Just glancing at what I wrote about our two major off-season acquisitions makes me all teary-eyed.
…. In my relentless criticism of the Edgar Renteria signing, I have been accused of worshipping home runs, ignoring cutting edge statistics, and forgetting how horrible shortstop was for the Giants last season. Hmmm….. Lemme see.
I like the work the boys over at Baseball Prospectus put out, so let’s see what their projection system, PECOTA, says about Renteria:
It says that Renteria has an 8% chance of having a breakout season, a 29% chance of being better than last year, and a 36% chance of collapsing. It projects him at .280/.341/.410, with 8 home runs, and 60 runs scored and driven in. Upgrades for sure over last season’s debacle, but overall, just 1.9 wins over replacement.
Renteria is currently running out a .253/.327/.374, which is quite a bit worse than his projection. Orlando Cabrera –who I complained was Renteria's equal, and who labded a contract worth roughly 20% of
what Renteria got from Old 401K Sabean– is at .240/.302/.269, which, while horrible, would certainly make the savings look worthwhile.
And as for Mr. Johnson, well, he's now at two terrific starts and four horrible ones, which, of course, is what happens when you are older than me and still being paid to be a top-flight athlete. In his last 600 or so innings, Johnson has allowed a staggering 100 home runs, a rate that is something like 25% greater than his career average. Sure, he'll get strikeouts, that's what he does, but if the Giants really want to do something interesting, they ought to consider making him a middle reliever.
He could ramp it up a notch, be a little more overpowering, and put less mileage on his arm. As a middle reliever, who knows, he might be able to pitch for three or four more years. As a starter, his days are numbered.
Since we're talking about me, I'd also like to remind everyone that I predicted the Dave Roberts debacle, and was wrong on Zito. Que sera, sera.