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   1. Sweet Posted: January 12, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3729092)
Reed Johnson's nickname was SYTH -- A "Shorter, Younger, Thinner, Handsomer" version of Jim Edmonds, who was TOFU (Taller, Older, Fatter, Uglier). In retrospect, we backed the wrong horse.
   2. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: January 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM (#3729097)
What about the actual chatters we coined them?


BTW, Cubs are denying the Wood/broadcasting story.
   3. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: January 12, 2011 at 11:11 PM (#3729103)
I see it's linked in that thread. Good times.
   4. SteveM. Posted: January 12, 2011 at 11:40 PM (#3729122)
A minor league deal for Johnson is not a bad thing at all. Fukudome and/or Colvin need a RH counterpart.
   5. McCoy Posted: January 13, 2011 at 06:27 AM (#3729280)
I haven't crunched the numbers yet but I'm expecting a bounce back year for the Cubs. Somewhere around 85 to 90 wins for them.
   6. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: January 13, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3729364)
I think an awful lot has to break right to get up to 90 (IOW, that's probably their ceiling, IMO), but 85 doesn't feel as unlikely, but still on the higher side. More importantly, 85 might be enough to win the division. I am interested to see your breakdown though.
   7. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 13, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3729372)
Sam Fuld has an interview up on Fangraphs where he says the Cubs staff only preaches batting average and aggressiveness and criticized his patience at the plate. Im on my phone so somebody else should feel free to link it :)
   8. McCoy Posted: January 13, 2011 at 03:49 PM (#3729383)
I'll probably wait until sometime in Spring Training to go through it position by position. The Mark Prior-Kerry Wood years taught me that lesson.
   9. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: January 13, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3729385)
   10. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: January 13, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#3729387)
Relevant portion:

Keri: Then there’s the church and state idea, when you’re out on the field, that you try to shut [statistical thinking] out. Do you feel it needs to go that way?

Fuld: I think baseball, in a way, the more brain-dead you are on the field, the more success you have. Which is why you see some big old dummies who are Hall of Famers (laughs). That’s the way it goes. There is a time to think on the field, but when you’re in the batter’s box, it’s all reaction. Maybe there’s an opportunity when you’re in the dugout to think on the stats side, but really your job is simple as a player, and ultimately you have to do what your manager expects you to do.

I suppose it depends on who your manager is, and who your front office is. I came up in the Cubs system, and they’re probably not as involved in the statistics side of the game as some other organizations. It still is important to me to get on base, even though (laughs) there were some guys who, all they cared about was my average.

Keri: Were they telling you, “be aggressive, be aggressive, swing, swing, swing?”

Fuld: Yeah, I definitely got a lot of that sort of instruction. It’s frustrating, but it’s reality. You have to please your boss before anybody else. That’s one of the things I’m actually looking forward to in going to the Rays, is maybe a little more advanced thinking when it comes to the numbers of baseball.
   11. McCoy Posted: January 13, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3729394)
I think Fuld is definitely going to be a useful part for someone. I think the Cubs' crowded outfield simply left no room for him and he got into Lou's doghouse early in 2010 forcing him out. Lou liked to play the hothand and while that was definitely better than Dusty's never playing kids mantra the downside of playing the hothand is that sometimes when you start off cold he might never get around to playing you again. Especially if you don't have a long term contract and others are on a hot streak.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 13, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#3729502)
His walk rate was generally increasing (and never dipped) while in the Cubs system so ... I'm not sure this "swing baby swing" attitude was as widespread as the quote suggests.
   13. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: January 13, 2011 at 06:43 PM (#3729519)
Or, it was, he ignored it, and that's why he didn't get more chances.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#3729776)
Maybe. But how many more chances should he have gotten?

He was a 10th round pick out of Stanford, assigned to A-ball at the age of 23. This already is not generally a harbinger of future success. He did OK but nothing spectacular (810 OPS). He was moved up the next year but played only 89 games (injured?). Again solid but unspectacular. He's now 25 in AA and puts up a line of 290/372/388 but still gets a brief promotion to AAA and a cup of coffee in the majors.

2008 is about the only year he might have a gripe. That was the year the Cubs started with Johnson and Pie, then picked up Edmonds. I suppose you could argue he deserved the shot more than Pie or that he deserved the bench spot that went to Ward (who was terrible) then Hoffpauir (who did really well). But then they started him at AA where he did slightly worse than his age 25 line and another brief stint in AAA where he was terrible.

In 2009, he basically repeated that performance at AAA, got 115 PA in the majors and did well; in 2010 he repeated that performance at AAA, got 31 PA in the majors and did terribly. I'm assuming none of that makes for a very impressive MLE. In 2010 ZiPS pegged him for an 88 OPS+; in 2009, ZiPS pegged him for something much worse (626 OPS, already lower than Colvin's projection).

The Cubs tend to suck with position players so I'm fine with the idea that he could have been developed better. But the only ML-quality offensive skill he displayed in the minors was walking and the Cubs promoted him and gave him brief stints in the majors and that's not consistent with them being upset with him. His minor-league track record seems pretty standard for a guy who's just not that good and already pretty old.

If you don't have your pro debut until 23 and it's at A ball and you don't destroy it, you don't have much of a future.
   15. SouthSideRyan Posted: January 21, 2011 at 06:40 AM (#3733867)
Seeing threads/chatters from '08 depresses the hell out of me. I want that fun again.
   16. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#3737812)
Cubs announce minor league contract signings of Augie Ojeda and Braden Looper. Guzman and Wellemeyer will also be in camp.

Augie Ojeda, if he is the answer then someone very clearly asked the wrong question.
   17. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 14, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#3749610)
Marmol extension supposed to be announced tomorrow. Rumored to be 3/18. Pleasantly surprised with this one.
   18. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: February 14, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#3749642)
Augie Ojeda, if he is the answer then someone very clearly asked the wrong question.

I remember him. He'd be considered scrappy if he were white, yes?
   19. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: February 14, 2011 at 01:41 AM (#3749644)
Marmol extension supposed to be announced tomorrow. Rumored to be 3/18. Pleasantly surprised with this one.

That's actually fairly reasonable, given what closers often command. Thankfully the team's crap performance kept his saves # down...
   20. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 14, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3749926)
And now they're saying upwards of 23M. Far less pleased with that.
   21. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 14, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#3750139)

Reasonable, but 3.2 this year is wow.

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