In particular, the Yankees' big bats -- Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano -- each project a good deal more in line with what we'd expect their SLGs to look like. PECOTA has Tex at .275/.376/.510 (up from Marcel's .496 SLG); A-Rod at .273/.370/.517 (Marcel had his SLG at .486); and Cano's projected PECOTA line is .299/.347/.488 (Marcel: .476 SLG). It appears PECOTA has apparently done something of a turnaround on A-Rod; two years ago Nate Silver had A-Rod pegged for 27 home runs in 2011; today PECOTA has Alex projected to hit 34 home runs. Sign me up.
Yesterday Jason took a look at the numbers and posted his proposed lineup; the Yankee starters project to hit .269/.344/.452 -- in 2010 the team as a whole hit .267/.350/.436, and while I hate to see any drop in OBP, I could live with it if it meant more power. Oh, and Jesus Montero is projected to hit 18 home runs and SLG .471, which would be the fourth-highest mark on the team. Jesus saves, indeed.
On the pitching side of the ledger, Jay Jaffe does the legwork for us in a quick-and-dirty rundown of the contenders for the back end of the rotation, and notes that, much to everyone's chagrin, Sergio Mitre may actually not be the worst choice ever (at least among what the Yankees currently have available), while our man Hector Noesi and his pinpoint control also rates well. PECOTA really hates Ivan Nova, and while I'm willing to give him a shot to see if he can produce as a starter, noted prospect maven John Manuel sees Nova's future ultimately in the bullpen.
In fact, Manuel has a couple of interesting things to say about the Yankees' back-of-the-rotation prospects in that NoMaas interview:
SJK: Of the Yankees projectable, back-of-the-rotation arms (Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Ivan Nova, Adam Warren), who do you like the most? Do you think any of those guys could surprise us with a little more upside?Speaking of Warren, PECOTA apparently loves itself some Adam Warren, rather shockingly projecting 100.1 innings of 4.44 ERA ball with a 6.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9, worth 1.8 WARP. I say shockingly not as a knock on Warren's talent, but because he's never pitched above AA and only has 10 career starts at that level, though he did acquit himself nicely, throwing 54.1 innings of 3.15 ERA/2.56 FIP ball. I'm not entirely certain what to conclude from his projections, as they would make him the fourth-best starter (by WARP) on the Yankees right now. I'd be willing to totally write them off if not for the fact that CAIRO basically came to the same conclusion on Warren, with his 0.9 WAR (in 85 innings) the fourth-highest mark among Yankee starting pitchers. Oliver also seems to think fairly highly of Warren, projecting 122 innings of 4.47 ERA ball, worth 1.3 WAR.
John Manuel: Noesi commands the fastball best of that group, followed by Warren. There's not a ton of difference between them, but Noesi's breaking ball, while fringy, is better than Warren's. If you're a back-of-the-rotation guy, you better throw strikes or you'll lose your spot in a hurry. That's what those two guys do. Phelps does it less, but his secondary pitches improved a bit last year. Nova always has had the best arm, we've been ranking him since he was in low Class A. Last year he threw harder, and with all the Yanks' offseason misses on pitchers, Nova has a good chance to earn a starting role in New York. I do not expect him to be a starter long-term because he has such power stuff and inconsistent control (not to mention command) that he fits better in the bullpen. I have to say overall I'm not a Phelps believer, but I've been wrong before.
A year ago Mike Axisa profiled Warren and concluded that "His stuff is firm and he’s as polished as they come, which is a great recipe for a quick mover and surefire big leaguer. Warren will never be an ace, but he’ll be a rock solid back-end arm or middle reliever that will provide a ton of value when he’s cheap. Believe it or not, the Yankees do a very good job of pumping out useful big league arms, and Warren is just another part coming down the assembly line." Based on these numbers it looks like Warren could have a shot at becoming something a little bit more than just another assembly line part.