FanPost

Decent Exposure

"I don't know what happened...One moment I was playing with my dog..." - Brian Kersey

In a time when baseball executives and front offices are trying harder than ever to protect intellectual property and strategic advantages from being published in the next iteration of Moneyball, it is amazing what kind of informative nuggets you can find in your daily newspaper.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser, in very Slusser-like fashion, provided what could be the next frontier of public baseball analysis now known as "exposure." Simply put, exposure is the quantitative measure of the quality of depth on a team's roster. If Jed Lowrie proves that last year's streak of health was a fluke, what kind of hit will the A's take in terms of production if Addison Russell is called up to replace him? What would happen if Josh Reddick fractures his wrist on another intimate encounter with a Houston barricade and Craig Gentry needs to work full-time? How far will the A's be set back if Eric "Face of MLB (if not for South Korean Twitter Bots)" Sogard breaks his fabled Spectacles of Superhuman-ness with Nick Punto waiting in the wings? These questions are all valid and, thanks to websites like Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus, can all be answered to a fairly sufficient degree, as well.

I took this opportunity to write on AN's front page to dive deep into the exposure that the A's face on the offensive side of the coin (I would have looked at the pitching staff as well, but my heart hurts enough already). The information set forth below goes into pretty granular detail about various injury scenarios that the A's can face this season, so if you're not a fan of spreadsheets, you may want to scroll to the bottom of the page. Also, the next few bullets contain a bunch of caveats related to the forthcoming analysis, so if you don't like the idea of having to read about my intense self-loathing/criticism, feel free to get your scroll on... and to never read my Twitter feed.

Before we get started, here are a few disclosures regarding this post that should save us all from a lot of angry typing the comments section:

  • The value-based metrics I used for this analysis came from the ZiPS projection system hosted on Fangraphs. Yes, I know this isn't YOUR favorite projection system (unless it is), but I believe that it has its virtues and it works very well for the purposes of this post.
  • I would like to emphasize that the exposure calculations below, which heavily rely on ZiPS WAR, are not meant to be entirely accurate, but they are meant to be relatively precise. That is, no matter what side you fall on in War on WAR(P), the structure of the calculations made below can be used with whatever valuation metric and/or projection system you want. This analysis uses one version of the ZiPS's WAR statistic to keep things uniform and on the same scale.
  • Trust me, I like to rosterbate as much as the next guy/gal, but that doesn't make me an authority on where players fall on the depth chart. The calculations below rely on my severely impaired ability to judge who backs up whom in whichever position. I deserve all the flack I will receive from you all in connection with these estimations. Except from you. You know who you are.
  • All WAR figures are scaled to plate appearances. For full-time players, projected WAR is scaled to 670 PA. As for platoons, left-handed hitters' projected WAR is scaled to 400 PA while WAR for righties is scaled to 270 PAs. I do admit that these PA scales are somewhat arbitrary, but they are also generally in line with how we've seen Melvin operate platoons over the past few seasons. All of the calculations below have been made with the assumption that any injury will cause the stated player to miss the entire season, and thus the entirety of that player's PAs.
  • I did not make any calculations for Designated Hitter-injury scenarios because I anticipate the DH position to essentially be a rotation for all of the lineup regulars in 2014.

Now that I've tightened my cilice, let's get on with it.

First, let's take a quantitative look at the effects that individual injuries to offensive players can have on the 2014 squad, starting with the catcher position:

JASO INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

Stephen Vogt

0.96

1.37

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

-

-

-

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

1.37

NORRIS INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

Chris Gimenez

0.41

0.78

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

-

-

-

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.78

Say what you will about his defense, but there is no denying that John Jaso is an incredibly valuable part of this team, as illustrated by the fact that he's projected by ZiPS to have the fourth-highest OBP among MLB catchers. However, this praise of Jaso's value doubles as a tip-of-the-cap to the importance of Stephen Vogt. If he's not setting Triple-A records in Sacramento this year, Mr. Vogt will likely be absorbing nearly half the exposure that comes with Jaso and his troubling concussion history. He gets my Vogt as being one of the most essential components of depth in the entire A's organization. We're not sick of Vogt puns yet, right? Right...?

Similar to Jaso, Derek Norris is projected to bring tremendous value to the 2014 Oakland Athletics and, if it weren't for my PA adjustments, his offensive output would have likely been calculated to be even greater. Once I put together this analysis, it was strange to think that there was no real backup plan to Norris last season (other than Luke Montz and the ghost of Kurt Suzuki) given the significant risk exposure Oakland faced throughout the 2013 season on this front. Acquiring a backup to Norris was an obvious necessity heading into 2014, so it comes as no surprise that the A's sacrificed Pedro Figueroa this winter at the alter of Christopher Paul Gimenez, a right-handed hitting and currently-out-of-options catcher who has some pop and versatility for good measure. Gimenez is no one's idea of a starting backstop, but he's clearly worth the approximately $0.00 that the A's had to spend to acquire him. In a perfect world, the A's would never see the former Tampa farmhand anywhere near the 25-man roster in 2014, but it is nice to know that a guy like Gimenez could be waiting in the wings if a certain division rival doesn't claim him off waivers first.

Now for the rest of the infield:

MOSS INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

Daric Barton

0.78

0.44

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.44

CALLASPO INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

-

-

-

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

Nate Freiman

-0.35

0.60

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.60

SOGARD INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

-

-

-

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

Nick Punto as LHB

0.49

0.25

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.25

PUNTO INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

-

-

-

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

Nate Freiman

-0.35

0.60

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (2B/3B)

0.82

0.00

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.60

DONALDSON INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

-

-

-

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

Nate Freiman

-0.35

0.60

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

Alberto Callaspo as SHB (2B/3B)

2.05

1.99

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

2.59

LOWRIE INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

-

-

-

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

Addison Russell

2.15

0.73

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.73

A few things are immediately apparent when one peruses the infield tables above. First, ZiPS is a BIG believer in superstar prospect Addison Russell. Absorbing 75% of the exposure linked to the best offensive shortstop in the American League is no easy task for any player, let alone for a kid who graduated from high school less than three years ago. Second, ZiPS is NOT a believer in Nate Freiman. Sure, I was a little skeptical when Oakland's Assistant GM David Forst praised Freiman's potential to hit in the Majors despite never playing above Double-A ball, but last year showed me what it really means to maximize value and to put players in positions in which they can succeed. Alas, for the sake of the continuity of this analysis, I have left Freiman's WAR in the red. Finally, because of this one-prediction sample of Mr. Forst's prognostication ability, I have no problem trusting the front office's indications that a 5'9" infielder is perfectly capable of becoming a starting first baseman at the Major League level. Yes, I have Alberto "Stubs" Callaspo penciled (lightly) into the right-handed portion of the first base platoon.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Hey, isn't Callaspo's WAR projection from ZiPS adjusted for positions other than first base?" Well, I'm glad you asked, but I wish you would have just come out with it instead of asking yourself in some weird, House of Cards-like internal monologue (stop breaking the fourth wall, Francis!). Anyway, I did think of this potential pitfall and decided to offset my lack of knowledge of ZiPS's positional adjustments by finding a player who is comparable offensively to Callaspo. That player is Josh Satin:

Player

Position

AB

HR

wOBA

WAR

Alberto Callaspo

2B/3B

524

9

0.311

1.6

Josh Satin

1B

536

10

0.311

0.5

Satin is a fantastic offensive comparable for Callaspo as he matches up very well on a number of advanced and crude measures. Better yet, Satin's defensive projection by ZiPS, which is also built into the projected WAR via that system, is -9.7 runs, which I believe is a realistic outcome for Callaspo given that Brandon Moss has contributed between -8.8 and -18.0 runs defensively during his first few seasons at first base, according to Fangraphs. With these facts in mind, I have used Satin's WAR projection for any instance when Callaspo is projected to play first base and Callaspo's actual WAR projection for any time he is projected to shift to second or third base.

With a 4 WAR projection (adjusted for PAs) for Josh Donaldson, ZiPS is a fan of Oakland's breakout start of the 2013 season. A nearly MVP-level player is never easy to replace one-for-one, but when your roster has components that are as flexible as Alberto Callaspo and Nick Punto, a loss of Josh Donaldson might be slightly easier to stomach. Coincidently, thinking about losing Donaldson in the wake of the recent Jarrod Parker news is actually hurting my stomach, so let's just move on to...

The outfield!

CESPEDES INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

Daric Barton

0.78

0.44

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF vs LHP

Craig Gentry

2.10

0.00

LF vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.44

CRISP INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C - LH

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C - RH

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B - LH

Daric Barton

0.78

0.44

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B - RH

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B - LH

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B - RH

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

CF vs LHP

Craig Gentry

2.10

0.71

LF vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

LF vs LHP
CF vs RHP

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF

-

-

-

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

1.15

REDDICK INJURY

Position

Primary

WAR

Position

Secondary

WAR

Exposure

C vs RHP

John Jaso

2.34

C vs RHP

-

-

-

C vs LHP

Derek Norris

1.20

C vs LHP

-

-

-

1B vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

1B vs RHP

Daric Barton

0.78

0.44

1B vs LHP

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

0.25

1B vs LHP

-

-

-

2B vs RHP

Eric Sogard

0.74

2B vs RHP

-

-

-

2B vs LHP

Nick Punto as RHB

0.33

2B vs LHP

-

-

-

3B

Josh Donaldson

4.03

3B

-

-

-

SS

Jed Lowrie

2.88

SS

-

-

-

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

3.07

LF

-

-

-

CF

Coco Crisp

4.03

CF

-

-

-

RF

Josh Reddick

3.14

RF vs RHP

Brandon Moss

1.22

0.00

RF vs LHP

Craig Gentry

2.10

TOTAL EXPOSURE:

0.44

Oh boy, do you smell that? That's the sweet, somewhat overwhelming aroma of the incredible value that Craig Gentry brings to this team. What these last three tables show us is that, if you trust ZiPS and (foolishly) assume that my arbitrary PA estimations are correct, the addition of Craig Gentry eliminates essentially all exposure in the outfield, though we must not forget to mention that the flexibility of Brandon Moss certainly plays a significant role in these scenarios. In fact, one could make the argument via the aforementioned data that Oakland's outfield might actually be stronger if Gentry received more playing time in the corners as a result of an injury. I don't necessarily agree with that theory, mainly because the improvement in WAR is very marginal, but that would certainly be an interesting debate and one that has probably been had in Arlington over the past several seasons.

One of the more interesting realizations I had as I worked through all of these outfield injury scenarios was, oddly enough, the value of first baseman Daric Barton. While his plate discipline is legendary, I have always been a little skeptical of Barton's overall future potential in the Major Leagues. I mean, this is a guy who has never grabbed hold of a regular job on the 25-man roster despite a seemingly endless amount of opportunities to do so. I used to invent different reasons why the Oakland front office would be so intent on keeping Barton in the fold. "Maybe they're going to move him back to catcher," I thought. "Perhaps third base is in his future," I pondered. "He's probably holding Farhan Zaidi's family hostage," I surmised. But that's neither here nor there.

When Barton was DFA'ed early last season, I thought that we had seen the last of him in Green & Gold, and I had that same thought when I heard that he was still arbitration eligible for 2014. Now that I have done this analysis, however, I can understand how truly important Barton is to the success of this team. In fact, as the tables below will suggest, there is an argument to be made that Barton is the second most important non-regular on the A's roster right now.

Injured Player

Position

Total Exposure

Injury Risk Factor

Probable Exposure

Josh Donaldson

3B

2.53

8%

0.20

John Jaso

C - LH

1.37

5%

0.07

Nick Punto as RHB

2B - RH

0.68

10%

0.07

Coco Crisp

CF

0.44

14%

0.06

Josh Reddick

RF

0.44

12%

0.05

Derek Norris

C - RH

0.78

5%

0.04

Jed Lowrie

SS

0.71

5%

0.04

Brandon Moss

1B - LH

0.44

8%

0.04

Alberto Callaspo as RHB (1B)

1B - RH

0.60

5%

0.03

Eric Sogard

2B - LH

0.25

11%

0.03

Yoenis Cespedes

LF

0.44

5%

0.02

The table above shows the current projected regulars, their projected WAR via ZiPS, and a new component, "Injury Risk Factor." Now, ye be warned, this is where things get a little messy. Because I do not know of any ZiPS-based injury prediction statistics, I relied on an old friend instead: the "Collapse Rate" published with Baseball Prospectus's PECOTA projection system. Yeah, yeah, I know I had that whole spiel about keeping things consistent and all of that, but sometimes you need to make due with what's available, ya dig? Baseball Prospectus defines Collapse Rate as "the percent chance that a position player's true runs produced per PA will decline by at least 25 percent relative to his baseline performance over his past three seasons." While this is not strictly an injury-specific statistic, I think the underlying message that Collapse Rate communicates is in line with what we're looking for. It's a proxy for injury and it's not perfect, but we'll survive.

To calculate "Probable Exposure," we simply multiply the Total Exposure for a given player by the Collapse rate of said player. This calculation gives us an objective and probabilistic understanding of how much risk is associated with a starter in Oakland's lineup given the current backup options in the organization. Please be aware that I have put a floor on how low a given player's Collapse Rate can be. This was done to avoid issues that arose when I looked at someone like Yoenis Cespedes, a player whose 0% Collapse Rate is a bit unrealistic when one considers La Potencia's injury history.

Not shockingly, Josh Donaldson takes the Probable Exposure crown despite his modest Collapse Rate, with John Jaso, Coco Crisp and, to my surprise, Nick Punto in a three-horse race to place. Perhaps the biggest shocker in all of this is how low both Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie rank on this list -- their rankings in the chart above are mainly driven by their surprisingly low Collapse Rates and, of course, the quality of backup options on the 40-man roster, as illustrated below.

Player

Position

Total Possible
Exposure Prevented

Total Probable Exposure Prevented

Craig Gentry

LF/CF/RF

6.31

0.65

Daric Barton

1B

3.12

0.30

Addison Russell

SS

2.15

0.11

Alberto Callaspo

1B/2B/3B

0.82

0.08

Nick Punto

2B/SS

0.49

0.05

Stephen Vogt

C

0.96

0.05

Chris Gimenez

C

0.41

0.02

Nate Freiman

1B

-1.05

-0.08

Remember that bold statement I made about Barton possibly being the second most valuable non-regular on this team? Well, this table is how I came to that conclusion. The "Total Probable Exposure Prevented" is the probable value that each backup option is expected to contribute to the 2014 roster, as adjusted by the Collapse Rate described above. Because he plays a significant role in so many different injury scenarios, Barton easily has the second most value to this team amongst Oakland's backup options. With this data in mind, it seems clear that Barton would have been a near-lock to make the 25-man this summer even if he had options left to use. I was truly shocked by this outcome.

Craig Gentry's appearance at the top of this list might be the least surprising part of this post to most of you, but the fact that he holds such a comfortable margin in that spot is still very impressive. The A's were very aggressive in pursuing Gentry this winter and now we can all see why. Letting go of Michael Choice was a tough pill to swallow for many of us, but in the context of this roster and its current state of Parker-less-ness, it should be a little easier to understand where the Billy Beane & Company's motivations were when they pulled the trigger on this deal. In fact, if you can talk yourself into believing my calculations, the table above can explain many of the seemingly minor acquisitions that Oakland's front office has made over the past several months (e.g. Stephen Vogt, Nick Punto, Chris Gimenez, etc). Looking at this with a more meta focus, the addition of Sam Fuld (AKA the backup to the backup) was something that we may have been able to anticipate given Gentry's value. Though the timing of Fuld's opt-out clauses were certainly a factor in the decision to place Gentry on the disabled list for a brief time, the front office's addition of the most fundamentally sound outfielder that Bo-Mel has ever seen is something we can appreciate now more than ever.

Speaking of the front office, the most notable detail from the Susan Slusser article that spawned this post was the fact that the Oakland believes it faces the largest exposure with Derek Norris. Obviously, my analysis above didn't show this, but if I were to have utilized a projection system that, say, includes forecasts pitch framing-value, we might be looking at analysis that is much closer to what Billy, David and Farhan are using to make important roster decisions.

The above analysis contains just a few of the many important ideas we need to explore if we want to understand how one of the top front offices in baseball is going to approach an offseason, address injuries, and build a winning team on a shoestring budget. With that in mind, I encourage you all to discuss, nitpick and devise ways to improve the analysis I have set forth above. I am a big believer in the power of crowdsourcing, especially with a community as progressive as this one, so I think we can really make strides in evaluating roster depth in a more intelligent way. If we play our cards right, we will not only have a better understanding why certain moves are made, but also a stronger ability to anticipate what moves will come next. Let's get to work.

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