Wednesday, March 4, 2009

PEVA Shuffle Index - Pitching Power Rankings

PEVA Shuffle Index - Pitching Power Rankings

March 4, 2009 - The off-season moves are winding down, and spring training games are under way. Now somebody go to Sleepy Hollow or Chavez Ravine or Delusion Fields and tell Manny that baseball games are being played and that there's a recession going on. Translate if you must. But just who has made the biggest splash in roster manipulation, the ripples in the waters that will extend far into the regular season, that based on last year's performance, will auger well for 2009. Has moving the deck chairs of these players really mattered and just how does it look from here, for now, before even one World Baseball Classic game has been played and bored the rest of the USA?

There have been a lot of changes and more than a few teams have made their case for better pitching staffs. The ups and downs of the PEVA Shuffle Index show just where the table will start to be set once the real games begin. This index is not a projection, folks, but it is based on the only thing we know for now. If the year 2009 has player performance like 2008, where do we stand today.

Who has done the best in the PEVA Shuffle for pitchers, here on 3.4.2009.

Top Five
1. New York Yankees - No surprise here. If you spend two hundred and fifty million dollars on two pitchers, one spectacular, the other good and overpaid, you're bound to see a pretty good bump. And the Yankees pitching staff will be better, barring injury of course, with the addition of Sabathia to the rotation. Burnett we're not too sure of. But going into the season, the additions of Sabathia, Burnett, and others have added 24.598 PEVA 2008 player rating points to the pitching staff, and that's certainly good. How good? Think an extra 12 wins.

2. New York Mets - Just go across the city to the other new ballpark and there's no surprise that the increase in revenue has allowed the Mets to parlay the cash into additional free agent pitchers. For them, most of the focus has been on the bullpen with Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz. But the Mets have added a ton of pitchers beyond them, too, through trades of consequential and seemingly inconsequential metal, through free agency. Some will purely add depth. Some will provide a few nice surprises. Has Tim Redding been brought if for a few Phils games since he has shown a masterly proficiency against the boys from Philly? Will a Dessens or Garcia recapture some past magic? All in all a PEVA Shuffle increase of 21.195.

3. Atlanta Braves - Somebody must have told the folks down south that their trip down the standings was not going to stop if the flow of free agents kept leaving town without anyone to take their place. But quietly the Braves have added a few good folks to the pitching mix that may mitigate the losses at hand. Derek Lowe may not have been the top name on the free agent pile, but he's not that far behind. With Lowe and Javier Vazquez, the Bravos have picked up a lot of potential innings while the staff around them jells. Upgade of 20.609 PEVA.

4. Boston Red Sox - Even though they seemed to be taking a big back seat to their rivals to the south, don't be too surprised if the better pitching staff doesn't reside in Beantown. And if John Smoltz comes back to something near his form, look out. 13.003 PEVA Shuffle plus not too shabby.

5. San Francisco Giants - Big ballpark. Big pitcher. Randy Johnson may be old, but the combination of those two factors, if he can retain any amount of good health, will help San Francisco jump back into the mix in the NL West, particularly if the Manny sweepstakes hits a lottery bump for the Dodgers. But he's not the only reason. Think Affeldt, Howry, and Justin Miller, too. Upgrade of 12.770 PEVA, good for an additional 6 wins of so.

Bottom Five
26. San Diego Padres - And if they got their way, they'd delete Jake Peavy, too. PEVA Shuffle downgrade of -17.081.
27. Oakland A's - Kinda like the swallows coming home to Capistrano. This is a seasonal right seeing the A's sell off pitching and going with youth. And it works, a bit, but is a heck of a way to try and compete. Downgrade PEVA - 20.737.
28. Florida Marlins - See Oakland above, but they have a tendency to play well young. Trouble is, ... look at the rest of this division. For some reason, we think Florida is in trouble this year. PEVA Shuffle - 21.473.
29. Los Angeles Dodgers - What would happen if you base your entire off-season of courting one player and that one player doesn't show, or doesn't show up and play as well as he did the last two months of last season. Well, still not sure if we'll get the chance to find out, but the Dodgers lost a lot of pitching in the off-season in Lowe, Penny, Saito, and others. They've got youth, too. The youth has to be ready to pitch. -29.370 in the PEVA Shuffle index.
30. Milwaukee Brewers - You lose the top two pitchers in your rotation; one which might have won the Cy Young if he hadn't moved from one league to the other in the center of the year. The other, injured often, but when healthy, one of the better pitchers in the game. This will be the year that the Brewer offense better come to play. A loss of 46.396 in the PEVA Shuffle from the end of 2009 till today.

PEVA Power Ranking Shuffle Index 2009

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