A Split is Like Goosing Your Brother

banana splitThe Cubs and Padres split. The Cardinals and Nationals split. The I-Cubs and Isotopes split. Look, up in the standings - it's a Dairy Queen! It's a gymnastics meet! It's a doubleheader...


The best thing to be said about the April weather in the upper Midwest is that it's good for pitchers. All four starters in yesterday's twinbill in Des Moines recorded quality starts. This in a league where the I-Cubs' 6.57 staff ERA in the first two weeks isn't even the PCL's worst and five entire teams have batting averages north of .300. Albuquerque's John Ely came within one out of throwing that franchise's first no-hitter in game two [note: PCL doubleheaders consist of a pair of seven-inning games].


Tonight's turnstile promo for the I-Cubs is more practical than most. They're passing out stocking caps to the first 1,500 fans. I suspect there will be plenty of leftovers.


Some of these playing conditions are like showing up at an arena for basketball to discover that they left the rink out from last night's hockey game - and then proceeding as scheduled! The only thing worse than crappy weather is indoor baseball.


Come on ivy!


Otherwise, could Project .500 be any more on pace? There is a definite pattern emerging here. But who knew that a share of first place would be part of the deal?! Actually calling the Central a division right now is a misnomer; there's precious little division at all...

Comments

I would note that it was Marquez Smith who broke up the no-hitter with a double.

Peoria had two shutout wins yesterdays. Starting (and winning) pitchers were Austin Kirk and Dallas Beeler.

Burgess hit his fifth for Daytona.

Speaking of juggernauts, Tennessee had three home runs (Jackson, LeMahieu and Clevenger) last night, and ten hits in the last four innings.

duly noted...

Braun re-uped $105/5 yr?

from Rotoworld...

Well, this certainly came out of nowhere. Braun was already under contract through 2015, so he is now guaranteed $145.5 million through 2020. He will earn $19 million per season from 2016-18, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2010 while the 2021 mutual option is worth up to $20 million with a $4 million buyout. The contract includes a $10 million signing bonus. It's officially the largest financial commitment to a player in franchise history. Braun and Troy Tulowitzki are now the only MLB players locked up through 2020. Prince Fielder was probably already a longshot to stay with the Brewers anyway, but it's now virtually certain that he'll be playing elsewhere next season.

Yearly salary-wise, that's a nice contract for the Brewers if Braun doesn't get hurt and/or decline too much in later years. He's a clutch hitter, fan favorite, and just took a second under-market deal to stay in Milwaukee.

Where's the potential reward for Milwaukee? All I see is risk.

winning games?

takes him through age 37 fwiw....

judging by the offseason and rumors, MLB must be forecasting deals in the $25-$30M range for FA superstars in the nearish future.

It's hard to forecast what wins will cost that far out, but he'll have a declining skill set; he'll anchor an "easy" defensive position which limits potential acquisition of impact hitters; and he probably didn't sign for much less than he would had if he became a free agent after 2015.

Even if he rakes for the 4.5 years, when he would have been a FA, Milwaukee very likely could have brought him back for a guaranteed $95M for his age 32-36 seasons.

High risk, (very) low reward.

So top hitters in the game in 2011 are going to get $22+ million per year, but in 2015 they're going to get $19 million per year? Be right back, I am going to convert my 401K to gold really quick...

Gold bubble. Consider Yuan. :)

I don't think it's that hard to forecast and I'm sure MLB teams have a much better idea of expected incoming revenues, inflation, expected rise in salaries than the casual fan.

He'll be making about the same as Soriano signed for at the same position and age, but with a better skill set and 8 years down the road. It's easy to see that $23-$25M a year is going to be the going rate at that time (or more). Plus I'm sure they really like the guy, realize you don't attract FA's to Milwaukee and he wants to spend his career there.

Nothing wrong with well-earned loyalty...

Unless he goes Jeff Bagwell on you... But that is a discount, and likely a pretty nice one if he continues on his current pace and stays healthy.

You gotta want it to win it. If nothing else, he's a fan favorite and a reason to put cheeks in the seats.

After further speculation, given his overall value to the franchise, it's not a recklessly risky move. They're enjoying an attendance renaissance, and I'm sure they want to maintain this momentum.

Still, I think there's a fair amount of overall risk in this move. His most comparables, using B-R and setting aside Chick Hafey and Manny Ramirez, are Raul Mondesi, Shawn Green, and Jeff Heath. All were essentially toast by age 35 or earlier.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/basebal...

4 wild cards play each other in first round with 6 division winners getting a bye.

meh...

formatting and scheduling is gonna be a blast...really need to go back to a 154-game schedule if this is the plan.

so much bullshi...

hopefully this isn't a road to crapfest where 1/2+ the entire block of teams get into the playoffs. nba/nhl might as well not even play 1/2 their schedule with their playoff structure.

Add another round to the playoffs? No thanks.

I'm sure you'll stop watching.

The Cubs won't be in them, so no.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/21/...

Breaking news: sprained ligament in my foot out 2 to 4 weeks. Suck on that. Told u fantasy people not to pick me up.

that's great

W. Castillo back with Iowa and they will carry 3 catchers for the time being.

I just noticed that Brett Jackson's OPS (1.265) is double that of Marlon Byrd (.632).

Byrd doesn't seem like himself in CF lately. Think he's getting nervous?

Old.

We can't trade him soon enough.

Bruce Miles says, "No, the Cubs aren’t seeking to trade Marlon Byrd, from what I’ve been told."

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5521

I hear the Nats are searching for a center fielder, better chance of moving Byrd over Fukudome. The defense already sucks this year, maybe they can get Gorzelanny back. :)

from that article...

According to [Kevin] Goldstein: “One front-office official also believes that how the numbers are compiled on a day-to-day basis can be as important as the numbers themselves. ‘The biggest thing we're looking for when thinking about promotions is consistency,’ he said. ‘We want pitchers looking good every five days as opposed to throwing seven shutout innings one start and then not getting out of the fourth the next. We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next.’”

We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next, unless it's Josh Vitters.

Corrected.

heh

fwiw, Goldstein's article is a general baseball story, not Cub specific.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 14 min 28 sec ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 17 min 2 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 26 min 53 sec ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 5 hours 55 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 5 hours 56 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 15 hours 37 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 18 hours 35 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 18 hours 47 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 18 hours 56 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 1 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 19 hours 19 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 19 hours 56 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 20 hours 13 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 20 hours 15 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 20 hours 33 min ago view