TCR Friday Notes
...the triumphant return.
- Fun with projections: At their current .642 winning percentage, the Cubs would win 104 games. They have played a considerable amount of extra home games though to this point, so if you use their current .784 home winning percentage and their current .467 road winning percentage, that comes out to (roughly) 63 home wins and 37 on the road for a total of 100 wins. If they "tank" the rest of the way and just play .500 ball, they'd still be good for 90 wins on the year. This would also be a good time to note though that the highest home win total since 2002 is 57 wins done by the 2003 A's and Giants and the 2004 Yankees.
- Pitch F/X is now keeping track of time between pitches for each individual pitcher and The Hardball Times did a brief study wondering if fast-working pitchers do indeed help their defense stay sharp. For the Cubs in 2008, Jon Lieber is the quickest at an average of 17.8 seconds between pitches and Bob Howry the slowest at 26.8. And although the PITCH F/X times likely have different starting and end times, it's interesting to note that the MLB rules state that a pitcher is suppose to only have 12 seconds to deliver the ball once he gets it back from the catcher and the batter is in the box. It's also interesting to note that Steve Trachsel is not the slowest pitcher in the league...that honor goes to Indians reliever Rafael Betancourt.
- Eric Patterson's call-up was a bit of a surprise due to to Soriano's injury, not only to Cubs fans, but Patterson himself. Unfortunately he found himself scrambling for a passport so he could fly to Toronto with the team. They flew out yesterday, so I assume all is fine, otherwise you'd have to expect a roster move and an unfortunate demotion for Patterson.
- Zambrano was actually moved up a day in the rotation with the off-day on Monday. Does anyone else think Lou did it keep Z's bat in the lineup with the Cubs going on the road for two inter-league series?
- Supplemental first-round pick Ryan Flaherty will be sticking at shortstop for the time being and signing his contract when he arrives in Arizona. On the other hand, fourth round pick Matt Cerda, a shortstop out of Oceanside High School in California, will be moving to catcher immediately.
- Some fun you may have missed this week on TCR and around the web.
- Cubnut tempting fate
- Dr. Hecht with the most thorough breakdown of Soriano's injury that you'll find on the web.
- Cubnut's excellent piece comparing the Reds bullpen trio of 1990 and the Cubs current pen.
- The horror that is komodo dragons
- Like 90% of the male population, Rick Sutcliffe is smitten with Erin Andrews
- A post-mortem Mark Prior update
- Arizona Phil checks in on the fresh meat from the latest Cubs draft.
- Fun with photo captions
Enjoy the weekend!!!
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.