Giants 2007 Lineup
This post is going to be about the lineup. I used the lineup data from Beyond the Scoresheet's regression data that Baseball Musing uses for their lineup optimizer application on his website. I first took the Giants 2006 stats by lineup position and calculated what the runs scored per game was theoretically: 4.63 runs. In actuality, they scored 4.63 runs. Looks pretty good, no?
I then went through some permutations on the lineup:
- Roberts/Vizquel/Aurilia/Bonds/Durham/Klesko/Molina/Winn: As I've noted a number of times, Klesko should force his way into the lineup if he is healthy, and he has, to the point where Feliz had to be benched. Huzzah for Giants fans all over. Using this calculation, and my best guess for each's player's 2007 stats for OBP and SLG, this lineup generated 5.15 runs per game.
- Roberts/Vizquel/Aurilia/Bonds/Durham/Molina/Feliz/Winn: Batting Molina 6th results in a 0.09 run advantage over Feliz, and 0.03 run net effect over them switched. This lineup scores 4.93 runs per game.
- Roberts/Vizquel/Bonds/Durham/Aurilia/Molina/Feliz/Winn: Even if they went back to the Bonds batting 3rd theory, they still theoretically score 4.92 runs per game.
Anyway you twist it, the lineup is a good 0.3 to 0.5 runs more potent than last season's team. The addition of Klesko, Aurilia, and Molina, plus (hopefully) the return of Winn to his career numbers does that. Even if Winn reduplicated last year's poor performance in the 8th spot, that would minimize his decline and only drop the lineup production by 0.05 runs per game, it will still be much improved. This improved lineup will result in a 86 to 89 win season if the Giants team ERA was 4.6 runs this year.
I think that should be more than possible with the starting rotation we have right now, even with Zito's troubles right now. In fact, given how well Morris and Ortiz are pitching, I think the starting rotation is capable of getting their ERA down in the low 4 range. Getting the pitching down to 4.2 runs, for example, would result in over 93 wins.
Of course, this is all theoretically and in reality the offense has stunk it up thus far. Hopefully the lineup will be closer to theory than to the reality of the past two weeks. But there's no way the team continues to score less than 2 runs per game averge, or whatever the ridiculously low amount has been, even the worse teams of recent years average over 4 runs per game over a full season.
Seeing this lineup result gives me renewed hopes that the Giants will be competitive this year. I knew that the pitching staff should be pretty good but now that I can put some numbers to it, everything seems doable. We don't need Cain to be an unqualified ace, he only has to deliver something like last year. Zito does need to do what he did the past two seasons, but he's pitching in the NL, where ERA's go down a bit when you move leagues. Lowry, even with his foul 2006 season, his ERA was still 3.75 at the end of August, before his arm problems derailed his overall stats. Morris's was right around the mid-4's until he broke his ribs somewhere (still want to know. And Ortiz, when he has his cutter working, like he apparently has now, is easily capable of a low 4 ERA as well. We just need a low 4 ERA for the starters plus the relievers need to do about that well too.
That's a tall order given how unsettled the bulllpen is, but here is where we fans need to keep our fingers crossed. All I can say is that we need to give them time to figure things out, whether up here or bringing up other guys, like Misch. And hopefully Wilson will get himself straight down there too.
That leaves the offense, the start of this post. There is a lot potential for this to be a very potent offense. That coupled with our improve starting rotation should start yielding many wins and this awful first couple of weeks will be forgotten.