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You overlooked another #pitcherwhorakes with a homer over the weekend: Arrieta had a two-run shot on Saturday.
I'm not sure it's accurate to say Cubs fans (myself included) are smarting from the Torres-Chapman trade; without it, I don't think the 108-year drought ends last season.
If we had lost to Cleveland (or LA or <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SF" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SF'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SF</span></a>), it would have been a different story. But as it is...
Boy, I messed up that first line: "Where I come from..."
Where are come, groffles are called sniglets (hat tip Rich Hall).
The lead-off hitter one is tough because the current term/words fit: Schwarber will bat lead off because he can flat-out hit. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Billy+Hamilton">Billy Hamilton</a></span>, on the other hand, is in the lead-off spot solely because he is fast.
But if a hitter is in the lead-off spot because he hits a lot of doubles, maybe Lead-Off Gapper is appropriate?
Did Warren Beatty tell you that Hendricks won the 2016 NL <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31191">Cy Young</a></span>?
Wow. If not, maybe -25 is. Just a tongue-in-cheeck comment!
How long have you been reading for? Since, like, second grade?
Merry Christmas to you, Meg, from my place here, in the dead of winter.
Would be cool if Maddon arraigned it so that all three are on the mound when they win in '17.
Er, "write up" not "writing"
Any writing that uses the word "cromulent" is a winner in my book.
Nowhere do you mention that Hendricks averaged an exit velocity of 87.2, which was equal to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49786">Clayton Kershaw</a></span> this season. He induced weak contact, which made it easier for the defenders behind him.
Also, you cite that ground balls pitcher's ERAs benefit from more errors committed, but then turn around and say one reason we should not believe Hendrick's <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> is because he had an historically great defense behind him.
I don't know, this article seems more a defense of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> than an objective view of who's deserving of the <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31191">Cy Young</a></span> this year.
The Cubs carried 12 pitchers against LA. The 12th being <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=102796">Rob Zastryzny</a></span>, a lefty reliever, to match up against the lefties in LA's lineup. Zastryzny ended up not pitching in the LCS. And with the DH, the Cubs again probably won't need 12 pitchers this round. So Schwarber is replacing a pitcher who didn't pitch in the last round. To me, that's a no-brainer . The downside being minimal (you're not losing a bat and probably don't need 12 pitchers) with the upside being huge.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=103751">Kyle Schwarber</a></span> doubled.
It seems unimaginable to breakup the Russell/Baez double-play combo at this point, moving Zobrist to left permanently. Leaving them with the good problem of having too many players: Schwarber/Zobrist/Soler/Heyward to fill two outfield spots. Soler seems like the odd-man out, with Zobrist/Schwarber manning left, with Schwarber potentially getting starts behind the plate. Does Heyward sit more often if he doesn't start hitting? It'll be interesting.
That play by Betances was crazy, but think it should at least share play-of-the-day with Addy Russell's sliding, two-out with the bases loaded, catch.
Thankfully, the Cavs didn't lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Warriors and instead have crowned Cleveland champions again, otherwise this LuCroy non-deal might earn a segment in an updated version of Believeland.
Are you sure Miller wasn't available when the Cubs traded for Chapman? Or was it that the Cubs weren't willing to give up Schwarber or Baez, thus not matching the Yankees demands? Seems to me Cashman was always shopping Miller, he just needed to get a deal that would be approved by ownership.
In giving up Torres and McKinney, the Cubs lost two pieces that likely never would have played at Wrigley, and if they did, it would have been in supporting/bench roles.
The loss of Torres has more impact on them trading for a young controllable starter this offseason or at the next deadline. Doesn't mean the Cubs can't or won't do that, it'll just leave their system that much thinner after it's done.
Not to mention the look!
Same assumption for Caratini not have a stat line in his write up.
Ramos was able to strike out Bryant with the aid of a VERY generous outside corner from the ump.
Is that a new marketing technique for the Twins? Change their names to Wins because that might be the only way they can get them?
I get why you did this, but for me, one player isn't enough to give up my fandom. Chapman isn't enough to overpower the good that I think Joe Maddon brings to the team and community. Ditto Rizzo, Bryant, et al. The fact is, Chapman is allowed to play in MLB. Knowing the stakes, Epstein/Hoyer made a call and filled their biggest need with the best player available. I learned long-ago that there are a lot of unsavory people in professional sports. If you're going to be a fan of a team, this issue will inevitably pop up. I choose to dwell on the good about this Cubs team and hope that Chapman can turn a new leaf personally by joining it.
I'm not trying to excuse Chapman or his actions, but just as an observation, I've noticed that the past-actions of Chapman and other athletes with checkered histories is only top-of-mind when they change teams and are absorbed into a new fan base.
If the scenario you describe does come true, I think people will see the Cubs winning the World Series, not the tarnished image of the <span class="teamdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/team_audit.php?team=CHN" target="blank">Chicago Cubs</a></span> on the mound if Chapman stays out of trouble.
Of course, seeing both is possible. But if Chapman does his job and is only in the news of positive, on-field exploits, his past will be just that if he helps the Cubs win the title.
A rental of Chapman or trade for Miller may still happen (not for Schwarber though). Something this trade does is give Epstein/Hoyer leverage as the trade deadline nears. They no longer HAVE to get a lefty reliever. But if the right deal comes along, they will.
Torres is 5th Cubs prospect on the list, no?
There obviously aren't a lot of Jethro Tull fans on the Prospectus staff.
I guess the cubs lack a top 5 prospect and an elite pitching prospect, but a package of Contrares, Torres, Happ and Eddy <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Julio+Martinez">Julio Martinez</a></span> isn't too shabby.
And is this a makeup of a postponed game? Otherwise, you rarely see a team going for a sweep on a Monday.
In <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=46195">John Jaso</a></span> really enough to block <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Josh+Bell">Josh Bell</a></span>?
I assume Contrares threw out two runners and wasn't twice caught stealing himself.
Alternate title: Break Another Little Piece of My Heart. This is a Cliff's Notes for what's like to have been a Cubs fan for that past 30+ years. Can't wait for the installment on the Cleveland Browns.
Does Baez still retain his high ceiling? I think at some point it was at least of a perennial all-star. And how often do these boom or bust type players who initially struggle for a season or two put it all together and hit their ceiling?
Out of all these teams, only the Royals had to eat Crow.
That should be Jed/Theo... and 'their moves.'
I'm not worried about Baez. He'll get his ABs this year. And if he proves himself, Zobrist won't block him for long. An extra year of Soler and Schwarber not being relied upon as full-timers isn't a bad thing. If both play well this year (they too, I think will get their ABs), then Fowler is gone next year and Heyward can move to CF. Or Maybe Soler is flipped and Baez moves to center? Or Baez is flipped... I think Maddon gets the kids ABs, it's just now the 2016 don't need to rely so much on them. And Theo has added even more flexibility for the future. I like his moves this offseason.
I think the key for the Cubs is Maddon's willingness to rest more players more often, thus allowing for Soler to potentially get close to 500 ABs this year, which isn't exactly a "bench" player.
re: the Coughlan/Brooks trade, does history between the front offices play a part here? You say that the A's are obvious winners on paper. Do Hoyer/Epstein not press Beane for much in return here because A) They need to move Coughlan and B) The memory of getting Addy Russell/McKinney for half-seasons of Shark and Hammel?
Not that this trade balances out the Russell trade, but in general, is there that dynamic between front offices? We'll go a little easier this time since we know we got a great deal last time?
Yeah, I'm guessing there's an update to this post coming.
In the future (and is the future now?) could having a terrible year actually raise your value to tanking teams? Those teams would sign two types of free agents:
- Bounce-back candidates who they might be able to flip at the deadline and...
- Kyle Kendrickes
Will there ever be a time when teams like the Braves, Phillies and Brewers get into a bidding war for the latter?
I'm fascinated to see how '16 unfolds for Baez. My guess is that Maddon uses him in that super utility role. He's too special a talent to not get him at bats.
Another bit of bad luck for the Pirates: Under the old WC format, they would have beaten the Cubs by a game to win a spot in the best-of-five LDS. The Cubs benefited from the expanded WC and took advantage.
I don't necessarily like the one-game Wild Card round, but the one thing it does do is make the Pirates/Cards series interesting. With the old Wild Card system, you truly could say "they're both in the playoffs and have been for days," but with the fifth team added, they're now playing to avoid the one-game playoff and a date with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=52691">Jake Arrieta</a></span>.
Not to be outdone, the Cubs have averaged 8.5 runs over the past two games, winning 17-0 last night and losing 6-0 on Tuesday.
Judging from the round 1 write up, I'm guessing he'd rather eat a bowl of razor blades drizzled with sriracha than mock up all 40 rounds.
er, apparently double carrots don't work as block quote devices on this site.
was responding to this: " to show more plate discipline at the plate"
<<to show more plate discipline at the plate>>
I'll chalk this up to the "late at night" reference.
Along those lines, I'm wondering what starting pitchers will be available (assuming they wouldn't trade for a bat). Tigers (Price), Nationals (Zimmerman, Fister), Dodgers (Grienke) all figure to be in the race at the break. That leaves Cueto, but would the Reds trade him within their division?
I think the Cubs best bet would be if the National felt their staff is deep enough that they'd rather get something for Zimmerman than watch him walk. Question is, would the Cubs trade for him without an extension being part of the deal?
I'm trying to understand the Apple Watch comparison, or more specifically, the idea that Kang is the first Korean prospect (version 1.0).
As a Cub fan, I remember Hee Sop Choi all too well. He played for the Korean national team, but I don't think he played professionally in Korea.
Are you using hyperbole here (of course, there have been other Korean major leaguers, but Kang potentially is the first in a new breed of them) or are you making a distinction between professional and amateur Koreans?
Oh yeah. Jackson. Wonderful.
Everything I've read has Kyle Hendricks penciled in as the Cubs' fourth starter. Wouldn't it be more accurate to have Turner and Wada as the sixth and seventh starters, assuming Wood is the fifth?
Question prompted by the Hughes write up: do pitchers with a lower walk rate tend to have a higher opponent batting average simply because they put the ball over the plate? And is a slighter higher than average OBA made palatable by a lower walk rate?
Most of the other lists I've seen have Bryant #1 or #2. Is it a coincidence that there are three SS ahead of him? How much does position play in determining the order, overall and specifically in this case?
Seems like Cruz is common when you take an historical view, but what he provides may not be common when comparing to other DHs currently in the league, which is what the contract is based upon.
"but there’s also a decent chance he starts next season back in Triple-A and continues the progress he made this year"
I'm relatively new to tracking player development through the minors, so this might be a novice question, but: How common is it for teams to bring a player up when the minor league season ends and rosters expand simply for player development, not because they "earned a trip to the show"?
And is this strategy less likely for top prospects like Jorge Soler because of the expectations surrounding them?
"though he does create an inverted W with his upper body"
I'm as amateur as they come in terms of scouting lingo, but couldn't you just say he creates an "M" with his upper body?