James tackles the divide between the way the mainstream media values relievers, and the way more advanced metrics do.
In his discussion of the likely NL MVP race shaping up, Joe Sheehan pointed out that if you look at the most prominent contenders--Derrek Lee, Albert Pujols, and Andruw Jones--Lee distances himself from the field in WARP by a vast margin. Looking at the traditional stats, Lee leads the league in batting average, Jones leads in home runs and RBI, and Pujols is second, third and second in those categories, respectively. It's easy to see why those three would be the favorites headed into the final month of the season.
The Angels spent lots of money on their rotation this offseason, but was it worth it? Kerry Wood is having a fantastic spring, with improved control. The Tigers have spent the past few weeks upgrading their bullpen in a search for 65 wins. A number of Expos are taking trips to ''club med.'' The Giants have failed to upgrade their offense, while the Dodgers have made small strides. And the Blue Jays traded Jayson Werth, but perhaps for good reason.
But they spent so much money (Part II)... Last time, we looked how Arte Moreno's money isn't going to buy a whole lot of runs. Apparently, Moreno's money won't save a lot of runs either. The Angels spent $66.75 millio to sign Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar, who are projected to post EQERAs in the 4.00s and be worth just a few wins above replacement, apiece. The Halos' starting staff needs to beat PECOTA's projection if the club is to be playoff bound.
The Expos and Giants have some creative payroll massaging to do if they're to field contenders while cutting payroll. Plus the Blue Jays keep a close eye on their prospects at the Arizona Fall League. These and other news and notes out of Montreal, San Francisco, and Toronto in this edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
And Now, YOUR 2004 Montreal...uh, San Juan, uh Monterrey...Expos!: Of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, none face as much uncertainty as the two clubs at opposite ends of well, pretty much every spectrum--the Yankees and the Expos. With far more money to spend than any other team and an owner looking to clean house at the slightest sign of weakness, the Yankees are expected to completely revamp their roster this off-season. The Expos' roster is equally full of uncertainty, though for very different reasons:
Livan takes home the WTF?! for the Expos. Jeffrey Hammonds has been a great deal for the Giants. Carlos Delgado can hit a little. Year-end reviews and looks ahead for Toronto, San Francisco, and Montreal in Friday's Triple Play.
Handing out the Hardware: In this the final 2003 regular-season edition of Expos Triple Play, we felt it appropriate to recognize several outstanding Expo achievements in the field of...excellence. So grab a Fin du Monde--yes, you read that right, 9% alcohol by volume...Fin du Monde means "end of the world" in French, to give you an idea--and let's do this thing:
The Expos bench has helped fuel the team's best start in history. The Giants bullpen's suffering through the PTP curse. Vernon Wells is earning his pay. Plus more news and notes out of Montreal, San Francisco, and Toronto.
Losing David Justice isn't good news, considering I'm not a big Scott Hatteberg guy, but I am a believer when it comes to Eric Byrnes, so I guess I'm happy. Outfield defense is always going to be an issue for a unit that has Terrence Long in center field and either Justice or Jeremy Giambi in a corner. While I'm not arguing for Byrnes to play every day, he does give the A's a hitter who puts hard-hit balls into play, who can cover an outfield corner well, and basically give the bottom of the lineup someone who can help score some of the other more walk-inclined hitters batting higher up.