Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Randall: When the rebels blew up the first Death Star...

Dante: Luke Skywalker. I like giving credit where credit is due.

- Clerks

Not that there was a ton of success for the Orioles in 2009 but I was curious where the credit was due. Andy MacPhail has remade the Orioles in his image since he arrived in 2007 but how much and how successfully? Which GMs made the trades, signings and draft picks that shaped the Orioles in 2009?

I decided to measure it in terms of WAR for 2009 only. Here's the snapshot for the hitters.

MacPhail                  7.0
Duquette\Flanagan         2.5
Beattie\Flanagan          3.1
Frank Wren                3.4

As expected, MacPhail is responsible for much of the good play in 2009 led by Adam Jones, Luke Scott and Felix Pie. Lou Montanez and Ty Wigginton did not help his cause.

The Jim Beattie/Mike Flanagan combo was responsible for Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold. The Jim Duquette/Flanagan combo was aided by the drafting of Matt Wieters, one of the last things they did before getting dismissed. Without it, they would be responsible for only 0.6 WAR from the offense less than two years after being dismissed. Frank Wren will always have Brian Roberts.

The pitching:

MacPhail                  4.5
Duquette\Flanagan         1.8
Beattie\Flanagan          0.7
Syd Thrift                0.5

Here's where MacPhail really shines. What little success the O's had on the mound can be attributed to him even with Brian Bass and Alfredo Simon pulling things down. Koji Uehara, George Sherrill and Brian Matusz lead the way on the positive side.

Duquette and Flanagan found Jeremy Guthrie and drafted Jason Berken. They also signed Danys Baez and Jamie Walker. Beattie/Flanagan drafted Brad Bergesen but got pulled down by David Hernandez, Bob McCrory and Rad Liz. Syd Thrift is living on Jim Johnson.

MacPhail obviously has an advantage as he has way more players contributing than the others. A breakdown of WAR per player:

MacPhail                .44
Duquette\Flanagan       .53
Beattie\Flanagan        .48

But this is also skewed a bit since players who don't produce don't last long. MacPhail's guys are still working things out.

What's the conclusion? Probably nothing to be learned here...yet. MacPhail has added impact players to the previous regimes (previous GMs added Markakis, Wieters, Roberts, Bergesen, Reimold) with Jones, Pie, Scott, Matusz, even the glove of Cesar Izturis. But, unsurprisingly, the key will be the young arms and how many pan out to be even average MLB starters.

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