Baseball Crank
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March 29, 2005
BASEBALL: 2005 NL West EWSL Report

Part Five of my 2005 EWSL review (Established Win Shares Levels are explained here, the AL East EWSL report is here, the AL West EWSL report is here, the AL Central EWSL report is here, the AL EWSL standings are here, and the NL East EWSL report is here). Again, recall that the 23-man rosters used here will slightly depress the team win totals: as I demonstrated with the AL standings, the total EWSL for the league requires rounding up by about 7-10 wins per team.

San Diego Padres

RAW EWSL: 235.33 (78 Wins)
Adj EWSL: 252.43 (84 Wins)
Age Adj EWSL: 232.71 (78 Wins)

PosAgePlayerRaw EWSLAdj EWSLAge-Adj EWSL
C29Ramon Hernandez151513
1B34Phil Nevin171714
2B33Mark Loretta262618
SS25Khalil Greene*112129
3B24Sean Burroughs131316
RF34Brian Giles262623
CF33Dave Roberts12128
LF34Ryan Klesko191917
C230Miguel Ojeda#455
INF38Eric Young998
OF26Xavier Nady#334
1232Geoff Blum665
1335Mark Sweeney443
SP124Jake Peavy111113
SP238Woody Williams10109
SP329Brian Lawrence887
SP427Adam Eaton555
SP533Darrell May996
CL37Trevor Hoffman665
R233Akinori Otsuka6118
R328Scott Linebrink778
R439Chris Hammond886
R528Dennis Reyes334

This is a deceptively old team, but with the opening in the West created by the Bonds injury, they're well-positioned to make a run. The biggest question marks heading into the season are at the head of the rotation: can Jake Peavy pitch at something like last year's level for a full season's workload? (An ERA of 3.27 rather than his major-league-leading 2.27 would be fine if he can carry 220 innings; striking out better than a batter per inning was a good sign). And does Woody Williams still have some gas in his tank?

EWSL has Khalil Greene with an age-adjusted 29 Win Shares, which would be good for the MVP if he was in the AL (where nobody rates at over 28). This suggests to me that the age adjustments are overrating guys who play everyday at his age, but we'll see. If Greene can take a step forward with the bat and continue to dish out great glove work, he could come close to that.

San Francisco Giants

With Bonds
RAW EWSL: 271.83 (91 Wins)
Adj EWSL: 283.53 (95 Wins)
Age Adj EWSL: 247.76 (83 Wins)

Without Bonds
RAW EWSL: 224.49 (75 Wins)
Adj EWSL: 241.87 (81 Wins)
Age Adj EWSL: 213.23 (71 Wins)

With 1/2 Season of Bonds
RAW EWSL: 248.17 (83 Wins)
Adj EWSL: 262.7 (88 Wins)
Age Adj EWSL: 230.50 (77 Wins)

PosAgePlayerRaw EWSLAdj EWSLAge-Adj EWSL
C34Mike Matheny11119
1B37JT Snow171713
2B33Ray Durham191913
SS38Omar Vizquel141412
3B31Edgardo Alfonzo171715
RF38Moises Alou212118
CF38Marquis Grissom181815
LF30Pedro Feliz998
C226Yorvit Torrealba555
INF32Deivi Cruz11119
OF34Michael Tucker111110
1227Jason Ellison+166
1325Todd Linden+066
?40Barry Bonds484841
SP132Jason Schmidt191916
SP234Kirk Rueter776
SP332Brett Tomko887
SP424Noah Lowry*367
SP523Jerome Williams#679
CL32Armando Benitez131312
R235Matt Herges442
R329Tyler Walker*244
R433Scott Eyre443
R532Jim Brower776

Normally, the absence of any injury adjustments in EWSL isn't a big deal. Maybe Steve Trachsel will be back at the All-Star Break, but I didn't list him, whereas I listed guys who are out for April. But the combination of Bonds' huge impact and the level of uncertainty as to when he'll return creates havoc - the whole division turns on him. The 1/2 season Bonds rating - which also includes half a season of rookie Todd Linden - is probably the best guide.

I had expected the age adjustments to go through the Giants' lineup like Sherman through Georgia, but actually the really gruesome adjustments are for the 33 and 35 year olds, and most of these guys have already crossed that bridge.

Deivi Cruz may be overrated here - he shouldn't get that much playing time - but then, the age of Vizquel and Durham and Alfonzo could keep him busy.

Of course, the longer Bonds is out, the fewer big games the Giants will play, and the better Benitez will be . . . the Giants really need Lowry and Williams to develop (although Williams has had a crummy spring and nearly lost his job) to offset the age and mediocrity of Rueter and Tomko. Then again, it's always been mysterious how Rueter wins games year in and year out, but he keeps on going.

Los Angeles Dodgers

RAW EWSL: 211.83 (71 Wins)
Adj EWSL: 217.03 (72 Wins)
Age Adj EWSL: 209.67 (69 Wins)

PosAgePlayerRaw EWSLAdj EWSLAge-Adj EWSL
C28Jason Phillips#7810
1B26Hee Seop Choi#91111
2B37Jeff Kent242419
SS25Cesar Izturis171723
3B35Jose Valentin161610
RF29JD Drew242421
CF27Milton Bradley161616
LF26Jayson Werth777
C233Paul Bako332
INF25Antonio Perez#112
OF31Ricky Ledee665
1228Dave Ross222
1334Olmedo Saenz332
SP128Jeff Weaver9911
SP232Derek Lowe11119
SP328Odalis Perez111113
SP427Brad Penny999
SP537Scott Erickson000
CL29Eric Gagne202017
R237Giovanni Carrara554
R325Yhency Brazoban*245
R435Wilson Alvarez774
R534Elmer Dessens776

The Dodgers have a sort of slapped-together look, neither young nor old, no real stars but Gagne, but they should at least be playing meaningful games into late August or September. A look at the lineup tells you they really needed to re-sign Beltre, but that's not exactly news; it goes double when his replacement is a glove-first shortstop who's unlikely to handle Dodger Stadium well. I've said it before, but this could still be the year for Hee Seop Choi . . . Having Alvarez and Dessens on hand will be necessary with Erickson and possibly (later in the season) the unreliable Edwin Jackson taking their shots at the fifth starter job. Perez is probably the actual staff ace, unless Penny gets 100% healthy, but nobody seems to like to admit that.

The Dodgers also have in camp Norihiro Nakamura, who almost signed with the Mets a few years back and who still needs to be called "Chief."

By the way, the new Bill James Handbook's Win Shares figures are missing career and pre-2004 figures for a number of players who had gaps in their careers - Scott Erickson and Olmedo Saenz, for example, didn't appear in 2003 and are thus listed as if they were rookies in 2004. I had to go back here for their 2002 Win Shares.

Arizona Diamondbacks

RAW EWSL: 174.50 (58 Wins)
Adj EWSL: 203.90 (68 Wins)
Age Adj EWSL: 204.11 (68 Wins)

PosAgePlayerRaw EWSLAdj EWSLAge-Adj EWSL
C26Koyie Hill+11212
1B25Chad Tracy*61115
2B34Craig Counsell10108
SS35Royce Clayton996
3B28Troy Glaus111113
RF32Shawn Green202018
CF31Jose Cruz161613
LF37Luis Gonzalez181815
C224Chris Snyder234
INF26Alex Cintron#91011
OF25Scott Hairston*245
1233Tony Clark664
1327Matt Kata#455
SP128Javier Vazquez141417
SP231Russ Ortiz131311
SP326Brandon Webb#121415
SP432Shawn Estes555
SP524Brad Halsey*000
CL27Greg Aquino*355
R228Mike Koplove667
R329Randy Choate221
R425Jose Valverde#568
R523Oscar Villereal#446

Strangely, despite the departure of by far their best player, the D-Backs seem poised to rebound from last year's shipwreck. Like the Dodgers and Padres, this is a team built for adequacy, only just a little less so. Cintron should eat either Counsell's or Clayton's lunch by mid-season.

I could easily have given Snyder the rookie rating, but giving that boost to both him and Hill would have spotted them 18 unearned Win Shares at catcher, and most teams only aspire to that.

Colorado Rockies

RAW EWSL: 125.00 (42 Wins)
Adj EWSL: 166.67 (56 Wins)
Age Adj EWSL: 164.89 (55 Wins)

PosAgePlayerRaw EWSLAdj EWSLAge-Adj EWSL
C25JD Closser*123
1B31Todd Helton313127
2B28Aaron Miles*61113
SS26Clint Barmes+11212
3B25Garrett Atkins+11212
RF29Dustan Mohr998
CF30Preston Wilson10109
LF25Matt Holliday*51014
C233Charles Johnson885
INF31Desi Relaford776
OF26Luis A Gonzalez*477
1226Brad Hawpe*111
1334Todd Greene332
SP126Joe Kennedy9910
SP226Jason Jennings101011
SP327Shawn Chacon444
SP430Jamey Wright443
SP524Jeff Francis*122
CL24Chin-Hui Tsao#111
R229Brian Fuentes554
R327Allan Simpson*122
R427Scott Dohmann*244
R526Aaron Cook445

EWSL, being a rating based on established major league performance, breaks down in the face of a team with nearly no established players, like the Rockies. Still, the absence of any bankable productive players beyond Helton, Kennedy and Jennings - with the latter two being dependable pitchers but hardly guys you want anchoring a rotation - is a pretty strong indicator of a last-place team, so I'm comfortable with the ultimate position here, notwithstanding the fact that Arizona is the one that lost the 111 games last year.

Helton accounts for just under 25% of the Rox' Raw EWSL, compared to Barry Bonds accounting for 17.5% of the Giants' . . . I could have rated Closser as a rookie, I suppose, but I try to do that only when there's no major league data to go on.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:21 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

So with a 1/2 season of Bonds the NL West will be a dogfight between the Giants (77 wins) and the Padres (78 wins) with the D-Backs and Dodgers 10 games back.

What an awful division.

Posted by: Mark S. at March 29, 2005 10:26 AM
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