Bill James released his projections for the 2010 MLB season earlier this week, and boy, do I love foresight.
Let’s take a look at the 2010 Phillies and see what they’re in line to do next summer, with my own projected typical lineup and rotation.
- Jimmy Rollins – .271/.328/.438, 19 HR
- Shane Victorino – .283/.343/.418, 12 HR
- Chase Utley – .290/.384/.513, 30 HR
- Ryan Howard – .278/.372/.575, 48 HR
- Jayson Werth – .269/.369/.490, 28 HR
- Raul Ibanez – .270/.340/.467, 26 HR
- Pedro Feliz – .253/.296/.400, 17 HR
- Carlos Ruiz – .260/.344/.408, 9 HR
I do believe Feliz’s option will be picked up, but that’s something to be discussed later when Mike and I publish our first Offseason Plan. Capitalized for implied importance. We can see here that, once again, the Phillies will be swatting a ton of home runs. Ibanez, as is to be expected, seems like he’ll take a step back, but that’s some plenty fine production for a 38-year-old. I think the Phillies could stand to score a few more runs by swapping Rollins and Victorino in the order, as it seems like Jimmy’s days as a new-age lead-off hitter are starting to wind down. He’s been able to pass off being a top spot guy because he was fast and could compensate for his lack of walks. As evidenced by his sub-.300 OBP this season, that doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.
Carlos Ruiz should also garner serious consideration for a move up to the seventh spot in the order, as he’s clearly a better hitter now than Pedro Feliz, plus, he’s far more patient.
- Cliff Lee – 32 GS, 222 IP, 168 K, 60 BB, 1.33 WHIP, 3.81 ERA
- Cole Hamels – 33 GS, 210 IP, 195 K, 53 BB, 1.19 WHIP, 3.43 ERA
- Joe Blanton – 32 GS, 213 IP, 136 K, 61 BB, 1.37 WHIP, 4.06 ERA
- J.A. Happ – 31 GS, 188 IP, 171 K, 77 BB, 1.44 WHIP, 4.31 ERA
Obviously, we don’t know who the fifth starter might be. Jamie Moyer could be back, though I find that unlikely. Pedro Martinez could be back, but I also find that unlikely. Kyle Drabek will, in all likelihood, eventually fill that role, but in the meantime, expect a fifth starter to be patched in via free agency. Or Kyle Kendrick, either way. Speaking of Kendrick and the rest…
- Brad Lidge – 60 IP, 78 K, 20 BB, 3.60 ERA
- Ryan Madson – 79 IP, 66 K, 24 BB, 3.87 ERA
- J.C. Romero – 35 IP, 28 K, 21 BB, 4.11 ERA
- Chad Durbin – 66 IP, 48 K, 29 BB, 4.50 ERA
- Kyle Kendrick – 47 IP, 21 K, 14 BB, 4.60 ERA
- Jamie Moyer – 154 IP, 91 K, 43 BB, 4.38 ERA
- Pitchers not listed either are not under contract for 2010 season or do not have projections published.
Not a whole lot looks good here. Obviously, we can expect some sort of bounce back from Lidge, as it’s difficult to repeat what he did in 2009. The dip in K rate for Madson seems odd, and that projection will need to be busted for him to have continued success. Romero and Durbin look to have high walk rates again, but they both, somehow, seem to find ways of working around that. It doesn’t worry me much. All that said, I think the Phillies absolutely need to make an addition or two to the ‘pen, especially if Chan Ho Park does not return.
I learned from this year not to doubt pessimistic pitching projections, so things look like they could slip a bit. I can only hope that Hamels’s numbers come true and put any silly concerns about his ability to bed.