Guess the Pitchers
Time to play a little game of who would you rather have on your team....your three contestants.
Everyone should be pointing to Player B, right? Let's add some columns though...
Just a friendly reminder on BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), where BABIP should usually settle in the .290 to .310 range for a pitcher, so if a pitcher is below it, don't be suprised when it goes up along with all his other numbers and if he' s above it, dont' be suprised if it goes down. Knuckleballers and change-up specialists are the exception to that rule. FIP is a similar concept, in it's basically the ERA for a pitcher on what they are ultimately responsible for....walks, strikeouts, hit by pitch and home runs, essentially factoring out defense and lady luck.
The additional columns make the argument a lot more interesting and it's pretty clear that Player A was considerably unlucky last season and you can say that for his entire injury-plagued career.
But the Cubs, in their quest to improve on a 2008 ballclub have decided they're gonna run with Players B & C, which is pretty clearly going to be an inferior product. And if there's anyone still trying to figure it out, your players are Kerry Wood (A), Carlos Marmol (B) and Kevin Gregg (C).
Sure, the Cubs are up against it budget-wise, but there's a lot of creativity that could have gotten them to fit Kerry Wood's salary into their budget. The cost of Kerry Wood and Jose Ceda wouldn't be considerably more than the potential costs of Kevin Gregg (expected to make $4M), Michael Wuertz (around $1M), Chad Gaudin (around $2 M), and Neal Cotts ($1 M). And if you really think any of those last three are essential to the Cubs, which I don't, there's probably a few more ways to hack $5-6M if the Cubs are really that desperate (I'm looking at you Jason Marquis).
Yes, Kerry Wood is an injury-risk, moreso than most pitchers and yes, it's generally unwise to throw 9-10MM at a bullpen arm, but it's also unwise to knowingly go into a season trying to win a World Series with lesser talent, which is exactly what the Cubs are preparing to do.
Is some of this bias towards one of my favorite Cubs players? Maybe, I mean I don't know how you can completely remove that from your sub-conscious. On the other hand, I don't care either. It's not like Kerry Wood is in the Mark Grace stage of his career, he's still one of the best pitchers around, even in a different role. A helluva a lot better than Kevin Gregg will be next season. The ship has probably sailed on Wood pitching for the Cubs in 2009, but there's still that small sliver of hope that the new ownership group gets named rather quickly and rides in on their white horse with a new contract for Kerry Wood.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.
Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.
2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.
Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.
Contreras keeps hitting/walking like this, and Miggy keep up the poor D and lack of offense - the kid could be the #1 catcher very soon.
it doesn't hurt that the Cardinals lose the KC and the Pirates lost too.
...still trying to process what I just saw. From both KB and Jake. Walking Billy Hamilton twice is a cry for help. I think the nudie photos are messing with Jake's head.
Hopefully Peralta's time on the Cubs roster will be shorter than R. Soriano's.
it took 9 pitches for peralta to give up his 1st cubs homer. neat.