Search Articles by Rian Watt
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2 Short Relief: Toasting Bartolo, Reviewing Bryzzo, and Eating Hats by David Temple, Rian Watt and Zack Moser
0 Playoff Prospectus: Of Errors, Common and Uncommon by Rian Watt
0 Playoff Prospectus: Assessing the Managers' Moves in Game 3 by Rian Watt
1 Playoff Prospectus: The Bold and The Beautiful by Rian Watt
6 Playoff Prospectus: Lester Was a Baez Better by Rian Watt
11 Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview: Giants vs. Cubs by Rian Watt
2 Transaction Analysis: Cubs Extend Theo and The Gang by Rian Watt
0 Life at the Margins: Kris Bryant's Changing Changes by Rian Watt
41 Transaction Analysis: Aroldis Chapman Takes The 105 To Wrigley by Christopher Crawford, Mike Gianella, Rian Watt, Adam McInturff and Nicolas Stellini
4 Transaction Analysis: The Legend of Vogelbach, Now In Seattle by Christopher Crawford, Rian Watt and Brendan Gawlowski
3 Life at the Margins: Seager See, Seager Do by Rian Watt
4 Life at the Margins: Countering the Modern Ace by Rian Watt
8 Prospectus Feature: But What If It Did Count? by Sam Miller, Rian Watt and Meg Rowley
5 Life at the Margins: Lightning Strikes Adam Duvall Twice by Rian Watt
2 Life at the Margins: Stuff Your Scouting Report by Rian Watt
3 Life at the Margins: Marvelous Mookie Fails Twice by Rian Watt
2 Transaction Analysis: Walsh Revolution by Rian Watt, James Fegan and Matthew Trueblood
1 Life at the Margins: The Giants Have Had a Good Week by Rian Watt
0 BP Wrigleyville by Rian Watt
13 Life at the Margins: Deck Chair Moved by Rian Watt
5 Life at the Margins: Swing, Batta Batta by Rian Watt
0 Life at the Margins: Nola Ascending by Rian Watt
5 Life at the Margins: In Dusty They Trusty by Rian Watt
2 Life at the Margins: The Best Pitcher Right Now by Rian Watt
0 BP Wrigleyville by Rian Watt
21 Life at the Margins: Why St. Louisians Pursed Their Lips And Yelled Boooooo by Rian Watt
1 Transaction Analysis: Don't Go Breaking Swihart by Ben Carsley, Joshua Howsam, Rian Watt and Adam McInturff
4 Life at the Margins: Gotta Get 'em Early? by Rian Watt
1 Transaction Analysis: The Ghosts of Bros Past by James Fegan, Nicolas Stellini, Rian Watt, Matthew Trueblood and Christopher Crawford
0 BP Wrigleyville by Rian Watt
6 Transaction Analysis: Gregory Polanco's Worst Case Has Never Looked Better by Rian Watt
0 BP Unfiltered: Mental Skills on the North Side: Seven Perspectives by Rian Watt
0 Transaction Analysis: From Atlanta to Atlanta by Rian Watt and Dustin Palmateer
2 Transaction Analysis: Not So Swishalicious by Rian Watt, Nicolas Stellini and James Fegan
7 Life at the Margins: A Cubs Championship, Probably by Rian Watt
10 Winter Is Leaving by Rian Watt
2 Life at the Margins: Greatness, Nearby by Rian Watt
0 Winter Is Leaving by Rian Watt
7 Life at the Margins: Not Fade Away by Rian Watt
8 Life at the Margins: Catching Down by Rian Watt
3 Winter Is Leaving by Rian Watt
7 Life at the Margins: Things Are Looking Upside by Rian Watt
33 Transaction Analysis: Fowler Comes In WAY Under Budget by Bryan Grosnick and Rian Watt
11 Life at the Margins: The NL's Gut-Punchiest Team Projection by Rian Watt
6 Life at the Margins: You've Got Males by Rian Watt
24 Life at the Margins: What Comes After Sabermetrics? by Rian Watt
6 Life at the Margins: The Case Against Hiring A Smart Person by Rian Watt
7 Transaction Analysis: Segura-phobia by Rian Watt, Ryan Romano, Christopher Crawford, Adam McInturff and Bret Sayre
5 Transaction Analysis: Rico Suave by Rian Watt and George Bissell
3 Transaction Analysis: Spanning the World by Rian Watt, Ryan Romano, George Bissell and Greg Wellemeyer
David congraulates Birthday Boy Bartolo Colon on a job reasonably well done, Rian breaks down the Bryzzo Souvenir commercials, and Zack... well, it says it right there in the title.
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October 30, 2016 3:25 am
Cleveland earned the Game 4 win, but Chicago's uncharacteristic miscues defensively helped too.
Errors are not the best way to measure a fielder’s quality. You know that. I know you know that. But still, here’s a fact for you:
committed just 14 errors all season, and only 12 at third base. Among players with as many innings at the position, that was the fourth-lowest total in the National League. He wasn’t spectacular, but he wasn’t bad, either—and he certainly defied expectations that he’d be unable to maneuver his 6-foot-5 frame into passable defense at the hot corner. Kris Bryant
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October 29, 2016 2:20 am
Einstein didn't watch many baseball games.
Sometimes, a universe turns on a single moment, and sometimes that moment doesn’t matter. Two such moments of interest from last night’s game, which the Indians ended up winning 1-0.
The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe. Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen shut down the Cubs, tying the NLCS at 1-1 heading to Los Angeles.
The last time two starting pitchers with ERAs this low faced off in a postseason game, New Coke was still but a twinkle in Don Draper’s eye, and Bobby Kennedy had been dead less than four months. That matchup, as it turned out—St. Louis’
(1.12) versus Detroit’s Bob Gibson (1.96) in the 1968 World Series—wasn’t quite as good as the one we saw last night. Denny McLain (1.69) and Clayton Kershaw (2.13) both acquitted themselves admirably under Wrigley Field’s bright October lights, allowing just a run between them, and together kept this joyful run of remarkable postseason games alive. Kyle Hendricks Read the full article... Chicago took Game 1 behind the Jon Lester-David Ross battery and Javier Baez's power.
doesn’t play all that often these days, what with David Ross and Miguel Montero penciled in above him on the Cubs’ catching Willson Contreras depth chart, but when he does—almost always every fifth day, when is pitching—he takes to the task with enormous seriousness of purpose. In his final big-league season, it’s his only chance to contribute to what has been a charmed season. As the league became increasingly aware that Lester—for whatever reason—doesn’t like to throw over to first, and so became increasingly enamored of taking the big lead and getting the early jump when Lester was pitching, Ross decided to take what had been a weakness and turn it into a strength. Jon Lester Read the full article...
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October 7, 2016 6:00 am
Can the best playoff team of this era beat the best team in baseball?
The thing about the playoffs is that the best teams don’t always win. That’s what makes them fun. It’s also what makes them terrible. If we were interested in crowning the best team in 2016, we could’ve wrapped this season up two months ago. The
(103-58-1) aren’t just the best team in this series, they’re the best team in baseball, by a long shot. That was clear as early as August, and you could make a good case that it was clear well before that, too. Chicago Cubs The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.
September 29, 2016 6:00 am
Chicago's front office is richly rewarded in the midst of a 100-win season and they might even be underpaid.
September 9, 2016 6:00 am
There's a spring training story about Kris Bryant's choices, and a September story about Kris Bryant's season. Do they communicate with each other?
never made much secret of the fact that he liked to hit the ball in the air. “I liked hitting home runs when I was little,” he told the Kris Bryant last year. “To do that, you have to hit the ball in the air, so that’s why I caught on pretty quick to the idea of hit it high and hard.” Chicago Tribune
That approach—executed by way of a steeply uppercut swing—carried Bryant, with immodest success, through high school, college, and the minor leagues. The home runs came easy. Even in the big leagues, the harsh uppercut produced 26 home runs in 2015, Bryant’s rookie season.
Read the full article...
Chicago acquiring Aroldis Chapman from New York is a complicated, blockbuster trade on and off the field.
Chicago makes the inevitable trade of Dan Vogelbach's big bat and gets team-controlled left-hander Mike Montgomery from Seattle in return. The world's been terrible, but the Seagers have been joy.
This is a curiosity, really, more than anything else. There’s no deeper meaning to it, and you probably won’t leave this piece with a better sense of why the sky is blue, the sea deep, or the winter cold. But it’s a fun curiosity, I think, and moreover it’s possible you’ll find the 10 minutes you invest in reading the words I’m about to write a worthwhile diversion from your ongoing journey toward nonexistence. Here’s
’s 2016 line, through games played on Monday night: Corey Seager
Read the full article... Are contact, line-drive hitters better positioned to succeed against this era's best pitchers?
About a week ago, I contributed a portion of an article published on this site that was centered around a simple conceit: Sam Miller and I would each design and manage an All-Star roster optimized to win a single game, and a single game only. In the introduction to my section of the piece, I noted that I found the whole exercise a little foolish: Read the full article...