Friday, June 27, 2008

Checking on a prediction

Back in spring training, I said this about the Dodger outfield situation:

Juan Pierre in left isn't as bad as most people think, myself included. Checking the numbers, I have Pierre as -13 runs on offense (hitting 288/333/363) and Ethier at 279/348/436, a league average hitter. But I've also got Pierre as +13 for range in left field, with Ethier at +1. While I don't have the exact numbers, Ethier has a much better arm but Pierre helps you more on the bases.

Because of contracts, the ideal solution would be to salary dump Pierre and play Ethier. Even if Pierre can't be moved, it might be advisable to play Ethier because he's younger and has the potential to become something more. But given you have both players, it doesn't make that much difference to the Dodger's 2008 division chances which one gets to play. This is at odds with what most people are saying, myself included. I think I might have said Pierre playing would cost the Dodgers 2 wins or something like that. I was talking out my ass, focusing much too exclusively on hitting. The numbers don't support that.
So far in 2008 the who should play controversy never happened thanks to Andruw being a bust and then getting hurt. But since Ethier and Pierre have both played, was I right?

Hitting, Pierre is -11. Ethier is -1. On defense, Pierre is +7 in range, Ethier is -6. Pierre's baserunning advantage is probably offset by his terrible throwing (A guess since I don't have in-season PBP files). Pierre's offense is a little worse (I think my projection included a plus for his basestealing) and Ethier's defense has been a little worse.

Not much difference value-wise between the two, but they'll need more production from somewhere if they want to catch the slumping Diamondbacks and win this weak division.