Saturday Rockpile: Will the 2011 Rockies Be Six Wins Better Than 2010 Club? Kuroda Would Have Certainly Helped...

MLB -- How the Diamondbacks, Brewers, Mariners, Indians and more benefit by doing nothing this offseason - ESPN
In this Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Peter Keating came up with a statistic he calls the "Fruit Bowl Rankings." He took how many combined wins teams lost due to players not meeting statistical projections and also added in the total of wins lost due to players who were below replacement value. It sort of all adds up to be a bit of a "bad luck" stat - similar to the Pythagorean record, I suppose.

Anyway, what it all boils down to is if players who are slated to be on a team's roster next season fall back in line with their career numbers, AND if that team sheds its negative-WAR players and gains at least replacement-level talent in its place, the number of wins the team will pick up would look something like this:

Arizona 10.58
Seattle 9.68
Cleveland 8.86
Washington 8.22
Milwaukee 8.14
Toronto 6.89
Pittsburgh 6.78
Colorado 6.00
Oakland 5.42
Atlanta 5.24

Using that logic, that would make Toronto, Colorado, and Atlanta awfully good teams in 2011, as they would be adding on to what were already above-.500 records. What do you guys think - is a six-win improvement about what we should expect? Chime in on the poll.

Eight offseason questions for baseball executives - ESPN
More good stuff from ESPN.com, as Jerry Crasnick surveyed a whole bunch of MLB front office personnel on the big questions heading into the annual offseason meetings. 12 out of the 17 GMs said they don't believe Royals will part with Zack Greinke this winter, just three GMs think Jorge De La Rosa is the best free agent pitcher behind Cliff Lee (while five think Jake Westbrook is the most viable option), and five GMs stated that they would be interested in taking a flier on Jeff Francis as a bounce-back candidate.

Twitter / NPB Tracker: Sanspo has Kuroda ready to ...
According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, the Dodgers and Hiroki Kuroda have agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal (as npbtracker later corrected themselves saying they messed up the exchange rate when originally stating the deal was for $8MM). That's a bit of a disappointment, for me anyway, as I believe Kuroda would have been a great fit for the middle-to-back-end of the Rockies' rotation.

More after the jump...

Offseason Notes: Charlie Blackmon > Brandon Belt | FanGraphs Baseball
Fangraphs' Carson Cistulli makes a bold claim - that Rockies' prospect Charlie Blackmon will outhit highly-touted Giants' prospect Brandon Belt - by using FG's new SCOUT metric, which you can read more about here. As Cistulli notes, Blackmon has struck out just three times in 71 plate appearances. That kind of contact rate would suit the Rockies very well, but he would need to post a BABIP higher than .255 to make it worthwhile. I'm not sure if Blackmon is experiencing bad luck, or if he's just not making solid contact a lot of the time. My best guess is that it's probably a mix of both. Either way, Blackmon will be very high on my list of Rockies' prospects to watch heading into 2011.

Coming Monday: November farm report | Inside the Colorado Rockies
The most enticing piece of news here is that shortstop Rosell Herrera will be playing in Casper next year. Maybe this was off-base, but my thought was that he was going to repeat in the Dominican Summer League. It will be interesting to see how the youngster performs in his first year in the United States.

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