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.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.