Cubs Win All Important Simulated 2009 NL Central Crown

Baseball Prospectus updated their team depth chart with new PECOTA information and the Cubs are hands down the class of the simulated National League Central. The Cubs come out with 96 wins and an easy division crown with the Brewers being their closest competition at 83 wins. That's also the best record in the NL and second best in the league behind the 98 imaginary wins that Boston has under their belt.

Replacement Level Yankees blog ran some of their own predictions using The Hardball Times  projections back in early January and came up with 91.5 wins for the Cubs. That half win is going to be tough.

It's probably a good time to point out that PECOTA had the Indians winning 92 games last year and Tigers 90, although it did predict the Rays for 90 wins to its credit. I can't seem to find the full 2008 NL Predictions, but it did land the top two spots in the NL Central last year and had 89 wins for the Cubs. I believe it nailed two division winners (Angels and Cubs) and four playoff teams (had Dodgers and Red Sox as the wild card) overall in 2008.

So congrats to the 2009 Cubs - NL Paper Champions!


UPDATE: It appears the Brewers are going to sign Braden Looper which should throw the whole PECOTA system off its axis(/dripping sarcasm). Also, Rosenthal says Rich Aurilia took a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants and the article is worded to indicate that he may have had a similar offer by the Cubs and Phillies.

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Comments

With Wood and Prior no longer in the organization, who is going to pitch all those simulated games?

Rich Harden and Angel Guzman will pick up the slack.

Dude, how many times did Cubfan have to go over this, half games are real!!!!!

Last year the Brewers won a shitload of half games, and then their bullpen lost the second half of those games.

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.ns...

The Cardinals release 2B Adam Kennedy.

Rotoworld suggests that the Cards may sign Grudzie.

Two thoughts occur to me:

1. I hope Hendry doesn't sign Kennedy to be another backup infielder--I know he's left-handed, but he'd also be yet ANOTHER second baseman.

2. Orlando Hudson makes sense for the Cards, no? I'm guessing they just don't have the cash for him. Or do they have some prospect that is a year away?

LEFT HANDEDNESS 4-EVER!!!!!!!

We could sign Adam Kennedy, and field a lineup of:
C:Paul Bako
1B:Micah Hoffpauir
2B:Adam Kennedy
SS:Mike Fontenot
3b:Aaron Miles
LF:Carlos Zambrano
CF:Joey Gathright
RF:Kosuke Fukudome

I know Z is a long shot...but just think of the runs that could be scored with that juggernaut of lefties!!!! PECOTA would explode, and the planet would spin off it axis...

I'm sure defensively in LF Z would be about as solid as Dunn, and Dunn is a position player. I think Z would out slug him though.

CF Sam Fuld
RF Kosuke Fukudome
3B Mike Fontenot
1B Micah Hoffpauir
LF Carlos Zambrano
SS Aaron Miles
2B Adam Kennedy
C Gabor Bako
P Ted Lilly

vs.

Starting pitcher, Braden Looper.

I wonder which park in the majors benefits left-handed hitters the most. 'Cause that's where the game should take place.

I think I missed something because all of the "lefty" lineups don't include Bradley. Is that because he's a switch hitter?

I forgot him in the midst of acting like an idiot. But, to be fair, he really only makes the lineup look more legitimate.

If I'm trying not to be a complete moron (actually this is still pretty ridiculous, irrelevant, and moronic):

CF Fuld
3B Fontenot
RF Milton Bradley
1B Micah Hoffpauir
P Carlos Zambrano
RF Kosuke Fukudome
C Koyie Hill
SS Aaron Miles
2B Adam Kennedy

Wow. I can't believe I posted twice on this subject, and that both posts were lineups.

If anyone needs me, I'll be out looking for a life. Call the cell.

Redacted.

Is there something about the "lefthandedness" that requires two right fielders?

ARod confesses his sins to Father P. Gammons

"It's been a rough 15 months here for me," Rodriguez said. "I was stupid for three years. I was very, very stupid."

He also said: "The more honest we can all be, the quicker we can get baseball [back] to where it needs to be."

Rodriguez said he stopped taking substances after injuring himself at spring training in 2003 with the Rangers.

"It wasn't a real dramatic day. I started experimenting with things that, today, are not legal," he said, "that today are not accepted ... ever since that incident happened, I realized that I don't need any of it."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3894847

Peter Gammons' interview with ARod coming up imminently (i.e. any minute now) on ESPN 1000 (WMVP).

...and Bruce Levine at 25 minutes past the hour.

Chadball Public Relations Consulting disapproves of this tactic.....

Rule 1 at CPRC...

1. Deny till you die

Is Chad Ari Gold?

Greetings.

Just returned from cruise of Bahamas.

On Saturday night we arrived in Nassau and took a cab to Atlantis resort.

We walked around their aquarium, amazing. On par if not exceeds Shedd Aquarium.

My wife and I decided to check out casino and we walked by the blackjack tables and lo and behold...A Rod.

My wife spotted him first at the $100 table. He was sitting with a brunette and a blonde with two casino security guards standing by him. The girls were not that hot, imo.

No one approached him while he was playing but being a dick that I think he was, was proven as he was text messaging while he was playing.

It was surreal as behind him on the bar TV's was ESPN which was showing Arod steroid coverage.

Then the tension broke as Dave Wannstedt walked by and we all laughed at him.

Good to be back, lets play ball.

I was at a basketball camp and Michael Jordan came to watch his son's games (Jeffery and Marcus were roughly in 9th and 7th grade respectively). He sat on the bleechers all by himself. No one walked up to him, no one said "hello Mr. Jordan" everyone just let him sit there and enjoy basketball. And this is a camp full of 7th-12th graders who love basketball and most likely grew up idolizing this man.

I imagined AROD to be a complete dick, and now I have semi-proof.

No one approached him while he was playing but being a dick that I think he was, was proven as he was text messaging while he was playing.

I am not quite sure what this sentence actually says, but how does texting make him a dick?

In many casinos, it's generally poor taste to use your phone or PDA or whatever while you're at the table. Kind of a rude thing to do. I've seen people get REALLY offended.

A lot of casinos even outlaw phones at the table all together. You have to leave the table to use your phone.

And he's playing at the $100 hand table. And he doesn't even care enough to pay attention to whats going on, his phone is more important. Just comes off as "i could care less"

"Bringing Down the House"...and whatever the movie that was made that was based on that. Or maybe I have the book and movie reversed, eh.

Its not the rude part as much as the cheating part. The inventive things that someone can do in a casino with texting isn't really something casinos enjoy. That being said, I don't think they expected A-Roid to be cheating for a few hundred bucks. Its not like he was there to play baseball.

He was the only one at the table? Who fucking cares? Next you guys will be bitching about him being at the movies and eating popcorn with his left hand.

mlb network adding a confessional booth on their set as we speak, wooden sliding door made of maple.

"wooden sliding door made of maple."

Maple door -- nice touch! Just make sure you don't close it too hard or it might shatter....

Was it able to project any of the following:

games played for Milton Bradley?
starts for Rich Harden?
double plays for Derrek Lee?
360 degree strikeouts for Kosuke Fukudome?
bunts for a hit by our leadoff hitter?

I was also curious the other day. Do you think the Yanks will ever use CC as a DH on his off days, or at least take the bat out of the hands of another fielder when he starts?

I have to pony up my subscription fee again, but it should have games played for MB and starts for Harden. I'm sure someone here has that info...

Rob, I think it's ridiculous that you pay any of your subscription fees. You should at least get those things covered for putting so much effort into running this blog for us. If you put up the "Donate" button and tell us your subscription costs, I can at least do my part to cover your baseball related costs for the year and I would hope some others would as well. You shouldn't have to pay for that stuff for all of the work you put in over here.

aw thanks whipple, I think I can swing it though. I don't see the need for the BP subscription other than March/April to be honest and maybe July, so I just pick and choose my months.

I might get in on the Bill James goldmine this year, seems cheap enough and has some stats supposedly that could be useful.

Thanks for the offer though, I'll keep it in mind.

BP, ESPN, MLB.TV, etc. If it's baseball related and it costs you money, you shouldn't be paying for it. I hope you reconsider and put the "Donate" button up.

I agree with Whipple - was actually thinking about donating (the equivalent of a modest annual magazine subscription) before this discussion to acknowledge all the hard work that RobG, AZPhil, Cubster, et al put in to my Cubs news product of choice.

RobG/TCR Staff: Fwiw, you have my (and Whipple's) support to...
Let us readers know (in a way you think is appropriate) what you need to make the site the success that it is - we can make it our little fundraiser for the year. Your personal use of any of those types of resources should be part of what little perks you get for spending all the time you do, not the other way around.

Yeah, I'm with Mr Whip, Rob. You shouldn't have to pay any of that stuff.

Rob I think you should pay for all of it and not get any help from anyone...

I'd be willing to toss a few bucks your way. I mean TCR has given me numerous hours of entertainment it's worth it.

On further consideration, I say Rob should pay us for enticing us with content that degrades our productivity. I put my lost earnings at about $314,728.42.

I think Rob is the reason for the recession.

rotoworld says he's being brought back for another exam...

Joey Gathright volunteers to play LF (on Charlie's team)

two RF's, who's batting Babe Ruth?

Adam Kennedy? Geez, Ray Durham wants in.

Oopsie. That's what happens when I don't take what I'm doing even a little bit seriously and honestly can't say why I felt compelled to post.

For what it's worth, I could see making an argument for Ray Durham on the Cubs much more so than Adam Kennedy.

MLBTR link says Griffey Jr. thinks he'll have a job by next week...

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/feb/08...

“I tried to fight through being hurt,” Prior said. “I tried making starts when I was hurting; it was a helpless feeling.”

In April 2007, famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews performed arthroscopic surgery on Prior's right shoulder – completing three procedures in one operation, including the repair of a 180-degree tear of the labrum and a split in the capsule.

“None of the three parts of the surgery were new,” Prior said last year. “But Dr. Andrews said it was the first time they had all been packaged in one operation.”

from Rob's link:
Last year, Prior was days away from facing hitters in his first bid with the Padres when he felt a sharp pain in his surgically repaired shoulder, “like I had been stabbed.”

On June 4, Prior underwent his second round of surgery in just more than 13 months. A second straight season had been wiped off the books.
------
Remember he's had two shoulder surgeries. The 2nd was done in SD (San Diego by team physicians Heinz Hoenecke and Jan Fronek) for what sounded like a tear of the subscapularis or at least the capsule near where that tendon inserts. When so many combined things go wrong and get repaired, it gets tough to figure whether something new happened or whether things healed a bit too tight. Not in blame mode, just there are subtle degrees that make a pitchers' normal anatomy different than Ike Ironworker.

Prior's 2nd surgery:
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080601&c...

Subscapularis muscle pic:
http://www.eorthopod.com/images/ContentImages/shou...

completing three procedures in one operation, including the repair of a 180-degree tear of the labrum and a split in the capsule.
------
I seem to remember Will Carroll talking just about a capsular shift to tighten up a loose shoulder and not much about a severe labrum tear (180 degrees usually means a repair with multiple anchors from 12'oclock to 6.). Not sure what the 3rd procedure was...maybe a rotator cuff partial tear debridement?

Rotoworld has a blurb with a quote from Ed Wade saying if they had the $$, it would go to starting pitching...

okay!

make me!

I was going to, but you first insisted that I read it, and then once I attempted to read it, your link insisted I read more.

I'm not going to be talked to like that. I won't read it until you say please.

Only if you watch this video about the Cubs!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0

Astros GM Ed Wade, who said Dunn "was never an item of discussion for us."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=389507...
------
This is in response to Wrongway Phil Rogers sunday whispers column...he obviously makes this shit up to get to the 200 words he's allocated.

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

Dunn to the Giants makes too much sense not to happen.

They have the best Pitching in the West. Yet really have zero plus offensive performers. LF or 1B would be massively upgraded with Dunn.

Dunn to the Angels makes more sense...(be one with your DH self, Mr. Dunn)

Dunn probably sounded good to Ed Wade because he could bench Michael Bourn.....

But Adam Dunn and Carlos Lee in the same defensive outfield? With a natural RF in between? I'm sure the thought of all those gappers scared Wade off.

The Bourn Futility?

Rays Chad Bradford (of moneyball fame) out 3-4 months with an elbow scope to remove loose bodies by Dr. Andrews

http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2009/02/bradford-un...

Elbow scope, you say? For a Submariner? What are the chances of that...

Elbow scope, you say? For a Submariner? What are the chances of that...
--------
Damn that hurts bouncing his knuckles off the mound which transmits to the elbow leaving chips. And no, not potato chips.

His pitching motion, in particular, has always dumbfounded me. Looks like he puts SO MUCH torque on that elbow. Even more so than the average submariner. Makes my elbow hurt just thinking about it.

I find it hard to believe the Cards finish behind the brewers.

a) they won 86 games and get Carpenter back for a nice 1-2 punch. Not to mention pujols played hurt most of the year.

b) they cards are a model franchise, the brew crew has not established that pattern yet.

c) who pitches for the brewers?

Gallardo (coming off a torn ACL) and some other stiffs. I don't see them going above .500

a) Carpenter has missed most of the last 2 seasons, and nothing is a given there

b) The Cardinals may be a model franchise, but are depending on Skip Schumaker to play 2B, Khalil Greene to suddenly be able to put the bat on the ball consistently and stay healthy, and on Lohse and Wellemwyere to duplicate their 2008 seasons.

c) If Gallardo is as good as advertised, they still have a solid 3-4-5 in the rotation. Just no 1 or 2 unfortunately for them..

If Gallardo is as good as advertised, he's solidly in the #2 range, maybe higher. BP's 2009 projection: 150 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

Although I'm surprised that the Cards let Kennedy go (especially so late in the offseason) I don't see any sense in the Cubs signing him. The last thing we need is another "attack of the Neifis" like we did a few years ago with Macias, Neifi and Rey Ordonez.

How can we forget Enrique Wilson, Tony Womack, and Freddie Bynum?

Regarding the BP projections, they also projected the Cubs to lead the league in OBP last year. I think they're a little high on the Mets' offensive projections, if that's a new ballpark effect, then I think they're low on their pitching.

The Giants, as we all seem to agree, are one big bat away from contention in their projection. It's very unlike them not to go out and get that guy.

Not Looper!

NOT LOOPER!

A Looper?

A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxIfMHhWXoY

MLB network said Giants offered Crede one year deal.

doug glanville sounds weird on the phone. he sounds like an old upstate new yorker who smokes a couple cigars a day.

Check your sound, he does not sound that gravely.

WILD RUMOR CONSPIRACY ALERT!!!

MLB released Arod's name to help draw attention to MLB network.

Verduci is on MLB show.
Only player named(so far)

Discuss.

Is it just me, or does no one else give a shit about this anymore? The whole steroid thing? In my head they all cheated, lets move on with our baseball lives and let the past be the past.

Giants offered Crede one year deal.
--------
miss a little, miss a lot when you go to Paradise.

Giants trying to accumulate as many 3B as possible: Uribe (minor league deal), Aurelia (not sure but also not guaranteed deal) and now Crede.

BTW, this site should let you imbed pics and youtube videos.

cause that's what the big boys do.

no one wants to see your penis Chad...

you've spend enough time in parachat to know that is a lie!

WHERE'S THE PICKLE??

THAT'S THE SURPRISE!!

and rumor has it, that no one has...

just cause they didn't want to see it doesn't mean they didn't see it.

The judge told me that.

Jeff Weaver signs with the Dodgers (per rumors site): He'll have to outpitch Jason Schmidt, Claudio Vargas, Eric Stults, Ramon Troncoso and Shawn Estes to win the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

Jeff Weaver also see's dead people.

Weaver has a decent shot at winning that postion battle.

Jason Schmidt...Jason Schmidt...I'm seeing...I'm seeing...a fraction.

weaver hasn't pitched in almost 2 years if memory serves.

they still have a solid 3-4-5 in the rotation. Just no 1 or 2 unfortunately for them..
---
reminds me of the year Maddux went to the Braves. The Cubs promoted Mike Morgan and acquired Jose Guzman.

Presto! NO #1 or #2.

in 92, Morgan was 16-8 behind Maddux' 20 wins.

in 93, Morgan was 10-15; Guzman 12-10
in 94, Morgan was 2-10; Guzman 2-2

Of course, Morgan's era jumped from 2.55 in 1992, to 4.03 in 2003, to 6.69 in 1994, where he was hurt as well.

I see the point you want to make, but I'm not sure that is the right choice of examples. Morgan's going from #2 to #1 doesn't explain a run-and-a half jump in ERA. If he'd gone 16-8, 3.60 ERA in 1992, then 10-15 with a 3.80 ERA in 1993, it would have shown that difference in #1 vs. #2 slotting in the rotation.

Either way....great idea to let Maddux go and bring in Jose Guzman.

jose guzman was a hell of a pitcher...til the cubs signed him.

3/44 Tejada will be charged with perjury....

Doug Glanville on NPR right now and I guess I haven't heard him a lot before. He's very impressive, not only in articulation but in thoughtfulness as well.

was he talking about the pros and cons of central African folk dancing and how it pertains to Peruvian free trade cut flower industry and it's impact on the banjo makers of old Juguvenalos village in Chile?

Glanville's degree is in engineering, so I'm not sure that he would be dabbling in economics & international trade. Seriously, Doug was speaking on NPR's Talk of the Nation show about his relationship with A-Rod while on the Yankees and the issues of steroids in MLB. Hearing Doug talk is appointment listening in my book.

I rarely post, although I have honor of being a TCR top giver during the pledge drive. I'm the only one with a link to a website.

I live in Bucktown and run into Doug Glanville 3 to 4 times a year walking his dogs. The first time I ran into him I had a brian cramp and called him Kevin Foster.

He laughed and said " I know Kevin Foster".

Hopefully he didn't think I confuse every african american that plays for the Cubs to look the same. The reality is both players came from Evanston, and that's why I got confused.

Next time I run into him, I'll say " the triple"!!! ( from the four game of the playoffs againist Florida in 2003)

I come from Evanston and I agree we are all articulate.

I'm guessing Crunch was attempting a funny about NPR's programming.

troo...troo.

He went to an ivy league school (UPenn) and majored in engineering he's a smart guy!

Scott Moore was dfa'd by the Orioles.

Hope they get him back as inexpensive AAA insurance for 3B or the utility infield spot although I'd expect Hoffpauir to beat him out for the last roster spot.

Hello all - I'm a new poster to the blog but like to think I embody the spirit of Harry Caray, God rest his soul. I'm a huge Cubs fans from Wisconsin (near Milwaukee) who recently found this blog, and have to say I am very impressed with the content and dialogue going on here. I also like to frequent cubs.com, but posting comments to articles there is a minefield, to say the least. Lots of "Cubs fans" who seem to have forgotten (or are too young to remember) the McFail and Lynch eras in Chicago. Anyways, I hope to post semi-regularly and add some bit of humor or substance to this site... we'll see how it goes!

welcome....

the key to survival around here is to not say anything too stupid, but if you do, be sure to back it up with some meaningless stats at least.  :)

Don't worry, I know how to be as fraudulent and evasive as your average MLB player!

Speaking of, if I were A-Roid, I'd spend some of that $275 million to see that Donald Fehr was strung up by his nuts. If Fehr's goal was to avoid testing altogether, why would you want to link a player and a drug sample in a random test? To me, get your estimated numbers of cheaters in 2003, put the steroid ban and punishment system in place for 2004, and then never look back. Worked for the NFL!

If I were A-Rod I'd be spending an enormous percentage of my $275 million on deserving charities.

I think you're right, though. Looking back to find out each individual that cheated is kind of ridiculous at this point. Good for the press, bad for just about anyone else. Does it do any more discourage steroid use in professional or amateur athletes? I doubt it.

Linking the names and the samples seems to indicated they at some point wanted to know who took the PEDs they were testing for, not just how many. Either that or somebody didn't think the whole procedure through, which is pretty unforgivable when you're messing with this many livelihoods and reputations.

"and have to say I am very impressed with the content and dialogue going on here"

I don't think we've met, I'm Chad...

Moore makes lots of sense as a signing for Iowa. I imagine other teams might want him too, though, and he might go somewhere that he sees himself having more of a chance to play. Then again, he's probably looked at as a utility player / backup at this point, so the Cubs might be one of the best opportunities for him.

Scott Moore would be an excellent 25th man.

-Drafted as a SS. Should be able to play all 4 IF postions with some degree of competency.

-Lefthanded with some power.

-Showed even a little bit of plate Discipline

-Cheap and under club control for a long time if he pans out.

As an Evanstonian, it makes sense that DG would be a smart, intereting guy. :)

Btw, our brand new high school ballpark is being renamed Kevin Foster Field, I have heard.

Reading over at Rotoworld...

According to the New York Daily News, "a Mets official did not rule out signing Bobby Abreu, but indicated that any contract likely would have to be for one year at less than $4 million."

Last week there were reports that the White Sox offered Abreu a one-year, $8 million deal. Abreu is a poor defensive outfielder, but hit .296/.371/.471 with 20 homers, 22 steals, 100 RBI and 100 runs last season for his 11th straight year with an OPS above 800.

Damn if Abreu is going that cheap, i think we might have royally fucked up with the Bradley deal.

Damn if Abreu is going that cheap, i think we might have royally fucked up with the Bradley deal.
---
Unless Fukudome adjusts to the league and soon, it actually makes his contract the real albatross.

Nobody talks about it but against lefty's I'm liking the idea of Reed Johnson leading off. Against rightys, well that's the dilemma (Miles, Theriot...meh)

If Johnson is an acceptable leadoff man against lefties, then I don't see why Fontenot wouldn't be just as acceptable against righties.

If Fukudome performs decently--can get that OBP over .360 and keep it there consistently--he'd be another option.

Also, Theriot has a career .350 OBP against RIGHTIES. That's not great, but it's okay. I'd rather see a leadoff man with an OBP over .360 or .370, but .350 tops most of our recent leadoff hitters. Oh, guess what. He's also got a .395 OBP against lefties for his career. That's about .020 points ahead of Johnson. So if we're talking about a starting lineup against lefties, why not Theriot first and Johnson second? Johnson hits more doubles and that would put two decent career OBPs vs. lefties at the top of the lineup in front of Bradley, Ramirez, Lee, and Soriano.

I fully expect Soriano to spend a lot of time in the leadoff spot this year though. If he struggles elsewhere in the lineup, management will freak out and put him in the 1-spot again. I hope I'm wrong about that, though. I don't see much reason that he shouldn't be able to adjust to the 3-6 spots if given some time.

Aaron Miles belongs nowhere near the starting lineup unless he's smoking hot with the bat or there are injuries on the middle infield.

It must be tough for Lou to deal with Sori's ego on a day to day basis. If I were Lou, I'd tell Soriano, fine, you can lead off, but you better start taking some pitches and stealing some bases when you do get on. If the excuse is that they don't want Sori to get hurt running the bases, then move him down and let him jog in with doubles and swing for the fences. IMO, you should be getting a lot more out of 30 HR than 75 RBI. However, if we get 30 HR, 75 RBI, 120 runs, 30 SB and a decent OBP, I'm all for Soriano leading off...

If I were Lou, I'd tell Soriano, fine, you can lead off, but you better
start taking some pitches and stealing some bases when you do get on.

if baseball were only so easy....Lou should also tell Theriot to grow 6 inches and hit 15 home runs a year. And tell Harden not to hurt himself this year. :)

Sori can swallow his pride and do what is best for the team... at least Lou has a little bit of control over that. If Soriano can get over his ego and move to the OF for the better of the team (even a crappy team like the Nationals), he can sure as hell do what is best for the Cubs, and that to me is either act like a leadoff hitter or move down the lineup, possibly to the 6 hole. I assume Lou makes those decisions, and with his length of service as a successful manager, Sori should just shake his head yes, swallow his pride and move down the lineup... unless Lou gets a chubby for those 1-0 leads that Sori provides 8 times a year...

As for the other stuff, Lou can't help that Theriot is a midget and Harden's arm falls off after 150 innings...

I think you missed Rob's point.

What happens if Soriano tries to take more pitches and does what Tyler Colvin did this year in AA ball?

Throughout the first half of the 2008 season or so, Colvin's walk percentage was up drastically. But his batting average and slugging percentage dropped drastically. So basically you had a Colvin that walked more, but since he was hitting under .250 and not driving the ball, his OBP was about the same as it was before and he wasn't an asset to the team.

Just deciding to take pitches won't automatically make Soriano hitter that gets on base a lot. That said, I'd love to see his overall plate discipline improve, but that's clearly not how he has designed his offensive game. Also, I'm sure Soriano would like to steal as many bases as possible.

As for moving him down in the lineup, I'm all for that. But make sure that he has enough to time to adjust. If you're going to bat him 5th, bat him 5th. Don't bat him 5th for five days and then bat him 1st again because he went 3-20. If it's two months later and he's still batting .200, then you start ask yourself why he can't adjust and consider other options. But you've got to commit for a while if you really want to find out if he can handle it.

If Soriano tries to take more pitches he's going to tear a tendon in his elbow?

If your argument is that Colvin's disappointing stats this year are the result of his elbow problems, I'd like to point you to the last few months of the season which saw Colvin's batting average and slugging percentage rise while his walk rate dropped. This was all well before the surgery.

I think you are missing my point. If we are expecting lots of HRs and high slugging from Soriano, he doesn't belong in the leadoff spot, he belongs in a spot where he can drive people in. We need our high OBP guys at the top of the order, and I would be happy to have Fukudome up in the 1 or 2 hole if he can hit anywhere near .300 with the number of walks he draws... if Sori insists on hitting leadoff, he is doing a disservice to the team if he continues to swing at every pitch like he is trying to hit it 600 feet...

No, I got that. And I'm all for putting the high OBP guys in front of the high batting average and slugging guys. I think Soriano's stats would look pretty good in the number 5 spot. I think my plan for the top of the lineup would be:

Fukudome/Theriot*
Lee
Bradley
Ramirez
Soriano

*Depending on their performances--I'd also be willing to slot Fontenot into the leadoff spot against righties and Johnson in against lefties if Theriot struggles.

In the comment to which you are responding, thoug, I just wanted to point out that raising your OBP is not necessarily as easy as saying, "I'm going to take more pitches." Which you seemed to be implying in a previous post--which Rob also responded to.

Tru dat but one sure way to raise your OBP is to take walks, and you can only do that if you take more pitches... hard to walk when you are up there hacking at the first pitch every time...

this argument never gets old...okay, yes it does..

Lou's filling out the lineup card and he doesn't strike me as a guy that would keep Soriano batting leadoff if he hated the idea. I'm sure, just like everyone else, realizes there are more ideal leadoff men out there, I just don't think he believes there's one on the Cubs right now. 

He doesn't seem to like Theriot in that role and the only other option imo is pre-All Star Break Fukudome. If anyone says Aaron Miles, I will punch them in the ribs.

But I think your anger is misplaced, Soriano has said he'd bat anywhere they put him. Maybe he prefers to bat leadoff, but I really doubt he'd throw a fit about it.

I was about to comment on all this...wow...yeah...

"Lou's filling out the lineup card and he doesn't strike me as a guy that would keep Soriano batting leadoff if he hated the idea."

agreed and a great start...

also, while soriano may prefer and claim to mentally feel better hitting leadoff...i hesitate to label it as an ego thing or something he's pushing on anyone.

that said, i agree with all that wasted RBI production from a guy who hits like he does. hell, if people wanna argue production like soriano's can leadoff they might as well argue fuku could do it better paying attention to the kind of stats you'd want out of a leadoff guy. ...and no, i wouldn't put either up there batting 1st, myself.

I'll bet Hendry wishes he had a time machine and could go back to last offseason where he could have packaged both Hill and Pie to get Brian Roberts and solved his leadoff dilemma...

Who knows, though - if we had acquired Roberts, we might not have been able to add our newest superstars like Vizcaino and Gathright and Bako...

Soriano gets beaten up a lot around here, unlike, say, Henry Blanco or Scott Moore.

Simple stat: divide RBI by ABs.

Ramirez: 111/554 = .200
Soriano: 75/453 = .166
Lee: 90/623 = .144

If you say, well, Soriano is hitting solo shots and just driving himself in--then divide (RBI-HRs) by ABs.

Ramirez: (111-27)/554 = .152
Soriano: (75-29)/453 = .102
Lee: (90-20)/623 = .112

Only ten points separating Lee and Soriano, in spite of Lee always hitting third (except for 2 at bats) and Soriano always leading off (except for 10 at bats). I think "Who bats third?" is the real question for the Cubs.

you should use PA's...

or just go to their BR.com game log page and see how many runners were on when they got up...

Soriano (RBI's - HR)/(Runners on Base)

2008: (75-29)/281 = .163

2007: (70-33)/284 = .130

Lee:

2008: (90-20)/452 = .155

2007: (82-22)/373 = .161

15-16% is about average, a good year is 19-22%. It tends to fluctuate a lot from year-to-year.

It probably doesn't help Soriano much that a slow-ass pitcher is often the guy on the bases in front of him, but I don't think the damage is that significant.

Rob (or whoever I should address this to) is there a counter for each member and the number of comments made? I'd be interested to see how many the leader has. I'd guess it'd be Rob G. but thats just a guess. Also, I was wondering the rough number of unique hits TCR has gotten. I dunno, just interested is all.

don't think it keeps track of number of comments by users, but we've had 97,246 unique visitors since we moved late last February.

We get anywhere from 800 to 3000 unique hits a day depending on the news and content and links...

I stumbled upon TCR about 2 years ago, fell in love ever since. I just know there are only about 20-30 regular people who make comments but i figured there had to be a ton more visitors than that.

we do alright, seem to range from 2-5 on the Cubs popularity blogoverse rankings depending on what time period you're looking at...

but yeah, the people who comment are a small percentage of our actual audience, they're just the most vocal.

if people think about their own reading habits, there's maybe 5-50 blogs, websites I read and probably look or participate in the comments of about 2-3.

top 2? That's not good company when you consider who #1 is. (it's gotta be him, right?)

yeah, Al trumps us all...

if I can scroung up enough money I would like to rebuild our comment system to something similar to what SB nation has...

I wouldn't count on the diaries though...

Al Yellon vs. Rob G., Cubnut, Dr. Hecht, Transmission, Ruz, AZ Phil, and 1/6 of Mike Wellman.

Nix that. AZ Phil vs. the world.

I think we should develop an ad campaign featuring pictures of AZ Phil and the Wrigley Marquee.

can't do that...AZ Phil is such a legend his mere image could never live up to what people picture him.

i think most people picture him as a mix between the "most interesting man in the world" dos equis beer commercial dude and the brawny towels lumberjack dude...or something involving dinosaurs equipped with lasers destroying large cities.

AZ Phil is actually Mr. Clean. Bet you didn't know that.

AND KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Arizona Phil vs. a Hurricane?

Arizona Phil

But what if the Hurricane's name was Arizona Phil?

Can we post pics and videos?

my hilarity level would go up 75%.

1.75 x 0 = 0

Sorry, couldn't resist.

"I just know there are only about 20-30 regular people who make comments"

It's the irregular people among us you should be concerned about.

http://www.maplestreetpress.com/book.cfm?book_id=41

There are a few articles in there from me if anyone is interested. It doesn't seem to be available on Amazon this year unfortunately.

But what if the Hurricane's name was Arizona Phil?
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that would be two hurricanes. Kind of like games 1 and 162.

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