The Pace Game II.

The team has now gone plowed through 40% of the season and they are still atop the baseball world with a 41-23 record holding a narrow 1.5 game margin over the Chicago White Sox. At the 20% mark, I took a look at the kind of pace the team was on. Given the small sample, a lot of things were skewed both postively and negatively. Sample size caveats aren’t completely erased at this mark, but players are definitely settling in heading into mid-June. Here is the second look at the hitters:

NAME G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Curtis
Granderson
159 595 96 170 35 5 23 78 99 180 10 10 0.285 0.385 0.477 0.862
Magglio
Ordonez
152 592 89 180 30 0 33 109 46 91 3 3 0.303 0.353 0.521 0.874
Ivan
Rodriguez
142 587 76 182 28 8 13 76 25 78 8 3 0.310 0.342 0.448 0.790
Placido
Polanco
134 572 48 162 20 0 8 58 10 38 0 5 0.283 0.303 0.358 0.662
Chris
Shelton
159 557 76 157 25 8 30 76 48 172 0 3 0.282 0.346 0.518 0.864
Carlos
Guillen
154 549 73 159 41 3 18 89 66 101 20 13 0.290 0.368 0.470 0.838
Craig
Monroe
149 534 86 124 20 0 25 71 28 137 3 5 0.232 0.272 0.412 0.685
Brandon
Inge
154 519 89 111 20 3 33 91 48 124 5 5 0.215 0.281 0.454 0.734
Marcus
Thames
99 319 73 99 30 0 30 53 35 78 0 0 0.310 0.389 0.690 1.079
Omar
Infante
66 228 30 63 10 3 5 25 10 51 3 3 0.278 0.323 0.411 0.734
Dmitri
Young
38 149 13 25 8 0 0 10 10 46 3 0 0.169 0.222 0.220 0.443
Vance
Wilson
46 134 13 35 8 0 3 15 0 38 0 3 0.264 0.291 0.377 0.668
Ramon
Santiago
58 134 20 25 0 3 0 3 3 25 3 0 0.189 0.204 0.226 0.430
Alexis
Gomez
51 124 20 28 5 3 0 5 8 23 5 0 0.224 0.269 0.306 0.575
Total 162 5594 802 1521 281 33 220 759 435 1182 61 51 0.271 0.327 0.450 0.777



Most disconcerting right away is, though he has been very good otherwise, Curtis Granderson is striking out WAY too much! You can be an effective leadoff with gobs of strikeouts (see also: Sizemore, Grady), but even Sizemore “only” had 132 last year. I suspect Granderson will end the season somewhere near that figure as opposed to 180, but at least he’s on pace for almost 100 walks as well. Strikeouts are often judged more severely because they are “unproductive” outs, but if he is striking out to lead off a game, it’s the same as if he lines out to second. (Yes, that is called spin!) Chris Shelton‘s paced out numbers predictably came way down, but he is also on pace for over 170 strikeouts. If he works hard at getting back to where he was last year as opposed to swinging out of his shoes in every at-bat, I think he will strikeout less than 150 times. Magglio Ordonez has settled into a comfortable .300-30-100 pace that he is unlikely to deviate too far from. I still don’t buy Brandon Inge as a 30-home run hitter, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be entirely pleased with 33-91. Marcus Thames‘ HR:RBI ratio will balance out as he continues to play everyday. He is more likely to play all of the remaining 99 games than he is to end with just 99 played in all.

Now for the pitching:

NAME G GS W L Sv IP H ER R HR BB SO WHIP ERA
Jamie Walker 53 0 0 0 0 48 35 5 5 5 5 43 0.83 0.93
Joel Zumaya 63 0 8 0 3 81 46 20 20 8 41 96 1.06 2.25
Fernando Rodney 71 0 10 5 18 79 38 23 25 10 46 73 1.05 2.59
Chris Spurling 23 0 0 0 0 28 33 10 10 5 10 10 1.50 3.18
Justin Verlander 33 33 18 10 0 213 190 78 84 28 63 124 1.19 3.32
Kenny Rogers 33 33 20 8 0 210 200 81 86 25 51 116 1.19 3.46
Nate Robertson 33 33 15 8 0 200 192 78 91 25 78 144 1.34 3.50
Mike Maroth 23 23 13 5 0 122 142 48 51 20 38 56 1.48 3.56
Jordan Tata 18 0 0 0 0 35 23 15 18 3 18 15 1.14 3.86
Jeremy Bonderman 33 33 15 10 0 213 195 101 101 13 61 177 1.20 4.29
Jason Grilli 43 0 0 0 0 51 53 25 25 3 33 18 1.67 4.43
Zach Miner 5 5 3 3 0 25 28 13 13 8 10 18 1.50 4.50
Todd Jones 61 0 3 10 43 61 84 43 43 5 13 18 1.58 6.38
Bobby Seay 35 0 0 0 0 38 35 28 28 3 23 30 1.50 6.46
Roman Colon 18 3 0 0 0 41 51 30 30 13 15 30 1.56 6.48
Total 162 162 104 58 63 1451 1344 600 630 172 504 969 1.27 3.72



Pacing out pitching is much more volatile than hitting for obvious reasons. Roles change much more within bullpens and rotations than they do a team’s lineup. Most obvious is the fact that Mike Maroth‘s innings will be going (for now) to Zach Miner making both of their projections pretty much worthless for this exercise. In terms of my own projection of Miner going forward, I will need at least three more starts before I’m comfortable enough to guess. Bullpen decisions are also skewed this early. If Todd Jones continues to pitch the way he has recently, not only will he not be around for 40+ saves, but certainly won’t be given a chance to lose 10 games. The path the starting rotation is following remains remarkably pleasing. I don’t think they’ll boast four 15-game winners by year’s end, but Joel Zumaya might be in a position to register double-digit wins given his use in high leverage situations. No one is on pace for 200 strikeouts with Jeremy Bonderman coming closest, but the team as a whole is striking out almost twice as many batters as they walk (1.92 K:BB).

There you have it, folks. Just some early numbers to chew on. There is still a ton of baseball to play during which some of these paces will be obliterated, for better or worse. Tonight the Tigers face struggling pitcher Seth McClung (2-8, 6.25 ERA, 0.76 K:BB). Thank God for MLB.tv Mosaic so that I can watch it along with Johan Santana v. Curt Schilling in Minnesota.

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