Monday, December 10, 2007

Zip Projections for 2008

Dan Szymborski has posted his Detroit Tigers ZIPS projections for 2008 at Baseball Think Factory. He thinks the Tigers are a 95 win team if their pitching staff stays healthy but is concerned about their pitching depth. I can't disagree with him there, although I'm not going to make my official prediction on their win total until right before the season starts.

ZIPS is projecting significant regressions for the following players:

Magglio Ordonez (.309/.366/.481)
Placido Polanco (.317/.358/.419)
Curtis Granderson (.278/.345/.475)

I agree that Ordonez and Polanco will likely fall back a bit this year. The Granderson projection looks a bit pessimistic to me. The batting average could drop but I don't think his power is going to decline. After, collecting 38 doubles, 23 triples and 23 homers in 2007, ZIPS has him at 31/13/21 for 2008. The triples will almost sure drop but I don't see his doubles and homers decreasing. In fact, I think some of the triples may become doubles and homers.

The ZIPS is also predicting further decline for Gary Sheffield: .269/.366/.438 in 85 games. Sheffield is certainly a concern and I would say that his health is going to determine whether the Tigers have a very good offense or an elite offense.

The good news offensively is that ZIPS is optimistic about Marcus Thames (.261/.329/.534) and Ryan Raburn (.269/.344/.466). Also, Miguel Cabrera is projected to bat .318/.407/.559 which seems about right.

The pitching projections are also encouraging as all 4 starters are expect to post ERAs under 4.50 (league average is 4.57):

Justin Verlander 3.75
Kenny Rogers 4.11
Dontrelle Willis 4.34
Jeremy Bonderman 4.34
Nate Robertson 4.45

I think if the pitchers can post those ERAs and stay healthy, the Tigers will be in good shape.


  1. lakelandmikeDecember 10, 2007

    Lee I agree with you that considering the phenomenal seasons both Ordonez and Polanco had, to me it makes logical sense that they may not quite reach last year's production. But, lets not forget the psychological lift the whole team will experience by the offseason acquitions.

  2. Mike, I'm hoping the addition of Cabrera to the line-up will make everyone's job easier. Sometimes the addition of a big hitter will do that. Even if a couple of hitters do fall back a bit though, I'm not too worried about the offense.

    I think the biggest keys are Willis and Bonderman bouncing back and Rogers being healthy.


  3. Very interesting site, thanks for posting it. But why is Sean Casey in with the Tigers projections?

  4. Sheffield is the one that worries me as well. Sure, he played well before he was hurt and really turned it on after a slow start but he's starting to get up there in years. Just an observation but those "muscular" guys don't age all that well. We'll see.


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