Mariners: Line-up Projections And Runs

Using the following line-up and Bill James projections (With the exception of Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak, whom I choose to use Fangraphs Fans projections for instead due to their lack of MLB experience) I used Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis to get some idea of how the Mariners line-up projects in scoring runs.

I don’t think many people would argue too much with this line-up. Yes, you could flip flop Ryan with Kennedy and while Kennedy is going to have a higher on-base percentage, Ryan is the better defender. It’s pure semantics. Ultimately with the guys in camp your not going to squeeze too much more out of the roster.

Ichiro .361 .391
Figgins .360 .348
Gutierrez .323 .401
Cust .377 .428
Smoak .351 .414
Olivo .284 .420
Saunders .327 .417
Ryan .308 .337
Ja.Wilson .305 .355

This comes out to a grand total of about 4.585 runs per game or 742.77 over 162 games. That’s 240 more runs than last year. That’s pretty significant.

This of course forced my hand to do a rough estimation of last year using 2010′s every day players. I took rough semblance of a 2010 line-up card that was used last year and using the previous years projections I just used their over all production.

2010 OBP SLG
Ichiro .359 .394
Figgins .340 .306
Branyan .323 .487
Lopez .270 .339
Sweeney .321 .444
Gutierrez .303 .363
Jo.Wilson .278 .294
Moore .230 .283
Saunders .295 .367

This came out to a grand total of 3.755 runs per game or 608.31 over 162 games. With how horrible of a line-up that was used it still projected them almost 100 runs than what they produced last year (513).

That alone should give you a small clue that this team just completely sucked. They failed at everything and in just about every opportunity. That’s not normal and it’s not because of Ken Griffey jr, Jack Zduriencik, Don Wakamatsu or even Chuck Armstrong. It was just a pure and absolute chaos mixed with a bit of anarchy.

One day a study is going to be done on this and how things just fell apart and used as an example of Murphey’s law. Everything that could go wrong last year just about did.

This isn’t an opportunity to just rehash last year. But really a chance to look at the fact there isn’t a lot of changes that need to happen. In fact the Mariners look to be replacing 4 of those hitters and hope to see Saunders improve to such a degree it’s like getting a new hitters.

Obviously this isn’t a precise measurement. But, had the Mariners scored 743 runs last year it would rank 13th in the majors, 9th in the AL and 2nd in the AL West.

I’m not saying the Mariners will win the west or that they even have a shot (15% chance if you believe PECOTA). But the Rangers aren’t a complete team and neither are the Athletics. The Angels, are looking old and I’m not sure they aren’t going to just implode and come in last.

Should starting pitching hold-up (i.e. Bedard/Pineda pitch, and do it well) and the line-up score runs. This season could get really interesting, really quick. Do I expect them too? Absloutely not. But, that’s the wonderful thing about hope and spring training. Right?

Additional Note: this just is a general production statistic. It doesn’t account for many factors, such as injuries, base running, ect. Take the projection with a grain of salt.

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Tags: Adam Kennedy Brendan Ryan Chone Figgins Franklin Gutierrez Ichiro Jack Cust Jack Wilson Josh Wilson Justin Smoak Michael Saunders Miguel Olivo

  • http://Retired maqman

    It’s interesting what that abysmal season has done to many fans. They now find it easy to see the Black Death showing up at The Safe and something of a fairy tale that this years M’s are not going to be like last year’s. Personally I’ve been surprised by some of the moves the Rangers and Angels have made, they are not as strong as I expected them to be this season. The A’s are better though and we still are not going to contend in my opinion. However, we could be a not bad team this year and possibly contend the next season.

  • Coug1990

    Last year was just one of those years where nothing goes right. I am excited for this years team, not because I think they are going to be any good, but because in many ways the page has turned.

    There will be the next generation of Mariners coming up from the minors. Some will be good, others will bust.

    I have heard or read some fans are disappointed because the M’s didn’t go out and sign big name free agents. Yeah, that worked when Bavasi signed Beltre and Sexton.

    We just watched the Superbowl where the Packers roster was built through the draft and a few inexpensive and non big name free agents.

    I hope the Mariners continue follow that path.

  • 3087

    The projections for Smoak and Saunders seem wildly optimistic. Safeco is not a hitters’ ballpark – look at how Adrian Beltre struggled. So I think the projections for the newcomers is also overly optimistic. No way they score more than 4 1/2 runs per game.

    • Harrison Crow

      You are correct Safeco isn’t very friendly to hitters in general. But, more specifically right-handed hitters. It’s actually about evenly average park for left handed hitters.

      Too bad we don’t have park factor splits. If you see Tango’s post below it’s kind of interesting.

      Regardless this is why it’s so important to A) have those good left handers in the line-up and B) to use a lot of left handed pitchers to take away that advantage.

      Looking at both minor league career totals for Smoak (.288/.404/.466 in only 758 PA’s) and Saunders (.276/.361/.441 in 1980 PAs) they both have the talent to succeed offensively at the major league level. Don’t be too down on them.