Cubs Potential Offseason Targets: Rajai Davis
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Let's give credit to Arizona Phil for this suggestion as he pointed out that Rajai Davis qualified for Super Two status and could be available if the A's want to save some money.
Those numbers sure are nothing to get you excited, at least not as a starter. On the other hand, he could make an interesting replacement for Reed Johnson as a center field platoon for Kosuke Fukudome if Fukudome stays in center. His career splits don't show a huge advantage versus lefties quite like Reed Johnson. Davis has a career .735 OPS against lefties vs .717 against righties, while Johnson has an .841 OPS versus lefties and just .707 versus righties. On the other hand, Davis is a game changer in the field. Fangraphs and BP both rate him highly as does the Fan's Scouting Report. Those defensive numbers helped contribute to WAR and WARP1 numbers near 4 for 2009 combined with his surge in hitting.
Of course, when you're a speed demon with little power and pedestrian walk rate, you know his BABIP numbers are gonna skew on the high side and lo and behold he had a .366 last year which will be tough to repeat.
I'd probably pass on any potential trade in this case if I were the Cubs. I know the Cubs wanted to add speed to their roster next year and that elusive true leadoff man, but getting in on Davis (maybe a Fuld for Davis trade?), wouldn't be much more different than trading for Juan Pierre or signing Joey Gathright. Yeah, if he could repeat his offensive numbers from last year, his defense and baserunning would make him worthwhile, but I have a hard time giving any assurances that he could repeat those numbers. As a possible platoon partner, he's gonna fare better than Fukudome versus lefties, but just because he's hitting from the right side I don't know if he gives you that much more over Sam Fuld or brining back Reed Johnson.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
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.