Rey - Remind Me Again Why 2013 Will Be A "Lost" Mets Season?

(Correction to "The Need for One Outweighs the Need for Many": "OPS" references in the stat comparisons should have read "SLG.")


That's sound I've made since yesterday every time I read or hear someone calling this upcoming season "lost" or "wasted" because of the ripof-- I mean-- "trade" the Mets made with the Bluejays.  Last I checked, there are 2, not 1, wildcard spots in the NL.  So, what does that translate to?

The Mets having a legitimate shot at the 2d wildcard spot in 2013... arguably a BETTER chance than in 2012!!!  WOO HOO!!!


I know, I know... right now you are saying any of the following: "You're friggin' out of your friggin' mind!" to "Did you skip your meds today?" to "Sure, and Jason Bay will slug more than 3 HRs in Seattle."

But let's look at these pesky things called facts... I know they get in the way sometimes, but -- aw heck -- let's give it a shot, shall we?

FACT:  In the past five seasons, the average win total for the last wildcard spot from all four wildcard winners & pre-2012 eligible wildcard teams (20 total) is 89.

FACT:  There have been two wildcard eligible teams with a win total of 88, one team with 87 wins, and another with as little as 86 wins.

FACT:  Only three wildcard eligible teams have won 90 or more games for that last wildcard spot in the past five seasons.

Can you guarantee the Mets won't get another 12-15 wins this year?


perhaps not.

But here's some more facts to convince you that you may not have to get so verklemped this coming season:

Sandman has been commenting of late that he can replace the loss of Dickey with a SP that can get "10-12" wins.  Some Mets fans are going ballistic over this comment because -- in part -- they interpret him as saying Dickey is a 10-12 game winner, which he clearly is not.  Rather, I think what Sandman is saying is that 10-12 wins to replace Dickey's spot in the rotation leaves the Mets -- again -- seeking the remaining 8 wins from the other spots in the rotation. 

So, how do we get those 8 additional wins?  Here's the Wins breakdown, by rotation spot, from the Mets staff in 2012:

Dickey - 20
Niese - 13
Santana - 6
Gee - 6
Harvey - 3
Remaining SPs: 10

That's 58 wins total from the Mets starters for 2012, give or take a few missed starts. Now, let's see the projections for Wins in 2013 based on the well-respected sabermetrics geek, Ron Shandler, in his "2013 Baseball Forecaster & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics":

Niese - 12
Santana -  9
Gee - 10
Harvey - 11
Sandman's "10-12 Win" SP -11

Not counting any remaining SPs from the group above, we are already at 53 wins-- 5 MORE than the first five rotations spots from 2012.  

More importantly, assuming we get 10 Wins from the infamous "remaining SPs" group, that's 63 wins.  By comparison, the number of SP wins from the staffs of the wildcard teams from 2012 are as follows:

Orioles: 69
Rangers: 72
Braves: 70
Cardinals: 73

That means that the Mets are -- in theory -- only 6-10 SP wins away from contention.

But wait, there's MORE! 

Shandler's projections were based on Dickey being part of the Mets rotation.  As such, Dickey was the projected No. 1 SP, Niese, the No. 2, and so on and so forth.  While the immediate conclusion is that it hurts more than helps the Mets SP projections because Niese or Santana will be facing better SPs by moving up a slot in the rotation, the days where No. 1 SPs face off, then No. 2 SPs, etc., are a thing of the past, left to the wayside with antiquities like scheduled doubleheaders (yes, kiddies... MLB actually SCHEDULED those things at one time!), Bat Day and players taking mass transportation or walking from their homes to the game.

Rather, what will likely happen is that the Mets SPs will rise to the level of their competition, otherwise known as the STRASBURG EFFECT (or "Will Dickey's Departure Have A Material Affect On The Staff E.R.A.?"), leaving Dickey's loss an insignificant if we focus on the important measurement here:  E.R.A. (since Wins are nearly unpredictable, anyway)

So, let's take a look at Mr. Shandler again, shall we?

Dickey's Projected 2013 xERA ("expected" ERA): 3.72
Niese/Santana/Harvey/Gee 2013 xERA: 3.79

That's a difference of 0.07 ("The Name is Man, Sand(y)man").

And in case you were wondering, there's even less of a difference were we to simply calculate Shandler's projected ERA.
Lest we not forget that the (1) Mets bullpen will likely be better ('cause they can't get much worse!), and (2) the Mets should have a better hitting team; after all, no one -- NO ONE -- can put together such a crappy group of outfielders for two consecutive years, right?



And while you're at it... Sandman's got a bridge to sell ya.

Until next time...

Happy holidays!!!


TP said...

Excellent post. The script on whether 2013 is a throw away or not has yet to be writte...and Sandyman is holding the pen.

Rey P said...

Thanks, TP! Much appreciated. It IS ridiculous how everyone is throwing in the towel on this season. Just heard Evan and Joe on the FAN, and even they are dismissing 2013. Ya Gotta BELIEVE!!! AND this time... with some rational basis in belief!

Don O'Brien said...

Agree, why not be positive? But we need 2 RHHs in the OF. Hairston and one more. And #5 SP and bullpen must be firmed up, from within or without. SA reportedly has 15 or 20 mil to spend if Wilpons allow. Let's see what happens.

Mack Ade said...


At some point, there will be no more free agents. The outfielders still out there all want more than one year and they will wait out the rest of this month to see if someone bites on the hook.

Me? I would offer Hairston a 2yr-$5mil deal... we know what we get here and he would platoon well at all three outfield positions.

Re: trading: right now, the Mets don't have any 2013-ready players to offer. Their minor league pitchers are one year away from any real value in a trade

No, I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see much out there for the Mets for additional players.

I would play Duda, Baxter, Valdespin, Nieuwenhuis, Buckel... you'll get den Dekker after the all-star break....

Mack's Mets © 2012