AussieDodger wrote:I don't think they can do it. Their rotation beyond J.Shields (a top-10 SP in 2012) is woeful.
Guthrie, Santana, Hochevar and Chen were amongst the 30 worst SPs in 2012. W.Davis has a 5.9 K/9 and 4.22 ERA as a starter.
Sure, they have Gordon and Butler...but they also have Francoeur and Alcides providing negative value every time they bat.
I think what happens with Hosmer and Moustakas will decide if they even get near .500. Will Hosmer provide some power? Will Mous lift his walk rate/OBP?
I'm predicting they end up with 77-80 wins. What do you think?
The staff is going to have to come up with a WAR somewhere in the area of 12+ for them to even stay close. There are a ton of wildcard arms in there, but the biggest concern for me is that the team will make decision based more on the contract status of the players instead of on the actual performance. Guthrie's numbers in KC were excellent, his 1.5 WAR in 14 starts is really obscured by his time in Baltimore. Between Guthrie and Shields the team should have at least half that 12+ WAR covered, its filling the rest of the innings with the best between Santana, Mendoza, Davis, Chen, Hochevar, Paulino, Duffy, and Smith that will be the keys for the staff. 170+ innings with a low 4 ERA out of at least two of that group and the team is in really good shape.
The bullpen might be one of the best (if not the best) in the AL again with shutdown arms in almost every spot. Holland struggled some last year before finding his groove, but the rotation just plain wore out most of the other arms by the end of the season.
Not sure why the hate on Escobar. He was pretty much an average hitting shortstop last season that has a ton of value on the bases. If he is the worst player on your team, you have a real good shot at winning any division in baseball. The problem is that they have no one that can play 2B at the ML level at this point, they are better off having no one play RF, and their middle of the order 1B looked like a little leaguer at the plate for most of last year.
I've got them pegged at around 84 wins but I don't think that will be anywhere close to the Tigers who I think will be close to 100 wins. Hosmer and the back end of the rotation could fall apart and have the team in the low 70s and I wouldn't be shocked. Or they could find a grove and push closer to 90 wins, but that would really surprise me.