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Articles Tagged Chicago Cubs 

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05-02

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9

Rubbing Mud: The Ongoing Rise of Rizzo
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-30

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2

BP Wrigleyville
by
Mauricio Rubio

04-29

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2

Limited Range Podcast: Episode 3: Cubs Keep Winning and It Feels Weird
by
Sahadev Sharma

04-23

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12

Prospectus Feature: The Left-Handed Pitcher's Guide To Jon Lester's Pickoffs
by
Colin Young

04-23

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3

BP Chicago
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-22

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0

Limited Range Podcast: Episode 2: Comeback Cubs, Bullpen Woes, and Booming Bats
by
Sahadev Sharma

04-21

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9

The Call-Up: Addison Russell
by
Christopher Crawford and Nick Shlain

04-20

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6

BP Wrigleyville
by
Rian Watt

04-17

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9

Going Yard: How Bryant Can Crush
by
Ryan Parker

04-17

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29

The Call-Up: Kris Bryant
by
Christopher Crawford and Bret Sayre

04-17

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1

BP Wrigleyville
by
Sahadev Sharma

04-15

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11

Rubbing Mud: The Early-Season Odds Changers
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-14

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2

BP Wrigleyville
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-14

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35

Prospectus Feature: How To Design A Modern Box Score
by
Jesse Krailler

04-14

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38

Baseball Therapy: Hit the Pitcher Eighth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-14

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7

What You Need to Know: April 14, 2015
by
Chris Mosch

04-03

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9

Pebble Hunting: Watching The Worst Game of 2014
by
Sam Miller

04-03

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7

Every Team's Moneyball: Chicago Cubs: Take This Job and Keep It
by
Sahadev Sharma

03-31

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51

Pebble Hunting: The Case For Shaming the Cubs
by
Sam Miller

03-23

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74

Rubbing Mud: Kris Bryant and the CBA Fight Ahead
by
Matthew Trueblood

03-18

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3

Rumor Roundup: Experts: Matt Wieters Can Squat
by
Daniel Rathman

03-16

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8

Daisy Cutter: Coaching Javier Baez
by
Sahadev Sharma

03-13

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13

Prospectus Feature: Scouting With Plate Discipline
by
Jeff Moore and Andrew Koo

02-26

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5

Daisy Cutter: Is Rizzo For Real?
by
Sahadev Sharma

02-19

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13

Painting the Black: The Last Shall Be First
by
R.J. Anderson

02-12

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7

Daisy Cutter: Let's Talk About the Cubs Bullpen
by
Sahadev Sharma

02-06

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4

Rumor Roundup: How Many Trades Would it Take to Makes Shields a Cub?
by
Daniel Rathman

01-21

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4

Daisy Cutter: Maddon Meets the Bleacher Bums
by
Sahadev Sharma

01-20

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9

Transaction Analysis: The Cubs Get Raysy
by
Sahadev Sharma and Craig Goldstein

12-23

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10

Transaction Analysis: Catching On to the Cubs
by
Sahadev Sharma

12-17

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2

Daisy Cutter: The Value of Five-Plus Players
by
Sahadev Sharma

12-17

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4

Transaction Analysis: Royals Bank on a Rios Rebound
by
R.J. Anderson, Ben Carsley and Nick Shlain

12-16

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23

Ninety Percent Mental: It's Happening!
by
Lewie Pollis

12-11

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4

Transaction Analysis: The Cubs Finally Land One
by
Sahadev Sharma

12-10

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6

Transaction Analysis: Cubs Get Montero, Braves Add Callaspo
by
R.J. Anderson

12-09

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1

Transaction Analysis: Hammel Back
by
Sahadev Sharma and Mauricio Rubio

12-05

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12

Fantasy Team Preview: Chicago Cubs
by
Jeff Quinton

11-26

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2

Daisy Cutter: Jon Lester's New Peers
by
Sahadev Sharma

11-18

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4

Transaction Analysis: Russell Martin Gets That McCann Cash
by
R.J. Anderson, Craig Goldstein and Mauricio Rubio

11-17

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5

Rumor Roundup: Will Cubs Rustle Martin?
by
Daniel Rathman

11-14

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64

2015 Prospects: Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

11-05

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9

Daisy Cutter: Joe Maddon, And The Cubs, Have Arrived
by
Sahadev Sharma

11-04

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0

Hot Stove Scouting Report: Jason Hammel
by
Ryan Parker

11-04

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11

Baseball Therapy: Why Joe Maddon Matters
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-31

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7

Daisy Cutter: A Year With Rick Renteria
by
Sahadev Sharma

09-30

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6

Daisy Cutter: The Draw of Averages
by
Sahadev Sharma

09-19

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15

Notes About Baseball: The Second-Hardest Part of Baseball
by
Rocco DeMaro

09-08

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0

The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, September 8
by
Matt Sussman

08-27

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0

The Call-Up: Jorge Soler
by
J.P. Breen and Mauricio Rubio

08-06

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8

Pebble Hunting: The Non-Scout's Guide To Javier Baez
by
Sam Miller

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How Anthony Rizzo is becoming transcendent.

A few years ago, Jeff Zimmerman published a study he had done, in which he found that the typical aging curve for hitters was changing. To be specific, hitters had more or less stopped improving. Instead of entering the league with their physical gifts outpacing their skills, improving throughout their 20s, and declining as they reached and surpassed 30 years of age, batters were having their best seasons between ages 20 and 25, and then began declining immediately.

I’m not aware of a significant update to that work, nor of any corroboration of its findings. Assuming it's a real change, though, it’s a sort of sad development. One of the joys of baseball is its difficulty. Succeeding in this game is supposed to be hard, gut-wrenchingly hard. It’s supposed to take years to master the craft. Even in a league where BABIP drives offense more than ever, and where athleticism is therefore more important than ever, it’s fair to hope for some sign that batters can gain something significant from their years of professional experience. We should want exciting baseball, but we should also admire most those whose success is hardest-won, and if it’s true that the balance of power tilting toward pitching has robbed batters of their ability to grow and evolve, that’s a shame.

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April 30, 2015 6:00 am

BP Wrigleyville

2

Mauricio Rubio

How Kris Bryant has proven us right, and wrong, thus far.

This piece originally appeared on BP Wrigleyville, Baseball Prospectus' local site for all your Cubs needs. Join us for Baseball Prospectus Night at Miller Park to watch the Cubs play the Brewers on May 9th. Order Your Tickets Today.

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The offense continues to shine, the pitching, even with Lester struggling, looks strong as well, and should the DH come to the NL?

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What goes through a lefty's mind when he's staring at a baserunner.

Colin Young was a left-handed pitcher who spent six seasons in the minors with the Rockies and the Red Sox, reaching Double-A with both organizations. He also, as of this season, covers the Texas League for Baseball Prospectus. Here's what he sees when he watches Jon Lester struggle with his pickoff throws.

Scrutiny is alive and well. In the days of death by analysis, we get obsessed with the subtle character flaws and moments of weakness in our superstars. We grasp at anything within our reach to knock them down a peg. So it is that we get the recent intrigue over Jon Lester’s bungled pick-off throw. Cries of the “Yips” or “Mental Block” follow, and suddenly we imagine that Lester has the mental strength of a tired 6-year-old at the end of a 10-hour excursion through Disneyland. But Lester, historically, has been as mentally tough as it comes. The dude has straight ice water in his veins. If you’re looking for someone to pitch Game 7 of the World Series, to make a 3-2 pitch with bases loaded and the game on the line, and yes, even attempt a crucial pick-off throw, I’ll take Jon Lester 10 out of 10 times.

But, numbers don’t lie, and the numbers here—the year-plus without an attempt, the 50 percent error rate on two tries this year—are astounding to say the least. Visually, we can see discomfort when he throws over to first, and quantifiably, the attempts are basically nil. These two components reasonably lead me to believe that there is something going on mentally with him.

We’ve seen plenty of guys unable to field their position as a pitcher, making errant throws to a base, overthrowing/underthrowing pickoffs, or tossing lollipops to the catcher on pitch outs or wild pitches on intentional balls. Lester’s has been magnified into a “What’s wrong with him” conversation, but his quote in the Chicago Tribune following his throwing error last week sheds some light on the situation: “When you’re not used to doing stuff like that, I got a little overexcited and threw the ball too soon.” Pickoffs are worked on during spring training and maybe a couple times a month in season, and pitchers may only get a few reps a few times a week practicing this move. I have yet to see a pitcher dedicate any great amount of time to perfecting his pickoff move following morning workouts or an intense bullpen session. In baseball talk, quality reps are what make you better; however, pickoff moves are not high on the to-do list. So one explanation is that Lester has simply fallen out of practice, it affected his ability to perform a deceptively complex move, and the lack of rehearsals snowballed. Another is that he’s just saying the right things to cover up a more severe underlying issue.

THE MENTAL GAME
For a left-hander, the pickoff move—and other means of holding the runner on—can be almost part of your repertoire. Lester, like many pitchers, appears to prefer to focus on the hitter and make a quality pitch with runners on base. There’s a case to be made for this.

Pitchers talk about focus, conviction, and execution when it comes to pitch selection and attacking a hitter. It requires a laser-like mindset dedicated to executing the pitch; Kevin Costner’s character in For the Love of the Game captures it when he tells himself to “clear the mechanism.” When runners are on base, a pitcher’s focus becomes divided and his attention is split between the runner and the hitter, detracting from his focus on attacking the hitter. Now we have two variables at play: slowing the running game and getting the hitter out.


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April 23, 2015 6:00 am

BP Chicago

3

Matthew Trueblood

What separates the Cardinals and the Cubs? So far this year, it's been catching baseballs.

This piece originally appeared on BP Wrigleyville, Baseball Prospectus' local site for all your Cubs needs. And be sure to visit BP Boston and BP Bronx for Red Sox and Yankees analysis as well.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs are the two most serious contenders for the NL Central title. If that wasn’t apparent coming into the season, the Pirates’ early unsteadiness should throw it into relief. While the Cardinals are the heavy favorites—as of Monday morning, the Playoff Odds report gives them a 59.3-percent chance to win the division, more than double that of the Cubs—the Cubs have a lot going for them, too. Their long-awaited offensive metamorphosis is matriculating from tantalizing possibility to tangible reality: they have the second-best OBP, second-best walk rate, and tied for the most pitches seen per plate appearance in the NL. They also have more pitching depth than any Cubs team in recent memory, though that depth has been tested by an early spate of injuries.

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A look at some youngsters' debuts, the Cubs suddenly struggling bullpen, and more.

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April 21, 2015 6:00 am

The Call-Up: Addison Russell

9

Christopher Crawford and Nick Shlain

All the Chicago prospects. All the Chicago prospects in the whole world!

The situation: The 7-5 Chicago Cubs called up Kris Bryant to man the hot corner last week, and now will bring in Russell to play second base.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

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April 20, 2015 4:20 pm

BP Wrigleyville

6

Rian Watt

How confident are you that Kris Bryant will be a star? Bryant and his agent might be ever more confident.

This piece originally appeared on BP Wrigleyville, Baseball Prospectus' local site for all your Cubs needs. And be sure to visit BP Boston and BP Bronx for Red Sox and Yankees analysis as well.

We’re in the end of days now. The story of Kris Bryant and service time, which dominated the Cubs’ spring training, has entered its next stage—hopefully, the one wherein Bryant dominates the National League on his way to a Rookie of the Year award.

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With the highly anticipated arrival of Kris Bryant finally here, we get a bonus Going Yard to break down this prospect's swing.

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Finally!

The Situation: The Cubs have their best roster since at least 2008, and with Mike Olt headed to the disabled list with a hairline fracture of his wrist, they have called up Bryant to man the hot corner and quiet the clamoring hordes.

Background: Bryant was the second overall pick out of the University of San Diego in 2013, and all he's done since is put up, at every professional level he has touched, the sort of stats that inspire hackneyed cliches about video game numbers. He came in fifth in BP's top 101 prospects this winter, ranking behind only Addison Russell on Chicago's top 10.

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April 17, 2015 6:00 am

BP Wrigleyville

1

Sahadev Sharma

Chris Coghlan has battled numerous injuries over the years, but his biggest hurdles he's had to overcome to once again find success have been in his head.

This piece originally appeared on BP Wrigleyville, Baseball Prospectus' local site for all your Cubs needs. And be sure to visit BP Boston and BP Bronx for Red Sox and Yankees analysis as well.

Not many people believe in Chris Coghlan. From everything we know about his history, nobody would blame the non-believers. He’s generally considered a poor defender, and that’s in left field. He’s only played over 100 games twice in his six-plus year career. From 2011-2013, he posted WARPs of 0.5, -0.9, and 0.7, respectively. He’s had both a major knee injury and back issues that have taken out large chunks of seasons for him. This is not the type of profile one looks at and says, “Yup, that’s the guy I want to rely on to help my team make the playoffs.”

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April 15, 2015 6:00 am

Rubbing Mud: The Early-Season Odds Changers

11

Matthew Trueblood

The first week of the season is overrated, overanalyzed, overdiscussed--and, also, enough to move the odds significantly.

Prospectus co-founder Joe Sheehan often says that fans would be better served by baseball writers if they all put down their pens and pushed away from their keyboards from Opening Day until Memorial Day. Rany Jazayerli—another co-founder—ran a three-part study back in 2003 that provides some objective support to that subjective statement: it takes about 48 games for a team’s seasonal performance to become more predictive of their final record than a simple blend of their three previous seasons’ records, and a regression factor. After 10 games, that rough preseason projection is still more than six times as predictive of final record as actual performance is.

Joe isn’t wrong, and Rany’s math wasn’t, either. We have some tools that change the way we perceive the early segment of the season, though. For one, we have PECOTA, which was just making its maiden voyage through April when Rany wrote up his study. For another, we have the Playoff Odds Report, which uses PECOTA and a Monte Carlo simulation that repeats the season thousands of times to give us an estimate of the chances that each team will make it to the postseason.

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