I think I might as well keep the theme of the changes on the field since my last post looked at the change at second base. For today, Brad Miller gets his first taste of major league baseball. It appears from the press conferences that Miller will immediately get placed in to start at shortstop. Given Miller’s production at Tacoma, I approve.
My forecast for Brendan Ryan was 2.45 runs created per game for the 2013 season. That is exceptionally low for a major league batter. For some reason, Seattle fans like to see great defensive players who cannot hit and then convince themselves they are saving many more runs than is realistic. For the season through 79 games, Ryan has collected 171 outs while batting and only creating 13.7 runs. That works out to 2.0 runs created per game. It seems the front office reached a point where even they could no longer accept that level of production.
So here comes Miller. If we place him at shortstop for practically the entire season, he will collect something close to what Ryan did while Ryan will collect something close to what Robert Andino did. Given what Miller did at AAA and adjusting that to a major league equivalent says he should produce at a rate of 5.35 runs created per game. Converting that number to games yields 36.5 runs created for the balance of the season. That would be more than everyone on the roster except Kyle Seager and Kendrys Morales have created so far.
Nick Franklin played his first game on May 27th. In that one month, he has created 17.1 runs, good enough for ninth on the Mariners’ 2013 roster. That is 3.5 runs created more than Brendan Ryan who has played nearly every day. I bring this up because Miller’s number suggest he should create just over 12 runs per month for the balance of the season. Franklin was a big boost over Dustin Ackley. Miller should be a similar big boost over Ryan. The team scored 619 runs in 2012. With this change, I am now projecting they will score 697 in 2013. They only have 283 so far. Can they really produce 400 runs in half a season? Whether or not they do will tell me quite a bit about my expectations, but it will tell everyone quite a bit about the teams’ expectations for 2014.