Anomaly? Who Said Anomaly?

Back in the first week of the season, I wrote about the apparently freakish excellence of Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis in their respective Cub debuts. Well, here we are, several weeks and 13 starts later, and the two Cub newbies continue to pitch superbly. Combined 2007 numbers for Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis over 15 starts: 101 IP, 70 H, 27 R, 72 K, 21 BB Put another way, the average Lilly/Marquis start this season: 6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 5 K, 1 BB !!!!! History suggests that when the new Cub owner takes his throne—this winter? next spring?—Jim Hendry will be pink-slipped, and any practicing Cub fan could contribute arguments to justify the dismissal. If Lilly and Marquis continue on the course they’ve charted so far this year, however, Hendry’s investment in the twosome won’t be among his failures.
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Comments

I know that this may not be the popular opinion around here, but I personally believe that it would be a mistake to let Hendry go. He has done a good job in bringing in good players. Look at our starting lineup compared to what it was when he took over, and I think you would have to agree that it is much better. His too managerial hires have both been seen at the time as very good moves. Has he made mistakes? Of course he has. But at the end of the day I think that he has done a good job and deserves the chance to finish what he has started.

I have a bad feeling about tonight's game. Very happy to be wrong.

I'm also still on the fence about Hendry. There are far, far worse GM's in the game. While there are also far, far better GM's, and probably much better potential-GMs waiting to be discovered, I'm not confident about these Hypothetical New Owners to replace Hendry with something better....

Will see...

Cubster wrote yesterday that Iowa hitters have been going nuts lately. Then they go out and score 17 runs on Sunday and all the numbers go up. Top five hitters in the lineup are torrid, including young prospects Patterson, Pie and Hoffpauir and older but still interesting Fonenot and Hill.

The part I like best is that they're all lefthanded hitters. (Koye Hill switches.) Lack of lefthanded pull hitters is what I would say is wrong with the Chicago lineup. Eventually (maybe sooner) Floyd is going to be Murton's backup, and Jones is not a normal lefthanded hitter who complements righties. (The same sliders that give Soriano, Aramis, Barrett, DeRosa, etc., trouble also handcuff Jones.)

Lou said the other day that he used to love to hit with runners in scoring position. Then he might appreciate Hoffpauir, who has 36 RBI on 37 hits.

Patterson is the guy who's going to be clamoring for major-league attention pretty soon. Last year he was 24 for 67 at Iowa, and people said it was a small sample size. Putting last year and this year together, he's 64 for 185, or .346.

Meanwhile, Tyler Colvin, another lefty, is at or near the top in RBI in the Florida State League with 28. They could use his bat at Tennessee, where they have strong pitching (Veal, Gallagher, Holliman) and mostly Jake Fox doing the hitting. After Tennessee, Colvin's next promotion could be Wrigley.

Mark: Take a look at the Cubs career numbers against Glavine. I feel good about tonight's game.

I really think Hendry should have pressed harder on Brian Giles. I know there was some question about his actual availability, but for the right price he could have been available. That would have done a few things, 1. It would have meant an legit left-handed bat who isn't a "free-swinger". 2. A RF'er who can throw, and 3. in hindsight, it probably would have meant Marcus Giles @ 2B this year.

Other than that, and a few minor moves here and there that did or didn't happen, I have no problem with Jim Hendry.

If we could get the Brian Giles from 2004, then sure...
Giles 2007:
.298/.359/.371..
1 HR, 11 RBI's, 8 2B, 22 Runs...
2006: .263/.374/.397, 14 HR, 83 RBI, 87 Runs

Jacque Jones 2007:
1 HR, 12 RBIs, 14 Runs, 7 2B, .264/.326/.364
2006:.285/.334/.499, 27 HR, 81 RBI, 73 Runs.

Meh.....Is that wotrh 3 million more per year for a player who is 36 years old, and declining?

Jones is not a normal lefthanded hitter who complements righties.

He's not? How so?

Cubs dig Solo Home Runs: Good point. Should have checked the stats first. Though my comment was aimed at Marquis. My gut tells me the Mets figure out he's a sinkerballer and tee off. Keeping Reyes off the basepaths and making sure that Delgado isn't in a position to beat you with one swing is going to be key.

Numbers... {yawn}

Brian Giles is a better hitter.

Cubnut:
"History suggests that when the new Cub owner takes his throne—this winter? next spring?—Jim Hendry will be pink-slipped,"

Please, Please, Please, don't tease me like that.

Virginia Phil.

1st. thanks for all of your great reporting on what is going on the cub's farm system. it is greatly appreciated.
2nd. you have reported that patterson is no sandberg at 2nd base with the glove) and given that we already have 2 2nd baseman in chicago. so what should the braintrust do with patterson? could he project as a right fielder? can he grow into some power? how is his arm? or, is just good trade bait?

Virginia Phil.

1st. thanks for all of your great reporting on what is going on the cub’s farm system. it is greatly appreciated.
2nd. you have reported that patterson is no sandberg at 2nd base, at least not with the glove; and given that we already have 2 2nd basemen in chicago. so what should the braintrust do with patterson? could he project as a right fielder? can he grow into some power? how is his arm? or, is he just good trade bait?

Yeah, you have to give Hendry full credit for Lilly and Marquis, if only because he would have been raked over the coals if they would have flopped. It's only fair.

I still have a lot of confidence in Hendry as a dealmaker -- he's among the best in the game at that skill. Perhaps his greatest shortcoming, though, is his failure to create an organization (top to bottom) that develops "batters", as opposed to "hitters." Pitch selection and taking walks have never seemed to be criteria that the organization valued very much -- until this year, when Lou started talking about it a lot and Hendry then started to pay it some lip service. So, Lou can help address his boss' main flaw by demanding a non-hacking culture, which would be a really good thing for the organization.

As Cubnut said, so far Lilly, Marquis and even Hill have performed great, way above any realistic expectations. The sad part is that with them performing at a level that is unrealistic to keep up, we are still under .500. When they cool down, which is inevitable, our bats are going to seriously have to heat up to make up for it.

Manny -- it's a fair point, it's not like Marquis is really going to win 25 games. But by the same token the bullpen and Zambrano aren't going to be this poor or unpredictable all season long (are they?), so some of that will be a wash.

Manny, that I think is my concern re tonight's game. I fear Marquis cools off tonight...

Ok...no numbers Rynox.

Giles is 36, and is $3 million more a year than Jones.
He has been a better player than Jones, but at this point, is not worth $3million more a season.

"Felix Pie was 7-for-14 in his first three games back at Triple-A Iowa, batting second."

Hopefully the kid will force his way back up to the big club.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

I am not so sure that Giles is a better hitter than Jones right now.

What does Giles do better than Jones? Take walks. That is about it.

Don't get me wrong - I highly value walks and OBP, but it is not the only thing that makes a hitter.

There is no question that Giles has been a better hitter than Jones has been over his entire career, but I am not sure that he is a better hitter than Jones is right now.

Many of you are probably tired of hearing me talk about this, but Dave asked the question . . .

If you saw Jones's big hit on Saturday that gave the Cubs a (fleeting) 7-5 lead, you might have noticed that he hit a low outside fastball. In fact, I would say the pitch was below the knees on the outside corner. How does Jones hit that pitch? Alfonseca would probably like to know, as would a lot of other hurlers who don't bother to read the scouting report on Jones and find themselves pitching to his strength.

Because of his inside-out swing, you have to throw Jones breaking balls down and in. These are pitches that you might want to be careful about throwing to a normal lefty pull hitter, but they usually make Jones look pretty bad.

In a balanced lineup, you would have days when the righthanded hitters had problems but the lefthanded hitters fattened up, and vice versa. A righthanded curveballer like Bronson Arroyo should make your lefty hitters salivate--but not Jones. That's not a pitch he hits.

My impression is that our central division rivals all have a pretty good book on Jones, except for St. Louis. Maybe it's because of their "pitch to contact" philosophy that makes them treat every lefthanded hitter the same way. Jones kills the Cardinals.

I am sure that some of the problems with the free swinging attitude had to come from Dusty "walks clog up the bases" Baker. If your manager wants a free swinging ball club, then as a GM you are going to go after those types of players. But, if you have a manager who wants hitters to work the count and hit the other way, etc. as a GM you will look for those types of players. I am sure that in any franchise the manager tells the GM what type of player they want.

I guess, what i am saying is that if you want to blame Hendry for what he has done, you have to give just as much blame for those players to Baker.

Of course, i may be way of base on this one.

henry, thanks for the compliment but you're confusing me with Arizona Phil. I've never seen Patterson field a grounder. I hope AZ Phil is wrong about E-Pat's fielding, but that would be unusual.

I am sure that some of the problems with the free swinging attitude had to come from Dusty “walks clog up the bases” Baker.

Except that when you look at players who have played for Dusty and other managers, they walk more under Dusty than for the other managers.

433:
"But by the same token the bullpen and Zambrano aren’t going to be this poor or unpredictable all season long (are they?)"

The bullpen ranks 11th in ERA in MLB, and we have one of the best closers in baseball. Not sure how we could expect the bullpen statistically to get much better (of course there is always room for improvement). But yes, Z should get things going at some point.

But that is 1 starting pitcher doing much worse than expected compared to 3 doing much better than expected.

"...but for the right price he could have been available. "

What price would that have been? DeRosa, while not lighting the world on fire since week one (keep the F'ING bat on your SHOULDER w/a 3-1 count!!! You are NOT Pujols!), is really versitile, plays a nice 2b and a very good 3b.

Giles truly is reaching the end 'o the line and I think his agent worked hard to get him out to San Diego (who wouldn't??) to be with his 'bro.

MANNY and 433: You guys are mentioning tthe evening out of the starting pitching coming back to earth with the bats needing to heat up - my opinion is if the BULLPEN can do their fucking job we would be tied or close to the Division lead right now.

I zero confidence in Eyre, Howry and Eyre right now. Dempster, who I LOATHED last year, I must give credit to. It shows he really has worked very hard to improve. It is too bad the other three guys are letting the great starters down.

viriginia phil.

you're right. sorry about that. no excuses, although quade waved my post through.

E-man, I disagree in general about the bullpen. I am not sure that you can, in general, expect much more from them. Eyre and Howry have not looked good, and certainly are far cries from what they were last year. But the stats show that as a whole, the Cubs bullpen is not bad at all. The reason they seem to be losing a lot of games, to me, says more about the inability of the Cubs to keep scoring runs late in games.

JACE: "But the stats show that as a whole, the Cubs bullpen is not bad at all."

The stats show as of yesterday: Record of 2-9, Save %=54% (3rd worst in the Majors), 46BB in 105 Innings, MLB rank - 16th (courtesy ESPN.com stats)

If this is "not bad", I would not like to see your "miserable".

The point is, if the team is not scoring the late runs BUT HAVE A LEAD, it is the set-up guys job to hang on to the lead.

brian giles was never really a free agent.....he wanted to stay in san diego, and even accepted less money to stay than go to toronto. i know chicago is better than toronto (imo), but you would have really had to blow him away to get him at wrigley. his power has obviously disappeared, and it's not just petco...

MLB rank - 16th

16th would not be "bad." It would be distinctly average.

E-man... This is just nitpicky, but the Cubs' pen is ranked 11th, not 16th in the MLB, and 7th in the NL. They are also tied for 23rd overall in MLB in save %, after Dempster's outing yesterday. The fact that these stats you have called out have changed so significantly in one day just shows further how little it takes for these stats to change this early in the season. Obviously, this is just due to one additional day of statistics. I am not saying that our bullpen is spectacular. I am just saying that, in general, they are not bad. This team has too often scored runs early, then tried to coast through the rest of the game. Seeing those 9th inning insurance runs on Sunday, was really a sight for sore eyes...

DAVE: Indeed you are correct, sir. Distinctly average. Can't we do better than that? Can't we trade at least one of the lefties?

Just so I can actually give you the information you requested, I would say that a bullpen ranked 29th or 30th in ERA would be my definition of "miserable". Kansas City and Tampa Bay currently occupy those spots, with 5.40 and 5.53 ERA... That is miserable...

dave:
Don’t get me wrong - I highly value walks and OBP, but it is not the only thing that makes a hitter. / There is no question that Giles has been a better hitter than Jones has been over his entire career, but I am not sure that he is a better hitter than Jones is right now.

That's fair, I haven't paid much attention to Giles this year. At this point Jones might provide better output, but I do know that Giles has a reputation for working the count and not swinging at bad pitches. That is what I meant by "better hitter". Maybe I should have said "smarter hitter".

Personally, I like to see a few free swingers in a lineup, especially guys like Jones who can drive the ball the opposite way. It keeps opposing pitcher honest, but it seems like the Cub's continue to post a lineup full of free-swingers.

Take, for example, the game against Kyle Lohse. The guy isn't great, but he had a decent day. Because he had a decent day, the Cub's were not able to "get to him" because they constantly hacked at bad pitches. A guy who works the counts not only gets a pitchers game pitch count up, but it can also get the pitch count up for the inning. Some pitchers can get fatigued during the course of an inning, so even if a long at-bat leads to a strikeout, it could benefit the next batter.

What I'm driving at is this: in general I'd like to see a more patient Cub lineup and a little less free-swinging. Would I sacrafice a few points on a batting avergage and a some home runs for a more patient hitter? Yes.

Yeah, Rynox, I am frustrated by the same thing. We have too many of the same type of hitter. I love those 10-pitch ABs, and I think we need more players that can cause them.

JACE: Thanks for clearing that up. That TRULY is miserable for me as well!

Lets see... patient hitters - DLee, Theriot, Murton, DeRosa, Barret (at times, though not lately).

Contrary to popular opinion, Soriano is even a fairly patient hitter (i.e. sees a decent amount of pitches).

The Cubs have several hitters are are "patient." They don't have a ton of so-called free swingers. In the starting lineup, you could say Jones is a free swinger, Soriano and Barrett are on the fence, A-Ram is on the fence, and the rest are fairly to very patient.

JACE/RYNOX: If you recall, as a team you had your wish during ST. When the season started it seemed as if all of the work they did w/Lou and the new hitting instructor was forgotten. The AB last week DERosa had in the Marquis game was a perfect example.

However, yesterday he learned from this and left the bat on his shoulder this time instead of swinging.

Yeah, E-man, you're right. I really felt good about the overall patience the team exhibited in ST. Of course, it might be hard to really compare ST to the reg. season, since they probably also faced their share of pitchers that aren't in the majors now, or were just getting going for the year. It did appear that, as soon as they started the season, it all went out the window...

Someone please name the so-called "free swingers" in the Cubs lineup. I am curious to who you would give this label to.

I still don't have these stat searches down. Does anyone know where the Cubs rank in P/PA? I would really like to see that.

In terms of patient hitters, would anyone else like to see Theriot move to the leadoff spot and move Soriano to the two hole? I know a stipulation to him signing with the Cubs was that he bat leadoff, but his power is being wasted at the top of the order. $18 million plus for a leadoff hitter is just ridiculous. Yes, he's on a hitting streak and hitting the ball well, but 8 rbi for $18 million? Doesn't add up. What are the chances they convince him to move down? And what are the chances that sweet Lou thinks it's a good idea?

Just curious.

I love how DeRosa is getting ripped apart around here for one at-bat.

You all know that he is 3rd in the NL in pitches per pa, right?

Would any of you agree that Theriot, along w/DLEE would have to be considered the team co-MVPs right now?

And the Cubs are third in the NL in p/pa as a team.

Here are the individual Cubs p/pa.

I don't have time to type them all out right now.

E-man... I don't think you can talk about a Cubs MVP without including Marquis, Hill, and Lilly.

But Theriot and Lee are definitely the offensive MVPs.

Dave - Thank you for giving me a way to look at the P/PA stat. I could not find it on ESPN's site before.
You know what jumps out at me from looking at that link you sent? We have ONE hitter listed in the top 40 players. That is not encouraging, and goes against what you are saying about our hitters being patient. Cleveland has 3 players in the top 10, and five in the top 40. That is pretty impressive. Who in the hell are they? I obviously don't pay much attention to the AL.. Ryan Garko? Casey Blake??

That is not encouraging, and goes against what you are saying about our hitters being patient.

Yet as a team the Cubs are third in the NL in p/pa, which completely goes against what you are saying about the Cubs not being patient.

Dave- the Cubs are not third in P/PA. That is how they are listed in that link you sent, but if you look at the numbers, they are below the average of 3.76, and it looks like they are about 10th or 11th in the NL... I never would have guessed that the Rockies would be 1st...

Dave- the Cubs are not third in P/PA.

Oops... that is what I get for trying to do this crap while I am working. You are right. The Cubs are 11th in p/pa. So yea... I am wrong - not very patient.

Oh yeah... I'm supposed to be working, too...

And the Cubs are third in the NL in p/pa as a team.

Uh, no they're not...

they'd be tied with 3 other teams for 10th in the NL with 3.71.

Rockies 3.89
Philadelphia 3.85
Washington 3.85
Houston 3.80
St. Louis 3.79
Atlanta 3.78
Arizona 3.77
Cincy 3.76
Pitt 3.77
Cubs 3.71
Giants 3.71
Marlins 3.71
Padres 3.70
Mets 3.69
Brewers 3.68
Dodgers 3.62

sorry, see you guys have that covered...

sorry, see you guys have that covered…

Yea... anyone else want to point out Dave's stupidity? :)

Well.. at least I admit when I am wrong. Speaking of which - anyone hear from Silent "Izturis is God and Theriot Sucks" Towel?

(yea... just trying to change the subject away from my stupidity)

By the way, I looked at the players at the bottom of the P/PA list... Barrett is the lowest current Cub with enough PAs. 3 out of the bottom 4 are former Cubs... Juan Pierre, Coret Patterson, and Moises Alou... Johnny Estrada is at the very bottom, with 3.03 P/PA

Blanco is expected to get a start tonight according to the Sun-Times.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Dave - I too have wondered about the noticeable lack of ST on this site. It seems to me that ST disappeared not long after the "rambling washcloth" discussion... That doesn't really mean that I am complaining, though...

well Alou and Barrett are notorious first pitch, fastball hitters and it serves them well.

Usually Nomar is up there too, but he's been seeing a lot more pitches this year so far.

dave spelled backwards is evad.

eeeeevaaaaaaaaaahd.

"dave spelled backwards is evad.

eeeeevaaaaaaaaaahd."

Ha.

Harry used to do Bowa's name backwards so much that as I kid I just referred to the SS as Awob.

Any one else remember him always spelling peoples names backwards? I wonder how many beers he had to have in him before he'd start that up.

Re #53

p/pa is obviously means nothing. When you consider the top three teams in the NL are the bottom three on that list, I think its safe to say that it doesn't mean much.

more excellent work at THT...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/how...

Cubs and White Sox relievers being thrown into the most crucial moments so far this year.

Last week THT noted the bullpen WPA as 18th in the MLB, 11th in the NL.

Doing a little below average at this point...

p/pa is obviously means nothing. When you consider the top three teams in the NL are the bottom three on that list, I think its safe to say that it doesn’t mean much.

you'd probably want to look back at the final numbers over the last 3-4 years before unequivocally stating that.

Not that I have those nor where to find them, but 6 weeks of baseball isn't enough to draw any real conclusions.

I think it is pretty easy to see what is going on right now with the bullpen. The Cubs bullpen is 11th in ERA (3.69) in MLB, but 29th in Losses (9) in MLB. So what is happening is that the Cubs are not pitching well in keys spots, but pitching well in blowouts or non key spots. For a lack of a better term, they have not been too clutch, outside of Dempster.

Manny NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.....

There is no such thing as clutch. Haven't you been programmed yet?

Manny, I think it is also indicative of poor Cubs run production late in games, especially when they have the lead.

I think it is pretty easy to see what is going on right now with the bullpen. The Cubs bullpen is 11th in ERA (3.69) in MLB, but 29th in Losses (9) in MLB. So what is happening is that the Cubs are not pitching well in keys spots, but pitching well in blowouts or non key spots. For a lack of a better term, they have not been too clutch, outside of Dempster.

I'm not sure where to look this up, but I'd be willing to bet that the Cubs bullpen has also been put into the position of defending a one run lead or trying to preserve a tie more often than any other team in the league. That isn't an excuse for some truly piss poor outings, but it partially explains why they have a decent ERA and an atrocious W-L record.

I have to agree with Jace on this Manny. I don't see the bullpen blowing up in close situations per se (Expect for Friday and Saturday's games). The losses seem to be for a result in the cubs bats going cold after the 5th inning most nights.

Read #63...

Leverage Index: Leverage Index, invented by Tangotiger, is a measure of how critical a specific batting situation is. One (1) is average, anything above one is more critical and anything less than 1 is less critical.

Cubs are at 1.41 for their relievers, 2nd highest in MLB. So yes, they've been asked to do a lot this year.

WPA
Win Probability Added. A system in which each player is given credit toward helping his team win, based on play-by-play data and the impact each specific play has on the team's probability of winning.

Cubs relievers are 0.63, 11th in the NL or 18th in MLB.

Considering they've been asked to do more than the average bullpen so far, I'd say their doing just about average at this point.

Another note...
Cards and Mets relievers look good by ERA, but their leverage index is below 1 meaning they've been asked to do very little this year.

Padres bullpen on the other hand still kicks ass anyway you look at it.

#61 Chris:

"Omar Daal is warming up in the bullpen....

[Silence]

"Omar Daal's name backwards is Ramo Laad."

[Stone stifles a chuckle.]

I am amazed that Alfonseca is still in the league -- then I see batters like Soraino keeping him there.

The guy has ONE pitch -- hard sinker, moves down and in to a RH batter, usually finishes out of the strike zone (sorry for the flashbacks). It was the pitch JJ hit for his double, and the exact same pitch that Soriano swung at and issed 3 straight times with runners on 2nd & 3rd and no outs in the 9th.

Fonzie is a great talent -- if he ever studied pitchers, he could be an unbelievable player.

Spinner and Paddlefoot are clutch.

I think this is really why Fonzie likes to bat 1st. He can swing and run whenever he feels the need. Batting lower in the order means he has to actually attempt to employ some sort of batting strategy. The more I watch Soriano the more I think he is a really selfish player. He runs even when it isnt in the teams best interest. He swings for the fences and makes little contact when Sac Fly contact scores the run. He reminds me of Mid 90's Sosa. Big overall numbers at the end of the season. Yet not what you would call a team player. Probably not a guy you want to build a team around.

Clutch Cargo — May 14, 2007 @ 12:24 pm
Spinner and Paddlefoot are clutch.
......................................................................

throwout bearing is also clutch

It will be interesting if/when Eric Patterson hits his way on to the MLB team. If you assume he partners with Theriot at SS, then you have a really nice 1-2 top of the order...necessitating Soriano to reconsider his leadoff role and move to a more RBI friendly spot in the order, say in front of DLee with ARam hitting 5th.

we may never see another double play with that lineup but I think I'm gonna like the one thru 5 batting order slots.

Soriano would be the better fit for 5th in the order. He isnt a contact hitter and batting 5th would allow him to run. Batting in front of Lee and Aramis would limit his running opportunities you would think.

The best Harry spelled backwards comment was when he looked at Ron Santo and said: "Ronnie, I am going to turn you around and make you Greek."

Or words to that effect.

aaronb: The reason told again and again for why he is not effective further down is that he CANNOT hit a curve, slider, fork, gyro, or many pitches w/movement. He is a fast-ball hitter through and through and as a first-dude(Dusty for leadoff hitter) he will have a better chance of contact (HA!) in this role.

E-Man I find that hard to believe.

Since Sorian doesn't walk much, if he can't hit a curve (etc) how did he ever make it to the major.

Lead off spot or no lead off spot why would anyone throw him a fastball?

Yeah, E-man, I have heard Steve Stone say that many times. I don't get it. I have heard Lou say that Alfonso only leads off once, to start the game, and that he is more comfortable leading off. However, if he only leads off once, then why does where he hits in the order have any bearing on what kind of pitches he sees? If the pitchers know that he can't hit slop, why wouldn't they throw him slop?

i wonder if there is too much made of Soriano wanting the lead off spot? he has been willing to do anything Lou has asked him to do and if asked i bet he would move down in the order. That being said, if he is happier leading off, then why not leave him there until it becomes obvious that there is a much better option. Theriot seems to be a very good #2 hitter.

BP had an interesting comment on Soriano the other day.

"Who said anything about a contract-year spike? Soriano is finally looking comfortable at the plate, which for him means covering every inch of the strike zone without concern for working the count. He's 16 for his last 40, and he hasn't drawn a walk since April 28. For most players that might indicate a problem, but for a hitter with his skill set, it's just the way things go when he's making hard contact on every swing. "

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Maybe down in the line up pitchers are less likely to throw balls in the zone (first base is open and weak hitters are coming up)?

Pitchers do not like to walk guys ahead of the 3-4-5 spot in a lineup. That would explain why Soriano would see a lot more junk pitches and probably swing at too much outside the zone (if its even possible to swing outside the zone more than he has been).

In the lead-off spot, he will see more fastballs...and pitchers will be less likely to pitch around him.

it's dated May 11th, but he took a walk May 10th...must have wrote it up before that game.

He also walked Sat and Sunday...up to 6 on the year. His walk rate is around the same as it was before 2006, which is not good. Guess it really was a function of the cruddy Nationals that helped him last year.

He keeps that up over the next 8 years and it'll be one of the worst contracts ever.

http://wrigleyville23.blogspot.com/2007/05/ro...

from Jimmy Rollins on Ted Lilly..
"He had nothing special. His fastball topped out at 88. He was leaving pitches over the plate, but we took the fastballs down the middle, and we swung at the ones a little up, and he had his curveball working."

I love this (new?) tradition of criticizing/downplaying a player/team who just beat you.

ROB G: I read this early this AM (when you were asleep, probably) and I laughed. It reminds me of when I play golf and I say, "I should have had a 75, except I 3-putted 10 greens." Well - I DID 3-putt, and it meant I couldn't read the greens, or, more probably, just was plain bad.

That reminds me of the golfers who exclaim loud disappointment after every shot. Like he USUALLY makes those shots, but today he's off. You can do it once or twice, but if every shot is a disappointment, well, then you're just plain bad.

let me paraphrase that for you rob:

jimmy rollins: "we really sucked against ted lilly. but I refuse to give him credit, so I will say that lilly sucks, but we suck more."

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6809890

old news around here, but Rosenthal talking about Theriot scrapping switch-hitting a few years ago.

"I love this (new?) tradition of criticizing/downplaying a player/team who just beat you."

More like OWNED them. Only one hit (which should have been an out) through 7. Oh yeah, Jimmy Rollins, ye of the 30-some odd game hitting streak, Lilly sucked. It was all you.

pwned

In the near future?

2b Eric Patterson
ss Ryan Theriot
1b DLee
3b Aramis
lf Soriano
Rf Murton
Cf Jack Jones/Pagan platoon
C Barrett

I dont claim to be a smart man. But that looks decent to me.

if by near future you mean next year, might as well do it right.

E-Pat
Theriot
Lee
Aramis
Soriano
Murton (I forget when Floyd's option kicks in but he may still be here)
Barrett or some other catcher
Pie

Speaking of pwned, did you guy read up (or see on Baseball Tonight like I did) about the kid from Toronto, Shaun Marcum?

He throwing a no hitter through 6 innings and gets yanked cause he's thrown 78 pitches. I guess he's a reliever and this was a spot start (Roy Halladay?). So since he's a reliever and his arm isn't 'stretched out' enough they pull him. Now, here's the best part, this was his first start of the season but his 14th appearance and he stared 14 games last season. But they pull him. I would never talk to my manager ever again.

But here's the kicker, and you will all love this:

I saw this all on Baseball Tonight and as you all know, Dusty Baker is a commentator. Well, I was only half paying attention so I am pretty sure Dusty said the following:

"Well since he's a reliever and he's up to 78 pitches that's the right move" THIS IS NOT AN EXACT QUOTE

Dusty Baker the Pitch Count Policeman? Who knew?

Yea... I was thinking of the same thing as Rob - where is Pie?

That does look like a really exciting lineup if it comes true!

Lets hope that Soriano moves to Right next year so Murton can play left.

and I would guess that would mean a DeRosa injury or pure suck by him during spring training, otherwise E-Pat might do the Felix Pie shuffle between AAA and the majors next year trying to find him spots.

Murton (I forget when Floyd’s option kicks in but he may still be here)
.........................................................................

550 at bats and it becomes guaranteed. 450 and it becomes a player option. Less than that and its a team option. I would relegate him to PH duty if it were me. Deal can be for something in the neighborhood of 9 mil per year if he meets all his incentives.

DeRosa has been a bench player most of his career. His versatility is probably his best asset. He can get 250 at bats on the bench in years 2 and 3 of his deal. EPatt will bring a whole lot more to the table than DeRosa IMHO.

Sorry to the ladies that read our site, but have to play to our predominantly male audience

Mark Kotsay's wife is smoking hot...
http://umpbump.com/press/hbw-in-search-of-the...

I didnt really mean next year with that above lineup. EPatt is absolutely raking at Iowa. If the bat stays hot, I bring him up. He is already on the 40 man.

Re #100:

For a mortal man like you or me, she' VGL but for a ballplayers wife, meh.

Not even in Anna Benson's league.

no he's not and it's still about 2 months in AAA, the first month of which he sucked this year.

we obviously have different tastes Chad....

I think we need to commend Rob G on his constant vigilence trying to bring important content to this comment thread. His insight is greatly appreciated. I actually think the blond on the right in the bottom 2 pictures is even better... I wonder who she is...

Dude actually has a tag for "Hot Baseball Wives" on his site.

I guess the number on her jersey would indicate that she is possibly Eric Chavez's wife... Lucky guy...

I bet this guy could have gotten to the "bottom" of that whole caper about the USC cheerleader not wearing underwear at the Michigan-USC game...

Deadspin already has...

http://deadspin.com/sports/notag/perhaps-now-...

well actually someone at michigan sports center.com but whatever..

God bless High Definition TV... Clearly, this is what it was intended for.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070...

on the Cubs catcher of the future Matt Wieters.

"I know that the Chicago Cubs like him a lot," Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said.

Wieters hitting 376/498/639 on the year with 10 hr/56 rbi's/46 BB's/31 K's in 194 AB's

hope Boras scares the hell out of Tampa and KC. Although Tampa will probably take David Price anyway.

check out Luke Hochevar's ears in the upper right of that link, holy Dumbo!!!

EPatt is absolutely raking at Iowa. If the bat stays hot, I bring him up. He is already on the 40 man.

E Patt didn't do much raking in AA. He hit .259 in 471 at bats. That didn't stop the Cubs from pushing him up to AAA though (and pushing Fontenot off of 2nd base), and now you're ready to complete the Corey Patt treatment by rushing him up to the majors.

cwtp... you are just jealous because e-patt has a much higher upside than your man-crush fontenot.

Marquis has been particularly nasty vs lefties so far this year which is good news when you face the Mets.

167/268/250 in 72 AB's against

Chad:
"Manny NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…..

There is no such thing as clutch. Haven’t you been programmed yet?"

I thought f you once I hit post...:)

E. Patterson is not on the current 40-man roster. He was a non-roster invitee to ST.

cwtp… you are just jealous because e-patt has a much higher upside than your man-crush fontenot.

I think it's hilarious the way people didn't want to bring up Felix Pie because the Cubs brought Corey Patt up too fast. (Steve Stone was the latest to bloviate on that.) But they're ready to bring up E Patt after less than 200 AAA at bats.

For what it's worth, Pie has double the minor league experience E Patt has.

And he's hitting .465
And he's a defensive + , not a liability
And he's actually more versatile.

Same goes for Fontenot minus .100 points of batting average

My fault, EPatt isnt on the 40 man. I should have looked that up.

Fontenot is a defensive plus?

I think Fontenot should be up. Especially if an extra IFer is needed. He would be a perfect lead-off an inning PHer. Unfortunately this roster has a big numbers crunch on it. 12 pitchers leave only 5 bench players.

Blanco
Floyd
Ward
Izturis

Are musts. Jack Jones cant hit lefties a lick. So Pagan becomes a must in a platoon role. When/if Floyd gets hurt. Fontenot should absolutely be the call-up.

From Baseball Prospectus's article on hot prospects:

-- THIS IS A SAMPLE --

Eric Patterson, 2B, Triple-A Iowa (Cubs)

Patterson is the Cubs' second baseman of the future, no question about that, but the future seems to be coming a little quickly of late. On May 2, Patterson went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hit role to lower his season average to .240/.293/.333, hardly the kind of performance that gets any attention from those in charge at Clark and Addison. Since then, his bat has been one of the hottest in the minor leagues. Over the weekend, Patterson went 7-for-12 in three games, going deep in all three contests, and continuing a 10-game run in which he's gone 22-for-43 (.512). In just a week and a half, he's at .339/.389/.517, and that eighth-round flyer the Cubs took on him three years ago is looking brilliant.

-- SAMPLE OVER --

Of course, subscribe to Baseball Prospectus if you want to read the rest of the article.

glad Fontenot is being allowed to play some different positions, but 20 or so games at SS he's played so far aren't enough to warrant getting rid of Izturis quite yet.

Team is certainly not going to 11 pitchers anytime soon either.

But if an injury hits the middle infield he'd be the first I'd call up, although it's more likely to be Cedeno (sigh).

If Floyd gets hurts, Pie gets called up.

BTW, why is the blog on MST?

a week and a half hot streak is even more reason to keep E-pat down until we get some more consistency out of him.

BTW, why is the blog on MST?

Mystery Science Theater?

I honestly have no idea what MST means...

Mountain Standard Time.

haha, okay well I knew that I guess, just didn't know what you were referring to...

Where are any time stamps on the blog though? I just see the date in the byline.

Great to see Pie go down to Iowa, keep his head up and play some great ball.

It says a lot for the kid that he didn't sulk and didn't play poorly, as many players do. Hill and Wuertz are two players who went down, performed brilliantly at Iowa, came back up and have performed very well.

If Pie starts hitting for some power, it would be hard to believe the Cubs wouldn't want his defense and speed in the OF.

I am looking for either an OF injury, which would clear up the OF picture, or a trade in June to give Felix his chance to stick... I hope hat he gets at least another two weeks in AAA. We'll see how consistent he is at that point...

They're in the comments, when you're using the permalink to comment.

oh yeah, look at that, I need to stop putting vodka in my morning coffee.

So wait, if I live in the Cubs market (somewhere in a central Indiana cornfield) but not in Chicago, is tonight blacked out for me?

the ESPN feed might be....

Rob G. — May 14, 2007 @ 3:32 pm
Fontenot is a defensive plus?

Thanks for admitting you don't know.

Huh?

Great to see Pie go down to Iowa, keep his head up and play some great ball.

It says a lot for the kid that he didn’t sulk and didn’t play poorly, as many players do

Like our two Angels did.

Oh wait, their lousy play at Iowa got them called back up.

Rob G. — May 14, 2007 @ 4:14 pm
Huh?

You misspelled duh.

No idea what you're trying to get at here cwtp, as usual.

Derek Lee sent back to Chicago for tests on his "stiff" neck?

Great.

Trib article indicates Sori will bat 3rd in his place. Interesting.

new thread up...

GREAT news, Chris. I mean, it's bad that Lee is down, but Soriano hitting 3rd = good.

before we start annointing Epat the 2nd baseman of the future, I think the question of his defense needs to be brought up. Last time I checked that was about a week and a half ago and his F% was in the .95ish range. Also whats with the Fontenot love around here, he is just a poor man's version of Todd Walker who just happens to be unemployed at the moment.

Good scoop, Chris.
Theriot leading off, DeRosa playing first, Soriano hitting third.... I just hope D. Lee is back tomorrow...

epat is a pretty cruddy looking 2nd baseman right now unfortunately.

he's rushed in the organization for his skills there...pie's the heir to CF...epat dont have the arm for RF (or SS)...

still, he's a guy you stick there cuz that's where you want him in the bigs and he's not blocking anyone (no, he's not blocking fontenot).

where he'll land..who knows...not looking so slick at 2nd, though.

derosa playing 1st?

that's a waste. and um...he's kinda short for 1st...more athletic than ward fwiw...

I've been wondering about E-Pat for a while. I see his stats, but didn't know how that translated into major league readiness.

It seems like he might be ready next year at the earliest. For people who follow minor league stuff, does that seem accurate?

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