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    The Phillies

    Since the end of last season, I've only periodically checked in to this board and I'm going to admit being lazy in not wanting to sort through a number of threads.

    Has Enscheff weighed in on Philadelphia's off season additions? My non-analytical gut (bad, I know) says they've gotten better with McCutcheon, Realmuto, and Harper but how much really? It also seems to me that Harper was a stretch because the Phillies GM appeared to be bidding against himself when none of the "big money" teams like NY, Boston, LAD, and Chicago Cubs seemed to have that much interest in him.

    If E has opined on the matter, please point me in the right direction. If not, what's the "Reader's Digest" consensus of how much better the Phillies are as a result of their moves and how much the Braves have been stymied by standing pat?

    Thanks.

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    “CLVDEEEEEERRRPPPPP”

    -Enscheff’s thoughts on the Phillies offseason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by USMA76 View Post
    Since the end of last season, I've only periodically checked in to this board and I'm going to admit being lazy in not wanting to sort through a number of threads.

    Has Enscheff weighed in on Philadelphia's off season additions? My non-analytical gut (bad, I know) says they've gotten better with McCutcheon, Realmuto, and Harper but how much really? It also seems to me that Harper was a stretch because the Phillies GM appeared to be bidding against himself when none of the "big money" teams like NY, Boston, LAD, and Chicago Cubs seemed to have that much interest in him.

    If E has opined on the matter, please point me in the right direction. If not, what's the "Reader's Digest" consensus of how much better the Phillies are as a result of their moves and how much the Braves have been stymied by standing pat?

    Thanks.
    Oh, really?

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    I typically defer all non-Braves projections to FG

    https://www.fangraphs.com/depthchart...tion=Standings

    The Phillies are pretty clearly one of the NL favorites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    I typically defer all non-Braves projections to FG

    https://www.fangraphs.com/depthchart...tion=Standings

    The Phillies are pretty clearly one of the NL favorites.
    relative to fangraphs I think the gnats are overrated by 2-3 wins, the braves underrated by a similar amount and the fillies and metropolitans are about right
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    Their offense is a LOT better but their SP leaves alot to be desired.

    Arrieta really struggled down the stretch, even Nola did too. Elfin, Velasquez, and Pivetta did too. Bigger story is i think all of them made 30+ starts last year, too lazy to look at it but thats unsustainable. Their SP was a bigger concern to me than their offense, but both were and they traded away their best SP prospect who could maybe help mid-season this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heyward View Post
    Their offense is a LOT better but their SP leaves alot to be desired.

    Arrieta really struggled down the stretch, even Nola did too. Elfin, Velasquez, and Pivetta did too. Bigger story is i think all of them made 30+ starts last year, too lazy to look at it but thats unsustainable. Their SP was a bigger concern to me than their offense, but both were and they traded away their best SP prospect who could maybe help mid-season this year.
    fangraphs has Nola as a 4 WAR pitcher and the others at about 2 WAR. Seems about right. Overall fangraphs has their starting rotation at 12 wins.

    They have the Braves rotation at 10 wins.

    Reasons I think fangraphs is underrating the Braves:

    1) Pitching depth in AAA, which the projection systems generally don't fully account for.
    2) Braves have the most young talent in the East (Albies, Acuna, Swanson, Camargo, all the pitchers)
    3) Rating Soto at 5 wins and Acuna at 4 doesn't make sense. Acuna imo should project as the better player.

    In general I think the projection systems fail to give enough weight to the most recent half season of data for young players. They have a weighting system (in terms of how much weight to give the most recent season, or 2 seasons ago or 3 seasons ago) that is the same for all ages. The weighting system needs to be age dependent. It also needs to be broken down into smaller samples (half season) especially for younger players.
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-04-2019 at 09:43 AM.
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    I get the projections, but basically no way the Phillies rotation reaches 12 wins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carp View Post
    I get the projections, but basically no way the Phillies rotation reaches 12 wins.
    Nola had something like 10. I could see them hitting 12 if they all stay healthy. That is a big if.
    Coppy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carp View Post
    I get the projections, but basically no way the Phillies rotation reaches 12 wins.
    Nola 4, Arietta, Pivetta and Velasquez 2 each. That seems ok to me. The fifth spot will probably give them less than 2 wins. So it is a little optimistic. And they are not as well set up as we are to deal with losing a starting pitcher. OTOH if they lose a pitcher, they have shown a willingness to give up prospects and spend dollars to move wins into the 2019 column. They haven't gotten good value in doing so. But they have been willing to do that.
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-04-2019 at 10:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    fangraphs has Nola as a 4 WAR pitcher and the others at about 2 WAR. Seems about right. Overall fangraphs has their starting rotation at 12 wins.

    They have the Braves rotation at 10 wins.

    Reasons I think fangraphs is underrating the Braves:

    1) Pitching depth in AAA, which the projection systems generally don't fully account for.
    2) Braves have the most young talent in the East (Albies, Acuna, Swanson, Camargo, all the pitchers)
    3) Rating Soto at 5 wins and Acuna at 4 doesn't make sense. Acuna imo should project as the better player.

    In general I think the projection systems fail to give enough weight to the most recent half season of data for young players. They have a weighting system (in terms of how much weight to give the most recent season, or 2 seasons ago or 3 seasons ago) that is the same for all ages. The weighting system needs to be age dependent. It also needs to be broken down into smaller samples (half season) especially for younger players.
    Looking simply at the Braves, I think they severely underrate Acuña (maybe as much as 2 wins), and slightly underrate Freeman and Swanson. Like you, I also think they fail to account for the back end of the rotation. Someone will step up and provide better than sub-1.0 WAR production in at least one of the last two rotation spots I would think. If not, there's no point in worrying about the projections as the team isn't going to be in any kind of pennant race. Teheran is the albatross that needs to find his way to the bullpen or to Gwinnett at some point. I also think giving the Phillies a 1.6 WAR advantage in the bullpen is questionable at best.

    Fair warning...this post was compiled using the WAG method, tinged with a healthy portion of homerism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirkPiggler View Post
    Looking simply at the Braves, I think they severely underrate Acuña (maybe as much as 2 wins), and slightly underrate Freeman and Swanson. Like you, I also think they fail to account for the back end of the rotation. Someone will step up and provide better than sub-1.0 WAR production in at least one of the last two rotation spots I would think. If not, there's no point in worrying about the projections as the team isn't going to be in any kind of pennant race. Teheran is the albatross that needs to find his way to the bullpen or to Gwinnett at some point. I also think giving the Phillies a 1.6 WAR advantage in the bullpen is questionable at best.

    Fair warning...this post was compiled using the WAG method, tinged with a healthy portion of homerism.
    Its a subtle thing how the various projection systems are flawed when it comes to taking into account depth.

    First lets think about starting pitching. You could have 2 teams with 5 solid starters. One has three good prospects almost ready in AAA and the other has none. Well the ratings systems do a projection of how many starts those 5 starers will make and parcel out the rest to the guys in AAA based on some statistical model. The difference is in the real world if a starter or two is struggling, the team with no depth will stick with them. The team with depth can make a change, has more flexibility to make that change. So really the two teams are following different models in deciding how long to stick with the guys who start the season in the rotation.

    In effect the projection systems undervalue the flexibility provided by depth. The same could be said of depth provided by having a player like Camargo on the bench. If your third baseman or second baseman or shortstop goes down you plug in Camargo. You can plug him in at first or outfield as well. Someone like that reduces the number of ABs you have to give to replacement level players when your starters get hurt. To provide a stark contrast consider two four men benches: the first three players are the same. But on one team the last bench player is Camargo and for the other team its Duda. Now there are some very narrow circumstances when I'd rather have Duda in the lineup. If your first baseman is injured, having Duda on the roster is great. But otherwise you end up dipping into your pool of replacement level players a lot more with Duda on the bench instead of Camargo.
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-04-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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    those projection systems that remain actively fiddled with, I assume have looked at various weightings of young players and adopted the ones that have been found to be most predictive.

    Which is fine. There are always exceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southcack77 View Post
    those projection systems that remain actively fiddled with, I assume have looked at various weightings of young players and adopted the ones that have been found to be most predictive.

    Which is fine. There are always exceptions.
    actually no...the projections do not have age dependent weighting...all ages have the same weights and then on top of that they overlay an aging curve

    it is a flaw because the second half data for Acuna should receive a lot more weight than the second half data for say Freddie Freeman...the forecast systems don't even break the data down by half season (which is particularly an issue for younger players but imo also is relevant for players at the tail end of their careers)...ie a poor second half by a player in his mid to late thirties is more of a red flag than someone in his 20s...but the systems do not recognize this

    systems like Steamer and ZiPS are a great starting point, but i'm sure every front office refines their projections in various ways to take into account wrinkles the publicly available projections do not
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-04-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heyward View Post
    Their offense is a LOT better but their SP leaves alot to be desired.

    Arrieta really struggled down the stretch, even Nola did too. Elfin, Velasquez, and Pivetta did too. Bigger story is i think all of them made 30+ starts last year, too lazy to look at it but thats unsustainable. Their SP was a bigger concern to me than their offense, but both were and they traded away their best SP prospect who could maybe help mid-season this year.
    This really helped them out a lot last year. I'd assume the law of averages means 2019 is not going to be that lucky for them. That's unheard of this day and age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    actually no...the projections do not have age dependent weighting...all ages have the same weights and then on top of that they overlay an aging curve

    it is a flaw because the second half data for Acuna should receive a lot more weight than the second half data for say Freddie Freeman...the forecast systems don't even break the data down by half season (which is particularly an issue for younger players but imo also is relevant for players at the tail end of their careers)...ie a poor second half by a player in his mid to late thirties is more of a red flag than someone in his 20s...but the systems do not recognize this

    systems like Steamer and ZiPS are a great starting point, but i'm sure every front office refines their projections in various ways to take into account wrinkles the publicly available projections do not
    These projections are notoriously bad at projecting break outs for young talented players like Acuna.

    Since the Braves have a ton of young talent, their 84 win projection is more likely to be exceeded than an older team projected for 84 wins like the Mets.

    While I don't buy into comments like, "they are high on the Nats, but low on the Braves", specifically when those comments come from Braves fans, but there are aspects of roster makeup that make a team more or less likely to under/over perform their projections. No system can project injuries, and old players are more likely to be injured than young players...and the Mets are old as hell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chico View Post
    This really helped them out a lot last year. I'd assume the law of averages means 2019 is not going to be that lucky for them. That's unheard of this day and age.
    I just checked, Elfin had 24, but the other 4 had 30+. I guess it's possible, but thats almost unheard of in todays game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
    These projections are notoriously bad at projecting break outs for young talented players like Acuna.

    Since the Braves have a ton of young talent, their 84 win projection is more likely to be exceeded than an older team projected for 84 wins like the Mets.

    While I don't buy into comments like, "they are high on the Nats, but low on the Braves", specifically when those comments come from Braves fans, but there are aspects of roster makeup that make a team more or less likely to under/over perform their projections. No system can project injuries, and old players are more likely to be injured than young players...and the Mets are old as hell.
    Like I've said for a couple months now, this Braves team has the widest range of reasonable outcomes of any team in the MLB. The gap between their 75th percentile outcome and 25th percentile outcome is massive compared to other teams.

    I could see anywhere from 75 wins to 92 wins being this team's ultimate fate, which basically means I have absolutely no idea how the upcoming season is going to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanieAntics View Post

    I could see anywhere from 75 wins to 92 wins being this team's ultimate fate, which basically means I have absolutely no idea how the upcoming season is going to go.
    I'm in low 80's, low 90's, but yeah, nothing would surprise me from making a run in the playoffs to underperforming, and fans here going ape**** on AA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    actually no...the projections do not have age dependent weighting...all ages have the same weights and then on top of that they overlay an aging curve

    it is a flaw because the second half data for Acuna should receive a lot more weight than the second half data for say Freddie Freeman...the forecast systems don't even break the data down by half season (which is particularly an issue for younger players but imo also is relevant for players at the tail end of their careers)...ie a poor second half by a player in his mid to late thirties is more of a red flag than someone in his 20s...but the systems do not recognize this

    systems like Steamer and ZiPS are a great starting point, but i'm sure every front office refines their projections in various ways to take into account wrinkles the publicly available projections do not
    My impression from some of the guys who are still actively working on projections is that they test lots of different methodologies and discard those that don’t improve prediction performance over time.

    You have a reasonable thesis but I suspect it’s been thought of before and tested. But only way to know for sure would to open a dialogue with the brain trust behind them.

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