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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Monday, July 29, 2019

Taking the current temperature

Starting a new thread, as it’s way overdue.  I’m not sure I have that many original thoughts, so I’m going to steal some comments from the last thread here.

First thing on my mind is the ridiculous home/road splits.  I haven’t updated these since I originally posted them before the Brewers series, but nothing has really changed and the 2 losses fit the general theme.  The Cubs are 10 under .500 on the road; if they were just .500 on the road they’d have a 5 game lead in the division instead of being tied with the Cards.

They hit essentially the same on the road as at home - .785OPS at home, .790 on the road - but the pitching is *significantly* worse, in virtually every way. I can never get these tables to look right, but:

HOME: 3.36 ERA, 1.185WHIP, 8.7k/9, 2.9bb/9, 1.1hr/9, .233/.300/.384 line against
ROAD: 4.86 ERA, 1.451WHIP, 8.4k/9, 3.8bb/9, 1.3hr/9, .266/.343/.448 line against

The Cubs do hit more HRs on the road than home (12 more in about 50ABs), but walk less to cancel it out in OPS. So I don’t think this is just a case of extreme park factors. I have no idea what would explain this (every team is stealing signs against them everywhere but Wrigley? the pitchers are always drunk on the road?).

Second, we’ve talked quite a bit about the holes on the team.  I never really considered “leadoff hitter” as a hole, or even a position, but I’ve been rethinking that quite a bit lately.  Cubs leadoff hitters this year are hitting a putrid .218/.289/.399; only the 9th spot in the order is hitting worse.  Some of that is because the Cubs really don’t have a typical guy to put there, though I’ve made the argument before that Heyward should go there.  Of course, he’s not really hitting this month again anyway (.282/.311/.705), so maybe that’s a bad suggestion.  I wonder why he hasn’t done it more (he’s done it 6 games, which is 6 more than I remember - and didn’t do #### in those 6 with a .383OPS), perhaps he just doesn’t like doing it.  Garcia is just as bad of a fit as Schwarber, and I understand not rushing to put Happ back up there so soon after bringing him back.  Maybe it’s time for Rizzo to spend a couple of weeks there again.

I’m glad Garcia is up and playing pretty regularly, but it’s also becoming clear that he probably isn’t an everyday guy.  His defense is only so-so at best, and he’s such a free swinger that he’s always going to struggle against certain types of pitchers.  If Bote were hitting lefties, perhaps that’s an ideal platoon.  Since he’s not, I’d guess the Cubs are still looking to add someone who can at least play there part time.  Walt listed a few guys*, but Sogard may have been the best option and he went to TB instead.  So now I’m eyeing Hanser Alberto; he’d be cheap, but the draw here is the multiple positions and he’s hitting .404/.413/.529 vs LHP.  That’s assuredly a fluke, but it kinda fits a need and he’s still likely to be better than Descalso the rest of the year.  I still would guess the Cubs end up with Castellanos for RF, just because there aren’t any other great option (Dyson would also be fine).  The problem here is that there really aren’t any great options that really move the needle.

*Rojas 2.4/1.2 88
Sogard 1.9/0.9 126
Dietrich 1.7/0.9 122
AFrazier 1.5/0.3 93
Galvis 1.5/0.2 98
Alberto 1.3/0.2 97 (on the O’s, 26 years old)
GGarcia 1.0/0.3 102 (on Pads)
Iglesias 1.0/-0.1 78

Which means, the Cubs probably do end up overpaying for another decent RP.  I also kinda think they have to, what with so many guy punch 7th/8th inning blown leads.  I’m not going to be happy about it, and maybe this team isn’t worth adding another guy for, but I’d hate to see what would happen if that’s the reason the Cubs lose a playoff game, or worse, series.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 29, 2019 at 11:03 AM | 387 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 04, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5876669)
Dating back to Aug. 1, Kyle Schwarber has slashed .287/.392/.678 for the Cubs. Tonight, he walked, singled, doubled and belted his 33rd homer of the season.


Castellanos has a 1.081 OPS since joining the Cubs on Aug 1. Since July 28, Schwarber has a 1.096 OPS. They get to it in different ways -- Castellanos is more average driven while Schwarber will work an at-bat and take walks -- but both have been highly productive the last month.


I knew Schwarber had been good lately, but had no idea he was outcastellanosing Castellanos.
   302. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 04, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5876823)
I did a double-take when they said last night's homer was his 33rd. I thought he was still in the mid-20s for some reason.

Anyone wanna take a stab at when Jason Heyward gets another hit? He's pushing close to 30 at-bats since his last hit.
   303. Brian C Posted: September 04, 2019 at 09:29 PM (#5876863)
I knew Schwarber had been good lately, but had no idea he was outcastellanosing Castellanos.

What really blew my mind is that his OPS+ on the season is now identical to Javy's. Two guys trending in opposite ways at the plate right there.
   304. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 05, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5876926)
Yeah, since the A-S break, Javy is only hitting .264/.298/.483 with 47Ks in 184PAs; it's an even worse .200/.260/.343 his last 20 games. Hopefully that brief rest did him good - he also worse down end of the year last year too.

---

Now that Heyward is (hopefully) probably done leading off, he'll get a hit tonight. He's at .085/.218/.106 his last 13 - 12 of which were at leadoff. As noted, he's 0 for his last 28.
   305. Brian C Posted: September 05, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5876974)
I imagine that the next time the Cubs are down 5-0 in the the ninth, Heyward will hit a solo homer.

Anyone else not really looking forward to this 4-game series against the Brewers this weekend? I feel like Santo used to feel for the White Sox series, he always used to say that they were stressful and he didn't like them much. Sort of how I feel about playing the Brewers these days, and a long series in Milwaukee just seems like ... ugh.
   306. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 05, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5877003)
I wouldn't say I'm dreading it - I'm dreading the Bears/Packers matchup much more. If it's going to happen for the Cubs this year, they'll win 3 of 4 here and catch the Cards head to head. If they go 2-2 or worse, I'll start mentally prepping for being upset at a bunch of Maddon's moves in the WC game.

Zobrist
Castellanos
Bryant
Rizzo
Baez
Schwarber
Contreras
Heyward
Quintana

...finally.
   307. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: September 05, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5877007)
The Brewers are big time negative in run differential and it's totally earned. Pitching pretty much sucks and the defense not named Lorenzo Cain is pretty bad. Have to think the Cubs put Crew out of its remaining delusions.
   308. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 05, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5877011)
That could have happened last weekend, but the Cubs decided they didn't want to score any runs.

Theo: Kimbrel to 10-day IL with right elbow inflammation. David Bote recalled. MRI came back clean on Kimbrel. Eligible for activation Thursday.


##########
   309. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 05, 2019 at 07:17 PM (#5877022)
Javy a late scratch. Lovely.
   310. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5877101)
Now that Heyward is (hopefully) probably done leading off, he'll get a hit tonight.

####### nailed it. He still looks like absolute garbage.

Schwarber is really taking the chance that the Cubs might resign Castellanos and trade him seriously. This is about the best he's looked for an extended stretch - .264/.358/.667 since AS break and .300/.406/.722 since start of August. Something about him jumping on that first pitch was great to see.

Zobrist is hitting .667/.778/.667 with runs in over 50% of his PAs since May 7th. Seriously though, he jumped his BA from .241 to .270 and OBP from .343 to .380 with those first 2 games. He's still not really hitting the ball hard at all - I totally forgot about his XBH watch from earlier this season as he still only has 1 XBH this year (a double) in 108 PAs - but he's seeing a ton of pitches and just getting on base:
Jordan Bastian @MLBastian

Between May 7-Sept. 2, when Ben Zobrist was away or out of the lineup, the Cubs produced a .189/.270/.406 slash line out of the leadoff spot. The average, on-base and 72 wRC+ all ranked 30th in MLB in that time period.


Quintana's control was pretty terrible last night, but that Perez HR was such a juiced ball cheapy it's hard to get upset about it.
   311. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 06, 2019 at 05:10 PM (#5877256)
Tonight's Cubs 9:

1. Zobrist 2B
2. Schwarber LF
3. Castellanos RF
4. Rizzo 1B
5. Bryant 3B
6. Caratini C
7. Russell SS
8. Heyward CF
9. Hamels SP

Baez sits out 4th game in a row with jammed thumb. Schwarber (5-for-6 with 2 HR, 2 2B, 2 BB, 5 RBI last 2 games) back in two spot.
   312. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 06, 2019 at 06:52 PM (#5877272)
Maddon: Baez scheduled to have MRI on ailing thumb to make sure there isn’t more going on than initially believed.

Baez will have the MRI Saturday in Chicago. Don’t expect him to be back in lineup until Sunday at earliest, if he’s able to return for this series at all.

Oh boy. Took them a while.
   313. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 07, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5877411)
Almora
Castellanos
Rizzo
Bryant
Bote 2b
Schwarber
Russell
Caratini
Darvish

Stop. Hitting. Almora. Leadoff. God. Dammit.
   314. Red Voodooin Posted: September 07, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5877420)
Baez has a fractured thumb.

I guess we're gonna be seeing a lot of the 2016 NL All-Star starting infield in his absence.
   315. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 07, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5877423)
Well, ####.

MRI on SS Javier Baez’s left thumb revealed a hairline fracture. He will see Cubs’ hand specialist on Monday to determine a plan/timeline.
   316. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 07, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5877424)
It's over. It's always been over.
   317. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 07, 2019 at 07:38 PM (#5877442)
Really disheartening. Baseball is better with guys like Javy active on the diamond.

Sucks that it also means having to watch more Addison Russell.
   318. Red Voodooin Posted: September 07, 2019 at 08:30 PM (#5877456)
Sucks that it also means having to watch more Addison Russell.


Actually, I'm glad he's around to fill in.
   319. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 07, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5877501)
Well, Russell homered tonight, but his error in the ninth eventually came around to score the game-winning run.

I'd be interested to see what the Cubs' record in Milwaukee is in recent years when the game is either tied late or the Cubs have a one-run lead, because it feels like they've ended up losing most of those.

Aside from the 7 games with the Cardinals, the Cubs' schedule the rest of the way seems to be favorable, so it's too soon to really give up on the division, but damn, the Cubs have really missed a chance to at least stamp out the Brewers the last two weekends.
   320. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 08, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5877533)
Today's Cubs 9...

1. Zobrist 2B
2. Schwarber LF
3. Castellanos RF
4. Rizzo 1B
5. Contreras C
6. Heyward CF
7. Russell SS
8. Bote 3B
9. Lester SP

Bryant out of lineup again. Has hit .200 (9-for-45) with 0 HR, .267 SLG in his last 14 games. Has .216/.295/.366 slash since July 27.


Ugly.
   321. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 08, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5877534)
Maddon said the plan was to have Phelps and Holland get through Grandal/Yelich in the 8th to set up a 4-out save for Rowan Wick.

Maddon: "They just foiled that opportunity. Grandal's also swinging the bat like I've never seen him, either."


I was wondering what the hell maddons plan was in the 8th. I'm not sure why Phelps has been so solidly in the circle of trust, he's been fine but not great. And why the hell would you think Holland can get anyone out, much less yelich. Why wasn't kintzler in the plan? Why not wick in 8th and kintzler in 9th? You're facing the heart of the order in the 8th, send out your best guy.

Of course, the real problem again was the offense (and lineup) but if Castellanos and Bryant could have made any real contact in the 8th...
   322. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 08, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5877555)
Of course, the real problem again was the offense (and lineup) but if Castellanos and Bryant could have made any real contact in the 8th...


As illustrated in your previous post, Bryant hasn't been making any real contact for two months now.

I actually wanted to post something along those lines after he popped out, but I try to give the benefit of the doubt that Josh Hader, despite the increase in homers allowed, is still an elite reliever at this time.

Bryant's season line isn't horribly out of whack with previous seasons, though it continues to be surprising that for a guy with his power, his RBI totals have always been on the lower end.

At any rate, this is going to be his second consecutive underwhelming offensive season. Last year he had the injury. Not sure what's going on with him right now. Obviously you can't pin the blame all on him, but when one of your top hitters is hitting like Carlos Zambrano for a third of the season, it might help illuminate why this offense feels so inconsistent.
   323. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 08, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5877578)
So Russell takes one off the head and Lester has yet another meltdown inning. Fun times!
   324. Quaker Posted: September 08, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5877592)
Donaldson would be another potential Bryant replacement if they went the sign-and-trade route. I really wanted him last offseason.
   325. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 09, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5877672)
With Baez out and Addison beaned, look for Cubs to call up Nico Hoerner to help fill gap at short. Cubs' top pick last year, Nico hit .284 at Double-A Tenn.


Whoa.

I have very little positive to say about this team right now, so I'll just shut up.
   326. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 09, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5877689)
BTW, it sure was crazy at the time the Cubs left Russell in the game to run the bases. That should be an immediate removal, not a delayed one that now likely is going to lead to add'l missed time. I joke, somewhat, about the moving targets with these injuries, but this seems like a pretty serious mistake.
   327. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 09, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5877807)
This Nico news doesn't seem to have gotten anyone else's attention, but the way I see it, this is going to go 1 of the following 2 extreme ways:

1. Nico is going to come up and hit a million singles, inspiring the team to an unlikely division title.
2. It's not going to make a lick of difference, and another banjo single hitter does nothing to patch over an old, hurt pitching staff and completely injury ravaged lineup and the Cubs somehow finish behind 3 teams in the race for the 2nd wild card.

I know which is more likely, but the silver lining is there won't be any more defending Joe with at least he didn't have a team completely unravel on his watch.
   328. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 09, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5877840)
Have they really unraveled, though? They got off to a horrific start, got red-hot for 4-6 weeks, and then settled into this weird pattern where they were almost unbeatable at home and Bad News Bears on the road.

I just think they aren't really that good. I'm not sure what the solution(s) is. I never thought I'd say it, but thank god Darvish turned things around, because Lester and Hamels have been abysmal. The back-end of the pen remains wonky/a mess. The offense, I think, is just... I don't know. Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez is a really nice core, but they're all prone to stretches of coldness. Bryant especially concerns me. Having Zobrist back has been nice, and obviously Castellanos has been better than advertised with the bat. It's one of those lineups that looks good on paper but has just been visually lackluster most of the year (and really, dating back to last season, too).
   329. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 09, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5877860)
I'm not saying they've already unraveled; if scenario #2 happens I'm predicting it'll be hard not to call it an unraveling.

The schedule is fairly favorable, so the most likely scenario is the Cubs play this same yo-yo type of baseball for a few more weeks and hold on to the WC2 slot only to be completely shut down by either Scherzer or Strasburg in another disappointing WC game.
   330. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 09, 2019 at 06:47 PM (#5877891)
   331. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 09, 2019 at 06:56 PM (#5877892)
Zo
Schwarber
Castellanos
Rizzo
Caratini
Nico
Heyward
Bote
Hendricks

Bryant had a cortisone shot. I'm concerned about Willy's playing time as he comes back here. 1 start in last 4 games is worrisome.

#Cubs roster moves:
- Selected the contract of INF Nico Hoerner from Double-A Tennessee
- Recalled RHP James Norwood from Triple-A Iowa
- Designated LHP Randy Rosario for assignment
- Optioned RHP Adbert Alzolay to Single-A South Bend pic.twitter.com/MOMnKzl1pR

   332. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 09, 2019 at 08:02 PM (#5877909)
Hand specialist confirms that UCL is intact in Javy’s left thumb. Unlikely to play this month, will rehab rest of the way and hope is he’ll come back for playoffs. Unlikely for him to play rest of regular season.



Playoffs?!?
   333. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 09, 2019 at 09:05 PM (#5877917)
   334. Red Voodooin Posted: September 09, 2019 at 10:26 PM (#5877939)
The general doom and gloom from Cubs fans is annoying. Especially annoying here. There's been a tendency to project the worst and then analyze the situation as though the worst case scenario is already true. Cubs fans want to be the lovable losers, don't they?.

This is fun, folks. We're playing meaningful September baseball. As demoralizing as this last weekend was (all of a sudden 4.5 back in the division, realizing that the second wild card isn't a gimmee, javy done for the regular season) there's 20 games left and the Cubs are in the mix. I like it.

Also, I watched Nico Hoerner last year in Eugene, the short-season A+ Northwest League team he debuted with. Today, he's starting SS for the Cubs in the midst of a pennant race. I love it.
   335. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 09, 2019 at 10:44 PM (#5877942)
The general doom and gloom from Cubs fans is annoying. Especially annoying here. There's been a tendency to project the worst and then analyze the situation as though the worst case scenario is already true. Cubs fans want to be the lovable losers, don't they?.

This is fun, folks. We're playing meaningful September baseball. As demoralizing as this last weekend was (all of a sudden 4.5 back in the division, realizing that the second wild card isn't a gimmee, javy done for the regular season) there's 20 games left and the Cubs are in the mix. I like it.
Of course you’re free to set your personal bar for optimism and “liking it” at any time the Cubs are in the mix at this time of year, regardless of the team’s potential, expectations, performance or any other circumstances. But lecturing others whose bars may be set somewhat higher for not being sufficiently sunny and enthusiastic isn’t a great look.
   336. Red Voodooin Posted: September 09, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5877944)
Well, then... let's talk about your bar, Face? Who's lecturing who?

Somewhat higher?
   337. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:12 PM (#5877948)
I’m not loving it right now. I’m not, like, angry or upset or anything, but I do think this team just isn’t all that good and has been a disappointment in terms of player development and acquisition from the immense promise of a few years ago. So I guess my bar is such that I can’t just say ‘eh, they’re still contending, I l love it’ and ignore that context. It’s disappointing, especially when you see other teams that seem to be doing a much better job of developing players for sustained success, and *are* what this team looked like it was going to become.

If you want to only acknowledge the positives, that’s great. I’m happy for you that you’re able to do that. Just don’t call those of us who have what I think understandable and justifiable disappointment and/or frustration ‘annoying.’
   338. Red Voodooin Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:46 PM (#5877953)
The current situation is clearly below your bar, I guess.

"It’s disappointing, especially when you see other teams that seem to be doing a much better job of developing players for sustained success"

How the #### have the Cubs not had sustained success? They will make the playoffs this year for the fifth straight year.
   339. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:53 PM (#5877955)
A few years ago the Cubs looked like they would go the route of the Astros or Dodgers, where they were developing players such that fans could be confident that they were going to be comfortably a couple notches better than their competition for several years. Barely sneaking into the second wild card (or not) isn’t that. Sure, this team is good enough to be in the mix. But sustained success means consistently being better than the mix.
   340. Red Voodooin Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:57 PM (#5877956)
Barely sneaking into the second wild card (or not) isn’t that.


See above, when I talked about how Cubs fans around here talk about things that haven't happened yet as though they were already true.
   341. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:57 PM (#5877957)
This exchange does have me percolating some barely-formed thoughts on whether my (and others’) fandom has been changed by the recent evolution of management (and fans) to focus more on process. Are we less able to simply enjoy being ‘in the mix’ because we’re thinking more about the bigger picture, and is that a bad thing?
   342. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 09, 2019 at 11:59 PM (#5877958)
See above, when I talked about how Cubs fans around here talk about things that haven't happened yet as though they were already true.
No, it’s basing our thoughts on where we’re at right now. If they go on a tear and win the division, that would change things, but that’s not the current reality.
   343. Red Voodooin Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:15 AM (#5877963)
This exchange does have me percolating some barely-formed thoughts on whether my (and others’) fandom has been changed by the recent evolution of management (and fans) to focus more on process. Are we less able to simply enjoy being ‘in the mix’ because we’re thinking more about the bigger picture, and is that a bad thing?


I think this is a fantastic discussion point.

No, it’s basing our thoughts on where we’re at right now. If they go on a tear and win the division, that would change things, but that’s not the current reality.


A month ago the Cubs were 75%+ to win the division, and you were acting this way back then.

It's only come to be in the last 10-15 days that the Cardinals have a better chance to win the division than the Cubs.

We'll run them down, though.
   344. Red Voodooin Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:16 AM (#5877965)
NICO! NICO! NICO!
   345. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:30 AM (#5877967)
Yeah, that’s a fair point, but I don’t think I’m necessarily being inconsistent- I just haven’t thought that this team inspired confidence that they were really a notch or two better than the competition since, I dunno, the middle of last year maybe? Even when they were leading in the division, it was still ‘good enough to be in the mix, but not for a sustained run above the fray.’ Is that expecting or wanting too much? Maybe, but they looked like they were there, and other teams are proving it can be done, so it doesn’t strike me as particularly unfair.
   346. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:46 AM (#5877970)
There's optimistic and then there's delusional ... and somebody in this thread is getting pretty close to the delusional end. :-)

The Cubs are 4.5 back of the Cards and 3 back of the Nats with 20 to play. There are 3 teams closer to the Cubs than the Cubs are to the Nats. So if "we" are talking about the Cubs as if they have already snuck into the 2nd WC than that is OPTIMISTIC. The chance that the Cubs get out-played by 2+ games by one of three teams behind them is likely greater than the chance they outplay at least one of the two ahead of them. The DBacks even have a slightly better run differential.

We're about to gain a game on the Phils and DBacks which helps and half-games on Cards and Nats so today our great optimism was rewarded.

Irrelevant to this thread but after pasting the Ms for 21, the Astros crushed the A's 15-0. Pretty good team they got down there in Houston.
   347. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:51 AM (#5877971)
Optioned RHP Adbert Alzolay to Single-A South Bend pic.twitter.com/MOMnKzl1pR

What is with this stuff? They did the same to Taylor Davis the other day. With roster expansion, optioning the guy just keeps you from paying him the ML minimum for another three weeks and keeps him from building towards a pension. Alzolay will almost certainly make it to the magical 43 (?) days and Davis already has but I assume you still get a bit more with extra service days. It's one thing to not call a guy up in Sept but to actually send him back down seems very cheap. (I understand somebody had to be dropped from the 40-man for Hoerner but that was Rosario.)
   348. Red Voodooin Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:53 AM (#5877972)
No, dude. Expecting more than five straight playoff appearances (let's be pals and hope for the 5th together) is very unreasonable.
   349. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:58 AM (#5877973)
Well, does making the wild card game really count as ‘making the playoffs?’ I think a lot of baseball fans across a lot of teams would say it doesn’t feel particularly satisfying. But of course we are on the same side as far as hoping it happens.
   350. Red Voodooin Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:07 AM (#5877974)
There are 3 teams closer to the Cubs than the Cubs are to the Nats. So if "we" are talking about the Cubs as if they have already snuck into the 2nd WC than that is OPTIMISTIC. The chance that the Cubs get out-played by 2+ games by one of three teams behind them is likely greater than the chance they outplay at least one of the two ahead of them.


Bullshit, Walt.
   351. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:36 AM (#5877978)
So I just saw the replay of Hoerner’s triple, which began with him looking at the third base coach for signs. That sparked a question: Do teams use the same signs across all levels of the organization? On the one hand, that seems like pretty obviously a bad idea given how often players change organizations. On the other hand, if they don’t, does a new callup have to try to memorize all new signs in whatever time he has before his debut? That seems suboptimal as well.
   352. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 09:20 AM (#5878015)
A few years ago the Cubs looked like they would go the route of the Astros or Dodgers, where they were developing players such that fans could be confident that they were going to be comfortably a couple notches better than their competition for several years. Barely sneaking into the second wild card (or not) isn’t that. Sure, this team is good enough to be in the mix. But sustained success means consistently being better than the mix.

So, you've gone full Yankee fan then? Don't do it. I can can tell you from personal experience it sucks the joy out of the game.
   353. Brian C Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5878126)
Only one game but I like the Nico Hoerner experience so far. He makes contact at the plate, he's fast, seems like he plays adequate-to-decent defense at SS, and he seems to have pretty good awareness out there - scoring on that WP wasn't an exceptional play or anything but it was still pretty nifty.

Just spit-balling, but long-term, I wonder if he could play CF and be what we (or at least I) hoped Almora would be. But for right now, he seems like a good fit - the Cubs desperately need a high-contact guy who can hit for average in the lineup. The "million singles" that Moses alluded to actually sound pretty awesome to me if he can deliver that.

Kinda fun having an actual prospect around though, seems like it's been awhile.
   354. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5878159)
So I can go for what feels like weeks talking to myself in here, then one West Coast game and one day conference later and we're 20 posts later?

Just spit-balling, but long-term, I wonder if he could play CF and be what we (or at least I) hoped Almora would be. But for right now, he seems like a good fit - the Cubs desperately need a high-contact guy who can hit for average in the lineup. The "million singles" that Moses alluded to actually sound pretty awesome to me if he can deliver that.

He played some CF in the minors this year. I think he might be more likely to be the future 2b than CF, but only because he's played there more and he can also be another SS on the roster (I really would be surprised if Russell is back again next year). Actually, unless he really out performs even the wildest expectations, there's a good chance he's back in AAA at some point next year - if not to start, but at some point. He was rushed faster than any of these previous guys, and I'd be worried about hurting his development if he really isn't ready yet. But yes, his profile is kinda what the Cubs need and he's probably the also the future "lead-off hitter" regardless of where he plays in the field.

Kinda fun having an actual prospect around though, seems like it's been awhile.

This is definitely true. There was a totally different feel to the game last night, and that I had watching it. To go back to the expectations/should we be happy or not, having someone like Nico to watch and pull for scratches a particular itch I really didn't know I had. In 2015-2016, it was just a non-stop stream of prospects and debuts, that maybe I got numb to it.

Overall though, 2015 was just pure, innocent fun with no complaints and just enjoying the ride. 2016 was awesome, pretty much start to finish, with obvious moments of nerves built in. 2017 was a hangover, and the slow first half never really got me down at all and then they took off in the 2nd half. I was pretty happy with most of last season, though the last couple of months and especially the tie breaker and WC games were absolutely draining, but did little to damper my enthusiasm for this year. The last couple of months have really started to wear me down again though - I'm tired of Joe and all his bullshit (I try not to second guess too much, but it's like he's challenging us here), the fact that this is now 2 years in a row of the sum being less than the individual parts is disheartening.

Maybe my expectations were too high, I dunno. When I see a team like last year's Brewers one or this year's Cardinals - who to me seem like clearly inferior groups with more holes and/or less top line talent - pull ahead and outplay the Cubs and seem like groups that are better teams than the parts would imply pisses me off. I guess that is the main reason I think I'm almost 100% behind the don't bring Joe back group, because those are the things (plus development) that I feel are his failure; I do think he's kinda mailed the last few years in - hell, one of the biggest things that came out of the internal review the Cubs talked about was he needed to coach more.
   355. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5878160)
So I just saw the replay of Hoerner’s triple, which began with him looking at the third base coach for signs. That sparked a question: Do teams use the same signs across all levels of the organization? On the one hand, that seems like pretty obviously a bad idea given how often players change organizations. On the other hand, if they don’t, does a new callup have to try to memorize all new signs in whatever time he has before his debut? That seems suboptimal as well.

I'd guess there's a simple sign for him with some sort of indicator or whether something is on or not; probably one of those things they go over in great detail right before the game. But yeah, I but there's a risk of a guy ####### something up his first day or two.
   356. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:55 PM (#5878167)
There are 3 teams closer to the Cubs than the Cubs are to the Nats. So if "we" are talking about the Cubs as if they have already snuck into the 2nd WC than that is OPTIMISTIC. The chance that the Cubs get out-played by 2+ games by one of three teams behind them is likely greater than the chance they outplay at least one of the two ahead of them.


Bullshit, Walt.


Well, FG has the Cubs with a 19.3% chance to win the division and only 47.6% to win the WC, so I think what Walt is saying is pretty much exactly right.

FG does peg both the Cards and Nats at 90.5 wins, so I'd infer the odds are pretty close to taking over WC1 as they are to win the division (the Cubs obviously have a bit more say about the division piece considering they play the Cards 7 more times).

If the Cubs can gain 1 game on the Cards before they meet next week (3@SD, 3 PIT, 3 CIN for CHC, 3@COL, 3 MIL, 3 WSN), the Cubs could take over first with a 4 game sweep or end up 1 back winning 3/4. Then the Cubs have 3 @ PIT and STL has 3 @ AZ before the last 3 games against each other in STL.

I don't want to say the Cubs should sweep the Padres, but they definitely could and absolutely have to win 2 of the next 3. I wouldn't predict the Cards to sweep the Rockies, but the Rockies have been bad lately so I'll say STL goes 2-1 there. Cubs should/could win 4 or 5 of 6 at home against PIT/CIN and the Cards could go 3-3 in their 6 against much tougher teams (though they are at home). So there's definitely an opportunity to be even within 2 by next week if things go right.

I just don't trust Lester or Hamels enough to predict things go that well, and they're starting 4 combined games in the next 9 before we see the Cards. But, 7-2 in the next 9 and I'll be ready to think the Cards have a real fight on their hands. I don't expect it, but still hope for it.

So from the time I posted 354 to now, I'm finding myself back in optimist mode.
   357. Brian C Posted: September 10, 2019 at 05:23 PM (#5878184)
I don't want to say the Cubs should sweep the Padres

I do. They should ####### sweep the Padres.
   358. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 10, 2019 at 05:46 PM (#5878191)
Ok, so the super optimist would have the Cubs going 8-1 over their next 9 (lose one against the Reds because they've been annoying/good against the Cubs).
The regular old optimist would say 6-3 (1 loss each of the next 3 series).
Based on current home/road splits, the somewhat pessimistic realist has them at 5-4.

Even at my most pessimistic, I don't see them worse than 4-5.

If the Cards go 6-3, the Cubs will be 2/4/5/6 games back respectively for the Cards series.
If the Cards go 5-4, make it 1/3/4/5.
If the Cards go 4-5, make it 0/2/3/4.

I don't think the pessimist in me can see the Cards doing better than 6-3 and the super optimist can't put them lower than 4-5.

I have no idea why I typed all this out. Might as well post it though.
   359. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 10, 2019 at 06:07 PM (#5878195)
Zobrist
Schwarber
Castellanos
Rizzo
Bryant
Contreras
Heyward
NICO
Quintana

Maybe I'd flip 7/8, but that's a minor quibble. Hopefully Bryant really does feel better, because I think the knee problem has also impacted his defense and if he isn't going to hit might as well have the superior defense of Bote*.

*I actually think Bryant has been really good defensively at 3b this year - and I think the numbers support it - so I just mean that the current healthy Bote is better defensively than the limited Bryant.
   360. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 10, 2019 at 06:31 PM (#5878204)
Christopher Kamka @ckamka

Most games with 10+ runs scored this season
(among National League teams)

18 Cubs
17 Braves
17 Nationals


Hmmm. Braves have 75 more runs in 2 more games played and the Nats 62 more in 1 fewer game. Damn inconsistent Cubs.

Christopher Kamka @ckamka

Last 4 #Cubs with 3 hits in MLB debut

tonight - Nico Hoerner
7/19/2013 - Junior Lake
3/31/2008 - Kosuke Fukudome
9/2/1988 - Doug Dascenzo


That's not exactly a promising list.
Christopher Kamka @ckamka

1st player from draft to debut in MLB
2010: Chris Sale
2011: Trevor Bauer
2012: Paco Rodriguez
2013: Kyle Crockett
2014: Brandon Finnegan
2015: Carson Fulmer
2016: Austin Hays
2017: Kyle Wright
2018: Nico Hoerner


That's a little better, but not by much.
   361. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 10, 2019 at 06:56 PM (#5878214)
What is with this stuff? They did the same to Taylor Davis the other day. With roster expansion, optioning the guy just keeps you from paying him the ML minimum for another three weeks and keeps him from building towards a pension. Alzolay will almost certainly make it to the magical 43 (?) days and Davis already has but I assume you still get a bit more with extra service days. It's one thing to not call a guy up in Sept but to actually send him back down seems very cheap. (I understand somebody had to be dropped from the 40-man for Hoerner but that was Rosario.)

Oh! I forgot to respond to this. They said they sent Alzolay down because he reached his innings limit. Which, doesn't really make sense to me. So, if he's not gonna throw anymore, why send him there and not keep him here; it almost comes across as a punishment (or like you said, some sort of unknown roster service time shenanigans).

Davis was DFA's to put Danny Hultzen on the 40 man - Rosario was dropped for Hoerner. Hultzen's a nice story, and I guess Joe really wants another lefty and maybe this will mean he stops using Holland. I bet Davis clears and will be back; Zagunis was DFA'd for Zobrist and he cleared waivers so he was reassigned to Iowa. Though yeah, sucks for Davis there wasn't someone else at the bottom of the 40 man - though not sure who else that would be.
   362. Brian C Posted: September 10, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5878224)
Haha, I saw that Davis was DFA'd and I thought, "wow that's so stupid, only 2 catchers in September"? I had already completely forgotten about Lucroy.

I mean, sorta dumb on my part, but also I think a fitting commentary on the current state of Lucroy's career. What's even worse is that Davis's OPS+ with the Cubs this year is actually higher. Davis is also edging out Descalso and routing Tony Kemp, who I also both completely forgot about.

   363. Red Voodooin Posted: September 10, 2019 at 10:06 PM (#5878258)
Well, FG has the Cubs with a 19.3% chance to win the division and only 47.6% to win the WC, so I think what Walt is saying is pretty much exactly right.


No, this means that we have 2-1 odds to make the postseason crapshoot. This is good. I'm pretty excited about where we are right now.
   364. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 11, 2019 at 02:08 AM (#5878317)
Games like tonight almost make me wanna see them fall apart because I have no faith in them having to win a one game playoff.
   365. Walt Davis Posted: September 11, 2019 at 04:04 AM (#5878322)
Bullshit, Walt.

Well, ya gonna show your work?

On the Cards -- with 7 left against them, of course it's in our hands. But there's zero reason to _expect_ us to go, say, 6-1 against them. We're 7-5 on the year, we're equal in run differential. Stranger things have happened for sure so by all means, hold out hope.

On Hoerner -- some odd posts above. He's up only because both Russell and Baez are hurt. I know the 3-hit list wasn't meant seriously but being the first in his draft to debut is just a fluke and, while technically true, he hasn't been "rushed" in the sense we'd normally use it. He's an emergency. ... Speaking of past emergencies, Mike Freeman has a 107 OPS+ in 170 PA for Cleveland this year.

On Taylor Davis ... my bad obviously, I coulda sworn the report I saw/heard said he'd been optioned, not DFA'd. If you need room on the 40, you need room on the 40.

Expecting more than five straight playoff appearances (let's be pals and hope for the 5th together) is very unreasonable.

Hey Mr Optimist, what makes you think we're stopping at 5? :-)

Anyway, sure. But the 2015 team rocked the 2nd half (and I wasn't expecting a wild card that year). The 2016 team not only won 103 games, they were 4 games under their pythag. Obviously lots has to go right to have 107 pythag wins so you expect regression but with 2 playoffs in the bag -- yes, I do pretty much expect a team with 107 pythag wins and mostly stocked by young players to make the playoffs for the next three years. While I expected a regression, dropping back to 92 wins seemed a bit much. Still, the disappointments of that season (stagnation of Russell and Schwarber mainly) were balanced by nice things (Almora hit OK, Javy, another excellent Hendricks, Edwards). 2018 pretty much went as expected until those last few weeks. That didn't really concern me -- yes, there's an excellent chance that a team that's good for 5-6 years will have an off year -- and I wrote the fade off to having all those games with so little rest.

This year though has been much the same. They've looked as much like the first-half 2015 Cubs as anything else the last few years. And they've been pretty uninspiring down the stretch.

So sure, tell me in 2014 that we've got over 470 wins, 5 postseasons and a WS coming our way and I'm thrilled. But after 2016, with 200 wins, 2 postseasons, a WS under our belt and tell me we've got 270 wins, 1 division, 2 WCs and at least one immediate exit and, yeah, I'm a bit disappointed. Adding further dread, we look to be a team in a bit of a decline, no major help coming from the minors (though you never know) and a pretty maxed out payroll so it's not clear we have help coming from outside. I'm hoping the magic switch has been flipped for Schwarber but otherwise I am not looking forward to our 2020 OF. I also have no idea what our 2020 bullpen looks like, I'm not optimistic about Lester, we will dearly miss Hamels' amazing first half. Fortunately, other than Dodgers and Braves, nobody else in the NL is inspiring much confidence either.

FWIW, I don't really "blame" anyone for this. I might have preferred other options (which may or may not have actually existed) but I was OK with Torres-Chapman. I was fine with Soler-Davis, Eloy/Cease for Q, signing Darvish, signing Kimbrel, wasn't even all that upset about signing Heyward (I was probably more concerned about Zo). Given the winning leading to poor draft position, I knew the flow of top talent would stop and never really expected much out of Happ and am mildly infamous for expecting less out of Schwarber than just about everybody here (but I still expected more than we've gotten). If you want, call that the source of my "pessimism" -- over these last few years, only two Cubs have done better than I expected (Javy and Hendricks ... I suppose Contreras too), a few have done as I expected ... and several have been worse.

So see, I'm a victim of my own optimism -- Almora was supposed to be at least a good glove, overall average+ CF; I thought Darvish would be good; I thought Q was about to break out especially after that first half-season; I thought Edwards would control his stuff; I thought Schwarber would regularly post at least 125-130 OPS+; I thought Russell would turn into at least a 100-110 OPS+ guy; I thought Bryant was a consistent 6-WAR guy. And when Happ looked solid upon arrival, I knew at least one of those guys would fall over but we had Happ to paper over a crack. As I've noted several times over the years -- the Cubs had an entire lineup of solid players plus Happ under control through at least 2021 by which time the oldest of them (Heyward/Rizzo) would still be only 31. We had Hendricks (31 in 2021), Q (32) and Darvish (getting old but probably not toast). You're damn right I expected that team to have one hell of a good, long run.

You can't on the one hand criticize "us" for being too pessimistic now and for being too optimistic in the past. Well, I mean you can because it's possible you're right, but at least realize we are just victims of Morissettian irony.

   366. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 11, 2019 at 09:04 AM (#5878338)
Just when I forgot about the shaky bullpen because I was busy ######## about the offensive no-shows, the starting pitching meltdowns, and maddons super brain managing displays...of course it's not even the soft underbelly that loses it, it's the couple of guys who've stayed solid all year.

I really don't know if those IL stints for cishek and kintzler were more rest than lingering injury or if they're both just worn down, but the Cubs really have no shot if they're going to do that against an undermanned Padres offense.

So now the Cubs need to win the next 8...
   367. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5878456)
Cubs division odds down to 18.6% and WC to 42.4%. Even though the Brewers are now only 1 back, the Yelich injury and the fact that they don't play the Cubs again probably makes that 1 game lead seem bigger than it really is.

Here's a visual representation of what I was rambling about in 358. Maybe it's just the colors that guy chose, but that looks less daunting that the 4GB/~18% sounds.
   368. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 11, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5878478)
Chicago Cubs @Cubs

The #Cubs today named Jason McLeod Senior VP of Player Personnel.


I don't know if that's a promotion, transfer, or what, but his old title was SVP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development.
   369. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 11, 2019 at 06:41 PM (#5878496)
Kemp 2b
Schwarber
Castellanos
Rizzo
Bryant
Contreras
Heyward
NICO
Hamels

Jesus ####### Christ, Joe. Are you kidding me? There's probably only one person on the Cubs less suited to hit leadoff and that's Lucroy. Even if you think Kemp's .418OPS and .200OBP are just small sample size blips, the dude has a career .311OBP. Literally the only reason to put him there is because he's fast, and that's Patterson/Neifi thought process. He is unquestionably the worst option in the starting lineup today. Unreal.

I'd assume it would be Zobrist, but he left after hitting a foul ball off himself yesterday. I now see Joe mentioned that's what Zo isn't playing, but come on, move the order around if you really want Kemp in for his defense.

I'm still confused on Willy's PT schedule. Since he came back, it's gone Play, no game, Play, off, off, play, off, play, play.

Also, I really hope Hamels shows something tonight - either some recovery of his velocity pre-injury and just less suckage, otherwise I seriously will suggest the Cubs start Chatwood instead of him the rest of the year.
   370. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 11, 2019 at 07:36 PM (#5878506)
Today, Sharma tweet:

Still no clear plan with Kimbrel. He feels good after throwing yesterday, will play catch again today and then see how he feels tomorrow and take it from there. Obviously won't be activated tomorrow when he's eligible


Obviously?

When he went on the IL:
Theo Epstein says the MRI on Craig Kimbrel’s right elbow was “pristine, like it was when we signed him.”

“Unfortunately, we have to give it a few days without throwing to let it calm down. We expect a pretty quick ramp-up. We expect him to be back by the end of next week.”

Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel said he’s hoping to be ready for activation when eligible on Thursday. Doesn’t believe the elbow issue is serious. Was encouraged by MRI results.


This ####### team.

   371. Brian C Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5878543)
I don't really care if Kimbrel can't come back. He's been frequently terrible, and there's no longer any time to bring him back and put up with a week of more terrible while he settles back in. Might as well shut him down and get him on a normal offseason program in preparation for next year. Too late for this year.

As for McLeod, full article here. It sounds like this has been in the works for awhile:
“It’s something Theo and I have been talking about for the better part of the past year, making this transition,” McLeod said. “I’m really excited to be around the Major League team a lot more and seeing how my skill set can impact this team.”

A year, huh? Sounds like plenty of time to put a plan in place and work out a clear delegation of responsibilities and get everyone on the same pa-
What are the specifics of McLeod’s new position? ... “It’s still to be defined, really,” said McLeod.

Oh. Okay. So basically what you're telling me is that you're firing McLeod but keeping him on the payroll because he's a buddy and you don't want to make him look bad.
   372. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 12, 2019 at 12:49 AM (#5878579)
I wonder what happens this off-season if the Cubs continue to look like trash and miss out on even the Wild Card game.
   373. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2019 at 02:40 AM (#5878585)
So basically what you're telling me is that you're firing McLeod but keeping him on the payroll because he's a buddy and you don't want to make him look bad.

Or "c'mon Theo, you're not going anywhere, Jed's not going anywhere, do I have a future here or do I need to look for advancement elsewhere?" "Hey, you're a valuable guy, we want you to stay" (honestly) ... "But if I stay in this role for another 3 years, nobody's gonna take me seriously for a promotion (ahem, especially given how unsuccessful our scouting and development has been the last few years)." "You know, we really need somebody to provide us with a long-term vision and strategy at the ML level, figure out what we need to do to stop spinning our wheels or plan the next rebuild." "Sure, I can do that."

Day 1: "OK Theo, what do you want me to do?" "Huh?" "Y'know, vision-wise." "How am I supposed to know, you told me you could do this." "But what's 'this?'" "I thought you knew!" "But ..." "Look, I'm busy this week but let's have lunch next week and we can brainstorm." "I think we're supposed to sandpit now, not brainstorm." "That sounds so 2007." "We can, y'know, spitball ... huh? huh?" "Don't be a dork Jason."

   374. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2019 at 02:50 AM (#5878586)
I wonder what happens this off-season if the Cubs continue to look like trash and miss out on even the Wild Card game.

That fun started at post #277. I come across as pessimistic in 291. :-)

I do think they'll shake things up if this keeps going pear-shaped ... I just have no idea how to do that. Maybe we'll get rid of Bryant and Javy and pull a 2001 Ms and win 116 games.

See, we're 2/3 of the way to McLeod's vision:

Step 1: Shake things up
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Win 116 games

(there's a flashback for you)
   375. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 12, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5878614)
This is a choke. 5 games ahead of the Brewers 6 games ago...
   376. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 12, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5878699)
16.3% to win division, 33.6% to win WC (still better than the Brewers 26.1%, which I'd like to argue is lower without Yelich, but...)

Losing both of those games was just killer. It's not a surprise Kemp didn't do #### in the leadoff role, it's still discouraging the rest of the offense decided to follow his lead; I mean not scoring after a leadoff triple with Bryant/Contreras/Heyward is just some really inexcusible ####. I'm trying to avoid the thoughts of what I'd like to see happen this offseason (the more fanciful ones involve some really complicated stuff with the Red Sox), but it's getting harder by the day.

Rizzo
Castellanos
Schwarber
Bryant
Caratini
Heyward
Happ 2b
NICO
Darvish
   377. Brian C Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:41 PM (#5878773)
On the bright side, these last few months have been a nice bounceback for Yu Darvish, and makes his deal look like less of a long-term albatross. Obviously when he's healthy he still has a lot to offer.

   378. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5878777)
Agreed. I haven't look at how the schedule lines up, but I wonder who would currently be in line to start a potential WC if the Cubs are lucky enough to get there (or if I'm feeling every more drunk, what the NLDS rotation could look like). Picking any of the lefties would be a mistake, but would Darvish be the best choice? It might depend on the team - assuming it is the Nats and considering Hendricks has also been infected with Cubsroaditis, I think it should be Darvish. Whether you agree or not, that's still crazy that we could make that argument seeing how the first half went for him.
   379. Brian C Posted: September 13, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5879031)
Randy Rosario leaves town the same way he came in, claimed off waivers. The Royals took him, so he's gone. Tip of the hat to him for lasting nearly two years, even on the AAA shuttle; not that I've done the research, but I suspect that's substantially longer than average for waiver claims.

He's the 4th player now from the Opening Day roster to leave the organization, following CJ, Monty, and Brach.

Last year, only Eddie Butler didn't make it the whole season with the organization.

I've been keeping track of this stuff for a few years now, and in 2013 ten players from the Opening Day roster were gone by the end of the season. That seems astonishing in retrospect, even for a rebuilding team. Damn near half the roster!

I wonder what the record is.

   380. Walt Davis Posted: September 13, 2019 at 07:07 PM (#5879045)
I wonder what the record is.

No idea but I suspect 10 is not uncommon for a rebuilding team. If you happen to have a combination of aging but useful vets plus emerging young talent, that would seem to be the recipe for even many more than 10. You're gonna trade off the vets, you might need room on the 40-man for the new kids and trade acquisitions plus the general organizational churn.

There was a story the other day -- the Jays or the O's or somebody has used something like 64 players this year. That's a ton of on/off the 40-man roster at least. Doesn't mean those 24 extras aren't still in the org (60-day IL, DFAs who stayed) but probably at least 10 of them are gone.

Let's take a look at the Jays -- no idea who the opening day roster was but of the guys not on their current 40-man ... Galvis, Sogard, Hanson, Brito, Pillar, Beau Taylor ... Hanson came from the Giants, Brito from the Pads (then DFA'd and apparently still in the org), Taylor came from and to the A's. Not sure if Pillar was on the opening day roster or on the IL.

Pitchers (this could take a while) ... Stroman, Sanchez, Richard (released yesterday), Biagini (traded), Hudson (traded), EJax (in and out), Kingham (in and out), Phelps (traded), Godley in and out, Guerra waived, Ramirez in and out, Feierabend DFA'd and stayed?, Cordero in and out, Rosscup in and out.

Those only include guys in the majors this year, there may have been others on the 40-man who were released before being called up.

That looks to be 10 guys who at least were on the opening 40-man, I think all on the opening 25 or the IL. I did under-rate the "opening 25-man" criterion -- most of the churn here is those last 5 slots.

Still, in this age of radical rebuilds, it seems common that the first year of the rebuild features a roster full of 27-28 year-old AAAA guys along with 30+ vet types. A few of the AAAA types might be good enough to stick all year and some of the vets might be too expensive to move but that is the sort of case where I'm not sure we should expect more than about 10 guys to be on the 25-man or IL all year. But some of those AAAA guys might have options and survive the year on the 40-man or get DFA'd but stay.

Of guys currently on the Jays' 25, I see only 10 I'd bet being on the opening 25/IL ... presumably some of the AAAA guys will make it too but I wouldn't bet on any of them as individuals.
   381. Brian C Posted: September 13, 2019 at 07:36 PM (#5879049)
See, I figure that the combination of tradeable vets and emerging young talent is actually pretty rare.

But anyway, my criteria is that the player be on the 25-man Opening Day roster, and then completely out of the organization by the last game of the year. Let's look at this year's Blue Jays, current status in parentheses (Opening Day roster here, which I assume to be correct):

Dany Jansen (still around)
Luke Maile (IL)

Brandon Drury (still around)
Freddy Galvis (gone; waiver claim by CIN)
Lourdes Gurriel Jr (IL)
Justin Smoak (still around)
Rowdy Tellez (still around)
Richard Urena (still around)

Randal Grichuk (still around)
Teoscar Hernandez (still around)
Billy McKinney (still around)
Kevin Pillar (gone; traded to SFG)

Joe Biagini (gone; traded to HOU)
Sam Gaviglio (still around)
Ken Giles (still around)
Javy Guerra (gone; waiver claim by WAS)
Daniel Hudson (gone; traded to WAS)

Elvis Luciano (still around)
Tim Mayza (still around)
Thomas Pannone (still around)
Clayton Richard (gone; released)
Aaron Sanchez (gone; traded to HOU)

Matt Shoemaker (IL)
Marcus Stroman (gone; traded to NYM)
Trent Thornton (still around)

So that's 8 that are gone, and it's late enough that it's unlikely that there will be more. You're right in that I doubt 10 is a record, but still, there's only so high that number can go.
   382. Brian C Posted: September 13, 2019 at 07:53 PM (#5879051)
I looked up the Orioles too, and they've only had 5 players leave the organization.

I still feel like 10 is a lot.
   383. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 15, 2019 at 01:37 AM (#5879300)
Hey Moses, is it possible to get a fresh thread going for the home stretch of the regular season?
   384. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 15, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5879443)
Well that was a much needed set of breather games. Sucks to lose Rizzo.

So looking at the last two weeks, the Nationals have a potentially tough schedule with three against the Cardinals, four the with Phillies, and three with the Indians.

Milwaukee has a really soft schedule the rest of the way, with games against the Pirates, Rockies, Padres and Reds.

Cubs and Cardinals have seven games left with each other. I could easily see them beating up on each other and the Brewers slipping past both of them at the finish line.

Should be interesting.
   385. Walt Davis Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:45 AM (#5879529)
#381 -- that's basically the same count as I got except apparently Sogard and Phelps were on the IL at season's start (Phelps for most of the first half). I'd say those guys count in spirit if not by rule.

See, I figure that the combination of tradeable vets and emerging young talent is actually pretty rare.

Sure. It was harder than I expected. But it doesn't really require "emerging" young talent nor "tradeable" vets. Bad vets can get shoved off the 40-man and AAAA talent often gets replaced by other AAAA talent.

Royals: Maldonado, Duda, Schwindel, Hamilton, Gore, Owings, Peralta, Diekman, Boxberger, Chris Ellis (looks like a rule 5 return) ... and apparently Homer Bailey not on the opening day. (Neither was Duffy but he's still around.) So that's 10 + 1. I think only three of those guys were traded (and Gore sold). FWIW, guys not on the opener who have received PT were nearly all 24 or older and I'm not sure any of them are considered promising. It's probably easier if your kinda tradeable vets are in the pen because you can always flip those guys for squat.
   386. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 16, 2019 at 08:45 AM (#5879539)
Hey Moses, is it possible to get a fresh thread going for the home stretch of the regular season?

Ask and ye shall receive!
   387. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5879591)
Resetting.
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