Sunday, May 6, 2007
Projecting Clemens as a 2007 YankeeWith the news everywhere now about Rogers Clemens signing with the Yankees, for the sum of $20-24 million according to the NY Post, I guess it's time to look past the hype and see what the move really means.
To do this, I'll run Clemens through the same projection guantlet that I ran the rest of the pitching staff through in the spring.
|RSAA||Runs saved above average|
|RSAR||Runs saved above replacements|
Lots of numbers and lines, so let's explain them.
ZiPS is Dan Szymborski's projection system at Baseball Think Factory.
CHONE is Sean Smith's projection system, from the Anaheim Angels all the way Blog.
Marcel is the brainchild of Tango Tiger
PECOTA is Baseball Prospectus's system.
Average is a weighted average of all four systems.
Pro-rated is my assumption that Clemens will make about 22 starts given his expected timetable of end of May/beginning of June, and pitch about 120 innings.
The AL/NL Adj is my own personal tweak. Since most of the projections are based on Clemens's time in the NL, I put them through my AL/NL translation. The factors I use are below:
I calculated these factors by looking at the collective differences between all pitchers who switched leagues between 2000 and 2006. The way they work is that if a pitcher is switching from the AL to the NL, you'd adjust the various components accordingly. So a pitcher that goes from the NL to the AL would give up 1.07 times the # of hits they'd give up in the NL, 1.08 times the # of runs, etc.,
I'd assume the league switch doesn't affect everyone equally, so keep that in mind. You may want to also consider the defensive hit on Clemens's stats if the current Yankee defense continues to unimpress.
The last two columns in the projections above are runs saved above average (RSAA) and runs saved above replacements (RSAR). RSAA is simply league RA - pitcher RA divided by nine times innings. For RSAR, instead of using an arbitrary definition of replacement, I compared Clemens to the following group of Yankees and what they've done this year. These are strictly the splits as starters.
Clemens projects to save about 14 runs above an average pitcher over his four months. That's not worth $20 million by itself, but if it's the difference between the postseason or not, it could be. The more obvious impact is that Clemens isn't replacing an average pitcher. He's replacing some really bad performances. Now, we can't assume that the bad performance so far is really the way we'd expect the Yankees' collective sixth starters to pitch going forward. The sample size is too small. However, I don't think it's unreasonable to look at Clemens as a 25 - 30 run upgrade over them going forward. That's a pretty big improvement.
How does this rotation look?
Works for me.
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