Bad Contracts, Milton Bradley and Other Cub Related Links
- Nick Steiner takes a look at Milton Bradley using Pitch F/X data and comes away impressed.
The fact that Bradley has such a bad year - and it wasn't even that bad
- can be placed solely on a huge drop in ISO from his previously
established norms. His plate discipline and contact skills were just as
good as they were in 08 and the year before that, and there is no
evidence that the drop in ISO is anything "real". Despite the
personality problems, teams are apparently lining up to try and steal
Bradley away from Jim Hendry because he is still a very good player.
You'll make no friends around here Mr. Steiner with that sort of reasoned analysis.
- Speaking of Bradley, he makes MLBTR's list of bad contracts along with Soriano and Aaron Miles. All the hype to date has been that the Cubs will have to take on one of those (or something similar) to move Bradley.
- Bruce Miles says the Cubs should pass on Gary Matthews Jr. and responds to my inquiry in the comments that there are indeed clubs interested in Bradley.
- Bruce Levine concurs with Chris DeLuca that a payroll around $140M for 2010 should be expected and save up for another ticket price increase. He also says the Cubs are in talks with "Tampa, Toronto and three or four other clubs with players with big contracts that they would like to move."
- Dave Cameron at Fangraphs is thinking about bad contracts as well and suggests a ratings bonanza would follow a GM summit where each team brought one bad contract and threw them into a pile. Then each team picks one from the pile and has to go home with it in what he has dubbed Bad Contract White Elephant.
- This one isn't so much Cub-centric from Geoff Young, but I thought an interesting look at how K/9 rates have increased over time and then contextualizing them for each era.
So, Lincecum had a much higher strikeout rate (by 1.71) in 2009 than
Gooden did in 1985. But taking context into account, we see that the
entire league had a much higher strikeout rate (by 1.53) in 2009 than
in 1985. In today's environment, Gooden's 8.72 K/9 from 1985 would
translate to 11.15 (i.e., 8.72/5.50*7.03), which looks more impressive
and gives us a more proper appreciation of his accomplishments.
- You can vote for the 2009 This Year in Baseball awards at MLB.com. Carlos Marmol is up for set-up man of the year (I guess), so is Michael Wuertz (whoops). Milton Bradley forgetting how many outs is up in the Oddity category along with Mr. T's 7th Inning Stretch which I don't recall and after watching, I'm not sure what was that odd about it other than another pseudeo-celeb butchering the lyrics. A little surprised not to see Randy Wells in the Rookie category(Casey McGehee is though, another whoops) or Derrek Lee in the hitter category but neither would have won anyway. You'll be shocked to learn Hendry and Lou didn't get nominations either.
- A Q&A with Cubs Minor League Player of the Year Kyler Burke at Inside the Ivy (Subscription required)
Really the biggest thing was confidence; I got
my confidence back and tweaked a few things here and there with my
swing. I worked a lot on my mental approach and just went out, relaxed
and had a good time and stayed consistent throughout the whole year.
For me, I think the mental part was huge. There are guys that can play
with the talent but you have to figure out for yourself how to take
failure and also success. You can’t get too high or too low, and that’s
a big thing. It’s nothing you can really do to get there; it just kind
of has to happen. For me, I got a lot of confidence back this year and
things went smoothly.
Burke also says he tweaked his batting stance a bit at the beginning of the year.
- For all I know, this Cubs minor league blog has been around forever, but it's new to me - Wrigley Bound.
- George Castle had an article earlier this month saying that Geovany Soto is determined to get back in shape and will be teaming up with workout fiend Ryan Dempster to do so...the article and comments also have some good things to say about Koyie Hill. Castle more recently discussed potential Wrigley Field renovations and seems to be in favor of rebuilding the entire grandstand area.
- A blast from the past as Sharapova's Thigh looks at the most undeserving Starting LIneup action figures...four Cubs make the list including the acceptable Jerome Walton, Rick WIlkins and Damon Berryhill. A Luis Salazar action figure though is a head scratcher. Supposedly there's a Marvell Wynne one as well in 1989, but not sure if that's as a Cub or Padre.
- Sam Zell says goodbye.
"I think the team should be owned by somebody who is local, somebody
who is really passionate about baseball," Zell said. "I happen to be
local. I'm not passionate about baseball, so I wish them all the best
of luck. And maybe we'll break the 101-year curse."
- I obviously don't get the print versions of the Chicago newspapers, so apparently the Tribune debuted a new layout recently. One of the reasons is that they've fallen behind the Sun-Times in sports coverage, which is hard for me to fathom. More importantly, Steve Rosenbloom is the grand plan to overtake them?
- This is horrible...cubs.com is having a vote for the best single season by position but only lists the standard set of BA, HR, R, RBI and SB. At the very least you have to include a column for OBP and I sure would have at least liked to have seen OPS or OPS+. They even put Sosa's 1998 up there instead of his 2001 season. I think I'll have to examine that list in a future post with a more discerning eye.
- Cubs convention tickets go on sale on November 4th and the convention will take place January 15-17.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.