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March 17, 2010

Fantasy Beat

Depth Chart/PFM Update

by Clay Davenport

We're deep enough into spring that we're starting to take the results of the exhibition games into account--although we're still at a stage where a player can raise his TAv 40 points with a single good game. Still, there are players who have moved up or down their team's depth charts. Good thing, or the biggest change in the depth chart would probably be the 5% switch of Hernan Iribarren from the Brewers to the Rangers.

Most of these moves are still quite small--guys moving up and down by 5s and 10s in percentage terms. The big moves will come in the final week, as teams lock in on certain players and release others. Everything today is still "inclinations" and "seems to have a leg up", not "has won".

Note: the TAvs and PERAs calculated for spring have been calculated separately for the teams in Arizona (where teams have a composite .282/.358/.445 line, 5.85 R/g) and Florida (which has a similar .282/.359/.447 line and 5.96 R/g). No park factors, and no adjustments for difficulty - an "average" player in each state has a .260 TAv or a 4.50 PERA.

Around the leagues:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: Tony Abreu (.357 TAv) has outplayed Augie Ojeda (.274) and especially Ryan Roberts (.229) for a middle infield spot - he'll move up at their expense. Conor Jackson has looked very good (.451) at the plate, but only a couple innings at first; we'll make him a full-time OF and raise his PA a bit more. Gerardo Parra (.157) has been awful, and certainly isn't playing his way into any more time; Cole Gillespie (.311) has been much better, and at worst becomes the first man up from Reno. With Webb out at the start, Billy Buckner (8.75 PERA) moves into a definite role, with the fifth spot still open between favorite Rodrigo Lopez (4.30), Bryan Augenstein (3.53), Kevin Mulvey (8.62), and late arrival Kris Benson (projected 5.67 for the season).
     
  • Atlanta Braves: Frederick Freeman (.244) hasn't been able to upset the Glaus/Hinske (.482 and .327) plans at first base...Brooks Conrad (.345) has outshone Omar Infante (.189) for a reserve slot, not that he'll win it...Joe Thurston (.286) has gotten a long look at third...Melky Cabrera (.274) and Jason Heyward (.412) are the only outfielders who have hit this spring; Matt Diaz (.225) and Nate McLouth (.000!) have struggled, and no other minor leaguers have made a push. The entire rotation looks fine, leaving Kris Medlen (2.33) stuck in the bullpen.
     
  • Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Millwood (26.91) has some of the worst stats in all of spring training. David Hernandez (7.35) has been as homeriffic as ever, Brad Bergesen (7.76) has been shaky, as has Tillman (5.73)...that might leave an opening for Alfredo Simon (2.05), last year's spring surprise...  Brian Roberts' back is worth a downgrade in playing time, and while Justin Turner (.368) has been good, it looks like Ty Wigginton (.248) will get the nod. At first, Atkins (.293) and Wigginton have held off Snyder (.304) and Aubrey (.124), at least for now...Scott Moore (.200) has probably missed his chance...Josh Bell (.311) has looked better than Miguel Tejada (.215), which might open a chance in August.
     
  • Boston Red Sox: About the only offensive drama for Boston's spring is Jed Lowrie's wrist (.224, unencouraging) and what to do with Mike Lowell (played for the first time yesterday). Bill Hall (.135) could be playing himself out, and Josh Reddick (.391) has looked really good and earns a mention. On the mound, I'm peeling a couple of starts off Matsuzaka, but nothing else in the Sox staff plans looks to be changing.
     
  • Chicago Cubs: The backup first base sweepstakes between Kevin Millar (.354), Chad Tracy (.214), and Micah Hoffpauir (.146) is decidedly in Millar's favor, with Tracy the likely victim. Mike Fontenot (.395) has pushed off Jeff Baker (.085) at second, while Ryan Theriot (.456) has held off a strong Starlin Castro (.337) at short - we could also see it as Fontenot holding off Castro. Alfonso Soriano (.125) has been really bad, and Tyler Colvin (.383) has been a big surprise, upsetting plans for Sam Fuld (.225) and Xavier Nady (.224, can't really throw yet). Their pitching has been pretty bad, with no one grabbing hold off the rotation slot Lilly's injury provides - Sean Marshall (8.61) has been a little less bad than Carlos Silva (9.20) or Jeff Samardzija (15.11), which I suppose gives him an edge. Esmailin Caridad (1.76) has look quite good, so no problem moving him up to be Marmol's backup.
     
  • Chicago White Sox: Jayson Nix (.318) and Brent Lillibridge (.240) are fighting for a backup infield spot, while Omar Vizquel has accumulated a .000 line over 21 PA and is supposedly safe...Mark Teahen joins Omar in the .000 club, as does Dayan Viciedo...In the outfield, Alejandro de Aza (.358) is lighting things up, but he's dazzled us in spring before only to fall on de azz in the regular season. I'll give him some OF time, because I just can't give Carlos Quentin more than a 75% PT, and somebody has to play out there. Pitching-wise, Bobby Jenks is getting to be a real worry, and earns a slight downgrade - that will benefit Thornton and Putz. Sergio Santos (2.49) hasn't allowed a real run yet, is throwing 98, and is out of options - sounds like a spot needs to be made for him.
     
  • Cincinnati Reds: Left field was the big scary spot coming into spring, but Chris Dickerson (.354) and Jonny Gomes (.288) have both been fine. Drew Stubbs (.157), though, has been awful in center; that could put Dickerson in CF more often, and leave room for Chris Heisey (struggling himself at .229) or a resurgent Wladimir Balentien (.301). Aroldis Chapman has looked good enough to merit an upgrade in his likely games, but I'm not ready to make him an opening day starter yet; the open fifth-starter spot is still just that, open.
     
  • Cleveland Indians: The first base situation is muddled, with both LaPorta and Branyan missing most of spring with injuries. I'm still thinking that this resolves as the two of them, plus Michael Brantley and Travis Hafner, being a roughly equal four-man three-position share. Brantley's actually played all CF this spring, would-be OFs Austin Kearns (.143), Trevor Crowe (.137), and Chris Gimenez (.000) have all fallen flat, and Nick Weglarz (.385) has risen to the occasion. I still don't see any clear separation in the Indian pitchers; Masterson (1.65) was already pretty close to a lock, while David Huff (1.85) and Aaron Laffey (4.32) have moved up a little.
     
  • Colorado Rockies: Melvin Mora (.168) isn't doing himself any favors towards a backup job, as Jonathan Herrera (.311, can play SS) has looked a lot better. The OF is still crowded, and none of Dexter Fowler (.285), Carlos Gonzalez (.289), Seth Smith (.326), or Ryan Spilborghs (.255) has stood out in either direction. Eric Young (.108) and Jay Payton (.088) have been bad enough to play out of their slim chances. Jeff Francis (5.05) has done enough so far to keep his spot, but I'm still worried about his shoulder holding up all year; Tim Redding (2.62) has been the best of the other contenders, but they're pretty much all in-season moves.
     
  • Detroit Tigers: Gerald Laird and Alex Avila has been fine, but Robinson Diaz (.295) is doing his best to earn a utility spot. Jeff Larish (.342) and Ryan Strieby (.321) have both done well, but there's no room for either one. Scott Sizemore (.235) has looked tentative recovering from his ankle injury, while Adam Everett (.000) has been his typical self at the plate; with Brandon Inge coming off two knee injuries, the backup infield job should have plenty of opportunities. The competitors are Ramon Santiago (.291), Don Kelly (.290), Brent Dlugach (.360), and even Ryan Raburn (.473), displaced from the OF by Johnny Damon. The worry player right now is Carlos Guillen (.138). Nate Robertson (3.60) and Dontrelle Willis (5.53) have pitched well enough to move up the charts a bit, at the expense of Jeremy Bonderman (8.38) and Zach Miner (14.18).
     
  • Florida Marlins: Derrick Turnbow is done, not that we had him listed for anything. None of Sean West (9.14), Andrew Miller (7.27), or Chris Volstad (7.65) have shown themselves worthy of moving up. Anibal Sanchez (1.93) has, so I'm now going Johnson-Nolasco-Sanchez with two spots undecided. Clay Hensley (3.75) may not be in that conversation yet, but he's at least made it into the room. Offensively, Gaby Sanchez (.329) has a commanding lead at first on Logan Morrison (.088) - but is it enough to hold off a Mike Lowell acquisition? That would bring Jorge Cantu (.207) over to first and wipe out both of them. Mike Stanton (.373) has made plenty of noise while Cameron Maybin and Cody Ross have been hurt, and is a lot less likely to have wait until September for PT. We don't really have a good option in this format to project a trade that opens up time for Stanton, so either Ross or Stanton has to get shafted a bit.
     
  • Houston Astros: Geoff Blum (.319) and Chris Shelton (.287) are both doing well in the absence of Lance Berkman (.345 before going down). Edwin Maysonet (.330) provides an alternative to Tommy Manzella (.261), should the Astros decide to take it. Jason Michaels (.367) is way ahead of Cory Sullivan (.000) for a backup outfield spot. Jason Castro (.370) and J.R. Towles (.491) are putting some heat on Humberto Quintero (.124) - although the likelihood is that its Quintero (out of options) plus one of them (both optionable). There are lots of negative numbers on the pitcher's charts, with Bud Norris (13.07), Wandy Rodriguez (10.83), and Brett Myers (6.92) leading the charge, but with no one really stepping up in front of them there's no change to the depth chart.
     
  • Kansas City Royals: Another team with a lot of bad pitching, with neither Kyle Davies (8.05) or Robinson Tejeda (7.20) doing much to nail down the #5 starter. The bullpen is also a mess, with hideous performances from Matt Herges (21.08), Dusty Hughes (10.70), Juan Cruz (11.19), and Edgar Osuna (9.04), among players expected to make the team - good news for retreads like Bruce Chen (4.09), Philip Humber (3.47), Bryan Bullington (2.08), and Josh Rupe (2.58). We'll let this play out a little longer. Mike Aviles (.380) and Alberto Callaspo (.261) are both doing quite better than Chris Getz (.183), the party choice for second base; Callaspo has also played some third and outhit Josh Fields (.104), heir presumptive during Alex Gordon's injury.
     
  • Los Angeles Angels: The Angels came to camp with their offense pretty much set, and nothing has changed. The closest thing to a battle would be between Freddy Sandoval (.221) and Robb Quinlan (.170) for a backup corner job, and choosing OF backups from Reggie Willits (.233), Peter Bourjos (.200), and Terry Evans (.174). The rotation looks set, perhaps with Trevors Bell (3.18) and Reckling (4.33) moving up into contention for a callup later with some nice spring work. Sean O'Sullivan (11.30), Rich Thompson (10.45), and Rafael Rodriguez (9.84) have put themselves in some jeopardy, and were already riding the back end of the pen.
     
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: Its a dogfight for the #5 rotation slot between Eric Stults and Charlie Haeger (both out of options), Russ Ortiz, Ramon Ortiz, Carlos Monasterios, Jeff Weaver, and the peanut vendor. The Ortizes have both looked very strong so far, with a 2.27 PERA for Ramon and a 2.37 for Russ, Monasterios has a 3.00, Haeger knuckles in at 3.87, Stults trailing with a 4.63, and Weaver out of it at 10.90. Cory Wade is lost for three months at least, but I'll take a zero for him. Ronald Belisario's visa costs him some innings. Offensively, we'll yield a few Martin PAs to AJ Ellis...looks like Blake DeWitt (.364) has run roughshod over a mostly injured Ronnie Belliard (.123), so we'll even out that contest a bit....nothing has settled been settled for the backup OF slots, except to drive Brian Giles into retirement.

We'll look at the second half of the majors (alphabetically speaking) tomorrow.

Related Content:  Mike Fontenot

16 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Bob

thanks for the update. Can you give us an assessment on the current UPSIDE numbers? Are you confident that these are right now? More right? Still skewed? Thanks.

Mar 17, 2010 10:35 AM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

Clay ... thanks for the update

Would there be a way to incorporate the depth chart info (position, batting order, pitching role) into a couple of columns of the weighted means spreadsheet or the PFM?

Again, I'm just trying to make it easier to merge data from different BP data sources when I don't have a unique ID across all those sources.

Thanks!

Mar 17, 2010 10:51 AM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

Oh, and I think Grady Sizemore is now slotted to bat 2nd rather than leadoff for the Tribe.

Mar 17, 2010 10:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BurrRutledge

Thanks, Clay! This is fantastic.

Mar 17, 2010 11:03 AM
rating: 0
 
Richie
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

For fantasy purposes, I don't really care who's played themselves into a platoon, or winning the 5th starter job.

Position in lineup, along with players immediately in front of and behind you, is enormous for fantasy players. Simply shifting from 6th to 5th gets you 15 additional ABs over the year, and also batting closer to the better hitters. I know that stuff's fluid, but then so is the 5th starter position and platoon roles.

The pertinent fantasy question for Boston has nothing to do with Lawrie, Howell, Hall or Reddick. Rather, is Ellsbury hitting 1st (yes) or 9th? For Milwaukee, Escobar batting at the top (looks like it) or bottom? St. Louis, Rasmus 2nd right in front of Pujols + Holliday (zowie!), or 6th behind Ludwick (kinda looks like).

Info on this stuff is what's most useful.

Mar 17, 2010 12:33 PM
rating: -8
 
zstine1

there are people in deep leagues who care about platoons and 5th starters.

Mar 17, 2010 19:07 PM
rating: 5
 
Cardinals645

That's true, but I think Richie's 2nd point (that lineup positioning is just as or more important) is a good point too.

I play in an NL-Only League with 13 teams, so I know where you're coming from, but whether or not a guy bats leadoff is huge as well.

Mar 19, 2010 22:42 PM
rating: 0
 
krissbeth

It's also hard to tell with split squad games and the hordes of players in spring training. That's about culling info from manager interviews more than this.

Mar 20, 2010 06:48 AM
rating: 0
 
Dan W.

Alternately, you could be interested in baseball for baseball purposes... and I say that as someone with three fantasy teams, so I'm not dinging you for playing fantasy.

Mar 20, 2010 19:47 PM
rating: 0
 
Mike

Since I am sure more than one person will come here expecting an update on 2010 PECOTA, I’ll post this again here.

Over at Tom Tango's site, Inside The Book,
there’s a discussion regarding this year's PECOTA projections. You can find the discussion in the comments section of the March 3rd "Weiters II" blog post. (I won't provide the link, but it should be easy enough to find).

Colin has reported some of his unpublished findings regarding this year's PECOTA compared to MARCEL. To summarize, 2010 PECOTA is fine for the upcoming season and compares closely to MARCEL. Clay also comments on last year’s DT "Weiters" bug.
---------------------------------------------------------
Unrelated, in a separate post today I noted that the Unfiltered Archive does not show posts after March 3rd for some reason. This means the 3/12 Unfiltered PECOTA update is buried.

Mar 17, 2010 12:38 PM
rating: 0
 
John Collins
(110)

I noticed that too -- about the buried blog entries. Here's how to find them: click on the big word "blog", not the archives, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit "previous entries". You'll have to do this for three or four pages, but then you'll get back to March 12.

Mar 17, 2010 15:09 PM
rating: 0
 
The Iron_Throne

Can I ask how the projected win totals changed so much with this update even though the changes you list are so small? The Cardinals dropped four games off their win total even though all the projections for the players haven't changed since yesterday. Was there some higher order modification that isn't mentioned?

Mar 17, 2010 12:45 PM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

Maybe they fixed the majors win totals so they sum up to 2,430?

Mar 17, 2010 13:19 PM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

I'll answer my own question ... yes ... wins and losses are now equal for the entire ML.

Though RS is 3 higher than runs allowed across the entire ML.

Mar 17, 2010 20:24 PM
rating: 0
 
Sharky

Clay, this was fantastic!!! One of the best BP pieces in a while, even though it's a blog post. Where is part two? Can't wait!

Mar 18, 2010 15:08 PM
rating: 0
 
jenstad

Exceptional article

Mar 20, 2010 16:13 PM
rating: 0
 
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