Detroit ZiPS projections released

The ZiPS projections for the Detroit Tigers 2008 season were released this morning. They are a bit more pessimistic than I had expected and there are worries about depth and the impact injuries would have:

Pretty clearly, the Tigers are one of the AL’s Big 5, but I think they’re probably still 5th, for the simple reason that they’re ill-suited to handle injuries and various other unfortunate happenstances that can arise during the season.

ZiPS sees the Tiger’s top hitters all taking a step back from their outstanding 2007 performances:

Player 2007 OPS ZiPS 2008 OPS Difference
Magglio Ordonez 1.029 .847 -.182
Placido Polanco .846 .777 -.069
Curtis Granderson .913 .820 -.093

I don’t see Curtis Granderson dropping a total 24 points, but regardless of the drops these are respectable numbers. One major improvement for the Tigers is some consistency that was gained by adding risk in depth. Ryan Raburn’s ability to cover the outfield as well as second and third bases and respectable bat should keep him busy throughout the year.

But as ESPN’s Keith Law point’s out, the bullpen is the real worry. Like it or not, much weight will be put on Fernando Rodney to lead the bullpen. Something he has the talent to do but he needs to work on his control and cut down on walks. ZiPS is optimistic on Rodney projecting a 3.86 ERA.

Behind Fernando Rodney and Bobby Seay there isn’t much to get excited about in the bullpen for middle-relievers.

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2 Responses to Detroit ZiPS projections released

  1. Avocado says:

    Man I love projections, let me look them over.

    Hmm…

    Those offensive projections look a little low. I’m not sure of the specifics of how ZiPs is calculated, but it looks like they might overly suppress optimistic outliers. The numbers they provide in the Curtis Granderson spotlight seem to suggest this.

    Last year Granderson hit:

    .302 AVG
    .361 OBP
    .552 SLG
    .913 OPS

    The ZiPs 15% most optimistic projections for 2008 are:

    .297 AVG
    .374 OBP
    .534 SLG
    .908 OPS

    Their most optimistic projections result in Granderson having a slightly worse year in 2008. Meanwhile, the 15% most pessimistic projections for 2008 are:

    .256 AVG
    .314 OBP
    .429 SLG
    .734 OPs

    That would equal a dramatic drop off, to below average outfield performance. Granderson’s 2007 campaign was superb, and it would be difficult to improve upon it in 2008. But given that he will be 27 next year, an age at which many major leaguer batters put up their best numbers, I don’t think it would be outlandish to suggest that he might improve slightly. I would expect the most optimistic projections would reflect at least a modest improvement.

    Overall, the pitching numbers look slightly optimistic, especially in terms of ERA. Again, I think this suggests that ZiPs projections skew slightly low for offensive projection.

    Who is this ‘Vic Darensbourg’? A 37 year-old lefty that they project as the sixth most effective pitcher on the Detroit roster?

  2. Eric Jackson says:

    I’d agree, It seems the most optimistic would be a slight improvement but I’d guess we’ll see a slight dropoff but nothing to the degree of .024 off the batting average.

    Vic is another Marlins transplant in the Tiger system. ugh.

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