May 18, 2010
I received a couple of notes yesterday expressing some confusion with the Depth Charts. The depth charts and PFM are forecasting statistics for the remainder of the season only, not for the total stat line. When it says 13 HR for Kelly Johnson, that means 13 _more_ HR, not 13 total. Unfortunately there was a serious mistake in the last update for the pitchers - the innings were forecast for the remainder of the season, but the rest of their stat line didn't get the memo, so it showed 162 games worth of runs, walks, and strikeouts. That has been fixed.
Around the divisions, looking at changes in the depth charts since Saturday's update:
With about 20 weeks left in the season, a minimal trip to the DL represents the loss of 10% of the season. The Yankees are going to lose Nick Johnson for a reported 4-6 weeks, but this being Nick Johnson we're talking about, I'm inclined to go with an eight-week loss; that makes him a 60% player at most, and more likely only around 50% if you're thinking of the whole rest of the season. Marcus Thames looks like the primary beneficiary. The Blue Jays have gotten Edwin Encarnacion back, but lose Travis Snider for now; I've given Fred Lewis a bump up, but really can't be sure how the playing time battles of 3B-LF-RF will end. Garret Atkins gets playing time restored in Baltimore, as Rhyne Hughes gets sent down; that was always a pretty likely result, given Hughes' history, and I may have to revisit that position in the near future as Nolan Reimold attempts to learn first base on the job at Norfolk. And the Rays have finally dumped Pat Burrell and his .234 True Average from the DH spot. Hank Blalock (.266 translated TAv in Durham) will get his time.
In the Central, Asdrubal Cabrera's broken arm is going to knock him down to 35% PT at SS; I'm moving Luis Valbuena over to SS for the most part, raising Mark Grudzielanek's time at second, and opening up some time for Jason Donald (.267 TAv at Columbus this year) at both second and short. The TAv gap between Lou Marson (.220) and Carlos Santana (.324 at AAA) isn't shrinking,and Austin Kearns (.335) deserves full time play over Matt LaPorta (.194) and Michael Brantley (.220 combined). The Tigers' 2B position got very interesting, with Scott Sizemore (.222) going down, Carlos Guillen (.301) moving from DH to second, and Brennan Boesch becoming at least a semi-regular. Boesch hit .329 in Toledo and has hit .349 for the Tigers; he won't maintain a .450ish BABIP, but he is much better than the career .222 hitter he was at the end of 2009. There is a decent chance that he'll falter and Sizemore will return. The Tigers also swapped Armando Galarraga (4.31 translated ERA at Toledo) for Max Scherzer (7.88) in the rotation. Trevor Plouffe (.265 at Rochester) has played some 3B as well as SS; if he keeps it up he could threaten the Punto/Harris tandem (.243 and .226) currently at third for the Twins. In Kansas City, Mike Aviles (.315) has pretty clearly taken over second base from Chris Getz (.189); with Alex Gordon only hitting .230 at Omaha, the Aviles-Betancourt-Callaspo infield could last a while.
Out west, the As are looking at the potential loss of Justin Duchscherer for the remainder of the season; I'll take him down to a 30% player for now, but if he needs surgery he'll be done; I'm raising the PT for Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro to cover him. Jack Cust is back, after putting up a .271 TAv in AAA; not great, but it leaves Gabe Gross (.211), Jake Fox (.224), Rajai Davis (.230) and Eric Chavez (.250) well behind, and between Cust and the imminent return of Coco Crisp they'll all lose some time. The Rangers did some bullpen shuffling - Doug Mathis goes down after a bad outing, Guillermo Moscoso comes in. And I'm continuing to worry about Julio Borbon's chances of staying in the lineup with a .189 TAv, when two center fielders at Oklahoma City are hitting .282 and .266 (Craig Gentry and Brandon Boggs, respectively). Up in Seattle, the Milton Bradley saga has become tied into the Ken Griffey saga; when Bradley returns, will they really keep Griffey and his .174 TAv over Ryan Langerhans (.302 combined AAA/major) or Michael Saunders (.312), both of whom can also play the field? I'm leaning no.
For the Braves, Matt Diaz' (.178) thumb injury gives Eric Hinske (.346) a bounce up, and Kris Medlen will get some starts while Jair Jurrjens recuperates. Florida will send John Baker (.221) to the DL; he was already losing some time to Ronnie Paulino (.286). Chris Carter, the Met not the A, hit .293 at Buffalo, and has started a couple of games in a row over Jeff Francouer (.237). The Mets' pitching remains a mess; Hisanori Takahashi is moving to the rotation, R.A. Dickey is being called up, Oliver Perez is going to the bullpen, Jenrry Mejia is going back to the minors to start - any calls about who pitches how much in what role is guesswork. Jimmy Rollins is back for the Phillies - and Brad Lidge and JA Happ are both getting closer. Washington is saying goodbye to Willy Taveras and Brian Bruney, welcoming back Mike Morse from the DL, and saying hello to their second first-round pick of 2009, Drew Storen. Their first first-round pick should be coming very soon.
The Cardinals have Felipe Lopez coming off the DL: he's hit .280 this dseason, while Brendan Ryan and Skip Schumaker have hit .166 and .224. He'll claim some chunks of their time. Milwaukee will lose Doug Davis for a little while, and will try to get by with Manny Parra in his rotation spot. They'll also deal with Jim Edmonds on the DL, which is good news for Corey Hart.
The Diamondbacks have some pitching changes - Bobby Howry has been released, replaced by the traded-for Saul Rivera, and Chad Qualls may have lost his closer's grip - if so, the only relief pitcher Arizona has with an ERA under 5.50 is Aaron Heilman. The Giants send Mark DeRosa to the DL, but I already had a fair amount of injury time expected for him, and only 75% time; I'll leave that alone for now. The Padres' Chris Young is heading to the DL once again; his starts were already reduced, but now they get cut in half again and make Wade Leblanc a lot safer in his rotation spot. They'll also take a look at Chris Denorfia (.272 in Portland) while Scott Hairston rests him hamstring; Kyle Blanks (.237) and Tony Gwynn (.247) could both have reason to worry, but no moves yet. The Rockies get to welcome Jeff Francis and Jason Hammel back to the rotation - move time away from Greg Smith, please - but have to deal with Huston Street having a setback in rehab. With Franklin Morales still on the DL, that's going to raise Manny Corpas' save opportunities. Meanwhile, in the outfield, Seth Smith is taking time from Dexter Fowler.