2017 ZIPS Projections
SSI with yet another pleasant Saturday surprise


You know that desperate feeling you get, when you are ransacking all the cupboards looking for painkillers, then cough syrup, then aerosol cans, and have to settle for ... well, no, you don't know that feeling.  You're a Seattle Sports Insider denizen, not a feature writer at thedailykos.  But Dr. D kind of knows the feeling, analogously, because he just scoured the entire blogosphere for linkage.  Unless the esteemed Denizen wants an article about how Scott Servais is looking forward to sitting down and getting to know Jean Segura, we got nothin'. 

You and I, amigo, have a quota of 10 scintillating M's conversations per week, this in a January week which would be doing well to sustain one per week.  Mariners.org, Lookout Landing, Bob Dutton's Twitter feed, even pulling out all the stops and going to the P-I chat board, if they're all talking Huskies football ... well.  We're being a little unfair.  Ryan Divish is still being held accountable for a regular stipend of M's reporting.

So:  consider it completely amazing that Dr. D found some spam sandwiches in the cupboard to serve.



On Dec. 28th, the ZIPS projection came out and there was a cool takeaway:  the 2017 Mariners are average or better at every single position.  On paper.  The eminently cool Carson Cistulli, in some ways my fave Fangraphs writer, sez


Here’s the very easiest way to determine if a club is likely to possess at least an average collection of field players: determine if all the field players in question receive a forecast of two wins or better. Where the Seattle Mariners are concerned, that’s more or less the case.

The hypothetical right-field platoon of Seth Smith (410 PA, 1.4 zWAR) and Guillermo Heredia (523, 0.9) might represent a weak spot — as might a platoon of Dan Vogelbach (508, 1.0) and Danny Valencia (419, 1.4) at first. In both instances, however, there’s at least a path to competence. Beyond that, basically every other position in the starting lineup — including a left field occupied by the recently acquired Mitch Haniger (517, 1.9) — is average or better. Nor does this account for the nearly elite contributions of Robinson Cano (644, 4.2) and Kyle Seager (653, 4.8).


So the trade at shortstop was big.  As is the collection of our poor man's version of Ackley-Smoak-Montero, that being Haniger-Gamel-'Bach.  And don't forget to tingle about the projected contribution of Danny Valencia, whose 2015-16 slash line is fully the equal of Kole Calhoun's.  ...wait ...

Good job raising that floor, JeDi.  Somebody email the Astros to capitulate right now and save themselves the pain.





It works when your stars are stars and you find a productive scrub at each spot demanded.

If Vogs and Haniger hit, we're in the money.  Or if Vogs just rips.  As long as Cano doesn't blow a knee, or somesuch.

Cistulli is assuming, above, that Smith and Heredia form a RF pair:  It's 50/50 that Smith is gone by Opening Day and less than 50/50 that Heredia heads to Seattle out of Arizona. IMHO, anyway.  But point made.

PItching staff?  

Is Paxton an above average #1? Felix and Kuma above average at #2/3?  Is that the way you should look at a staff?


I'm thinking they're thinking the pitching profile (under current conditions) is 4 #2's...and whatever.

Felix, Paxton, Iwakuma and (Smyly?) are all capable of turning in #2 performances.  Karns is a wild card...with maybe #3 upside.

But is that enough?

Were Freddy, Jamie, Sele, Pineiro and Halama enough in 2001?   Freddy was coming off a 3.91/1.41 season, and I don't think many people forecast him to pitch in the All Start game.  And he was the ace.  

So who knows?


Some with some aftermarket upgrades.  5 for Seager and then 3 or less the rest of the way.   What stars?  Oh, the possibility there's 4-7 wins provided by a few others seems pretty high, but that's not what projections show.  The projections always pull back from extremes.  Lots of upside at those numbers.  Still some downside, more so on the Stars of course.  It seems pretty bankable in sum, which is really the point of it. 

Zunino's PA are the first thing I noticed in the hitters that I'd take the under on.  And that after probably 10 or more minutes of looking at stats.  Haniger's hits are the easiest over for me (given those PA).

Or the 1.5 WAR from Paxton.  Even at the 118 IP.  That's just 3 innings less than his 2016 total in MLB but 2 less WAR.  Before last year he'd only accrued 165 IP in MLB for 2.1 WAR.  74 of that was in a poor 2015.  Before 2015 his xFIP was lower than it was last year.  His IMPROVEMENTS over the viscous Tesla coil on the mound he was when he was called up are clear.  Just not to projection systems. 

Phoenix guy's picture

John Lackey???? The same John Lackey who had 47 career wins by the end of his age-26 season? Gaviglio has 0. Wonder how the algorithm reached that particular result?

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