It has been keeping me up at nights. Well, since I work at nights, that might be a good thing, but I am certainly worried that we may have reached an apex. I am not saying it looks doom and gloom from here on out, but we dropped a big piece from this year's offense (assuming Rowand doesn't return) and we are going to drop another one next year. That is beginning to concern me.
Last year's lineup (ignoring order for the most part):
Rollins: .298 EqA (.270 career) +28 points
Victorino: .280 EqA (.265 career) +15 points
Utley: .330 EqA (.302 career) +28 points
Howard: .318 EqA (.322 career) -4 points
Burrell: .312 EqA (.290 career) +22 points
Rowand: .302 EqA (.278 career) +24 points
Helms: .232 EqA (.262 career) -30 points
Ruiz: .261 EqA (.260 career) +1 point
Werth: .305 EqA (.277 career) +28 points
Dobbs: .271 EqA (.257 career) +14 points
Almost every single player outperformed their career avergae in EqA. Helms underperformed, but that was just in limited ABs. Howard significantly underperformed his last year, but nobody expected him to repeat that and this is probably more like his level.
The big jumps were Utley (28 points), Rollins (28 points), Rowand (24 points) and Burrell (22 points). We lost Rowand and while he wasn't likely to put up the same numbers next year, we will still miss what he did do last year in any fashion. Here is just a questimate of what we may see next year in terms of EqA (this isn't nearly as in depth or as good as a projection that MattS does).
Rollins: .285 EqA (.298 EqA 2007) -13 points
Victorino: .280 EqA (.280 2007) 0 points
Utley: .320 EqA (.330 2007) -10 points
Howard: .325 EqA (.318 2007) +5 points
Burrell: .300 EqA (.312 2007) -12 points
Werth: .275 EqA (Rowand .302 2007) -27 points
Helms: .255 EqA (.232 2007) +23 points
Ruiz: .265 EqA (.261 2007) +4 point
Dobbs: .260 EqA (.277 2007) -17 points
I see most players playing worse this year than last year, however, it's not like they are playing poorly. Rollins is not likely to put up the huge extra base numbers again and he doesn't walk enough to break a .300 EqA as his OBP is generally average. A .285 EqA is pretty respecatable. I find it hard to believe that Utley will equal his .330 EqA. He was hitting doubles like they were going out of style and I don't think he'll repeat that as it was an extreme. A .320 is solid though. Howard, I suspect, bounces back with identical power numbers, but a slightly higher OBP due to an increase in BA by 10 points or so. Burrell isn't likely to walk like he did and I suspect he'll regress a bit, but a .300 EqA is excellent. (As a note, Carlos Lee had a .301 EqA last year, Soriano a .293, and the 90 million dollar man had a .292). Werth is an enigma, but I'd be happy with a .275 EqA in 400 or so ABs, but it is still a significant drop from Rowand last year. Helms, if he starts, will likely go back to around league average, which will help a bit to offset the drops by everyone else. Ruiz will likely stay the same and Dobbs will likely drop.
So, it looks like a couple of our everyday players may regress from their career highs AND we lost a .302 EqA this year. Next year, if they stay at this level, we will still have lost Burrell's .300 EqA (assuming that he is around there). That is a TON of offense to lose in back to back years and we have nobody to replace them.
I don't want Rowand back because Rowand of next year will likely not look like Rowand of last year. Rowand of next year will likely look a bit like Victorino of next year. That is the problem with players having a surprise year. You tend to forget how much that added offense really helped you. Our offense is going to take a decent hit next year and probably a bigger one next year.