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   1. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 09, 2006 at 12:55 PM (#2133136)
Over the last couple of weeks I have thought about Pagan in CF. If we give him a chance and he fails then we have Pie, if he does OK, we can decide if we want Pie or Pagan out there and use the other for trade or insurance. Pagan's offensive numbers as a good fielding CF are definitely acceptable.

Watching Marmol pitch gives me headaches. His stuff is great but he just cannot seem to do anything consistent. The one thing that gives me hope is the fact that his wildness seems to be in the area that he is working on batter. Meaning that when he is working a hitter low and in he seems to be missing low and in and when he is working the hitter high and outside his pitches are missing high and outside. This is something that is correctable. If he was working the batter low and inside and was missing high or outside that would be a lot more worrisome. In short (too late) his wildness reminds me more of Zambrano than Wood. Zambrano learned to real it in a bit as he got more experience where Wood never did. Here's hoping that Marmol's wildness can be fixed with some experience and, gulp, someone actually working with him.
   2. dcsmyth1 Posted: August 09, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2133158)
Watching Marmol pitch gives me headaches. His stuff is great but he just cannot seem to do anything consistent.

I think most pitchers who make it to the big leagues have good enough stuff to win. The question is whether they can develop the control and command which is also required to win in the Show. Many many pitchers never do, or are derailed from doing so by injuries. There are some pitchers who have such great stuff that they can win even without good control/command, but they are few and far between. None of the Cubs young pitchers fit that category, and so I am wary of predicting success for any of these guys just based on having pretty good stuff. I certainly would not assume a slot for next year for any of them.
   3. dcsmyth1 Posted: August 09, 2006 at 01:33 PM (#2133169)
One interesting thought that came up on the thread (by Sweet I believe) is to use Angel Pagan as a stop gap next season in CF, giving Pie additional seasoning in Iowa.

That is an interesting idea. His Pecota projection on offense for next year is going to be about the same as Pierre's, and his fielding is apparently better. Still, having Pagan as a regular is not exactly how you build a winning team, although they could put the money saved on Pierre to good use. It's also possible that Pie should get a strong opportunity to start in '07. If he has as much ability as advertised, he should be as good or better than Pagan/Pierre, even if he is not yet fully "seasoned".
   4. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 09, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2133184)
I think most pitchers who make it to the big leagues have good enough stuff to win.
I mean I think his stuff is great by MLB standards. I am not assuming a slot for him for more than one reason but his potential is the highest of all the rookies based on his stuff. He looks a lot like Guzman did before his injuries. Control is the biggest hurtle from him being a better than league average pitcher and possibly a top of the rotation guy. Odds of him becoming great may be low but I have hope based on the fact that he has only been pitching for 3 years, because of this I think he is harder to fit into a progression slot.
   5. Spahn Insane Posted: August 09, 2006 at 02:00 PM (#2133194)
In his place I’d like to welcome Mike McCullough as a new contributor to the blog. Mike (posting under the handle “From the keyboard of dJf") has made a number of contributions in the comments since this blog took flight and he’s going to be a great addition.

Indeed. A welcome change.
   6. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: August 09, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2133269)
Notes from Paul Sullivan:
Carlos Zambrano facetiously asked Baker last week if he could play left field when he's not pitching. Zambrano has four home runs and nine RBIs in 48 at-bats; injured first baseman Derrek Lee has four homers and 14 RBIs in 119 at-bats.
Other good stuff in there about Girardi and the Cubs, and the wave at Wrigley.
   7. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#2133288)
Carlos Zambrano facetiously asked Baker last week if he could play left field when he's not pitching. Zambrano has four home runs and nine RBIs in 48 at-bats; injured first baseman Derrek Lee has four homers and 14 RBIs in 119 at-bats.
Zambrano in left is ridiculous, for one he does not have the right glove and two it is the most difficult outfield position to learn because of the fact that wind is just different out there. Zambrano should pitch and maybe spend some time at short but left field no way!
   8. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#2133300)
Zambrano probably has the best bat of any of our SS options. He's probably too big to be anything other than a below average defender there. And I'd be very nervous any time Zambrano had to turn a double play. It would be really fun if Zambrano were a two way player.
   9. Neil M Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2133312)
He could play first base; he could play a lot of places," Baker said. "I've never seen a guy who could switch-hit and throw with both hands. Watch him play catch, and you can't tell if he's right-handed or left-handed.

Give him two spots in the rotation, one as a RHP, one as a LHP.
   10. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2133316)
Glad to hear dJf is being added to Gonfalon Cubs. As someone who was openly complaining about this blog a few months ago and discussing alternatives, I think it's been much, much better for the last couple of months, with a couple of lapses. Bringing some regulars in is a good idea, and the more you add the less likely you are to have post-free periods. People naturally get busy and can't contribute for periods of time, so in many ways, the more the merrier. But on BTF you have a guaranteed voracious core of readers, so it would be almost impossible to have too much content. All I think anyone wants is a go-to place on BTF to discuss the Cubs intelligently -- this has been that place for the last few months, and dJf being on board will only make it better.

But do we have to refer to him by his real name? If so, I am willing to go back only as far as "True Blue".
   11. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:30 PM (#2133318)
From 2003-2005, Zambrano's OPS vs. LHP is 724. This season it's 859. I think we've found our platoon partner for Jacque Jones.
   12. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2133321)
Over the last couple of weeks I have thought about Pagan in CF. If we give him a chance and he fails then we have Pie, if he does OK, we can decide if we want Pie or Pagan out there and use the other for trade or insurance. Pagan's offensive numbers as a good fielding CF are definitely acceptable.

Barring a miraculous addition of a star CFer, I like this idea, assuming Pagan can play the position competently. Can he?
   13. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:48 PM (#2133348)
From 2003-2005, Zambrano's OPS vs. LHP is 724. This season it's 859. I think we've found our platoon partner for Jacque Jones.

And we *know* he has a better arm than Jones.
   14. Luke Jasenosky Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2133352)
Barring a miraculous addition of a star CFer, I like this idea, assuming Pagan can play the position competently. Can he?

As I mentioned in the post, BPro has him significantly above average as a center fielder for Norfolk last year. A recent profile of him here is also very positive:
http://mets.scout.com/2/490089.html

There seems to be some disagreement on his arm, as I've seen it described as "strong" as well as "mediocre". It isn't hard to imagine that he's superior to Pierre defensively, and can probably put up similar numbers offensively (maybe with 10-15 homers - Pagan was originally projected to be a power bat, but the power has been slow to come. With his performance so far as a Cub, it looks like he might be finding it now). All in all, it's likely he'd play as well as Pierre, and with Pierre looking at $7-8 million per year, that would be some real savings to use on a Schmidt or Zito...Ha, had you going there! Ol' Jimmy knows better. That kind of cash could lock up Mabry for years to come!
   15. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: August 09, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2133356)
Pagan has earned .9 Fielding WS in his 35 games at the OF corners. Brian Giles leads corner OFs with 2.9 win shares in RF in 109 games.

BPro had him as +16 in CF at AAA last season. This season's RF Rate2 is 130. Caveats do apply about statistical flukes, one year sample sizes and the unreliability of BPro's numbers, but I think it's likely that Pagan could hack it in CF. He certainly has the speed.

As others have mentioned, his bat couldn't be worse than Pierre's right now. Pagan has put up minor league Eqas in the .250s the last two seasons. And if this season is any indication, he has a bit of offensive upside. For me, the main obstacle would be getting past my own perception of Pagan as a 4th OF.
   16. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 09, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#2133366)
This season's RF Rate2 is 130. Caveats do apply about statistical flukes, one year sample sizes and the unreliability of BPro's numbers

That's kind of what I was thinking. Seeing him play this year it seems that he is capable of making some great plays, but also capable of making major mistakes. My inclination is to think it's worth taking a chance.

As others have mentioned, his bat couldn't be worse than Pierre's right now. Pagan has put up minor league Eqas in the .250s the last two seasons. And if this season is any indication, he has a bit of offensive upside. For me, the main obstacle would be getting past my own perception of Pagan as a 4th OF.

That's what I would be thinking. I think this is a good idea only if you consider him to be a stopgap, and a better idea than signing Juan Pierre. If the Cubs are going to any good next season, it is unlikely to be the result of Pagan in CF.
   17. Spahn Insane Posted: August 09, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#2133373)
There seems to be some disagreement on his arm, as I've seen it described as "strong" as well as "mediocre".

In other words, either a "huge, mongo, intergalactic-co-mega-improvement" on Pierre's, or merely a "huge improvement."
   18. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: August 09, 2006 at 04:15 PM (#2133382)
If the Cubs are going to any good next season, it is unlikely to be the result of Pagan in CF.


If the Cubs are going to be bad next season, it's doubtful that it will be the result of Pagan in CF. I'd peg him for a .255 Eqa with average defense in CF. That should be plenty since the CF average is 259. With Pagan in CF, the Cubs could be average or better at every position except SS and 2B next season.

If they would only platoon Jacque Jones, then RF, 1B, C and 3B could all be well above average. Maybe even above average enough to offset the Izturis / Cedeno middle infield.
   19. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: August 09, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#2133383)
Kudos for adding dJf to the blog. I look forward to reading his quality insights in longer form.

It's always weird to see the real name of a regular poster. I had always pictured dJf as a long-haired, bearded guy standing at shortstop thrusting religious pamphlets at every baserunner that passed his way. Now that I know his real name, it will be harder to maintain that image.
   20. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 09, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#2133422)
Thanks for the kind words, ladies and germs. I really appreciate your support and am glad to contribute to BTF and Gonfalon Cubs in any way I can.
   21. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 09, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#2133427)
It's always weird to see the real name of a regular poster. I had always pictured dJf as a long-haired, bearded guy standing at shortstop thrusting religious pamphlets at every baserunner that passed his way. Now that I know his real name, it will be harder to maintain that image.

Having met him, I never had that image, but now that you mention it I am going to do my best to think of him that way.

If the Cubs are going to be bad next season, it's doubtful that it will be the result of Pagan in CF. I'd peg him for a .255 Eqa with average defense in CF. That should be plenty since the CF average is 259.

I think that's a reasonable projection, and I agree with your assessment, although I think there is a significant chance that this would be a disaster. Again, probably worth taking a chance.

With Pagan in CF, the Cubs could be average or better at every position except SS and 2B next season.

Well, I suppose they could easily be average or better there too, but they could be below average at all of the OF positions, SS and 2B.

The problem, looking at the offensive side of the ledger, is the potential lack of star power, even if they do manage to get average or better perfomances at all positions. Lee might be more like the hitter he was prior to 2005. Ramirez could see decline, and I'll be surprised to see this kind of performance from Michael Barrett again. If you put average players at every other position, the offense still might not be that good, and there are major pitching concerns.
   22. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: August 09, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2133454)
Thanks for the kind words, ladies and germs. I really appreciate your support and am glad to contribute to BTF and Gonfalon Cubs in any way I can.

Sounds like you're going to take it one post at a time; let the blog come to you. The biggest change is the speed of the site -- when you get the keys, you have to figure out a way to slow things down.
   23. Meatwad Posted: August 09, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2133475)
you know barrett was one of the best pickups by hendry and no one really mentions it

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