The Other Fifteen

Eighty-five percent of the f---in' world is working. The other fifteen come out here.

2008 Cubs Opening Day Roster, by WAR

Hitters only. Let's get straight to the bidness:


Someday I'll look into actually putting these charts together in a more interactive format, but Excel outputs such awful HTML, and I really don't feel like messing with it myself at this point. (EditGrid and Google Docs don't support the fancier formatting, either.)

If you're late to the party, I explain WAR in a previous post. WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement, and it measures a player's overall contribution to team wins. WAR_650 is a new stat that prorates WAR out to 650 plate appearances. Offensive production is now park adjusted as well. [An updated version of the WAR calculator should be ready for release here soon, incorporating these refinements.]

These are all based on projected stats. For offense and wOBA, I made a composite of:

Defense is based on Sean Smith's defensive projections. Baserunning projections are very crude, and involve a bit of Kentucky windage; they're based on my baserunning metrics.

Things to draw from the chart:

  • The Cubs look to have a very fine offense this season.
  • They look to have a very good defense again.
  • They're miserable at running the bases.
  • I love to color-code things.
  • Ryan Theriot sucks.

So, basically, nothing you didn't already know. I hope to get around to the pitchers by opening day, but no promises.

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10 Responses to “2008 Cubs Opening Day Roster, by WAR”

  1. # Blogger Ty

    Sooo... their best position player is Fukukuk?  

  2. # Blogger Samael2681

    From my understanding, he's just the most over replacement level at his position when counting offense, defense, and baserunning. From just an offensive standpoint, I think Lee or Ramirez are the two best. Personally, I think Soriano's going to have a good season this year if he's going to be batting out of the 2-hole all year.  

  3. # Anonymous Maddog

    Get Adobe Dreamweaver and copy the cells from Excel into Dreamweaver. Perfect HTML.  

  4. # Blogger Colin Wyers

    I'll admit that I'm not particularly fond of Dreamweaver - it's what I was forced to use to maintain Camp Pendleton's website, back when I was the "base webmaster."

    Of course, now that I'm married with kids, the time I have to sit there and handcode HTML in Notepad has evaporated, and so some concessions may have to be made. I'll look into it.

    As for the Fukudome issue... I dunno. I'm flat-out guessing at his defensive and baserunning numbers, which I don't like doing. I have more confidence in his offensive projections - I know you don't like them, Maddog, but they are what they are.

    What would be helpful is if you could break out how you think he'll do in counting stats - singles, doubles, triples, home runs and walks. Those are what I use to calculate wOBA. You can provide baserunning and defensive guestimates, too, and I'll put out a chart that reflects that.  

  5. # Anonymous Maddog

    Dreamweaver is just what I use to make tables. I absolutely don't want to mess around with the code it takes to make tables. I know how to do it, but it's the tedious nonsense that I don't like.

    As for Fukudome, all I know is that if he's our most productive offensive player it's because one of two things: Soriano, Lee and Ramirez spend significant time on the DL or all 3 of them have poor seasons.

    Frankly, I think a .380 wOBA is a pipe dream. It's not that I don't like him. He was the best available and he'll probably be a bit above average, but I think he and DeRosa will be very, very similar offensively. Or at least what DeRosa did last season anyway.

    I understand that the projections are the projections and there isn't much you can do about it, but I'll give you $35 million if Fukudome is the most productive offensive player on this team. Frankly, I think the odds of that happening are every bit equal to the odds of Felix Pie being the most productive player on the team. Way too much stuff would have to happen in order for that to be true that it's relatively safe to say it's impossible.

    I'm positive most Cubs fans are going to be upset by what they get from Fukudome. In the end, the difference between he and Murton will be defensively.  

  6. # Anonymous DeRoMyHero

    Question: How does wOBA translate to your "Offense" number? (Or does it?) Are you using Defense numbers from the Fielding Bible? (i.e. are they +/-?)

    Also, you seem to be taking some liberties with positions. I think Pie throws LH, so I don't expect to see him at SS. Put DeRo anywhere you like, but I shudder to think of how Ramy would turn a DP at 2B without getting killed.  

  7. # Blogger Colin Wyers

    wOBA is used to generate the Offense numbers - basically, you take the average wOBA (.388 generally, a bit higher once you park adjust) and you subtract from a player's wOBA, then multiply by rate to get runs above/below average. Since wOBA is based upon runs per plate appearance, the math works out.

    Defense numbers aren't from the Fielding Bible; they're projections based on Sean Smith's defensive projections. They are a +/- rating, though: runs above or below average.

    Position in this case is a measure of positional difficulty - the skills involved at third and second are different skills, so you don't see a lot of positional overlap, but the difficulty involved (and thus the scarcity of players at that position) is about equal. Shortstop and center field are the two most difficult positions to play, and therefore they get the same bonus.  

  8. # Blogger DMG

    This is probably a dumb question, but is the baserunning number relative to position?

    Is Soto a -7 above an average catcher or just an average player? Because if he's that much worse than a regular catcher.... ouch  

  9. # Blogger DMG

    I guess I should say, "below an average player"  

  10. # Blogger Colin Wyers

    All of the inputs - offense, defense and baserunning - are relative to the league average. WAR is then adjusted based upon position.  

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