Cubnut's Archives

A Change In Perspective

I’m really looking forward to the Opener tonight down in Atlanta. I think Hill is going to be a terrific #1. I’m hopeful that Lilly and Marquis can hold their own as numbers 2 and 3, and make all of their regular starts, as has been their history. I figure Miller is a short-timer in the #4 spot—Guzman has GOT to fill that role—but Zambrano is, no doubt, the best fifth starter in baseball. Maybe the best fifth starter ever.

What–No Bill Wirtz?

An incomplete, almost entirely speculative list of people identified by various sources as possible purchasers of the Chicago National League Ball Club: Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks Owner Donald Levin, Chicago Wolves Owner Jerry Colangelo, Phoenix Suns Chairman Pat Ryan, Founder and Executive Chairman of Aon Corporation Bill Murray, Actor George Will, Journalist Tom Begel, Chicago businessman William Marovitz, former Illinois state senator Larry Levy, restaurateur Bruce Rauner, Chicago private-equity investor

Cubs 2007 Season In Review

Opening Day is still more than a week off, but the prognostication season is well under way. Sports Illustrated’s annual preview was mentioned here yesterday, but The Hardball Times and Baseball Prospectus are also out with their player-by-player predictions, as is Baseball Think Factory’s Dan Szymborski, father of the ZIPS Projections.

THT, BP (with their PECOTA Projections) and Szymborski each employs a unique methodology, which I won’t even try to summarize or explain. Regardless, I thought it would be worthwhile to stack all three sets of Cub player predictions side by side, focusing on the eight likely starting position players plus Cliff Floyd, the five starting pitchers including Wade Miller, and the closer, Ryan Dempster.

The THT numbers come from their most excellent season preview book featuring the work of one Rob G.; the Baseball Prospectus numbers come from BP 2007; and I pulled the ZIPS Projections from the Baseball Think Factory site. (Thanks again, Dan, for your permission to use them here.)

Also, to round out the field, I consulted my old friend, Phil, a very smart, very dedicated Cub fan who can calculate slugging percentages in his head and who, coincidentally, turned me on to The Cub Reporter what seems like a very long time ago. Phil employed no simulation models or complicated algorithms in coming up with his picks, but rather, a time-honored technique called educated guesswork that took about 15 minutes.

We’re Number 15! We’re Number 15!

I’m putting together a look at how some of the online pubs and soothsayers foresee the Cubs season ahead. In the meantime, the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview edition is on the street. SI has the Cubs pegged for second in the NL Central, behind the Cards and out of the post-season picture. The magazine, which ranks the Cubs as MLB’s 15th strongest club overall, figures the Brewers, Astros, Pirates and Reds will fall in order behind our heroes in the Central.

Following In The Footsteps Of Ruben Quevedo

In honor of Wade Miller (the Frontrunner), Angel Guzman (the Contender, at least until earlier today), and Mark Prior (the Bystander), here is a list of recent Cubs' #5 starters, defined as the pitcher with the fifth most starts in a given season. Note: portions may be unsuitable for more sensitive viewers. 1997: Frank Castillo, 19 starts, 98 IP, 6-9, 5.42 1998: Geremi Gonzalez, 20 starts, 110 IP, 7-7, 5.32 1999: Terry Mulholland, 16 starts, 110 IP, 6-6, 5.15 2000: Ruben Quevedo, 15 starts, 88 IP, 3-10, 7.47 2001: Julian Taverez, 28 starts, 161.3 IP, 10-9, 4.52

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  • Awesome! Also, dammit! I just finished a Russell verse!

    I’m Addison Russell, flashin’ leather and muscle
    Hit a grounder up the middle, damn right ya better hustle
    I don’t miss, you know this, my D is the dopest,
    I’m lovin’ it and glovin’ it and shovelin’ it to Zobrist
    Another twin killing, score it six-four-three
    If I keep this up they’ll name another street for me
    There ain’t no SS better than Russell
    And I’m just here to do the World Series Shuffle

  • Awww shit, it's Tony Rizzle, my nizzle,
    so hot at the plate that, you can damn near hear me sizzle.
    Len and JD been calling me the main ingredient
    and opposing pitchers know the IBB is just expedient.
    And if the ump is a chump and I find myself down
    0-2 I'll choke up, still make the pitcher look a clown;
    got this lightning in my wrists, the pitch inside just can't 'cuff me,
    hitting longballs up until we do the World Series Shuffle.

  • I just was looking at the Times Home page today, and was reading about (RIP) Prince. Didn't catch the Sports...

  • Yup to that. Also really unfortunate Soler just has not been able to grab this opportunity by the balls.

  • ...and Kalish with the start over Soler. Wow.

  • With Heyward's injury/slow start, Soler's struggles, and injuries to Schwarber and Szczur -- it's a really good thing Fowler fell into the Cubs' lap. Like, a really, really good thing. I just really, really, really hope his name isn't one of the upcoming PED announcements.

  • I take heart that it's so early in the season that this is nothing but silliness. In fact, I'd be much more nervous doing this in September.

  • Heyward not starting tonight, Ramirez to Bereavement List, Patton up.

  • Addison Russell is the youngster with the hustle--
    you couldn't make his game tighter if you cinched it in a bustle.
    For the pinch you got La Stella and little Matty Szczur,
    two real "gritty" fellas. And then there's the geezer,
    grandpa Rossy, for when you need a team leader
    or just a catch and throw guy, to keep the runners at first,
    or to nab them on a pick off; he's got 'em mic'd in the shitter,
    yeah, caught with their pants down
    [MIKE D and MCA]: Like my boy ROBERT DURST!

  • E-man, you should stay away from the NY Times sports page today, based on your last comment

  • Save this post for late September please. Let us not taunt the Gods of "Cubbery" please.

    They are waiting for us, and are apt to pounce at the slightest hint of positive projection.

  • Awesomeness - bravo!

  • Thanks. If there's anyone who knows anything about insightful comments, it's definitely you.

  • yeah, it's hard being me. i don't know why anyone would want to do it, but someone's gotta do it.

    thanks for the insightful additions here and below you've made in this thread to The Crunch Reporter.

  • clap clap clap clap

  • Thanks lol