How many Wins If This Was The Cubs '11 Team?
I have no clue who the Cubs are going to get this offseason. I do think they'll try and move Fukudome and maybe Silva (good luck on both counts). Since the Cubs aren't going into the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, the only pitcher I find remotely interesting would be Javier Vazquez, but by no means is he a certainty to land with the team. But here's a possible 2011 Cubs team, how many wins do you think they'd be worth? (remembering they won 75 last year and their expected win-loss was 73 wins).
C - Soto, Backup C (Varitek, Hill, Castillo, Blanco, Chirinos, etc)
1B - Carlos Pena (Berkman, LaRoche, N. Johnson also possibilities)
2B - Dewitt/Baker
SS - Castro
3B - Ramirez
LF - Soriano
CF - Byrd
RF - Colvin
Bench: Backup C, Dewitt or Baker, Barney, Vet Pinch-Hitter (Stairs, Hinske, etc), Utility Outfielder likely right-handed to spell Colvin (Guyer, R. Johnson, Fuld, etc).
SP - Zambrano, Dempster, J. Vazquez, Wells, Gorzelanny, Silva (someone goes to the pen or minors or is traded of course)
RP - Marmol, Marshall, Grab-Ass, D. Wheeler and fill out the pen with 3 of: Cashner, Samardzija, Caridad, Dolis, J. Jackson, Maine, Gaub, Coleman, Russell, Berg, etc
No one quite knows who exactly the Cubs will sign and acquire via trade, but a left-handed power hitting 1b-men, a veteran starter and a veteran right-handed reliever are on the agenda and Pena, Vazquez and Wheeler would fit those roles. I'm sure a lot of Cubs folks would like to see Kerry Wood join the team, but I'm guessing he'll find a closer role somewhere or at least a a chance to compete for the role that he wouldn't get in Chicago.
I'd put that team at 80 wins unless Z and Vazquez find the fountain of youth and stability.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.