40.11 Checking the Locks: Final Results

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40.11 Checking the Locks: Final Results

Post by crobillard » Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:47 pm

This is a series where I will evaluate the options in each position leading into Spring Training. This is the last part of the series. I will be providing some results for the locks I chose, how it compares to 2039 and I will update it with a later post with which players make the active roster for Opening Day.

Sure fire locks:
Eric Fabre
David Katzenbogen
Fernando Cruz
Mons Raider
Jharod Thealer
Yi-ke Hsaio
Steven Collins III
Joey O'Brien
John Garcia
Wilson Villanuela
Niccolo Machiavelli
William Wood
Jubal Troop
Mauro Flores
Julio Alicea
Chet Parrish
Jorge Huerta
Jose Luna
Jose Torres
Vincente Ventura

Near locks:
Myeong-hwan Kim
Rodrigo Gallegos
Ryosei Akahori
Ignacio Castaneda

Trying to get in the door:
Leon Romo
Takeichi Ohayashi
Qian Tse
Miguel Deleon
Tim Ray
Jose Salas
Juan Reyes
Jerry Bell
Widodo Kawilarang
Edgardo Torres
Chandler Hall
Johnny Morin
Jorge Elizondo
Arturo Lopez

We have a total of 20 sure-fire locks which means we have seven spots on the active roster up for grabs. This is the exact position we were in last year at this point as well. Last year I selected 20 sure-fire locks, 5 near locks and 17 players trying to get in the door. We have one less near lock as well. The only change is in the trying to get in the door tier where we have four less players that were invited to Spring Training. This is likely due to losing a lot of pitchers in the trade with Portland, so we have less options for pitchers that would be ready to start pitching against major league batters. If all the sure-fire and near locks make the team, this is how things look:

Catcher - 2
Infield - 7
Outfield - 5
Rotation - 6
Bullpen - 5

The biggest door we have to get into the majors is with the left side of the infield. The loss of Luis Soto is hurting us here as we don't have a clear option to fill that hole. Thealer can shift to shortstop, but he's so much better at second base. Hsaio can assist at second or at first and Collins can assist at second. O'Brien can assist anywhere in the infield, but it's best if we stick him to short because he hasn't learned many positions. Tse, Deleon and Ray have the most competitive position battle as they're all working on owning that backup infield position. The most interesting thing to watch in Spring Training is Jose Salas and Chandler Hall, two well regarded prospects who are approaching their debut sometime soon.

2040 Additions:
Raider, Thealer, Machiavelli, Flores, Alicea, Kim, Gallegos, Akahori, Romo, Deleon, Torres, Hall and Morin

2040 Subtractions:
Bobby Lynch, Mitch Dalrymple, Luis Claudio, Luis Costello, Mike Gilbert, Fernando Martinez, Dusty Rhodes, Soto, Lance Carter, Wen Huang, Marcos Morales, Jesus Ramos, Carlos Rosa, Derrek Terry

Wow. Talk about some changes. That's an even 13 swap. Let's add up last year's WAR. That's 10.4 WAR lost and 11.7 WAR gained. The gained WAR is not including several players that may be called up, so it's only including Raider, Thealer, Machiavelli, Flores, and Alicea. This is just including the WAR that the players under subtractions while with Edmonton though, so it's a lot closer. The bigger changes are Rhodes to Raider at first, Martinez to Thealer/Hsaio at second, Wood moving to RF and Machiavelli/Kim likely making up center field. The rotation is likely changing from Lynch, Troop, Ramos, Parrish and Terry to Troop, Flores, Alicea, Parrish and possibly Gallegos/Akahori.
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Re: 40.11 Checking the Locks: Final Results

Post by crobillard » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:35 am

Now, the active roster for Opening Day!

Catcher
Eric Fabre
David Katzenbogen

Infield
Fernando Cruz
Mons Raider
Jharod Thealer
Yi-ke Hsaio
Steven Collins III
Joey O'Brien
Qian Tse
Tim Ray

Outfield
John Garcia
Wilson Villanuela
Niccolo Machiavelli
William Wood
Myeong-hwan Kim

Rotation
Jubal Troop
Mauro Flores
Julio Alicea
Chet Parrish
Rodrigo Gallegos
Ryosei Akahori

Bullpen
Jorge Huerta
Jose Luna
Jose Torres
Vincente Ventura
Ignacio Castaneda
Edgardo Torres
Jorge Elizondo

As discussed in the first post infield backups are a concern. Outside of the Hsaio/Thealer platoon, if more than one player go down in the infield, we don't have great options. Hsaio can cover first and second, Thealer can cover SS, O'Brien can cover anywhere in the IF and Collins can cover second or left field. So, Tse and Ray both made the team quite easily. Tse for his bat which shouldn't be terrible against ML pitching and Ray for his elite defense. Outfield isn't a big issue. Even with Garcia's injury, we have a Villanuela filling in with elite RF defense. We'll have Machiavelli in CF and Wood in LF.

I considered keeping Deleon in the majors since he is fully developed and I really like his speed, but I am going to hold off for now and hope he can bump somewhere in AAA. If his bat or his defense were better this would be a much easier decision, but outside of his speed, he's kinda meh. The decision on Salas was difficult at first, but with essentially five different outfielders, including Garcia, that I would feel comfortable starting I think I need to play Salas conservatively and hope he can develop enough to be ready next season. The only thing that would make me promote Salas this season is if he is very close to being fully developed and I traded Cruz so I had the spot open at DH.

I had another difficult decision in Hall. I am not as convinced I will be able to keep him down. I have always felt control is the most important rating to bump for pitchers. I just don't think high control pitchers ever develop very quickly. Hall has had a 9 control since late 2038. My rotation is also pretty questionable. I think they'll do well because they're in Edmonton, but the bottom of my rotation is really questionable. Parrish has been lumping a lot and an Akahori/Gallegos #5 for lefty heavy teams causes me all kinds of anxiety. I can't commit to being able to keep Hall down all season. Especially if he fills out a little more. If he hits 8 stuff or 8 movement at any point this season, I mean he could be my ace lol. Despite his terrible stamina. For now though, he's in AAA and I hope my rotation performs well enough to keep him there.

I had to keep Torres in the majors to protect him, but he'll be in a long relief/emergency SP role for the entire season unless he is popping off. I wanted to keep Romo in the majors and keep that fourth catcher to try him out, but I just don't know how it would ever work with the new bullpen strategy I am employing. I want to try and limit my best pitchers to pitching when the game matters the most. I also want to make my manager and pitching coach make the best decision they can by having multiple specialists. Ventura was good against every batter last season though, so I don't want to limit him to the specialist role, while Elizondo may perform best only facing lefties.

Lastly, Ohayashi was fantastic in the spring going 20/40 with eight doubles, and a triple, but I couldn't make room for him. With Raider and Hsaio able to play first and Ohayashi having no versatility, I run into the same issue that I did with keeping Romo up. If anyone in the infield gets hurt, Ohayashi is probably the first call up, but for now he'll get his playing time in AAA.
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