Yesterday, I projected the potential starting rotation by WAR so I’ll do the same thing with the bullpen today. However, it’s near impossible to tell just how many guys will be pitching in the bullpen and at what times. In fact, it’s possible that some of the guys I projected in the rotation will get significant innings in the bullpen rather than in the rotation. To avoid guess work, I’ll just be calculating the WAR of guys we KNOW will be in the bullpen and comparing their personal marks to those of last year. The guys we KNOW will be in the bullpen:
I’m leaving out the long man because I have no idea who that’s going to be. I put the pitchers in that order because that’s how I think they’ll be used in terms of leverage, and that’s how the spreadsheet is formatted. To clarify, we’re assuming Mariano Rivera is going to be used in the highest leverage situations while Boone Logan will be used in the lowest leverage situations. Obviously, this is flexible and not exact, but we’ll roll with it for now. On to the projections!
Mariano Rivera: 2.99 FIP in 68 IP, 2.7 WAR
Rafael Soriano: 3.48 FIP in 66 IP, 1.3 WAR
David Robertson: 3.68 FIP in 67 IP, 0.8 WAR
Joba Chamberlain: 2.98 FIP in 72 IP, 1.4WAR*
Pedro Feliciano: 3.89 FIP in 65 IP, 0.5 WAR
Boone Logan: 4.24 FIP in 48 IP, 0.2 WAR
*Joba’s CAIRO projection included nine starts, which affected his originally projected IP (85) and FIP (3.94). So, I used his 2010 season as a guide and rounded up to 72 innings, while keeping his FIP tally the same. Joba showed in 2010 that he was pretty good at the FIP skill set and his career as a reliever (2.55 FIP) mirrors that.
So how do the 2011 projections compare the 2010 results? We see Joba staying the same at 1.4 WAR while we see Mo gaining an entire win from his 2010 season. D-Rob gains a tenth of a win; Logan loses two tenths of a win. Soriano drops three tenths of a win, and that’s probably due to the FIP correction CAIRO sees for Rafael. As for Feliciano, he’d also be dropping three tenths of a win but I may be underestimating his leverage.
In terms of confidence, I feel a good deal of it int he FIP projections (though Soriano’s may be a touch high) but not necessarily so in terms of the exact leverage numbers. Logan and Feliciano may end up in higher leverage situations than I anticipated due to different matchups and it’s possible that Joba and Robertson switch places in terms of who gets how many higher leverage innings. No matter what, though, I’m confident that the Yankee bullpen will be more than solid in 2011.