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.
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.