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
Grace 13 46.1/3.54 48.3/3.71
Lee 6.75
25.2/3.73 24.2/3.58
Ramirez 7.25 26.8/3.70 22.8/3.14
Dawson 6 18.1/3.02 18.1/3.02

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.

Lee's Career Cubs Numbers:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF Awards
2004 28 CHC NL 161 688 605 90 168 39 1 32 98 12 5 68 128 .278 .356 .504 .860 117 305 14 8 2 5  
2005 29 CHC NL 158 691 594 120 199 50 3 46 107 15 3 85 109 .335 .418 .662 1.080 174 393 12 5 0 7 AS,MVP-3,GG,SS
2006 30 CHC NL 50 204 175 30 50 9 0 8 30 8 4 25 41 .286 .368 .474 .842 112 83 11 0 0 4  
2007 31 CHC NL 150 650 567 91 180 43 1 22 82 6 5 71 114 .317 .400 .513 .913 130 291 15 9 0 3 AS,GG
2008 32 CHC NL 155 698 623 93 181 41 3 20 90 8 2 71 119 .291 .361 .462 .823 108 288 27 0 0 4 MVP-21
2009 33 CHC NL 141 615 532 91 163 36 2 35 111 1 0 76 109 .306 .393 .579 .972 145 308 12 3 0 4 MVP-9
2010 34 CHC NL 109 475 418 63 105 21 0 16 56 1 3 52 101 .251 .335 .416 .751 94 174 16 2 0 3  
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  
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/18/2010.

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.

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Comments

For some historical perspective, an average annual WAR of between 3.0 and 4.0 as a Cub puts these four in the company of guys like Gabby Hartnett, Stan Hack, Hank Sauer, and Bill Nicholson.

That's some damn good company.

http://twitpic.com/2g6qnh

DLee's pic is officially off the wall

Rosenthal chronicles the transaction

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Derrek-Lee...

Cubs forgot about the 10-day rule, Hoff stays in Iowa, Fuld called up instead.

Some video and an impression of Robinson Lopez

http://scoutingthesally.com/2010/08/scouting-...

that's how to do a scouting report on a prospect

no question great scouting video.

Derrek Lee was a lot better than my favorite hitter in the early eighties, Cubs standout, Bill Buckner

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/b...

Great link, thanks!

I may be crazy (or maybe it's just the camera angle), but his stride looks a little short--he seems to twist sharply rather than allowing his weight to sort of follow through over that front leg. I'd love to get the opinion of someone who actually knows something about pitching, but his legs look a little funky to me--like he's putting unnecessary strain on his left knee.

he keeps the ball back and "hidden" by his body for a while with his delivery...that might be his motivation...dunno.

he at least hits his landing spot pretty regularly off the rubber.

according to wscr colvin taking grounders at first before games

Muskat says he hasn't played first since sophomore year of college.

Cubs Lineup thu is rf fuke, ss castro, cf byrd, 3b ramy, 1b nady, lf sori, 2b dewitt, c hill, p zambrano

I don't read much into this. The Cubs are like 900 games below .500, just get 9 guys out there.

Sure, but since they're 900 games under .500, can we see Colvin or at least Castillo?

I have to agree that you should put your "best" team out there when playing a playoff contender. The fact that the teams views Castillo as a worse option than Hill is all you really need to know about his future prospects.

Not sure I agree that the concept of putting your "best team" out there implies that you need to start Koyie Hill over Wellington Castillo (who has had less than 10 major league at bats and hopefully others have not written him off already as much as you have -- talk about small sample size on which to base judgments!). This isn't like resting Ryne Sandberg for Augie Ojeda.

Similarly, not sure how that would affect us playing Nady, Soriano or Fukudome in front of Colvin, as Tyler has been arguably as good as if not better than all of them

talk about small sample size on which to base judgments!

While I agree that I would much rather see what Castillo can do than see what Koyie Hill can('t) do, it isn't like the Cubs are only looking at the 10 major league at-bats.

Castillo hasn't been a very good hitter in the minors, and until this year he has shown absolutely nothing at the plate. With that said, he is still quite young, and looks like he may have begun developing as a hitter. But even with his power surge this year, it looks to me, solely off of his numbers, that he has a long way to go.

It's not me, it's retardo Lou who thinks Hill is better than Castillo. I haven't seen much of Castillo, but I've seen way too much of Hill.

So you've seen Hill twice then?

After watching the 7th inning brainfarts by the Cub defense, I've got a new nick for Hill.

"Run Down" Hill

double entendre

Submitted by The Real Neal on Thu, 08/19/2010 - 12:31pm.
I have to agree that you should put your "best" team out there when playing a playoff contender. The fact that the teams views Castillo as a worse option than Hill is all you really need to know about his future prospects.

================================

REAL NEAL: The Cubs view Welington Castillo as the organization's #1 catching prospect. He's only 23 years old and he's still raw in a couple of areas (he needs to improve his receiving skills and make more-consistent contact), but he has a plus-arm and plus-power.

Once again, how good can he be, when he's being benched behind a guy with a long history of not being able to hit and not a terribly effective defensive player?

When Castro got called up from AA with his defensive issues - he pushed Fontenot to the bench. When Castillo got called up from AAA, he sat on the bench behind one of the worst "starters" in MLB.

he benched soto for hill for a few weeks in june.

wouldn't base anything on lou's judgemnt.

Is the question, "What is Castillo's potential value to the club in the eyes of a meaningful sample of reasonable and knowledgeable baseball fans, scouts, and coaches?" or "What is Castillo's potential value in the eyes of Lou Piniella?" Because if it's the latter, then the answer is obviously, "Less than Hill's." But Lou is retiring.

I wonder if Hendry not firing Lou was actually a clever ploy to get the highest possible pick in next year's Rule IV draft.

fine line between clever and stupid

Lou Piniella should be forced to smell the glove. Over and over again.

smell the glove

Bruce Levine also says Colvin getting some reps at 1B.

Bruce Miles with a Lou quote:

"He's going to be getting some groundballs over there at first base," Lou said. "We'll do that for a couple days and see how he feels and how he does. It's been awhile (since Colvin played first _ in college). Let's see how he responds to the work, and then we can go from there."

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4535

Roger Clemens to be arrested and charged with lying to Congress about PED use.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/sports/base...

Ouch. The only person that can lie to Congress and get away with it is the President. Everyone knows that...

To quote Richard Milhouse Nixon,

"If the President does it it means it's not a crime."

Frost Nixon was an incredible movie.

Too bad Nixon and Elvis got in that UFO.

...meh, by "incredible" I mean "good".

I think it's time to start getting pretty excited about Trey McNutt. He threw a gem last night for Daytona (6 IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 6K) and now has a combined 10-0 record for Peoria/Daytona, a 1.97 ERA, and 119K in 100.2 IP. He's also given up only 3HR. Here's Goldstein today on him:

"Trey McNutt, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Breakout pitcher in Cubs system touches 95-96 mph with plus power breaker; 49 Ks in 41 High-A innings and Florida State League is hitting .191 against him."

surprised goldstein actually knows something about the kid besides what numbers he's putting up.

cubs drafted him, started coaching, and he actually added a few mph to his fastball by ironing out his mechanics. he was drafted throwing 90-93mph...now he's putting up 95+mph...go figure.

they gave him money far over slot...good gamble so far. 100K+ for a very late pick.

surprised goldstein actually knows something about the kid besides what numbers he's putting up.

today in ignorant comments

yeah, i have my reasons.

it's not like he's talking about padres prospects or the california league.

he's a scouting guy, but his scouting over numbers angle is thin as hell, imo...and he's a heavy west coast guy.

Doesn't he live in Indiana?

i dunno...he's just been a west coast guy for a while.

i find (and have for quite a while) his coverage of other teams to be lacking. i'm not calling him a hack, but outside of the west coast playing clubs (and west coast minors/winter) i personally don't like his coverage.

What does his weight have to do with it?

Perhaps it isn't mechanics, but rather the Daytona catcher has been tutored by Koyie Hill?

ha...awesome.

it's not like the kid's mechanics were busted or some miracle teacher "made" him a pitcher or something, btw. he just gained a great velocity boost with a supposedly small amount of tinkering.

McNutt in 32nd round and Struck in 39th round might be the bost two picks in last year's draft. Yeah, I know about Jackson and Lemehieu but Jackson strikes out quite a bit and Lemehieu doesn't show any power
although he's having a good second half. Maybe we can muscle him up a little over the winter.

Lemahieu has a long enough frame that I feel like he'll have at least gap power as he gains experience (and strength), as long as he can continue to make good contact.

bases loaded, 0 out, "only" 1 run scores.

go Z.

I'm not going to trot out my Cubs fan resume but suffice to say I remember seeing my namesake play for the Cubs, yet I see NO hope in the near or long term. This team doesn't only NOT have a plan, but they don't have a plan to have a plan.

You can't let Lou go on a 2 1/2 month farewell tour, still play Nady, Hill, Baker, and Fukudome in major roles, have the owner support an inept GM, and believe there are any sunny days on the horizon.

I'll check back in when the Cubs are playing in the World Series.

Z with another amazingly lucky outing through 5...even though he's losing.

a lot of 87-88mph stuff...oddly (or not) his slider is hitting 81-83mph which is only the low end, but still in his usual working range.

this 2010 cubs pen is just f'n awesome.

Well... if it makes you feel better, Marshall actually has been f'n awesome this year.

that brings the grand total up to 2.

wonder how much $ marshall will command in arb next year...should be interesting.

We could trade Marshall, as we have John Grabow coming back from injury next year. It will be as if we made a significant free agent signing!

Ugh. Mostly because I can picture muskie f'n writing that, and me reading it...

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicagocubs/post/_/id...

He doesn't intend to opt out next season.

Actually ARam's exact quote was, "I'm Riiich Biiitch!"

there was speculation he would/could play 1st according to that article.

that's pretty awesomely weird speculation. it's not like he's under 2-3+ years of contracts with vitters waiting around in AAA.

101mph on the called strike 3 from cashner for the last out...nasty.

Cubs get the tying run to the plate and let Koyie Hill bat for himself. I never thought I'd be pining for Jeff Baker.

i guess zambrano was too busy icing his arm to pinch hit.

cubs get swept in a 4 game home series....22 games under .500.

awesome.

That was actually my thought -- if Carlos had not pitched today and YOU (you meaning whoever is reading on this board) were manager, would you pinch hit Carlos for Hill in that spot? You need a home run to tie it, 2 outs in the ninth and assume for the purposes of this question that your only other options to letting Hill hit were Zambrano or Wellington Castillo and that the pitcher is on deck, so this is likely your best hope.

I don't think I would pinch hit Carlos there, but that is just because he is a pitcher -- based solely on hitting ability, I am certain Carlos has a significantly higher HR/PA percentage than Koyie Hill, so if we need a home run, Zambrano should be the selection.

If it was just between Zambrano, Castillo and Hill, yes, I'd take Zambrano.

But Baker and Barney were both still on the bench.

Baker and Barney sound like a BBC show nobody watches.

i saw all 19 episodes of their stellar 4 year run. good stuff.

It's in syndication now on A&E.

But no one ever described it as "a home run".

You made me go look it up. Hill has 5 big league hr's in 623 ab's, or 1 hr ever 125 ab's.

Z has 20 hr's in 593 ab's, or 1 hr ever 30 ab's.

However, Z is 2 for 27 as a pinch hitter in his career with zero extra base hits.

speaking of Z, he just finished up a long, to-the-point, chill, and realistic post-game press conference.

made a few guys laugh...he sounded like a tired old manager, not a young-ish pitcher (hey, he's not even 30 yet).

(hey, he's not even 30 yet)...........

But consider that this is his 10th season with the Cubs.

At the usual rate of 1 real year = 7 Cubs years, Z is actually in his late 90s.

hahaha brilliant !

haha...

koyie hill watching michael barett instructional videos.

the fundamentals are so bad on this team, you don't know who tag out?

I'm not actually reading anything into this, but Z gets in a fight with Barrett...Barret gets traded. Z gets in a 'fight' with Lee...Lee eventually gets traded. Was Z on suspension when Lee used his no-trade with the Anaheim deal? Just curious.

wow...

mlb.com playing a "season timeline" of the cubs 2010 season....basically a best-of-cubbery for the season.

i'm gonna go puke now. fire dusty. fire rothschild. screw the tribune co. ...and if michael barret thinks he's not catching responsibility for all this then he can screw himself.

yow...today's WAS@ATL attendance...

Att: 15,593

i know it's a day game in the middle of the week at a family-oriented park, but yow for a 1st place team.

One problem with day games--they have year round schools in Atlanta. The School Year started July 14.

They had about same for last night's game too

I guess we can rule out Soriano ever moving to 1b..

"Maybe Soriano could switch to first?

"Whoa," Soriano said Thursday. "Never. I didn't want to play second base, and I played second base for five years.""
-----
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100...

Hard to believe an organization that churns out prodigies named LaHair, McNutt and LaCock hasn't won anything since the dawn of man. Wilken is probably combing the Canadian amateur leagues for a guy named LeSaque as we speak.

I'll toss my hat in for Zambrano to make the move to first base next year. This is not the rant of a barking lunatic (unless you think I'm actually Zambrano). Unless Hendry locates the magic wand he misplaced after the '08 season, this team will be crap next year (and likely the year after that). Time to face facts: Zambrano, as the pitcher we once knew, is done.

So between the rag arm, the volatile attitude and the onerous contract, the man has little actual value to the team in his current construct. Time to think out of the box. How will Team Ricketts keep the fans interested in the decline phase of Hendry's Expensive Aging Veterans strategy?

I can think of worse things than plopping a 6' 5", 250 lb switch-hitter in the middle of the lineup. Do I care if he whiffs 200 times and makes 40 errors at first? No. Do I care if he hits .203 with a .206 OBP? No. It'll still be more fun than watching DLee slug at a Girardi-like level all season.

Crash Davis taught us that the game is supposed to be fun, dammit. Give Crazy Carlos 500 PAs, a first baseman's glove, and see what happens. I say he goes deep 30 times. The guy's an athlete, so his defense shouldn't be a train wreck. And the Cubs have a knack for converting position players to pitchers. So just do the opposite. And they drafted Kieschnick. You could even have Zambrano pitch every so often in blowouts. You know, for funzies.

This team is unwatchable as is. Don't see next year getting better. Give the fans something interesting to watch. Make Zambrano into the folk hero he wants to be. It'll be a win-win amongst all that losing.

Le Sac is french for "The Sac"...but I get the picture. Sadly, french for the scrotum is le scrotum. That's no fun.

I was amused the by the post, by the way.

Le Sac is French for "The Sac"...

or for "The Purse."

you're all terrorists.

what do they call a big mac?

"what do they call a big mac?"

Who, terrorists?

Submitted by Paul Noce on Thu, 08/19/2010 - 4:36pm.
I guess we can rule out Soriano ever moving to 1b..

"Maybe Soriano could switch to first?

"Whoa," Soriano said Thursday. "Never. I didn't want to play second base, and I played second base for five years.""

===================================================

PAUL: Soriano was almost placed on the Disqualified List during Spring Training 2006 when he refused to move from 2B to LF.

So where does he want to play? Short-center? Wide Receiver? Point-Guard?

I remember that, AZ Phil. Soriano threw a fit in Spring Training when Washington wanted to move him to LF, finally relented, had a monster year, was more attractive as an average to bad fielding OF than a bad fielding 2b and the Cubs gave him the monster deal. I'd say moving to LF was a good move for his career.

Jungle Joe Wallis, where are ya when we need ya?

http://tinyurl.com/29llvms

Derrek Lee gave me probably my most happy moment ever in the regular season since 1968:

Bottom of the 8th Inning, June 3, 2007. Cubs behind, Grand Slam DLEE. Cubs Win.

I was there.

Pandemonium.

Absolutely fucking crazy.

Thank you Derrek Lee.

I just saw the highlights from today's game, including Koyie Hill having a massive brain fart and letting a runner on third score while Hill stood there and watched. What a douche.

Video of the play:
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

just saw this on MLB network. It's like watching fucking little league

THAT'S HOW YOU FUCKING PLAY BALL.

Props to Venable, in my opinion. I wish the Cubs had guys that exerted that kind of effort.

The Cubs are doing a good job moving forward for next years draft.

So Az. phil help us out who may be in the top five for the draft?

Submitted by rokfish on Thu, 08/19/2010 - 10:52pm.
The Cubs are doing a good job moving forward for next years draft.

So Az. phil help us out who may be in the top five for the draft?

=======================================================

ROKFISH: Going into next season, the Top 10 will be:

1. Anthony Rendon, 3B (Rice) - RH hitter - 394/530/801 with 26 HR & 14 SB in 63 games in 2010
2. Gerrit Cole, RHP (UCLA)
3. Matt Purke, LHP (TCU) - draft-eligible soph, was 1st round pick of TEX in 2009 - did not sign
4. Daniel Norris, LHP (Science Hill HS - Johnson City, TN)
5. Taylor Jungmann, RHP (Texas)
6. Sonny Gray, RHP (Vanderbilt) - drafted by Cubs out of Smyrna HS in 2008 - did not sign
7. Alex Meyer, RHP (Kentucky) - 6'9 220
8. Jack Armstrong, Jr, RHP (Vanderbilt) - son of ex-MLB (CIN, CLE, et al) RHP Jack Armstrong
9. Dylan Bundy, RHP (Owasso HS - Owasso, OK) - was HS teammate of Cubs (Boise) LHP Austin Kirk
10. Dwight Smith, Jr, OF (McIntosh HS - Peachtree City, GA) - son of ex-Cub OF Dwight Smith

Also, Shawon Dunston, Jr (Valley Christian HS - Fremont, CA) played in the AFLAC All-American Showcase at PETCO Field last Sunday and will likely be a 2nd round pick. (Shawon Junior plays CF and hits LH, BTW).

Any 5'7 Pitchers from the NAIA level on the Wilkens radar? How can the guy prove he is smarter than everyone else without picking an obscure guy 3-5 rounds too early?

Lilly won his fourth in a row for the Dodgers, 2-0 complete game. 2 hitter. Retired 19 in a row. 11K's
Reed Johnson 2 run home run.
Go xCubs.
I feel the opposite of schadenfreude right now.

Three months after being placed on the 15-day DL with a sprained elbow ligament, RHP Esmailin Caridad has begun a minor league rehab assignment with the AZL Cubs, and if all goes well, he will be reactivated from the DL on or about September 1st.

So let's see...next year's rotation will be Dempster, Zambrano, Silva, Wells, Gorzellany? Boy, that doesn't look great at all. How do we get rid of all the dead weight?

If everyone is healthy, that's a potential .500 team, at least based on SP. But health and sanity is not guaranteed with Z, Silva, and apparently Wells too.

And while we certainly need at least one more solid reliever to go with Marmol and Marshall, I hope Hendry doesn't go out and overdo it and sign some vet to another overpriced contract. Try and trade for someone instead who has a more reasonable contract.

would you trade Ryan Dempster right now (assuming he has cleared waivers and you receive a good offer)? As you said, we don't look like a championship team right now and if we can get a good return and dump salary, it might be the best time.

would you trade Ryan Dempster right now
---
when Jim Hendry woke up this am and looked in the mirror...he saw Dave Littlefield's face.

It even scared JH.

I would trade any veteran, period. We are rebuilding. Get the best prospects we can and sprinkle in some vets who are willing to mentor the kids. Trading Dempster would involve eating some of his large contract, though. Same with Fukudome.

We're not going anywhere with him and it looks like unless Ricketts wakes up with amnesia tomorrow and starts spending like a Steinbrenner, we're going to rebuild with kids, meaning a minimum of 2 more years of this bad baseball before we start to get back to .500 ball.

cubs are worth too much to give the impression of rebuilding even if they are.

getting rid of dumpster would probably cost more than it saves without an equal or better replacement to the mind of the casual fan.

I agree with that. No reason with the current MLB revenue system for the cubs to pull a Tampa style rebuild.

I'd be OK if all this winter brought was Dunn and Javy Vazquez with reasonable contracts.

Probably need a new GM before something like that happens though.

i doubt the team is looking to blow 25-30 million on 2 players, imo.

With all the money coming off the books after 2011. The Cubs could pull a little back load of those 2 contracts.

Dunn needs to be priority 1 IMHO. If you get him, then Vazquez would be the next and last big money target. Then I would fill the bench with ML vets and farm system guys.

Only other money spent would be a 4 corner bat. Aramis Ramirez injury insurance. SOMETHING JIM HENDRY STILL HASN'T FIGURED OUT!!!!!!

Figure Dunn at 4-48 to 4-52

10 in 2011 and 14 from 2012-2014

Figure Vazquez at 2-20 to 2-22 with maybe some mutual option for a 3rd year.

8 in 2011 13 in 2012 and a mutual option for 10 in 2013. Probably with a modest buyout.

No reason it can't be done if we stay within 95% of where our current payroll.

Aramis Ramirez injury insurance is Marquez Smith and/or one of the 2B guys in the minors if they progress offensively (pushing DeWitt over to 3rd). I would not expect JH to spend much money on a guy to back up 3B.

FYI. You wouldn't have to eat any of Dempster's contract to trade him. Puzzling is probably a bit of an understatement comparing Dempster and Fukudome. Sort of like saying Derrek Lee and Pujols are about equal ballplayers.

There've been a few concerned comments about the bullpen thing. But a couple notes that I remember are Howry and Eyre giving us a couple decent years. (I refuse to comment on Grabow, as I thought he was overpaid as well... but that said I don't think anyone thought he was going to suck/be injured nearly as much this year as he has...)

Overall though, there's enough that needs unscrewed with the team (1B, trying to dump Fuk and maybe even Z supposedly) that I think right or wrong, the pen is going to be an afterthought.

Which brings me to another point. (serious question). Is Hendry the only GM in baseball that seems to be limited on how many deals he can work at once, or in a given period? It's been the theory with the Cubs for awhile now; "can't worry about (position x), too busy working on signing (overpaid FA) for (position y)."

Thoughts?

we're probably stuck with fuku, but imo he's not horrible...just very overpaid.

he's showing the ability to at least get on base vs. lefties that he showed in 08, though the sample size is still way too small to make a conclusion about anything.

he's also like 33/34.

I agree on Fuku. He gets on base and can defend all 3 OF positions. Worst case is you have an expensive 4th outfielder.

He also provides insurance for a Soriano injury (which usually knocks him out of 15-30 games per year), and Colvin continuing to slide backwards. Hot start was all well and good for Tyler. However is OBP is all the way back down to 309. That's pushing Todd Hollandsworth territory.

I'll be glad when he comes back, I just hope he's not becoming another Angel Guzman who is always hurt.

Don't most teams that hit the skids this bad, and this blatantly, get rid of the guys who got them there?

Are you talking about Hendry??? :)

Lou's judgement. Yuck.

in Bobby Cox judgement, DLee's a cleanup hitter. 3-4-5, Prado, DLee, McCann today per the Braves AJC writer David O'Brien on twitter

Braves lineup: 1. Infante 2B, 2. Heyward RF, 3. Prado 3B, 4. LEE 1B, 5. McCann C, 6. Gonzalez SS, 7. Cabrera LF, 8. Ankiel CF, 9. Jurrjens

http://twitter.com/ajcbraves/status/21666788042

Let's see if he thinks that if Lee hits .250 with 2nd basemen's power for the rest of the regular season.

Apparently everyone has forgotten the days when he hit 6th or 7th for the Marlins. That's the real D Lee.

Ryno, great comment. Not necessarily because I agree totally; that's the real DLee NOW maybe, but also, with the exception of '05, I never really saw him as the #3 (at least on a gen-u-ine contender).

I also didn't see Z as an Ace, pretty much ever, and I know there are some stats that say he is. I always saw him as what was left after W and P exploded. Shit, Ted Lilly's been the ace of this staff since he's been here, with the exception of the year Dempster pitched out of his mind.

I just have images in my mind of what I think guys are who fit certain roles. Yes, it's kind of along the lines of the "scrappy/team chemistry/hustle" thing, in that it's hard to quantify. But the guy in the 3 spot should be the guy on your lineup that strikes fear into the other pitcher because he can take the ball out any given day and does/has done it regularly 35-40 times a season. I realize they don't grow on trees, but I'd have put ARam then DLee 3-4 awhile ago. Another funny side note, it was the cleanup hitter who was that guy when I was a kid, and the 5th hitter was the RBI man.

Random thoughts.

*edit

The same thing is in my mind about closers, when they talk about 'makeup' and such. Does your closer HAVE to throw mid to high 90s? No, and there have been examples. But the ones that do are just one of the small things that make baseball great in my opinion.

I have forgotten those days, mainly because they really didn't happen. Derrek Lee has only hit 7th for 323 at-bats in his entire career, and mostly in 1999 (171), a season in which he hit .206 as a 23-year old just breaking in. Surely that is not the real Derrek Lee.

He did hit 6th a lot (2,000 at-bats), from 2000-2004, and this included his first year as a Cub when he had 324 at-bats in that slot. But was this because Derrek Lee was some a different hitter then? No, he was on loaded teams in which the 3-4-5-6 hitters moved around a lot. With the Cubs, Lee, Alou, Sosa, and Ramirez all hit in those spots in varying orders throughout the season. Hell, Lee even hit 2nd for 112 at-bats in 2004. With the Marlins, you had a similar situation where guys like Pudge, Lowell, Lee, and Encarncion moved around a lot in those slots. And on any other team they probably would have been 2-5 rather than 3-6, but they had Pierre and Castillo at the top which forced them all to slot down.

Good points
Nicely done

Not really - he compared the 2003 Pudge,Lowell and Encarnacion to Alou, Sosa and Ramirez - there's a large difference between those trios of hitters.

The thing is, you are smart enough to know what people are saying. You just try to pick out one small part, examine it narrowly out of context, and then only comment on that issue. It's quite annoying.

You know very well that the point is not that one trio is equivalent to the other. The point is that Pierre, Castillo, and Pudge were going to hit 1-2-3, which left Lowell, Lee, Encarnacion, Cabrera, and Conine to hit in the 4-5-6 slots - which they did, interchangeably throughout the year, depending on matchups, health, and who was hot. It's not rocket science.

Speaking of rocket science... how stupid is this post you just made? Have you noticed that the point was that Lee shouldn't have been batting third and you defending your position by saying "Lowell, Lee, Encarnacion, Cabrera, and Conine to hit in the 4-5-6 slots - which they did, interchangeably throughout the year, depending on matchups, health, and who was hot"

Did Lou do that with Lee this year? You're just pitiful, dude. You can't even keep the thread of a discussion for 2 posts, and then accuse me of taking things of context.

Lee does have a .939 OPS since the Break, having a nice August particularly in the 10 games he's played (1.075 OPS).

Watching the recap from yesterday and I have a technical question:

In the 7th with 0 out and Cubs up by 1, why was the throw to home cut off? It's not like the runner was going to advance to third base.

I'm not questioning the play, I just want to understand it.

My initial reaction is because the Cubs suck at fundamentals?

Seriously though, the way I understand it that's one of those things that's a judgment call at that second. I didn't see the highlight, but presumably whoever did it didn't think the throw had a chance at the runner, whether he would've beaten it or the throw wasn't accurate.

bobby cox talking about how when he retires he wants to come to wrigley simply to sit in the stands and watch a game because he's "always wanted to do that."

a thinly veiled revelation that he's going to be a drunk for the rest of his life and wants to try the bleachers??

the 3rd-inning "sell stuff" guests are becoming more prevalent on cubs broadcasts.

more game calling, less trying to sell me dvds.

ken burns in the booth, btw.

attendance is falling off, ricketts probably gets a cut of the 'proceeds'

nice!

castro makes his 100th unnecessary throw of the season. not bad for a guy who's only been here part of a season.

i dunno why, but dlee vs. marmol seems like fun.

fuuuu...3 pitches, 3 fastballs, K, all swinging.

Do you suppose the Braves wish they traded for Ramirez now?

C'mon, Carlos, get angry and start striking these guys out.

UPDATE: Yeah, that triple isn't going to help.

fuck this team.

I wish Barney had more of a downswing. He's hitting too many flyballs for a guy with not much power. I guess he really is Theriot Duex.

Fuck 'em in the eye!

Go draft choice upgrade.

Ken Burns is filming this?

It's for Baseball Inning 11: Death By Cubbery.

8 wrigley losses in a row...23 games under .500

awesome.

What is the Draft List update now, anyway?

Pittsburgh .331
Baltimore .352
Arizona .385
Seattle .397
Chicago .407
Cleveland .413
Kansas City .421

Going into tonight's action.

I'd say that #3 pick is completely within reach.

Do we have another series against Arizona? I smell more starts for Koyie Hill and Xavier Nady. *rubs hands together*

You're viewing the numbers of the other teams as static. Just like the Cubs can get worse, the Pirates and the Orioles can get better.

the Pirates ... can get better.

Especially if they play the Cubs more!

I think we all need 'Death by Cubbery' t-shirts.

i'd take that on some wristbands

Don't look now, but Brandon Guyer has been tearing it up at AA this year. Season slash stats are .329/.384/.577 with 12 HRs. More impressive are his stats in July & Aug. -- .415/.437/.622 in July, .414/.444/.828(?!) w/ 5 HR in Aug. Also has 23 SB w/ only 2 CS.

Wow.

It seems like every minor leaguer has had a fantastic 2nd half. Some of that might have to do with guys not being promoted from A to AA or AA to AAA when some of the best competition has moved up a level. Since the All-Star Break stats:

AAA
Welington Castillo: .281/.354/.579/.933
Marquez Smith: .416/.480/.820/1.300
Brad Snyder: .325/.415/.602/1.017
Micah Hoffpauir: .379/.437/.758/1.195

AA
Brandon Guyer: .423/.455/.766/1.220
Tony Campana: .346/.394/.454/.848
Tony Thomas: .313/.328/.536/.863
Josh Vitters (only 33 ABs): .303/.395/.636/1.031

A+
DJ Lemahieu: .355/.393/.441/.834
Rebel Ridling: .304/.338/.482/.820
Michael Brenly: .315/.385/.440/.826
Junior Lake: .312/.376/.533/.908

This pattern seems to hold true everywhere except Peoria (A), where offensive numbers for the most part seem fairly static pre- and post- all star break, or in many cases even to have suffered a little bit (perhaps due to an influx of college pitchers from the draft?).

I do think, however, based on the numbers of other players on the teams, that the positive second half by Guyer is probably more meaningful (when guys like Campana and Thomas are improving, but not drastically, and Brett Jackson is actually dropping off a bit) than the positive second halves of guys in Iowa where batting averages and slugging percentages are soaring. A+ is more difficult to interpret, since Junior Lake's offensive display is a positive sign regardless of what the rest of his team is doing, and numbers from a 20-year-old player in A-ball might be more encouraging than strong second halves from guys like Brenly and Ridling (though good second half numbers are, of course, always more encouraging than bad second half numbers).

I suspect Koyie Hill is the next guy to go.

First, we got rid of all the Todds--Walker, Hollander, Todd Wellemeyer.

Then we discarded the players with the funniest names--Cherry, Pie, Roquet.

Then we eliminated the Aarons, Heilman and Miles.

Just recently we did away with the silent T's, Fontenot and Theriot.

We got rid of Rich Hill a couple of years back and Koyie has been hanging on by a thread since.

(The Carloses better watch their backs, too.)

When do we do the Jims?

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