Starscreams | Expectations, pt. 1 (52.08)

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Starscreams | Expectations, pt. 1 (52.08)

Post by mragland » Mon Sep 19, 2022 8:18 pm

Starscreams: A Valencia Stars Baseball Blog

Expectations, pt. 1

Brianna Robles, Starscreams contributor

Twenty-five games into the season, the Stars find themselves in fourth place in the Pacific, which isn't necessarily as bad as it sounds. Preseason predictions for the team had the Stars somewhere between 83 and 95 wins. The team, and fans, were likely hoping to at least equal last season's 90 win mark.

While Valencia is off to a healthy 97-win pace here in the early going, they're looking up at more of the division than they'd like. Let's dig into what we've seen so far from the Stars.

We knew the team had been making run prevention more of a priority here recently, but boy, howdy. The Stars are allowing just 2.76 runs per game (69 total runs in 25 games) to lead the association in team defense. They're on a pace to give up a total of just 447 runs all season. The team also leads the league in team zone rating (15.26 excluding pitchers), and defensive efficiency at .781. Stars pitchers, unsurprisingly, lead the association in ERA at 2.61 (with four starters sporting sub-3.00 ERAs) and their FIP of 3.75 is second best behind Portland.

Association-wide, ERAs for all teams are down a tick, from 4.57 last season to 4.47 so far in '52, so there may be a larger pattern at work here. Brewster pitching has been looking to recover from the tailspin it found itself in the past two seasons, for reasons not fully understood. Though it could easily be erased by future performance this season (we're not even to the quarter pole yet), there is a glimmer of hope.

But what Stars fans would like to know is, can the team continue to keep opponents off the board at the present rate? The short answer is no. The best run prevention team in recent memory, the '44 Nine, gave up a total of 511 runs in their 116-win season. The Stars' pace of 447 doesn't look realistic for the simple reason that it just hasn't been done, and for much the same reason that a hitter's home run pace of 84 after three weeks doesn't look achievable. Small sample size. The Stars have enjoyed a good defensive run, but that mean old regression toward the mean will likely push their runs allowed total up over what looks like the 510 run floor. Of course, the thing about the mean is you don't really know where it lies except in hindsight.
Morris Ragland
President, Baseball Ops, Beirut Cedars (8/25/46 - 10/23/47)
President, Baseball Ops, Valencia Stars (10/24/47 - present)
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