Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Cleveland Indians. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski. Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Braves / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Red Sox / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees. Batters If you’re like the author, you’re hirsute in a way that make pets and small children demonstrably uncomfortable. You’re also a bit surprised by the competence of the Indians offense entering 2013. No Cleveland field player posted better than a 3.4 WAR in 2012; in fact, there are three players here — Carlos Santana (4.4), Michael Bourn (4.0), and Asdrubal Cabrera (3.7) — projected to surpass last year’s team-high mark. Six other players are forecast to post something between a 2.0 and 3.0 WAR. A thing to note: both Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs are projected as center fielders, where each spent the majority of 2012 defensively. Moving to the corners won’t affect their individual WAR projections, likely, but does mean that what they lose in runs to positional adjustment, they’re likely to regain in terms of runs saved afield. If we say that Brantley and Stubbs are roughly average center fielders, then it’s also fair to say they’re likely to save something like +10 runs defensively in either left or right field. Pitchers With regard to the Cleveland rotation, the author defers to SB Nation’s Grant Brisbee, who offered the following Precision Analysis shortly after inspecting the depth chart included further down in this post. @cistulli @dszymborskiSay, that’s pretty good, and OH GOD NO NO NO THE ROTATION NO NO NO — Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) February 14, 2013 So far as the bullpen is concerned, Cleveland has a few reliable high-leverage arms in Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano, and Joe Smith. After that triumvirate, however, the options are unclear. Left-hander Rich Hill, whom the club signed last week, has managed only 31.2 major-league innings since 2010, but has been quite good during them, striking out 36 batters. No other pitcher besides the four just mentioned receives a park-adjusted ERA or FIP projection better than league average. Bench/Prospects Outfielder Ezequiel Carrera enters his age-26 season — and, while his offensive ceiling is probably limited, ZiPS suggests that he defends and runs well enough to produce something not unlike an average major-league season. Twice ranked (in 2008 and -09) among the game’s top-30 prospects by Baseball America, a now 28-year-old Matt LaPorta enters the season with a career line of .238/.301/.393 (.276 BABIP) in 1068 major-league plate appearances. Nor does ZiPS forecast any sort of great departure from that level in 2013. Depth Chart Here’s a rough depth chart for the Indians, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player (click to embiggen): Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Credit to MLB Depth Charts for roster information. Batters, Counting Stats Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS Carlos Santana B 27 C 600 76 124 29 2 20 78 4 3 Michael Bourn L 30 CF 689 91 165 26 8 6 49 46 13 Asdrubal Cabrera B 27 SS 642 78 157 33 2 17 73 12 5 Jason Kipnis L 26 2B 609 80 139 24 6 14 71 18 4 Michael Brantley L 26 CF 641 78 159 31 5 7 57 19 7 Nick Swisher B 32 RF 592 66 128 30 1 19 71 1 2 Ezequiel Carrera L 26 CF 593 70 143 19 6 4 46 31 9 Mike Aviles R 32 SS 482 49 117 22 2 10 46 13 6 Lonnie Chisenhall L 24 3B 469 55 110 23 3 11 53 2 1 Drew Stubbs R 28 CF 603 77 119 19 3 14 47 33 8 Cord Phelps B 26 2B 601 63 133 27 4 10 56 6 6 Mark Reynolds R 29 3B 578 71 105 24 1 26 74 6 4 Yan Gomes R 25 C 392 36 83 21 1 10 46 2 0 Casey Kotchman L 30 1B 498 46 119 20 1 11 57 2 1 Nate Spears L 28 3B 458 50 93 20 3 9 41 6 2 Lou Marson R 27 C 331 36 65 14 2 2 24 6 2 Juan Diaz B 24 SS 581 55 125 23 3 9 54 5 3 Grady Sizemore L 30 CF 238 30 50 12 2 7 30 4 3 Ryan Rohlinger R 29 3B 440 42 86 17 1 7 40 2 2 Luis Hernandez B 29 SS 506 42 112 18 4 5 43 6 3 Ryan Raburn R 32 2B 361 38 77 20 1 10 35 2 2 Tim Fedroff L 26 LF 575 64 131 22 5 5 47 8 5 Chad Huffman R 28 RF 419 40 86 22 1 8 38 3 1 Chris McGuiness L 25 1B 462 39 92 19 0 11 46 1 2 Jeremy Hermida L 29 RF 339 33 71 14 1 8 33 2 0 Matt LaPorta R 28 1B 491 51 107 22 1 14 55 1 2 Mike McDade B 24 1B 577 54 128 23 1 14 53 1 0 Michel Hernandez R 34 C 190 17 39 8 0 2 18 1 1 Matt Carson R 31 RF 497 53 106 27 1 14 49 9 3 Cedric Hunter L 25 LF 497 54 112 22 4 4 44 8 4 Omir Santos R 32 C 204 15 44 9 1 2 17 0 0 Ben Francisco R 31 LF 269 24 57 14 1 5 26 4 2 Jesus Aguilar R 23 1B 573 59 119 26 1 15 62 1 1 Brian Jeroloman L 28 C 285 22 46 7 0 2 15 1 1 Chun-Hsiu Chen R 24 1B 511 49 108 25 2 9 49 4 2 Jason Giambi L 41 1B 125 10 22 4 0 4 13 0 0 Vinny Rottino R 33 RF 503 57 113 22 2 6 48 12 5 *** Batters, Rates and Averages Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA Carlos Santana 600 15.0% 19.2% .187 .280 .248 .362 .435 .343 Michael Bourn 689 8.4% 20.3% .096 .333 .266 .330 .362 .309 Asdrubal Cabrera 642 7.3% 16.7% .151 .305 .271 .331 .422 .325 Jason Kipnis 609 8.7% 19.2% .144 .300 .256 .325 .400 .318 Michael Brantley 641 8.1% 11.5% .107 .302 .275 .333 .382 .308 Nick Swisher 592 12.0% 22.6% .174 .301 .251 .344 .425 .333 Ezequiel Carrera 593 6.2% 17.2% .080 .320 .265 .316 .345 .291 Mike Aviles 482 3.9% 14.3% .124 .282 .258 .288 .382 .290 Lonnie Chisenhall 469 5.8% 19.2% .143 .296 .255 .305 .398 .305 Drew Stubbs 603 8.5% 31.3% .124 .309 .220 .291 .344 .285 Cord Phelps 601 8.3% 20.6% .119 .298 .244 .310 .363 .295 Mark Reynolds 578 12.6% 33.6% .210 .284 .212 .320 .422 .322 Yan Gomes 392 5.4% 28.8% .146 .299 .229 .276 .375 .284 Casey Kotchman 498 6.8% 10.8% .121 .276 .263 .322 .384 .305 Nate Spears 458 8.3% 22.1% .129 .276 .226 .296 .355 .287 Lou Marson 331 11.2% 21.8% .083 .292 .225 .316 .308 .284 Juan Diaz 581 4.5% 26.7% .102 .301 .228 .265 .330 .259 Grady Sizemore 238 7.6% 24.8% .172 .285 .233 .298 .405 .305 Ryan Rohlinger 440 7.7% 20.0% .102 .262 .219 .287 .321 .267 Luis Hernandez 506 4.0% 17.4% .087 .278 .237 .269 .324 .256 Ryan Raburn 361 5.8% 26.3% .157 .293 .232 .284 .389 .289 Tim Fedroff 575 8.0% 20.2% .090 .313 .252 .313 .342 .288 Chad Huffman 419 8.1% 25.1% .127 .293 .228 .299 .355 .289 Chris McGuiness 462 9.7% 26.4% .127 .288 .223 .303 .350 .287 Jeremy Hermida 339 8.0% 27.7% .131 .304 .231 .298 .362 .291 Matt LaPorta 491 7.3% 21.6% .149 .283 .240 .303 .389 .301 Mike McDade 577 5.2% 27.0% .124 .307 .238 .284 .362 .280 Michel Hernandez 190 6.3% 14.2% .081 .253 .224 .280 .305 .260 Matt Carson 497 5.0% 26.4% .153 .287 .229 .274 .382 .285 Cedric Hunter 497 6.8% 11.1% .093 .271 .247 .302 .340 .278 Omir Santos 204 2.0% 20.1% .088 .275 .228 .248 .316 .243 Ben Francisco 269 7.8% 19.3% .128 .278 .236 .302 .364 .293 Jesus Aguilar 573 7.2% 28.4% .140 .301 .229 .293 .369 .290 Brian Jeroloman 285 9.8% 34.0% .052 .289 .184 .273 .236 .232 Chun-Hsiu Chen 511 7.8% 28.6% .121 .317 .233 .296 .354 .286 Jason Giambi 125 12.8% 31.2% .150 .281 .208 .320 .358 .300 Vinny Rottino 503 6.8% 15.3% .096 .280 .245 .297 .341 .278 *** Batters, Assorted Other Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp Carlos Santana 600 5.6 124 -3 4.4 Darrell Porter Michael Bourn 689 4.8 96 12 4.0 Vince Coleman Asdrubal Cabrera 642 5.2 111 -4 3.7 Johnny Logan Jason Kipnis 609 4.9 104 0 3.0 Felipe Lopez Michael Brantley 641 4.8 102 -1 2.5 Jeremy Reed Nick Swisher 592 5.2 116 1 2.5 Chili Davis Ezequiel Carrera 593 4.3 87 4 2.1 Alex Sanchez Mike Aviles 482 4.0 88 4 2.1 Billy Martin Lonnie Chisenhall 469 4.4 97 2 2.0 Scott Cooper Drew Stubbs 603 3.8 79 2 1.6 Chris Latham Cord Phelps 601 3.9 90 -1 1.5 Ron Oester Mark Reynolds 578 4.6 108 -17 1.1 Mike Hessman Yan Gomes 392 3.7 82 -3 1.0 Brian Dorsett Casey Kotchman 498 4.5 99 1 1.0 Jim Bowie Nate Spears 458 3.7 83 -1 1.0 Alan Lewis Lou Marson 331 3.5 78 -2 0.8 Joe Lawrence Juan Diaz 581 3.0 67 0 0.8 Jeff Moronko Grady Sizemore 238 4.2 97 0 0.7 Ricky Ledee Ryan Rohlinger 440 3.1 72 2 0.6 Keith Johns Luis Hernandez 506 3.1 67 -1 0.6 Frank Kellner Ryan Raburn 361 3.8 88 -4 0.5 Chris Truby Tim Fedroff 575 3.8 86 1 0.4 Bruce Fields Chad Huffman 419 3.8 84 1 0.4 Carlos Sosa Chris McGuiness 462 3.6 84 4 0.4 Steve Carver Jeremy Hermida 339 3.9 86 -1 0.3 Orsino Hill Matt LaPorta 491 4.1 94 -3 0.3 Brick Smith Mike McDade 577 3.7 81 3 0.3 Tim Giles Michel Hernandez 190 2.9 66 -1 0.2 Chad Moeller Matt Carson 497 3.7 83 -2 0.2 Scott Morgan Cedric Hunter 497 3.7 81 -1 0.1 Cliff Gonzalez Omir Santos 204 2.7 58 -1 0.0 Charlie Greene Ben Francisco 269 3.9 87 -2 0.0 Jim Vatcher Jesus Aguilar 573 3.8 86 -2 0.0 Joe Vitiello Brian Jeroloman 285 2.1 46 0 -0.1 Joe Hietpas Chun-Hsiu Chen 511 3.7 83 -2 -0.2 Brandon Moss Jason Giambi 125 3.9 92 -4 -0.2 Matt Stairs Vinny Rottino 503 3.7 80 -5 -0.4 P.J. Forbes *** Pitchers, Counting Stats Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER Brett Myers R 32 28 28 178.0 122 44 22 189 90 84 Justin Masterson R 28 32 31 193.3 147 71 16 199 100 93 Ubaldo Jimenez R 29 30 30 181.3 163 85 18 175 94 88 Trevor Bauer R 22 24 24 127.3 134 74 15 119 67 63 Vinnie Pestano R 28 67 0 63.7 73 23 6 54 25 23 T.J. House L 23 27 27 138.3 91 54 15 149 79 74 Chris Perez R 27 64 0 59.0 56 22 6 53 27 25 Joe Smith R 29 71 0 61.7 48 26 5 58 29 27 Danny Salazar R 23 20 20 87.0 62 36 10 93 50 47 Bryan Shaw R 25 72 0 68.3 51 25 7 71 34 32 Rich Hill L 33 31 0 27.3 29 12 3 25 13 12 Josh Tomlin R 28 23 20 124.7 71 30 19 137 75 70 Matt Albers R 30 60 0 63.0 53 26 7 61 32 30 Cody Allen R 24 61 0 64.7 60 30 7 63 33 31 Chen-Chang Lee R 26 27 0 40.7 39 16 5 40 21 20 Matt Capps R 29 53 0 50.3 33 11 7 54 27 25 Zach McAllister R 25 29 29 156.7 109 51 21 184 96 90 Blake Wood R 27 46 0 54.0 42 24 5 55 29 27 Scott Barnes L 25 33 12 87.7 73 45 11 91 52 49 Nick Hagadone L 27 42 0 49.3 44 21 6 49 27 25 Preston Guilmet R 25 48 0 51.3 42 16 7 54 28 26 Matt Langwell R 27 45 0 65.3 51 35 6 67 35 33 Trey Haley R 23 28 0 40.0 35 25 4 40 22 21 Carlos Carrasco R 26 19 19 108.3 71 44 16 118 68 64 Jose Flores R 24 45 0 51.0 30 23 4 57 30 28 Daisuke Matsuzaka R 32 18 18 87.3 69 41 14 94 57 53 Frank Herrmann R 29 53 0 65.7 44 23 9 72 39 36 Giovanni Soto L 22 21 19 96.7 68 45 14 107 63 59 Corey Kluber R 27 29 28 154.7 113 74 18 176 100 93 Joe Martinez R 30 28 20 125.7 69 46 16 152 81 76 Fernando Nieve R 30 24 14 80.3 55 32 13 93 54 50 Scott Kazmir L 29 11 11 55.7 37 31 9 63 40 37 Jerry Gil R 30 55 0 58.3 39 28 8 65 37 35 David Huff L 28 27 25 140.3 71 51 26 175 104 97 *** Pitchers, Rates and Averages Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP- Brett Myers 178.0 767 15.9% 5.7% .290 4.25 4.14 107 104 Justin Masterson 193.3 850 17.3% 8.4% .303 4.33 3.97 109 100 Ubaldo Jimenez 181.3 804 20.3% 10.6% .296 4.37 4.14 110 104 Trevor Bauer 127.3 575 23.3% 12.9% .302 4.45 4.51 112 114 Vinnie Pestano 63.7 268 27.2% 8.6% .294 3.25 3.24 82 82 T.J. House 138.3 618 14.7% 8.7% .297 4.81 4.59 121 116 Chris Perez 59.0 252 22.2% 8.7% .285 3.81 3.77 96 95 Joe Smith 61.7 269 17.8% 9.7% .282 3.94 3.89 99 98 Danny Salazar 87.0 390 15.9% 9.2% .299 4.86 4.62 123 117 Bryan Shaw 68.3 301 16.9% 8.3% .299 4.21 4.20 106 106 Rich Hill 27.3 119 24.4% 10.1% .298 3.95 3.80 100 96 Josh Tomlin 124.7 541 13.1% 5.5% .283 5.05 4.76 127 120 Matt Albers 63.0 276 19.2% 9.4% .289 4.29 4.18 108 105 Cody Allen 64.7 287 20.9% 10.4% .298 4.31 4.16 109 105 Chen-Chang Lee 40.7 178 21.9% 9.0% .301 4.43 4.11 112 104 Matt Capps 50.3 216 15.3% 5.1% .287 4.47 4.27 113 108 Zach McAllister 156.7 705 15.5% 7.2% .315 5.17 4.60 130 116 Blake Wood 54.0 241 17.4% 10.0% .298 4.50 3.99 113 101 Scott Barnes 87.7 399 18.3% 11.3% .303 5.03 4.85 127 122 Nick Hagadone 49.3 218 20.2% 9.6% .297 4.56 4.37 115 110 Preston Guilmet 51.3 224 18.8% 7.1% .301 4.56 4.42 115 111 Matt Langwell 65.3 298 17.1% 11.7% .304 4.55 4.60 115 116 Trey Haley 40.0 185 18.9% 13.5% .305 4.73 4.83 119 122 Carlos Carrasco 108.3 487 14.6% 9.0% .290 5.32 5.03 134 127 Jose Flores 51.0 233 12.9% 9.9% .306 4.94 4.49 125 113 Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 397 17.4% 10.3% .299 5.46 5.26 138 133 Frank Herrmann 65.7 292 15.1% 7.9% .296 4.93 4.76 124 120 Giovanni Soto 96.7 442 15.4% 10.2% .300 5.49 5.20 138 131 Corey Kluber 154.7 714 15.8% 10.4% .317 5.41 4.84 136 122 Joe Martinez 125.7 575 12.0% 8.0% .312 5.44 5.00 137 126 Fernando Nieve 80.3 366 15.0% 8.7% .307 5.60 5.25 141 132 Scott Kazmir 55.7 261 14.2% 11.9% .302 5.98 5.89 151 148 Jerry Gil 58.3 268 14.6% 10.5% .302 5.40 5.22 136 131 David Huff 140.3 647 11.0% 7.9% .303 6.22 5.79 157 146 *** Pitchers, Assorted Other Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp Brett Myers 178.0 6.17 2.22 1.11 93 2.0 Aaron Sele Justin Masterson 193.3 6.84 3.31 0.74 91 2.0 Joey Hamilton Ubaldo Jimenez 181.3 8.09 4.22 0.89 91 1.8 Bobby Witt Trevor Bauer 127.3 9.47 5.23 1.06 89 1.1 Octavio Dotel Vinnie Pestano 63.7 10.31 3.25 0.85 122 0.9 Jose Valverde T.J. House 138.3 5.92 3.51 0.98 82 0.6 Mike Miller Chris Perez 59.0 8.54 3.36 0.92 104 0.5 John Riedling Joe Smith 61.7 7.00 3.79 0.73 100 0.4 Ruddy Lugo Danny Salazar 87.0 6.41 3.72 1.03 81 0.3 Blake Hawksworth Bryan Shaw 68.3 6.72 3.29 0.92 94 0.2 Mark Rutherford Rich Hill 27.3 9.56 3.96 0.99 100 0.2 Rod Scurry Josh Tomlin 124.7 5.12 2.17 1.37 78 0.1 Louis McCall Matt Albers 63.0 7.57 3.71 1.00 92 0.1 Doug Bochtler Cody Allen 64.7 8.35 4.17 0.97 92 0.1 Saul Rivera Chen-Chang Lee 40.7 8.62 3.54 1.11 89 0.0 Steve Andrade Matt Capps 50.3 5.90 1.97 1.25 89 0.0 Scott Winchester Zach McAllister 156.7 6.26 2.93 1.21 77 0.0 Jason Davis Blake Wood 54.0 7.00 4.00 0.83 88 0.0 Joel Moore Scott Barnes 87.7 7.49 4.62 1.13 79 0.0 Darren Burroughs Nick Hagadone 49.3 8.03 3.83 1.10 87 -0.1 Ricardo Jordan Preston Guilmet 51.3 7.37 2.81 1.23 87 -0.1 Scott Winchester Matt Langwell 65.3 7.03 4.82 0.83 87 -0.1 George Smith Trey Haley 40.0 7.88 5.63 0.90 84 -0.1 Josh Banks Carlos Carrasco 108.3 5.90 3.66 1.33 74 -0.2 Frank Potestio Jose Flores 51.0 5.29 4.06 0.71 80 -0.3 Bob Miller Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 7.11 4.23 1.44 72 -0.3 Chan Ho Park Frank Herrmann 65.7 6.03 3.15 1.23 80 -0.4 Bob Wells Giovanni Soto 96.7 6.33 4.19 1.30 72 -0.4 Tim Rumer Corey Kluber 154.7 6.57 4.31 1.05 73 -0.5 Zacarias Paris Joe Martinez 125.7 4.94 3.29 1.15 73 -0.5 Dennis Tankersley Fernando Nieve 80.3 6.16 3.59 1.46 71 -0.5 Julio Manon Scott Kazmir 55.7 5.98 5.01 1.45 66 -0.6 Dan Smith Jerry Gil 58.3 6.02 4.32 1.23 73 -0.7 Jamie Emiliano David Huff 140.3 4.55 3.27 1.67 64 -1.8 Huck Flener *** Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2012. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future. Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason. ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.09 ERA and the NL having a 3.92 ERA. Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery. Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.” Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected WAR.
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