Well, I’ve been vacationing, and while I’ve been away, you guys haven’t been playing nice ;-)
The Ramirez rumor doesn’t seem to have much to it, but it was nice while it lasted. Regardless of how much he would’ve cost (in all ways), at least he actually has talent and produces.
And as for the Giants being competitive in the NL West, even if you think Mia and I are nuts, there’s at least one writer that agrees with us:
…. For this staff to win with this offense, everything needs to go right for the pitchers. (italics, mine)
…. The Giants pitchers Marcel the Monkey Projections work) out to a 4.02 ERA for the group. Since 89 percent of runs are earned, that ERA translates to 4.52 runs per nine innings. Assuming the bullpen pitches at the same level, we can look at the graph and see that the Giants will need to score about 5.2 runs per game to reach 92 wins.
Reaching that level will be difficult with their current offense. The Lineup Analysis Tool at my website, Baseball Musings, estimates runs scored for a batting order. The current group of hitters rates at 4.2 runs per game.
Using the Pythagorean projection, 4.2 runs scored and 4.5 runs allowed per game works out to a .464 winnings percentage, or 75 team wins.
…. The Giants could work on the offensive side as well. Manny Ramirez is available, and with him in the lineup, their runs scored per game goes up to 4.5, bringing the Giants to .500.
At that level, the Giants may be able to compete in a weak division. The Dodgers took the West with just 84 wins in 2008. With a little luck, a .500 team can easily win 85 or 86 games. Given the lack of improvement among their contenders, that might put them on top.
Don’t look for Giants starters to be a cheap source of wins, however. They are a long way from being true contenders, and even Lincecum is likely to be down after his impressive ’08 season.
How many ways does this piece reflect everything I’ve been saying?
1. We have nothing even remotely like a conteders level of offense.
2. If the addition of a true superstar like Ramirez only adds .3 runs per game to our team, and something like 10 wins, the of course, expecting Edgar Renteria could make any kind of impact whatsoever is laughable.
3. Planning a season based on the premise that a substantial number of our pitchers will be as good or better than they were last season is absurd.
4. And even Tim Lincecum is all but certain to regress, at least a little.
But –in at least one way– all of you optimists have your day; in that even the venerable David Pinto thinks that the team could be one player away from contending in a terrible division, (if that player is the very best hitter available, and just about every other player on the team meets or exceeds expectations).