So I guess Stoeten is accomplishing something, because I am going to his blog more often to see what he's writing about.
I think I've seen this a couple of times. Stoeten takes the 7 blue jays underperforming players, Reyes, Johnson, Morrow, Dickey, Cabrerra, Lawrie, Izturus and compares their 2012 WAR to 2013. They had like 20 WAR in 2012, and -0.5 or something this year.
This kind of stuff just gets my blood boiling. He sort of frames it as if the Blue Jays were hit by this once in a life time stroke of bad luck. Nobody can be blamed for this. Who could of saw it coming?? Nothing like this has ever happened before to any team in the history of baseball. A once in a lifetime black swan.
2013 Washington Nationals: Laroche, Span, Espinosa, Gonzales, Storen, Mattheus, Trace, 2012 WAR 19.3, 2013 - 0.5.
WHAT?? It happened to them too?? This once in a life time stroke of bad luck hit two teams in one year??
It's utter nonsense. The 2013 Jays are a team that (if together) would of won 90 in 2012, they will win around 70 in 2013. They belong in the category of teams that won 90 and then won 70. In this category there is nothing unnussual about them.
Stoeten is trying to frame it as if, in the context of a collapse, it is a terribly unlucky collapse. No. It is a run of the mill collapse. It not unnusual for a team that underperforms by 20 wins to have 5-9 hugely underperforming players.
So the pattern of collapse is typical. The next question is whether this is a predictable collapse or not. Within the collapsed players are a steroid guy, a couple of injury prone guys, a once in a life time cy young guy. Did we expect 20 WAR from these guys?? No one expected 0 certainly.
A good way to frame it would of been the baseball prospectus way. Where they give a collapse percentage for each player.
Izturus - 18% Laroche 1%
Lawrie - 1% Span 3%
Reyes - 3% Espinoza 4%
Dickey - 26% Gonzales 26%
Johnson - 24% Storen 24%
Morrow - 29% Mattheus 21%
Cabrerra - 7% Tracy 13%
Interesting. Dickey, Johnson, Izturus, and Morrow are relatively high. Cabrerra not so high but the system probably doesn't account for steroid withdrawal.
Once in a life time stroke of bad luck that no one, ever, could of seen coming?? I don't know. To be fair the collapse percentages for pitchers always seem high. Dickey, Johnson and Morrow are a bit high... but Gonzales is also at 26%. Maybe it's just never a good idea to trade for a boatload of established pitchers because established pitchers collapse more than established players??
Would developing pitchers and trading for position players be the better route?? Anyway instead of framing this as a terribly unlucky random disaster, it should be framed for what it is, a typical collapse. Then take a look at why the collapse happened, and what can be done differently in the future.