Ah, spring clichés. They’ve taken out many a preseason prognosticator before. Why, maybe Livan Hernandez did lose 50 pounds and gain 10 MPH! I’ll just factor that into my projection, and I’ll also draft him on my fantasy team, and…oh. Oh, my. That ended in tears. And delicious bundt cake. But mostly tears.
There isn’t a shortage of player-about-to-take-the-league-by-storm articles from which to choose. The applicable entry for today comes from SFGate, and it’s about Edgar Renteria. To be fair, the only people espousing that position were Renteria and Bruce Bochy, who are perfectly entitled to be optimistic. Heck, I’d be more than a little annoyed if a player came in saying something like, "Well, I’m pretty washed up, but they keep paying me, so…here I am. Again." So no one’s really at fault here. It’s just a good idea to be a little cynical.
A quote from the article:
Renteria said when he got a pre-surgery second opinion from Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, Yocum said he did not understand how Renteria could have played the entire season.
Things that Yocum could have found in Renteria’s right elbow that would have conclusively proved that Renteria’s dismal hitting was the direct result of an injury:
- An alligator
- Tommy Lasorda and a pair of hedge trimmers, both shrunk down Inner Space-style
- Renteria’s own great-great-grandfather, which would have created a time-travel paradox and a rift in the space-time continuum, causing time to bend and tear, which would have created a black hole -- this is the easiest way to explain that much suck.
If they had found any of those three, I’d be optimistic for Renteria’s rebound. But three large bone chips? That’s just… actually, that’s probably a good explanation. Those things can’t feel good. And it would go quite a long way toward explaining how slow Renteria’s bat looked last year. You know, if Renteria could approach his success from previous seasons, it would go a long way toward…
Dammit. I started doing it again. I started to give in to the siren song of the spring optimism. Is it more likely that Renteria had a fixable problem and is now on his way to being the Renteria from his mid-to-late 20s, or is it more likely that Renteria is on the wrong side of 30, and what we saw in 2009 is what we should expect in 2010? Right. If you’re thinking logically, there shouldn’t be much of a debate.
Here’s where you mutter to yourself about the inherent pessimism of McCovey Chronicles. And here’s where I respond with how optimism usually doesn’t get me anywhere. Look at those gaudy, cleanup-worthy numbers! Ol’ Edgar would have been quite the addition if he approached that line.
Here are how the projection systems see Renteria’s forthcoming season:
ZiPS: .280/.336/.388, 7 HR, 443 AB
PECOTA: .283/.340/.403, 8 HR, 409 AB
Bill James: .276/.335/.383, 8 HR, 507 AB
CHONE: .270/.330/.385, 9 HR, 481 AB
My, my, my. Even the projection systems read the spring training articles. I’d be thrilled with any of those from the Giants’ shortstop. Maybe that’s not $9M worth of production, but it’d be an improvement over last year.
I can’t do it, though. I’m still laughing at how optimistic I was about Renteria last year, and I need to compensate.
$10.5M option picked up?: Gee, probably not
I really, really hope this is wrong. There isn’t really a convincing argument why I should expect it to be wrong, so I’m going to err on the side of caution, which also happens to be the side of doom and/or gloom.