Monday, January 11, 2010

Speaking of Troy Glaus...

The Braves are depending on the guy to play first base and anchor the offense behind Chipper. A lot of ink has been spilt regarding the nature of this gamble. Most of it is tinged to no small extent with "is this all" bitterness. I understand the bitterness. Expectations were set higher than an injury rehab, flipping Javy Vazquez for Melky Cabrerra and a LOTTO, and Eric Hinske. Nonetheless, deflated expectations is no reason to frag the analysis on what Glaus is likely to bring to the table. 33 years old, which isn't young but isn't Chipper either. Prior to last year's season lost to shoulder surgery he posted four straight years of 120-something OPS+. Gets on base and hits the ball hard. What's not to love?

Oh, you say, it's the whole shoulder surgery thing? I can understand that. But here's the thing. No one outside of the Braves' (and maybe the Cards') medical staff know a good damned googly shite about Troy Glaus' shoulder. Mark Bowman and Dave O'Brien don't know anything about it. Neither Szymborski and Tango and whomever is doing projections at BP these days have a singular clue about it. None of the great unwashed blogging hordes know a damned thing. (I include Will Carroll here.) All of which means that Glaus represents the worst possible scenario for the sabremetric cognoscenti. He is a case for which we have no reliable data. He quite literally can't be predicted. The most important factor anyone would need is locked tight underneath the medical staff's non-compete clauses and Glaus' right to privacy.

With that said, we are solely dependent on the Braves' word. It's a position we never feel comfortable in, but it is the case nonetheless. Atlanta says Glaus is likely to hit his bonus metrics, all of which hinge on playing time. The Braves believe Glaus' shoulder will be fine. Considering how dead on accurate they were regarding John Smoltz' shoulder last year, I see no reason to not believe them. Until shown otherwise, I'm pencilling Glaus in for 265/365/480. I'll take a 120 OPS+ in the cleanup spot, thank you very much. Considering the Casey Kotchman Horror of 2009, that's a nice thing to look forward to.