It's Also a Kick in the Junk
Our pal Tim Souers was inspired by Saturday's post and gave me this awesome graphic. And I don't really care to harp on the trade, but let me give you my final thoughts. The Cardinals got a good player and it should help them...a little. DeRosa was a 3.8 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) last year, he's been 1.1 so far this year as his defense at third hasn't been too great (at least according to UZR). The Cardinals are going to get him for a little over a half year and the 2 main guys he's replacing are Joe Thurston and Brian Barden who have combined for 0.8 WAR to this point. You can't just simply add and subtract it though, so my rough back-of-the-envelope guestimating says he's probably gonna be good for anything between 1-3 more wins on the year for the Cardinals, which is indeed significant for an individual player.
As for the Cubs not getting him, if we go by prospect lists and assuming the Indians like our pitchers as much as they liked Chris Perez and a supposedly top-end player to be named later, it would have cost something in the neighborhood of Jeff Samardzija and Jay Jackson. Samardzija has a no-trade clause of course, so maybe it would require Sean Marshall or Randy Wells and maybe that second player would be Kevin Hart or Angel Guzman instead of Jackson or another decent arm that could be ready for the majors by next year. It's a whole lot of speculating on who the Indians might like and who the Cubs are willing to trade, but let's take some educated guesses.
So in theory if the Cubs met the Indian asking price, it would be something in the neighborhood of (let's just say) Marshall and Jackson for John Gaub, Chris Archer, Jeff Stevens and a half a season of Mark DeRosa, plus the $2M or so added to the Cubs payroll that is owed DeRosa. That actually doesn't sound too terrible for the Cubs, they basically replace some of the arms they would have had to given up to reacquire DeRosa with the initial trade and the Cubs get back the wind beneath their wings.
Looking at the WAR values of the guys that DeRosa would be taking playing time from (Fontenot, Miles, Blanco, Scales and Jake Fox), they add up to -0.1 WAR so far and as I said you can't just simply and add and subtract due to playing time and small sample sizes and all that, but had the Cubs been able to make this trade back in early May (and the asking price was reportedly higher back then), you're talking probably 2-4 wins over a full season and 1-2 over the last two months (once again, more a guestimate than anything). The impact probably would have been less if Lou would have had just sucked it up and played Jake Fox at third to begin with instead of having his Neifi/Lee 2006 moment. With Aramis Ramirez due back soon, that impact is going to be a bit limited, although we still don't know if we're getting the old Ramirez back and how many days off he'll have to take. I guess I would have liked for Hendry to pull the trigger, DeRosa's a quality player that has been able to get it done with runners on this year. Whether that would translate to the Cubs or not I can't say for certain, the slump and inexplicable inability to get a hit with runners on seems to be nearly a team-wide affliction and maybe DeRosa would have caught it like a cold.
I'm disappointed that DeRosa could be the dagger in the Cubs 2009 hearts and it sure does seem like the Cubs could have avoided some of this mess back in January. But he's a Cardinal now and be damn certain I hope he strikes out everytime he comes up. And every moron at Wrigley that ends up cheering for him in a Cardinals uniform, go jump off a cliff with the other lemmings.
In other news, Aaron Miles is back to the disabled list with a hyperextended right elbow and the Cubs have called up Sam Fuld. Soriano has had four mult-hit games in his last five so I'm guessing that Fuld won't get a shot at being a leadoff hitter/center fielder for a few games, not that I really thought he had shot at that, but maybe he can spell a still struggling Kosuke Fukudome. Fuld's warmed up with the weather down in Iowa with a 398/474/506/980 OPS line in June.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.