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.
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.