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0 DFA Podcast: Ep. 16: Our First Big Move by Bryan Grosnick, Zach Crizer and Shawn Brody
9 Transaction Analysis: Chicago Blockbuster by Bryan Grosnick, Jeffrey Paternostro, Greg Goldstein and George Bissell
6 Rubbing Mud: So You're Dead Set on Fixing the Cubs by Matthew Trueblood
4 Rubbing Mud: Sprinting Schwarber by Matthew Trueblood
0 DFA Podcast: Ep. 15: R.J. Wants To Hunt Ghosts With Jon Gray by Bryan Grosnick, R.J. Anderson and Shawn Brody
1 Short Relief: Curses of Confidence, Aging, and Sosa by Zack Moser, Matt Ellis and Jason Wojciechowski
3 Circle Change: Swing Away, My Large Adult Son by Zach Crizer
6 Flu-Like Symptoms: Jon Lester, Elite Running Game Suppressor by Rob Mains
3 Let It Eat: The June 2017 Panic Index by Ben Carsley
0 Rubbing Mud: Jake Arrieta's Broken Breaking Balls by Matthew Trueblood
2 Transaction Analysis: Have Gloves, Will Travel by Bryan Grosnick
0 DFA Podcast: Ep. 6: One Up, One Down by Bryan Grosnick, R.J. Anderson and Shawn Brody
1 Rubbing Mud: The Cubs' Pitching and Its Skeptics by Matthew Trueblood
3 Flu-Like Symptoms: Extreme Makeover: National League Edition by Rob Mains
2 Guarding The Lines: When It's Different But Still Great by Jarrett Seidler
4 Short Relief: Tales of Cubs Fans, Extroverts, and 1987 Topps by Nathan Bishop, Jason Wojciechowski and Patrick Dubuque
3 Looking Back on Tomorrow: Chicago Cubs by Jared Wyllys
0 Banjo Hitter: The Lost Outfielders by Aaron Gleeman
1 Transaction Analysis: Major Minors by Jared Wyllys and Aaron Gleeman
6 Banjo Hitter: PECOTA's Breakout Bets: Pitchers by Aaron Gleeman
3 Transaction Analysis: Old Second Basemen Never Die by Bryan Grosnick and Jeffrey Paternostro
3 Transaction Analysis: Bargain Bin Bullpens by Bryan Grosnick, Eric Roseberry and Jared Wyllys
24 Players Prefer Presentation: Here We Are Again by Meg Rowley
0 Rubbing Mud: Command, Framing, and Teamwork by Matthew Trueblood
2 Transaction Analysis: Windy City Depth by Jared Wyllys
5 Prospectus Feature: Unlocking Kyle Hendricks by Jeff Long, Jonathan Judge and Harry Pavlidis
6 Two-Strike Approach: Soler Power by Cat Garcia
4 Rubbing Mud: The Final Sunshine Season for Wrigley Field's Bullpens by Matthew Trueblood
10 Transaction Analysis: Daddy Long Legs Hops From Chicago to St. Louis by Matthew Trueblood
3 Transaction Analysis: Chicago's New 1-2 Punch by Jared Wyllys
2 Transaction Analysis: Lefty, Lefty, Lefty by Matthew Trueblood
10 Prospectus Feature: The Cy Young and the Unfair Advantage of Defense by Jonathan Judge
6 Rubbing Mud: Steve Goodman and the History of 'Go Cubs Go' by Matthew Trueblood
15 Release Points: How Francona Outmaneuvered Maddon and the Cubs ... Almost by Dan Rozenson
15 Playoff Prospectus: Assessing the Managers' Moves in Game 7 by Matthew Trueblood
6 Playoff Prospectus: The Highlight Reel: World Series Game 7 by Ashley Varela
14 Playoff Prospectus: After 108 Years, Cubs Win the Marathon and the Sprint by Aaron Gleeman
1 Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and World Series Game 7 Preview by Bryan Grosnick
0 Playoff Prospectus: Who Wore It Best? by Trevor Strunk
8 Playoff Prospectus: Assessing the Managers' Moves in Game 6 by Jarrett Seidler
0 Playoff Prospectus: The Highlight Reel: World Series Game 6 by Mauricio Rubio
1 Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and World Series Game 6 Preview by Aaron Gleeman
0 Playoff Prospectus: The Highlight Reel: World Series Game 5 by Demetrius Bell
5 Playoff Prospectus: Assessing the Managers' Moves in Game 5 by Matthew Trueblood
5 Playoff Prospectus: Spider-Man Heyward by Meg Rowley
0 Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and World Series Game 5 Preview by Aaron Gleeman
0 Playoff Prospectus: The Highlight Reel: World Series Game 4 by Ashley Varela
0 Playoff Prospectus: Of Errors, Common and Uncommon by Rian Watt
1 Playoff Prospectus: Wrigley Goes Silent as Indians See the Finish Line by Aaron Gleeman
0 Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and World Series Game 4 Preview by Scooter Hotz
After missing out on Tyson Ross, the Cubs add another oft-injured starter. Kyle Hendricks might be a lot closer to Greg Maddux than he thinks.
One of the challenges of bringing
BP's new pitching data to light is figuring out whether it’s useful and how we can leverage it to better understand what is happening on the field. As mentioned previously, we look at this in much the same way we look at pitch movement or velocity; we need to figure out how these tunnels data points interact with other components of a player’s performance to unlock a deeper understanding of what is happening.
is a perfect subject to start with. As we mentioned in Kyle Hendricks "Two Ways to Tunnel," Hendricks has some of the smallest pitch tunnels in all of baseball. Hendricks is often compared to (including by us!), and we can see how he is in fact like Maddux in certain respects. It gives us an idea of how he’s successful, but only an abstract one. That is, we rationalize Hendricks’ success because we’ve seen Maddux do it before, but we don’t really know how all of the moving pieces come together. Greg Maddux
In order to better understand how Hendricks is successful, we’ll have to dig into some of our new data to see what that can tell us about how he pitches.
Hendricks has steadily learned how to strike out opposing batters, increasing his K% by 55 percent from 2014 to 2015 and 2016, and it’s clear the effect that has had on his game. In fact, Hendricks’ new-found ability to strike batters out has resulted in him becoming one of the best pitchers in baseball as he has posted a sub-3.50
over each of the past two seasons despite getting dinged for pitching (and winning an DRA title) ERA in front of an elite defense. Read the full article...
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January 6, 2017 6:00 am
Kansas City needs power and Jorge Soler needs playing time, so it's a perfect match.
The truth about
’s future with the Cubs was written on the proverbial wall in 2016. Chicago was so rich in talent and such a strong winning machine that Soler struggled to stand out, but a 24-year-old hitting .238/.333/.436 shouldn't be collecting dust on the bench. Jorge Soler
Soler would have been a perfectly adequate starter on most other teams and his offseason trade to the Royals in exchange for star reliever
makes sense for both sides. The Royals essentially gave up one year of a great closer in exchange for a long-term offensive talent with the potential to be their most prolific power hitter. Even if Soler fails to reach the top of his high ceiling, he should be an asset in Kansas City right away. Wade Davis
Wrigley Field's ongoing overhaul means no more on-field bullpens and the stories that came with them.
The Cubs’ on-field rebuild is complete, and they could be in for an almost unprecedented period of roster stability (within the modern era of player development and movement). For the next five years it’s a pretty good bet that when you go to Wrigley Field you’ll find
behind the plate, Willson Contreras , Kris Bryant , Addison Russell , and Javier Baez around the infield, and Anthony Rizzo , Kyle Schwarber , and Albert Almora spanning the outfield. Jason Heyward
Read the full article...
December 10, 2016 6:00 am
Dexter Fowler stays in the NL Central, signing a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Cardinals.
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December 9, 2016 6:00 am
Chicago adds Wade Davis and Koji Uehara to a rebuilt bullpen, while Kansas City makes a big bet on Jorge Soler's power.
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November 24, 2016 6:00 am
Arizona adds outfield depth, Chicago adds pitching depth, and Tampa Bay gives up on Lamb.
November 14, 2016 6:00 am
Will Cy Young voters again be fooled by the Cubs' defense?
We’ve reached awards season, with the
—designated for the best pitcher in each league—due to be awarded this coming week. Cy Young
In the National League, the named finalists are two Cubs (
, Kyle Hendricks ) and one National ( Jon Lester ). Here is how they compare on various measures of pitcher quality: Max Scherzer Read the full article...
November 14, 2016 6:00 am
Hey Steve, they're playing your song.
There were four real breakout stars of this year's postseason, and when the Cubs capped that postseason with their first World Series title in 108 years, there were four departed dignitaries of Cubdom who ought to have been at the front of every fan’s mind. Three of the breakout stars are
, Javier Baez , and Andrew Miller (as a broadcaster). Three of the Cubs’ deceased heroes are Alex Rodriguez , Harry Caray, and Ernie Banks . The final name on both lists is the same person, even though it's a name you might hardly recognize: Steve Goodman. Ron Santo
The song stuck in America’s heads for the last fortnight or so, the one baseball writers mostly loathe for its insipid catchiness, the one Cubs fans sang at the top of their voices after every win during October and November (even on the road), the one that sometimes served as a relentless auditory bed for the commentary on the postgame shows, the one sung by the cast of
Hamilton on stage in Chicago and featured on Saturday Night Live, the one that reached the Billboard pop charts this week, belongs to Goodman. Read the full article... Field Marshal Terry Francona vs. Generalissimo Joe Maddon.
Imagine you are Field Marshal
, lined up for battle with your 50 divisions behind you. You and your troops have fought well, having just defeated skilled armies from Boston and Toronto. But your nemesis now is Generalissimo Joe Maddon, who has 70 divisions to throw at you. Picture these two armies fighting over seven separate battlefields—first to seize four fields wins. What’s an underdog to do? Terry Francona
Suppose Maddon puts 10 divisions into position for each battle. Francona could mirror his opponent and evenly spread his forces, but he would be outnumbered all along his front. Or, he could do what outnumbered commanders have done for a long time: concentrate his forces selectively.
Read the full article... Ten innings of high-stakes lever-pulling from Joe Maddon and Terry Francoa.
There’s real freedom in a Game 7. A manager has just one imperative: win this game. Even in a Game 6, a skipper will draw criticism (and perhaps do genuine damage) if he makes a poor decision with regard to some future contest. Just ask Joe Maddon. He entered Wednesday night’s winner-take-all contest with the strange usage of
in Game 6 hanging around his neck, and the daunting task of getting 27 outs with a bullpen he largely didn’t trust. Since it was Game 7, though, he had a path to that destination. Aroldis Chapman Read the full article... One of the best, wildest games in World Series history.
One hundred and eight years after the Cubs last held the title of World Champions, 212 days after the first pitch of the 2016 season, and 26 days after the Cubs took the postseason by storm, Game 7 of the World Series unfolded exactly as predicted: with a rain-delayed, three-homer, 10-inning, heart-pounding win.
Read the full article...