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1 Transaction Analysis: Cubs Extend Theo and The Gang by Rian Watt
1 What You Need to Know: The Best Bullpens Are the Ones You Don't Need by Daniel Rathman
5 Prospectus Feature: Baseball Player Human by Trevor Strunk
11 Tools of Ignorance: Why Was Chapman So Expensive? by Jeff Quinton
9 Banjo Hitter: Winter of Their Discontent by Aaron Gleeman
0 Prospectus Feature: Does 'Elite Closer' Mean Less Volatility? by Henry Druschel
0 BP Wrigleyville by Zack Moser
0 What You Need to Know: Soft-Tossin' Salazar by Daniel Rathman
2 Transaction Analysis: Twins, Angels Make Seller-To-Seller Swap by Aaron Gleeman, Meg Rowley, Christopher Crawford and Wilson Karaman
0 Raising Aces: In Awe of Southpaws by Doug Thorburn
1 What You Need to Know: Not Closing, Losing by Emma Baccellieri
0 What You Need to Know: Sweep Takes by Demetrius Bell
0 Cold Takes: Stuck With Him by Patrick Dubuque
4 Pitching Backward: Valuing Relievers, in July and Otherwise by Jeff Long
8 Baseball Therapy: Growing Zobrists by Russell A. Carleton
1 What You Need to Know: Give 'em Hell by Daniel Rathman
41 Transaction Analysis: Aroldis Chapman Takes The 105 To Wrigley by Christopher Crawford, Mike Gianella, Rian Watt, Adam McInturff and Nicolas Stellini
0 BP Wrigleyville by Kazuto Yamazaki
4 Transaction Analysis: The Legend of Vogelbach, Now In Seattle by Christopher Crawford, Rian Watt and Brendan Gawlowski
1 What You Need to Know: Seattle's Got A Neat Trick by Demetrius Bell
0 BP Wrigleyville by Cat Garcia
0 Caught Looking: Underpaid From Debut to Retirement by Michael Wenz
0 BP Unfiltered: Hope Springs Eternal, Shouldn’t by Rob Mains
1 Raising Aces: Fastballs Are Secondary by Doug Thorburn
0 What You Need to Know: Cubs' Losing Streak Stands At: 1 by Emma Baccellieri
0 Team Chemistry: Explaining the DRA-Beaters by John Choiniere
0 BP Wrigleyville by Mike Banghart
0 What You Need to Know: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good Teams? by Nicolas Stellini
0 BP Wrigleyville by Ken Schultz
14 Prospectus Feature: Groundball Pitchers: Nothin' To Do With Them? by Rob Mains
0 BP Wrigleyville by Cat Garcia
4 Transaction Analysis: Coghlan Comes Home by Matthew Trueblood and Bryan Grosnick
2 Prospectus Feature: Do Pathetic, Embarrassing, Miserable Failures Breed Success? by Rob Mains
3 Prospectus Feature: From a Cesspool, Success by Aaron Gleeman
1 Prospectus Q&A: Jason McLeod, Cubs VP of Player Development and Amateur Scouting by Tim Britton
0 What You Need to Know: It Won't Always Be Like This by Ashley Varela
0 BP Wrigleyville by Matthew Trueblood
0 BP Wrigleyville by Zack Moser
1 What You Need to Know: The Catcher Who Threw 96 In A Blowout by Emma Baccellieri
0 BP Wrigleyville by Leigh Coridan
1 What You Need to Know: Jake Arrieta, Imperfect by Demetrius Bell
0 What You Need to Know: About That Kershaw Walk... by Nicolas Stellini
4 An Agent's Take: On Poaching, Intentionally and Not by Joshua Kusnick
2 Prospectus Feature: Joe Nathan's Got One Thing To Prove by Aaron Gleeman
2 What You Need to Know: Matt Cain's Campaign To Get His 2018 Option Picked Up Wins the Weekend by Ashley Varela
0 BP Wrigleyville by Rian Watt
4 Players Prefer Presentation: The Analytics of Jake Arrieta Bobbleheads by Meg Rowley
1 Transaction Analysis: Nathan Trying To Be Famous Again by Bryan Grosnick
2 What You Need to Know: We Can Beat Rizzo, For Just One Day by Emma Baccellieri
1 What You Need to Know: Papi Endings by Ashley Varela
Voting your conscience is awfully difficult as a baseball fan.
There’s a freedom in helplessness. Sometimes, the act of choosing gets in the way of life. Imagine the burden of infinite possibilities: the information cost of picking a new breakfast cereal each morning, scrolling through a Netflix queue that never folds back on itself. The burden of deciding which people you help (and which you don’t) with your charity foundation, the way you allocate your infinite resources during your still-finite time on this earth.
Read the full article... The real world doesn't care about partial wins.
It’s that time of year again. That last week in July when we swear that teams lose all sense of things big and small and ship otherwise valuable prospects in exchange for late-inning relievers who will pitch a few dozen innings over the balance of the season. It’s a formula that the sabermetric community sometimes finds difficult to rationalize. Relievers pitch so few innings and are so volatile that their value is almost certainly lower than that of the prospects dealt for them.
It’s difficult to look at the trade returns for late-game specialists and understand the thought process. The Cubs seemingly traded a king’s ransom to acquire
, a pitcher whose performance is only marred by the Aroldis Chapman domestic violence charges that hang over him. Let’s not mince words either; that marring very real and deserved. For the purposes of this article, though, we're be ignoring that component of this trade, not because it doesn’t matter—it matters immensely—but because it didn’t dramatically diminish his value in the baseball world, which is what this article is about. Read the full article... If you want a bunch of Zobrists, it helps to plant them early. Are teams doing it?
We live in an era of short benches. Recently, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred
made news when he admitted that the league office has had discussions about new restrictions for teams around how they can use relievers (and how many). There’s nothing imminent, but Manfred cited the dominance of relievers in recent years and hinted that the move would bring a little offensive spark back into the game. Plus, we all know the complaints about innings where a team uses four pitchers. Because they have eight relievers on the roster. Read the full article... Jeremy Hellickson aces his audition, the White Sox get to the Cubs' bullpen, and Dave Dombrowski has made so many trades that they're starting to overlap in a kind of baseball version of the grandfather paradox.
The Monday Takeaway
Trade rumors have swirled around the Marlins in recent days, with most honing in on the club’s search for a starting pitcher, especially in light of worrisome injury news regarding . Among the arms connected to Miami were Wei-Yin Chen and Andrew Cashner , and also Matt Moore … Jeremy Hellickson
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Chicago acquiring Aroldis Chapman from New York is a complicated, blockbuster trade on and off the field.
No, the record isn't 'most wins.' Still, a record pace!
Chicago makes the inevitable trade of Dan Vogelbach's big bat and gets team-controlled left-hander Mike Montgomery from Seattle in return. All Seattle does is hit walk-off dingers. Plus: Felix returns, Hanley takes a swing at four bombs in a game, and the Cubs are good again.
The Wednesday Takeaway
Walk-off victories are clearly the most exciting victories there are in baseball, but there are within the category clearly the most exciting walkoffs in baseball. There have been some especially intriguing contenders of late: hit a Little League home run to send the Pirates to victory last night, and the Padres won a game via walk-off balk this past Saturday. However, nothing beats a walk-off home run for symphonic release, and one team that’s been taking particular joy in ending games via walk-off dongers has been the Josh Harrison . Seattle Mariners
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Things are looking down lately, but the Cubs really have been something else this year. Reviewing a forthcoming academic article on wins and wages.
Caught Looking examines articles from the academic literature relevant to baseball and statistical analysis. This review examines an article by Brad Humphreys and Hyunwoong Pyun that is forthcoming in the journal Managerial and Decision Economics.
Read the full article... When it comes to the standings on the first day of the second half, what you see is *mostly* what you get.
Last year, the Cardinals had the best record in baseball, 100-62. The Pirates were second best, 98-64. This year, at the All-Star break, the teams find themselves looking up—looking pretty far up, in fact; 7.0 games for St. Louis and 7.5 for Pittsburgh—at the Cubs. Worse, they’re currently fourth and fifth, respectively, in the race for the two National League Wild Card slots, 1.0 and 1.5 games, respectively, behind the Mets and Marlins for the last spot. It’s leading fans of the two teams to ask,
Are the Cubs really this good? and Are we really this bad? Cubs fans, by contrast, are looking at a team that was a ridiculous 39-15 record after play on June 10 but 14-20—third worst in the National League, tied for seventh worst in the majors—ever since.  Read the full article...
Notable pitching performances this week from Drew Pomeranz, Jake Arrieta and MIchael Fulmer.