Nate has noticed something fishy about pitchers who participated in the WBC.
But when everyone from Will Carroll to Peter Gammons had hinted that some of the pitchers involved in the WBC may be less than their usual selves, I paid attention. So I decided to apply a relatively simple study: comparing the ERAs of the pitchers who made WBC rosters against their preseason PECOTA projections. Here, for example, are the major league pitchers from Team Mexico, which had easily the coolest uniforms in the tournament.
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The World Baseball Classic is coming up, and Clay has some new Davenport Translation numbers to help handicap the field.
If you have been in a box all winter, the WBC (and, just for the record, sharing acronyms with organizations that govern boxing cannot be considered a good thing) is a 16-team tournament that will be played like a baseball version of the World Cup. Players will compete for their "home" country, with some latitude for determining just what their "home" is--although people familiar with soccer's World Cup, or even the Olympics, are already familiar with how national ties can be established. The Italian and Dutch teams, in particular, stand to benefit from having American-born and raised players of the appropriate ancestry to supplement their teams.
Provisional rosters for all teams were released last month; final rosters won't be needed until the teams are actually ready to play. We have good, reliable statistics for the past few years for the vast majority of the players in this tournament; the need to obtain them for this tournament has kicked me into researching some of the others. I think we are now in a position to make a reliable estimate of the relative strengths of each team.
Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28]
I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.
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.
Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' predictions for 1998. We'll go division by
division and each of our staff members will tell you what they think about the
races. Remember, there's a reason we don't print this stuff in the book; there
is no good way we know of to predict what a team will do before the season
begins. Consider these teamwide WFGs, take them with a grain of salt, and