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   101. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 31, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5683038)
It was only fitting there was another slide controversy last night, and it went against the Cubs. The universe evened it out, I guess?

---

Anywho, yesterday was another one of those should have won games. Hendricks wasn't great, but he wasn't terrible. 9 hits and 4 walks should result in more than 1 run. Schwarber had the key ###### AB - striking out with bases loaded and 1 out in the first; Hurdle got lucky he didn't get burned IBB Rizzo in the first inning - that was stupid. Couple of other guys turn bad swings on 2-0 pitches with RISP (LaStella, Baez, Bryant), which just happens sometimes, I guess.

Bryant is in a mini-slump though: last 13 games, .281/.349/.368 with 0HRs and 15/6 k/bb (it would look worse if I went just the last week, but wanted to point out the HR gap - last 9: .162/.262/.216 with 11Ks).

Since that hot weekend, Contreras is only slugging .333 but has a .390 OBP. Wonder if there's been any thought hitting him in a non-traditional RBI spot since he's not really driving the ball (he seems to only hit 4th or 5th (1 game each 1st, 3rd, and 6th).

Baez still not walking since 4/11 (non-intentional since 4/7).

   102. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 31, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5683336)
Zobrist 2b
Heyward !!!!!!!!!
Bryant
Rizzo
Contreras
Baez SS
Schwarber
Happ
Quintana

#### you, Joe. This is personal. I mean, am I really to believe that the fact that Heyward has 2 ok games in a row all of a sudden means the last 2+ years didn't happen????? Why in the world would you put 2 of your better OBPs against RHP (.367 and .366) at the bottom behind Baez? Why is Heyward HITTING ####### SECOND I CAN"T TAKE THIS I KNOW IT REALLY DOESN"T MATTER BUT GIVE ME AND ############# BREAK. I put up with enough of your bullshit with this slide rule garbage, I don't deserve this too #######
   103. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 31, 2018 at 04:10 PM (#5683347)
Yes...let the hate flow through you...
   104. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 31, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5683350)
These are a couple of days old, but...

Michael Cerami @Michael_Cerami May 29

Albert Almora Jr. has fewer plate appearances (156 PAs) than any of the 162 qualified Major Leaguers ... and yet his 1.7 WAR ranks 27th in MLB.

That's amazing. He's already been worth as much WAR this season as his first two years combined.

Michael Cerami @Michael_Cerami May 29

Over the past two weeks, Ian Happ's strikeout rate has been just 26.3% (reasonable for him). But that's not the crazy part.

He's walking at a 34.2% clip during that stretch with a .542 ISO and 240 wRC+:

A .292/.553/.833 slash line!


The first one is just an argument for Almora playing more. The 2nd, well, I just like seeing Happ getting back at the not striking out stuff.
   105. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 31, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5683360)
I was hoping Lugo would face Chatwood in a spin rate battle for the ages.
   106. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 31, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5683369)
Nope, doesn't make me feel better, even knowing this was posted before his last 2 games when he slashed a who cares.
   107. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 31, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5683373)
More on the Cubs offense, or the split between how they hit with runners on and not.

Maybe I should just link to that blog from now on.

ps. #### you, Joe
   108. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5683475)
Just checked in, saw Heyward batting 2nd and came right here for the reaction.

Why in the world would you put 2 of your better OBPs against RHP (.367 and .366) at the bottom behind Baez?

And RHBs Contreras and Baez back-to-back. Maybe Joe was afraid they were gonna pull a Tampa and start a reliever and wanted some firepower lower in the lineup to counter-act that. That's all I got to explain this.

I agree with you 100% that Heyward should not be batting second, that a small sample doesn't overcome the last two years, that his swing still looks terrible, etc. but ... in that small sample this year, he's hitting 290/370/462 vs RHP which is lovely and a perfectly solid choice for #2 in the lineup if it was real. He should never go to the plate vs a LHP (156/229/156). And as I type it, another bloop single for Heyward.
   109. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 31, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5683484)
#cubs have walked the pitcher 7 times this season. Leads majors.
3 by Darvish, 2 by Chatwood, 2 by Quintana
   110. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 31, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5683486)
I don't appreciate your rational response to this situation, Walt.
   111. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5683510)
No way I could possibly top your justified outrage so why even try? Might as well keep my head while all around me are rationally losing theirs.

Given Q's 3rd time problems this year, maybe Joe should try the starting reliever thing with him.
   112. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 01, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5684005)
So, yeah, that walk for Javy actually happened. He tried hard to not let it - swung and missed badly on 3-0 and 3-1, though both pitches were in the zone.

Sahadev Sharma @sahadevsharma 13h13 hours ago

We approached Javy after the game and someone asked him if he knew why we wanted to talk to him. He took a second then happily said, "Yes, a walk, yes! I got a walk, J!" he said to Heyward. "That ball actually almost hit me, that's why I walked."

Sahadev Sharma @sahadevsharma 13h13 hours ago

"I think it was since April 11 or something like that," he said. "But I mean, it's not going that bad for me without a walk. So I'll take that." Asked if this will become a habit, "No, I mean I don't go out there looking for a walk. As long as the pitcher is there, I'm swinging."


---

As for batting Heyward second, Maddon said, “I thought it’s the right time to give it a whirl.”


####### FUCK WHAT THE ####

   113. Meatwad Posted: June 01, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5684203)
Its so nice joe is going to do the same thing twice
Zobrist
Heyward
Bryant
Rizzo
Almora
Baez
Russell
Gimmenez
Chatwood
   114. Brian C Posted: June 01, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5684270)
You guys crack me up.
   115. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 01, 2018 at 06:09 PM (#5684278)
Two things about Heyward:

His K/BB ratio is 1.07 so far this season, way lower than his career average of 1.68. He has never put up a season where it's less than 1.4. This is mostly due to his low K rate of 10.7%. Interestingly, last year was his lowest rate at 13.9%. He is focusing on contact.

His GB/FB ratio is also at a career low at 0.63. Previous low for a season was 2012 (0.78), one of his better seasons.

These two things don't seem inherently correlated. I have no interpretation of it, just pointing out the anomolies. He has a .722 OPS right now, which is same old same old.

   116. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 01, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5684410)
Reposting from the Omnichatter:

Tyler Chatwood with 4 walks in 5.1 innings today... which is actually lower than his season walk rate. He now has 49 BB (and 47 K) in 52.2 innings. It's a really good thing that the HR he allowed today was only his third of the season so far.
   117. Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5684443)
Like I said, I don't expect it to continue but Heyward is hitting 290/370/462 vs RHP. In that sense, it is a good time to give it a whirl. If you're going to ignore the last two years, it might as well be while he's hot. :-) And per 115, the K-rate vs RHP is just 8 in 97. Of course he rewarded us with an 0 for 5 and 2 Ks today. Still a 10/12 K/BB ratio vs RHP which is super-sweet from Heyward.

Can't wait to see Moses's head explode when Joe decides it's time to give Heyward a whirl in the clean-up spot ... vs Kershaw probably.
   118. Meatwad Posted: June 03, 2018 at 02:06 AM (#5684767)
Cubs have not lost a game Heyward starts batting second.
   119. Brian C Posted: June 03, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5684785)
Maddon said that Gimenez was lined up to pitch next last night, so apparently Farrell was the last guy available other than Morrow. Explains a lot about the decisions made if that's the case.
   120. McCoy Posted: June 03, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5684787)
Cubs have not lost a game Heyward starts batting second.

Perhaps Heyward will opt out afterall!
   121. McCoy Posted: June 03, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5684788)
Going 5-6 in the middle of May is carrying a lot of water so far in this small amount of the season that has played, and of course losing 5 and winning 5 at the beginning didn't help either. Going 14-7 during that stretch probably would have been too much to ask for but they could have easily won 2 or 3 more games. I can see this team being a 60%ish win team from here on out barring injuries.
   122. Brian C Posted: June 03, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5684790)
They're a .672 team if Pythag is to be believed! I'm not sure that .600 is that big of an ask, especially considering how this team has performed in the second half under Maddon in previous years.

This is a good f'ing team.
   123. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 03, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5684797)
Maddon said that Gimenez was lined up to pitch next last night, so apparently Farrell was the last guy available other than Morrow. Explains a lot about the decisions made if that's the case.
What was the deal with everyone else?
   124. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5684806)
What was the deal with everyone else?


Must be a no 3 days in a row thing. Though Cishek and Duensing barely broke a sweat on Friday, 7 and 3 pitches respectively. Though Morrow has worked 3 days in a row now, so he's likely unavailable today.
   125. Brian C Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5684809)
What was the deal with everyone else?

Probably hungover like Kris Bryant.
   126. McCoy Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5684815)
I don't think this is a 109 win team. Almost 25% of their games so far have been against the White Sox, Marlins, and Reds and they've outscored them 100 to 46. Then throw in 7-1 against the Brewers

They are a very good team playing one of the weakest schedules so far who have also for whatever reason have absolutely owned the division's first place team.
   127. Brian C Posted: June 03, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5684820)
I don't think this is a 109 win team.

Well, I don't either - even if they play at a .672 clip from here on out, that's still only 103 wins. My point was to agree with you that .600 from here on out seemed pretty doable.
   128. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 03, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5684863)
If they knew so many guys were unavailable last night, why didn't they make a roster move to add an arm? It was a Montgomery start, so they knew he wasn't going to save the pen. Whatever, though obviously it makes sense to hold back Morrow until the last known inning.

Today's lineup, well, poor Contreras.
   129. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2018 at 03:02 AM (#5685290)
Well, we're at 33-23 which is already a 589 clip so 600 barely moves the needle. Moreover, they are just 5-10 in 1-run games -- switch a couple of losses to wins and and now it's a 625 win% which is a 101-win pace. In short, still an awfully small sample where a little bad luck in 1-run games can make you look worse and a few huge blowouts in your favor and a soft schedule can make your run differential look better. Who knows but we have the biggest run differential in the NL and 2nd best in MLB and despite pitchers hitting, we're 2nd in MLB only to the Yanks in r/g and have the best OBP in MLB, best BA in MLB, best ISO in the NL. We're gonna score runs.

Most importantly, a roughly 1/3 of the way update on my BOLD pre-season prediction that Schwarber would have more steals then Bryant: Kyle 3, Kris 1.
   130. Brian C Posted: June 04, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5685347)
Kyle's also challenging for the team lead in bWAR:

1. Bryant: 2.1
2. Schwarber: 2.0
3. Almora: 1.9

Take that, Joe Sheehan.

   131. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5685374)
Moreover, they are just 5-10 in 1-run games

Yep, and the Brewers are 15-5. So this feels a lot like last year, in terms of how the division race likely will play out.

The offense is just on another level from last year (and there's still a power surge coming); as a team (non-pitchers), the Cubs have a 116OPS+. The bullpen is a real strength, and it looks like there's going to be tough decisions come playoff time on the roster. The rotation though...I think Quintana is starting to come around, though even when he's pitched better he's working too hard to put guys away and can't last very deep in games. I'd like to think Darvish will be fine, but the Cubs have to be a little worried. Chatwood, well, if they added another SP he's not exactly an ideal bullpen candidate.

Yesterday though was such a fun game, in spite of the getaway day lineup. The way the Cubs just made those runs happen, it's great to have a team that can score in so many ways I guess I'll say. I do think we take for granted how good/smart/talented the Cubs are in so many different ways.
   132. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5685449)
Missed this last week (Athletic ranking of team defense from Sports Info Solutions):

4. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are here because they’re good everywhere. They rate average or above-average in Defensive Runs Saved at every position. They are best at shortstop, where Addison Russell excels on balls hit in the shortstop-third-base hole, without costing much (if anything) up the middle.

Speaking of up the middle, Albert Almora Jr. has superseded Ian Happ as the Cubs’ best center fielder. He’s among the MLB leaders in Good Fielding Plays and has thus far avoided the issues with balls hit to the deepest part of the field that gave him trouble last season.

Explain this: Despite what Joe Maddon says, the numbers show that Willson Contreras has issues with getting strike calls for his pitchers. He does add significant value in other areas. He has the most Stolen Base Runs Saved of any catcher in the last three seasons — that accounts for pickoffs, caught stealing and frequency of attempts. He’s also been a stellar pitch-blocker this season, which has pushed his defensive value up slightly.
   133. McCoy Posted: June 04, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5685456)
I thought Contreras being an issue with strike calling was a known thing. He moves around back there too much in his attempt to throw out runners to consistently get strike calls called for his pitcher.
   134. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5685459)
In a scoreless game in the seventh inning, Báez led off the frame with a single and moved to third on Willson Contreras’ single, putting runners on the corners with no outs and Ian Happ at bat. With a lefty on the mound, Báez thought back to something the team had worked on in spring training. He indicated to Contreras to take a big lead and the catcher faked stealing on Steven Matz’s first pitch. That prompted a throw over to first and Báez broke for the plate. First baseman Adrián González fired to home, but Báez slid in safely head first, breaking the scoreless tie.

“I was on first base and Javy gave me a sign to take a bigger lead,” Contreras said through a translator. “At that point I knew exactly what he was thinking. On the first pitch I did a fake steal which I think prompted the throw over on the second pitch. It worked out. The thing about Javy is he’s got great instincts and it helped us out a lot. He has the best instincts as a baserunner, he’s nothing but great for this team.”


They kinda glossed over it, but Javy getting to third on the single was also great baserunning; he got a great read on the ball and recognized when Contreras's hit wouldn't be caught.
   135. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5685463)
I thought Contreras being an issue with strike calling was a known thing. He moves around back there too much in his attempt to throw out runners to consistently get strike calls called for his pitcher.

Right. I think it also probably doesn't help him that he's so demonstrative about close calls while he's hitting. I do think he's settled down a little this year compared to last. Maybe that's a by-product of the mound visit rule, since he has to focus so hard on staying behind the plate.
   136. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5685746)
So the draft is today, and I don't follow that at all, but I'm seeing a ton of mock drafts (like this from Law) going here for the Cubs:

24. Chicago Cubs: Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville (Georgia) HS

I've heard the Cubs would generally prefer a bat to an arm after taking two arms in the top 30 last year.


I have no idea or opinion if he'll be good or not, but he's awesome and the Cubs do great things with awesome players.
   137. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5685753)
I've heard the Cubs would generally prefer a bat to an arm after taking two arms in the top 30 last year.
Apparently they wouldn't have to choose - with Siegler, they would get a bat and two arms.

So let's play this out a bit...let's say they draft him as a catcher. The reason why you don't see lefthanded catchers is because there are more righthanded batters, and the throws to second and third on steal attempts would be tougher for a lefty catcher, right? Could they get Siegler a catcher's mitt like the Pat Venditte glove and he could catch lefty if the batter is lefty?

Because that would be awesome.
   138. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5685773)
Absolutely. But because the Cubs pitching staff is made up of a bunch of delicate snowflakes, the idea of having to learn to throw to a left-handed catcher is probably more than they can handle mentally.

I joke, but I almost wonder if that's another real reason why we don't see them at all anymore.

---

I'm now imagining a scenario where Contreras, Strop, and this kid are rotating between C, LF, and P depending on the batter, and the other team complaining about the constant changing of catchers' gear and I'm laughing to myself.
   139. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5685775)
But because the Cubs pitching staff is made up of a bunch of delicate snowflakes, the idea of having to learn to throw to a left-handed catcher is probably more than they can handle mentally.
Heh. I can picture exactly the look on Lester's face. Granted, that's a bit easier because it's the same "Seriously, whoever's fart that is, it f***ing STINKS" look that he has about 90 percent of the time.
   140. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5685784)

I joke, but I almost wonder if that's another real reason why we don't see them at all anymore.


I wonder how many legit players are doing it at the high school level.

I've heard the Cubs would generally prefer a bat to an arm after taking two arms in the top 30 last year.
Apparently they wouldn't have to choose - with Siegler, they would get a bat and two arms.


That seems an unnecessary and gratuitous shot at Jim Abbot.
   141. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5685787)
I'm now imagining a scenario where Contreras, Strop, and this kid are rotating between C, LF, and P depending on the batter, and the other team complaining about the constant changing of catchers' gear and I'm laughing to myself.

I think that scenario would be broken up pretty quickly by Elroy charging onto the field to fight Joe Maddon.
   142. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5685789)
That seems an unnecessary and gratuitous shot at Jim Abbot.
Jim Abbott had as many arms as t's in his last name, I'll have you know. I didn't say anything about hands.
   143. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5685791)
Yeah, well, you misspelled Billy Ripkin.
   144. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5685792)
Yeah, well, you misspelled Billy Ripkin.
No, no, that was Cal Ripkin. He's Billy's brother. And son of longtime Orioles coach/manager Cal Ripken Sr.
   145. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5685797)
I think that scenario would be broken up pretty quickly by Elroy charging onto the field to fight Joe Maddon.
Sadly, I think I'm a pretty poor bet in a fight against the average 64-year-old man.
   146. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5685799)
I was careful not to speculate on the outcome.
   147. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5685819)
Joe Maddon ain't average.
   148. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5685821)
Joe Maddon ain't average.
That could go either way - on the one hand, he's probably tougher than most guys his age, but on the other, he could be like Velma from Scooby-Doo without his glasses.
   149. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5685825)
He's Hazleton tough.

Just steal his hair dye.
   150. Brian C Posted: June 04, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5685864)
Man, off days are the worst.
   151. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5685929)
He’s also been a stellar pitch-blocker this season

Not in the games I've seen. (Or not that I've noticed in the games I've seen.) He still has the problem of too often reaching for the ball rather than shifting his body. I'll buy he's better than he used to be.

I was on first base and Javy gave me a sign to take a bigger lead

This is why Javier Baez is the greatest player in baseball history.

   152. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 09:24 PM (#5685940)
####### Yankees stole the cool guy.
   153. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5685942)
Then he's no longer cool. He's dead to me.
   154. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 04, 2018 at 09:36 PM (#5685952)
Not in the games I've seen. (Or not that I've noticed in the games I've seen.) He still has the problem of too often reaching for the ball rather than shifting his body. I'll buy he's better than he used to be.

I don't know if all their numbers are public but that's not a subjective comment iirc. He's also first in FGs def ratings, though he has a comfortable innings lead; not sure how much each component ranks in there.

I think he's been better, fwiw, but haven't really thought specifically about that.
   155. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2018 at 10:35 PM (#5685985)
Yeah, I didn't take it as subjective. It's always possible that I'm aggravated by the lazy ones 10 more times than I credit him for the good ones. And to be clear, I'm not at all concerned about his overall defense back there -- a more than sufficient mix of the good with the bad. That he has somehow adjusted his game for the fact he can't visit the mound 17 times a game is impressive too!
   156. Walt Davis Posted: June 05, 2018 at 01:24 AM (#5686032)
Slow day so some updates ...

Gleyber -- you don't want to know
Eloy -- you don't want to know but it's still just AA
Jorge Soler -- 273/365/485, 132 OPS+, 1 WAR, 0.2 WAA

Wade Davis -- nothing special
Aroldis -- 24.1 IP, 16.3/4.1 K/BB, 0 HR, 295 ERA+
Hector Rondon -- 20.2 IP, 10.5/1.7 K/BB, 1 HR, 225 ERA+

Fowler -- 63 OPS+, bummer
Jake -- 147 ERA+ but K rate down to 6.2
Trevor Cahill -- 147 ERA+ ... who knew?
Clayton Richard -- 79 ERA+ ... who didn't know?

Billy McKinney -- made his ML debut with the Yanks for a couple of games

Looking to the future ...

Manny -- 327/398/633, 179 OPS+, 2.6 WAR, 1.7 WAA
Bryce -- 232/371/527, 141 OPS+, 1.2 WAR, 0.4 WAA

Looking at running/fielding numbers, Bryce might be on his way to 1B/DH by the time he's 30. Not that they're bad at all but they're already average at 25 and have been there for a couple of years now. If he doesn't get his BA act together soon, he might not be getting that super-mega offer. FWIW, Rfield does not like Manny's defense at SS, -7 already, negative dWAR.
   157. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 05, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5686154)
Yeah, the more I look at Harper, the more scared I get of a massive contract. Perhaps the various injuries have started adding up and have taken their toll. That 2015 season was so, so good though.

Machado really looks like he should be a 3b, so if he insists on SS that's another thing that would give you pause when handing out a massive deal. Machado, even though he's have what is likely a career year with the bat, would seem to be a much safer bet.
   158. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 05, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5686169)
Gleyber -- you don't want to know

For as long as I can recall, the John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander trade has always been the archetypal win later vs. win now trade. Aroldis Chapman for Gleybar Torres could easily end up displacing it.

I ain't complaining. Flags Fly Forever & I'll never have to think about 1908 ever again.
   159. Brian C Posted: June 05, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5686173)
For as long as I can recall, the John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander trade has always been the archetypal win later vs. win now trade. Aroldis Chapman for Gleybar Torres could easily end up displacing it.

I ain't complaining. Flags Fly Forever & I'll never have to think about 1908 ever again.

I'm not complaining either. It's way better than the "lose now AND lose later" trades that we were used to. At least Torres wasn't traded for Matt Karchner or Cesar Izturis.
   160. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5686176)
Yeah, the more I look at Harper, the more scared I get of a massive contract. Perhaps the various injuries have started adding up and have taken their toll. That 2015 season was so, so good though.
I've been there from the start. The thing with Harper is, yeah, he had 2015 where he put it all together, but every other season in his career has either been (a) only pretty good (EDIT: If that. His 2015 was the meat in a negative-WAA sandwich.) or (b) excellent but he missed 50 games. He just hasn't been the mega-star that people think he is with any regularity. My guess is that Boras isn't going to want his contract to take into account that half of his MLB seasons have been in the 111-118 OPS+ range.

EDIT EDIT: Actually, my interjection above was wrong. You call a sandwich by the filling, not the type of bread. So his 2015 was an MVP-season sandwich on negative-WAA bread. And no mayo, dammit.
   161. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: June 05, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5686267)
I've been there from the start. The thing with Harper is, yeah, he had 2015 where he put it all together, but every other season in his career has either been (a) only pretty good (EDIT: If that. His 2015 was the meat in a negative-WAA sandwich.) or (b) excellent but he missed 50 games. He just hasn't been the mega-star that people think he is with any regularity. My guess is that Boras isn't going to want his contract to take into account that half of his MLB seasons have been in the 111-118 OPS+ range.


Boras is going to use the fact that Harper will have compiled about 30 WAR through his age 25 season. I'm not sure who else has done that but I'm sure the list isn't very long especially if you make it a recent list. That said, I would agree that Harper is going to be a massive overpay for someone.
   162. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 05, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5686352)
Zobrist 2b
Heyward
Bryant
Rizzo
Conteras
Schwarber
Baez ss
Almora
Hendricks

We're still doing this, huh?
   163. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 05, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5686407)
Stuff on draft picks from day 1 and day 2.

I know nothing, and have no opinions.
   164. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5686416)
Where is ol' Zonk on the draft?
   165. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5686417)
We're still doing this, huh?
Hey, they're undefeated since moving Heyward to second. And no tiger attacks, either.
   166. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 05, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5686427)
Heyward since he came off the DL (5/18): 14G, 51PA, .340/.373/.468, 3/3 K/BB.
Heyward in the 2 spot this year (last 4 games): 19PA, .316/.316/.368, 2/0 K/BB.

For the season, he's hitting .295/.373/.432 11/11 K/BB in 103 PAs in the 8 hole.

I mean, none of this really means anything, but Heyward as a Cub is now up to .246/.318/.357 in 1,237 PAs and that person shouldn't be hitting 2nd!!!!
   167. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5686428)
Heyward since he came off the DL (5/18): 14G, 51PA, .340/.373/.468, 3/3 K/BB.
This has to be his best stretch as a Cub, right?
   168. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 05, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5686434)
I remember a good stretch early last year...let's see if I can find 2 weeks that are comparable

4/9-4/24/17: .288/.327/.500. He hit .161/.316/.161 the next 10 games and then went on the DL. His 2 weeks after the DL stint last year went .269/.281/.481, maybe he just remember how to hit a little after time off.

Nothing else jumps out at me though. Besides how bad he is.
   169. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 05, 2018 at 05:34 PM (#5686463)
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales 6m6 minutes ago

Russell’s knuckle still sore, undergoing MRI, Darvish played catch
   170. Walt Davis Posted: June 05, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5686635)
FFS, we're getting shut out by Zac Efron
   171. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 06, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5686978)
Schwarber has passed Bryant in bWAR (this was true before yesterday, but I hadn't posted it) - 2.1 to 1.9. Bryant's last HR was on May 14th, since then he's hitting .312/.376/.390 (20/11 K/BB), which is what I guess good Heyward hitting 2nd looks like. Almora and Contreras are right on Bryant's tail, at 1.8, with Javy at 1.7.

fWAR goes Bryant 2.3, Schwarber 2.1, Contreras 1.7, Baez 1.5 and Almora (and Russell) 1.4.
   172. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 06, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5687074)
Day 3 picks and comments. The Cubs picked Scott Sanders's son today.
   173. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 06, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5687080)
Dude, they had Scott Sanderson like 35 years ago.
   174. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 06, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5687163)
Moving on...

#Cubs manager Joe Maddon knows Yu Darvish is playing catch and "feeling better." He's unsure of anything past that.

"We're still waiting for this level of comfort," Maddon says.

Addison Russell's finger remains sore. A fracture has been ruled out, Joe Maddon says. #Cubs will know more later today.

No doubt Yu Darvish is going to make some rehab starts, next step is getting him throwing off a mound, but that's still days away....We are still a couple of weeks away for sure...#Cubs Jim Hickey
   175. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 06, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5687192)
Zobrist 2b
Heyward
Bryant
Rizzo
Contreras
Schwarber
Baez SS
Almora
Quintana

Nothing yet, but I'm seeing speculation Russell could go to the DL. It's notable we're getting Almora again against a tough RHP. Same lineup 2 days in a row, there'a a chance that's the first time this year (but have no plans to confirm or disprove that).
   176. Quaker Posted: June 06, 2018 at 11:28 PM (#5687479)
Thank goodness Joe was smart enough to hit Heyward second today and leave him in to face the lefty in the 9th.
   177. Walt Davis Posted: June 06, 2018 at 11:31 PM (#5687488)
OK, that was worth $184 M
   178. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 06, 2018 at 11:34 PM (#5687498)
The bench was empty, besides Gimenez, but heyward wasn't getting PH for regardless. This buys heyward about a month more time at the top than he deserves.

I was annoyed by the quick hook on Q, until I remembered his third time through problems and am fine with Joe trying to get him right before trusting him more. One pitch later, annoyed again.
   179. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 06, 2018 at 11:39 PM (#5687506)
Jason Heyward: first #Cubs walkoff grand slam **hit when team was trailing** since Ron Santo 9/25/1968
   180. Brian C Posted: June 06, 2018 at 11:46 PM (#5687516)
Jason Heyward: first #Cubs walkoff grand slam **hit when team was trailing** since Ron Santo 9/25/1968

How is that even possible? It doesn't seem like it would be that rare of a thing.
   181. Walt Davis Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:05 AM (#5687524)
I was annoyed by the quick hook on Q

As was I at first but your reasons and add in that Cishek for his career has a 198/262/275 with 1 HR every 90+ PA vs RHP and it's a pretty smart move. Cishek even got the next 4 guys pretty easily. Oh well.
   182. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:12 AM (#5687526)
you know that Maddon was impressed by Kapler letting the PHI RP Dominguez bat in the 9th for his MLB AB debut after a 14-pitch 8TH inning with a 5-3 lead, 1 on, and 1 out - and a good, deep 'pen behind him.
   183. Brian C Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:26 AM (#5687532)
This "Maddon is stupid" bullsh-t is getting out of hand. Approximately 29 other teams would be happy to have a manager so dumb. I mean, even the most brilliant coaches can have their "WTF?" moments - even an acknowledged tactical genius like Belichick isn't above it. But the sniping at Maddon sounds more and more like talk-radio ankle-biting than substantial critiques to my ear.
   184. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5687533)
The Phillies bench was empty and he looked good in the 8th. I don't know their pen that well, but not PH made sense in that context.

This wasn't near the same as what maddon did in Queens.
   185. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:48 AM (#5687536)
the Phillies only used 11 hitters, so I doubt their bench was empty (granted, it is 2018). plus Dominguez - dominant so far - allowed 3 fly balls in the 8th and had a hard time putting away the last batter, which is not typical of him in this short sample size. that might have been the least impressive IP he has had out of about 15 so far (all had been scoreless).

and why Maddon can't be "sniped" is weird - he's an excellent manager who, like the NFL's Belichick and Pete Carrroll, sometimes do obviously stupid things because of their egos. they may or may not get away with them. they are not above critique - particularly before the result. smart guys do dumb things.

sure, if Kapler comes out tomorrow and says that all of the PHI RPs had gotten locked into a men's room in the 8th and 9th except for Morgan, then we all have to adjust for that. but, probably not.
   186. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:54 AM (#5687537)
Today was my 50th birthday, so I went to Wrigley Field to celebrate it. Pretty damn good birthday. And as we were leaving, my son turns to me and says, "We can't criticize Jason Heyward any more, can we?"
   187. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:16 AM (#5687539)
Kiko,
the fact that you guys didn't early-exit with the hopeless Heyward up means you both deserve that walkoff! congrats on a great birthday - and a cool story for the next 40 years
   188. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5687587)
hopeless Heyward


Don't look now, but since coming off the DL - Heyward is hitting something like 300/400/500.... It's been his most sustained period of non-hopelessness since signing the deal.

EDIT: coke to Moses

Where is ol' Zonk on the draft?


Yeah, I really dropped the ball this year. And I was excited because the Cubs had a decent haul of picks (4 in the first 78). Alas, the event kinda snuck up on me. I did actually have some posts to contribute the evening of - but stupid Gonfalon login issues ate them and I gave up.

Anyway...

It's an interesting bunch - fair to say that the Cubs 'reached' a bit on all on them (none of the pre-draft rankers had any of the picks as high in their mocks as the Cubs picked), but they're all also "Thed sort of guys".

Nico Hoerner is very much in the Schwarber/Happ mold of 'character' guys - smart, good in the clubhouse, etc. He also doesn't strike out much at all. Some analysts don't think he has the arm for SS, but most think he can stick in the MI. He's hit everywhere - HS, college, summer wood bat leagues, etc. He's also one of those 'emerging power' guys - the HR totals are low, but lots of XBH. There's theory floating around that the Cubs think that gap power - coupled with the high contact rate - means that they think they can introduce some 'launch angle' and have something special/bring out the fence power most scouts think is there. He should move quickly. I kind of wanted the Cubs to take Seth Beer (he went 28, IIRC) - but Beer is pretty limited... He's basically a Schwarber clone (sans the catching) limited to 1B/corner OF. In any case, this regime has had good luck with guys that are a bit of a reach so I trust they know what they're doing.

Brennen Davis is the classic toolsy high ceiling OF. FWIW - I often end up with this guy in my OOTP draft and he's turned into a K-Mart version of Mike Trout. His stock fell his senior year - mostly because he had hammy issues, but also because he's apparently got a huge bonus pricetag (he's committed to Miami). Tall and lanky (read: hope he fills out). Fast, good power. I think it's a good pairing with Hoerner - they probably save enough on Hoerner to afford Davis. I like this pick quite a bit - hope they can get him signed. In prior regimes, this sort of guy tops out in A ball, struggling to hit 200. In this regime, again with the faith...

Cole Roederer is sort of an inverse Davis in some ways -- unlike Davis, whose stock fell a bit, Roederer's stock rose substantially because he suddenly started hitting a ton of HRs. Also unlike Davis - he's a pretty short guy. But like Davis - he's also a toolsy CF, another 5 tool guy if the power is real. BA compares him to Andrew Benintendi - which seems like typical draft over-comparison... but if the power spurt is real? Who knows. He's probably a guy to watch. What I've read reminds me more of Lenny Dykstra (sans the crazy).

Paul Richan is your prototypical 'polished college pitcher'. Four pitches, none of them particularly jaw-dropping though his slider is supposedly a plus pitch already. He's also got a bit of Alex Lange in him in that his velocity dropped a bit, which scared off some folks (from low 90s to high 80s/low 90s). Like Hoerner, he should move quickly (if he moves).

Jimmy Herron is yet another CF - though unlike the first two, he's probably limited to fewer tools. He's more of a typical leadoff hitter type. He's slated to have TJ surgery, so we probably won't see him till next year.

Beyond that?

Awful lot of college players - the only HSer of note was Kohl Franklin out of the same Oklahoma HS as Archie Bradley. He's a big guy with growing velocity. DJ Artis out of Liberty was on most top 100 'honorable mentions' - he was a nice value pick. Derek Casey is a guy the Cubs were looking at out of HS - supposedly, passed on him because his ask ($900K) was too high (the Cardinals ultimately drafted out of HS but obviously, he didn't sign - the Cards took a 22nd round flyer, the Cubs were looking at him in round three if he'd been willing to sign). He missed 2016 with TJ surgery. Another interesting guy is Luke Reynolds - a prototypical light tower power 3B. He hasn't played in two years - transferred in from Mississippi State to So Miss in 2016, so missed that season and then because of NCAA rules, had to sit out 2017, too.
   189. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5687644)
Since his debut, #Cubs Kris Bryant has been the 8th best base runner in @MLB.

BsR Leaderboards 2015-Today:

1. Hamilton: 38.5
2. Betts: 30.4
3. Gordon: 24.2
4. Gardner: 22.0
5. DeShields: 20.8
6. Trout: 20.2
7. Buxton: 19.4
8. Kris Bryant 19.2
9. Bogaerts: 18.9
10. Dyson: 18.2


Him taking 3rd after the walk to rizzo, against the shift, was one of those awesome things I'm surprised doesn't happen more often.
   190. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5687756)
I kind of wanted the Cubs to take Seth Beer
My God, think of how many replica jerseys they would have sold at Wrigley.
   191. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5687798)
On my way to Wrigley...

Almora
TLS 2b
Bryant
Rizzo
Baez ss
Schwarber
Happ RF
Gimenez
Chatwood
   192. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5687804)
Beautiful day for a game, Moses. Enjoy it.

And thanks for the draft info, Zonk. Always informative.
   193. Meatwad Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5687855)
I was going to go to the game today but with chatwood starting I decided to pass.
   194. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 08, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5688283)
Looks like Maddon is reverting to one of his old tricks, trying to get Bryant going

Bryant
Heyward
Zobrist 2b
Rizzo
Contreras
Almora
Baez SS
Happ LF
Montgomery

...that is if the weather allows a game to happen (actually looks like it's supposed to be bad this morning and better later).
   195. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 08, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5688288)
I was going to go to the game today but with chatwood starting I decided to pass.


A free pass, I'm assuming.

   196. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 08, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5688353)
More on the Cubs inconsistent offense:

As it stands right now, the Cubs lead the National League and are fourth in baseball with a .439 slugging percentage with the bases empty. Put men in scoring position and their slugging drops to .359, 24th in baseball. The Cubs’ on-base percentage actually jumps from .338 with the bases empty to .345 with runners in scoring position, while their batting average drops from .257 to .239.

This is something manager Joe Maddon has talked about quite a bit this season. While the team isn’t striking out a lot on the whole or expanding their zone for the most part, they tend to do that more with runners in scoring position. With the bases empty, the team strikes out at a 21.2 percent rate, 25th in baseball. With runners in scoring position, that number goes to 22.3 percent, 12th in baseball.
   197. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 08, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5688391)
Nico Hoerner is very much in the Schwarber/Happ mold of 'character' guys - smart, good in the clubhouse, etc. He also doesn't strike out much at all. Some analysts don't think he has the arm for SS, but most think he can stick in the MI.

I know nothing of the draft of the players, but have come across these comments.

Athletic:
the No. 24 overall pick (and a slot value worth a little more than $2.7 million). Evaluators throughout the organization saw elite hand-eye coordination, untapped power potential and speed near the top of the scouting scale. The Cubs believe Hoerner has the athleticism and baseball IQ to stick at shortstop. Think of the way center fielder Albert Almora Jr. anticipates and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.


KLaw:
Nico Hoerner (1) is a high-contact singles hitter from Stanford who was one of the few shortstops in the draft whom you could project to stay at the position long-term. He doesn't have power and rarely walked, but hitters who strike out this seldom are rare, and scouts absolutely raved about the kid's makeup and instincts on the field.


So I'll take it as another one of these "Bryant can't stay at 3rd" and "Schwarber can only DH" things where the Cubs have their own ideas and will go down that path.

Another prospect comment, from Passan's column:

Miguel Amaya, C, Chicago Cubs (Low-A): One scout said he’s the best player in the Midwest League. Another said he’s one of the five best catching prospects in baseball. For an organization in need of a talent infusion, Amaya and Jhonny Pereda, his High-A counterpart, provide a big boost. Amaya’s defense is superlative, and after a couple years of struggles with the bat, his power has unlocked this year. For a kid young enough to have braces – he’s 19 – that’s a very, very good sign.
   198. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 08, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5688406)
Amaya was a part of that same big INTL splurge class that netted Eloy and Gleyber, IIRC.

I'd disagree with Law on Hoerner as a 'singles machine'... His SLG jumped ~100 points from his freshman to sophomore and sophomore to junior year (.311 to .406 to .502). His ISO likewise spiked in a similar fashion (.057 to .099 to .153). He's not a slap hitter - he's a gap hitter and the power has consistently grown.

A snip from BA's draft overview -


Story of Their Draft: The Cubs made a bit of a surprising move by taking Stanford SS Nico Hoerner (1) in the first round, but he’s hit everywhere he’s been in college and if he can stick at shortstop should be a player with a very high floor. Chicago went for some more upside with its next two picks, in athletic OF Brennen Davis (2) and an interesting power-speed threat in OF Cole Roederer (2s)

Keep An Eye On: OF D.J. Artis (7) had a down spring, but his freshman and sophomore seasons were some of the most productive in the country. Artis has some tools, but it will be interesting to see whether his passive, crouched approach translates to the pro game. LHP Mitchell Parker (28) didn’t have a great spring, but he’s flashed strikeout stuff at times and has an exciting 12-to-6 curveball. He should be a tough sign in the 28th round and might make it to Tennessee.


Like I said, Artis might turn out to be a fine bargain pick - one of those guys who looked like he was on his way to the top 100 lists before seeming to fall back in his preview finale season.
   199. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 08, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5688411)
I like the Almora comp as a hitter to Hoerner, though...
   200. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 11, 2018 at 08:53 AM (#5689457)
Just posting to fix the login problem.
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