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

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  • How odd the stats:

    Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB

    2nd to last in hitting.

    In May they were 1st in both.

    The E-Man 9 min 57 sec ago view
  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 8 hours 48 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 9 hours 8 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 9 hours 10 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 9 hours 12 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 9 hours 20 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 9 hours 47 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 10 hours 3 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 10 hours 34 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 10 hours 49 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 15 hours 5 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 15 hours 47 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 15 hours 51 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 17 hours 45 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 19 hours 33 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 20 hours 7 min ago view