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TLR alone wins this team additional regular season and playoff games. Never discount the impact a living legend can have on your team, especially when replacing a complete dolt. 

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Let's look at the 2021 Sox and compare them to 2020.

Starting Pitching

2020 v. 2021

1. Giolito v. Giolito.  Slight improvement. Giolito is still developing, and the projections have him improving.

2. Keuchel v. Keuchel. Slight decline. Keuchel isn't going to put up a ERA of 1.99 again.

3. Dunning v. Lynn. Vast improvement. Dunning wasn't really our 3rd starter, but I'm putting him here so I can match Cease with himself. 

4. Cease v. Cease.  Likely improvement, perhaps significant improvement. This is all about our new pitching coach helping to fix Cease. It's unlikely Cease could be worse.

5. Lopez/Gonzalez v. Rodon/Kopech.  Likely vast improvement. Lopez and Gio were really bad. If Rodon doesn't get hurt, he'll be much better and a good bridge to Kopech. 

The Sox have significantly upgraded their rotation with Lynn, and the expected arrival of Kopech. If Katz can get Cease on track, the Sox will be very strong. Not top of baseball, but more than strong enough with their offense and bullpen. 

Bullpen

2020 v. 2021

1. Colome v. Hendriks. Improved. Colome was very good at converting saves, but his underlying numbers have been declining, and he might not be good enough for playoff baseball. Hendriks is better.

2. Bummer v. Bummer. Big improvement. He wasn't healthy in 2020. Hopefully he will stay healthy this year.

3. Heuer v. Heuer. Improved. Has to be as he gains more experience.

4. Marshall v. Marshall. Stable. 

5. Crochet v. Crochet. Improvement if Crochet is used in the pen instead of stretched out to be a starter in AAA.  He will improve with experience. 

6. Cordero v. Cordero. Same.

7. Fry v. Fry. Same

8. Cishek v. Fill in the blank. Improvement, as Cishek was bad last year. 

9. Detwiler v. Fill in the blank. If Crochet takes Detwiler's innings, this will be an improvement. 

This is a better bullpen, and could be one of the best, if not the best, in baseball. Hendriks can compete with anyone, Bummer is super solid, and the rest are very good. Crochet is the wild card. If they use him in the pen and he stays healthy, we should blow away teams at the end of games. 

Starting Lineup

2020 v. 2021

1.  Anderson v. Anderson. Same. I actually think Tim can get even better, but I won't project that here. 

2. Moncada v. Moncada. Vast improvement. If he returns to 2019 form, this will be huge boost to this lineup.

3. Abreu v. Abreu. Same. Many will predict a decline, and it may happen. But Jose will remain the leader of the team. 

4. Jimenez v. Jimenez. Slight improvement. He will continue to get better, and will make up for any decline by Abreu

5. Grandal v. Grandal. Same. He didn't have a great 2020, so it shouldn't be too hard for him to at least match it.

6. Encarnacion v. Vaughn. Improvement. Encarnacion was 70 OPS+ bad. Vaughn, when he comes up, will crush that number.

7. Robert v. Robert. Improvement. He started hot, went ice cold, then started improving at the end. He should be much better in year 2.

8. Mazara v. Eaton. Improvement. People fear Eaton will get hurt, but he only missed a few games his 3 years in Chicago. When he plays, he'll be vastly better than 64 OPS+ Mazara.

9. Madrigal v. Madrigal. Same. He had a fabulous rookie year. 

This lineup should be much improved with a much stronger year out of Moncada, better DH play with Vaughn, an improved RF, and Luis Robert in year 2. We were second in the AL in runs scored to the Yanks. We could be #1 in the AL this year.

 

Bench

2020 v. 2021

1. James McCann v. Zach Collins. Big drop off. This is the one position on the team where we are taking a step back. It's why many are calling for another backup catcher. I think if you give Collins some ABs, he'll come through on the offensive side. He will likely never be as good defensively or as a game manager as McCann.

2. Garcia/Mendick v. Garcia. If Leury stays healthy, this will be an improvement. 

3. Engel v. Engel. Same. A solid platoon player and defensive replacement. 

4. Last man v. Last man. ????  We don't know who the Sox will choose as their last bench player. Will it be an infielder or outfielder? 

Coaching

2020 v. 2021

1. Renteria v. LaRussa.  Vast improvement. I know many of you hate TLR. But he's going to be first all-time in wins for a post-integration manager this year. Renteria had the Sox having fun last year, but he had no clue how to manage tight pressure packed games down the stretch and into the postseason. LaRussa does. 

2. Cooper v. Katz. Vast improvement. We have to see it, but going off what Katz did for Giolito gives most of us confidence he'll do very well for other pitchers too. Might be the key move of the offseason.

3. Remaining coaches v. remaining coaches. Even. There may even be improvement here, but I'll leave it even for now. 

Overview

Here are the areas of improvement.

Starting pitching: Giolito slightly better, Lynn huge plus, Cease likely improved, Rodon/Kopech much better than Lopez/Gonzalez

Bullpen: Hendriks better, Bummer healthier, Heuer more experienced, Crochet the wild card. The rest are the same.

Lineup: Moncada much better, Vaughn better than Encarnacion, Eaton better than Mazara, Robert better in year 2

Bench:  Garcia staying healthy. 

Coaching: Huge improvement with LaRussa and Katz. 

The only declines are Keuchel will be unlikely to have a 1.99 ERA, and Collins cannot replace McCann at catcher. 

Granted, this is a very optimistic overview. Injuries will happen and could upset this evaluation.  But it's crazy to look at this team and predict they may not make the postseason, will melt down and be terrible, and all the other doom and gloom predictions Sox fans have been expressing lately. 

This is a young, hungry and improving team, strengthened by savvy and skilled veterans, managed by a Hall of Famer who has a top notch pitching coach by his side, with no obvious weaknesses. The lineup could be scary 1-9 if Moncada is back, Vaughn acclimates quickly, and Eaton stays healthy. The top 3 starters all were top 7 Cy Young vote getters last year, and there is potential for starters 4 and 5 to become studs. The bullpen may be the best in baseball. 

I wouldn't call us World Series favorites, or even AL Pennant favorites. But we can match up with anyone in the AL, and if we win the pennant, we will have a shot at winning the World Series. 

So, there's my rosy analysis. Go ahead and tear it down if you like. But if you are really a Sox fan, why not just enjoy it?? We have an awesome team that should be very fun to watch. 

Edited by VAfan
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This is a first-class effort at the analysis of where our team is at.  I agree with almost everything and refuse to minimize your fine effort by quibbling.

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Really nice analysis, and I agree with most of what you said.  This team, even as it stands now, should be the favorite for the division and will be a contender for the pennant.

I'd still like to see more stability in the rotation, but a big Rodon rebound and a potential bargain bin project working out (Folty) could make the rotation one of the better ones in the AL.

The bullpen is easily one of the best in the AL, especially with the guys they can use in the later innings.

Lineup is solid.  I'm one of the few that didn't mind the Eaton signing...maybe because he's the "devil we know", but he'll definitely be better than Mazara.  And with an Engel platoon, RF could be a strong point for the team.  I would still like to see another bat added.

Bench is decent, but I agree the catcher position looks much weaker.

And as far as coaching, TLR is what he is, but he'll be a better decision maker than Renteria.  I'm very happy with the Cooper being replaced.  These young pitchers need a different voice, and Katz should bring that.

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I think overall the team can be better as young guys will emerge or improve plus you have the additions of lynn and hendricks but I think you also shouldn't underrate the regression potential of abreu, anderson and keuchel.

 

"A little" regression is probably an understatement, abreu likely won't be bad but he is in his mid 30s and a 120 wRC+ wouldn't be bad (but a huge drop against the 160+ this year).

Anderson still has a very bad k to bb rate and is quite BABIP dependent and projections have him for a 20 point wRC+ drop. Maybe projection systems still underrate his babip skill and his power improved too but a 380 babip might still not stick. Projections also drop eloy about 10 points (depth charts has him for 40 homers but drops his babip from 340 to 328).

 

Also projections have keuchel to more than double his ERA.

Even if you are optimistic and have jose only for a 20 point regression instead of 40, Tim for 10 points and keuchel for 1.5 runs (3.5 instead of 2) you would still need a very big improvement to compensate for that.

Not saying it is impossible, it could certainly happen but there is some stuff that needs to go right.

In the rotation I think even 2 runs decline by keuchel could easily be compensated but if the projections for the hitters come true and Tim and jose lose 60 points combined that would essentially eat up all the gains from DH, RF and more.

 

 

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15 hours ago, michelangelosmonkey said:

You said we had a black hole at DH...Vaughan and Collins and throw Yermin in there as well...had a combined 18 at bats last year...so they should be considered additions...and I would bet any one of them will hit better than .650 OPS this year.    

Vaughn I can see the Sox trusting to get AB's. They didn't even seem to want Mercedes or Collins getting AB's in 2019 or 2020 so expecting it in 2021 seems a reach though without McCann it's  more feasible . We'll see if the Sox sign a catcher.

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6 hours ago, VAfan said:

Let's look at the 2021 Sox and compare them to 2020.

Starting Pitching

2020 v. 2021

1. Giolito v. Giolito.  Slight improvement. Giolito is still developing, and the projections have him improving.

2. Keuchel v. Keuchel. Slight decline. Keuchel isn't going to put up a ERA of 1.99 again.

3. Dunning v. Lynn. Vast improvement. Dunning wasn't really our 3rd starter, but I'm putting him here so I can match Cease with himself. 

4. Cease v. Cease.  Likely improvement, perhaps significant improvement. This is all about our new pitching coach helping to fix Cease. It's unlikely Cease could be worse.

5. Lopez/Gonzalez v. Rodon/Kopech.  Likely vast improvement. Lopez and Gio were really bad. If Rodon doesn't get hurt, he'll be much better and a good bridge to Kopech. 

The Sox have significantly upgraded their rotation with Lynn, and the expected arrival of Kopech. If Katz can get Cease on track, the Sox will be very strong. Not top of baseball, but more than strong enough with their offense and bullpen. 

Bullpen

2020 v. 2021

1. Colome v. Hendriks. Improved. Colome was very good at converting saves, but his underlying numbers have been declining, and he might not be good enough for playoff baseball. Hendriks is better.

2. Bummer v. Bummer. Big improvement. He wasn't healthy in 2020. Hopefully he will stay healthy this year.

3. Heuer v. Heuer. Improved. Has to be as he gains more experience.

4. Marshall v. Marshall. Stable. 

5. Crochet v. Crochet. Improvement if Crochet is used in the pen instead of stretched out to be a starter in AAA.  He will improve with experience. 

6. Cordero v. Cordero. Same.

7. Fry v. Fry. Same

8. Cishek v. Fill in the blank. Improvement, as Cishek was bad last year. 

9. Detwiler v. Fill in the blank. If Crochet takes Detwiler's innings, this will be an improvement. 

This is a better bullpen, and could be one of the best, if not the best, in baseball. Hendriks can compete with anyone, Bummer is super solid, and the rest are very good. Crochet is the wild card. If they use him in the pen and he stays healthy, we should blow away teams at the end of games. 

Starting Lineup

2020 v. 2021

1.  Anderson v. Anderson. Same. I actually think Tim can get even better, but I won't project that here. 

2. Moncada v. Moncada. Vast improvement. If he returns to 2019 form, this will be huge boost to this lineup.

3. Abreu v. Abreu. Same. Many will predict a decline, and it may happen. But Jose will remain the leader of the team. 

4. Jimenez v. Jimenez. Slight improvement. He will continue to get better, and will make up for any decline by Abreu

5. Grandal v. Grandal. Same. He didn't have a great 2020, so it shouldn't be too hard for him to at least match it.

6. Encarnacion v. Vaughn. Improvement. Encarnacion was 70 OPS+ bad. Vaughn, when he comes up, will crush that number.

7. Robert v. Robert. Improvement. He started hot, went ice cold, then started improving at the end. He should be much better in year 2.

8. Mazara v. Eaton. Improvement. People fear Eaton will get hurt, but he only missed a few games his 3 years in Chicago. When he plays, he'll be vastly better than 64 OPS+ Mazara.

9. Madrigal v. Madrigal. Same. He had a fabulous rookie year. 

This lineup should be much improved with a much stronger year out of Moncada, better DH play with Vaughn, an improved RF, and Luis Robert in year 2. We were second in the AL in runs scored to the Yanks. We could be #1 in the AL this year.

 

Bench

2020 v. 2021

1. James McCann v. Zach Collins. Big drop off. This is the one position on the team where we are taking a step back. It's why many are calling for another backup catcher. I think if you give Collins some ABs, he'll come through on the offensive side. He will likely never be as good defensively or as a game manager as McCann.

2. Garcia/Mendick v. Garcia. If Leury stays healthy, this will be an improvement. 

3. Engel v. Engel. Same. A solid platoon player and defensive replacement. 

4. Last man v. Last man. ????  We don't know who the Sox will choose as their last bench player. Will it be an infielder or outfielder? 

Coaching

2020 v. 2021

1. Renteria v. LaRussa.  Vast improvement. I know many of you hate TLR. But he's going to be first all-time in wins for a post-integration manager this year. Renteria had the Sox having fun last year, but he had no clue how to manage tight pressure packed games down the stretch and into the postseason. LaRussa does. 

2. Cooper v. Katz. Vast improvement. We have to see it, but going off what Katz did for Giolito gives most of us confidence he'll do very well for other pitchers too. Might be the key move of the offseason.

3. Remaining coaches v. remaining coaches. Even. There may even be improvement here, but I'll leave it even for now. 

Overview

Here are the areas of improvement.

Starting pitching: Giolito slightly better, Lynn huge plus, Cease likely improved, Rodon/Kopech much better than Lopez/Gonzalez

Bullpen: Hendriks better, Bummer healthier, Heuer more experienced, Crochet the wild card. The rest are the same.

Lineup: Moncada much better, Vaughn better than Encarnacion, Eaton better than Mazara, Robert better in year 2

Bench:  Garcia staying healthy. 

Coaching: Huge improvement with LaRussa and Katz. 

The only declines are Keuchel will be unlikely to have a 1.99 ERA, and Collins cannot replace McCann at catcher. 

Granted, this is a very optimistic overview. Injuries will happen and could upset this evaluation.  But it's crazy to look at this team and predict they may not make the postseason, will melt down and be terrible, and all the other doom and gloom predictions Sox fans have been expressing lately. 

This is a young, hungry and improving team, strengthened by savvy and skilled veterans, managed by a Hall of Famer who has a top notch pitching coach by his side, with no obvious weaknesses. The lineup could be scary 1-9 if Moncada is back, Vaughn acclimates quickly, and Eaton stays healthy. The top 3 starters all were top 7 Cy Young vote getters last year, and there is potential for starters 4 and 5 to become studs. The bullpen may be the best in baseball. 

I wouldn't call us World Series favorites, or even AL Pennant favorites. But we can match up with anyone in the AL, and if we win the pennant, we will have a shot at winning the World Series. 

So, there's my rosy analysis. Go ahead and tear it down if you like. But if you are really a Sox fan, why not just enjoy it?? We have an awesome team that should be very fun to watch. 

There was already this exact thread.  It is now merged with the original.

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7 hours ago, VAfan said:

So, there's my rosy analysis. Go ahead and tear it down if you like. But if you are really a Sox fan, why not just enjoy it?? We have an awesome team that should be very fun to watch. 

Nothing to tear down. Excellent analysis. Well done!

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2 hours ago, CaliSoxFanViaSWside said:

Vaughn I can see the Sox trusting to get AB's. They didn't even seem to want Mercedes or Collins getting AB's in 2019 or 2020 so expecting it in 2021 seems a reach though without McCann it's  more feasible . We'll see if the Sox sign a catcher.

I think they have a long term plan for Collins.  I feel like their 2019 plan was pushed back because they didnt expect McCann to be the all star catcher he was (for half the season)...but I think 2020 was daily intensive training on Collins being a catcher...they understand he is extremely valuable if he can actually be an average catcher defensively because they think he can be a top ten hitting catcher.   Of course the other possibilty is they think he's horrible and they are hiding that...but then why not trade after his great AAA year in 2019?  Collins might be most interesting guy to watch in 2021.  

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9 hours ago, VAfan said:

So, there's my rosy analysis. Go ahead and tear it down if you like. But if you are really a Sox fan, why not just enjoy it?? We have an awesome team that should be very fun to watch. 

I like rosy. Sure I'm pessimistic on ownership but never on the players. To get enjoyment you have to say I'm not afraid of this or that. Such as I'm afraid we may be overestimating the young bullpen arms because they only pitched in division. Screw it . Or  I'm afraid Moncada will never return to that 2019 year. It could've been a career year.

Being a long time baseball fan those thoughts creep in your head but no sense worrying about them.  As a whole the team will play well a lot. Hope they win a World Series. If not it was a long shot from the get go but we should be in the mix. JR gonna JR. I can't let him get me down too much.

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Let's take a look at where the Sox could be better/worse this year. Here's my ranking based on the difference between the 2021 player/coach and the 2020 version they are replacing. I've included expected improvements from existing Sox players. 

BETTER

1. Lance Lynn over Dane Dunning. Dunning had a nice 2020, but even if he'd returned, he wouldn't be the workhorse Lynn will be. 

2. Ethan Katz over Don Cooper. This is speculative until we see what Katz can actually do with our young pitchers. The ranking is based mostly on how he helped transform Lucas Giolito, and how many pitchers he might help. 

3. Tony LaRussa over Rick Renteria. I'm guessing this may receive the most ridicule, but count me among those who think a HOF manager who will soon have the most wins for a manager in the integrated years of baseball, with 6 Pennants and 3 World Series titles with an AL and an NL franchise, 4 time Manager of the Year and voted in the top five 12 other times, among many other achievements, will do a better job, especially in tight regular season and postseason games than Rick Renteria. 

4. Yoan Moncada v 2020 Yoan Moncada.  Of the players who may improve this year, you have to put Moncada on the top of the list.  In 2019, he had a .915 OPS, 140 OPS+, 4.8 WAR. In 2020, and that probably wasn't his ceiling. This dropped to .705, 94, and 0.7.  I hope/expect him to get back to his 2019 ways. 

5. Luis Robert v. 2020 Luis Robert.  Robert wasn't bad overall in 2020, but he had a horrible stretch in Sept/Oct, going from a 1.015 OPS in August to a .409 OPS in Sept/Oct.  He finished at .738 OPS for the year.  Expect him to start to figure it out and push that OPS up into the .800-900 range.  

6. Dylan Cease over 2020 Dylan Cease. I think Katz will work some magic on Cease and get him to start to realize his potential. 

7. Michael Kopech over whomever was at the back end of our rotation. Whenever Kopech comes up, he will be much better than the many pitchers we used last year at the back of our rotation.  It's just a matter of time until he's competing for the TOR. 

8. Liam Hendriks over Alex Colome.  Colome doesn't rank among the top relievers in the game, and wasn't valued enough by clubs to get more than the modest contract he signed with Minnesota. He was excellent at converting saves, however. But Hendriks is seen as the best reliever in baseball at the moment, and should be more reliable in high-pressure playoff games. 

9. Andrew Vaughn over Edwin Encarnacion.  EE fell off a cliff last year, with a .627 OPS and 70 OPS+. He hit only .157.  Andrew Vaughn is going to easily eclipse those numbers even if he has a few rough patches as a rookie. 

10. Adam Eaton over Nomar Mazara.  Eaton had a bad 2020, just like Mazara. But it was still better than Mazara's dreadful .589 OPS and 64 OPS+. 

11. Aaron Bummer v. 2020 Aaron Bummer.  He just needs to stay healthy to vastly improve on last year. 

12. Garrett Crochet v. 2020 Garrett Crochet.  The Sox current plan is to use him in the bullpen in multi-inning roles to prep him for starting in 2022. If he stays healthy, he'll improve the bullpen no matter how he's used. 

13. Eloy Jimenez v. 2020 Eloy Jimenez. Eloy had an excellent year. But he didn't hit the most HRs on the team like he said he would. He may in 2021. 

14. Carlos Rodon v. 2020 Carlos Rodon. We don't really know what we might get out of Rodon, but anything would be better than what he gave last year. If he pitches like he did in 2018 or before, his improvement would likely rank higher on this list. 

15. Reynaldo Lopez v. 2020 Reynaldo Lopez. As with Rodon, Lopez doesn't have to do much to improve on his 2020 season. At the moment, he looks to be starter depth rather than having a spot in the rotation.  Another Katz project. 

16. Tim Anderson v. 2020 Tim Anderson. As great as he has been, I don't think TA has reached his ceiling yet. 

17. Adding Jerry Narron as catchers coach. To speed the development of Zack Collins and others, the Sox added a new specialty coach who has helped other catchers.  The Sox also added an analytics person, which may end up being a positive, but will never be something one can evaluate. 

WORSE

1. Zack Collins v. James McCann. This will be the biggest drop off on the team. But the Sox need to give Collins ABs to let him develop and see what they have. 

2. Jose Abreu v. 2020 Jose Abreu. Abreu will remain great, but hard to see him repeating his MVP numbers.

3. Dallas Keuchel v. 2020 Dallas Keuchel.  He's not going to post another sub-2 ERA. 

UNRATED

There are other players you could rank on the better or worse scale, but I didn't. These include Yasmani Grandal, Nick Madrigal, Adam Engel, Leury Garcia, Danny Mendick, Lucas Giolito, Cody Heuer, Evan Marshall, Jimmy Cordero, Zack Burdi, Matt Foster, and Jace Fry.  

I would put letting go of Gio Gonzalez and Steve Cishek in the plus category but there is no 1-to-1 replacement. 

OVERVIEW AND CONCLUSION

This may seem to be an overly optimistic and rosy analysis. It is certainly optimistic and rosy. The question is whether it is "overly" so. Injuries could certainly derail some of these projected improvements. But for the players who stay healthy, I think the improvements I've ranked here can be reasonably expected, with some more significant than others. 

According to my rosy expectations, the Sox will improve at

  • Manager
  • Pitching coach
  • Catching instruction
  • SS
  • 3B
  • LF
  • CF
  • RF
  • DH
  • 3 starting pitching slots, and 1-2 depth starter slota
  • Closer
  • Top lefty set-up man
  • Second lefty who throws 100 mph

Meanwhile, I only expect them to drop off at: 

  • Backup catcher
  • 1B
  • 1 starting pitching slot

When looking at the offseason, analysts tend to just focus on the new players. But the White Sox are loaded with young developing talent that hasn't reached its prime, and that's where their biggest improvements are likely to be seen. 

For example, I ranked the addition of Lance Lynn #!, but the Sox' most expensive signing - Liam Hendriks, only #8, because we had a good closer, with the Eaton signing at #10, and Rodon deal at #14.  If those were the only changes from 2020, the Sox would not be the contenders many of us expect. It's the additions of Kopech and Vaughn, the new coaches, and expected improvements from lots of existing players that will make a much bigger impact. 

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On 1/31/2021 at 3:18 PM, SoxBlanco said:

We had black holes in RF and DH in 2020, and we didn't have anybody we could trust to start game 3 of the playoff series. Adding Lynn automatically makes the 2021 team better. I'm not really sure how this is even a question. Nobody can compare the 2020 and 2021 rosters and say that 2020 was better. It's not even close.

I agree with everything you said plus the closer.  Oh my!

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On 2/1/2021 at 12:14 PM, michelangelosmonkey said:

I think they have a long term plan for Collins.  I feel like their 2019 plan was pushed back because they didnt expect McCann to be the all star catcher he was (for half the season)...but I think 2020 was daily intensive training on Collins being a catcher...they understand he is extremely valuable if he can actually be an average catcher defensively because they think he can be a top ten hitting catcher.   Of course the other possibilty is they think he's horrible and they are hiding that...but then why not trade after his great AAA year in 2019?  Collins might be most interesting guy to watch in 2021.  

Good points.  Although I would have prefered Collins get everyday work and bring in Flowers...I think Collins is the backup catcher.  I think we just may see Yermin for the first few weeks before Vaughn comes up unless we see a pre-season extension.

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1 minute ago, poppysox said:

Good points.  Although I would have prefered Collins get everyday work and bring in Flowers...I think Collins is the backup catcher.  I think we just may see Yermin for the first few weeks before Vaughn comes up unless we see a pre-season extension.

Maybe it's just me but I'm tired of bringing in the old broken down free agents from other teams...I was strongly against bringing in EE last year for the same reason...it's time to trust the 25 year olds.   Last year was the year Collins should have spent catching every day in Charlotte but COVID happened....so he spent every day catching in the alternate site with Crochett, Kelly, Dahlquist and Thompson.  Young wild explosive arms...with our best catching coaches with him trying to teach him...I don't know what happened but I feel great confidence that he caught the equivalent of 60 games.  If he hasn't learned by now they should get rid of him...but I just feel from their actions that they are confident about him.   And if he CAN catch?   This is one of those things that catapults us from that very good team into the super team...adding a lefty bat at catcher with high on base skills and + power.  I think he catches 60 games this year and DH's/1B 70 more and then catches 100 games a year going forward. 

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1 minute ago, michelangelosmonkey said:

Maybe it's just me but I'm tired of bringing in the old broken down free agents from other teams...I was strongly against bringing in EE last year for the same reason...it's time to trust the 25 year olds.   Last year was the year Collins should have spent catching every day in Charlotte but COVID happened....so he spent every day catching in the alternate site with Crochett, Kelly, Dahlquist and Thompson.  Young wild explosive arms...with our best catching coaches with him trying to teach him...I don't know what happened but I feel great confidence that he caught the equivalent of 60 games.  If he hasn't learned by now they should get rid of him...but I just feel from their actions that they are confident about him.   And if he CAN catch?   This is one of those things that catapults us from that very good team into the super team...adding a lefty bat at catcher with high on base skills and + power.  I think he catches 60 games this year and DH's/1B 70 more and then catches 100 games a year going forward. 

Probably correct.  I just don't think Lucroy is the answer.

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39 minutes ago, michelangelosmonkey said:

   And if he CAN catch?   This is one of those things that catapults us from that very good team into the super team...adding a lefty bat at catcher with high on base skills and + power.  I think he catches 60 games this year and DH's/1B 70 more and then catches 100 games a year going forward. 

Wait, what?  I think Grandal's defense is a bit overrated, but Collins is going to relegate him to backup catcher status by next year?  The Kool-Aid is flowing....

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18 minutes ago, champagne030 said:

Wait, what?  I think Grandal's defense is a bit overrated, but Collins is going to relegate him to backup catcher status by next year?  The Kool-Aid is flowing....

Grandal is turning 34 next year...he's a catcher...it's a hard position to play everyday as you get old.   He remains a very good hitter and I suspect they will transition him to more DH then catcher as he ages.  IF Collins has learned to be a better catcher we will know pretty quickly this year and if he is pretty good...yes they will give him more and more of the burden going forward.   Maybe I'm wrong.  Not sure the point of being an a-hole about a different opinion.  

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Somehow my original post from Feb 1 got tacked onto this post, even though it was 1000x more comprehensive. I wondered what happened to it, and thought I had deleted it by accident. So I wrote another post with the same theme, but going about it a different way, and it also didn't get posted as it's own thread but got tacked into this one.  

I guess that's better than having them both deleted. But by doing it this way, I'm not sure many people have read it, because the post they got moved into was only a sentence. 

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On 2/1/2021 at 9:20 AM, Dominikk85 said:

I think overall the team can be better as young guys will emerge or improve plus you have the additions of lynn and hendricks but I think you also shouldn't underrate the regression potential of abreu, anderson and keuchel.

 

"A little" regression is probably an understatement, abreu likely won't be bad but he is in his mid 30s and a 120 wRC+ wouldn't be bad (but a huge drop against the 160+ this year).

Anderson still has a very bad k to bb rate and is quite BABIP dependent and projections have him for a 20 point wRC+ drop. Maybe projection systems still underrate his babip skill and his power improved too but a 380 babip might still not stick. Projections also drop eloy about 10 points (depth charts has him for 40 homers but drops his babip from 340 to 328).

 

Also projections have keuchel to more than double his ERA.

Even if you are optimistic and have jose only for a 20 point regression instead of 40, Tim for 10 points and keuchel for 1.5 runs (3.5 instead of 2) you would still need a very big improvement to compensate for that.

Not saying it is impossible, it could certainly happen but there is some stuff that needs to go right.

In the rotation I think even 2 runs decline by keuchel could easily be compensated but if the projections for the hitters come true and Tim and jose lose 60 points combined that would essentially eat up all the gains from DH, RF and more.

 

 

I don't agree with those projections.

They've already been wrong once about Tim Anderson, as they predicted he would fall off this year and all he did was get better. For TA, you can't run algorithms. You have to look at the player. He's still just scratching the surface.  

As for Abreu, I expect a drop off, but not by 40 points. The thing about Abreu is that until 2020, he had no cover, and he was playing on a bad team. Give him a pennant race and a deep lineup, and opponents can't focus all their energy just on stopping him. The pitcher is worn out trying to get through our lineup and Jose is there to pounce on his mistakes. And in a pennant race, Jose is jacked up more consistently. 

Keuchel will also not match his 1.99 ERA, but he only needs to stay in the 3s with our offense and bullpen, which is what he's done since 2014 with one off year in 2016. In other words, the key for Keuchel is more about innings than ERA. He just needs to stay healthy. 

Edited by VAfan

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Clearly better than 2020. People underestimate the Lynn trade. This dude is a an ace. The past 3 seasons, I’d put him against anyone. I am pumped to watch him pitch.

 

Hendriks is literally the best player at his position. The pitching staff as a whole is far improved. 

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2 minutes ago, Orlando said:

Clearly better than 2020. People underestimate the Lynn trade. This dude is a an ace. The past 3 seasons, I’d put him against anyone. I am pumped to watch him pitch.

 

Hendriks is literally the best player at his position. The pitching staff as a whole is far improved. 

Hendriks would have to be almost perfect to equal Colome’s 2020.  He should be a better pitcher than Colome, but it’s likely the pen’s effectiveness goes down in 2021.  I don’t think Foster and Marshall duplicate their 2020 dominance.

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31 minutes ago, fathom said:

Hendriks would have to be almost perfect to equal Colome’s 2020.  He should be a better pitcher than Colome, but it’s likely the pen’s effectiveness goes down in 2021.  I don’t think Foster and Marshall duplicate their 2020 dominance.

Hendriks was worth almost double the WAR as Colome in 2020. Hendriks value comes from the 9th inning but also because he can go multiple innings. I think there is no way he doesn’t crush Colome’s 2020. Foster and Marshall are also my regression candidates but I think a full year of Crochet and a healthy Bummer, Heuer taking a step forward make me optimistic

Edited by Orlando
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9 minutes ago, Orlando said:

Hendriks was worth almost double the WAR as Colome in 2020.

This stat speaks more to the vagueries of WAR calculation than their relative effectiveness in 2020. While its seldom pretty, Colome was damn near perfect in 2020 and perfect is hard to improve upon.

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4 minutes ago, Flash said:

This stat speaks more to the vagueries of WAR calculation than their relative effectiveness in 2020. While its seldom pretty, Colome was damn near perfect in 2020 and perfect is hard to improve upon.

Colome is an enigma. He does convert saves very well. But his peripherals are bad and getting worse. So the stat guys expect it will catch up to him at some point. 

Looking at 2019 as the last full season, Colome's FIP was 4.08. That was the worst by quite a bit among the top-10 relievers in saves. His K/W ratio was the worst among the top 24 relievers in saves. In 2020, Colome's FIP was better, but his K/W ratio was worse.  

In other words, he's living dangerously.  

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1 hour ago, VAfan said:

Somehow my original post from Feb 1 got tacked onto this post, even though it was 1000x more comprehensive. I wondered what happened to it, and thought I had deleted it by accident. So I wrote another post with the same theme, but going about it a different way, and it also didn't get posted as it's own thread but got tacked into this one.  

I guess that's better than having them both deleted. But by doing it this way, I'm not sure many people have read it, because the post they got moved into was only a sentence. 

When we have multiple threads on the same topic there is no need for another. Otherwise entire topics get buried so we can have 4 different versions of being better in 2021, because 3 other people want higher hit counts.

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