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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cubs - “Acquired” Kendall

Oakland A’s - Have reportedly acquired C Rob Bowen, an unnamed minor league pitcher and the state of existence which entails not having Jason Kendall on your team from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for, hopefully, something or other.

You’d have to hope that the A’s are at least chipping in something for Kendall’s remaining salary this year, otherwise, this trade is just unecessarily cruel.  Kurt Suzuki is going to be hard-pressed to be a league-average catcher, but just the improvement from Jason Kendall to Non-Joke is just about the biggest positional upgrade any contender will make this season.  Rob Bowen, bad Cubs start aside, is also a better player than Jason Kendall, which is kind of damning with faint praise as Bowen’s just normal-bad rather than notably-bad.  At this point, I’m not sure that the unnamed minor league pitcher involved in the trade wouldn’t be an upgrade at catcher over Jason Kendall.

The Cubs won’t miss Bowen and probably aren’t going to miss the pitcher, given that the player in return was Jason Kendall.  It hurts the team - while this is the first year that Geovany Soto’s ever shown anything, he clearly should be starting over a player as bad as, well, Jason Kendall (anyone catching the theme here?)

2007 ZiPS Projection - Jason Kendall
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*  292 24   66 10 0   2 22 12 27   3 .226 .264 .281
Rest of 2007 240 29   64 10 0   1 22 17 23   3 .267 .331 .321
———————————————————————————————————-
2007 Total   532 53 130 20 0   3 44 29 50   6 .244 .295 .299
2008       503 55 125 18 0   1 42 37 50   5 .249 .315 .290
———————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp - Joe Girardi

 

2007 ZiPS Projection - Rob Bowen
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*  113 15   24   9 0   2 13 17 41   1 .212 .315 .345
Rest of 2007   94 13   21   6 0   2   9 12 26   1 .223 .318 .351
———————————————————————————————————-
2007 Total   207 28   45 15 0   4 22 29 67   2 .217 .316 .348
2008       216 32   53 14 0   5 24 28 60   1 .245 .335 .380
———————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp - Alan Ashby

 

2007 ZiPS Projection - Geovany Soto
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*  221 18   66 16 0   9 43 22 54   0 .299 .362 .493
Rest of 2007 157 14   41   9 0   4 23 15 37   0 .261 .329 .395
———————————————————————————————————-
2008       360 28   91 21 0   9 47 34 86   0 .253 .321 .386
———————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp - Ramon Hernandez

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 17, 2007 at 12:49 AM | 106 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 17, 2007 at 01:42 AM (#2443202)
The MLB article indicates that the Cubs received a cash consideration.

-- MWE
   2. Dash Carlyle Posted: July 17, 2007 at 01:48 AM (#2443211)
Looks like the pitcher was Jerry Blevins, who's pitched very well in relief in single and double-A this season.
   3. zfan Posted: July 17, 2007 at 01:55 AM (#2443225)
The Cubs rightly view Clay Rapada as a better LOOGY prospect than Blevins. And Carmen Pignatiello is also close to the big leagues. Blevins is a decent prospect, but the Cubs were dealing from depth.

Dan, what's your thinking about a projection for Hank White the rest of the year? Suppose he can actually come back in a couple of weeks--would he be better than Kendall?
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:17 AM (#2443262)
So three teams will be paying Kendall to maybe OPS .600 this year?
   5. NTNgod Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:21 AM (#2443266)
So three teams will be paying Kendall to maybe OPS .600 this year
It's reaching a Mike Hampton-level of complexity...
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:27 AM (#2443285)
What is up with the Cubs and catchers this year? This reminds me of DuBois for Gerut for Lawton for whoever it was. What was wrong with Barrett?
   7. villageidiom Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:36 AM (#2443299)
Cubs - “Acquired” Kendall
My 78-year-old father "acquired" a broken hip this weekend.

And even he might be a better option at catcher than Kendall.
   8. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:36 AM (#2443302)
What was wrong with Barrett?

He was fighting with his pitchers - most notably getting the crap beat out of him by Zambrano.

This really shows how much Jim Hendry dislikes minor-leaguers. As Dan shows above, Geovany Soto's put up an MLE OPS of .855 this year. Kendall hasn't had an OPS that high since 2000; he hasn't even matched Soto's forecasted 2nd-half OPS since 2004. For a 33-year-old catcher, that may as well be a lifetime ago.
   9. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:47 AM (#2443325)
OK...

I know this is just hopeful kool-aid Cubfandom and a whole of the fact that I don't pay much mind ot the AL (and thus, still have strong memories of the Pirates version of Jason Kendall)...

But what if?

Kendall wouldn't be the first guy that just couldn't play in the other league to save his life -- I suppose with MLB going to integrated crews (rather than the old NL - AL split, which together with equipment differences really did lead to fairly different strikezones), it's a lot less likely.

Kendall was always moderately overrated by virtue of generally being the best player on a really bad team and doing things that catchers don't normally do -- but I just can't wrap my head around a guy suddenly going from a 110+ OPS to years of 77, 89, and 40. I know he caught an awful lot early on -- something not good for one of his strengths -- but that's just an absolute cliff that matches precisely a league switch.


Soto's in his 3rd Iowa go-around, so count me among those not buying his offensive explosion (and Ronny C -- if you're listening -- ain't buying that either).

Are there better choices? Of course, but none cheaper I can think of.

It's not like Kendall was some flash in the pan; we're talking about a guy that has hit before.

I know one cannot just ignore the last 3 years, no matter what league he was in, and there's no denying that he's caught a lot of games - and would hardly be the first such catcher to hit a wall on the bad side of 30.

So Hendry's trying to pull an inside straight... sometimes - trying to pull the inside straight is the right call.
   10. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:05 AM (#2443355)
What was wrong with Barrett?

He was fighting with his pitchers - most notably getting the crap beat out of him by Zambrano.

He also wasn't hitting nearly as well as he did last year. And he made a bunch of stupid plays on the bases. And several boneheaded fielding plays. And he was/is leading the league in passed balls. And he got in a yelling match in the dugout with Rich Hill a week after Zambrano beat him up.

It's the sort of all-around meltdown one rarely sees outside of Nazis opening up the Ark of the Lord.
   11. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:16 AM (#2443383)
People point to the Lou blowup as the turning point for the Cubs, but coindence or not, they really started to turn it on after Barrett was dealt. On a possibly related note, the mental mistakes seemed to have decreased significantly in that time.
   12. greenback calls it soccer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:17 AM (#2443386)
It's the sort of all-around meltdown one rarely sees outside of Nazis opening up the Ark of the Lord.


I guess that makes Kendall a "top man."
   13. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:32 AM (#2443417)
I do think that it's a bit odd that for all the ripping Szym gives Kendall -- and deservedly so -- he still projects Kendall to outproduce Bowen for the rest of this season.
   14. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:33 AM (#2443423)
People point to the Lou blowup as the turning point for the Cubs, but coindence or not, they really started to turn it on after Barrett was dealt. On a possibly related note, the mental mistakes seemed to have decreased significantly in that time.

I said it a few weeks back when the Cubs won 9 of 11 after the Barrett trade.

I consider myself FIRMLY in the 'moneyball' camp. I believe in objective analysis. I'd rather have a team of guys that do all the BIG things, but don't do the little things than vice versa.

That said -- and maybe I have to turn in all my BJ Abstracts or stop reading Sickels/Neyer/Tippet/etc -- I've always thought that this 'chemistry' thing exists... It's just that we can't measure it and only seem to be able recognize after the fact, not mention -- often confuse it with good, old fashioned luck.

Did the Cubs just suddenly get hot when dealt Barrett? Maybe, maybe not.
   15. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:34 AM (#2443426)
My 78-year-old father "acquired" a broken hip this weekend.

Magic Johnson "attained" the HIV virus.
   16. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:41 AM (#2443443)
I consider myself FIRMLY in the 'moneyball' camp. I believe in objective analysis. I'd rather have a team of guys that do all the BIG things, but don't do the little things than vice versa.

Remember: midway through the Moneyball season, the A's traded Lesser Giambi for John Mabry. They went on a tear.

That said -- and maybe I have to turn in all my BJ Abstracts or stop reading Sickels/Neyer/Tippet/etc -- I've always thought that this 'chemistry' thing exists... It's just that we can't measure it and only seem to be able recognize after the fact, not mention -- often confuse it with good, old fashioned luck.

Chemistry is to the general media what luck is to the sabermetric set. A bullsh1t dump. Anything that happens that you didn't expect can be ascribed to it. Doesn't mean it isn't real and doesn't exist, but just that it's overused. I'm willing to believe chemistry's more overused, but the general principle remains the same.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:45 AM (#2443453)
If the A's can get something for Jason Kendall, maybe the Royals can get something for their dreck! (Emil Brown, Scott Elarton, Odalis Perez, Reggie Sanders)
   18. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:49 AM (#2443463)
If the A's can get something for Jason Kendall, maybe the Royals can get something for their dreck! (Emil Brown, Scott Elarton, Odalis Perez, Reggie Sanders)


Maybe. Find a contender who is getting a sub 20 OPS+ or ERA+ out of a position and anything can happen.
   19. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2443466)
Rumor is Oakland is picking up 70% of Kendall's remaining salary this season.
   20. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:54 AM (#2443470)
If the A's can get something for Jason Kendall, maybe the Royals can get something for their dreck! (Emil Brown, Scott Elarton, Odalis Perez, Reggie Sanders)


Anyone who gives up ANYTHING for Emil Brown or Scott Elarton should be taken out back and shot.
   21. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:11 AM (#2443493)
I do think that it's a bit odd that for all the ripping Szym gives Kendall -- and deservedly so -- he still projects Kendall to outproduce Bowen for the rest of this season.

While I stand by ZiPS as a projection system, I'm hardly contractually obligated to always agree with its conclusions!
   22. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:13 AM (#2443496)
While I stand by ZiPS as a projection system, I'm hardly contractually obligated to always agree with its conclusions!


So, were you lying then, or are you lying now? ; )
   23. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:13 AM (#2443497)
Rumor is Oakland is picking up 70% of Kendall's remaining salary this season.


What's that, like, $6.5M? Not including what they've already paid him. I don't know if it's quite worth the open roster spot for Suzuki but they kinda had to bite this bullet if they're going to make a run this year.
   24. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:21 AM (#2443511)
What's that, like, $6.5M? Not including what they've already paid him. I don't know if it's quite worth the open roster spot for Suzuki but they kinda had to bite this bullet if they're going to make a run this year.

I agree with your last statement. Kendall was a sunk cost and had to go. That they were able to get anything of value plus some marginal help on covering his salary is a credit to BB. Anytime you can flip a negative for a positive (no matter how small) you're coming out ahead.
   25. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:31 AM (#2443522)
While I stand by ZiPS as a projection system, I'm hardly contractually obligated to always agree with its conclusions!

My point may not have been clear enough -- it wasn't just to bust you; it was to point out that while Kendall has sucked, he's likely to do at least as well as Bowen for the rest of this season.

Beyond 2007, I would certainly rather have Bowen, but I think we can presume with some degree of certainty that the Cubs will have a completely new catcher in 2008. To that end, how Bowen or Kendall looks at that point is irrelevant; only this season counts.
   26. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 17, 2007 at 04:40 AM (#2443532)
I'm actually a bit shocked because I had no idea Kendall was even tradeable at all but I underestimated a dire catching situation like Chicago's.

If you think Suzuki can do .269/.329/.416, then you've got a league-average catcher. Considering the upgrade, this could very well be Billy's f/cking-A trade of 2007.
   27. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:15 AM (#2443549)
What's that, like, $6.5M?


btw, I forgot the Pirates are paying him as well. Neyer says it's more like 3 million, which at 70% is more like 2.1 million. Hey, two point one million. When you say it out loud, it's not so bad for the A's.

btw pt. 2, I also disagree with Neyer. The catching situation in Chicago was bad enough that they not only traded for Kendall, they have reason to believe that it's an upgrade. For all of his lesser points (of which Kendall has many), I concur with zonk's bright-eyed optimism in #9; he's an experienced hitter who gets to face mediocre NL pitching for a couple months. If you're a GM for a contending team and you've being killed by inches by Hill/Bowen and you have a chance at getting Whatever's Left of Kendall for $900,000, I think it's worth it to find out.
   28. Flynn Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:36 AM (#2443563)

That said -- and maybe I have to turn in all my BJ Abstracts or stop reading Sickels/Neyer/Tippet/etc -- I've always thought that this 'chemistry' thing exists... It's just that we can't measure it and only seem to be able recognize after the fact, not mention -- often confuse it with good, old fashioned luck.


I don't know about SNT, but James has always thought it has existed. He's questioned the media's reliance on it as a barometer of success when he feels it's been stretched to fit an existing bias, but he does believe in it. Remember, this is a guy who is truly in contempt of Dick Allen, and there's no way you can despise Allen that much without pointing to his effect on a team's chemistry.
   29. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:42 AM (#2443564)
I mistakenly read the RBI line as the HR line on Kendall.

So, will Kendall get in a fight with any Cubs pitchers?
   30. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:56 AM (#2443569)
I mistakenly read the RBI line as the HR line on Kendall.

He could have 22 CAREER homers. I'd have to check BBRef to be sure.
   31. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:04 AM (#2443570)
I mistakenly read the RBI line as the HR line on Kendall.

I guess the Cubs did, too.
   32. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:26 AM (#2443573)
The A's could start Alberto Castillo from here on out and it'd be an upgrade.
   33. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 09:13 AM (#2443579)
Anytime you can flip a negative for a positive (no matter how small) you're coming out ahead.



Remember when that was how it was spun when Beane acquired Kendall in the first place? "Look! We turned Rhodes and Redman into Kendall, All Star Catcher!"

I dunno, I find it funny.
   34. bfan Posted: July 17, 2007 at 12:02 PM (#2443596)
"He was fighting with his pitchers - most notably getting the crap beat out of him by Zambrano."

Zambrano laid a real sissy slap on Barrett; an open-handed whack. If that gets shown on national TV in his home country, I doubt Zambrano can go back home in the off-season for all of the scorn his fellow-country men would show him; it was one of the least manly hits in the history of sports.
   35. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 12:35 PM (#2443604)
I think all of the Jason Kendall naysayers are overlooking his home run explosion this year.

Seriously though, a change of scenery challenge trade is well worth Chicago's effort at this point.

It looks like Kendall, Hank White, and Hill are all ahead of Soto on the depth chart. I really don't know how this will shake out but I do hope that Soto gets a chance to stick.
   36. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 12:44 PM (#2443606)
it was one of the least manly hits in the history of sports

The least manly hit I ever saw was delivered by Shaquille O'Neal so Z's in good company or something.
   37. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 12:50 PM (#2443609)

Zambrano laid a real sissy slap on Barrett; an open-handed whack. If that gets shown on national TV in his home country, I doubt Zambrano can go back home in the off-season for all of the scorn his fellow-country men would show him; it was one of the least manly hits in the history of sports.


I suspect the punch in the clubhouse - the one that sent Barrett to the hospital for stitches - was a fair bit more manly.
   38. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 17, 2007 at 12:53 PM (#2443610)
What was wrong with Barrett?

Top of the 2nd, Cubs Batting, Tied 0-0, Randy Wolf facing 4-5-6
--- 4 M Barrett Walk
O 1-- 5 M DeRosa Strikeout Swinging
1-- 1 M Murton Reached on E6 (Ground Ball); Barrett to 2B
O 12- 5 A Pagan Strikeout Swinging
O 12- 3 C Izturis Barrett Caught Stealing 3B (C-3B)
0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB. Cubs 0, Dodgers 0.
   39. Calvin Schiraldi Posted: July 17, 2007 at 01:47 PM (#2443631)
Also, the Padres win last night with Michael Barrett catching David Wells was the third time in his 13 starts that the Padres have won. So they're 3-10 when he catches and 48-30 when anybody else does.
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:01 PM (#2443649)

So, will Kendall get in a fight with any Cubs pitchers?


Maybe, but I doubt the pitchers will be worried. Kendall can't hit.
   41. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2443674)
"Kendall was always moderately overrated by virtue of generally being the best player on a really bad team and doing things that catchers don't normally do"

If anything, I think Kendall was drastically underrated because he played for the Pirates. He (and Edgar Renteria) both undeservedly lost out on the ROY to Todd Hollandsworth. He only played in three All-Star games, even though he deserved more (I mean, the guy had six seasons with a .390+ OBP, as a catcher).

Too many people remember him primarily as a bad contract with no power, but he actually had a fair bit of pop before he tore that tendon in his thumb in early 2001, and if he'd been able to repeat his pre-injury performance for the bulk of the contract, he would've more than earned the money he made.

I know he's not much of a player anymore, but he was legitimately great for a while, and almost nobody remembers that.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:36 PM (#2443689)
One other thing: It really burns me to see people taking all these cheap shots at Kendall. Yes, he's not very good anymore. You know it, I know it, even he knows it (though apparently Jim Hendry doesn't). It feels petty to rub the guy's face in it like this, particularly given the type of player he was.

I can't speak for anything in Oakland, but when he was in Pittsburgh, I have never seen anyone try harder on the field than Jason Kendall. It's easy to slack off when you play for the Pirates. There aren't many fans at the game, you're always 20 games out of first before the season's old enough to take the shine off, and you basically have to rob a bank to get any attention from the national media. That said, I never saw Jason Kendall take a play off during his time in black and gold. He played just as hard in the seventh inning of a blowout as he did when he led off on opening day, and he'd fight tooth and nail against anyone who tried to pull him out of the lineup for a day of rest. He got angry and bitter playing for a perpetual loser owned by a guy who didn't care about winning, but he never stopped trying to drag the team to just one more win. The man simply didn't know how to give up. He'll probably be the terror of his rec league when he's 60.

He's a ballplayer, in the best sense of the word.
   43. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:40 PM (#2443692)
Vlad is right. For a few years Kendall was an outstanding player. e.g., in 1998 he played in 149 games, hit .327/.411/.473, and was 25/31 in SBs. (he also had 31 HBP and only 6 GIDPs...sort of Biggioesque.)
   44. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:47 PM (#2443700)
He'll probably be the terror of his rec league when he's 60.

I doubt it. He's far more likely to be managing a major league baseball team.
   45. bfan Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:53 PM (#2443704)
"I suspect the punch in the clubhouse - the one that sent Barrett to the hospital for stitches - was a fair bit more manly."

Ah yes, the Zambrano sucker punch in the shower. Jason had better be as alert in the Cubs post-game showers as he would if he were serving hard time at a federal penitentiary.
   46. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2443709)
One other thing: It really burns me to see people taking all these cheap shots at Kendall. Yes, he's not very good anymore. You know it, I know it, even he knows it (though apparently Jim Hendry doesn't).

Actually, to some extent even Hendry knows it. Although Hendry consistently sung his praises about how Kendall is a "gamer" (a word I hate, btw) and terrific in the clubhouse, he did comment on how Kendall has gotten off to a horrible start noting that some of the current Cubs did as well, yet turned it around. To that end, Hendry also observed that Kendall has consistently hit better in the second half than the first -- he's done so every season in his career except for 2000 and 2005.

It seems to me that many folks, not only here, but Neyer and other pundits as well, are instinctively reacting "Jason Kendall is bad, therefore, it;s a lousy deal," making assumptions that (a) the deal makes the Cubs worse and (b) the Cubs are expecting the Jason Kendall of 1999. I don't see any basis for either assumption.
   47. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:18 PM (#2443851)
Ah yes, the Zambrano sucker punch in the shower.

Huh? It wasn't in the showers, it was in the clubhouse. What makes you think it was a sucker punch? I ain't defending Z for throwing it, but it sounds like he got upset at Barrett when the catcher went to the clubhouse and they went at it again. He split Barrett's lip, so it ain't like he blindsided him.
   48. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2443854)
As much as his awful hitting caused me to yell things like "I SLEPT WITH YOUR WIFE!" at him in game-chatter, I do have a few great memories of him in Oakland, like when he scored the winning run from third off K-Rod when Francisco got all pouty and dropped the throw back from the catcher, or when he blocked the plate with his face to keep a run from scoring.
I salute you for your guts, Jason Kendall. Wish you could still hit.
   49. Josh Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2443858)
yell things like "I SLEPT WITH YOUR WIFE!"
He'll fit in perfectly with the Cubs.
   50. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2443862)
He'll fit in perfectly with the Cubs.

Can he get doubled off second base?
   51. Paul M Hates Krispy Kreme Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:29 PM (#2443863)
I don't see any basis for either assumption.


They're the Cubs?
   52. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:30 PM (#2443865)
Paul, doesn't that argue against (a)?
   53. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2443868)
Huh? It wasn't in the showers, it was in the clubhouse. What makes you think it was a sucker punch? I ain't defending Z for throwing it, but it sounds like he got upset at Barrett when the catcher went to the clubhouse and they went at it again. He split Barrett's lip, so it ain't like he blindsided him.

Why let the facts get in the way of snark?
   54. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2443886)
Kendall once kicked Gary Sheffield in the face during a brawl. I'm pretty sure he can handle Zambrano.
   55. UCCF Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2443889)
Why let the facts get in the way of snark?

That would be a much better motto for this place than "Baseball for the Thinking Fan."
   56. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:53 PM (#2443892)
I'll let the numbers be my snark:

Cubs 2007 record with Michael Barrett: 32-38

Cubs 2007 record since parting with Michael Barrett: 16-5

...and just for fun:
Padres 2007 record before Michael Barrett: 41-29
Padres 2007 record since acquiring Michael Barrett: 10-11
   57. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2443895)
That would be a much better motto for this place than "Baseball for the Thinking Fan."

Great point.
   58. Swedish Chef Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2443899)
Cubs 2007 record with Michael Barrett: 32-38

Cubs 2007 record since parting with Michael Barrett: 16-5


The only reasonable explanation is that he threw games, hang him.
   59. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:23 PM (#2443927)
Bump Bailey: also a catcher
   60. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:23 PM (#2443929)
That's the dumbest thing I've ever written here. Why no edit function? I can't believe I thought that for even a second.
   61. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2443953)
Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the Cubs had a positive run differential pretty much all season? Unless the evil of Michael Barrett causes them to be above average at scoring or preventing runs but only when it doesn't matter in games then I don't think looking at the team's record before and after the trade does much.
   62. VG Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:53 PM (#2443956)
Why no edit function?

There was one that worked for up to 15 minutes after a post. I didn't use it when I posted to a thread this morning, but I did see the option available.

Or maybe that edit function isn't working in TO? I think I've seen it mentioned here in another thread.
   63. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2443963)
Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the Cubs had a positive run differential pretty much all season? Unless the evil of Michael Barrett causes them to be above average at scoring or preventing runs but only when it doesn't matter in games then I don't think looking at the team's record before and after the trade does much.

...I wasn't aware postseason berths were going to be handed out based on run differential standings.

/snark
   64. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:57 PM (#2443965)
Or maybe that edit function isn't working in TO? I think I've seen it mentioned here in another thread.

Actually - it looks like this is right.

What's up with Dan's house?
   65. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2443966)
What's up with Dan's house?

If HE can't edit his trade evaluations with hindsight, then we can't revoke our comments upon them.
   66. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2443970)

If HE can't edit his trade evaluations with hindsight, then we can't revoke our comments upon them.


Heh... why the need to edit when you can have it both ways?


While I stand by ZiPS as a projection system, I'm hardly contractually obligated to always agree with its conclusions!
   67. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:10 PM (#2443978)
Well, I still like the odds of being able to call him out on this one. The Cubs only need Kendall to put up an OPS+ of 50 or thereabouts to call this a victory.
   68. rr Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2443979)
In one of the Sabean threads, I brought up the idea of the Cubs trying to get Molina. Seems to me that stil makes sense for them, but I guess it's out now.
   69. UCCF Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:29 PM (#2443991)
So will the Cubs bat Kendall leadoff, moving Soriano and his run production capabilities down in the order? Or second?

I could really see him hitting second. You can't really hit Kendall and Izturis next to each other in the lineup. The Earth might implode from all that suction.
   70. TakeandRake Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2444000)
I think this trade turns out great for the Oakland Athletics. They get rid of Kendall who has the lowest OPS total out of any of their regulars, and now they can develop Suzuki by giving him everyday catching time. On top of all that they get another pitcher, catcher and now get rid of most of his contract. Seems like the A's got the better of this deal.
   71. AROM Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2444019)
You can't really hit Kendall and Izturis next to each other in the lineup.

You can if you bat Carlos Zambrano and Jason Marquis 7th. A lot of teams are used to having automatic outs in the 8-9 spots.
   72. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 17, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2444035)
The Cubs rarely play Izturis anymore, you don't really have to worry about the two batting next to each other.

Pretty sure I read somewhere that Lou wanted to bat him seventh.
   73. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: July 17, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2444048)
On top of all that they get another pitcher, catcher and now get rid of most of his contract. Seems like the A's got the better of this deal.

Well, the A's are paying $2.1mil of the deal (the Cubs $900K), the pitcher is a LOOGY who's split his time between A and AA, and the catcher has been just as bad offensively as Kendall.

I still think the A's did fine, but there's no reason to make the deal sound better than it really is.

I think this is the Cubs attempt at upgrading C this year. If (and most likely he will) Kendall turns out to still sucks, the Cubs are sticking with that production no matter what. That really only leaves CF as the obvious area for significant improvement.
   74. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 17, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2444053)
Blevins will probably wind uop as a LOOGY, but he's faced 3 times as many righties this year.
   75. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 17, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2444056)
Just to echo what others are saying about Kendall:

He was legitimately great until his thumb injury - how many 26-year catchers have career 314/402/456 lines? That was Kendall from the time he broke into the NL through the end of 2000. His OPS+ those years was 102, 115, 131, 137, 125.

And even though he sucked really really bad this year and 2004, he was still a hell of fun player to watch. And not that other guys aren't trying their hardest, but Kendall really really tries to make up for the fact that he can't do the good things well by doing the little things well. It doesn't make up for the crapitude, but it's awesome to watch. He's ended games by drawing catcher's interference, scoring from third on defensive indifference, and tagging out the tying run with his face. HIS FACE! I loved watching him play. He's how I imagine myself as a ballplayer: do the big things poorly because I lack skill but the little things properly just by paying attention.
   76. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 17, 2007 at 08:57 PM (#2444084)
maybe the Royals can get something for their dreck! (Emil Brown, Scott Elarton, Odalis Perez, Reggie Sanders)

This is reaching way back, but it is simply incorrect to call Reggie Sanders "dreck" in an odd-numbered year, injury or no injury.

Seriously I think someone should consider signing him to a 4-year deal that entails him only playing in 2009 and
2011. Hell he might be able to throw up an 120 OPS+ when he's 59 (just don't ask him to do it when he's 58 or 60).
   77. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 17, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2444109)
Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the Cubs had a positive run differential pretty much all season? Unless the evil of Michael Barrett causes them to be above average at scoring or preventing runs but only when it doesn't matter in games then I don't think looking at the team's record before and after the trade does much.

Actually, this is fairly close to my attitude. This is exagerrating it mind you. The Cubs looked like a good team at the beginning of the year, but one that just (literally) kept playing well enough to lose. They seemed at war with themselves in the bases, in the field, and most of all in their own mind. For the first month they looked like a really good team with an average record. The next month they looked like an average team with a below average record. They kept playing under their heads the entire time Barrett was with him. They get rid of him, and they start playing smarter, and achieving their capabilities. Saying that they weren't living up to their run differential doesn't refute this notion, it confirms it. They were playing under their heads.

This is an exagerration because: 1) going 2-12 in one-run games is absurd under any circumstances, 2) winning 7 straight one run gmaes is the opposite, but equally absurd, 3) Their key middle reliever is Carlos Marmol, not Scott Eyre.

But they've looked a lot sharper now. They expect to win now. They're not distracted by stupid soul-crunching mistakes at the plate/field/dugout now.

In one of the Sabean threads, I brought up the idea of the Cubs trying to get Molina. Seems to me that stil makes sense for them, but I guess it's out now.

Nah. Then the Cubs could trade Kendall for Molina, picking up part of his salary. Baseball shouldn't stop until all 30 clubs are paying him money not to play for them. Have the last team ship him to the Schaumburg Flyers. All MLB will pay him to stay out of MLB.

My memory of Jason Kendall's career? That horrible ankle injury he sustained while running to first. Man, that was brutal.
   78. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 17, 2007 at 09:52 PM (#2444138)
tagging out the tying run with his face
This sounds awesome, but I think I missed it. anyone have a link, picture, or description?
   79. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2444153)
And not that other guys aren't trying their hardest, but Kendall really really tries to make up for the fact that he can't do the good things well by doing the little things well. It doesn't make up for the crapitude, but it's awesome to watch. He's ended games by drawing catcher's interference, scoring from third on defensive indifference, and tagging out the tying run with his face. HIS FACE! I loved watching him play. He's how I imagine myself as a ballplayer: do the big things poorly because I lack skill but the little things properly just by paying attention.

Well, if nothing else, I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of this attitude on the Cubs. Maybe it'll rub off. (The doing little things properly part, not the big things poorly part.)
   80. zonk Posted: July 17, 2007 at 10:38 PM (#2444162)
Actually, this is fairly close to my attitude. This is exagerrating it mind you. The Cubs looked like a good team at the beginning of the year, but one that just (literally) kept playing well enough to lose. They seemed at war with themselves in the bases, in the field, and most of all in their own mind. For the first month they looked like a really good team with an average record. The next month they looked like an average team with a below average record. They kept playing under their heads the entire time Barrett was with him. They get rid of him, and they start playing smarter, and achieving their capabilities. Saying that they weren't living up to their run differential doesn't refute this notion, it confirms it. They were playing under their heads.

So there you have it.

Michael Barrett is the succubus of MLB catchers. He lures teams in with his supposedly attractive offensive numbers, but then steals the lifeforce that they need to win games. He's probably the reason the Expos had to move - he sucked the baseball vitality right out of Montreal (together with his imp, Jeff Loria).

Dan - I think you owe us a new TO in light of this information.
   81. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: July 17, 2007 at 10:50 PM (#2444173)
This sounds awesome, but I think I missed it. anyone have a link, picture, or description?

July 22, 2005. Oakland leads Texas 11-10 with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Justin Duchscherer on the mound, Alfonso Soriano at the plate, Michael Young on third.

Duchscherer throws a pitch in the dirt that deflects off Kendall high in the air, like a ball short-hopping the outfield fence, in the direction of first base. Kendall scurries after it, snags it with his bare hand on one hop out near the edge of the dirt, races back to the plate and dives headlong in front of a sliding Young to save the game.
   82. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: July 17, 2007 at 10:58 PM (#2444180)
Those with MLB.tv can see it about 90 seconds into last night's broadcast.
   83. Dan Contilli Posted: July 17, 2007 at 11:04 PM (#2444185)
Fun Time Trivia: Jason Kendall will be the sixth catcher to don the tools of ignorance for the Cubs this season. That's the most catchers that have appeared behind the plate for the Cubs since 1960 when they used 8. The Cubs also used 6 catchers in 1968, 1969, 1971, and 1995.
   84. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 18, 2007 at 01:35 AM (#2444377)
   85. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 18, 2007 at 01:37 AM (#2444379)
oops.

video link
   86. Padgett Posted: July 18, 2007 at 01:50 AM (#2444393)
   87. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: July 18, 2007 at 02:23 AM (#2444474)
He tagged the guy out, but he wasn't holding the ball in his mouth.

I hardly think Kendall was useless this season. If he was, I would have expected Billy Beane to DFA him long ago. Beane doesn't have to cover his butt for the big contract to save his own job.

Kendall hated to sit on the bench, so Adam Melhuse got precious little time as backup for years. He was finally sent away, perhaps in part because he complained about his playing time.
   88. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 18, 2007 at 04:47 AM (#2444757)
There was also this description of the play: link

Duke bounces a curveball off the plate. Kendall blocks it and it bounces 40 ft. into the air and 20 ft. to the right of the plate. Young comes speeding down the 3rd base line with a blazing pitchfork in one hand and a combination chainsaw/machine gun in the other. As he slides into the plate Kendall plops down his HUGE BRASS BALLS on the plate. Young makes contact and immediately breaks both ankles on Kendall's HUGE BRASS BALLS and is reduced to a quivering heap of jello. Kendall spins around, catches the ball, and applies the tag so hard that quivering pile that is Young, is splattered into a million droplets, which rain down upon the Ranger fans, mingling with their tears of defeat as they slink back into the night.
   89. Danny Posted: July 18, 2007 at 05:09 AM (#2444764)
Can we get some video of his dash home on the K-Rod drop? Thanks.
   90. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: July 18, 2007 at 12:45 PM (#2444867)
I hardly think Kendall was useless this season. If he was, I would have expected Billy Beane to DFA him long ago.

When a player projects to be better than useless before the season, you don't throw him away after an abysmal start because you still expect his mean performance going forward. The fact that they didn't cut ties in April is not evidence that he wasn't useless.
   91. Spahn Insane Posted: July 18, 2007 at 12:59 PM (#2444876)
My memory of Jason Kendall's career? That horrible ankle injury he sustained while running to first.

Mine? Saw him hit for the cycle at Three Rivers in 2000--the only Pirate to do that. Last hit was a triple in the RC gap--I knew it was a triple as soon as he hit it, and watching him round second full-speed was awesome. That it came against the Cardinals in a game started by Rick Ankiel during Ankiel's "golden boy" season made it even better.

I'm hoping he recaptures about 10 percent of that magic over the next 10 weeks. Doesn't sound like he got off on the right foot.
   92. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 18, 2007 at 01:16 PM (#2444881)
Doesn't sound like he got off on the right foot.


I was hoping that playing in front of fans who remembered Cub-killer Jason Kendall rather than punchless Jason Kendall would be helpful but he's wearing out that good will rather quickly.
   93. Padgett Posted: July 18, 2007 at 01:42 PM (#2444896)
Can we get some video of his dash home on the K-Rod drop? Thanks
This should do it.
   94. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: July 18, 2007 at 01:53 PM (#2444900)
I'm glad this thread is still alive because I went to last night's game. I have been to about 500 games at Wrigley Field over the last 23 years. That was the single worst one-game performance by a catcher I have ever seen. Kendall cost the Cubs the game. On the first Giants run, Soriano made a tremendous throw from left that had the runner beat by three steps. Kendall "Barretted" the ball allowing the run to score. Leading off the eighth Bengie Molina hit a foul pop straight up. Kendall didn't even bother to look for it for a while. Then he realized it might be in play. He rushed back after it, and it hit off his glove well away from the brick wall. Molina then hit a single launching a two-run inning. Both runs scored with two outs, and if Kendall had been charged with an error as he should have been, the runs would have been unearned. That's three runs directly attributable to Kendall's poor play in a 4-2 loss.

In addition, the Cubs pitchers were charged with two wild pitches on catchable balls. At the plate, Kendall is apparently a league-wide joke. The outfielders for the Giants played shollower for Kendall than I usually see for pitchers batting in Wrigley Field. Not only are they convinced that he can't hit the ball over their heads, but evidently they don't even fear a hard-hit gapper getting between their shallow outfielders.

I thought Szym was being unnecessarily harsh in his trade analysis, but after one game, and I know it's just one game, I wish he had answered Hendry's phone when Beane called about Kendall. That was hideous.
   95. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 18, 2007 at 02:01 PM (#2444904)
As much as I hated seeing Kendall in the A's lineup and was overjoyed to see him gone, I still liked him while he was a Pirate and liked his intensity. I'm hoping he pulls some pixie dust out of his butt in Chicago a la Will Clark and Cesar Cedeno with the Cardinals.
   96. Neil M Posted: July 18, 2007 at 02:07 PM (#2444909)
In addition, the Cubs pitchers were charged with two wild pitches on catchable balls.

..one of which was a ####### pitchout.
   97. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 18, 2007 at 02:29 PM (#2444930)
My favorite Kendall moment came some time in the late '90s. Kendall was breaking for home, but the throw got there before he did, and it had him dead to rights. He faked a slide, fooled the catcher into crouching and reaching, then dived right over the top. He had to be three full feet off the ground, and he landed like a ton of bricks, but he still managed to catch the plate with one hand before the catcher turned with the swipe tag.

The fight with Sheffield is a close second.
   98. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 23, 2007 at 02:40 AM (#2451184)
I'm glad this thread is still alive because I went to last night's game. I have been to about 500 games at Wrigley Field over the last 23 years. That was the single worst one-game performance by a catcher I have ever seen. Kendall cost the Cubs the game.

Well, I was there too, Charlie. And yeah, it was pretty damned ugly. I saw potential positives to the trade, and I saw how it could have gone badly, and so far it has gone very badly. What has impressed me most is how horrible Kendall looks at the plate. He has no bat speed whatsoever -- it's like he's swinging underwater. A couple more weeks of this and I think even the Cubs DFA him.
   99. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 10, 2007 at 01:21 PM (#2479870)
.286/.385/.393

Jason Kendall in a Cubs uni. His backup is hitting .159/.232/.273
   100. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 10, 2007 at 01:40 PM (#2479878)
Kendall's OPS+ so far as a Cub: 102.
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