Author Topic: This offense could be really, really good  (Read 3286 times)

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This offense could be really, really good
« Topic Start: March 06, 2017, 03:09:37 PM »
I know not everything is going to fall into place.  Players get hurt and underperform.  However, the ceiling for this offense is pretty incredible.  While Turner and Murphy will be hard-pressed not to have their numbers regress some, I see their floor as still extremely high and they will remain very productive hitters even with some regression.  Whatever regression they have will be made up for by Harper rebounding closer to his 2015 form.  Not saying Harper will match 2015, but I'd say he's closer to 2015 than 2016 providing he's healthy (same caveat applies to everybody).  How many teams have 3 hitters better than those 3?  Eaton has been very steady, so we know what we're getting there.  Rendon is very much a proven hitter when he's healthy, and is perhaps a bit underrated after the injury-filled 2015 season and then starting slow last year.  He finished last year looking like the 2014 Rendon. 

So, those 5 are really good.  I know Werth is a year older and could fall apart at any moment, but I think he could be slightly better than last season even as his wrist is now completely healed.  He'll need his rest to make it through the season, but I think he'll give us a very solid OPS if he avoids any new significant injuries.  I believe he's highly, highly motivated to win in the postseason in the last year of his contract.

Many will roll their eyes, but I think Zim has a decent bounce-back year.  His exit velocity last year showed he still hits the ball hard, he just had bad BABIP luck.  He at least stayed healthy.  I guess he's an "old 32" and I don't predict him to return to his glory days form, but as a #7 hitter, he doesn't need to.  I think he can be back to a .260 or .270 hitter with 20-25 HR pop, which is much more than most 7th hitters offer.  And how many #8 hitters would be more dangerous than Wieters? 

If this team becomes adept at manufacturing runs, then look out.  Because there is so much pop 1-8 that even if a SP is cruising and not giving up many hits, we can always strike for that 3 run homer at any point. 

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #1: March 06, 2017, 03:22:22 PM »
I know not everything is going to fall into place.  Players get hurt and underperform.  However, the ceiling for this offense is pretty incredible.  While Turner and Murphy will be hard-pressed not to have their numbers regress some, I see their floor as still extremely high and they will remain very productive hitters even with some regression. Whatever regression they have will be made up for by Harper rebounding closer to his 2015 form.  Not saying Harper will match 2015, but I'd say he's closer to 2015 than 2016 providing he's healthy (same caveat applies to everybody).  How many teams have 3 hitters better than those 3?  Eaton has been very steady, so we know what we're getting there.  Rendon is very much a proven hitter when he's healthy, and is perhaps a bit underrated after the injury-filled 2015 season and then starting slow last year.  He finished last year looking like the 2014 Rendon. 

So, those 5 are really good.  I know Werth is a year older and could fall apart at any moment, but I think he could be slightly better than last season even as his wrist is now completely healed.  He'll need his rest to make it through the season, but I think he'll give us a very solid OPS if he avoids any new significant injuries.  I believe he's highly, highly motivated to win in the postseason in the last year of his contract.

Many will roll their eyes, but I think Zim has a decent bounce-back year.  His exit velocity last year showed he still hits the ball hard, he just had bad BABIP luck.  He at least stayed healthy.  I guess he's an "old 32" and I don't predict him to return to his glory days form, but as a #7 hitter, he doesn't need to.  I think he can be back to a .260 or .270 hitter with 20-25 HR pop, which is much more than most 7th hitters offer.  And how many #8 hitters would be more dangerous than Wieters? 

If this team becomes adept at manufacturing runs, then look out.  Because there is so much pop 1-8 that even if a SP is cruising and not giving up many hits, we can always strike for that 3 run homer at any point.

Sure, the ceiling is very high, but remember: Murphy's last season was not just a career year, but an extreme career year.  His OPS was 200 points over his career average, his BA over 50 points higher, he hit 11 more HRs than any prior season, and so on.  Combined with the possibility of a chronic injury, he might be due for not just a small regression but a massive one.  In other words, he might hit like Daniel Murphy again.

Turner is an unknown, but it strikes me as rather unlikely that he hits anywhere near .340 with 25 home runs, which is a rough full season projection of last year.  The power in particular is a surprise.  I suspect that once the league adjusts to him, he'll return to an early but still excellent low-.300s.  Not that it's bad, but the amount of regression I'd expect between him and Murphy would be very difficult for Harper to make up on his own.  He'd need to have a season equal to or better than '15, which is asking an awful lot of anyone.

Online Slateman

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #2: March 06, 2017, 03:29:01 PM »
Eh, it could be, but they have giant holes at LF, 1B, and C. I'm not expecting Rendon to stay healthy either

Offline Ray D

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #3: March 06, 2017, 03:36:41 PM »
Murphy's last season was not just a career year, but an extreme career year. 
And similarly Harper's 2015 season wasn't just a career year but an extreme career year.  I expect his 2017 season to be better than 2016, but much closer to 2016 than 2015.

On the other hand, I'm not so sure Murphy's 2016 was a fluke.  He made an adjustment in late 2015 which set him on the pace he continued throughout the entire 2016 season.  It's possible that that's the real Murphy.

Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #4: March 06, 2017, 04:42:00 PM »
Sure, the ceiling is very high, but remember: Murphy's last season was not just a career year, but an extreme career year.  His OPS was 200 points over his career average, his BA over 50 points higher, he hit 11 more HRs than any prior season, and so on.  Combined with the possibility of a chronic injury, he might be due for not just a small regression but a massive one.  In other words, he might hit like Daniel Murphy again.

Turner is an unknown, but it strikes me as rather unlikely that he hits anywhere near .340 with 25 home runs, which is a rough full season projection of last year.  The power in particular is a surprise.  I suspect that once the league adjusts to him, he'll return to an early but still excellent low-.300s.  Not that it's bad, but the amount of regression I'd expect between him and Murphy would be very difficult for Harper to make up on his own.  He'd need to have a season equal to or better than '15, which is asking an awful lot of anyone.

Murphy changed his swing the 2nd half of 2015.  There is a clear explanation.  He's not going to go back to a .275 hitter with middling power. 

Even if Turner is more like a .300 hitter with, we only had half a season of him last year and the other half was MAT and Revere out there.  Even a regression is a big progresion overall.

Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #5: March 06, 2017, 04:42:44 PM »
Eh, it could be, but they have giant holes at LF, 1B, and C. I'm not expecting Rendon to stay healthy either

Werth was a plus WAR guy last year in LF.  I wouldn't call him and Wieters "giant holes."  Zim is only if he repeats a terrible year.

Offline dracnal

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #6: March 06, 2017, 04:49:28 PM »
Werth was a plus WAR guy last year in LF.  I wouldn't call him and Wieters "giant holes."  Zim is only if he repeats a terrible year.

Eh, I'm not going to hold out too much hope for a highly effective Zim. He'll come through in the clutch a few times, he'll fail in the clutch a few times, and he'll play fewer than 100 games.  He's clearly on a decline trend and that's okay - we knew it was the case.

But overall I agree with you - this should be an excellent year from an offensive point of view and I expect we'll reach a point where no more Papa Johns, even if it's half off.

Offline Ray D

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #7: March 06, 2017, 04:56:31 PM »
Eh, I'm not going to hold out too much hope for a highly effective Zim. He'll come through in the clutch a few times, he'll fail in the clutch a few times,


And he'll hit into 100 double plays.

Offline tomterp

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #8: March 06, 2017, 04:58:49 PM »
And similarly Harper's 2015 season wasn't just a career year but an extreme career year.  I expect his 2017 season to be better than 2016, but much closer to 2016 than 2015.

On the other hand, I'm not so sure Murphy's 2016 was a fluke. He made an adjustment in late 2015 which set him on the pace he continued throughout the entire 2016 season.  It's possible that that's the real Murphy.

And he's trying to help Zimm to elevate just a tad, which might be all he needs to get some results with those hard hit balls.  Some mindfacts:

Improvement expected:
Zimm
Harper

Neutral
Rendon

Modest decline expected
Murphy (but not back to career norms)
Turner  (would LOVE to be wrong - he'd be a superstar if I am)
Werth

Offline dracnal

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #9: March 06, 2017, 04:59:08 PM »
And he'll hit into 100 double plays.

It's been a while since I've watched a game and my most current memories of him are from the playoff performance that wasn't terrible at all.

As such, I'd forgotten how annoying it was to see him come up in a big spot and automatically think 'GIDP? Gotta be.'

Offline Ray D

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #10: March 06, 2017, 05:07:27 PM »
And he's trying to help Zimm to elevate just a tad, which might be all he needs to get some results with those hard hit balls.
But Murphy's adjustment was moving closer to the plate.  I don't know if he adjusted his swing.  Zimmerman needs to move closer to the plate  -- as well as adjust his swing, and while we're at it, get a lighter bat.   Murphy might help him adjust his swing, but no force on earth is going to move him closer to the plate.

Offline tomterp

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #11: March 06, 2017, 05:10:04 PM »
But Murphy's adjustment was moving closer to the plate.  I don't know if he adjusted his swing.  Zimmerman needs to move closer to the plate  -- as well as adjust his swing, and while we're at it, get a lighter bat.   Murphy might help him adjust his swing, but no force on earth is going to move him closer to the plate.

C'mon Ray, don't dash my hopes all the way.

And did Zimm ever NOT stand at the back of the box?  It only started to seem to be a problem when he stopped hitting.  I hate it too but I'm not sure it's the root cause.

Offline DPMOmaha

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #12: March 06, 2017, 05:12:23 PM »
But Murphy's adjustment was moving closer to the plate.  I don't know if he adjusted his swing.  Zimmerman needs to move closer to the plate  -- as well as adjust his swing, and while we're at it, get a lighter bat.   Murphy might help him adjust his swing, but no force on earth is going to move him closer to the plate.
He overhauled everything he did in the batters box. Not just moving closer to the plate. An unraveling career have often forced people to make changes they never thought they'd do. Perhaps Murph will be able to turn the lightbulb on for Zim to make whatever changes are necessary.

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #13: March 06, 2017, 05:26:55 PM »
Werth was a plus WAR guy last year in LF.  I wouldn't call him and Wieters "giant holes."  Zim is only if he repeats a terrible year.

If you have a sub .800 OPS in LF, you're a giant freaking hole

Offline Optics

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #14: March 06, 2017, 07:50:48 PM »
I like Turner-Eaton-Rendon-Harper-Murphy. After that there does seem to be a drop off. Murphy will probably drop off some but I think he'll still be very good and we'll make up for that with Harper having a better year. I fully expect Turner to absolutely tear it up from the leadoff spot. Eaton and Rendon will be good solid consistent hitters.

Werth and Zimm...who knows. They could easily get hurt. Werth wasn't bad last year, but he's only getting older. Zimm was a mess, but he did hit in the playoffs. Weiters...meh, not expecting much there.

At the very least we won't have Espinosa striking out 3 times a game anymore.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #15: March 06, 2017, 07:57:51 PM »
Murphy changed his swing the 2nd half of 2015.  There is a clear explanation.  He's not going to go back to a .275 hitter with middling power. 

Even if Turner is more like a .300 hitter with, we only had half a season of him last year and the other half was MAT and Revere out there.  Even a regression is a big progresion overall.

We'll see.  It's hard for hitters to make those changes fully stick over the long haul.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #16: March 06, 2017, 08:00:10 PM »
I fully expect at least one of Wieters, Zimmerman, and Werth to be an adequate #6 hitter, and I would not be surprised if 2 of those 3 are hitting well at the same time most of the year.   I think Werth's O is at least adequate for the NL.  His power seems to have tailed a bit, and he gets a hit for his defense, not his OBP.  In fact, I would not be shocked if you saw some flexibility in the batting order, with Werth hitting #2 against some lefties and Eaton sliding back to 6th. 

Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #17: March 07, 2017, 02:18:06 PM »
Eh, I'm not going to hold out too much hope for a highly effective Zim. He'll come through in the clutch a few times, he'll fail in the clutch a few times, and he'll play fewer than 100 games.  He's clearly on a decline trend and that's okay - we knew it was the case.

But overall I agree with you - this should be an excellent year from an offensive point of view and I expect we'll reach a point where no more Papa Johns, even if it's half off.

I didn't ever say Zim would be "highly effective."  I said he should be better than the dreadful #s from last year.  He's only our #7 hitter, which is normally where a defensive-minded shortstop would hit.  If Zim is just okay, that's fine.

Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #18: March 07, 2017, 02:19:48 PM »
We'll see.  It's hard for hitters to make those changes fully stick over the long haul.

I don't understand what you're saying...that after 1.5 seasons Murphy is going to change back to his old swing and approach?

Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #19: March 07, 2017, 02:23:14 PM »
If you have a sub .800 OPS in LF, you're a giant freaking hole

Here are the NL LFs with an OPS above .800 in 2016:

Braun, Cespedes, Yelich

3 total, and only 2 more in the AL (Khris Davis and Melky Cabrera at exactly .800).  Werth had the 10th highest OPS amongst MLB LFs last year and 6th in the NL.  If he's a "giant freaking hole" then the vast majority of teams have one.

Offline Ray D

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #20: March 07, 2017, 03:49:07 PM »
  He's only our #7 hitter, which is normally where a defensive-minded shortstop would hit. 

But that's exactly the point.  A defensive-minded shortstop provides significant value simply by being a defensive-minded shortstop. He doesn't have to hit.  A first baseman provides no value by being a first baseman.  He *has* to hit.

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #21: March 07, 2017, 03:52:31 PM »
A first baseman provides no value by being a first baseman.  He *has* to hit.

He just has to have 3 years and +/-$50MM left on his deal to play first base in D.C.

Offline DPMOmaha

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #22: March 07, 2017, 03:59:31 PM »
But that's exactly the point.  A defensive-minded shortstop provides significant value simply by being a defensive-minded shortstop. He doesn't have to hit.  A first baseman provides no value by being a first baseman.  He *has* to hit.
What difference does it make what position it comes from? Our offensive minded SS is gonna provide offense similar to that of an offensive minded 1B and our defensive minded 1B is likely to provide the offense of a defensive minded SS. Who cares that they come from non-traditional spots?

Offline tomterp

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #23: March 07, 2017, 04:30:44 PM »
What difference does it make what position it comes from? Our offensive minded SS is gonna provide offense similar to that of an offensive minded 1B and our defensive minded 1B is likely to provide the offense of a defensive minded SS. Who cares that they come from non-traditional spots?

I would go further and say that I'd much rather be in the position of having a beast at SS and a lamb at 1st (offensively speaking), because it's a lot easier to make a significant upgrade from that position than vice versa.

Offline Ray D

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Re: This offense could be really, really good
« Reply #24: March 07, 2017, 05:18:01 PM »
What difference does it make what position it comes from? Our offensive minded SS is gonna provide offense similar to that of an offensive minded 1B and our defensive minded 1B is likely to provide the offense of a defensive minded SS. Who cares that they come from non-traditional spots?
I would go further and say that I'd much rather be in the position of having a beast at SS and a lamb at 1st (offensively speaking), because it's a lot easier to make a significant upgrade from that position than vice versa.
The two are completely unrelated. It's great that we have great offensive production from shortstop.  That doesn't mean we have to accept near-zero production from the least (or second-least) important position player.   

We've been over this a thousand times and all seem to agree on this principle: there is an  inverse relationship between the difficulty of a defensive position and the expected offensive production from that position.  Doesn't mean you have to get low production from a hard position; DOES mean you HAVE to get production from an easy position.

Honestly what's so hard about that?