-Adrian Casanova

-Alex Avila
-Devin Thomas

West Michigan
-Joe Bowen
-Angel Flores

Other candidates
-Jeff Kunkel
-Charlie Lisk
-Tyler Weber

As it stands, a second major league catcher is an absolute must. It also appears as if a starter at Toledo is necessary as a third catcher. This means the Tigers have two holes to fill. For the purposes of this post, we'll say they will be filled through free agency.

What I have done is gone through each catcher I could find on the free agent market, either from the Major League front or the Minor League front, and categorized them based on a projected role that they would be capable of filling.

Possible MLB Starters/Backups
  1. Josh Bard: Billfer has already given him the endorsement, but he has emerged as my top target. Yes, he was downright brutal in '08, but he did put up very good offensive seasons for the Padres in 2006 and 2007. You can chalk it up to an injury, bad luck, or possibly a decline in skills. Throw in the fact that he'll be a one year commitment and his offensive skills match up with a platoon with Dusty Ryan, and it makes too much sense. Buy low.
  2. Ivan Rodriguez: Still is a capable player and is still healthy. The problem is that he wants a lot of money and a lot of years. If it gets to February and the Tigers need a catcher and Pudge needs a home, this could make some sense. In fact, that sounds somewhat familiar.
Possible MLB Backups
  1. David Ross: This is kind of a darkhorse. He's been cut free by the Reds and Red Sox in the past couple of months. I still see him as a guy who can hit some, and he has some success gunning down runners in the past couple of years.
  2. Gregg Zaun: Probably can't be counted on for an every day role. If the goal is to find somebody who can catch 100+ games and still be productive, another direction would probably be preferred. Zaun's skills are declining quickly.
  3. Henry Blanco: Still can cut down baserunners, but has never been that great of a hitter. At 37, this would be a backup at best.
  4. Jason Varitek: Will be too pricy. I've already addressed him.
  5. Javier Valentin: I wanted to mention him, but he didn't catch much this year. Can still hit some, but probably can't handle much more than 30 or 40 games behind the plate.
The following players are guys who would be suitable third catchers or Toledo starters. While the previous lists are in order of preference, this one is in no particular order.
  • Eliezar Alfonzo
  • Brad Ausmus
  • Paul Bako
  • Michael Barrett
  • Gary Bennett
  • Luke Carlin
  • Johnny Estrada
  • Sal Fasano
  • Toby Hall
  • Paul Hoover
  • J.R. House
  • Mark Johnson
  • Erik Kratz
  • Paul Lo Duca
  • Carlos Maldanado
  • Luis Oliveros
  • Guillermo Rodriguez
  • Chris Stewart
  • Justin Knoedler
One more guy I wanted to address is Vance Wilson. He evidently wants to return, and it could make some sense to let him rehab in the minors as an emergency option.

Offseason Transaction Tracker

I've updated the Offseason Eligibilities page to follow the offseason transactions. You can find that here. The next notable deadline in next Thursday, November 20. That is the day the reserve lists must be filed to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. How many spots the Tigers will fill depends on how active they are in free agency and trades before this deadline. Next week, I'll post some projections on who gets protected, but I want to see some things shake out first.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

IC Rankings - Week 12

Not much change this week, but here goes:

  1. Alabama (1 Last Week)
  2. Texas Tech (2)
  3. Texas (4)
  4. Florida (5)
  5. Utah (6)
  6. Oklahoma (9)
  7. Ball State (8)
  8. Boise State (10)
  9. Penn State (3)
  10. Ohio State (13)
  11. Tulsa (11)
  12. Michigan State (12)
  13. USC (17)
  14. Oklahoma State (7)
  15. North Carolina (19)
  16. BYU (20)
  17. Cincinnati (21)
  18. Georgia (22)
  19. TCU (15)
  20. LSU (18)
  21. Pittsburgh (NR)
  22. Northwestern (14)
  23. Missouri (NR)
  24. Minnesota (16)
  25. Air Force (NR)
Also Recieving Votes, California, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Western Michigan, West Virginia, Arizona, Oregon State, Boston College

Saturday, November 08, 2008

IC Rankings - Week 11

Just realized I didn't post last week's rankings... hope it's not too late. Things have stabilized and look remarkably similar to the real rankings.
  1. Alabama (3 Last Week)
  2. Texas Tech (7)
  3. Penn State (4)
  4. Texas (1)
  5. Florida (10)
  6. Utah (5)
  7. Oklahoma State (9)
  8. Ball State (8)
  9. Oklahoma (12)
  10. Boise State (11)
  11. Tulsa (2)
  12. Michigan State (15)
  13. Ohio State (14)
  14. Northwestern (18)
  15. TCU (19)
  16. Minnesota (6)
  17. USC (20)
  18. LSU (22)
  19. North Carolina (23)
  20. BYU (25)
  21. Cincinnati (NR)
  22. Georgia (13)
  23. Georgia Tech (NR)
  24. West Virginia (NR)
  25. California (NR)
Also Recieving Votes: Pittsburgh, Missouri, Notre Dame, Air Force, South Florida, Florida State, Western Michigan

Friday, November 07, 2008

Free Agents!

The list of minor league free agents is official: .

Certainly, there are some diamonds in the rough in there. I hope to have more on that next week.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Quick Plug

I'm going to be doing some guest spots over at The first one is a roundtable posted today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Found 'em!

I've already gone through the AL Catchers. The players are correct, but there are some errors.

I've found three errors already.
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia's name is too long and caused some import problems that I didn't catch. He was, therefore, way too low in the projected rankings.
  • It appears as if suspension time doesn't count in the DL adjustment. John Buck, Miguel Olivo, and Ivan Rodriguez were all too high.
  • Even after adjusting, it appears as if they are still too high. When I take everybody's score and multiply it by 31*7/100, here is the error I'm getting for each player.
Joe Mauer -1.0
Victor Martinez 1.0
Jorge Posada -3.0
A.J. Pierzynski 2.0
Jason Varitek 0.0
Ivan Rodriguez 6.0
Ramon Hernandez -4.0
Dioner Navarro 0.0
Mike Napoli -2.0
Kurt Suzuki -2.0
Kenji Johjima -1.0
Miguel Olivo 3.0
Gregg Zaun -3.0
Kelly Shoppach 0.0
Gerald Laird 2.0
Mike Redmond 1.0
Rod Barajas -2.0
John Buck 0.0
Dave Ross 3.0
Jamie Burke 1.0
Jose Molina 0.0
Jeff Mathis 1.0
Jarrod Saltalamacchia -0.5
Jeff Clement -7.0
Rob Bowen 2.0
Kevin Cash 3.5
Toby Hall 1.0
Shawn Riggans 1.0
Guillermo Quiroz 1.0
Sal Fasano -3.0
Dane Sardinha -0.5
Vance Wilson 0.5

A positive value means I overestimated their ranking, a negative value means I underestimated. What do some of the bigger numbers have in common? Frankly, I'm not sure.

Also, Vance Wilson finished with zero. What is this a big deal? Well, he tied with Dane Sardinha with zero home runs. How could Sardinha have been ranked above Wilson? That makes no sense to me, and I'm at a loss to explain it.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Looking For a Complete List of Elias Rankings

I am trying to figure out some of the areas where my projections deviate from the actual results to refine them for next year. The problem is that I cannot do it with the bits and pieces of the rankings that are making it into some press releases. If anybody has the complete rankings, please shoot me an email. Thanks.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Well, now I'm curious

I had Bradley as a borderline A, and it turns out he came out to Type B. I'll be gone for the weekend, so I probably won't have time to digest the actual rankings as they come out. Not off to a good start.

Also, I have no explanation for Hank Blalock as a Type B.

I'm also seeing that Pudge is Type B. His classification as Type A is one that I didn't put much stock into because the margin was razor thin.

Again, when the full rankings are out. I will look at the discrepancies and upgrade for next year. I warned these weren't going to be perfect.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Glover, Sardinha out

In addition to Edgar Renteria's option being formally declined and Jeff Jones being rehired as bullpen coach, the news that caught my eye today was that Gary Glover and Dane Sardinha had been outrighted to Toledo, refusing their assignments and becoming free agents. This brings the 40 man roster to 36 players in addition to Jeremy Bonderman, Joel Zumaya, and Vance Wilson, who are on the 60-day DL. With six players eligible for free agency still counting against the roster until they file, the Tigers stand to have seven free spots to work with to start the offseason.

Notable among those not put through waivers are Eddie Bonine and Mike Hessman. Bonine seems to be a low-upside pitcher who put up pedestrian numbers in his time in the Majors before ending the season with a shoulder injury. Perhaps with the emphasis on strike throwers that could result from Rick Knapp's hiring, the Tigers opted to hold onto Bonine, who has allowed just 84 walks in the three years since joining the organization. Hessman sticking on the roster again shows that he could be in the plans. While the talk of Brandon Inge getting the third base job may have suggested otherwise, perhaps he'll be on a short leash and internal options could be necessary.

Just Say "No" to Varitek

Between Lynn Henning suggesting him Tuesday morning and Ken Rosenthal reporting this morning that Scott Boras is trying to sell him to the Tigers, I wanted to look at Jason Varitek and why this would be a bad deal for the Tigers.

First and foremost, his production has declined in recent years. Here are his BA/OBP/SLG splits since 2005.

2005: .281/.366/.489 (529 PA)
2006: .238/.325/.400 (416 PA)
2007: .255/.361/.421 (518 PA)
2008: .220/.313/.359 (483 PA)

For the time being, I am willing to throw out his 2006 season because he was suffering from a bad knee that year, and he has had surgery to correct that. There isn't, however, anything to justify the poor season he had in 2008 aside from the fact that he was 36 years old during the season. It seems likely that he has lost his skills, and he's not worthy of a starting job, especially when he is only throwing out 22% of baserunners.

Since we have established that Varitek is likely in the decline phase of his career, some would still suggest that coming in and platooning with Dusty Ryan be okay. I'm just curious how this particular platoon would work. Somebody's got to face right-handed pitchers. Via, lets take a look at Dusty Ryan's career R/L splits.

Vs. L: .274/.363/.485
Vs. R: .218/.301/.347

It would seem to me that if he was going to have a platoon partner, that guy should be able to produce against right-handed pitching, as Ryan seems to have the southpaws covered. What about Varitek?

vs. L (2008): .284/.378/.484
vs. R (2008): .201/.293/.323

vs. L: .284/.362/.468
vs. R: .254/.340/.427

Again, better against lefties, and downright putrid in 2008 against right-handed pitchers. A platoon with Varitek and Ryan would not work. Throw in the money and the draft pick the Tigers would have to give up for Varitek if signed before the arbitration deadline, and there really is no choice but to say no way.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting Caught Up

  • Virgil Vasquez was claimed off waivers by Boston. He was on my chopping block for guys on the 40 man roster this offseason, but I'm a bit surprised by the timing. Certainly players like Gary Glover and Dane Sardinha could have been removed first, but I don't find VV to be that big of a loss. Also, the timing could make sense because more players clear waivers in October than during the winter.
  • Billfer is doing some pitch f/x work this offseason. The first post was yesterday, focusing on the amount of strikes thrown by the Tigers compared to the rest of the league, including the Twins. Check it out.
  • I've posted estimated service time here. The Tigers have official numbers on their website.
  • It's time for me to call out Lynn Henning. I found this in his article yesterday.

"It is virtually certain they will not have interest in three relief pitchers who will be free agents: Kyle Farnsworth, Casey Fossum and Gary Glover. Nor are they apt to offer salary arbitration to either, given that none figures to finish as high as a Type B free agent (Elias Sports Bureau's rankings have not yet been released) -- that would earn the Tigers a high 2009 draft choice if they offered arbitration and the pitcher signed elsewhere.

Who's out there?

Attractive free agents who would fit any of the Tigers' needs are likely to be overly expensive or would cost the Tigers an early draft pick next year. Exhibit A there is Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, a likely Type A free agent who would be a plausible answer to Detroit's need for a veteran catcher to assist likely starter Dusty Ryan.

Signing a Type A free agent can cost an acquiring team a first-round draft pick. But because the Tigers will be among the first 15 teams to draft in 2009 -- they will have the ninth overall selection -- they do not lose a first-round pick on a Type A acquisition. They instead would lose their second-round choice.

It's a scenario that could yet play out if the Tigers are able to dip into the free-agent pool to help their bullpen, although money would be the greater issue there. Money, too -- more than lost draft picks -- could make obtaining a free-agent shortstop (neither Rafael Furcal nor Cesar Izturis is likely to be even a Type B) difficult for a Tigers team that likely will be cutting, rather than adding, payroll"
Where did you get that information, Mr. Henning? Surely you didn't go through and calculate that on your own. Just a bit of recognition would be nice. Also, Gary Glover is not a free agent.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How not to sing the National Anthem

Patty LaBelle last night for those who didn't see it.

And then there was this travesty:

Every single anthem in this series has been truly awful and long-winded. The song should take roughly 75 seconds to sing (hum it and time yourself). Every second over that is a second of selfish indulgence by a talentless hack: end of story. I have no idea if this is a directive from Fox to make the anthem go longer to fit into their endless commercial breaks. It's bad enough that the World Series telecast has begun to make a mockery of baseball with three minute commercial breaks, Joe Buck hating the game, promoting "24" and the NFL while the game is going on. I've accepted that.

If they have gone into mocking this great country, they have gone too far.

IC Rankings - Week 10

Here are the IC Rankings for Week 10. IC stands for initial condition, which is a term used in differential equations. The initial condition has a large effect on an equation's solution, and that is what we are testing for with these rankings. I've long felt that the way the College Football rankings are conducted are inherently unfair. Teams are ranked the first week, based on their reputation, name, or assumed predicted standing and subsequently ranked week to week with heavy weighting on the most recent week's performance. These rankings started teams in reverse order from my computer rankings from last year (speaking of which, I still haven't decided whether to do those. If i do, it will primarily be to check for conference strength). They proceed to go week by week using the same trends I've observed for several years in the human polls.

This week, Texas finally moves into the #1 spot after a big win over #5 Oklahoma State. Tulsa, who trailed at half time tonight and was the reason for the late rankings, slips to #2 while Alabama holds serve in the #3 spot. Penn State's victory over #9 Ohio State jumps them to fourth, while Utah, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Ball State, Oklahoma State, and Florida round out the top 10.

Entering the rankings this week are USC, fresh off a win over previously #14 Arizona; Florida State; North Carolina; Connecticut; and BYU.

  1. Texas (2 last week)
  2. Tulsa (1 last week)
  3. Alabama (3)
  4. Penn State (7)
  5. Utah (5)
  6. Minnesota (6)
  7. Texas Tech (11)
  8. Ball State (10)
  9. Oklahoma State (5)
  10. Florida (15)
  11. Boise State (16)
  12. Oklahoma (19)
  13. Georgia (25)
  14. Ohio State (9)
  15. Michigan State (18)
  16. Notre Dame (21)
  17. South Florida (12)
  18. Northwestern (8)
  19. TCU (24)
  20. USC (NR)
  21. Florida State (21)
  22. LSU (17)
  23. North Carolina (NR)
  24. Connecticut (NR)
  25. BYU (NR)
You can start to see how these rankings are converging with the human polls with Texas taking over the #1 spot and Alabama and Penn State also claiming spots in the top 5. The cool part about these rankings is that there tends to be a lot of jumping around to correct itself. It is very easy to shoot up quickly when there are teams who are playing over their heads ranked highly.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Final Elias Projections - NL 2B/3B/SS

Name Type Score
Chase Utley A 92.411
David Wright A 89.560
Chipper Jones A 86.264
Jimmy Rollins A 85.714
Troy Tulowitzki A 82.967
Aramis Ramirez A 82.418
Troy Glaus A 80.769
Hanley Ramirez A 80.769
Orlando Hudson A 80.357
Jose Reyes A 80.220
Brandon Phillips A 79.911
Garrett Atkins A 79.670
Miguel Tejada A 76.374
Freddy Sanchez A 74.107
Ryan Zimmerman A 73.077
Dan Uggla A 72.321
Mark DeRosa A 71.429
Kelly Johnson A 71.429
J.J. Hardy B 70.330
Jeff Kent B 70.089
Casey Blake B 69.505
Ron Belliard B 68.750
Ty Wigginton B 67.033
Khalil Greene B 67.033
Jack Wilson B 65.934
Kazuo Matsui B 62.500
Yunel Escobar B 62.088
Luis Castillo B 61.161
Ryan Theriot B 60.714
Mark Loretta B 60.491
Stephen Drew B 60.440
Mike Fontenot B 59.375
Tadahito Iguchi B 59.375
Edwin Encarnacion B 59.341
Cristian Guzman
Pedro Feliz
Jeff Keppinger
Rickie Weeks
Kevin Kouzmanoff
Aaron Miles
Rafael Furcal
Ray Durham
Omar Vizquel
Felipe Lopez
Mark Reynolds
David Eckstein
Damion Easley
Greg Dobbs
Martin Prado
Jorge Cantu
Blake DeWitt
Geoff Blum
Anderson Hernandez
Alex Gonzalez
Cesar Izturis
Craig Counsell
Russell Branyan
Clint Barmes
Augie Ojeda
Edgar Gonzalez
Chris Gomez
Luis Rodriguez
Adam Kennedy
Jeff Baker
Ruben Gotay
Emmanuel Burriss
Chris Burke
Kevin Frandsen
Wes Helms
Ian Stewart
Jose Castillo
Ronny Cedeno
Eric Bruntlett
Chin-lung Hu
Alberto Gonzalez
Tony Abreu
Angel Berroa
Omar Quintanilla
Andy LaRoche
Pete Orr
Eugenio Velez
Luis Rivas
Sean Kazmar
Ivan Ochoa
David Newhan
Emilio Bonifacio
Ryan Rohlinger

Final Elias Projections - NL Shortstops

Name TotalScore
Jimmy Rollins 85.714
Troy Tulowitzki 82.967
Hanley Ramirez 80.769
Jose Reyes 80.220
Miguel Tejada 76.374
J.J. Hardy 70.330
Khalil Greene 67.033
Jack Wilson 65.934
Yunel Escobar 62.088
Ryan Theriot 60.714
Stephen Drew 60.440
Cristian Guzman 59.066
Jeff Keppinger 57.692
Rafael Furcal 56.319
Omar Vizquel 53.297
David Eckstein 50.549
Alex Gonzalez 39.560
Cesar Izturis 39.011
Luis Rodriguez 35.440
Emmanuel Burriss 31.319
Eric Bruntlett 26.923
Chin-lung Hu 24.725
Alberto Gonzalez 24.451
Angel Berroa 21.429
Luis Rivas 14.835
Sean Kazmar 13.462
Ivan Ochoa 9.341

Final Elias Projections - NL Third Basemen

Name TotalScore
David Wright 89.560
Chipper Jones 86.264
Aramis Ramirez 82.418
Troy Glaus 80.769
Garrett Atkins 79.670
Ryan Zimmerman 73.077
Casey Blake 69.505
Ty Wigginton 67.033
Edwin Encarnacion 59.341
Pedro Feliz 58.242
Kevin Kouzmanoff 57.143
Mark Reynolds 52.473
Greg Dobbs 49.176
Martin Prado 47.802
Jorge Cantu 46.154
Blake DeWitt 45.604
Geoff Blum 44.780
Craig Counsell 38.462
Russell Branyan 37.363
Chris Gomez 35.714
Wes Helms 30.769
Ian Stewart 29.670
Jose Castillo 29.670
Tony Abreu 21.978
Andy LaRoche 20.330
Pete Orr 16.758
Ryan Rohlinger 0.275