Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Garland, Thome, Nady

Jon Garland signed with the Padres yesterday and getting to pitch half of his games in pitching-friendly PETCO will help his ERA and WHIP somewhat without offering him any improvement in wins (San Diego went 75-87 last year).  We weren't projecting Garland to be particularly good so even the boost as a result of the new home park won't propel him to a much higher position on any ranking sheets.  Our previous forecast, published when we didn't know where he would end up signing, had projected an ERA in the mid 4's and we're going to upgrade that to low 4's territory now, around 4.25 or so.

Jim Thome just agreed to join the Minnesota Twins and while this is a good organization for him in terms of the chance to wrap up his stellar career with a contender, it also is an environment in which he'll be challenged for regular playing time, this as the Twins have plenty of other candidates for the DH spot.  We expected Thome was going to sign as a non-starter somewhere and we will continue to forecast about 250 at bats here with 10-15 home run power and about 40 RBI.  If somehow he managed to force himself into the near-everyday lineup, he's still capable of topping 25 home runs but it's unlikely he'll get that much playing time.

Another player who confirmed his status as a bench guy rather than a starter is Xavier Nady, who is reportedly now finalizing a deal with the Cubs.  Nady missed almost all of last season but in 2008, had a good year, hitting .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBI, all career-highs.  With the Cubs, I think he will be severely challenged for playing time and we will not be forecasting much from him, barring a major injury to one of the current outfielders already expected to be in the starting lineup.

One more reminder re: our upcoming "If Sleepers Existed" series... If you haven't already signed up for our free mailing list, today's the last day to be on it in time to get part one of this series earlier than it will appear on the site.  We expect to publish part one of the essay either tomorrow or Friday and an email will go out to the free mailing list with a link to it when it goes online.  For those not on the free mailing list, we'll be posting it for all to see at the site by early next week.  So, if you want it first, be sure you're on the list.