The Greatest Game

Monday, February 02, 2004

Tigers offseason improvements 

According to the Detroit News, here is a possible starting lineup for the Tigers in 2004:
1. Alex Sanchez CF
2. Fernando Vina 2B
3. Dmitri Young DH
4. Rondell White LF
5. Carlos Pena 1B
6. Ivan Rodriguez C
7. Eric Munson 3B
8. Bobby Higginson RF
9. Carlos Guillen SS
Well, they are benching Craig Monroe (their second best player with 10 Win Shares in 2003) for Bobby Higginson. I guess if Higgy is 100% healthy *AND* returns to old form....nah, Monroe is 26 and only had one full season in the majors and is probably going to get better this year while Higginson, well, he has had 4 consecutive years of declining OPS (.915, .812, .762, .689). But looking at their splits, Monroe, who is a righty, kills lefties, but has trouble with righties. Maybe he'll improve with some more experience, but if he doesn't, then a platoon would be the best idea.

As far as Win Shares goes, here are the old vs. new players:

posnew playernew WSold WSold player

That's 31 extra Win Shares, assuming all else is equal. Please note that Guillen was injured part of the year, but he's a little prone to injuries so I didn't prorate his WS out to a full season, though Vina I did prorate out to a full season. Another thing to note is that Eric Munson will be the everyday third baseman which would double his 7 WS which would be 4 more than the other Detroit third baseman racked up last season. So let's say Detroit will get an extra 35 Offensive Win Shares in 2004. That's worth 12 wins or so.

Jasen Johnson, assuming he pitches like he did last year, is good for an extra 10 Win Shares on his own, or another 3+ wins. And let's take a flier and say that IRod will have a positive effect on the young Detroit pitchers and that they are maturing and becoming better pitchers because of it. You put all those things together, coupled with playing in the easiest division in the majors, and you can make an argument for a change of 19 wins from 2003 to 2004, and if that's the case, then you would have to say that it was a very successful season for the Tigers. Here's my (optimistic) prediction:

2004 Detroit Tigers: 62-100

(I have no idea what the big blank space is doing up there, so please forgive me for it.)
# posted by shawn : 2/02/2004 09:43:00 PM -
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