2010 Winter Meetings Day Three

10:30 PM CST (Rob G.): A previous Levine post said Cubs are interested in acquiring Jason Frasor after missing out on him last season. Medical reports on Brandon Webb are in the Cubs doctors hands and Chris Davis for Robinson Chirinos is still on the table, but the Cubs want Darren O'Day included in a deal.

10:17 PM CST (Rob G.): Levine says the Rays and Cubs met for a second time since the meetings began, presumably to discuss Garza and that the Cubs "package" was the most attractive. (7th grade chuckle). Brewers and Rangers are also in the mix.

5:18 PM CST (Rob G.): Joel Sherman says the Rays are thus far unsinspired by offers for Garza and will likely wait until July to see if value goes up.

1:56 PM CST (Rob G.): Well at least the Cubs called to ask about Zack Greinke.

1:44 PM CST (Rob G.): There were some multi-year offers out there for Pena with Nats, Orioles, Mariners, Blue Jays and Braves showing interest. (O's seem to be at least one team that made a multi-year offer and the biggest competition according to Pena).

12:46 PM CST (Rob G.): There it is, $5M to Pena is deferred until January 2012.

12:26 PM CST (Rob G.): Pena press conference updates culled from Twitter.

- Grew up watching the Cubs, cites watching George Bell (~shrug~).

- "To play for the was my preference...I love the city, my family loves the city, and we have a good chance at winning."

- Boras cited Rudy as one of the reasons they liked the Cubs and confidence that he can help him improve on last season.

- Here's a pic

- Rumor that Yankees could be going after Mark Prior along with rumors that they'll try and bring back Kerry Wood once the Cliff Lee sweepstakes are over. Yes, Rothschild, Prior and Wood back together again is a looming possibility.

- Trib story says Cubs targets were Pena and Berkman and talk about LaRoche and Loney were overstated. Nats, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles made offers or were at least interested. No mention of deferred money from them, although Levine has already put it out there. Also says they're working on trades and still talking to Brandon Webb.

12:20 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Levine chat excerpts:

- Says Cubs like Garza and have young talent Rays are seeking, although Archer and B. Jackson seem safe from being moved.

- Chris Davis is still in the mix even with the Pena signing.

- Mentions deferred money in Pena deal again, but no specifics.

- Cubs still high on Vitters (as they should be).

 


To the rumor cave...

- With Pena about to be signed, look for the Cubs to intensify trying to move Fukudome and giving Colvin the everyday job.

- Speaking of Pena, radio report that there is deferred money in the deal as I suspected last night. Also, he suffered through plantar fasciitis most of last year.

- Same report from Levine suggests the Cubs are making a push for Matt Garza. (Claps hands like a cymbal playing monkey). Here's a more proper link to the story.

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Comments

I would definitely applaud adding Garza to the SP mix. It would be nice to avoid having to use 3 #5 starters in the rotation. I would think Garza would be AT LEAST a #3/#4...

Concur on getting Garza! That would certainly be an awesome pickup. Maybe Gorzy and Hak lee can get it done?(totally knows that ain't even close)

I doubt they need Gorzelanny. They might have interest in Hak-ju Lee, as sort of a fallback plan to Reid Brignac, giving Brignac a year or two. I could see them perhaps wanting a power arm to help fill the pen, perhaps a guy like Jay Jackson. Maybe another smaller asset, but probably not much more than that.

The other issue is how do the Cubs pay for it. Considering all the tight budget talks, along with the fact that Garza could get 6 or 7 mil in arb, the Cubs either have more money to play with, or they might have to sign Garza down for 3 years or so to lessen the blow for 2011 if they still plan on adding pen help and more.

That said, it's certainly doable.

I would imagine that Garza makes Wells expendable, though you're right about it meaning that the Cubs would have to shed some payroll to get the other experienced reliever they want.

I hope not. I would rather have a rotation of Z/Dempster/Garza/Wells and 1, which looks fairly solid.

As a side note, if he costs more than Marcum (as MLBTR suggests) ... if he costs say, Brett Jackson and more, I'd be hesitant. I'd give up Lee in a heartbeat, but I'd be wary about giving up Brett Jackson and more.

I think we're of opposite opinions on Jackson/Lee. I can see the organization seeing Lee as more expendable, though, because of Castro. I am not sure if Castro's bat will develop to justify him playing 2nd, myself.

Gee, Toons...

What is it with all of your Wells love here?

Is he your cousin?

He is a marginal 5th starter for heavens sake.

Agree. Garza or not, I would like to see Wells replaced in the rotation.

drive-by Wells hate

Where's this coming from?

194 IP last year, 102 ERA+ after 146 ERA+ his rookie season.

Guys like Wells cost $8M a year on the FA market.

I thought money wasn't an object in fantasies?

My dislike of Wells stems from how inconsistent he was last year. Maybe the new pitching coach can get through to him.

Or bars cutting him off the night before he pitches at Wrigley.

Is he hanging out with Farnsworth?

The night before the Cardinal game reports had him out late, he didn't get an out in the game.

Guess which are the day splits and the night splits-

ERa WHIP BAA
4.95 1.55 .293
3.63 1.26 .253

yow.

i know some people like wrigley, but i wish they'd get the hell out of there.

sick of losing players due to day games and lacking amenities...even if it's not that huge of a factor.

some people really don't like wrigley and if your introduction to the place is via being a visitor...phew...not good, usually...

ding ding. He's not this crap pitcher that Cubs fans want to seem to think he is. He was inconsistent, but geesh, on a staff that didn't chew through a ton of innings, Wells gave us innings and solid performance. I've said this elsewhere, I think he's a very good number 5, a solid number 4, and for some staffs, statistically, he's a decent/capable 3.

Leave aside the cost issue as it relates to value. He's given the Cubs 3+ WAR the last two season. His K rate increased last year without a significant BB rate increase. He's simply not this horrible, let's replace him right away, pitcher that some want to think.

Wells gave us innings and solid performance

Was this on the days he was not giving up 12 runs by the 2nd inning?

He is a very inconsistent pitcher that simply cannot be counted on to win two starts in a row.

He cannot make a nasty pitch when he needs to. B/c his location has to be perfect, when he gets behind in the count, Randy is dead meat.

However, Ol' Randy had a terrific April 2010, going 4-1, but his losses in May and June were like Roller Coaster Randy:
May 6, Lost 11-1, gone right away. Booed. To the Pirates.
May 11, 3-2, FLA
May 28, 7-1 Stl
May 31, 2-1 Pitt. Again.

How does someone from the Cubs lose to the Pirates, twice, in the same month. Must be some kind of Tribune-era record.

He won a couple in May: both nail-biters.

June? He loses four of five, including a 10-5 Sox shellacking, 6-3 HOU loss, an 8-1 drubbing by the M's(!), and, on cue, ANOTHER loss to the Bucs, this time 2-1.

July, Randy loses 3 of 5, BUT throws a NICE shutout against the Cards. Not a minor feat at all. This is what I mean about Roller Coaster Randy!

August? Now you may be thinking that, "Hey, maybe the converted-late-in-his-career-catcher MAY have figured it out after shutting out the Cards (prior to his 8-1 pasting again by the 'Stros the outing after the Cards SHO)?"

- sigh - Nope. 'Ol Randy loses 5 of 6 starts, including another pasting - worst of the year BY ANY CUBS PITCHER - 18-1 to the Brewers, 16-5 loss against the Braves, 3 more one-run losses, and FINALLY wins a game at the end of the month, 3-2.

And, finally, in September, with absolutely no pressure, he has a nice month as the car is on the top of the roller coaster, and wins 3 of 5 with a better ERA+.

To me, and most baseball folks, this is the CLASSIC #5/#6 starter. Just below .500. Can pitch some innings (hopefully). Mercilessly inconsistent, and - while not horrible not trustworthy or "better than servicible" in any way.

To say someone of this ilk would be a #3 starter on some teams?! I would like to know which ones and which GM's would saddle this guy against other teams legitimate #3's.

Because, he is: Roller Coaster Randy

guy has always reminded me of aaron sele.

i think he's a perfectly fine end-rotation guy, myself.

To say someone of this ilk would be a #3 starter on some teams?!

Brewers
Pirates
Reds
Astros
DBacks
Braves
Nats

easily be the #4 on the Phillies

is there some reason an ERA+ of 102 by Wells is so much worse than say Arroyo's 103 ERA+?

is there some reason an ERA+ of 102 by Wells is so much worse than say Arroyo's 103 ERA+?

Come one man, Bronson Arroyo! He's named after an actor who played James Bond. That trumps anything that logic and common sense may throw my way!

and he's got nuts the size of saturn

Charles Bronson never played James Bond.

Classic 5/6 (so essentially, he should be in the minors half the time)? Again, numbers are bit a snapshot, but they do tell you critical information. Top 50 in FIP, xFIP and WAR over the past 2 seasons. For a roller coaster pitcher, that's remarkably ... consistent, and the numbers suggest that he's given solid, useful performance.

Mind you, I haven't argued that he's a good, elite arm. Numbers can be deceiving in some respects, and I've acknowledged his inconsistencies. But to suggest that a pitcher who has performed remarkably ... solid ... the last two years shouldn't be in the majors at some points over the last two years (after all ... 6th starters are often in the minors or pen), I just don't see it.

All that said, I do recognize that Cubs fans are largely disappointed at Wells. That said, on the free agent market, as Rob G suggested (and I concur), he'd likely pull in a 6-8 million dollar AAV deal for a couple seasons.

I was very pleasantly surprised his first year, and was waiting for improvement his second. It didn't happen. Should I be pleased with that?

I guess, the glass is a bit cloudy for me b/c as a STH, I picked the games when I am just sitting down with my first beer, the game is over - seemingly for the times Wells was pitching.

He's not horrible. Not great. Just a #5 to me.

"I was very pleasantly surprised his first year, and was waiting for improvement his second."

so you were expecting him to win the Cy Young?

Did I state that?

I was expecting him to have a .500 season and not be removed 30% of his starts in the early innings.

Maybe he had a "good day" in L.A. on one of the losses you saw?

you said improve upon his 2009 season...

considering what he did in 2009, improving would be winning the Cy Young.

Gee ROB G. So, a 12-10 record, with a 3.05 in 2009, there is nothing between this and Cy Young to you?

What the fuck are you talking about?

If a few more wins, and closing out games in 2010 means Cy Young to you, then sure, I wanted him to win the Cy Young. Are you happy now?

Let's see if he is a bust or champ at the end of the year ROB G. Maybe you'll get real lucky and take your whole family to a Dodgers/Cubs game he is pitching when he gets knocked out in the 3rd inning, and you can tell me what a great ERA+ he has (on his good days).

so you were spurned by Wells on a day you spent some cash and hence the vitriol?

I can't imagine why anyone that's been around this site as long as you would still use W/L records to judge a pitcher.

But yeah, about the only improvement on a 3.05 ERA, 146 ERA+ season and 160 IP in 2009 that could be reasonably expected, would be to do it over 200 innings and get himself in the Cy Young race.

I have to admit, I don't know what usage of STH is being referenced here.

I'd make the argument that Wells was better in 2010 than he was in 2009. Not much, but enough, as it relates to performance he can control. His K rate was noticeably higher, while his BB rate, HR rate, and GB rates weren't that different.

For a GB pitcher, your defense needs to be sharp. When you have occasional bouts of inconsistencies like Wells had, and a weak defense behind, that leads to problems.

July Wells' Starts:
July 3 (CIN) 7 2/3IP, 1 ER, 5K,1BB, W
July 8 (LAD) 7IP, 3ER, 7K, 1BB, L
July 17 (PHI) 7IP, 0ER, 5K, 2BB. No decision
July 23 (STL) 7IP, 0ER, 7K, 3BB, W
July 28 (HOU) 5 2/3IP, 3ER, 4K, 5BB, L

So a no decision, and a loss in a pretty solidly pitched game (7innings, 3 ER)..but yes, focus on losing 3 of 5...

Wells is a solid 5..maybe a 4.
And if this is the biggest ? in the rotation...the Cubs would be just fine. Lack of a #1 is still the issue.

More garish signs in the outfield?

or trade Gorz and half of Fuku's contract.

depends on what Pena is getting this year.

Is Garza a bit of a head case ala Z?

Not in same nutty Z universe but close?

I seem to recall something about how he used to get pissed at teammates for bad plays, and I think there was a dugout confrontation last year or the year before with Navarro.

Having said that, WGAF. Get him.

Levine chat:

Does the ten million dollar signing mean the Cubs will only be able to add to the rotation and bullpen by trade ?

Bruce Levine: No because part of the contract is deferred. That type of creativity by Hendry will allow him to add another major league contract to make the trade.

Bruce, tell me names like Archer and Jackson aren't being named in a possible trade for Garza.

Bruce Levine: They are not.

Thats good to hear. I'm fine with trading any Minor league guy not named Jackson,Archer or McNutt.

Jay Jackson would be okay to trade for Garza--in fact, he's exactly the sort of player I think that the Rays might want from the upper minors--likely to have a career in the majors but not projectable as a star.

I'd also be fine with keeping Jay Jackson and leaving Matt Garza alone.

I meant Brett Jackson. Jay Jackson is open game

THANKS ROB G, for all your coverage.

I think you may consider also doing election results sometime.

And yes, I can strike out Chris Davis.

Hendry is apparently doing his due diligence on Zach Greinke. Adding Greinke would get me a whole lot more excited than adding Garza. He (Greinke)could be the long term ace for the Cubs that Z never was. Of course, Heyman's tweet goes on to say that the addition of a mid-rotation guy is more likely than the addition of Greinke.

http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/statuses/1258...

If the Cubs were to get serious about Greinke, I wonder what it would cost them.

they wanted Travis Snider and Drabek from the Blue Jays allegedly.

Cashner is probably the closest to Drabek but don't think he's thought of to have that high of a ceiling. I guess Colvin would be the closest to Snider, but once again, I think Snider's got a higher ceiling.

B. Jackson and Archer would start the talks I'm guessing or B. Jackson and Cashner.

They're looking for up the middle help, according to the latest linked article at MLB Trade Rumors from Rosenthal.

But grab three of our top five guys, and that's probably where the conversation would start.

5th starter Randy Wells had about the same VORP (20.1) as Greinke (20.7) last year.

Garza came in at 29.9.

Lee, B. Jackson, Guyer, Archer, McNutt, Cashner.

2-3 of those I guess...maybe they like Chirinos or Castillo as well.

Lee, Cashner, McNutt, Castillo and Brooks Raley for example?

I'd probably do it, but it would certainly kill the farm system.

You'd also have to weigh in the possiblity of him imploding under the increased scrutiny of the Chicago media and the quick to boo fans.

The social anxiety thing is always lurking in the background. Supposedly he has dealt with his problem, either through counseling or medication or both. But you are correct, he could implode.

On the other hand, he has ace stuff and the Cubs badly need an ace. To me, he seems like the kind of guy you empty (or almost empty) the farm for.

Did Grienke go to Notre Dame? LSU?

If so - done deal.

NEAL: I would agree with you about the booing part - but I am thinking this year the bar (should) be lowered quite a bit.

This actually might be a good time for him to join the squad.

I would prefer to keep all of Lee, Jackson (both of them), Guyer, Archer, McNutt and Cashner rather than trade for Greinke or Garza.

Some of them should pan out and become good and one or two of them could be great. More importantly, adding Greinke or Garza isn't getting us to the World Series, so I'd prefer to keep our young talent and see if it develops.

I tend to agree. I still think the Cubs are unlikely to do much this year--I think Hendry is working hard to make them a team that could play .500 ball, and that he has to work hard to do that isn't a good sign for the season.

But if they are going to shell out $10 million for a 1 year deal, they must be trying to contend this year. I'm still not in favor of getting rid of all the minor league prospects to gamble on 2011--which is why I think Garza, and his lesser cost, would make more sense than Grienke. Rebuilding would make more sense.

Rosenthal's article indicates the Royals want an MLB-ready pitcher to replace Greinke's innings, middle infielder(s), and a top of the order bat (preferably a speedy CF). He also said the Royals are thin on cathing in the minors, something the Cubs have plenty of.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Kansas-Cit...

I had forgotten about that extension he signed... at $13.5 million, per season, I'd have to pass. I was thinking he was making like $6 or $7 million.

honestly, I think it would start with Cashner and B. Jax as of now, with maybe a Hak-ju Lee and another piece thrown in (say Chirinos). And ... I couldn't blame them for asking for that. It's possible the price drops.

The Cubs are actually somewhat a fit for the Royals (Royals could use righty arms and up the middle talent).

LaRussa now saying Berkman in RF and Holliday in LF.

http://twitter.com/JimBowdenXMFOX/status/1259...

Luke Scott apparently watches Fox News.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_s...

"Now batting, designated birther, #32, Luke Scott..."

"The real issue behind these people who are gun grabbers, the truth is — based on fact — the reason why is, they want control. They want control of the people. That's what socialism is and communism."

fear is awesome. i wonder if he was one of those people who caused a nearly 1/2 year glut in ammo supply because people were 110% sure obama was gonna take their guns and ammo. woo, buying frenzy...at least it's good for the economy...lulz.

ah, talk radio...you so crazy.

Hard to believe he actually called him Obama instead of Barry Soetoro.

Barry = Americanized Barrack
Soetoro = his step father's last name.

It is the named he used while attending private high school in Indonesia (his step father's native country).

In the world of conspiracy, this is "proof" of the birther arguement.

Regardless, glad that Pena is only a one year deal. Sad that this is our big splash. A real big market team would be looking to replace the Lee/Lilly contracts coming off the books with actual replacements (see Adrian, Red Sox) instead of pocketing the savings.

Oh my... I heard a little about this earlier, but this is worse than I thought.

Rangers/Cubs again with a hint of Michael Young.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Texas-Rang...

Bartlett to Padres for Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell

"It’s not clear if the Cubs have serious interest in Young. As with Colorado, his only logical spot on the Chicago infield would be second base."

yeah, right...sure...alright...

next.

I don't see the point of adding Michael Young to this squad, unless the Rangers pay the majority of the deal, or they take back Soriano. I don't see the latter happening, and there isn't really another contract to swap for Young that I would want to make (Z's deal is of similar length, and he, while inconsistent and moody, is harder to replace. Furthermore, there's a chance 2013 won't vest for Z).

Young is an upgrade over Baker/DeWitt (at least, on paper), but not worth giving up much, in terms of prospects and salary, IMO.

it wasn't much of a rumor which is why I posted it in the comments. Morosi just said Cubs/Rangers continue to talk and not even sure if Young was part of those discussions.

I like the Young for Soriano thought. Probably a pipe dream.

yeah. I doubt it'd happen, but that's about the only deal that I would be happy with if we made a move for Young (unless the Rangers ate close to his whole contract, which isn't happening.

I did a Google News search that turned up a Bruce Levine blog where he conjectures what the Cubs and Rangers might talk about. The blog post was dated November 17.

Texas has a need for catching and the Cubs have two solid young catchers in Welington Castillo and Robinson Chirinos. Texas has an abundance of good hitting in their organization and they have excess at first base, a position where the Cubs have a need. Left-handed hitting Chris Davis is a home-run hitter who turns 25 in March, etc., etc.

If I had known where and when this rumor started, I wouldn't have paid any attention to it this week, especially when the Rangers acquired Torrealba for two years on 11/29. I doubt that the Rangers are talking to the Cubs about Chirinos.

i still don't understand how TEX has a need for catching...i keep hearing it, though. i guess this rumor is what started it and it's just kept rolling.

or you could have read any of the posts or comments from the last 2 days

You've got to keep in mind this is the guy who thinks Henderson and Brock are equivalent ball players. He doesn't think like the rest of us.

Second disclaimer: never said one word about Rickey Henderson, except to deny ever mentioning him.

Still catching up on November news--

Felix Pie goes nuts

c.crawford to BOS 7/142 (wtf?)

Horrible deal, imo, only because of the length. Players who's main skill is speed do not age well into their mid-30s. Hell, many of them lose their speed in their early 30's. Speed is Crawford's game, and he's going to a cold weather city (never good for legs), although playing in Fenway should increase his HR totals a bit, so maybe it's the best spot for him he could have landed.

i completely agree with you on this one. Let's wait and see the breakdwon, in case Boston has an out in between. They were dead set against going beyond 5 (I think) on Werth, and I think Werth ages better than Crawford.

i almost don't believe it...it's from a sportswriter's tweet picked up on rotoworld.

it's just so much money over so many years...top power hitter or young kid with major upside money/years...

I will take that bet, and by the way, you still owe me $7 million for that bridge in Brooklyn.

If you want to find a list of players who don't age well, a good bit of advice would be to start with guys who K 300 times in their age 30 to 31 seasons.

yeah, but this is a 29 year old guy who's never hit 20 homers that's about to get 20m a year for 7 years.

i thought someone would pony up 16-18m...i never imaged 20m...and having 7 years with that 20m is kinda "woah" imo...

the combo of the 2 is more amazing than either, alone.

Guys who lack power and depend on their speed almost never age well as well. Often times, what you are saying holds, that a guy who K's this much loses more bat speed. There are exceptions to the rule for both sides, but sure, let's revisit this a few years later and see how it turns out. I feel pretty comfortable in thinking that Crawford won't age well, but maybe he's an exception. I feel pretty comfortable in saying that, as of now, I think Crawford's contract is far worse and that Werth will age better.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the argument the other way. Crawford's not only a "speed" guy, he's a good athlete, and overall, athletes age well. From a value perspective, though, if he loses his speed, you'd have to be fairly confident that his power will pick up a bit to balance it out. His defensive value will be muted a bit by being in Fenway.

By no means do I think either contract is a good one. Werth, though, is a very good athlete. From a value perspective, the question for me is how late in his career his power can carry. I think he'll be a solid RF for most of the contract. I think it'll be alright, but only time will tell.

I think everyone who does the serious type of analysis required to award a contract like that is confident that Crawford will continue to add power and patience for the next four years.

Crawford had a 134 OPS+ last year, and he's heading into the years where a player typically hits for the most power. Werth had a 145 OPS+ season last year, and he's playing what's generally considered to be the final 'peak season' in 2011. Plus he's an asshole who just got his set for life contract. That deal has disaster written all over it. People will be talking about it for 20 years.

lol

There are very few "speed" type guys I can remember who didn't lose their speed as they aged. Ricky Henderson is one, although he did lose speed, he was still just a great base-stealer that even a slower Ricky was a better base-stealer than most players, and let's not forget that Ricky was the rare speed/power guy. Davey Lopes could still steal bases at a high rate late in his career, although he had become a bench player.

Those are the only two in the last 30 years that stand out.

I like Crawford, but I think a 7 year deal is just insane for his type of player. Now maybe he adds a little power in that park to offset his declining speed and it's a less disastrous contract than if he played in another park.

Still, most of these GM's should be hauled in front of firing squads. If they were running real businesses they would.

I heard once that he (Rickey) was the greatest of all time

Rickey said that about Rickey

Juan Pierre last year: career high SB's (68) at age 33.

Ichiro stole 42 bases last year at age 36. Crawford's contract will end at 35.

BR's got his two most similar players at someone named Roberto Clemente and another guy named Sam Crawford.

Werth's contract is going to end at age 38, NONE of his top 10 BR comps played in MLB that long.

BP comps for Crawford.

Coleman, Wilson, D. Hamilton, S. Podsednik, B. McBride, L. Polonia, P. Kelly, S. Finley, J. Pierre, M. Wilson

BP comps for Werth
Gibson, Canseco, Barfield, Rice, C. Davis, R. Monday, M. Bradley, B. Bonilla, D. Strawberry, J. Conine

don't care much for BR comps, they just find guys that started around the same age with similar playing time through those years (and somewhat similar skills).

that being said, both contracts are terrible, Werth was a platoon player two years ago and Crawford's a faster version of Fukudome with triples speed that pumps his SLG up.

The problem with Crawford is this. If he DOES lose a step in footspeed. Then he's basically David DeJesus. A decent MLB outfielder. But a HUGE albatross at 20+ per season.

Why doesn't het get to add power and patience like just about every other premium hitter does from 29 to 32?

OK, in that list for Werthy guys there were two good seasons at age 38+, and one of those was as a DH, and the other was a 103 OPS+ season.

I assume those comps for Crawfod (Pat Kelly?) have got pretty low scores.

don't show a score anymore on the BP pages as I can tell, just trending up, down or sideways

11-20 on Crawford
Victorino, Webster, Grissom, Al Martin, Omar Moreno, Figgins, Coleman, N. Morgan, A. Rios, K. Lofton

Crawford will be plenty useful for the next 3-4 years I'm sure, and I'm sure that's good enough for the Red Sox.

i can't even image what the lineup is gonna look like at this point.

fukudome/baker probable L/R #1
castro is probably #2
c.pena is probably #4

...beyond that *shrug*

byrd/soriano/soto/aram...who the hell is gonna hit 3rd? do you stack soriano/c.pena back to back?

"who the hell is gonna hit 3rd?"

I dunno, but I would guess the guy with 109 RBI's per 162 games for his career.

Whatever we friggin' do with the #3 and #4 spots in the lineup, let's not prescribe to the Lou plan and wait until July to figure out that we need our best run producers there, like we did last year... I'm sure he thought Lee and Ramirez would come around, but for 3 months???

at the moment?

I'd guess
Fuku, Castro, Pena, Ramirez, Byrd, Soriano, DeWitt, Soto

(mind you, not my lineup)

if Fuku gets moved
DeWitt, Castro, Pena, Ramirez, Byrd, Soriano, Colvin, Soto

(definitely not my lineup)

Although you're (sadly) probably right, I want badly to give Q more credit, to whit

3-4-5 = ARam-Pena-Soto

I just don't see Pena batting 3rd, and I'm not sure Quade will either (and I can hope)...

Then again, his avg. may necessitate it, ie if he's going to go long or go home, may as well bat him 3rd, I guess...?

I doubt he'll bat third as well, probably fourth. But who knows, after last season I've lost any faith in Cubs managers to construct a lineup.

I as guessing at a friendly L/R/L/R type lineup

just a guess...

Pena K's way too often to particularly effective with runners on anyway

Castro/Byrd should hit 1/2, don't care which is where.

I'm way behind, and haven't read the comments.

I'm thrilled at one year, not thrilled with $10m (which they undoubtedly had to spend to get the one year done), and could go either way on Pena.

I think he'll do great things at Wrigley and in the NL Central. That said, I don't really think he was the 'missing link' to any titles (including the division).

But I'd be more than happy to be wrong, watch him hit 50 bombs and bat .250 with a .400 OBP.

My early prediction on Pena's 2011: .212 26 hr 71 rbi.

I'll take the over on all 3.

I'd like to bring up something that Real Neal alluded to in a post on a previous thread. Wrigley is NOT terribly friendly to left-handed pull hitters. I've been listening (with irritation) to sports talk radio for the last couple of days and hearing commentators talk about how many HR's someone like Pena could hit at Wrigley (stating that it should increase his HR totals). NOT TRUE -- unless (like Edmonds) his power is largely to left and left-center field.

Wrigley Dimensions: LF line: 355 L "Well": 346 L/Cf: 356 Cf: 395 R/Cf: 376 R "Well": 346 RF line: 353

Wrigley is NOT symmetrical, as it appears. The 400' dimension is to the right field side of straight away CF, leaving a deeper bulge to right and right-center than to left field. Ask anyone who remembers Bobby Mercer's time with the Cubs and all of the warning track fly balls he hit that would have been HRs in Yankee Stadium's short RF porch.

Note: The dimensions on Wrigley's walls are probably accurate -- but next time you look, notice how much closer to straight away center the "left-center" 368' mark is than the "right-center" 368' mark (remembering that the 400' is not straight away).

Wrigley was made for right-handed power hitters (with no wind or blowing out) -- not lefties.

Pena would be wise to watch Edmonds tape from 2008,flick it to left center wind tunnel.

Fuku would but he has betamax.

lol

A couple of things I found on the subject:

Steve Gardner, USA Today, citing Bill James Handbook 2010:

For left-handed power hitters, Wrigley Field in Chicago was the place to be -- with a 139 rating that was the highest in either league. Meanwhile, GAB in Cincy (118) was slightly ahead of Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park (114) for right-handed home run hitters.

Tristan Cockcroft, espn.com, in March 2010:

[Wrigley is] apparently tremendous for power-hitting lefties, with a 126 home run index from 2007 to '09, highest in the majors.

I don't know what the ratings are based on. (But they're not based on little Bobby Mercer hitting warning-track shots.) Williams is an exception to the rule that the Cubs traditionally don't "do" lefthanded power hitters (or lefthanded starting pitchers), probably because those are valuable commodities and the good teams get them.

Trying to think of a lefthanded swinger who has hit 30 home runs for the Cubs in my lifetime, other than Williams I come up with Rick Wilkins and Fred McGriff, once each.

Henry Rodriguez in only 128 games in 1998.

It would be interesting to see where those left handed batters are hitting their home runs. Edmonds hit 11 HR's in 144 PA's, in '08 and I'd be surprised if he pulled five of them.

I remember some of them landing in basket in left center.

Drat! I was sitting in the dentist's chair thinking I should have checked Rodriguez and also Luis Gonzales.

The fact that the Cubs have specialized in wrong-way lefty hitters in the last ten years--Jones, Bradley, Choi, Hollandsworth, Edmonds, Fukudome come to mind--does not necessarily tell you anything about the ball park. It could just mean that these guys were the dregs in terms of power bats. (My theory.)

Colvin is a different kind of hitter, a pull hitter. Seven of his nine HRs in Wrigley last season were to right, to the right of the 368 sign.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 10:27am.
Drat! I was sitting in the dentist's chair thinking I should have checked Rodriguez and also Luis Gonzales.

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

VA PHIL: Rick Monday, too.

Yeah, thanks. I looked at Monday, saw the 26 but missed the 32.

It just occurred to me that Altman had a big year once, but I see he hit 27 in 1961. Murcer and Durham topped out at 27. Moryn hit 26 in 1958.

Nobody used the word "wind" yet. The dimensions are a little off, but after mid-May when the wind starts blowing hard toward the lake, with major-league hitters, it probably feels more like 320' in a dome.

Wrigley to me has always seemed like a "neutral" park because on any given day it can be so different than the day preceding, not to mention the other half of the season.

see #85

VAPhil -- Interesting info on Wrigley's power ratings for lefty power hitters. I'd also like to know more about how those numbers are arrived at. Perhaps a combination of left-center power plus more doubles & triples to the right of center? Prevailing crosswind out to right field? Just guessing here. One thing for sure -- Wrigley's short dimensions are on the left field side, not the right field side. However, your sources have caused me to keep my mind open on the subject of Wrigley and left handed power hitters.

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