"MLB 10: The Show" Update 2, Lineups

This thread could also appropriately be named "Why Lars Anderson is the greatest player of all time" thread...... but more on that later.




First of all, the game shown above is the greatest game of all time. I played the holy living crap out of that game and was the first instance of something I could beat the Pops at on a consistent basis.  Now lets compare the graphics just a few years later:




A bit of an improvement.


"MLB 10: The Show" is quite a sophisticated tool, and is just close enough (with a few tweaks) to have a fun run with projections. So, I had a night where I didn't want to go out or do anything so I spent a few hours running multiple seasons worth of data, and so I made a fanpost about it:

Fair Warning, this puppy is long.

--Nerdy Adjustment Section Ahead, Feel Free To Skip for Stats and Such--

First of all, I had to tweak a few things. The rosters had to be manually adjusted from the last time the online rosters were updated, which is basically all of the free agent moves. I did about 95% of them off the top of my head and then double checked for the smaller moves I may have missed.


Peter Bourjos' speed and defensive ranking were rated so low that they needed to be changed in order to properly reflect his defensive value to the team. I checked defensive comparisons to the rate of his dWar last year and adjusted for a fair amount of regression to non-godlikeness next year. His offensive stats remained unchanged.

Out of a possible 100, Speed was increased to 85, Baserunning Ability 80, Baserunning Aggressiveness 75, Range 85, Fielding 80, Reaction 80, Arm Strength 75, Accuracy 70.

Considering he was on pace for the best defensive season in center in recent memory I figured setting his stats to someone around a B+ defensive player would be appropriate. (The simulations came out as I wanted, Bourjos was a top tier defender but never won a gold glove, his presence in the everyday lineup gave the team speed and defense, which it sorely needed)


Another glaring change had to be made, one that would break the simulations if not addressed:

The game just loved Mark Reynolds and Adam Dunn WAY WAY too much. Like, "Holy shit are you kidding me!?" too much....


Adam Dunn 


1st .286 55 45 156

2nd .299 58 60  166

3rd .279 52 42 145


Mark Reynolds



1st .303 51 50 130

2nd .313 55 49 141

3rd .298 53 54 133


So, yeah, what the hell is that? Both players won the MVP in their respective leagues each of the first three years, and it wasn't close. Other players were pretty much normal, with some outliers (Like Albert Pujols hitting 67 homeruns, but then 47 the next run through) but Dunn and Reynolds were absolutely redonkulous each time. It had to be fixed to maintain my own sanity.

Reynolds had contact lowered across the board and Dunn's contact and slight power adjustment was made to better reflect the three true outcome players they are. After five subsequent sims I felt comfortable with the outcomes of the stats. 


--------------------End Adjustment Section--------------------


For the sim stats listed I kept injuries off (I started with them on and realized what an enormous pain in the ass it was and how little sense it made to keep them on), CPU trades on (The Red Sox love trading away Lester and or Lackey, like a lot), and everything else set to default. 


The roster started as it probably will be on opening day and was only changed after injuries. Mike Trout does not exist for the purpose of these sims because I felt randomly making a dude and assigning him ratings based on how I feel about his talent was pretty much wild speculation, so I skipped it. We can assume Trout will probably not make a significant splash during the 2011 season (barring significant injuries or ridiculous play on Trouts part).


No trades purposed by the CPU were accepted as well as none purposed to other teams in attempt to improve the team. No free agents were acquired.

The 25 man is as follows:


A few notes here:



Abreu should logically lead off, thats exactly why Sosh wont put him at the top spot. However,  I can see the value of breaking up the "punch and judy" hitters in the lineup from the start of the game. Torii Hunter has hit in front of Kendry Morales since he was called up, I do not see that changing. Vernon Wells as protection for Bam Bam should suffice.


-Maicer Izturis at 3B in a platoon roll/starter
-Hank Conger winning the starting catcher spot out of ST
-Bobby Wilson being DFA'd and bringing a 12th man into the pitching core (Bulger most likely)*
-I just do not see a spot for Mark Trumbo as of right now, unless Wood is DFA'd.

*(Sosh likes three catchers for whatever reason. This is the most likely 25 man simply because the team is carrying five outfielders already and does not really need a sixth.)


-Trevor Bell winning the long relief spot from Palmer, and eventually taking over due to injury or Scott Kazmir being Scott Kazmir.
-Fernando Rodney is probably the worst pitcher in the pen. No one would be shocked if someone supplants him by seasons end (or hopefully, by the end of April).
-Hisanori Takahasi is basically a crapshoot. He will start some, set up some, maybe close some... sprinkle in some long relief and middle relief appearances and you have a utility bullpen dude. 





Ok, lets do this thing.



Here is a chart for 5 seasons worth of offensive numbers:



The first three sets of data used the lineup posted above. The fourth season I moved Bourjos to leadoff and Aybar to 9th. The result was pretty terrible, resulting in a last place finish for the team. The fifth set of data had me moving Aybar to 8th and everyone else up a spot, having Abreu leading off. The result was a tremendous start with a September collapse, with a loss to Texas on the last day of the season to give the Rangers the division and the Halos missing the playoffs, but it was by far the best team result. (Sure small sample size, but it was a noticeable effect)

(Note: The steal total is listed as x//y, where x is total successful steals and y is caught stealing)

Then I got to thinking: "Why run 20 sets of the same data when I can get HH user input and see how different moves effect the team?"


So, I will post this fanpost with the intent of leaving it unfinished until I get some scenarios in which you guys want to see. 


-Want to see what Conger (who appears to be completely unable to drive in runs) would do over a full season over Mathis? 

-Brandon Wood full season? Sure I can do that.

-What if we got Carl Crawford instead of Wells?

-What if we got Cliff Lee?


The possibilities are numerous and could be fun to check out. I can post results of the suggestions and fun will be had by all. Until then, lets break down the data I DO have. (Which I had to restart, the data I had before was lost due to stupidity on my part, hence five seasons instead of 10+.)


#1) Erick Aybar should NOT lead off. 
The man just cant get on base, like at all. With an average OBP of .314 its fairly obvious that his presence should be felt on the bottom of the lineup, kinda always-ish. What is interesting is that his two best sim years were had when I moved him to the bottom of the lineup (Years 4 and 5)


#2) Bobby Abreu should lead off
No real analysis needed here. Its just obvious.


#3) Check out Hank Conger's sweet RBI numbers.
The Korean Savior has LESS runs batted in over 5 seasons than Willits does home runs. Let that sink in kids. Although I feel these numbers are thrown off by limited playing time due to 3 catchers on the roster and the game's somewhat low rating (although his overall rating is higher than Mathis') I think this could give a clear precursor to the season. If Mathis gets 66% of the catching starts I could easily see Conger becoming Brandon Wood part 2. Sosh needs to start valuing young talent and doing his best to support and foster that talent. In my opinion the only thing that Mike has proven is that he can take over a roster of proven vets and win, his management of prospects (especially blue chip position players) is significantly sub-par until proven otherwise.


#4) Vernon Wells is a useful player, seriously.
I can easily see him nailing these projections of 24 homeruns and 78 RBIs with a lowish average. Even with those numbers he contributes a lot to a lineup that would be absolutely terrible without him. If you take out Wells and start the season you instantly realize that Morales' protection is either Kendrick or Callaspo. That is gross. Wells might be the most necessary piece this offseason after the front office missed out of Beltre and Crawford. 86 Million dollars or not, the team needs this guy.


#5) The bench is a weakness
Besides Mighty Macier (who was helped by having injuries off during these sims) the bench is literally the worst thing I have ever seen on any team ever. Two players are there not because of talent but because the organization is terrified of releasing them as it would prove that they have given up and have failed. Wilson and Wood just shouldn't be on the 25 man roster, period. The team can be so much more productive with two catchers and someone who can actually hit or play defensive coming off the bench in place of Wood. Willits is a decent replacement player for when he is needed, but is obviously nothing special. This team is one significant injury away from being 100% offensively irrelevant.


#6) The team needs a #2 hitter
This lineup is instantly more tolerable with Abreu leading off, however, has a glaring hole at the 2 spot. This season's offensive woes could be helped a ton by either Callaspo, Kendrick, or possibly Bourjos stepping up and being able to hit in the second spot with efficiency. If either of those three players can hit close to .300 and get their OBP anywhere near .340 while being able to situationally hit and move runners over then we could have a decent offense. Otherwise the bottom of the lineup will be four consecutive below average hitters in a row, which any team is going to struggle to win with.


#7) The team had a player drive in 100 or more runs only twice (Morales both times) and did not have one player hit .300 or above.
This seems entirely reasonable. The only .300 threats I see are Morales (depending on how he bounces back), Abreu, and possibly Callaspo. Thats about it. Kendrick is no .300 hitter, he just can't hit good offspeed stuff consistently. The current lack of anyone not named Abreu being able to get on base could lead to low or spread out RBI numbers, with an all or nothing offensive approach. Im going to have fun watching the team score13 runs one game then 6 runs for the next week.


#8) Bourjos' steal totals are pretty awesome
This is probably due to over adjusting his baserunning stats, however, of the 43 times Pete got on base in 2010 he attempted a swipe 13 times. 30% steal rates could easily lead to a 40+ SB campaign with any kind of offensive consistency with his speed. I see this as totally doable for the Borg.



Here is the pitching Chart, which is in a completely different format from the hitting one so I can keep you kids on your toes.


The years are from left to right, top to bottom row. I should have labeled them, but whatever. 




#1) Weaver is really good
Two years stick out especially, year 2 and year 4. Due to lack of run support no Angel pitcher won a Cy Young in any of the years (award winners posted below, including the amazing, godlike Lars Anderson's magical Cy Young Campaign.) as the game seems to base the award entirely on win totals. Luckily real life baseball has started to swerve away from this thinking as of two years ago, however the virtual realm has yet to embrace the concept of  actual pitching stats instead of arbitrary, useless stats like wins. Either way, Weaver remains the best pitcher on the team and one of the best pitchers in the AL. I doubt he will hit a ERA mark of 2.16 anytime soon, however his average ERA of 3.19 is delicious and entirely within reason.


#2) Haren is pretty good too
The one two punch of Wearen (or Harver) is something that would prove deadly in the playoffs, especially in the short series. My personal man crush on Haren aside, the dude is good. I am excited to see what this duo can do in 2011 and is a reason to watch the team on its own.


#3) Fernando Rodney's puzzling stats
I was pretty convinced that Rodney would blow chunks in the closer roll, as his WHIP is appropriately high in the game as well. Now everyone turn your attention to his strikeout and walk totals. What the hell is going on there? The Great Sideways Hatted One averaged a whopping 31.2 strikeouts for the entire season. How someone can save 38 games while striking out only 25 dudes is beyond me, and its not something that was shown in only one year or two. Apparently Fernando Rodney became the ultimate contact pitcher and let only this video game know. How anyone can post a 1.53 WHIP when you only walk 19 people in a 42 save season is probably something we will never see in real life, like ever.... especially considering the respectable 3.45 ERA along with it in year 4. I just dont know here, I have no idea how to even analyze this. 


#4) Scott Downs kicks ass
Just look at those WHIP totals. If Syndrome can come anywhere close to these beautiful stats I will look forward to every single appearance by this glorious, mullet adorned man. No further comments.


#5) Ervin Santana is going to completely suck
It makes sense, based on his real life patterns and it must be true because video games told me so. His average stats here (4.77 ERA, 1.49 WHIP) are right around what I kinda expect from Ervy. Be it elbow troubles or over-bobbleness of his head, I feel as if this year is going to be a disaster for Black Magic. 


#6) I really like a Walden/Jepsen combo in the bullpen
There is just something so sexy about two power right handers looming in the middle relief role. The bullpen this year is going to be a strength, and if Rodney can post good numbers, a significant one at that. Walden cannot possibly continue his pace from 2010's ridiculousness, however, I have faith in Jordan Walden and Kevin Jepsen to throw the ball so hard that people holding sticks will cower in fear. Either one of these kids could easily step up to take the closer roll and its going to be fun watching high 90s stuff light up the board on a consistent basis.... in the 6th and 7th freaking innning.


#7) We are all going to hate Hisanori Takahashi
Tonka is going to be the Hideki Matsui of the bullpen. Every Mets fan I know has repeated the sentiments of Hisanori being intolerable as a starter but effective as a bullpen guy. HT's numbers against lefties are pretty impressive (.217 BA, .277 SLG against) and would be incredibly effective as a LOOGY in high leverage situations. Now, as Angels fans we can safely say Takahasi will almost certainly not be used in anyway close to that. Lets all watch in awe as Sosh runs this dude out against the Yankees in New York up against Jeter/ARod/ Tex in the 7th inning of a 1 run game only to get lit up like a poorly watered Christmas Tree in April near an open fireplace. I see a poor start, acceptable if not mediocre numbers from an asian player who will just not fit into the clubs mentality nor culture. By the all-star break we should start seeing 10-15 posts of TRADE TAKAHASHIT  for ALBERT PUJOLS trade threads littering the board...... by the way, the game hates him too, 15 losses in the second year is justs hilariously bad, even with a perfectly reasonable 3.99 ERA.


#8) Im pretty sure Bulger is out of options
I looked around for about 10 minutes and was frustrated to not be able to find how many options Bulger had in a few seconds..... it is fairly safe to say I am spoiled by the internet at this point of my life. I think if I had to go to a library and look through shelves of books to research ANYTHING I would cry manly tears of frustration and laziness. Either way, Senior Video Game told me that Jason Bulger is optionless. If this is true then it could force the hand of management to cut Wilson, Bulger, or Wood to keep two of the three. In my opinion cutting Wilson, starting Conger and using Mathis as backup is the rational, sane decision.... therefore Bulger (the only one with true value) will be sent through waivers and picked up by Baltimore (yeah Im calling it). I dislike a 12 man bullpen when you can avoid it and it seems this team can run an 11 man BP, which is ideal. Plus the bench needs some serious help.



Standings/Awards/World Series Winners for each Simulated Year


Year 1: 
Record: 80-82, Third Place behind Texas and Oakland
MVP: AL-Miguel Cabrera / NL- Albert Pujols
Cy Young: AL- David Price / NL- Cliff Lee
World Series: Red Sox defeat Dodgers in 6


Year 2:
Record 78-84, Second to Texas
MVP: AL- Jake Peavy / NL- Prince Fielder
Cy Young: AL- LARS ANDERSON*** / NL- Cliff Lee
World Series: Rays defeat Padres in 7
(More on Lars Freaking Anderson shortly)


Year 3:
Record 82-80, Second to Texas
MVP: AL- Longoria / NL- Prince Fielder
Cy Young: AL- CJ Wilson / NL- Ted Lilly 
World Series: Yankees defeat Giants in 4


Year 4:
Record: 72-90, Last in Division
MVP: AL- Mark Teixeria / NL- Albert Pujols
Cy Young: AL- Edwin Jackson / NL- Matt Cain
World Series: Phillies over Yankees 
(Note: Peter Bourjos was moved from 9th to leadoff for the entire year, Aybar to 9th spot.)


Year 5:
Record: 87-75, Second to Texas, lost division lead on last day of season.
MVP: AL- CC Sabathia / NL- Prince Fielder
Cy Young: AL- Jake Peavy / NL- Chris Carpenter
World Series: Red Sox defeat Dodgers in 5
(Note: Aybar moved to 8th, everyone else (save Bourjos) moved up one spot in lineup. Abreu leadoff)



-Year one seems within reason, except for maybe the Dodgers making the World Series.

-Year two has Jake Peavy winning the MVP yet someone named Lars Anderson winning the Cy Young... which doesn't make sense in itself, especially so when I explain who the hell Lars Anderson is (soon I promise). The Padres make the dance this year, interesting.

-Year three has the two grossest Cy Young winners ever. CJ Wilion and Ted Lilly? Ewwwww. Everything else seems perfectly reasonable even if the Giants get swept in the Series, which I find hilarious.

-Year four has Edwin Jackson winning the Cy Young with something around 22 wins and a high 3 ERA. Stupid game. This is also the year Borg leads off, which spells disaster for the offense and the entire season.

-Year five was by far the most successful for the Angels with normalcy in the awards given. The Red Sox beat the dodgers for the second time in five sims, which is annoying. I would rather watch my own castration live than that matchup in the world series, seriously. 





In Year 2 CC Sabathia won the MVP award in the AL. Apparently when big CC wins the MVP the game freaks the hell out because it also loves donuts and award the Cy Young to Lars Anderson (this also happened in CommNate's #1 lineup).


This is what Lars' Cy Young year looked like:



I dont know who this kid is but anyone who can hit two home runs and NOT make it to home plate is someone we have to trade for, sounds very Morales-esk. I guess all the other numbers are impressive too, quite a pitching year for this young man.


Well CommNate, your first lineup provided a playoff appearance, nicely done sir:


Pretty much a kick ass year from everyone offensively, especially Bourjy. Pete actually cooled down as he was hitting .340 most of the season. Mathis had one at bat which resulted in a double, good for him. The Rays kicked some ass in the ALDS, didnt stand much of a chance. I REALLY like Callaspo in the 2 slot.


Round 2 wasnt as pretty:


Ewwy. Wells batted .323, which is sweet. And you got the totally awesome Lars Anderson bug on this season, which is awesome. Callaspo just doesnt hit as well out of the 2 slot, which is interesting. Ive noticed players preform significantly better in certain roles.


As for you, Downing Rules:


Your lineup was so bad that it caused not only a near-100 loss season but the Fing Rockies won the World Series. Thanks for breaking the game bro, gosh. Also everyone point and laugh at Mathis' stat, those are over 10 games and 22 plate appearances. *points* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


More to come.








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