Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Tweener Year for San Jose

This season really has been tough to call in terms of buying, selling, rebuilding, retooling, etc. We have a very solid nucleus of hitters, a good D, a nice bullpen, and decent but not great starting pitching.

After a very slow April, May was a bit kinder to leave us at 29-27 heading into June play. The biggest stat that jumps out at me is our 3-11 record in 1-run games. Sabermetricians generally ascribe bad 1-run records to luck, and say this tends to even out over the course of a season. If so, we could expect to end up with something like 85-90 wins and a good shot at the playoffs, despite a very competitive division.

At the same time, the odds of advancing if we do make the playoffs would not seem to be high. Plainsfield & Diamond have dominant teams, and Cream City, Green Bay, and Montreal show the potential to separate themselves from the pack as well. Of course upsets will happen, but the deck seems a little stacked against us.

We made 2 small deals, essentially swapping Gotay for Harris and downgrading from a 3rd to a 5th pick in the process, but saving a bit of cash. Gotay was lights out as a PH for us so hoping Harris can do that job and help with PR/OF defensive sub duties also.

In terms of offense, Pena, Rollins & Doumit are carrying us. Doumit's 17 doubles & 19 RBIs in 100 ABs look very nice but are unlikely to continue. Pena has 26 HRs with about 40% of his PAs used, still looking good for him even if we slow him down in June a bit. Rollins is putting up a nice BA as expected, and the pop has been there, which may warrant moving him up to 4th in the lineup rather than 6th, where he is currently vs RH.

The much-maligned Barry Zito has been the staff ace to date, putting up a 7-2 record and a solid 3.12 ERA over his 1st 90 IP. All our other SPs have been average at best, though the bullpen has managed a very nice 3.53 ERA in 112 IP so far.

In sum, we have a team that's built for the regular season which is unlikely to stop the best offenses come playoff time, so in general I'd still characterize us as sellers for this year. So on that note, send offers if interested!

0 Swings of the bat: