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.
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.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.