Tuesday, July 12, 2005

At the Break

With the Indians pulling into the station at 47-41, I decided to look at the rest of the schedule to attempt to predict an overall record. If the Tribe keeps up their current pace (.534 winning percentage), we're looking at a 86-76 record. However, as has been noted before, 31 of the final 74 come against KC, Seattle, and Tampa Bay. If we take 2 out of every 3 of those games and play .500 ball against the rest of the schedule (a pretty conservative estimate), the record would look like this:
47-41 Current Record
21-10 Against the dregs of the AL
22-21 Against the rest of the schedule
90-72 Final Record

I think that the 90-72 comes about after a pretty conservative approach. I don't know if that record is good enough to win the Wild Card, but it puts us right there "in contention" (those 2 magic words that the naysayers have been throwing in Shapiro's face since the Colon deal). We have to remember that this is a maturing team, taking steps in the right direction. I'd rather have the team take progressive steps towards the playoffs, as opposed to one big leap (like the ChiSox this year) and be destined to be knocked out in the first round (like the Mariners of the 116 win season). That way, when it's time to contend for the World Series (and not just the playoffs) the team has been through a few battles together, ready for the war.

Since baseball is a statistic driven sport, here's the breakdown, by position, of what we can expect from the Tribe players (assuming they keep their current pace). I kept it to the regulars for position players:
(Numbers shown are Average - HR - RBI - OPS)
Victor Martinez
.236 - 16 - 64 - .692
Ben Broussard
.255 - 16 - 65 - .750
Ronnie Belliard
.283 - 14 - 63 - .740
Jhonny Peralta
.297 - 20 - 60 - .874
Aaron Boone
.211 - 16 - 57 - .628
Coco Crisp
.297 - 14 - 60 - .806
Grady Sizemore
.287 - 16 - 74 - .810
Casey Blake
.228 - 18 - 53 - .697
Jody Gerut
.276 - 2 - 20 - .741
Travis Hafner
.319 - 33 - 116 - 1.020

What's alarming about the numbers is how similar they are. Look at how many players are on pace to hit between 14 and 20 homers and have 55 to 65 RBI! Despite different players getting hot and cold, everyone's numbers are very similar.

Biggest Surprise:
The development of SuperSizemore and Jhon has been astounding. Had Peralta been anywhere in the lineup, other than behind Boone and Blake, he and Sizemore (who is driving those runs in from the leadoff spot!) would be on pace to be the second and third run producers on this team. And they began the season as 22 year olds!

Offensive MVP:
Not a surprise, but unbelievable to watch is Pronk (the AL Player of the Month for June AND the Player of the Week for the first week in July). Look at those projected numbers, and if he stays this hot, they could go higher! The only thing that reminds me of Pronk's hot streak was when Joey Belle used the HR Derby as a launching point for his 50 HR/50 2B season. Vive Le Pronque!

Biggest Disappointment:
Besides the obvious choice of Boone's anemic start, The Stick's inability to protect Pronk has hurt this lineup badly. Victor is finally starting to get some consistency, but he's going to have to step it up even more to protect our MVP candidate. His numbers are way off from last year's breakout campaign. Broussard has better numbers (even Boone's HR & RBI numbers are there), while people rail about how we are getting no production from the corners.

Also interesting to see is that the RF platoon of Blake and Gerut is on pace for 20 HR and 75 RBI. Not bad numbers, though it's obvious we need a stick to be in the ballpark of 25 HR and 100RBI somewhere in the lineup.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the pitchers.

On another note, Z and Hughes are in the fold, but there's only $6M to get a PG (Daniels is looking for $5M) and a big body to intimidate in the paint. In Danny We Trust?

Enjoy the All Star Game. I watched Bottle Rocket, a classic film (the first one made by Wes Anderson, who made Rushmore) that I TIVOed last week instead of the mockery that is the HR Derby. Thank God for TIVO.


Anonymous said...

i don't see how anyone can complain if we win anything close to 90, that is "contention"...and i can only hope (outside of grady, pronk, coco, and Jelliard) that all them guys will pick it up offensively. I expect big second halfs from Jody and Booner, they should now be getting their timing and explosion back from their knee surgeries, just like i did to become a leading kickballer in the Baltimore Social Leaugue after my first surgery...and recreational kickball with people drinking on the field and major league baseball can't be that far apart.

Cy Slapnicka said...

one thing i've thought a lot about recently, i don't care about this season's individual player stats. everyone started cold and everyone has been streaky. now that a few bats are heating up, we'll see if good hitting breeds good hitting.

all thats matters to me is wins and i think the first 1/4 of the season does not represent the kind of baseball this team is capable of. if we get a bat in RF or 1B w/out compromising our future, i think we'll be fine.

i just hope the fairweather fans start showing so we have money to pay people.

Cy Slapnicka said...

and another thing, has anyone noticed that gammons last few articles have been for insiders only? i might have to toss a molotov cocktail through his window if this continues. mister fancy pants makes cooperstown and all of a sudden thinks he can peddle his wares? jerk

and is espn.com any better than a crack dealer? they'll let you take a hit of their sweet potion and then once you're hooked, you gotta pay?

of course, all the crack dealers i know don't always talk about how the twins are lurking and are good and ignore the indians that are one game behind them. does that mean they're worse than crack dealers?

Paul Cousineau said...

Great comparison on the "Insider", it's such a cock tease.

Whether the fairweather fans will come or not will be tested tomorrow night against the White Sox. If there are 22,000 fans there against the league leader (where the Tribe can make up some quick ground), I'll go nuts.