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   1. McCoy Posted: September 23, 2010 at 04:16 PM (#3646895)
I don't see Aramis as a question mark. He was hurt and when he got healthy he hit like his old self. I also don't see how what Quade has done as proof that Lou was going through the motions. Lou had an injured Lee and Aramis and a recovering Nady. Quade has had a healthy Aramis and LEe is gone and replaced with Nady who is at least healthy. Lou had Colvin from the beginning when everybody thought the Cubs were a fool for bringing him up. Now it is quite possible that at the very end Lou was going through the motions but I don't see proof that he was going through the motions in the beginning of the year. Finally, as I have said before Quade is winning with basically an entirely different team than the one Lou had.

I think the Cubs going into next season will believe that the only hole they have to plug is first base. I hope it is Dunn at 4 years and not 6 or 7. But like you said I think Hendry might do some sort of albatross trade in which he trades one of his big contracts for somebody elses big contract. So who are the players out there that other teams want to unload?
   2. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: September 23, 2010 at 05:29 PM (#3646968)
I don't see Aramis as a question mark. He was hurt and when he got healthy he hit like his old self.

He's only played 115 games so far this year, after only playing 82 last year. We can parse his numbers for this season all we want, but he only hit .238/.292/.449. So what's a reasonable projection for next year? He'll be 33. Can we count on him to play more than 120 games? I say no, and furthermore, we have to assume he won't be 100% in the games he does play. He had one great month this year (July) and every other month has been below the level he's established the last 5 seasons. I don't think we can count on a .900OPS next year, even in those games he does play. To me, considering he's likely the top offensive player, is a big question mark. I'm floated it before, but would it be crazy to consider moving him to 1B? Would it help keep him healthy longer?
   3. McCoy Posted: September 23, 2010 at 05:38 PM (#3646979)
Yeah we can parse his numbers anyway we want but that doens't mean looking at his overall numbers and ignoring how they were achieved is the better way. I don't think we assume that Aramis puts up a .900 next season. I think there is a chance he does that but I don't think .900 is the standard anymore. A .900 OPS would make you one of the ten best NL hitters this year. If offenses hold at the same level next year then something like .850 to .875 out of him in 130 to 150 games will be quite good. I can certainly agree that the offense next year will be a question mark but I wouldn't say the offense is a question because of Aramis Ramirez.
   4. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: September 23, 2010 at 06:09 PM (#3647005)
I'm ####### jealous of you guys for having Starlin Castro.
   5. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 23, 2010 at 08:37 PM (#3647170)
If offenses hold at the same level next year then something like .850 to .875 out of him in 130 to 150 games will be quite good.

Yes, that would be good, but I agree with Moses in that it's pretty optimistic. If he is healthy, then sure, an OPS in the mid-.800s is not a bad projection (it's essentially what he's hit in the second half this year). But it's just too big of an 'if'. The litany of injuries for him makes it a question mark.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2010 at 07:08 AM (#3647458)
Like it or not, we have to put Silva in the plus category. I know, he was great early and sucked late but the K-rate, K/BB and HR/9 suggest it might not have been a total fluke -- Rothschild knows what he's doing. Regardless, he and Gorz gave us more out of the 4/5 slot than we could hope for and, incredibly, the Bradley-Silva trade was a landslide in the Cubs favor this yer.
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 25, 2010 at 05:26 PM (#3648343)
Sad that Marmol's otherworldly season is mostly for naught.

He and Castro are pretty much the only untouchables on this team going into 2011.
   8. McCoy Posted: September 25, 2010 at 05:30 PM (#3648349)
Why would you trade Soto this offseason?
   9. SteveM. Posted: September 25, 2010 at 06:18 PM (#3648376)
After Big Z's comeback, I doubt the Cubs will trade him. I wouldn't mind an upgrade at the back of the rotation so we don't have to see the likes of Diamond or Coleman.
   10. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 25, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3648405)
I wouldn't trade Soto. But "guys who should get traded" and "untouchable" are two separate things. One suggests precisely what it says, while the other means that there probably isn't a trade out there that would make sense to move that player.
   11. Tripon Posted: September 25, 2010 at 07:42 PM (#3648411)
You guys can take Ryan Theriot bak.
   12. McCoy Posted: September 25, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3648415)
I wouldn't trade Soto. But "guys who should get traded" and "untouchable" are two separate things. One suggests precisely what it says, while the other means that there probably isn't a trade out there that would make sense to move that player.

But what trade of Soto would make sense? And if it somehow makes sense then how does that logic not apply to Marmol or Castro?

Soto is a cheap good hitting catcher. You cannot replace that production cheaply and any trade or acquisition would require the Cubs taking on much more salary, which they cannot afford to do, just to replace the production that Soto is giving them cheaply.
   13. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 25, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3648424)
The Cubs have clear holes at 1b and 2b, some question marks about the OF and 3b, at least one hole in the rotation and the entire bullpen (outside of Marmol and Marshall) and bench. I don’t think there’s an in house solution for 1b or 2b


I think the Cubs should just stick with DeWitt at 2B. He'll only be 25 next year and he's been an average-ish 2B in his career. That's not going to light the world on fire, and it's not like his upside is the next Joe Morgan or anything, but I think the Cubs would be best served spending their time and money elsewhere this offseason: 1B, at least one of LF/RF/3B, SP, RP.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: September 25, 2010 at 08:47 PM (#3648449)
1B, at least one of LF/RF/3B, SP, RP.

Like it or not, the Cubs are stuck in the OF. Soriano, Byrd, Colvin, Fuku. Yes, maybe they can trade Fuku but they'll have to eat enough salary in doing so that they're unlikely to have enough money to get a better starting OF than any of those 3 anyway. Crawford and Werth appear to be the only potential upgrades out there anyway.

1B is a clear need although they have the option of ARam to 1B and a new 3B. They've got to balance Dunn/Pena/Berkman (option) vs. Gonzalez/Fielder and the money (and how confident they are in landing any of those three). Plus there isn't much in the 3B FA market this year or next.

SP really isn't a need unless they do trade Z. Z, Dempster, Wells, Gorz, Silva, Cashner, etc. is good enough. Not that I would object to Lilly on a reasonable contract or low-level deals/NRIs for guys like Duchscherer, Webb, Millwood, etc. but I don't see SP as any sort of priority.

Z's resurgence gives me greater confidence the Cubs won't trade him and greater confidence that they'll get decent return if they do. I don't see any obvious fits for trading partners though.

The long-range decision the Cubs need to make -- not right away but within the next 2-3 years -- is whether Castro's long-term position is SS. AROM's measure hates his defense to the point he's replacement level overall, UZR thinks he's OK which makes him already a bit above-average.
   15. McCoy Posted: September 25, 2010 at 08:54 PM (#3648452)
I think next year will be a much better gauge of Castro's potential at SS than this year and worst case scenario he becomes the Cubs starting second basemen in 2012. Castro's main problem is his errors which I think time, confidence, and instructions will cut down on significantly. It isn't like he is Bobby Bo or Sheffield out there. I just think he doesn't know what his limits and strengths are out there and yet and we he does he will be more than adequate at short.

I said it above but I think the Cubs are mainly going to focus on first base and do a bit of shuffling of the deck chairs. Now that doesn't mean there won't be question marks but I think the only one the Cubs will address in a major way is the first base issue. Obviously one would like a stronger pen but I don't think that is really achievable through the FA market nor do I want Hendry to trade for relievers.
   16. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 25, 2010 at 10:46 PM (#3648499)
I'm floated it before, but would it be crazy to consider moving him to 1B? Would it help keep him healthy longer?

There's nothing wrong with this in the abstract but I don't think you plan to do this without exploring your 1B options outside the team. Dunn seems a much more obvious fit for the Cubs than any 3B I can think of.
   17. Sweet Posted: September 26, 2010 at 02:03 AM (#3648550)
Sad that Marmol's otherworldly season is mostly for naught.

[CAUTION: irresponsibly selective statistics follow.]

I don't live near Chicago, and my sports journalism coverage is pretty spotty in any case, so maybe I've just missed it, but I'm surprised there hasn't been more made of the season Marmol's having. He's a week away from obliterating a pretty serious record -- SO/9 for any reasonable number of innings pitched. Today's performance puts him right at 16.00, and coincidentally you have to lower the bar all the way to 16 IP -- 16! -- to find someone who's ever done better than that. Setting the bar at 50 IP, or 70, or some other reasonable number means that Marmol exceeds the previous best (Gagne's 2003) by one full SO/9, or roughly the distance between second place and eighth place on the list.

Speaking of Gagne's 2003, that's still the only season of 75 IP or more with a lower H/9 than Marmol's 2008 -- 4.04 vs. 4.12. (Next best after that is all the way up at 4.62.) This season, Marmol has given up a whopping 4.76 H/9, and another hitless four outs (to get him to 75 IP) would put him fifth on that list.

Finally, he's also a homer-free four outs away from being one of only 12 pitchers since 1990 with at least 75 IP and only 1 HR allowed (no one's ever given up zero in that many innings pitched). That list includes everyone from Mariano Rivera to Hector Carrasco, so not exactly a guarantee of greatness, but still kinda cool.

(Also worth noting that Marmol hasn't given up a run in more than a month, a stretch in which he's given up 3 hits while walking 8 and striking out 23. Only 14 2/3 innings, but still.)

Anyway, it's sad that this is all just fun with numbers the way the season turned out, but it's fun nonetheless.
   18. Cabbage Posted: September 27, 2010 at 02:48 PM (#3649425)
I have seen very few games during the second half, and I cant really gauge defense based on Pat Hughes' descriptions. So can anyone put in a few cents on how DeWitt looked out there?

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