Does Wells Deserve the Rookie of the Year?
I think they're on the verge of announcing the N.L. Rookie of the Year and Randy Wells was in the running for most of the season. Ultimately I don't think he'll get more than a few third place votes from the Chicago writers and I don't have much time to put together a full analysis, so I'm just going to lazily look at WAR values over at Fangraphs.
Randy Wells - 3.0
Garrett Jones - 2.6
J.A. Happ - 1.8
Chris Coghlan - 2.3
Andrew McCutchen - 3.4
Tommy Hanson - 2.6
Casey McGehee - 2.2
Colby Rasmus - 2.3
My guess is that it ends up Hanson, McCutchen, Happ by the voters and I would certainly encourage a more robust analysis than just WAR values, but there you have it. The Internet Baseball Awards voted Hanson the winner with Wells finishing 8th, for what it's worth.
On the AL side, Elvis Andrus and Rick Porcello seem to be getting the most press with Andrew Bailey also in the mix. Fangraphs has Andrus at 3.0 WAR, Porcello at 1.8 and Bailey at 2.4. Pitchers Jeff Niemann(3.2 WAR) and Brett Anderson(3.8 WAR) both surpass Porcello by WAR values but don't seem to be getting much hype. My guess is the voters give it to Porcello as most of Andrus's value came from his glove. Porcello got the nod at the Internet Baseball Awards.
Andrew Bailey wins the A.L. award with Andrus and Porcello finishing second and third. Chris Coghlan took the N.L. award. He was followed by Happ, Hanson, McCutchen, McGehee and then Wells finishing 6th.
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?