Al Central, Anthony Ghost, Baseball discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
And it's very exciting to see such a young team able to do that. They have been the beneficiaries of pretty good health throughout the season, which I won't say for certain, but I would imagine is in some ways connected to how young the roster is on average, right? But like absent Anthony ghost eating TJ and a couple of stints on the aisle from some of their other guys and I guess please act not being able to resist the mound. And what you shouldn't do, Zach, 'cause they need you to throw with that hand. Like, they've been very healthy, especially relative to the rest of the division. And those things can like sit comfortably together and acknowledging the reality of the division circumstance isn't meant to diminish like what they have been able to achieve because they still had to go out and win those games against their division opponents, right? When they had those series against the twins and the White Sox earlier this month and they really like said no, we're gonna win the AL central. They still had to do it and take advantage of the diminished state of their opponents. We just watched a Mariners team like go three and 7 on a road trip against the angels a's and royals. So winning against diminished teams isn't a given you still have to do it. So I think we can acknowledge the circumstance of their division and still applaud the performance within it. I don't think that those things are contradictory or mutually exclusive. Yeah, the youth makes them fun for sure and they set some records I saw that they had 16 MLP debuts this year, which is the most ever for impatient winner and I think they're the 8th team to be the youngest in the majors and make the playoffs in a season. I did a step last inspired by the youth of the guardians back in episode 1888 because young teams tend to not be so good yet and the guardians are already, which bodes well for their future. Yes. And yes, it is true they've had good health just looking at the baseball prospectus injury list ledger. They have had the fewest games missed of any team, which could be luck, could be their youth could be good health management and injury prevention. Who knows? So I'm not saying it's purely a fluke, but that's been a big part of their success. And yeah, the division rap means wrote about this at baseball perspective recently. And the AL central this season as measured by performance outside the division is one of the worst divisions of all time. Behind the 2022 NL central, which is even worse, we gotta do something about the centrals. The people of the Midwest deserve good baseball. Like what are we doing here? Abandoned the heartland. I think the thing with the guardians, you could say maybe that their youth led to their being underrated to some extent just because players who haven't even been in the big leagues, there might be bigger error bars on their projections, so you might not be able to anticipate exactly what they'll do before they even get there. So that could be part of why they weren't a preseason favorite. It's certainly true that they were not, right? Right. They had 7.5% chance to win the division according to the opening day fan grafts play ads. And I think no one on the fan graft staff picked them to make the playoffs. No one in the ringer staff picked them to make the playoffs either. So I didn't. And yeah, I mean, people were definitely picking the White Sox and the twins. There might have even been some dark horse Detroit tigers picks out there, Cleveland was kind of an afterthought. Not because they've ever really been bad lately, but just because ownership hasn't really invested in the roster and I guess you could say that perhaps that led to the talent that was already on the rest are being underrated or just the skill of that front office and player development department in bringing players along just because the fact that they did next to nothing over the off season and then also did next to nothing at the trade deadline. I think ownership at least merited some condemnation for that just because there clearly was a competitive base there that you could build on and that was the frustration. Like if they had been a hopeless team as currently constituted, then it might have been like, well, what's one or two moves here or there? It's a drop in the bucket, but because they did have some talent because they kept Ramirez around. It was like, okay, don't waste this, put some talent around this team. Right. Ultimately, they did that just by promoting from within and developing players and that front office has a pretty long track record of working within the constraints. Set by ownership and not being able to spend a lot, but still being able to make smart trades and acquire good players and produce their own good players, particularly pitchers, so that has paid off again. If anything, you would want them still to just spend because again, like if the front office is so adept at putting this good team together that is not making a ton of money said you want them to go into the playoffs, not just as the best team in the AL central, but as good as any other team in the playoff field, which might be a bit of a stretch. So which is not to say that they could not beat any other team or could not make a run because of course they can any team can. But you would just not want them to squander what they have here. I hope that they continue to build on it, keeping Ramirez instead of trading him like one door. That was great, but then you want other players to come along and they have come along just from within or from other teams organizations acquired via trades, which should not let ownership off the hook for trying to supplement where it can. Yeah, I mean, I think that when you think about the teams where if you're asked like who's particularly adept at player development, whose front office group is among the best Cleveland is definitely near the top of that list, the way that they develop pitching, you know, they have a good homegrown outfielder, the curse is over, right? It's done. So that's done the way that they can help to sort of maximize guys on the pitching side is really incredible. I mean, it's funny to watch the guardians social media account doing this like, you know, no one believed in us preseason. And I'm like, they're not going to say anything publicly, but I'm like, if you go ask your folks in the front office, I doubt that their internal projections were wildly different than ours, right? But you're right. Especially when you have young guys who, you know, like zips really liked Steven Kwan, I think zips. Fan graphs was tyrants. We were fun. And scattering was. Yeah, we were very, yeah, we were we were here for the Qantas. I don't know if we need to do names and words and nouns like nothing. No, right. Yeah, there you go. But like zips was really high on Quan, but even still there's going to be a ceiling on the projections that you give a guy who doesn't have big league experience. And it can be a compounding projection issue, right? Because you're sort of absolute projection of him is going to be as it turned out lower than what his performance this year has merited. And when you have guys whose performances are better than you expect, you are probably also taking the low end on their projected playing time, right? Because if they're really good, they force the issue and then they're like really good all the time and they're going to play more than we maybe had them projected to on the playing time side. So you have this like compounding projection issue, but I just think we have talked about this within the context of other teams seemingly every year and definitely lately, right?