TCR Tuesday Notes

Just a few things that have been lying in my "in" box...

- Updating the August Player of the Month race, DeRosa and Ramirez didn't do much to help themselves this weekend. Ramirez did end up with the most RBI's in August, but his .975 OPS for the month is good for only 16th out of players with at least 50 PA's. DeRosa ended up 5th in OPS, 2nd in Runs Scored and 3rd in extra-base hits. Manny Ramirez had the highest OPS and his .415 BA along with 9 home runs(tied for 2nd) is going to look appealing as will Ty Wigginton's 12 HR's(1st), 26 RBI's(2nd) and 19 XBH's (1st).

- Fred Mitchell teases Cubs fans that Geovany Soto could have been an Orioles as part of the Sammy Sosa trade back in 2005.

- For those worried about the Cubs collapsing in September, don't forget Lou does his best work in September. The numbers in that article don't account for 2007, where the Cubs were 17-12. 

- Alex Eisenberg, who runs things at Baseball Intellect, does some video breakdowns of 2008 draftees at The Hardball Times. Here's Andrew Cashner's and Ryan Flaherty's videos. 


Maybe that will help keep the Chicken Littles from screeching about "the sky is falling" scenarios - it never fails, just a few losses and they all come out of the woodwork:


I don't like the articles on much, but check out the one on Koyie Hill and his encounter with a saw:

A little gruesome. Particularly this tidbit:

"When his playing days are over, Hill will likely have at least two of the fingers removed"

Ugh. It's strange that after this, he had a career year.

yeah, covered this awhile ago and it was linked in the comments fwiw. Guess now that Koyie is back in the majors, Carrie decided to cover it.


Rip it off, not cover it.

In fairness to Carrie, EVERYONE did this story over the last day or so. Hill was doing interviews all pre-game Tuesday for TV as well.

Good news: The Cubs' best hitter returns to the lineup tonight.
Bad News: He will likely bat 9th.

Didn't you get the memo? Batting 9th for the Cubs is now the 2nd cleanup spot.

So when does Koyie Hill get to play?

I can't wait for out pitchers to add 5 mph to their fastballs.

This comment has been posted so often lately that I have to ask exactly how it originated. Is it merely a mocking response to some fans'/analysts' arguments that infielders throw harder to a strong defensive first baseman (because they just let it fly and are less worried about being wild), or did someone at some point actually argue that the same would be true of a pitcher throwing to Koyie Hill? I'm not sure if I ever read the comments where this started or picked it up after it was well on its way to an independent being.

one reader/commenter had a theory that Koyie Hill called more fastballs than most of our catchers last year and because of his calling more fastballs pitchers velocity would increase up to 5 mph.

I knew last year that Dempster had a good fastball--which we all know today--and wondered why he didn't throw it more. I noticed that Dempster got better, and faster, in the month when K. Hill did a lot of the catching.

It's certainly a pattern on Rothschild's staff that relievers overdo it with their offspeed stuff. That's why Kasper and Brenly have come up with phrases like slider-mania and slider-happy in reference to Marmol.

Sometimes a catcher can help when the pitching coach can't or won't.

The change didn't happen at the break. Marmol and catcher Geovany Soto actually began talking about mixing in more fastballs before the break because it seemed as if hitters had figured out the right-hander's slider.

"He's been pitching real good with his fastball," Soto said. "Before the first half ended, he was using the slider a little more, and teams were starting to hit him a little bit. Now he uses his fastball more. He's got two pitches instead of one.

I don't know about a love-fest but I liked Hill for the same reason the Cubs do, the way he handles pitchers, i.e., the way he calls a game. There was more at issue at catcher before Soto came along.


I'd overdo it with my offspeed stuff too if it was unhittable.

I think this is where it got started:

Wes says:

June 20th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

CERA clearly has everything to do with how well the catcher plays and absolutely nothing to do with how a pitcher pitches from start to start and what teams he faces when Catcher A is behind the plate as opposed to Catcher B.

For instance, Z’s 4 or 5 mph increase in velocity, ability to add, subtract, and, in general, control the 4 seamer has everything to do with Koyie Hill being behind the plate as opposed to Barrett.

Duh. Silly dave. You should know better by now.

Ummm... no.

It started before that, when VA Phil seriously suggested that pitchers throwing to Koyie Hill actually throw 5 mph harder than they do when throwing to other catchers.

Yeah, Wes's comment was clearly in a sarcastic tone.

what Big Low said...

it was a VA Phil's lovefest of Koyie Hill that started that Internet meme.


I'm sure you're right but where did Virginia Phil posit that Hill increases the speed on pitchers' fastballs? Chat?

At any rate, here's the thread I quoted from and failed to link

I believe that it started here.

UDPATE: Heh... those were also the Silent Towel days. Those were fun...

That whole thread is pretty funny.

All that actually clears up quite a bit. I did miss the original posts and henceforth have not been getting the joke (in its entirety, at least).

Yeah, they're right. It was a VA Phil thing. I believe that particular comment from me was in reference to him claiming that Z added that velocity simply due to the loss of Barrett.

I think the 'Hill stands up like a pitch out and calls for a high fastball' thing bothered me the most, because Barrett had been doing it for about 18 months at that point.

At one point it was that pitchers were afraid to throw Barrett breaking balls, and then it was he didn't call enough fastballs. Sort of the reverst effect of winning gold gloves because you're a good hitter.

For the record, the radar gun in Houston is the 'hottest' I've ever seen. Farnsworth and Dotel used to trade innings where they never dropped below 99.

I said it in that thread and I'll say it again. The concept of how a radar gun reads speed seems very elementary. I don't understand why so many can be so different.

Aren't some setup to take the speed out of the pitcher's hand (fast ones) and some as it approaches the catcher's mitt? I think the big league ones like to read fast so the fans can go 'ooh', too.

There's an equivalent in another sport that's eluding me right now to this... it's not wrestler's heights and weights either... though I remember duing the WWF hay days, they used to say Hulgan was 7' tall and weighed 300 lbs.

RYAN FLAHERTY!!!!!11 OMG overdraft.

With Koyie Hill's finger surgery and subsequent stiffness, it's probably hard for the pitcher to tell if he's calling for a fastball, slider, curve or changeup. Since the signs all look the same the pitcher thinks, aw hell, must be calling for the now he's getting 7 mph more on the average compared to the other catchers.

no wonder the I-Cubs had such a sensational season...legendary stuff methinks.

got in one game this weekend as Daytona tried to hold off Jupiter to win the 2nd half in the FSL. Went 2.2 IP, walked 4, struck out one and gave up 4 earned runs.

Daytona ended up clinching on Sunday with a 9-2 win, a game that was suspended Saturday due to rain.

Soto:9 XBH's, 1.010 OPS, 21 RBI's, 3 HR, 17 R

Dickerson: 13 XBH's, 1.072 OPS, 10 RBI's, 4 HR, 14 R

Stewart: 12 XBH's, .939 OPS, 20 RBI's, 5 HR, 18 R

A few pitchers to consider as well I guess

Samardzija had 14.1 IP, 13 K's and 0 ER.

Johnny Cueto had a 2.66 ERA as well.

How many months has Soto won ROM?

just April...

they have B. DeWitt and A. Laffey in the wrong leagues for May.

Recent comments

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  • Cubs go home 1-1, with Arrieta starting game 3, I like our chances in this series. Tomorrow's pitching matchup is lousy on paper, so today is obviously crucial.

    Will be fun to watch. My two keys are scoring early, and keeping Lester's pitch count below 15 per inning.

  • Hopefully Der Kaiser won't be doing this until December

  • So, yes, I have been quoting your, "mediocre pitcher" label all year in jest - good or bad.

    He has been pretty filthy against the Cards, and this is the game they need to "steal".

    I am hoping against hope that Pedro Strop only sees the mound if the Cubs are up 8 in a game.

  • I've been pretty harsh with Lester here at various times but that's how it is when you pull in that kind of money, and besides, it's not like he reads my posts or would care what I have to say if he did read them for some reason. If I was him, the first thing out of my mouth would be, what level have you played this game at, pal?

    Anyway, he's really looked good lately, and overall his body of work turned out pretty good, too. I'm glad his worst struggles were in April. This is such an easy team to like that I even like the overpaid free agent.

  • Gordo's lede today:

    ST. LOUIS – Whether it’s a year early or right on time, Jon Lester’s $155 million moment arrives just after 5:45 p.m. Friday.

  • *checks pulse*

    *checks pulse again*


  • Who are you? Andy Rooney?

  • K-DUB: I get a chance to see the other MLB clubs Player Development operations out here and I have talked to scouts and other baseball people about it, and I can tell you that the Cubs Player Development program has gone from being almost a joke to one of THE best. 

  • how did ej martinez go from asking for $10m, to supposedly mulling over $7m offers, to eventually signing for $3m?

    ...and what happened with him and the giants a few days ago?

  • Its not official until AZ Phil adds him to the Cubs Depth Chart!

  • Just freakin love it!

  • From Keith Law:

  • This from a Kiley McDaniel chat a couple weeks ago...

    "Comment From Wrenzie
    Who has more ceiling between Yusniel Diaz or Eddy Julio Martinez?

    Kiley McDaniel: Martinez. I have Eddy (20 years old) as a 65 runner with a 55 arm and 50 raw power that profiles as an everyday CF that could be above average depending on if the bat is a 45 or a 55. I have Yusniel (19) as a 60 runner with a 55 arm and 40 raw power that can be an everyday guy if he hits enough (50 or 55)."

  • "Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
    Arizona Phil 7 hours 23 min ago"

  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.