2010 Pirates projected wins

In light of the Church signing, which should put an end to free-agent position-player acquisitions, and partially in response to the prevailing notion (as expressed, for example, here) that the 2010 Pirates are a ~65 win team, I decided to run the projected numbers and see what kind of team we should expect next year. I'll admit that going into it I was more optimistic about next season than a lot of people. I definitely didn't think they'd be the worst team in the NL, and I thought they even had a shot at 4th place in the Central. These projections support that to some extent.

What I did was look at the CHONE projections for the 2010 Pirates, though I adjusted them according to my own playing time projections. I also adjusted the defensive projections where CHONE's TZ diverged substantially from UZR. Obviously, I made some assumptions on both counts, but I think they're all reasonable.

I set up the roster the way I'd like to see it, which is not necessarily how it will actually happen. I assumed that Clement would start the season in AAA and end up getting ~200 PAs in the majors. I also assumed that the Pirates would cut Vazquez and use Crosby as the utility infielder, but I could very well be wrong about that. I penciled Lincoln in for a midseason call-up, but not Alvarez. I think it's likely we'll see him at some point this season, but it's no sure bet, and I wanted to see how we'd look without him. I figure if he comes up it will be because he's ready, so anything he gives the team will be gravy.

Everything else is self-explanatory. The results are after the jump.

<!-- BODY,DIV,TABLE,THEAD,TBODY,TFOOT,TR,TH,TD,P { font-family:"Arial"; font-size:x-small } -->
pos player PA bRAA fRAA pos adj repl WAR
C Doumit 420 1 -6 8 12 1.5
C Jaramillo 280 -4.5 -6 5 8 0.3
1B Jones 350 5 -1 -6 10 0.8
1B Pearce 140 0.6 0 -2.5 4 0.2
1B Clement 210 3.7 -5 -4 6 0.1
2B Iwamura 595 5.3 0 2.1 18 2.5
2B Crosby 105 -2 0 0.4 4 0.2
3B LaRoche 595 2.5 2.5 2.1 17 2.4
3B Crosby 105 -2 0 0.4 4 0.2
SS Cedeno 490 -10.3 -2 6 14 0.8
SS Crosby 210 -4 0 1.5 7 0.5
LF Milledge 490 3.8 -4 -5.3 14 0.9
LF Moss 210 0.6 1.5 -2.2 6 0.6
CF McCutchen 595 14 0 2.2 18 3.4
CF Raynor 105 -1.2 -2 0.4 3 0.0
RF Church 420 0 4 -4.4 12 1.2
RF Jones 210 3 -3 -2.3 6 0.4
RF Moss 70 0.2 0.5 -0.8 2 0.2

hitting 16.1

SP Maholm 195 4.07 4.3 1 0.525 2.9
SP Duke 185 4.34 4.3 1 0.496 2.2
SP Morton 175 4.16 4.3 1 0.515 2.4
SP Ohlendorf 165 4.67 4.3 1 0.461 1.3
SP McCutchen 165 4.65 4.3 1 0.463 1.3
SP Lincoln 100 4.69 4.3 1 0.459 0.8
CL Hanrahan 70 3.89 4.3 1.7 0.546 1.0
RP Meek 70 4.13 4.3 1.4 0.519 0.5
RP Ascanio 60 3.82 4.3 1.2 0.554 0.7
RP Hart 80 4.19 4.3 1.2 0.512


RP Lopez 50 4.43 4.3 1.2 0.486 0.1
RP Jakubauskas 100 4.93 4.3 1 0.435 -0.4
RP Jackson 40 4.4 4.3 0.8 0.489 0.1

pitching 13.4

total 29.5

replacement 47.1



Obviously, there's some uncertainty here, not only in the projections themselves but also in the projection system - i.e., it may have overestimated the league such that a replacement team would win fewer than 47 games in this hypothetical league. That said, none of these projections look too optimistic to me. CHONE really likes Morton, but other than that it all conforms with my intuition, more or less. I think we can safely say that the 2010 Bucs are more like a 75-win team than a 65-win team.

Personally, this makes me like the Iwamura, Church, and Crosby acquisitions even more. First, second, and short were the three positions we could easily have improved without hurting the future, and that's exactly what NH did (unless he cuts Moss or Pearce in favor of Vazquez, which would be pretty short-sighted). If Moss plays to his potential, Church can be the fourth OF. If not, Church can start. Jones plays first until Clement proves he can handle it defensively. The Bucs are going to have to make some tough decisions this year regarding who's part of the future and who needs to go, but I think they've put themselves in a position to intelligently assess those situations while putting a decent team on the field.

Finally, here are some variations on this projection:


- McCutchen repeats 2009: +1 win

- Jones repeats 2009: +1.5 wins

- We sign a couple bullpen arms. Dotel and Carrasco, for instance, would add +1-1.5 wins.

- One or more of Milledge, LaRoche, Clement, or Moss break out: 1-3 wins

- Doumit and Church stay healthy: 2 wins


- LaRoche, Milledge, and Moss stagnate: -1-3 wins

- The starting rotation isn't really this good: -1-2 wins

- Injuries, especially to Doumit, Church, or Crosby, who are very injury-prone: who knows?

All in all, I don't think it's impossible that the Bucs could even break their losing season streak, though I don't expect that. Even if they don't, I think they'll be a respectable mediocre team rather than a bad one.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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