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.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.