Nobody Fucks With The DeJesus
(props to Jacos for the headline)
The Cubs signed OF David DeJesus to a 2-year/$10 million deal with a 3rd year club option. It's actually $4.25M for the next two years with a $1.5M buyout or $6.5M in 2014. A Jim Bowden tweet indicates that the Cubs told him DeJesus will be the everyday right fielder.
Dejesus will be 32 next season and played for the A's last year and had the worst season of his career, a 93 OPS+ on the back of a .274 BABIP. His career slash line is 284/356/447 with a 106 OPS+. Great for a center fielder, kind of okay for a right fielder, but he's getting older and probably gonna be as good or worse than his career numbers going forward. That means baserunning and defense will have to make up some of the difference and if you believe in some of the defensive numbers out there, he seems to been quite an asset. Most of that time was in center, so a move to right field should be no problem. (Correction, played right for A's last year for the most part and put up great UZR numbers if you care for that). Although he doesn't steal a bunch of bases, his baserunning numbers seem to border on neutral to a slight positive. He's cheap enough and lefty enough that this isn't too big a deal to me and he does nearly see 4 pitchers per plate appearance which fits into the mold of grinding out at-bats. That all being said, it's a big old "meh" move. As Kevin Goldstein tweeted, it's a warm body that fills a need, and for a guy that at best should be worth about 2 wins over replacement, the cost makes it about right. But I have a hard time seeing the big difference between him, Byrd or Fukudome.
|162 Game Avg.||162||693||611||90||173||33||8||11||70||8||7||58||93||.284||.356||.421||.776||106||12||13||6||5||3|
|162 Game Avg.||162||630||535||74||139||31||4||12||54||8||8||85||111||.260||.361||.399||.760||100||10||2||4||5||5|
|162 Game Avg.||162||626||566||79||159||33||4||12||67||8||3||42||106||.281||.339||.420||.759||100||238||13||11||2||5||3|
|PHI (4 yrs)||256||982||889||136||241||43||6||13||79||13||5||68||173||.271||.332||.377||.709||86||335||18||15||6||4||4|
|TEX (3 yrs)||377||1515||1364||196||402||88||14||40||212||20||9||107||248||.295||.352||.468||.820||112||638||30||24||2||18||8|
|CHC (2 yrs)||271||1112||1026||135||293||61||4||21||101||8||3||56||176||.286||.337||.414||.751||101||425||25||25||1||4||3|
|WSN (2 yrs)||152||472||413||48||101||23||3||7||44||8||4||40||94||.245||.318||.366||.683||82||151||11||7||6||6||2|
It's not that I'm advocating bringing back Fukudome, for one he's three years older, but it's hard to see where this improves the team much from the last few years and when you're at the bottom looking up, that should be the goal.
But since this is just move #1 of what I presume to be quite a few more before the offseason ends, we'll have to reserve some of the judgement on this to a later date. For one, they could be planning to trade Byrd and replacing him with DeJesus and I think that's a bit of an upgrade. Soriano might be on his way out as well and you do need someone to play these outfield positions. Plus you have to save money somewhere if they do plan to make a run at Fielder or Pujols.
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.