Soto, Samardzija Up For Rookie of the Month
It looks like I'm four months late on this, but it appears that Rookie of the Month honors in the MLB is voted by the fans. The Cubs have two nominees, Geovany Soto and Jeff Samardzija and they'll go up against Cardinals reliever Chris Perez and Rockies third basemen Ian Stewart. Soto is looking for his second win of the year and voting runs through Monday.
Samardzija provided a bullpen boost for the first-place Cubs. In 14 1/3 innings, he was 1-0 and didn't allow a run. Samardzija had 13 strikeouts during the month. Soto won rookie honors in April and has continued to be a firm offensive and defensive presence for a Chicago team that has taken charge of the NL Central. Soto hit .355 in August with five doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs. Soto drew 13 walks and scored 17 runs while handling himself well behind the plate and providing a level of comfort for the Chicago pitching staff.
A look at Geovany Soto's year compared to other Cubs catchers of years past after the jump...
I looked up the EqA (Equivalent Average) via Baseball Prospectus (adjusted for all-time) of some of our catchers over the years. Top Season as a Cub (with a decent number of AB's for that season) followed by career average:
Gabby Hartnett -.333/.292
Rick Wilkins - .314/.262
Geovany Soto - .297/.297 (not counting his 2007 season for top honors)
Michael Barrett - .292/.250
Bob O'Farrell - .290/.257
Jody Davis - .274/.251
Randy Hundley - .268/.233
if you want to try and adjust for defense, let's take a look at their season using BP's WARP-3 (Wins Above Replacement Adjusted for All-Time) stat.
Gabby Hartnett (1935) - 9.7
Rick Wilkins (1993) - 9.5
Johnny Kling (1903) - 8.7
Geovany Soto (2008) - 8.6 (so far this year)
Bob O'Farrell (1922) - 8.1
Randy Hundley (1969) - 6.5
Jody Davis (1986) - 6.5
Michael Barrett (2004) - 5.3
Back to just the bat, the list of top Cubs catchers sorted by OPS+ (with at least 450 PA's), a list dominated by Gabby Hartnett. Soto's 2008 is currently 7th on the list.
- Hartnett (1935) - 151
- Wilkins (1993) - 150
- Hartnett (1930) - 144
- Hartnett (1928) - 142
- O'Farrell (1923) - 131
- Hartnett (1934) - 129
- Soto (2008) - 126
- O' Farrell (1922) - 126
- Kling (1908) - 119
- Kling (1903) - 118
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
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.