A strong showing in the Forecaster’s Challenge

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Tangotiger published the results of his annual Forecaster’s Challenge on Tuesday, and my Rotoworld projections put together a pretty nice showing versus several other experts and projections systems.

There were 22 entries in the challenge, including the likes of Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA, Bloomberg Sports and the Fangraphs community projections. Also included was a consensus ranking using all of the systems put together. The projections were judged in four different competitions, and I finished first, second and fourth in three of those. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack in the other. It was in the head-to-head contest that I thrived; put in a two-person league with one of the 21 other systems, I won 41 out of 42 runs.

Alas, when Tango combined all of the four contests into one score, I finished second to the consensus model. As it turned out, the average of all of the expert systems was better than any of the individual systems this year.

Now back to working on those 2012 projections. Anyone with an idea on how many homers Bobby Parnell will allow should drop my a line.

(If you want to see more, I reviewed a bunch of my projections in this space last month.)

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.

A 30-year-old rookie won his major league debut

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The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.

That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.

Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.