Now that the 06 roster is mostly set (will be tweaked by a reliever or two, but the effect of that is probably impossible to predict) I did a very primitive "projection" for 06 using 05 win shares (courtesy of Hardball Times. I didn't do any adjustment for players who I thought would be better, would be injured or uninjured, or would improve because of age. I just took last year's ML stats and extrapolated them to the playing time I think they'll get. For instance, Prince got 2 offensive WS and .1 fielding WS in 59 ABs last year...I gave him 550 ABs for 06, projecting him for 18.6 offensive WS and .9 fielding WS -- just multiplying the 05 #s by 9.3.
Guys who are established regulars I just took 05 numbers--Brady, Caballo, Jenkins, Miller, Doug Davis ...I gave Sheets 220 IP, took Cappy down to 180, gave Ohka 200, and gave Helling and Bush a total of 300, figuring they'd split #5 starter and long-man duties. The bullpen was tricky, as it's tough to project usage when you don't even know the roster. But I did project a total of 1439 IP, compared to last year's 1438.
I'm a little short on ABs...I didn't try to project Hart or any of the bench filler beyond Branyan, Cirillo, Gross, and Moeller, so if somebody like Hart excels, or if the bench is just very useful next year, my projection is a little low.
Long story short, I did all that and came up with:
offensive WS: 112.2
pitching WS: 104.8
fielding WS: 40.3
total WS: 257.3
One WS = 1/3 of a win, so projected wins:
Reasons why 85.8 may be LOW:
- projects no improvement on Fielder's 05 ML stats, just more playing time
- ditto Hardy
- ditto Weeks
- projects Capuano to miss a few starts, like he did reliably until 05
- doesn't project bench filler...that itself might be an extra win, just b/c I can't predict who's going to get 35 ABs and what they're going to do with them
- if we're on pace for 86 wins, Doug might do something in July.
- if Branyan wins the starting job and he plays like he did last year, full-time, add 1.5 to 2 wins. He was WAY better on a per-AB basis than Hall was, measured by offensive WS.
- projects no improvement from Bush. If Bush keeps the #5 starter job all year and puts up a Cappy or Davis-like year, add 2+ wins to the total. Also, I assumed Bush is Sheets-like at the plate (-2.5 offensive WS or so) ...if he's more like Capuano, that's 1/2 a win or so.
- projects no "breakout" bullpen year. I'd imagine that someone out of Kolb, Wise, Capellan, Adams, and Lehr has a killer year. None of those guys is projected to do much (I didn't even include Kolb in this), and if one becomes a Tom Gordon-like set-up monster, just for 06, that's worth another couple of wins.
Reasons why 85.8 may be HIGH:
- does not project any injuries except for: Cappy missing a few starts & Jenkins missing as much as he did last year. All IF starters (Hall, Hardy, Weeks, and Fielder) are projected for 550 ABs.
- Brady Clark probably won't get 7.2 fielding WS next year ... he will probably regress somewhat at the plate, too.
- assumes 200+ IP from Sheets, Davis, Ohka, and some combination of Helling and Bush.
- assumes Turnbow repeats 05. I can't imagine he will, but even if he doesn't some of the win-share impact will be mitigated by someone else picking up the saves he doesn't collect.
Overall, I'd say the possibility of outperforming this projection are greater than that of underperforming it. By how much, I really don't know. But this does give a reasonable-sounding projection based on fairly conservative production estimates--it's just overly optimistic when it comes to the 2005 breakout guys (Brady, Turnbow) and the team's overall health. But if 85.8 wins (let's go crazy and call it 86) is conservative, 2006 will be a heck of a lot of fun in Milwaukee.