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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Looking Forward

It’s about time I posted a new thread, even if I can’t think of a lot of new things to say at the moment.  I’ve always been a glass half full guy when it comes to the current day Cubs, so it’s pretty easy to look at the first half and see plenty of reasons to hope for improvement - the SP can’t be this bad, Rizzo and Bryant will definitely be better, plus the Maddon Cubs always seem to be more of a second half team.  The areas most likely to regress may include the overall bullpen effectiveness, Javy’s performance, FIP luck, but I think if the improvement happens it’ll more the make up for those declines.

I think the trade deadline will be interesting to watch, as I would expect the Cubs to make some sort of move.  It might not be for someone like Britton or Hand, though those would be nice; if I had to guess we’ll see another Montgomery type deal plus a Leonys Martin one in August. 

The Brewers and Cardinals look a bit vulnerable right now, so it would be nice for the Cubs to put a little distance between them over the next few weeks.  Cubs played the Cards a bunch, so they can take care of that part themselves; the Brewers get a bunch of games against the Dodgers, plus Nats and Giants so there may be an opening there.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 18, 2018 at 05:07 PM | 197 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Quaker Posted: July 26, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5716521)
4.17 xFIP would be second best of the Cubs' starters. Main concern is whether Hamels' HR surge is a sign that he's washed up instead of just bad luck. I think Smoltz had a similar issue in his final season.
   102. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 26, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5716526)
I'm across the pond, mate.
You mean, like, in Michigan?
   103. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 26, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5716529)
WRT Hamels, for $4m and a couple of nothing prospects, I would happily do that deal. As Quaker notes, his HRs are significantly up, but his K rate is back to 9/9, essentially his career rate after dipping last year. He's giving up more hits as well, but not obscenely so. You're certainly not getting prime Hamels or anything particularly close, but if you're not really giving up anything substantial in terms of $ or prospects, it's worth at least giving him a few starts to see what he has left. If he doesn't do well in the rotation, he's lefthanded - move him to the bullpen and send Duensing the way of Clayton Richard.
   104. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 26, 2018 at 05:34 PM (#5716534)
You mean, like, in Michigan?

Ye olde Michigan. Or something.

---

send Duensing the way of Clayton Richard

That should happen no matter what. Good lord is he terrible this year.
   105. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 26, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5716544)
Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal 33 seconds ago

Sources confirm #Cubs’ pursuit of #Rangers’ Hamels, as first reported by @Joelsherman1. Along with low acquisition cost, this would be CHC’s rationale:

Hamels at home this season: 6.41 ERA, 16 HRs, 59 IP.

Hamels on road: 2.93 ERA, 7 HRs, 55.1 IP.


Maybe there's something to that, maybe there's something to his pitch mix, maybe a better defense in front of him helps (not with those HRs, but everything else), but the bar is just don't walk 6 guys every start. That should be doable.

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1 4m4 minutes ago

Just got it in an even stronger way that Hamels to #Cubs has a real chance to be concluded, possibly even today. Chi does not have deep system, but #Rangers just looking to get out of any $, get some prospects. Chi would take on about $4M of $14.2M owed.
   106. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 26, 2018 at 05:57 PM (#5716545)
Plus, he's got a history of no-hitters at Wrigley.
   107. Quaker Posted: July 26, 2018 at 08:19 PM (#5716593)
Assuming they're not giving up a lot and only paying $4M, I like this acquisition. I was at Penn in '08 and found that Phillies team to be quite likable.

I think there's a decent chance Hamels comes in and gives the Cubs a 4.00ish ERA for the rest of the season.
   108. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 26, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5716602)
So the Cubs have scored 7+ in 34 of 101 games, 3-6 in 34 games, leaving 33 for <3. Hmmm...that was more even than I expected.

Obviously since we're way over 500, we're winning more in at least one of those clumps than an average team would.


Not necessarily - the distribution could just be better than the average team's. By comparison, the Brewers only have one loss when scoring 7+, but they've done it 23 times instead of 34. (They're 7-29 when scoring 0-2, 29-16 scoring 3-6, and 22-1 scoring 7+.)
   109. Voodoo Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:03 PM (#5716604)
Sounds like Hamels deal is done, pending physical.

From Bleacher Nation:

We don’t know names yet, but we do know that breakout pitching prospect Rollie Lacy was scratched, and outfield prospect DJ Wilson was activated from the disabled list but is not playing tonight.
   110. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5716606)
Going pointlessly further into this, I took the four teams in the NL who were closest to .500 entering play today: Nationals, Pirates, Cardinals and Giants. Their joint breakdown is:

0-2 runs: 137 games, 21-116 (.153)
3-6 runs: 192 games, 111-81 (.578)
7+ runs: 80 games, 74-6 (.925)

So the Cubs are a game above average in the 0-2 group, a little over 1.5 below average in the 3-6 group, and a little over 2.5 above average in the 7+ group. The rest of their advantage over the average teams (which is most of it) comes from scoring 7+ in a third of their games, rather than a fifth.
   111. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5716629)
I'm wondering whether the price tag for Hamels has dropped significantly in the last few weeks, as his ERA ballooned by a run.

The Cubs should take that physical very seriously.
   112. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2018 at 01:40 AM (#5716672)
On Hamels and HR, the HR/FB has jumped through the roof from a steady 8-9% to nearly 14% so it hasn't been a matter of just giving up more FB ... I guess xFIP says that should come back towards normal.

On the money, the option next year is just $20 M. If the Rangers are picking up the $6 M buyout either way, that might be attractive if he pitches well. But it seems to me those agreements are usually "we'll pick up the buyout unless you pick up the option" so probably not.

And yeah, I should have thought more about the distribution, there essentially have to be (on average) more 0-2 than 7+ so the Cubs "even" distribution is quite good. I am surprised that average teams do so well in the 3-6 range and better than I'd thought in the 0-2 range although that also roughly lines up with SP win% and run support data I did find. So good, things are working more the way I thought, the Cubs' success is primarily due to lots of games where we score lots of runs.
   113. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 05:01 AM (#5716678)
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan 10h10 hours ago

While Cole Hamels to the Cubs makes plenty of sense, it’s time to pump the brakes a bit. Multiple other teams continue to pursue Hamels, sources tell Yahoo Sports. The Cubs are a good fit for a number of reasons, chief among them that they are not on Hamels’ no-trade list.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan 8h8 hours ago

Sources: The Chicago Cubs have a deal to acquire Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers, who will receive minor leaguers in return. Texas sending a significant amount of cash to cover Hamels’ salary. Hamels gives the Cubs rotation depth and an October-tested veteran arm.


LOL
   114. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 08:23 AM (#5716699)
Heyward has passed Bryant in bWar, dropping KB to 9th on the Cubs; Morrow is 10th so he won't catch up anytime soon. The Cubs are still the first NL team to 60 wins. What a world.
   115. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2018 at 08:31 AM (#5716701)
About 4 years too late on when I wanted the Cubs to get Hamels.
   116. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 27, 2018 at 09:30 AM (#5716727)
Is it a done deal that Hamels takes Chatwood's rotation spot? I think it is, but I also think Montgomery is better adapted to the role of "whatever you need on a given day" bullpen role that has served the Cubs in stretch runs pretty well the last few years. And one must note that the Cubs have shown a knack for amazing comebacks in Chatwood starts (11-8 team W/L, no thanks to Five-Walk Tyler).

I suppose the real question is Chatwood's role going forward. He signed for three years to be a starter. I also suppose he will get chances to start down the stretch run, regardless of his status as sixth/emergency starter.
   117. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5716740)
No, nothing is a done deal yet; even the trade hasn't been officially announced yet (Hamels did say goodbye to his team and his locker was cleared out; Joe is talking about him on record so whatever the holdup is doesn't appear to be anything besides a formality*).

If I had to guess, Chatwood goes on the DL now (or Duensing does, maybe both). He probably comes back next as a 6th starter for a turn or 2. I think you run the risk of pissing people off if Chatwood stays in the rotation and Montgomery goes to the pen**. If Darvish comes back at some point, I think the Cubs might keep running a 6 man rotation (assuming it's not a crunch to win the division), both to help Darvish get up to speed and keep everyone fresh for the playoffs (also maybe to figure out who the 4th starter in the playoffs is), with Monty going to the pen under the guise of saving innings for the playoffs.

Next year, Chatwood will be given more chances to pitch himself out of the rotation, and probably could be at risk of being Edwin Jacksoned.

*Yesterday, the stories were saying Cubs were paying $4mil, so this was probably the "holdup":

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman 1m1 minute ago

Sources: Cubs will pay $5M of Hamels’ remaining obligation


**We know Montgomery has been vocal about it before, but the was a quote the other day from Maddon that essentially was the guys in the locker room have to see a new addition as an upgrade. Basically I inferred it to mean that someone like Hamels, even if he's struggling how, is a big enough name for guys to accept him taking someone's role. Here's how The Athletic paraphrased:

Darvish is probably a month away, at best, and Chatwood just isn’t getting any better, so the focus for the Cubs switched from relief pitching to starting pitching. When it comes to deadline additions, Maddon says it’s imperative to make sure whomever you’re adding is better than who he is replacing. That sounds obvious, but he’s speaking from a clubhouse perspective. This isn’t 2008 Cole Hamels, but he’s still a better option the next two months than 2018 Tyler Chatwood.
   118. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 27, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5716742)
Who knows... maybe he has a Verlander-style renaissance.

Of course, Verlander had a higher peak and didn't actually fall as far from it, especially if you adjust for the crappy team and look at his peripherals and FIP.

Still - he's 34. Just like Verlander when he went to Houston last year.

I like the move quite a bit. It's probably the best the Cubs could really hope for - any other type of upgrade would have cost the lineup and I'm not willing to do that.

Cole Hamels would not be anything close to the first one-time star pitcher who fell into a trough, but got a rejuvenated second wind to his career by moving to a contender... especially one with a helluva defense - though, as folks have noted - that defense can't fix his HR problems.
   119. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5716744)
Michael Cerami @Michael_Cerami

One very interesting thing on Hamels is that almost ALL of his plate discipline data is identical to his career.

O-swing, Z-swing, swing%, O-contact, Z-contact, Contact, F-Strike%, and Swinging Strike%

All of that is within 1-2 percentage points of his (very good) career.

Similar:

His 43.4 ground ball% is right by his career 44.7% mark and he's getting fewer fly balls than his career avg. His strikeout rate is right there and his four-seam velocity is almost identical too.

The bad stuff: walk rate up a little (but not too much) and ...

Hard contact has been the real killer. That's the one that's way up. We'll see what he can't change to fix that.
   120. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5716749)
Hard contact has been the real killer. That's the one that's way up. We'll see what he can't change to fix that.


I hope that can't is a can... and I also hope Tyler Chatwood doesn't offer him an any advice on the matter. I mean, walking every third batter will reduce contact too, but it's not an effective strategy.
   121. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5716754)
Isn't Chatwood actually pretty good at limiting hard contact? Well actually, most contact, even beyond the obscene free passes.
   122. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5716760)
Isn't Chatwood actually pretty good at limiting hard contact? Well actually, most contact, even beyond the obscene free passes.


Yes, I think he is... but I'm beginning to suspect it's a matter of surprising hitters with all-too-infrequent "Oh ####, a strike!" swings.
   123. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5716764)
So a hybrid Chatwood and Hamels, say someone like Cyler Chamels or Tole Hamwood, would be a pretty good pitcher.
   124. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5716775)
If the return is Rollie Lacy and DJ Wilson, then I love the trade even more.

Yeah - Lacy was a nice surprise this year, but he was a 11th round college senior whose breakout was as a 23 yo in low A ball (and his two starts since moving to high A weren't nearly as good). Beyond just the perfectly natural affection for pitchers named 'Rollie', I'm not too worried about losing him.

As for Wilson, well... He's had three and half years to translate his raw skills and for the most part, he hasn't. He's probably fast enough and has enough pop that he could still be a nominally useful 4th/5th OF some day, but absent a big step forward, meh. Since everyone loves my OOTP travels - I should note that I've never had a sim where he lasts beyond my day 1. Likely due to his underlying 'talent' scores, he's got nominal value as a trade chit - so he has always, without exception, been dealt. The White Sox in particular always seem to have a thing for him - for whatever reason, I always end up with Reynaldo Lopez or Carson Fullmer to add depth to Iowa.
   125. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5716781)
So a hybrid Chatwood and Hamels, say someone like Cyler Chamels or Tole Hamwood, would be a pretty good pitcher.


The next big evolution.

Let Hamels work the count to a pitcher's count... and then bring in Chatwood to see if he can finish the batter off 0-2 or 1-2!

I like it.

BTW... By my math, the Cubs will now have a 100 million dollar rotation (though, I think one needs to either fudge a million or so - or - include Smyly's 3 million).

Yikes!
   126. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 27, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5716841)
This looks like a great move for the Cubs, even with modest expectations for Hamels.

The real question is what they can do with Chatwood. I suppose you can turn him into the 6th starter for the time being (and skip some of his starts). But when Darvish comes back* the Cubs will have to make choices.

*I believe Darvish is coming back at some point. He may not be very good when he does but given the stakes, I expect the Cubs to get him back to MLB for a bit to see what he can do.
   127. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 27, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5716866)
Apparently, the deal is Hamels for Rollie Lacy, Eddie Butler, and a player to be named later, with the Rangers "picking up a significant portion of the $14 million left on Hamels' contract". Butler's an interesting addition. He's fairly redundant for the Cubs but has at least shown some ability to pitch at the major-league level.

My concern is that Hamels replaces Montgomery in the rotation as I'm not at all convinced that Hamels is actually better than Montgomery at this point. The guy who needs replacing is clearly Chatwood. I understand that he's under contract for a couple more years and his issues would be extremely problematic in the bullpen. But the time to try to fix him is in the offseason / next spring training. That said, going with a six-man rotation for at least part of the remainder of the season probably makes some sense.
   128. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5716894)
I'm not going to miss Butler at all. I don't think he's that good.
   129. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 27, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5716940)
I'm not going to miss Butler at all. I don't think he's that good.


Concur... He was a decent enough gamble, but he's basically the staff's "shuttle pitcher'... the guy who does the emergency start/mopup work and bounces between Iowa and Chicago. Problem is - he's out options, so he can't really even be that. Had it not been for the injury - there's a really good chance he'd have already been waived and probably claimed already. He's not good, but for a bad team? Someone likely claims him just because he'd be a 10th/11th pitcher improvement on a bad team.
   130. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 27, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5717055)
Alec Mills called up. I have some hopes for him, saw him in ST a couple times. He has some stuff, iirc, but is skinny.
   131. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 27, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5717091)
You got something against skinny people, Moses?

I too like this trade -- it may not pan out well for the Cubs, and while I like what Lacy has done this year, trading him and AAA cannon fodder for Hamels is a good deal. The Cubs were not in a position to do any better than this.
   132. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 27, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5717098)
One should also recall the last time Hamels was traded at the deadline. He was having a terrific season, but in July he had two horrific starts in a row that ballooned his ERA from 3.02 to 3.91. Then he no-hit the Cubs, and then he was traded to Texas, where he was pretty good for the rest of the season. Hopefully his recent horrible starts were an aberration.

Also, there is something we need to get straight: anyone who spells Hamels with two ems will be permanently banned* from Gonfalon Cubs.

*Disclaimer: I have neither the means nor the authority to ban anyone.

   133. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 27, 2018 at 06:17 PM (#5717108)
Regarding Butler: the Rangers rotation is a nightmare of epic proportions. 5.37 ERA. Assuming he goes into their rotation, he is now the team ERA leader by half a run.
   134. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 28, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5717389)
Chatwood officially to the pen, Hamels starts Wednesday.

You got something against skinny people, Moses?

Irrelevant. He was just surprisingly skinny when I saw him in person, Edwardsy even.

He's back in AAA and mazzoni is up.
   135. Walt Davis Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:15 PM (#5717804)
Butler's an interesting addition.

Rangers need innings out of somebody for the last two months ... Cubs don't need innings out of Butler, especially with Hamels on board.
   136. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 29, 2018 at 11:47 PM (#5717820)
Kyle Hendricks this season:
1st inning: 8.59 ERA, 10 HR in 22.0 IP
After that: 3.00 ERA, 9 HR in 105.0 IP
#Cubs


He looked like a completely different guy after the first inning tonight. Just brilliant.
   137. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5718393)
Trade deadline in a 4 tweet play (note the times of each):

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Source: #Cubs moving closer to trade for #Marlins RHP Brad Ziegler. @MLB @MLBNetwork

11:43 PM - 30 Jul 2018

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

#Cubs trade for Brad Ziegler is not done, source says, but it is close. #Marlins @MLB @MLBNetwork

11:44 PM - 30 Jul 2018

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Brad Ziegler trade to #Cubs is not close, according to a separate source. Sides have talked, but current status remains unclear. @MLB @MLBNetwork

11:52 PM - 30 Jul 2018

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Further clarification on Brad Ziegler: #Cubs remain engaged with #Marlins, source says, but other teams are involved in the Ziegler talks. @MLBNetwork @MLB

12:04 AM - 31 Jul 2018


Gotta be first!

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale 51m51 minutes ago

The Chicago #Cubs definitely will acquire another pitcher today, likely a reliever, and #Marlins closer Brad Ziegler remains the most likely target as the two teams are engaged in talks
   138. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5718398)
I cannot imagine the price for Ziegler is that high.... he's making a pretty good chunk of change (whatever is left of 9 million), he's 38.

He's basically Fernando Rodney II.
   139. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5718399)
Ziegler -- I assume they would be giving up virtually nothing for him except assuming his salary ($9 million for the year), and that he's being acquired for depth. He's been pretty awful the last couple of years, although pretty good in his last 30 appearances. I am looking at this as someone who can take over for Strop/Edwards/Cishek, as they are moved up in the depth charts in Morrow's absence.

I can also see why the Cubs are waiting until the last minute to check on every other possibility...
   140. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5718426)
#MoarReleevurz!!
   141. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5718433)
Ziegler might be a sign Morrow is hurt worse than the Cubs are letting on/will be out longer than expected. Cubs are still shuttling all these AAA arms back and forth, but this would just about lock them into a group that can't get demoted so we'd be looking at DL stint rotations until the rosters expand. Also, Duensing is still on the active roster and is awful, so there's always room for another arm. Same for Chatwood.
   142. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5718456)
Morrow is hurt worse than the Cubs are letting on/will be out longer than expected
Given the patterns we've seen with the Cubs in their injury disclosures and Morrow in his general existence, I'd say this is about 100% true.
   143. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5718461)
Joe Frisaro @JoeFrisaro

Hearing #Marlins have not yet completed Brad Ziegler deal. Appears soon. field down to 1 or 2 and #Cubs are NOT in mix

10:57 AM - 31 Jul 2018

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

brad ziegler has not been told he's been traded yet. expectation is, he will be, though. teams linked include Red Sox, yanks, cubs, Astros, Indians, mariners.

10:59 AM - 31 Jul 2018


Come on
   144. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5718469)
Whatever.

I'm not interested in a friggin bidding war over the husk of Brad Ziegler... unless it's strictly a matter of how many millions the Marlins are saved.

At this point, I think the Cubs should been in on Familia.
   145. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5718488)
Exactly, it's just funny watching this in real time. Robothal is saying Ziegler to DBacks.

I think you're right on Familia, but the Cubs don't have int'l bonus money to give up.

Dennis Lin @dennistlin 13m13 minutes ago

The Cubs had someone at last night’s game, likely watching Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen.


Back to the rumor mines!
   146. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5718493)
You work 16 phones and what do you get?

Another hour closer to a fungible vet!
   147. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5718538)
Heyman:
sources: brewers and cubs are among main teams in mix for matt Harvey. (not likely braves, I am told).


You never know what you'll find in those old mines.
   148. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5718546)
If you're down to picking through the tailings for the stray nugget of Matt Harvey, I would say the costs of the operation outweigh the benefits.
   149. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5718554)
Hamels, Harvey, Lester and Darvish? All we'd need is a DeLorean and that 2016 title becomes a repeat of 2015!
   150. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5718563)
I would have been fine with the Cubs acquiring Ziegler for a lottery ticket prospect and $3 million of Ricketts money, but the Fish are probably considering better offers. I also agree that the Morrow situation is at best iffy, and adding a decent bullpen arm to be a good idea. I would prefer someone less loathsome than Matt Harvey.
   151. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5718570)
I would prefer someone less loathsome than Matt Harvey.
Did we learn nothing from 2016?? Adding loathsome pitcher at deadline --> World Series win. QED.
   152. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5718576)
So give Lackey a call.

No, wait. Don't.
   153. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5718587)
Did we learn nothing from 2016?? Adding loathsome pitcher at deadline --> World Series win. QED.

Osuna's already taken though.
   154. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5718591)
Am I not remembering something in Harvey's past? Not saying I want him, but aren't he (and Toilet Servant) in a different category of loathsome than the human garbage abusers?
   155. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5718595)
Am I not remembering something in Harvey's past? Not saying I want him, but aren't he (and Toilet Servant) in a different category of loathsome than the human garbage abusers?
That's true. He might only be loathsome enough to get them to the NLCS. And Osuna did just get traded...I guess we're looking at maybe Jose Reyes? Position player, yes, but I bet the Mets would be willing to part with him.
   156. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5718596)
Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal 6m6 minutes ago

#Cubs close to getting Brandon Kintzler from #Nationals, sources tell me and @sahadevsharma.


Hmmm

EDIT: Just because that's out of the blue, plus what it may or not mean about the Nats. Not because he's bad (though he doesn't strike anyone out).

Michael Cerami @Michael_Cerami 2m2 minutes ago

Brandon Kintzler's 25.8% soft-hit rate is 11th best in baseball this year and his walk rate is quite low (7.6%). Love it.
   157. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5718597)
Cubs close to getting Brandon Kintzler from #Nationals, sources tell me and @sahadevsharma.
I can has releevurz??
   158. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5718598)
Carrie Muskat confirms Kintzler. Meh. $10M team/$5M player option for 2019.
   159. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5718600)
Kintzler would actually be a good fit for the Cubs -- strong GB rate IIRC.

But, I'm tired of speculating on "close".
   160. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5718603)
OK, if it's done -

Then I'll say depending on the return, I like the deal. Kintzler is a good fit. Lotta money, but I like relievers who don't walk people and throw groundballs.
   161. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5718606)
$5mil was on the low end for FA RPs last year. Doubt the Cubs keep him next year for $10mil.
   162. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5718610)
OK, so what's loathsome about Brandon Kintzler?
   163. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5718611)
His low K rate.
   164. Brian C Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5718612)
Jhon Romero to the Nats.
   165. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5718616)
Jhon Romero to the Nats.


Then I hereby pronounce this a very nice move.

Romero has nice enough K rates - but he's a 23 yo strictly reliever at high A where's he's been fine, but hardly lights out.

I approve.
   166. Voodoo Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5718652)
Well, the Cubs seem to have been as active as they could be without touching the core, and ended up with a handful of arms that will be useful this year and don't appear to have given up much to get them.

The problem is that other teams in the NL -- namely the Dodgers and Brewers -- made more significant upgrades.
   167. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5718654)
If everyone is healthy come playoff time, the Cubs could have a pretty decent pen

Morrow
Edwards
Strop
Cishek
Wilson
Chavez
Kintzler
Montgomery

Not to mention other options like Hamels (assuming Darvish is back and in the rotation), Rosario, Bass, Chatw...ha, ok, not him, but any of the other AAA guys as even more depth fallbacks (Hancock - he went to the 60day DL so he might not be healthy, Maples, Mazzoni, etc).

I purposely didn't mention Duensing. Also, you have to figure it'll only be a 8 man pen, which is what they've done previous years even with the expanded pen full time during the season. Bote has to be the obvious favorite for the 5th bench bat.
   168. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5718657)
The problem is that other teams in the NL -- namely the Dodgers and Brewers -- made more significant upgrades.

Dodgers, sure, but they also had more obvious needs and ways to fill them. Did the Brewers really make a significant upgrade? They're going to be playing someone out of position - either Shaw or Schoop - and that IF defense has a chance to be really brutal. They didn't get pitching that they needed either.
   169. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5718667)
ended up with a handful of arms that will be useful this year
More useful than an armful of hands, I suppose.
   170. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5718678)
If everyone is healthy come playoff time, the Cubs could have a pretty decent pen


Heh - since I know everyone loves my OOTP parallels...

I kicked off another sim and by July - ended up with a very similar sort of bullpen. In order to clear some budget space - I actually moved Duensing, Morrow, and Cishek before the season started (I don't like multi-year commitments to relievers).

Once budget space let me max out player development and scouting - I slowly rebuilt the bullpen back up with nominally decent enough veterans. As I hit July - the bullpen is now Jim Johnson, Sam Dyson, Brandon Kintzler(!), Justin Grimm, Alex Colome, Bud Norris, Strop, and Wilson. It's oddly similar to what the Cubs have - a lot of decent relievers with varying degrees of past success, but no real lights out options. Of course, all of them will either walk as FAs or be non-tendered this offseason... and also in typical OOTP fashion, I've hoarded live bullpen arms in the minors.
   171. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5718704)
So Archer is a Pirate. This might be a jinx but I prefer this over the Dodgers, Brewers, Phillies.
   172. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:32 PM (#5718715)
Yep, worry about him next year not this one.

Step in the right direction: Yu Darvish, through a translator, says today was the first time in two months that he felt "nothing" in his right elbow from the first warm-up throw to the last pitch in his bullpen session.
   173. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5718716)
Side note. On the 2 page threads you can post on page 1 even if you can't login and post on page 2.
   174. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 31, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5718719)
So he can't feel his right elbow at all? That doesn't sound good.
   175. Voodoo Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:31 AM (#5718888)
Kinda surprised Starlin Castro didn't get moved to a contender. He's quietly having his best year since 2012 down in Miami.
   176. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 06:57 AM (#5718906)
Cubs suck
   177. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5718974)
Kinda surprised Starlin Castro didn't get moved to a contender. He's quietly having his best year since 2012 down in Miami.

I feel bad for the guy. The Cubs shipped him out just before they got really good and the Yankees did the same thing. Now he's stuck in Miami as the token guy-you've-heard-of-so-we-can-fig-leaf-our-payroll-slashing.

So Archer is a Pirate. This might be a jinx but I prefer this over the Dodgers, Brewers, Phillies.

The Pirates gave up a lot of controlled talent to get him and I'm not sure this makes them a better team in 2018. I mean, it probably does but there is real subtraction taking place to add Archer.
   178. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5718987)
average defense for the first time in years is carrying a lot of weight this year. He also just went through his usual up period. He usually always has 1 month that is much better than all the other months.
   179. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5719059)
Michael Cerami @Michael_Cerami 3m3 minutes ago

Overall, Javier Baez is slashing .300/.330/.574 (135 wRC+), but in his last 170 PAs (June 11th), he's slashing .371/.402/.648 with 8 HRs, a triple, and 18 doubles.


I don't have enough time to write a new thread, but it would be about who was good/not in July. It would probably just turn into a Javy appreciation post though.

Rizzo had a .873 OPS in July, and it's even better since the break (1.091). It's also worth noting that Heyward is off his hot streak - .238/.326/.333 for July; it's time to start ######## about him hitting 3rd still.
   180. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5719082)
I'm looking forward to Hamels first Cubs start tonight.

All things considered, I feel like Hamels, Kintzler, and Chavez isn't half bad for what it cost. As others have noted, makes the Des Moines shuttle a bit less flexible, but I think the staff is better overall... just too bad that the rotation was not supposed to be a thing that needed to get better.
   181. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 01, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5719086)
All things considered, I feel like Hamels, Kintzler, and Chavez isn't half bad for what it cost. As others have noted, makes the Des Moines shuttle a bit less flexible, but I think the staff is better overall... just too bad that the rotation was not supposed to be a thing that needed to get better.

Not at all. The Cubs got three useful pieces despite a gutted farm system. I was thinking they might do something bold and trade an OF like Happ for a pitcher like Archer but I'm glad they did not top the winning offer there.
   182. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5719116)
2018 seems like a perfect study on why WS Champion years are such special unicorns. Here we are in 2018 and we have Contreras playing a full season and well. Javy having a great year. Schwarber here for a full year and Heyward being an actual above average player. Yet the Cubs are 4 games off their pace of 2016 and also tied for the NL Central lead instead of 9 games up.
   183. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5719121)
Even that's only part of the story though - you have to get lucky in the playoffs, too.

Which feeds into zonk/Pops post about the trade deadline - I think the Cubs did the best they could to put themselves in the best chance to have a good playoff run. On paper, this might be a more talented team than 2016, or at least it's pretty close - you have a bunch of those young guys who have matured and improved, plus whatever value experience has. The one thing that the 2016 team clearly had over this one is luck, and I'll throw health into that bucket also.
   184. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5719133)
I'm about a week late to sing his praises - but one guy I'm surprised (and happy) the Cubs didn't move in any deals is David Bote.

Just perusing the Cubs BBREF page - I happened to nice that he's already put up a full 1 WAR (and 0.8 WAA!)

Talking to a buddy after his game-tying homer, my friend noted that actually - his minor league numbers aren't really that far off Jeimer Candelario's. Candy just had a prospect pedigree while Bote never has.... Candy switch-hits - which certain people like me love, but Bote has a lot more positional flexibility and seems better with the glove.

Prior to this year, I had always thought of him as maybe just a wee bit above org fodder - 65 PAs does not a career make, but he seems like he might have a real future as a useful bench guy....

I know the FO loves him - and were talking him up for time as an under-the-radar guy - but it's amazing to me how well this org seems to recognize quality field/plate talent. Just wish it translated better - or maybe more consistently would be a better framing - to pitching.

Anyway, just had it in the back of my mind to sing some Bote praises and figured I'd squeeze it in before the next thread.

Seems like until the FO changes guards, we're never going to see an F Troop again!
   185. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5719143)
I'm about a week late to sing his praises - but one guy I'm surprised (and happy) the Cubs didn't move in any deals is David Bote.

Just perusing the Cubs BBREF page - I happened to nice that he's already put up a full 1 WAR (and 0.8 WAA!)

Talking to a buddy after his game-tying homer, my friend noted that actually - his minor league numbers aren't really that far off Jeimer Candelario's. Candy just had a prospect pedigree while Bote never has.... Candy switch-hits - which certain people like me love, but Bote has a lot more positional flexibility and seems better with the glove.


For most of my life, the Cubs were relatively good at signing producing pitchers, but were horrible with position players. 15 years ago, a Cubs originally signed pitching staff would be Maddux, Moyer, Zambrano, Wood, Prior. But the lineup would be a bunch of AAAA types with a couple of marginal major leaguers. Today it's the opposite. The best the rotation would have to offer is Cashner, Zack Godley, and Samardjzia. But they could field a lineup with some or all of the following:

Contreras
Castillo
Bryant
Baez
Castro
Gleyber Torres
LeMaheiu
Joshes Harrison and Donaldson
Bote
Candelerio
Justin Bour
Schwarber
Almora
Happ
Eloy Jimenez

I might be missing some.


   186. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5719147)
Jorge Soler
   187. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 01, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5719172)
we're never going to see an F Troop again!

Chris Gimenez, Tim Foltywhatever...maybe they just have a backup C problem. But no, it's not in the same league.
   188. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5719227)
Rizzo
Zobrist
Heyward
Baez
Happ
Schwarber
Contreras
Hamels
Russell

Hmmm...move Heyward to 9, and move everyone else up a spot (leaving Hamels where he is) and that's a better lineup.
   189. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5719230)
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales 8m8 minutes ago

Rosario optioned to Iowa, Kintzler en route, will wear No. 20


Come on, Duensing is hurt. I know, you know it, he knows it.
   190. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: August 01, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5719249)
Come on, Duensing is hurt. I know, you know it, he knows it.


And if he's not... someone ought to think about hurting him.

   191. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 01, 2018 at 08:07 PM (#5719324)
August 1 Game Notes
   192. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 01, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5719345)
Moses, I can throw a post together and put it up later tonight.
   193. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5719357)
So have they said anything about why they've returned to the pitcher hitting 8th? I don't have any problem with it, just wondering why now? I'll WAG it's they think it will put more runners on for Rizzo ... which could of course be addressed in other more traditional ways.
   194. Meatwad Posted: August 01, 2018 at 09:18 PM (#5719366)
Javy is now a 20-20 guy. I suspect he can easily get to 30-30
   195. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 01, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5719399)
Go for it, andere.

Walt, yes. Joe said it's a way to maybe have more guys on in front of Rizzo, and also Rizzo might stay at leadoff rest of the year.
   196. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 02, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5719505)
OK, new thread is up.
   197. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 02, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5719547)
Thanks (and only putting that here so I can post in the new thread)
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