Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 15, 2005
BASEBALL: Brewing Success
Following yesterday's look at teams that have departed from their preseason EWSL numbers, I decided to take a look at the Brewers, who are #2 on the list of teams furthest from their EWSL, and first compared to their Pythagorean record thus far this season; EWSL is prorated to 88 games (through the Break):
WSAB is a measure of marginal Win Shares against the number expected of a replacement-level player with a similar amount of playing time. I included it here so you can see which guys are falling short of their EWSL due to poor quality play vs. lack of playing time. I included three players here (Weeks, Fielder and Krynzel) who I hadn't projected in the preseason but who have contributed. Of course, adding three extra players means the team should come in a bit ahead of its preseason numbers.
You can see a substantial improvement in the lineup, which only promises to get better as Hall, Weeks, Branyan and Cirillo (!) soak up the playing time previously given to the departed Spivey. Aside from Hall and Weeks, Brady Clark and Carlos Lee have been the big improvements, although in Lee's case I'm a little puzzled, as he's having your basic Carlos Lee season. I'm less optimistic that Clark can sustain quite this level - he's 32 and never played regularly until last year - but even so, he's been quite a find and should continue to help.
Now to the pitchers:
The extra share for the pitchers is smaller, in large part because Ben Sheets has been hurt and because Gary Glover has underperformed some very low expectations. It's hard to see Victor Santos as part of the solution when he's 2-9, but he's pitched well. Capuano and Turnbow, the rookie closer, have been the big steps forward.
Check out Al Bethke's roundtable on the Brew Crew's first half for a more in-depth look.