First Granderson, Now Teixeira: The Overall Effect?

mark-teixeira

(Syndicated from Pinstripe Pundits)

The Yankees were dealt a major blow for the second time in 10 days, when they learned that Mark Teixeira will be out for 8-10 weeks with a strained wrist. The news came following Curtis Granderson fracturing his forearm after being hit by pitch on February 24th. Initial news of Teixeira’s wrist barking surfaced yesterday forcing his withdrawal from the World Baseball Classic, while the hammer came down later in the day.

Needless to say, the season is off to an inauspicious start. The latest news leaves the Yankees without two of their best power hitters for roughly 40 games, if you assume a May 15th return for both. That’s just about a quarter of the season. As it stands, Dan Johnson and Corban Joseph are the in-house favorites to fill in for Teixeira. Juan RiveraZoilo AlmonteMelky Mesa, and Ronnier Mustelier are in the mix to play for Granderson. None of those names will bring Yankees fans any solace, and the lack of depth acquired in the offseason is coming back to bite the team.

After Granderson went down, I used Baseball Musings’ Lineup Tool in order to quantify how much offense the Yankees would lose over a 30 game period. I’m going to do the same analysis for this article, but bump it up to a 40 game period which is likely a bit more realistic for the two of them. Like how I used the ZiPS projections with the lineup tool, I’m going to do an additional breakdown using projected WAR, which will factor in more than just offensive production.

How did I wind up with a 40 game absence? May 15th is 10 weeks from today, and 40 games into the season. Using Granderson’s 10 week ETA given on February 24th, he’d be back May 5th. Obviously, these estimations are rarely correct to the tee, so admittedly I’m selecting an arbitrary date to make the analyses a bit simpler.

For the lineup tool analysis, the lineups I used are the same as those from the article linked to in the previous paragraph. For the lineup without Teixeira, I bumped everyone up one spot, and slid Johnson inbetween Rivera and Stewart. Take a look at the following table, using ZiPS OBP and SLG projections, comparing lineups with and without Granderson and Teixeira:

graph-1

Losing 10 or 11 runs would be the equivalent to losing one win from the season total.Here’s why:

RS^2/(RS^2 + RA^2) = Pythagorean Winning Percentage. So, if a team scored 775 runs and allowed 775 runs, they’d have a .500 Pythag Win%, or 81 wins and 81 losses – even amounts of runs scored and runs allowed should lead to something like an even record. Not as scary as it sounds.

What happens if we subtract 10 runs from the runs scored column, so that we now have a 765 RS/775 RA team? Pythag spits out a .4935 win%, and .4935 * 162 = 79.95 wins. So, instead of 81 wins, you’re now expected to win just barely less than 80. By subtracting 10 runs, you lost a fraction more than one win.

So, 10 or 11 runs doesn’t seem like much, but let’s look at this in the grand scheme of an entire season. If you multiply that by 4 (Remember, 40 games is roughly 25% of the season), that brings the total to anywhere between 40 and 44 runs, which is at least 4 wins taken away. That just goes to show that the duo makes a huge impact.

Let’s take this analysis one step further, factoring in more than offensive production by using ZiPS’ WAR projection. Take a look at the following table:

graph-2

One assumption here: I came up with 150 PAs because it is 25% of 600, which is what I’m assuming to be a full season. Again, this amount can and likely will vary depending on the rehab.

As you can see, this analysis pegs the loss of Granderson and Teixeira, with Johnson and Rivera as replacements, as one less win. I initially expected this to be higher than the result from the lineup tool, but I guess the defense is a wash. Assuming Granderson in left field, I would think he’d be substantially better than Rivera. Additionally, we know Johnson is a substantial downgrade defensively considering Teixeira’s prowess. Playing with the numbers, if Teixeira and Granderson combined are worth 9 WAR, while Rivera and Johnson as an aggregate are worth 1, the difference over a quarter a season is 2 wins. Sounds more reasonable.

Both of these analyses have their flaws. On the precipice, they seem to make the injuries relatively inconsequential over 40 games. One less win, what’s the big deal? But remember, these are just projections. Plus, players don’t perform linearly throughout the entire season. Lastly, either of the two could be out longer than 40 games. Going back to linear performance: I’ve already heard/read some people say Teixeira’s usual April swoons won’t be missed, but that’s just ridiculous. The talent downgrade is undeniably massive.

Given the expected tight divisional race, it would be wise for Brian Cashman to look for an upgrade outside the organization. 1 or 2 wins (potentially more) could be the difference between a playoff spot or hitting the links immediately after the season. It looked like Cashman might have been willing to stand pat after losing Granderson, but with Teixeira down, his hand might be forced. Whether it’s the waiver wire or the trade market, the front office will certainly be active in seeking out an upgrade over the in-house options.

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26 Responses to First Granderson, Now Teixeira: The Overall Effect?

  1. klaus says:

    What does "on the precipice" mean?

  2. Keena says:

    77-85

  3. ldubinsky says:

    no biggie losing Tex for the start of the season. he doesn't hit a lick till June

  4. Michael R. says:

    One thing that cannot be calculated and that's the mental effect the losses have on the team. They may be professionals and they may say the right things in public, but what goes on in the mind is something entirely different.

    • Keena says:

      The one possible hope I see is that the team will come together and gel without the malignant tumor Arod around. Never underestimate the power of him not being around.

  5. Keena says:

    Everything always has to go back to 2009 when ARod FOR ONCE pulled his head out of his ass in the playoffs and actually earned his salary for once. What's the old saying about the blind squirrel? The truth is this team is likely to blow either way this season because of the cheap SOB Hal Steinbrenner. And go head, keep hitting the thumbs down button when you hear me say negative stuff about this team that's circling the drain. Those ratings are soooooooooooo important. lol

    • ldubinsky says:

      there's nothing cheap about the payroll of the team. whatever are you thinking?

      the team payroll is going to be $208 million or more.

      the problem is that we have, on the DL, a $29mil 3B, a $23mil 1B, and a $15mil CF…..
      you know anybody else who could lose three guys that they're paying a total of $67mil for the year and not be inconvenienced?

      take a couple of deep breaths, Keena.

      • Tanned Tom says:

        She's right about Hal's cheapness. The whole $189 mm fixation is about money he can keep, not about anything else. We have no catcher, a 39 year old RF, a broken down replacement 3B, no obvious replacement for our 39 year old SS, and have not been even mentioned in any moves regarding young talent. Not saying he's the answer, but when Justin Upton was shopped all over the known world why wasn't Cashman interested? Because of the payroll imperative. Bad owners, confiscatory ticket pricing, a ludicrous facial hair policy (really? telling grown men they can't grow a beard), a GM who knows numbers but nothing else ( I mean c'mon, would any other GM make the Vazquez mistake TWICE, think Nick Johnson would stay healthy, trade big game pitcher David Wells for human paraquat Clemens, and generally succeed because of payroll and NOT knowledge of the game?). Admit it, if we weren't NYers there'd be alot to hate about this club. And folks, this is not war, this is just a game, so don't give me that win at any cost answer. A world class city deserves a team that is BOTH winning and one of which we can be proud.

        • Roger Clemens won 3 World Series and was great in the 2001 playoffs. Are you really going to complain about that? Yankees fans complaining about their team not winning enough is always silly, but that's just insane.

          • Tanned Tom says:

            3 WS? I know about '99 and '00. I've forgotten the other.
            And let's be honest and admit that if he hadn't been juicing his career would have been over long before then. The team I root for is big enough and successful enough that we can win without cheating. Clemens is a lowlife. Was always a head hunter and a steroid user. Most players are like average people in many ways. Some, like Rivera, are classier. Some, like Clemens, are worse than the average fan. I also feel the team would have won in '99 and '00 if they had kept Wells and not had Clemens.

        • ldubinsky says:

          we've got outfielders coming and Upton ain't a sure thing.

          Stanton's a much better trade target.

  6. Tanned Tom says:

    Nothing wrong with bashing A-Fraud. Some folks think that because a guy plays for your team that excuses him being one of the game's biggest jerks. I'm sorry, but it does not. Having him on the club makes it harder to root for them. He is emblematic of what is wrong with the organization, whereas guys like Gardner represents what's right about it (to say nothing of Jeter and Rivera). And as for 2009, I could live with having not won that year if it meant not having him. He's an embarassment in the same way Clemens was. You can't always have the best players also be decent human beings, but must we be the Oakland Raiders of baseball and take any scumbag who can play? What's next, a call into Milton Bradley for OF help?

    • It's funny. You watch as teams, great teams even, struggle to win even a single World Series and here you are asking to give one back? It doesn't get more spoiled than that. Jeez.

      • Tanned Tom says:

        How is it spoiled to say that winning is less important to me than to be proud of the players/teams I root for? On the contrary it is fans who will root for any asshole if it helps the team win who are spoiled. You need to be less of a homer and more of a fan of the game, more of a fan of humanity. The sport we all presumably love benefits when it is elevated. Storylines like Buster Posey's should appeal to all fans, not just Giants fans. Watch what happens with Rivera this year when he'll get standing o's at every park, when even Boston will probably acknowledge his greatness. Just like football fans all over rooted for Joe Montana. Perhaps you don't understand.
        I want my team to do well, but not at the expense of having jerks like A-Fraud and Clemens wear the stripes. This franchise won a few times without those guys. There is no honor in having them on one's team, and no WS titles if we're ever made to forfeit it due to their steroid use. And that's the difference between fans of the game and home town boosters. I won't root for assholes just because they happen to wear pinstripes. It seems you will. Good luck with that, it's bad karma in the end.

        • Keena says:

          Thank you for making my day Tanned Tom, I agree 100%. Anytime I've bashed Arod around here it's thrown in my face about his 09 season. BFD. How loaded out of his skull must he have been that season for a choking pig like him actually hit for once in the playoffs? I'm in California and I always questioned Giants fans on how the hell they could idolize Barry Bonds just because he was a Giant. Like A Rod, he's a complete jackass and even more so. I love the Yankees but will never have my head so far up my ass that I'll be okay with guys like Clemens and Arod around on my team. I much preferred David Wells to Clemens and was crushed when that trade went down. You are NOT spoiled Tanned Tom, just a Yankee fan with some class and integrity. Okay Homers, hit that stupid thumbs down icon as soon as you read this but make sure to kiss ass to the politically correct ones.

        • I don't think there is anything wrong with judging a baseball player on his baseball skill. It's silly to put these people up on such a crazy pedestal because you don't know them. You don't know that Clemens is a scumbag. I doubt you ever spent 5 minutes to get to know him. Instead you hurl harsh insults based on a few hit batters and the fact that a drug dealer once accused him of buying steroids off him. Even if he did take steroids, let's please not pretend that he's the only player, or Yankee, to ever use steroids and win a World Series. They've been around since the 50's, a documented problem in MLB since the 70's. For all we know Buster Posey could be taking them.

          I don't know these players as men and I don't pretend to. When great stories and genuinely good people come around, yes, obviously they should be celebrated as such. But it's not my job to go around and cast moral judgement on players based on what I think I know.

          Get off your high horses. All you A-Rod haters hated him before any steroid allegations back when he was married and a family man. Don't pretend that this is an issue of morals.

        • ldubinsky says:

          you upset that the Yankees re-signed Pettitte?

  7. Tanned Tom says:

    Ok now you're just being fatuous. Plus you seem to never truly read what people post, because you often answer without commenting on the merits, just post snarky comments. We all read your blog because we're fans, you know? But c'mon Rob, raise your game.

  8. David K. says:

    I'll go on the record here: I hated the Wells for Clemens trade and hated the A-Rod resign. But would we have won in '99, '00 and '09 without them? Definitely not '09, that's for sure. How everything would have turned out had we not traded for them or resigned A-Rod, that's a debate that could go on forever. It could turn out that resigning A-Rod will keep us from winning 2 or 3 championships over the next 5-7 years.