Saturday, February 06, 2010

Hudson / Punto, G. Sizemore

At least a few readers were wondering whether the signing of Orlando Hudson by the Twins means that we will be reducing Nick Punto's forecast.

Much as we discussed the other day in this space about San Francisco bringing in Yorvit Torrealba and how we had already expected them to add extra catcher when we had published so few at bats for Nick Hundley, the same applies here to Punto in Minnesota.  We had given Punto only 261 at bats in the previously published forecasts because we believed that the Twins would bring another infielder in to play second base.  It's a real challenge in forecasting that sometimes, you need to give the current candidates the playing time in the absence of other options and in other cases, you just have to believe that certain teams are intent on bringing in another player before the season starts.

In some cases, we've gotten this right and in others, we've already been proven wrong and then adjust accordingly.  For example, in our first forecast set, we guessed right on the Atlanta bullpen and decided not to give out the saves in the Atlanta bullpen, expecting they would add a new closer.  They subsequently brought in Billy Wagner.  However, in San Francisco, they played the market in a way we didn't expect and we then had to downgrade players like Buster Posey and others as they added veterans at positions we didn't expect they would be looking to fill.

On a completely separate matter, another reader had asked about Grady Sizemore and the "very risky" tag we've attached to his latest published forecast.  In our previous set, we had published a projection for 552 at bats, a .280 average, 24 home runs, 101 runs scored, 85 RBI and 20 stolen bases.  If he lives up to those expectations, that will be a quite valuable season for those in fantasy leagues.

The reason we must apply the "very risky" tag here is because he missed so much time last year and we're projecting numbers that are so much better than 2009.  I hesitate to say this because I'm sure you could dig hard enough and find an exception but generally, any player who is projected by us to do something they haven't done in the majors in over a year or who is coming off an extended injury will almost certainly get at least a moderate to high risk in our ratings.  Injuries can create risk because there is always the chance that a player does not return to being the player he was previously, no matter how seemingly minor the injury.  A player misses a week with a mild hamstring strain and after he returns, constantly favors it in fear that he will re-injure himself and stops running as hard, for example.  You don't see it with every injury but it does happen.

Beyond the recovery from surgery, Sizemore brings with him the additional problem that he wasn't as good as usual when he did play last year, especially in contrast to our expectations for him for the upcoming season.  So, that's the short explanation of why we're tagging his 2010 forecast as very risky.  If you can tolerate risk, they'll be nice numbers to have on your fantasy team if we end up even remotely close to his actual performance.