Dan Szymborski’s 2013 Reds ZiPS projections can be found over on the FanGraphs site this year as was previously posted. I really like these projections since they have the projected numbers for just about every player on the roster.

I’ve taken this years Reds projections for all of the players expected to see playing time this coming season and prorated their projections based on their expected role. I then totaled up a full seasons worth of AB (5500) and IP (1450). I calculated Runs Created for hitters and Runs Allowed for pitchers then used the Pythagorean theorem to predict the Reds record for the upcoming season. Remember, this isn’t an exact science, nobody says it is. This is for fun with the intent of giving us an idea of how the team stacks up going into spring training and how we might expect them to perform this season with next to no external influences such as injuries. Given that caveat, the following are the results.

2013 Reds ZiPS Projections	
Pyth. WP   W    L
57%       93   69
Player            AB     BA    OBP    SLG    OPS  OPS+   RC
Ryan Hanigan     353  0.269  0.357  0.350  0.707    90   44
Devin Mesoraco   251  0.245  0.316  0.429  0.745    97   34
Joey Votto       473  0.300  0.420  0.542  0.962   155  108
Brandon Phillips 595  0.279  0.326  0.426  0.752    99   83
Zack Cozart      548  0.252  0.298  0.403  0.701    85   66
Todd Frazier     502  0.247  0.310  0.444  0.754    99   69
Ryan Ludwick     439  0.253  0.321  0.451  0.772   104   64
Shin-Soo Choo    514  0.276  0.369  0.462  0.831   121   88
Jay Bruce        550  0.258  0.337  0.498  0.835   120   92
Jack Hannahan    249  0.235  0.307  0.354  0.661    76   27
Jason Donald     200  0.242  0.306  0.354  0.660    76   22
Chris Heisey     324  0.260  0.313  0.441  0.754    99   45
Xavier Paul      202  0.261  0.311  0.404  0.715    90   25
Pitchers         299  0.142  0.176  0.183  0.359         10
Totals          5500  0.256  0.332  0.414  0.747        757
Player              IP    R   ERA   FIP  ERA+ 		
Johnny Cueto     192.7   76  3.32  3.65   123		
Mat Latos        197.3   81  3.47  3.48   118		
Aroldis Chapman  143.7   62  3.63  3.72   113		
Homer Bailey     173.3   82  4.00  3.85   102		
Bronson Arroyo   164.7   90  4.59  4.81    89		
Mike Leake       112     61  4.59  4.43    89		
Jonathan Broxton  47.7   20  3.59  3.66   114		
Sean Marshall     66.3   21  2.71  2.55   151		
J.J. Hoover       65     26  3.32  3.63   123		
Sam LeCure        60     25  3.45  3.61   118		
Alfredo Simon     61.3   29  3.96  3.89   103		
Nick Masset       42.7   19  3.80  3.80   108		
Jose Arredondo    61.7   30  4.09  4.10   100		
Logan Ondrusek    61.7   33  4.52  4.68    90		
Totals          1450    655  3.80

The Reds were 9th in the league last season with 669 R and 6th in the league with a .726 OPS. The ZiPS projected 757 R and .747 OPS would have placed them 4th and 5th respectively last season. What is most interesting to me though, is where the projected improvement is coming from. If you examine the team slash lines from last season, .251/.315/.411/.726, and from the projections above, .256/.332/.414/.747, you see that the bump in offensive is gained almost completely from an increase in OBP. The Shin-Soo Choo acquisition is the primary reason for this bump and appears as it will pay big dividends for the Reds this upcoming season. The offensive projections look pretty solid to me otherwise.

Last season the Reds pitching staff finished tied for second in the league with a 3.34 ERA. The ZiPs projected 3.80 ERA would have placed them at 7th in the league last season. There are several big drop offs predicted here that account for the projected falloff. Does Chapman fall from a 1.51 ERA in the pen to a 3.63 ERA as a starter? I expected something more closer to a 3.00 ERA. The 0.54 ERA drop for Cueto may be a bit much, and the projected collapse for Arroyo appears to be extreme also. In the pen, ZiPS predicts big fall offs in production for Arredondo, Simon, Broxton, and Ondrusek. I’d expect a few of them to maybe turn in a much worse season, but not all four of them. So those are the projections that seem a bit out of line and account for the predicted decline.

Overall, the Reds in 2012, at 97-65, outperformed their Pythagorean projection of 91-71. The ZiPS projected finish is 93-69. With the projections painting a pretty fair picture of the offense and most likely under estimating the pitching, I think this bodes well for the Reds to finish with about the same number of wins this season as last.

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Its always fun to crunch the numbers and make projections.
    My heart is telling me that 100 wins won’t be out of the question.
    My brain is telling me to wait until spring training is over before you make any win/loss predictions.

  2. Tom, great analysis. Can you clarify the AB column. Is it really AB or plate appearances? What were your calculations behind the number of AB you assigned to Choo?

    • Tom, great analysis. Can you clarify the AB column. Is it really AB or plate appearances? What were your calculations behind the number of AB you assigned to Choo?

      Thanks! It is AB, and it’s based straight up on ZiPS stats line with no adjustments for the number. I reverse engineered the column from the BA and H columns if I remember correctly. I did this as a quick and dirty, for the starters, I pretty much left their playing time as listed in the ZiPS projections and then pro-rated the reserves numbers to fill in the gaps. I did however adjust the Hanigan/Mesoraco numbers to give Hanigan the primary role.

  3. The one thing that simply pounded my attention from these projections was the OPS for Hannahan (.661), Donald (.660) and Paul (.715). Compared to last season’s bench performance of Harris (.375), Valdez (.463) & Cairo (.492), the 2013 bench strength looks almost unimaginably better and Henry Rodriguez is waiting in the wings for a utility role if anyone falters.

    With the increased compentition within the NL Central Division, I don’t see any way the Reds will meet of exceed the 97 win total from 2012, but the 93 wins sounds about right and should be good enough for another comfortable division championship.

  4. I see the Braves-Dbacks trade is official. Braves get OF Justin Upton and 3B Chris Young.
    The DBacks get OF/INf Martin Prado, P Randall Delgado, a minor league P and 2 minor league INF’s. Big trade that makes the Braves better. Trying to keep up with the Nats. The Braves have a heck of an OF now.

    • I see the Braves-Dbacks trade is official. Braves get OF Justin Upton and 3B Chris Young.The DBacks get OF/INf Martin Prado, P Randall Delgado, a minor league P and 2 minor league INF’s. Big trade that makes the Braves better. Trying to keep up with the Nats. The Braves have a heck of an OF now.

      This is what the Reds should be doing, getting a big bat, big arm RF to play LF. Ludwick isn’t the answer in LF for the Reds in 2013 or 2014.

  5. I think Homer Bailey can beat that projections, which logically take into account his troubles at GABP. Assuming that is primarily a mental hurdle that he will overcome, I am very optimistic about him being an All-Star caliber pitcher. I think Jay Bruce may finally have his bust-out year, although I can understand the Bill Parcells “You are what your record says you are” sentiment on him.

    The 595 ABs for Brandon Phillips is wildly optimistic, but I think he is over-rated, anyway.

  6. It is just so nice to see Choo’s OBP. I remember commenting last spring when these projections came out that it worried me that there was no OBP beyond Votto and Hannigan… that was pretty much true.

    I like your numbers for Frazier, as in it’s a pretty low bar. He’s my worry for the year: He could easily go from Super Todd to fan disappointment/frustration if he’s just out there everyday without Rolen or anyone else to be frustrating Frazier’s lack of use (which just added to his aura of awesomeness).

    I’d certainly take league average again from Cozart, and maybe he’ll be a tic better.

  7. Zips projects 93 wins in 2013? Chapman’s performance in the rotation is completely unpredictable, beyond hope for an educated guess, and it’s far from certain that he’ll even enter the rotation – his return to the closer role will influence several other guys’ numbers (Broxton and Leake in particular), including his own. Seems premature to make projections about his performance.

    Bronson Arroyo will pitch 164 innings? Huh? Where the heck does somebody pull out that number? He’s pitched between 199 and ~240 every year with the Reds, how does somebody predict him to throw under 200 innings?

    Projections, not an exact science, yeah yeah… really all it is is nonsense.

  8. @redsfanman: It is hard to imagine Arroyo throwing 164…that said… I think if other starters stay healthy…he might not pitch as often. I can’t wait to see how commited the Reds are to Chapman as a starter. Honestly, I don’t even have a preference… I’m just glad he’s a Red. If he stays a starter, I would think he would pitch in that #5 spot to keep his innings down and available for more of the season. Baseball question…Is there any way to have him start the season as a starter and finsish as a closer…while staying commited to him being a starter?

  9. I hate the fact that I’m agreeing with @redsfanman on this. The landscape in the NLC from 2012 to 2013 is vastly different. The Reds were 10-5 vs the Astros. They are now in the ALW. The Reds were 12-3 against the second worst team in baseball Chicago Cubs. They will still be the dogs on of the NLC but are most certainly much improved. The Brewers (Reds 9, Brewers 6) had everything go wrong last season. Expect them to return to a playoff contending team. And the aforementioned Pirates (Reds 11, Pirates 7, not sure why there are 18 games here) have done a lot this winter to improve as well. The Cardinals (Reds 7, Cardinals 8) are the Cardinals. They will be contenders.

    Last year the NLC helped the Reds win so many games by being horrible. Only the Cardinals and Pirates (for half a season) were good teams. I wouldn’t expect that this year. One top of that, we don’t get the ALC in IL play. We get the ALW which include the Angels, Rangers, A’s, and Seattle. Those are 4 REALLY tough teams.

    I just think too much has changed to predict anything. The Reds are good enough to win 100 games, yes. But you can’t count on the +20 game win differential in the NLC this year.

  10. @rewquiop: The Reds value innings out of Bronson Arroyo and I really doubt they’ll rethink their whole philosophy with him – removing him early to get more innings out of the relievers – to cost him ~40 innings. They’re either predicting an injury to Bronson Arroyo (that’s like predicting Cal Ripken Jr to get hurt) or cutting over an inning per start from his inning totals. I think it’s fine to debate Arroyo’s effectiveness but crazy to debate Arroyo’s ability to stay healthy.

    Is there a way for Chapman to start the season as a starter and finish as a closer while staying committed to him as a starter? Short answer, no. If there’s a book on how to manage a young pitcher I expect the Reds to follow it word for word, others expect Bryan Price to tear it up and write a new one. The Reds aren’t like that, a team that is going to try something new or something experimental on such an important pitcher as Chapman. He’ll start and get shut down like Strasburg, start and get dumped to the bullpen for ineffectiveness, or head into the season as a closer. Some plans that have been suggested, like going with a 6 man rotation to limit Chapman’s innings or converting him to the closer role midseason don’t fit in with precedents set by the Reds or other contending teams.

    @TC: I’m not sure if you’re joking about the Brewers being a contender for 2013 or what. Maybe everything went wrong for them in 2012 but a lot of things have gone wrong for them again this offseason. Corey Hart is injured now, I believe. Greinke and Marcum are gone. Other guys like Axeford and Francisco Rodriguez are likely to be made available for trade this season as the Brewers head into a rebuilding process, one that they’ve already begun, whether they choose to admit it or not.

    I would be shocked if the Brewers or Cubs could finish over .500. Maybe the Pirates can if everything goes right. Even with the Astros gone the Reds still play in a really weak division, weak enough that I expect the Reds to be able to win 100 games.

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