TCR Friday Notes and Introducing a New Bears Blog
Well that little fling the Cubs had with the playoffs was fun, but I'm back to not giving a damn. One of our readers suggested a poll on what was the reasons for the Cubs demise in 2009. You never want to jump the gun too soon on something like that, but I think by the end of the weekend, it'll be safe to post.
- BP looks at the some of minor leaguers around the NL that took a big stride in their prospectdom. Kyler Burke and pitcher "Cub" Carpenter(so as not be confused with the Cardinals Chris Carpenter) get mentioned.
- A nice article on where and how the Cubs make their money and where new owner Tom Ricketts will try to boost profits.
- Fun day at the ballpark yesterday....Cubs lose again and Randy Wells looks cooked. Milton got on-base finally, but complained of a knee injury and was removed from the game. This sent the press corp into some sort of odd frenzy, which of course Bradley fed with a terse post-game press conference around his locker followed by Lou sort of dressing Bradley down for his actions. This after Lou just decided he wasn't going to hold a press conference of his own. Oh yee double standard, how I love you so...
The writing is getting pretty clear on the wall that Lou and Bradley just aren't going to get along. I imagine Hendry will be working the phones for some overpriced relievers to try and swap bad contracts this offseason. Then he can cut the reliever and flush $23M down the drain.
- Speaking of Bradley, there's been some odd debate between the on-field merits of Alfonso Soriano vs. Bradley this year in the comments. Seems pretty cut and dried to me, but I did try to look at it objectively in this comment. I reposted the analysis after the jump as well.
- And I'd like to welcome all of you Bears fans, to The Bear Truth. A little Bears blog I'm going to start up. Right now, it's just yours truly, but hopefully I can blackmail a few more writers into joining the venture (drop me a note if you're interested, qualifications are the English language and not being an over-opinionated douchebag). If anything, it will hopefully keep the Bears talk off here. I'm sure it'll one day grow into something just as kick-ass as TCR, but for the time being, it'll be just a good place to gather and chat about the Bears, including Parachat on gamedays. I also plan on using it as my testing ground for improvements to TCR as the two sites run on the same platform. Stop on by...
Bradley vs. Soriano in 2009 (with a few minor additions from the original comment)
to be an effective baseball player, there's basically 4 things I look at...
you get on-base, you drive in runs, you hit for power, you can play
defense...if you want to add a 5th, you can add baserunning and speed,
but it's very much the 5th wheel...
1. you get on-base
it's pretty easy, look at OBP
.376 vs .303 (Bradley vs. Soriano)
.371 vs. .326 for their careers
Major Advantage Bradley
2. you drive in runs
yeah, there's RBI's, they don't tell a good story. They don't tell
you about the RBI opportunities. I've preached this for a long time but
BP and the game logs of individual players on Baseball Reference carry the information.
Bradley: 288 Runners have been on-base (ROB) when he's come up, he's driven in 28 of them for a woeful 9.7%
Soriano: 276 ROB, 35 driven in (this excludes driving themselves in on a home run) for an also woeful 12.7%
Generally about 15-16% is considered average and only Ramirez and
Lee are above that this year for the Cubs. The only thing about driving
in runs and hitting with runners on, is that is has shown to fluctuate
greatly from season to season.
Bradley's ROB% from 2008 in descending order (2007, then 2006 and so forth): 15.6, 16, 14, 12.9, 12.8, 17.6, 12
Soriano's ROB%: 16.4, 13, 13.9, 16, 16.2, 14.1, 17.7
Slight Advantage Soriano
3. you hit for power
Bradley: 12 HR's, 30 XBH's in 2009 (terrible)
Soriano: 20 HR's, 46 XBH's in 2009 (about the only decent thing from him all season)
Soriano obviously has the career advantage as well...
Major Advantage Soriano
4: you play defense
I think Soriano has been a disaster this season and certainly taken
a step back from some decent years he had before that, mostly thanks to
his arm. Left field tends to be the place you sacrifice defense so
comparing him to his peers versus Bradley's right field and center
field peers is hardly ideal. Nonetheless...
Soriano BP rate2 (100 is average): 114 for his career in LF, 102 in 2009 (that's a tough one to swallow)
Bradley BP rate2: 104 for his career in RF, 107 in 2009
Soriano UZR/150: 5.4 for his career in LF, -13.1 in 2009, 5.2 in 2008, 22.4 in 2007
Bradley UZR/150: 7.8 for his career in RF, 6.6 in CF, - 2.3 in 2009, 14.2 in 2006
Slight to Substantial Advantage Bradley
There's some decent cumulative stats that try to sum up a player...WAR(via BP) and WARP(via Fangraphs) are the most prominent.
Bradley: 1.3 WAR in 2009, 2.4 WARP
Soriano: -0.8 WAR in 2009, 0.8 WARP
Salary: $16M for Soriano this year, $7M for Bradley
It's like comparing turds in a punch bowl, but Bradley for the win in 2009.
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
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)