The Derrek Lee Era
With Derrek Lee's departure to the South and front running Braves, the Cubs lost one of their finest players over the last 30 years. But just how fine was he?
I think we can agree that since 1980 (arbitrary cutoff by me, live with it) that Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa are your top two Cubs depending on how much you want to dock Sosa for his alleged indiscretions. That leaves a quartet of Cubs vying for spots 3-7 among position players: Mark Grace, Andre Dawson, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee.
Let's go to the HTML table:
WAR is Fangraphs all-encompassing stat, WARP is Baseball Prospectus version and after the slash is their average wins per season.
|Player||Years as Cub||WAR as Cub||WARP3 as Cub|
The Hall of Famer trails the pack clearly and I think you have to give Grace the number three spot thanks to longevity and his per season numbers are in the vicinity of Lee and Ramirez. Aramis still gets the rest of the year and most likely next to improve upon his numbers, but Derrek Lee did easily have one of the best Cubs' seasons of all-time in 2005.
I'd probably give the nod to Ramirez over Lee for fourth, based on nothing more than clutchiness or at least perceived clutchiness on my part. Ramirez did seem to be the guy to get all the big hits over the years while Lee seemed like the guy to ground into a double play at the worst of the times. I'm sure that's more perception than reality, but I'm damn glad both were around for nearly a decade. It didn't end well for Lee and the Cubs and us fans, but baseball marriages rarely do. A proper retrospective on Lee will need some time and the perspective gained with it, but I sure hope he goes down in the Cubs' history books as one of the best.
|CHC (7 yrs)||924||4021||3514||578||1046||239||10||179||574||51||22||448||721||.298||.378||.524||.903||128||1842||107||27||2||30|
179 HR's as a Cub ranks him 11th all-time, 574 RBI's is 29th, 578 Runs in 33rd and his .378 OBP is 9th.
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.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!