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.
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.
#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
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as 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.
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#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)
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.
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.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
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.
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.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
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."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.
cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.