Sunday, June 15, 2008

All for One and ONE FOR ALL

If you look at recent seasons the best teams haven’t always been the ones to make the playoffs. Last year the Mets didn’t make it, the year before the White Sox had 90 wins and didn’t make it to the playoffs even after winning the World Series the previous season. The Red Sox also didn't make the playoffs in 2006. How is it possible for an excellent or even the best team in the league, in the Mets case not make the playoffs? A recent study has shown that team's chances are heavily decreased when they have even one Replacement Level Player(a freely available AAA player or the 25th man on a roster) in their starting lineup. Every starting player on a playoff team should at least have a WARP(Wins Above Replacement Player) of 3.

Lets take a closer look. Last year the Mets received a WARP of under 3 from second base, until Luis Castillo was acquired to solidify the position. They also received a WARP below 3 from Shawn Green in RF. That's not one but two everyday positions that lacked consistency(this is why I'm nervous for this year, RF,LF,1B,2B are all lacking). The White Sox had their catcher A.J. Pierzynski at 3.3 WARP, second basemen Tad Iguchi at 3.2 WARP, shortstop Juan Uribe at 2.6 WARP, leftfielder Scott Podsednik had a .8(no I didn't make a mistake), and I don't exactly remember who split time with Brian Anderson in CF, but all the other possible options were replacement level and Anderson had a WARP of 2.5 again, disappointing. That's FIVE guys that probably shouldn't have been in the starting lineup and were. Yo would think the '06 Red Sox would be more like the current Red Sox but they're not. Mark Loretta was horrible posting a 1.9 WARP while playing full time. CF was also not to good but only because Coco Crisp missed a good 2 months of the season and his replacements(Gabe Kapler, Adam Stern) are prototypical replacement level players.

As you can see not all playoff teams have the perfect guy at every position but the teams with more than one non ideal player starting have a very slim chance of making the playoffs and having success in the playoffs.