Cubs Acquire Diamond in the Rough

The Cubs were awarded a waiver claim today, acquiring 26-year old RHP Thomas Diamond from the Texas Rangers.

The 6'3 230 Diamond had been Designated for Assignment by Texas on Tuesday to make room on their 40-man roster for RHP Brandon McCarthy, who was reinstated from the 60-day DL. I would think the Cubs will probably option Diamond to either AA Tennessee or AAA Iowa, to Tennessee if they want Diamond to pitch past the end of the regular season (Tennessee has a good chance to make the Southern League playoffs) or to Iowa if they don't (Iowa's PCL playoff hopes are quickly fading to black). I doubt that we will be seeing Thomas Diamond at Wrigley Field in 2009.

Diamond was one of the Rangers players assigned to play in the Arizona Fall League post-2009, so it will interesting to see if the Cubs replace one of the pitchers they previously assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox (Andrew Cashner, John Gaub, Blake Parker, or James Russell) with Diamond, or if they ask Diamond to go to Latin America and pitch down there. 

Diamond was the Rangers #1 pick (10th overall) in the 2004 Rule 4 Draft out of the University of New Orleans (he was Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year in '04). where he pitched for Cubs Assistant GM Randy Bush.back when Bush was the head baseball coach at UNO. He received a $2M+ signing bonus, and was rated by Baseball America as the the Rangers #1 prospect pre-2005, #3 pre-2006, and #4 pre-2007 (he led the Texas League in strikeouts in 2006), in addition to being rated a BA Top 100 MLB prospect in 2005 and 2006, before missing the 2007 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery (TJS).

Diamond has struggled with his command throughout his career, but (at least prior to the elbow injury) he threw a 91-94 MPH fastball that touched 96, and an 83 MPH slider. He began the 2009 season at AAA Oklahoma City (PCL), but was very ineffective there (6.55 ERA), and got demoted back to AA Frisco (Texas League), where he has pitched so-so OK (3.63 ERA, 44.2 IP, 43 H, 3 HR, 37/50 BB/K, 254 OBA) while working exclusively out of the bullpen. 

Diamond was added to the Rangers MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) post-2007, and accrued 61 days of MLB Service Time while spending a couple of months on the Rangers 60-day DL in 2008 while rehabbing from the TJS. He will have used-up two minor league options through the 2009 season and would appear to have just one left, but even if he uses his 3rd minor league option next season, he probably will be eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2011, presuming he did not get credit for a "full season" in 2008.

With the addition of Diamond, the Cubs 40-man roster now numbers 39, with one slot open.


the big question is can Diamond hit from the left side and play 2b?

off-topic via MLBTR

Heyman talked to two GMs about the Cubs and Milton Bradley. One thought the Cubs could unload him by eating half his remaining $21MM; another thought they'd need to assume almost all the money. I am not a Bradley apologist; he's certainly been a distraction. But how would subtracting a .394 OBP make the Cubs' middling offense better?

that is the middle dollar question there, now isn't it?

We added Milton and his .394 OBP and went from a playoff team to... well... NOT a playoff team. In fact, I don't recall him being much of difference maker at all this year.

The fact that the Cubs would have to eat all or most of his contract should tell you all you need to know about him and his wonderful fucking OBP and the POS contract he received from our fearless check writer.

Any argument over Milton Bradley is futile at this point, anyways, since the Cubs won't be able to move him.

I guess you let the Milton Bradley circus go on in 2010 and hope the team isn't too distracted by it.

We added Milton and his .394 OBP and went from a playoff team to...
well... NOT a playoff team.

you think that's because Milton and not because of Soriano, Fontenot, Soto and Ramirez missing a third of the season?

Enjoy your Gordon Wittenmyer articles...

I would get rid of him based on him not being able to stay healthy.

Cubs got lucky this year, like I said I see him having a huge April 2010 and one of his legs flying off and being done.

I know they signed him to a three year contract, but with no play off appearance this year I would see what I could get unless they want to roll the dice one more time and hold on to him, he might be easier to move at trading deadline next year in case 2010 is a repeat of 2009.

Just the Cubs optimist in me.

I don't understand the "with no play off appearance this year" clause in that sentence. What does that have to do with anything?

trade him before the injury bug hits I can understand actually....

We should trade him to the Mets for Francoeur. If he were our every day right fielder he could probably get 700 at bats.

No "Diamond in the Rough" headline?

heh, didn't have to change it for me...I was just messin around as usual.

Submitted by Rob G. on Fri, 09/04/2009 - 1:28pm.
No "Diamond in the Rough" headline?


There is now.

BTW, I mentioned in the post that Thomas Diamond was one of the players the Rangers assigned to play in the AFL post-2009, but now that he has been moved, the Cubs will have to decide whether to replace one of the four pitchers they assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox (Cashner, Gaub, Parker, or Russell) with Diamond.

The last time this happened (Cubs acquire a pitcher who had been assigned to the AFL by his previous club), the new guy (Adam Harben) bumped Grant Johnson off the Mesa roster.

Ummm hmmm...Abreu has a .392 OBP but he has dumb stats like 81 runs and 86 RBI like a typical RFer would have.

Bradley and his 58 runs and 37 RBI are what drag down the offense.

Bradley is best suited as a 4th OFer, where he can get just as many AB's without being depended upon to be the starter. Over the last 2 years Bradley has managed to miss 4 months worth of AB's without reaching the DL. He had 414 AB's last year in Texas and he is on pace for about the same this season. Reed Johnson was the 4th OFer last year and had 333 AB's.

Only problem is Bradley probably doesn't play a good CFer like Johnson did and he would be a mighty expensive 4th OFer. But thats all Bradley has ever proven himself to be and its sad we paid that much money for a back up player.

The offense would be a hell of alot better with a dependable RFer like Abreu and Bradley as the back up, than simply relying on Bradley alone. But were fucked because we paid starter money for a piece of shit.

"Bradley is best suited as a 4th OFer"


the guy 1- can field two slots (RF/CF) 2- can throw 3- can get on base 4- has some pop in his bat when he's not getting on base a .370-.400 clip 5- can hit lefties AND righties

he's had an "off" power year...big f'n deal.

if you want to pick on someone's lack of D and bat there's a guy in LF who fits that bill making twice the money.

bradley is very easily a starting OF.

i dunno why he's getting a bad-D rap from your analysis, too....especially when he's being compared to abreu in RF.

Funny, all the other stupid shit you pointed out didn't bother me as much as him judging a baseball player's availability on At Bats again.

Bobby Abreu is 27th among MLB outfielders in at bats. Jeff Francoeur is obviously a better player, he has 24 more at bats.

Bradley can play center as well as Johnson. All he would have to do is some diving around out there and analysts like the above would think he's Gold Glove worthy.

P.S. The Angels are #2 in OBP and #1 in hitting, which goes a long way to explain why Abreu has RBI and Run numbers that are so much better than Bradleys - though Abreu has totally kicked his ass with RISP, the Runs aren't Bradley's fault.

You see you have to play in games to put up stats and no one gives a shit about injury prone players who don't put up numbers.

I don't see how its a negative that Abreu is consistent, reliable and productive when Milton Bradley isn't.

This arguement is used constantly to defend Milton and prop him up. All your doing is pointing out that Milton isn't dependable, isn't productive and isn't consistent.

Miltons always going to be the what if player, what if he played a full season? But "what if's" don't transalte into games played, runs, and RBI. Only reality counts and a guy like Abreu actually puts up the numbers as opposed to what ifs and should woulda coulda seasons.

Nothing you said here has any relevance to anything I said. Did you mean to reply to someone else?

Bradley can play center as well as Johnson.

No, he can't. Johnson gets a better break on the ball than Bradley does, and he takes better routes as well. These are crucial skills in center field.

In 184 games in CF Johnson has had a rate of 93, 10 runs below average, with a RF/9 of 2.34
In 468 games in CF Bradley has had a rate of 100, right at average with a RF/9 2.68.

Reed Johnson must be really slow to lose all that advantage he gets with his great breaks and routes.

the funniest thing about this bradley-trade-away stuff...besides wanting to get rid of an OF'r who can actually field and gets on one of the main thing that makes him iffy in value is his questionable clubhouse tone.

btw, there's a lot more to this "reporters wanting rid of Z" vs. "reporters wanting rid or bradley" thing...and it's not split on hispanic/black/race lines.

suck it up...keep both.

An "off" power year? He isn't a power hitter crunch! Never has been, never will be. This is guy with 1, you can count them, one twenty HR season. He has had 1, you can count that as well 500 AB season his entire career.

Soriano had 7 straight seasons of 570 AB's or more, and has 8 straight seasons of 20 HR's or more and 9 straight seasons of 70 RBI or more.

Bradley has 1, you can count that as well, of reaching 70 RBI in his career.

Please point me to anything Bradley has done that shouts, dependable, consistency, and production. This might be an arguement if he had something like Sorianos history and you could say he is on track to return to those levels or whatever. But face facts, Bradleys best season is a 70 RBI effort. Thats his career year, from a guy who averages 50 RBI a year.

I will keep Soriano on this team over a guy that has done zilch his entire career. Atleast we know Sorianos average season is a hell of alot better than a typical Bradley one. And a career year Bradley season ranks among the worst years of Sorianos.

It would just be nice if Bradley would have 1 full good season before people defend him like he is good or something. I am still amazed he can miss 4 months of AB's over the last 2 years and never reach the DL, and people say don't question his fire and passion for the game. If he was any more passionate about playing baseball hell would of frozen over by now from his indifference.

Plus i think Bradley would be happy as hell to collect the same pay check and be a glorified pinch hitter. He wouldn't have to worry about games going over 9 innings and having to stay on the field with those violent and angry Cubs fans. He only cares about money, and figuring out ways to not play in games. Its not like we would be missing out on much if Bradley only got 330 AB's next year compared to his last two iron man years.

We will miss out on 70 AB's from Milton as a backup! Ohhh the horror. How will our offense surive?!!?!?! I got an idea, get a RFer that approaches 600 AB's.

milton will never be anyone's backup as long as he's healthy with youth.

also, i consider anyone who has 20+ HR/30+ double power as a power hitter...some don't. i believe bradley can do that and has the tools to do it.

you also seem to think someone making comments about some b/s is akin to balling up into the fetal position and crying in between huge gulping sobs. the guy is capable of calling out some shit without getting all emo about it.

Here's some other famous 4th outfielders:

Barry Bonds: A laughable 373 at bats in his 2004 season
Ted Williams: Never had a 600 at bat season
Babe Ruth: Never even broke the 550 at bat barrier
Mickey Mantle: In a ill-timed April Fool's joke, this guy won the MVP with a 377 at bat season.

All this time the Cubs have been saved by not having a fourth outfielder like one of these bums. I learn so much here.

Ohh soo Milton has tons of productive seasons like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams?!!?!? This is news.

Well fuck get his Hall of Fame plaque made now then.

PA's are important not AB's. Why is that so hard a concept for you to grasp?

While your at it you can show me all the batting titles Milton has won, all the HR titles, MVP awards......come on Milton has to be good at something.

Show me that 130 RBI season, hell show me a 100 RBI season, no wait show me an 80 RBI season from Milton! lol.

How about you show me a 50 HR season, 40? 30? or 22 is about as high as your gonna get.

Can you show me how awesome he is at scoring runs? How about a 130 run season? 120? 110? 100????? !?!?!? 90?!?!?! how about 80 atleast 80 runs?!!?

How about you show me all the 200 hit seasons Milton has? 190? 180? fine 150? Ehhhh 140?

How about you show me Miltons 200 walk seasons? 190? 180? 140? 100?

Yeah he is a virtual Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth.

None of those stats are important. What is important when looking at a player to be your 4th outfielder is the number of at bats he gets in a season. Those guys were all perfect fourth outfielders, they rarely if ever got 600 at bats.

but no, seriously, you sound like a complete buffoon using AB's instead of PA's

it makes me want to install an ignore commenter feature

Some attacks on Bradley do go too far, but somehow comparing Bradley's low ABs to those of Bonds, Williams, Ruth and Mantle is meaningless and absolutely foolish.

The person is stating that Bradley is almost never healthy enough to play a full season, only hit 20 HR once in his career and thus shouldn't be considered a starting RF. Somehow you believe the adequate comparison for someone with the same number of ABs is 4 of the best players who ever played the game?

Actually, I think it is all of us who learn so much here. With Bradley at the level or Ruth, Mantle, Bonds and Ted, $10 million per year is a bargain.

Small words here.

MikeC is using Bradley's lack of at bats to justify labeling him a 4th outfielder. When a player gets HBP, hits a sac fly, sacrifices or take a walk, they don't get an at bat. At bats only come when a player gets a hit or makes an out. Only a complete moron judges a player based on the # of at bats they get in a season. I used those players to illustrate the stupidity of MikeC's statistical analysis.

Bradley also got screwed out of about 40 PA's by our dip shit manager this year.

Listen, I came out against MikeC early on when he was trashing Bradley before Bradley even had a chance to play for the Cubs, but I have to agree with him now. And as I’ve said in the past, blasting Soriano in order to defend Bradley just doesn’t work. You have to judge Bradley on his own merits. Plus, the fact that Soriano has a track record of performance buys him a little patience. Bradley doesn’t have that same track record.

There’s no doubt that Bradley knows how to take a walk, but otherwise he has been an overall negative. If the Cubs can move Bradley, they should.


I didn't bash Soriano. I didn't even defend Bradley. All I said is that you're an idiot if you judge a player's availability on the number of at bats he's had.

Bradley has been tragically bad at driving in runners this year - last year he was about average and the year before he was about the same. Logic would indicate that next year he'll probably be about average at it as well, and bring a .410 OBP and above average defense to boot, which is a pretty nice player to have.

TRN - My response was to all of the comments concerning Bradley and to all of the commenters, not just you. Although you were talking about ABs in your last few comments, you were talking about Bradley more in general previously.

You've mentioned Bradley's OBP several times, but without going all Chad on you, I think this is one instance where OBP doesn't begin to tell you the kind of year Bradley has had. He's been good at taking walks and being HBP, but his other stats tell you that he's not hitting much and he's not hitting for much power. He's not the type of player that a $140 million, (supposedly) playoff contending team needs in RF.

Let's compare him to Abreu, who plays RF for a large payroll team bound for the playoffs.

1. Defensively - Advantage Bradley, fewer errors, more assists and gets to more balls
2. Power Hitting - Advantage Bradley, more HR's per PA and higher ISO SLG
3. OBP - pretty much a draw.
4. Driving in runs - Huge Advantage Abreu, he's been among the best in baseball this year
5. Availability - Slight advantage Abreu, Bradley had one nagging injury and a couple of day to day things.
6. Base running - Probably Abreu, certainly in the stolen base department

The main difference between the two players this year, overall, is that Abreu has had a really good year driving in runs, and Bradley has had a really bad one. Both of the players are having years out of line with their career numbers, so when we look at 2010, and normalize the driving in of runs, Bradley's looks at least as good, unless you really want your RF to steal bases, I guess.

If you want to be simple about it and say "Abreu's got lots of RBI's", that's cool, but if you don't think the extra 110 runners he's had on base in front of him has something to do with that, well you're just not thinking.

I'm probably not the right person to respond to you since I didn't bring up Abreau originally, but there are two things that stick out in the comparison that you didn't mention.

First, you said that Abreau has a slight advantage over Bradley in availability, but those additional at-bats have resulted in Abreau collecting 44 more hits than Bradley (138 vs 94). Abreau's total hits are almost 50% higher than Bradley's.

The second thing that sticks out for me is what you mentioned earlier. The clear advantage when it comes to hitting with RISP goes to Abreau. True, Abreau has had more people on base in front of him, but he has done much more with those runners on a percentage basis than Bradley has done with his opportunities.

I'm not certain why we are using Abreau as the standard, but those are the things that really stick out for me.

We're using Abreu as the standard because you don't think that a RF'er with that skill set belongs on a large payroll playoff caliber team, I gave you an example of one who has that skill set. JD Drew in Boston, similar situation, Swisher with the Yankees has more power but is a low average high OBP guy.... really your idea doesn't seem to hold water at casual glance.

Sweet Lou said: “(Bradley’s) not the type of player that a $140 million, (supposedly) playoff contending team needs in RF.”

TRN said: “…really you're idea (that Bradley isn’t the type of player you want on a playoff caliber team) doesn't seem to hold water at casual glance.”

Neal – You’re comment got me thinking, so I decided to compare Milton Bradley to the everyday right fielders on the eight current playoff contending teams (Dodgers, Cardinals, Phillies, Rockies, Angels, Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox). I won’t try to sell this as some sort of scientific study, but I think it does shed light on the type of player Bradley is compared to the other right fielders on playoff contending teams.

Batting Average – Bradley scores sixth out of the nine right fielders in batting average. Only Nick Swisher, Ryan Ludwick and Jayson Werth have a lower career batting average.

OBP – Bradley has the fourth best career OBP of the nine right fielders studied.

SLG % -- Bradley comes in dead last.

BABIP – Again, Bradley comes in last.

Games Played Per Year – Ryan Ludwick and Jayson Werth are the only two everyday right fielders who have averaged fewer games played per year than Bradley. In Ludwick’s defense, he has been a part-time (utility) player for most of his career.

Average Hits Per Year – Again, both Ludwick and Werth are the only players who average fewer hits per year than Bradley.

Average Homeruns Per Year – Bradley ranks dead last.

Average RBIs Per Year – Bradley beats out Ludwick and Werth by fewer than two RBI/year to come in seventh out of the nine right fielders.

BB% -- I thought Bradley would have scored better in this category. Instead, he’s right in the middle of the pack; fifth out of the nine right fielders.

K% -- This is the only category where Bradley is best in class. And he’s not just a little better, he’s a lot better at avoiding strikeouts than the other right fielders.

BB/K – as you might have guessed, Bradley did well in this category, losing out only to Nick Swisher.

There are probably other stats I should have considered and/or some of these stats I should have ignored. However, I think it is pretty clear that right fielders with similar or worse offensive skills (I did not look at defense) as Milton Bradley are the exception rather than the rule among the right fielders for the eight current playoff teams.

Yeah, too many of your stats are co-mingled. BABIP is a huge driving force to OBP, Slugging percentage and of course batting average. If you give me a list of any 9 randomly selected players the one with the lowest BABIP is going to probably score poorly in those other categories. Bradley has also played in pitcher's parks for the majority of his career.

Then your other stats are 'per season' stats, where we know that Bradley won't excel because he season's haven't consisted of 700 PA's.

The Cubs didn't sign Bradley of '04 nor are did they have a chance to get Abreu or Drew from '04, though, so career numbers are sort of misleading. Look at the numbers for the last three years, and I bet they tell a different story.

Look at it this way.

Compare these two outfielders:
A. 490 PA's .380 OPB, .449 SLG for an OPS+ of 113 at $11.5 million
B. 436 PA's .394 OPB, .422 SLG for an OPS+ of 111 at $9 million

Do you see a lot of difference between the two? They're Fukudome and Bradley, in case you didn't guess, yet there's not 80 posts weekly about how Fukudome is dragging down the team.

That's an apt comparison, Fukudome and Bradley. One is a class act, and the other a classic ass, but they are similar in other ways. I don't like to see either man come up with men on base, because they are both likely to take a called-strike fastball on 2-and-oh or three-and-one.

If Hendry asked his scouts to find two guys who could get on base a high percentage of the time, they gave him what he wanted. Next time he should ask for hitters who drive the ball with men on base.

That's a bit old-fashioned, I know.

Next time he should ask for hitters who drive the ball with men on base.

2009- Fukudome, w. RISP: .290/.425/.473 OPS: .898
Career- Fukudome, w. RISP: .280/.405/.466 OPS: .870

Those are some pretty lousy numbers, eh?

I said he doesn't drive the ball with men on base. I didn't say anything about BA or OBP. He hits a lot of singles, many of which don't bring in a runner from second.

I like the year Fukudome is having--because it means that in another year he'll be tradeable. But here is a number that's not great: .284, which is Fuku's RBI with RISP (35) divided by his PAs with RISP (122).

Ranked alongside other Cubs:

Lee .479 (70/146)
Fox .468 (30/64)
Ramirez .425 (34/80)
Fuku .286 (35/122)
Hoffpauir .254 (15/59)
Bradley .221 (22/103)

Fukudome is closest to Hoffpauir, whose BA with RISP is .185! The difference is that while Fukudome is drawing walks, Hoffpauir is making outs. Walks are better. But they should not be confused with driving the ball.

Hey Phil,

You've made a mistake here. Your number isn't really meaningful because it assumes that all batters come up with the same amount of runners in scoring position (and that they're on the same base).

If you go over over to the Stats at Baseball Prospectus, they have a page dedicated to showing how well batter drive runners in: RBI Opportunities.

If you sort it for the Cubs you'll see that at first glance you get numbers:

Ramirez 19.2%
Lee 17.5%
Fox 17.4%
Theriot 13.9%
Fukudome 13.3%

If you look a little closer it's got the % by where the runners are on base. Fukudome and Lee, for example have been exactly as good at driving in guys from first base, which de-bunks you're 'driving the ball theory' at least in regards to those two. Of course there are other factors, the biggest one is when you come up with a guy at 3rd base - how many outs are there? I would suppose that Lee has an advantage there too, but that's just speculation on my part.

How about these two Cubs...with runners in scoring position, it's hard to tell the difference ...


Player #1 .221 BA .759 OPS, 26% K:AB
Player #2 .216 BA .751 OPS, 29% K:AB
...between Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano.

Bradley's lack of ABs, for the most part, are not because he drew around 200 BBs (like Bonds) or was pitched around during 154 game seasons (like Ruth). It was because he was injured. Every year. Often more than once.

Last year, he was mostly healthy, but also didn't play the field. Despite this amazing health, Bradley played in 126 games, which is probably close to where he will be this year. On average, he plays around 100-110 games per year and has about 400 plate appearances (386 on average, not counting this year or his rookie year).

This is much less than you would expect from a starter. There were Cubs fans saying we were foolish to depend on Rondell White as our starter, but we took a chance that he would stay healthy during his contract. That was not true. Why attack someone as ridiculous for making the same argument about Milton Bradley?

More importantly, your personal attacks grow old. Why is it that Milton Bradley has not been on any team more than 2 years? It is not because the team is getting great trade offers for someone who produces like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Barry Bonds and Mickey Mantle. It is because, unlike those players, his limited ABs are due to injuries and he cannot be depended on as a starter. And, unfortunately, he does not appear to be an easy person to get along with and has had personality conflicts everywhere he has gone.

So, someone who has shown they cannot get enough ABs due to injury, has had personality issues and for some reason 7 other GMs gave up on him. Yet someone here says that we shouldn't count on him as a starter and you declare that person to lack intelligence? I am not sure I understand your analysis, but it sounds like it is not based on sound reasoning.

You may be right to depend on Bradley and he may have a great year next year; I personally always had high hopes for Rondell White. But that doesn't mean that somoene who thinks it unwise to depend on Bradley is not thinking coherently.

Edit- What Rob said below, in English, I guess.


the only point Neal was making there to dramatic effect by mentioning Ruth, Mantle, Bonds and Wlliams is that using AB's as a barometer instead of PA's is retarded. And when you start writing really retarded things, everything else you write starts getting ignored.

The fact that anyone thinks he was comparing the accomplishments of Ruth, Mantle, Williams, Bonds versus Bradley in 2009 is also retarded.

Bradley is/was a bad signing. Nitpicking PA's/AB's...whatever. The overall gist is Bradley has not performed well offensively overall and lived up to many of his negatives that many of us stated were reasons why he shouldn't have been signed in the first place.

It amazes me some Cubs fans can actually defend this guy, but I guess it shouldn't as some still defend Teflon Jim.

You're 100% right of course. It's Milton Bradley that has kept the Cubs out of the playoffs in 2009.

But since you and others are so quick to point out these defenders of Milton Bradley, can you please just go ahead and name one of them? Who here at TCR has said "Milton is having a good year."?

By far the biggest two negatives that people complained about at the time of the signing - or rumored signing because it took so long were his ability to stay healthy and his defense, because he played DH (for a team that signed him to play, you know DH), both of proved to be unfounded. No one said "they shouldn't sign him because he's going to slump terribly in the first half".

At the end of the season if you name the top 10 things that were wrong with the 2009 Cubs "Bradley's attitude" doesn't make the list.

The Real Neal:
"You're 100% right of course. It's Milton Bradley that has kept the Cubs out of the playoffs in 2009."

Where the hell did I say that, or anything close to that?

It is tough to read the rest of you post when you lead off with a stupid statement like that.

It's implied by the fact that you're arguing about how good he has been when that's all we've been talking about for the last 2 weeks here. But if the signing didn't keep the Cubs out of the playoffs, what makes it a bad signing, 25% into it?

Well, I really don't get where you are seeing where I am implying it, but let me be VERY clear. Bradley is not the biggest reason the Cubs are not making the playoffs in 2009. There. I said it as clear as possible, in English.

So now you don't think it was a bad signing?

No, it was/is clearly a bad signing. It was before the season and it is even more so now, IMO. But Bradley was the the #1 reason the Cubs did not make the playoffs this year, but he was one of the reasons.

OK, I am going to go ahead and let him get through at least 1/3rd of the contract before trying to label it a good or bad signing.

Mark DeRosa's contract was clearly a bad signing too, wasn't it?

No, DeRosa turned out to be a good signing. DeRosa had 2 of his 3 best season in a Cubs uniform and brought not .0001% of the baggage Bradley had.

But at the time of the signing you said it was a bad deal. Plus it was a Hendry deal, so it was bad even if it was good.

If I recall, I said I wasn't a fan of DeRosa being the everyday 2B, especially coming off a career year, in his contract year. I was supportive of him being a utility player, which he pretty much was playing like 6 different positions helping out when players were injured. But still I didn't think he would perform as well as he did. Hendry should get kudos for that signing (and a big thumbs down for then trading him this past offseason). But thanks for pushing one of the big TCR misinformation ideas, that I think everything Hendry does is bad. That is nowhere near the truth. Do I wish he was fired and can't stand him as our GM...YES! But that doesn't mean every move he makes is bad. He has made many good moves, but overall his bads outweigh his goods, IMO.

I think my memory is a little sharper than yours. I remember a lot of moaning about him being a utility infielder and not a starter.

I also wasn't a big fan of the deal, but wisely left myself open to reserve judgment until later, citing Tony Phillips as an example of a guy who got better as he was older - and hey, I was right!

"I think my memory is a little sharper than yours. I remember a lot of moaning about him being a utility infielder and not a starter."

What are you talking about? I just admitted that in post #62 above: "I was supportive of him being a utility player..."

When you start 150 games you're an everyday player.

True. But in the 2 years with the Cubs he started all over the place becoming a 'Utility Starter', which served his abilities much better than being the everyday 2B.

Here's what you actually said at the time:

"I think most of the people who had a problem with the signing, like myself, were complaining about the player getting a starting gig, not the money."

Sorry, should read: But Bradley was NOT the...

it's not hard to defend someone being targeted as the biggest problem on the Cubs when he's nowhere near that...


I don't recall anyone saying he is the biggest problem, but maybe I missed a poster or two of the many on here who said that. But, IMO, Bradley is on the list of the biggest problem. Not at the top but definitely deserves a mention.

It amazes me some Cubs fans can actually defend this guy

hence my reply...

Wittenmyer, the Sun-Times , Phil Rogers, etc said he was the face and the reason behind the 2009 Cubs demise and judging by the amount of digital ink spilled everytime I mention him in a post and people who want to dump him at all costs, I'm pretty sure many people agree.

I think you might be confusing the fact that many people just don't like him vs. him being the #1 reason the Cubs are not making the playoffs. I take a lot of the anti-Bradley talk as they don't like him personally and he has underperformed, so they are more just taking it out on him. That is just my take, but obviously some may look at it differently.

I think it's a combination of the frustration and people like to be shown 'right'. In this case, people pretty much we're wrong, but they're perverting the facts and their recollection of their position so that they can now say they were 'right'.

And stating that someone's analysis is retarded for using ABs rather than PAs when the same conclusion is valid whether using either ABs or PAs is creating an invalid strawman instead of responding to the actual argument.

Bradley's PAs as well as his ABs are lower than one wants in someone being counted on to be an everyday player.

His use of Mantle, Ruth, Williams and Bonds was obnoxious sarcasm to make the person making the argument look stupid when, in actuality, the person's point about ABs was just as valid if the point was made with plate appearances. In fact, TRN knows full well that the reason for Bradley's lower ABs and PAs (injuries) is much different than that of the four stars. The comparison was done to try and change the subject, insult someone and ignore the actual point -- Bradley's historical availability, based on ABs or PAs, is less than what you would want for someone you are depending on to be in the lineup every day.

you should really read comment #7 again and the comical Reed/Milton AB comparision and then re-read some old threads where Mike brought up AB's before instead of PA's so you understand the history behind all this and then maybe revise your last comment.

When is he ever healthy crunch?

this is this thing, though...he's not got a persisting injury.

you can't say "oh man, that shoulder/hammy/etc is going to pop any day now"

he comes back from his injuries and when he does injure himself again it's usually a "take a turn" body part injury. personally...i don't count on the random injury happening even though there's been players like that in the past that do just that (RonDL White...sup?).

i don't count on an injury, though historically you can pretty much count on one.

without a persistently buggy body part i'm not penciling a guy in for an injury "just cuz". it's not enough for me to guess the guy will randomly screw something because he has in the past without something to at least point to.

besides all that, his injuries are not chronic. him being a part time player does little to nothing to curb injury besides waste a player.

For a break from the Bradley apologists/MikeC stuff, here's my brush with greatness (well, with Paul Sullivan) yesterday.

I'm in the media bathroom, and he comes up to the other urinal and simply says, "Fuck." He sounded like a man tired of covering the Cubs.

He finishes, washes his hands and goes, "No paper towels? Motherfuckers!"


"Oh, there they are."

Dustin Diamond is washed up. What a waste of space.

I just hope another sex tape doesn't emerge from this.

soriano shut down. knee.

Very pleased with this gamble. It seems like his stuff had come back, but his control/consistency hadn't.

At the very least, it's a freebie gamble. He adds some pen depth to upper levels.

In a best case scenario, another offseason further away from his surgery helps, and he regains some command/consistency. Breaking ball develops, and he becomes an intriguing starting prospect again.

I would say just turn him into... well I was going to say Guzman Part 2, but that's a bad comp because Guzman could always throw strikes. Anyway, maybe Marmol part 2. Let him start in Iowa but have an eye on converting him to gas throwing reliever.

Rob G.

"adding the AL OPS leader, even if a bit of a fluke, is never going to hurt your team. "

Aaron B.

"I doubt we can pass judgement on Milton until
A) we see what dunn and abreu sign for (same and less)
B) if milton stays healthy"

John Beasley

"I strongly preferred Abreu, so I'll reserve judgment until we see what kind of deal he gets.
Altogether, probably not a steal or a disaster, IMO."


"If the RF fans offended Jacques Jones, just wait till we see MB out there... What is the over/under on the number of games to his first meltdown?
I'm mostly joking... I like this pickup. I just hope the Cubs have a couple of tranquilizer dart guns handy."

The Joe

"Sounds good to me. I like me some Bradley, personally. "


"that said i have a hard time not liking this deal. given this same situation and same production as bradley stands now...a year or 2 ago this would have been a 3/40m contract"

Dusty Baylor

"This whole thing comes down to will Bradley be on the field enough to make a difference? His track record says no."


"He's going to play more than 125 games in right? With the fucked April and May here? You're kidding me, right Jim?"


"Not to excited about paying 10 million per year for a guy who has a longer injury report than Nick Johnson. And thats kinda of hard to accomplish. Who is going to pay Nick Johnson 10 million a year? But we are going to pay Bradley that kind of money to try and stay on the field."

But MikeC did redeem himself by saying this:

"Use him (Fukudome) as your leadoff hitter followed by Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, and Soriano. Those 5 in a row will F'n wear down opposing pitchers. Then you got Soto, Font/Miles and Theriot."

If only Lou had been reading that day!

Some people mentioned the HR's and RBI's, but they did as a function of staying healthy, not as a function of horrible RISP numbers.

Just like I thought, no one was right.

I didn't articulate a post in there, other than to say that with Pie/Johnson and Gathright's as backups I liked the Bradley signing. I liked it less when we traded Pie.

Springs makes a better case than i ever could on Bradley. Nice job dude, i am just never that articulate.

You could probably find some posts where i thought the idea of Bradley in the heart of the lineup was a big joke, thats why i prefered him in #2 slot.

Its not what was expected out of him from the franchise or the fans but it turns out, that was the best slot for him all along.

Trying to turn him into something he never was, was a major screw up by this franchise. It should be obvious when your offensive threat comes up with a pesky 22 HR and 70ish RBI as his career year. It should send up warning flags, the bat signal, whatever, that this guy isn't dependable or productive enough to be granted a starting position on a team.

Nice job dude, i am just never that articulate.

We know.

Ichiro's highs in HR and RBI's are 15 and 68. Is he good enough to be a starter?

Yes, but only because he has collected 640 or more at bats every season he's been in the majors.

Sorry for being so late to the party, but I still wanted to dance a little before the dj packed it in.

So Bradley is on the level of Mantle, Ruth, Williams and now Ichiro.

Bradley can't even put together a full season, something those great players did alot of.

Wake me when Bradley has a .333 career average plays 160 games a year and gets over 200 hits for 9 straight seasons. Fuck call me when he has one season over 140 hits.

Call me when you're capable of judging players by statistics that became commonly used 15 years ago.

Of course, Ichiro has been Seattle's lead-off hitter for the last decade, and usually lead-off hitters could perhaps be expected to hit fewer HR's, and drive in fewer runs.

.333/.378/.434 Ichiro
.278/.372/.452 Milton Bradley

Of course, Ichiro routinely wins Gold Gloves, has 200+ hits, 100+ runs, plays in 150+ games.

Jeez, and don't forget the dusty doghouse if MB K'd the day before he sat down and Hoffpauir got the nod in RF. Wouldn't you be frustrated if your boss gave your work to someone else if you had a bad watercooler day?

So the next day you come in and your boss doesn't give you your work until 3 O'clock and says get it finished by 4:30, and in the meantime some dipclip upstart is trying to take over your cubicle and your salary, then the stupid people from human resources start some snotty rumors about you and the boss's admin.

MB was never given the chance from all sides. I hope 2010 we can wipe the slate clean...with some fair treatment by the fans and the new manager.

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  • video of Maddon.

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 10 hours 21 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 10 hours 26 min ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 10 hours 31 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 10 hours 43 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 10 hours 54 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 11 hours 19 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 11 hours 59 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 13 hours 11 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 13 hours 29 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 13 hours 33 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 14 hours 17 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 19 hours 8 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 20 hours 22 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 20 hours 25 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 21 hours 44 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 4 hours ago view