Vote for Cubs 2011 MVP and LVP

It's that time of year again, your chance to vote for the Cubs 2011 MVP and LVP.

2011 Cubs MVP

Click here if you're having issues with seeing the poll within the post.

Previous winners include:

  • 2010 - Carlos Marmol
  • 2009 - Derrek Lee
  • 2008 - Geovany Soto

WAR values come from Baseball Reference, ranking is for team of course, not the league.


Player Stats Notes
Castro 307/342/431 111 OPS+, 2.2 WAR 1st in BA, H, 2B, 3B, R + 2nd in SB, 4th in OBP
Garza 10-10, 3.20 ERA, 198 IP, 197 K, 118 ERA+, 2.5 WAR, 1st in ERA, W, K, WHIP + 2nd in IP for starters
Marshall 2.26 ERA, 5 SV, 34 HLDS, 173 ERA+, 2.5 WAR 1st in ERA, WHIP and HLDS
Ramirez 306/361/510 136 OPS+, 3.6 WAR
1st in RBI, SLG + 2nd in BA, H, R, HR, OBP
Ricketts   Fired Hendry, spent a lot on the draft

2011 Cubs LVP

Click here if you're having issues with the poll within the post. Previous losers were:

  • 2010 - Lou Piniella
  • 2009 - Alfonso Soriano

Player Stats Notes
Jim Hendry   left team with little rotation depth, and lots of dead weight on contracts.
Carlos Marmol 2-6, 4.01 ERA, 34 SV, 10 BSV, 98 ERA+, 0.9 WAR blew league leading 10 Saves
Mike Quade   acted very confused, consistently...
Alfonso Soriano 244/289/469 104 OPS+, 1.4 WAR if you care to concentrate on the value portion of LVP, Soriano gave little bang for the buck
Carlos Zambrano 9-7, 4.82 ERA, 145.2 IP, 81 ERA+, 1.4 WAR similar to Soriano, money paid grossly overstated to  performance given. May have kicked a puppy.

I'll leave it open through the end of the week. Comments always appreciated.


Garza lost 0.4 WAR for his hitting and Z gained 0.7 WAR for his hitting if that helps anything. The numbers above reflect that, but you may want to ignore it depending on your preferences.

Definitely kicked a puppy.

sportswriters like to smoke fat rocks in BOS, too...

"According to Jon Heyman of, Bobby Valentine is not a candidate for the Red Sox managerial opening."

...evidently the other hot "okay, really?" name popular in their press is joe torre.

Wasn't Earl Weaver available?

Really, people? Zambrano? He would've probably outproduced Soriano in WAR if management hadn't sent him home, and it's Hendry and Rickett's that screwed the pooch by locking themselves into a "he's not coming back" position.

(I also suspect Zambrano could've outproduced Soriano at the plate and in the field given the chance.)

I'm slightly more appalled by Quade over Hendry right now, who the fuck do people think hired Quade? It's not like year 4 of the Q-Ball era or anything.

i say bring Z back as our new starting 1B. think about it...

if I were to rank..

1. Castro
2. Garza
3. Ramirez
4. Marshall
5. Ricketts

1. Hendry
2. Z
3. Marmol
4. Soriano
5. Quade

AZ PHIL: What was the deal with Al Albequerque, again?

Did the Cubs trade him to the Rox in some phantom deal, or was he not designated for the 40-man ever?

I recall you discussing his arm on occasion, and had seen him on your various AFL lists, etc.

I am happy for his success this year with the Tigers, and just was curious what it took for his light to get switched on. Or, did we blow it on another prospect?

traded to Rockies for Jeff Baker, 6-yr minor league free agent that was then signed by Tigers.

did have shoulder surgery in 2008

After being traded to the Rockies for Jeff Baker in July 2009, Alberto Alburquerque was added to the Rockies 40-man roster post-2009, was outrighted in May 2010 (nobody claimed him off waivers - anybody could have), and then he became an MLB Rule 55 Six-Year Minor League FA post-2010 (again, available for anybody who wanted him) and he signed a minor league contract with the Tigers with an NRI to Spring Training.

Thanks, gents.

Alburquerque had good numbers at Daytona in 2009. He was on my radar because his high strikeouts and low hits-allowed (44/26 in 34.2 innings) fed into my Marmol index. If I remember correctly, I squawked a little on TCR when he was traded.

you also squawked when Sam Fuld and Tony Thomas were traded.

I don't know why but people are always accusing me of liking Sam Fuld. Fuld was the last thing in my thoughts when he went in the Garza deal. It was only when Fernando Perez washed out and Fukudome slid into the leadoff spot that I thought, and said out loud, that we always had Fuld for this situation and it was odd timing to have traded him now along with Guyer, someone else who could have led off.

Tony Thomas: you got me there. I did grow to like him after 2010--as did the Red Sox. Second basemen with speed and pop have two advantages over, say, Barney. But I've really gotten to like Coello and wouldn't trade him today for Thomas.

But that's a prospect for a prospect. I'd probably trade Garza today for Lee, Archer, Guyer and Chirinos, with or without Fuld. I'd certainly trade Baker for Alburquerque and Harden + Gaudin for Donaldson. With Donaldson's HR power (35 in last two seasons) and 38% caught-stealing pct., I think he would catch for the Cubs next season.

And of course I would trade Grabow and Gorzellany for Josh Harrison, who could play third next year.

So I generally favor squawking when they trade a nice prospect. Almost invariably, it's selling low.

Well, it was in my blog then, September 10, 2009:

Alberto Alburquerque, by the way, was in my top ten when he was traded to Colorado for Jeff Baker. I take exception when I hear it said that the Cubs got Baker for nothing.

no, you mention it in the thread that day.

Yeah, I see it now.

He has an extraneous "r" in his name--Alburquerque. I spelled it right in my search but wrong in my comment.

appears Castro will runaway with the MVP vote

Z and Q-Ball seem to be the LVP contenders

I liked Marmolaid for LVP, even more when I consider that he was the MVP last year.

Castro was the player most fun to watch, but since we're, in theory, supposed to be entertained by this mess, I guess that's a good criteria for him to win.

Since there was no realistic chance that the Cubs were going to win in 2011, the only person whose actions mattered was Hendry. Sadly he was unable to turn good performances by ARam, Pena and others into young players via a trades.

Thus, in my opinion, Hendry is the only choice for LVP.

Remember he was "handcuffed" by his being fired, to some degree, and also AramRam didn't seem too excited about waiving his NTC.

If Pena nets us a 2nd supplemental pick, that's probably not going to be much worse than what we could have gotten for him.

Not to defend Hendry...

Valid points, and as you note there is still time to correct the problem through draft pick compensation, but IMO the fact remains that Henry's failure to turn over the roster makes him the LVP.

Or the fact that it took Hendry several years of work to produce this shitty roster.

I don't think Hendry's problem was creating a shitty roster, the roster did go to multiple playoffs. Hendry's problem is that he did not react fast enough when the window was closing to really clean house.

A roster that is good in 2008 is not necessarily good in 2011, and he had plenty of time in 2009 and 2010 to realize that and try to do something about it. This is a franchise that ought to be in contention most of the time, particularly in the NL Central--not in contention half the time and pure shit some of the time.

Isn't that what I said?

Maybe, except you started by saying that you didn't think Hendry's problem was creating shitty roster, so that confused me. He created good rosters in 2007 and 2008 (and 2003 and 2004). But he created the shitty rosters in 2010 and 2011 as well.

Rob has the MVPs right, but my LVPs are Byrd and DeWitt. I just hate those ugly swings. DeWitt is supposed to have been drafted for his swing but I just don't see it. When he hits the ball hard, it's a golf shot headed for the foul pole.

Not to sound like one of those villainous scouts in Moneyball . . .

dewitt was supposed to be hitting 20-25+ HR a year by now...meh. i wouldn't mind keeping him around another year.

note Az Phil's post on the Baker for Alberquerque thread...#96:

As for Alberto Alburquerque, he has had arm problems (elbow and shoulder) for much of his carerer, but he's finlly healthy this season and was throwing in the mid-90's at Daytona.

I would compare him to Marcos Mateo (but Alburquerque has a better fastball), and as of right now, I would have rated Alburquerque as one of the Top 5 minor leaguers most-likely to get added to the Cubs 40-man roster post-2009 (along with Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger, Tyler Colvin, and John Gaub).

Cubs have gotten mileage out of Baker, wasn't he Quade's favorite cleanup hitter vs leftys? ((facepalm))

2011 split vs LHP (.314/.349/.463/.812)

Baker's a perfectly reasonable short side platoon player bench guy, I'd say that's more valuable than your 4th or 5th reliever.

or at least on par

Recent comments

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  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'