This year's round of community projections will be limited to a few select players. This is because I don't care about Rich Aurilia's projection. You don't care about Rich Aurilia's projection. I checked last year's post, and no one from Aurilia's own family made a prediction, which indicates that Rich Aurilia's family doesn't care about Rich Aurilia's projection. So let's start with....
Why not just dive into this one while the potential for hilarious predictions is at its highest? Here are Zito's spring stats thus far:
...which lends itself pretty well to this projection:
I can't put my finger on why, but I was optimistic about Zito heading into this season. Maybe his second-half turnaround last season didn't mean anything; maybe it meant a whole bunch. He started striking people out, after all. He didn't strike out hitters at the rate of a vintage Randy Johnson, but he at least struck out hitters at the rate of a present-day Randy Johnson with a catheter still attached after just getting out of back surgery. If that isn't worth $120M, I'm not sure what is. Last year's splits:
That post-All-Star performance still includes a few starts of Wretched Zito. Apparently, his strikeout rate didn't jump as high as I remembered; the increased success was due to better control. After the horrific spring start, it might make sense to jump off the Zito bandwagon, do a barrel roll, and just keep running until the gunshots can't be heard anymore. Nuts to that, I say. Second-half Zito shows up for the whole season and pitches well enough to tempt teams into swallowing the rest of his contract. They won't, mind you, but they'll be a little tempted.
Comment starter: Your Zito projection
* HRA = Home Runs Allowed
* SB = Starlets Bedded