Plate Discipline: Colvin vs. DeJesus

Well, it looks like if you're gonna be a Chicago Cub any more, you better learn plate discipline.
A little patience.
Make the pitcher work.
That kinda stuff.
Tyler Colvin, he can hit a homer once in awhile, but he ain't no walker.
David DeJesus on the other hand, has 359 walks in his 3797 career at-bats.
Young Tyler, he's got 46 in his 581 career at-bats.
If you pro Tyler's 581 at-bats to 3797, his walks project to about 300.
(That's me doing math, so as always there's a giant chance it's wrong, but whatever.)
So very roughly, Tyler is about half the walker David is.
Now, is David a top walker overall?
I don't know, I'm just trying to make you laugh.

Anyway, it's a new regime, and it's very interesting.

I always liked Tyler Colvin, but I tell ya... if I'm a Cub minor leaguer, I sure as hell am going to become waaaay more disciplined at the plate.

Okay, gotta scram.

Crazy busy.

Comments

More walks, yes.

More K's, no.

Colvin whiffs more than The Jesus. By a nice margin.

Taking walks is only a part of plate discipline.

Learning the difference between what a ball and a strike is would be a good thing to teach to all of our minor leaguers, for starters.

Also, the 300 walks projection is correct, but 300 is 84% of 359, so that's way more than roughly half for Colvin.

Yes, indeed. Colvin has gotten walks in 7% of his plate appearances, while DeJesus's number is 8%. So either DeJesus doesn't walk enough, or Colvin's walk rate is okay.

I looked closely recently at various elements of Colvin's approach, especially regarding pitch count, and came up with this number: in 2011, the final pitch in 32.5% of Colvin's at-bats was 0-2 or 1-2. The average among fifteen good NL Central hitters was 22.5%.

You have to lay off those 0-2 and 1-2 pitches. The same fifteen hitters hit .171 when their at-bat was "resolved" on those counts. The pitcher is not particularly trying to throw a strike, and often is trying not to throw a strike.

This is not rocket science, but apparently some hitters can think like a pitcher, some can't. Good coaching might help, one would think.

I doubt any of Colvin's numbers are very much different from any batter who struck out at a high rate last year. Colvin struck out a lot and had a really low BABIP. The only main question is whether you think that low BABIP was from bad luck or bad contact (probably both), and whether he can hit more baseballs.

"In the beginning, Colvin struck out."

No. I think my numbers suggest that in the beginning, Colvin decided to "protect the plate," or some such nonsense, on 0-2 and 1-2, with the result that he swung (and missed) at too many low breaking balls, which is the typical fare on those counts.

You're not going to have a high BABIP swinging at 0-2 and 1-2, because even 15 top NL Central hitters average a .171 BA.

I'm talking about the mental aspect of hitting, you're talking about something else, something more deterministic and ultimately more damning. I'm suggesting he can "hit more baseballs" by understanding the count and what it means to the pitcher.

I am fairly certain that even the most stupidest MLB hitters know that they're not getting 88 MPH fastballs down the middle of the plate when their down 0-2.

Laying off balls and swinging at strikes isn't a new concept. It's the guys who can wait longer to swing the bat who are 'smarter'.

most stupidest?

I said it wasn't rocket science. And I've used the word stupid in reference to Colvin. The question is, does a stupid hitter know that a waist-high offspeed pitch on 0-2 is probably not going to be a strike? It's not that complicated a thing to look for. It's what pitchers do. They get yelled at for throwing strikes on 0-2. Does Tyler Colvin know that?

Does a stupid hitter know that an occasional called-third strike is not a big deal?

Maybe you remember this: Colvin got called out on strikes once last season and he was so distraught that the ump thought he was showing him up, and ejected him.

Colvin probably thought to himself, I'll never do that again. Meaning, I'll never get called out on strikes again!

The guy is something of a clown--with power and a beautiful swing and probably a decent future with another team.

It was the grammar that I was questioning. People shouldn't use most and the "est" form of a word together.

Usually grammar correction is frowned upon, but in the case of mis-grammatificating the word stupid, it's pretty funny.

Your logic that plate discipline and inteligence are perfectly correlated is just tragically flawed.

Let me ask you two questions. If you were to face Roy Halladay in the batters box tomorrow how would you do? If you were to strike out on three pitches, two being strikes and the third being a close strike, would you then say to yourself "I am irrevocably stupid"?

There are things that play into getting hits or walks or home runs or groundballs that aren't just a function of you guessing what the pitcher is trying to do

If I were to face Roy Halladay tomorrow I'd line a single through the box and then, as I trotted past the mound after being replaced by the inevitable pinch runner, I'd tell him, "You just gave up a single to a fifty-four year old, bitch!"

Just don't step on the mound, tbone, and if your dugout is on the first-base side, don't go anywhere near the mound.

I'm thinking I'm playing for the Cubs at home and headed toward the third base dugout. But I would stay off the mound.

Next up, here's what I'd do running the ball at Ray Lewis...

Awesome!

Might as well cover going up for a dunk on Big Baby.

I didn't say "perfectly correlated," but I suspect that clear thinking can be useful to a hitter as it is to other people doing most of the things that people do. Colvin is telling himself something when he walks to the plate. The question is, what? Isn't that what we mean by his approach?

One hit every ten at-bats is the difference between Colvin's atrocious season in 2011 and his very respectable 2010. Is that too much territory to claim for the mental side of hitting?

.100 points in batting average? Yes.

Look at a smart Soriano (when he hit .300) and a stupid one (like last year's .244). That's only a .056 difference.

If you just get up there and swing at everything, unless your Vlad Guerrero or Randall Simon you're going to have a problem.

In 2010 Colvin swung at pitches outside the zone, 38.2% of the time. This year it was 40.1% of the time, but he made more contact (61% to 54%). In fact he made more contact on all swings, up 4.5%.

He traded some Line Drives for some fly balls and his fly balls were about half as likely to go out of the park as in 2010, so there definitely was some quality of contact issues.

I just don't think it's reasonable to attribute the majority of his failure to approach. It was a little bad luck, a little mechanical, and undoubtedly some approach as well, which includes the league adjusting to him and him not making all the required re-adjustments.

His pitches per PA also increased last year. He also walked twice when down 0-2 last year (compared to just 1 time in 2010).

I remember Colvin hitting a remarkable number of weak pop flies to short right and center - that is, when he wasn't missing pitches completely.

That's why I'm the art guy, Bobby.
Thanks for the correction.

My pleasure ... math, she's easy for me ... art, not so much. So I'm happy to monitor your numbers if you keep pumping out the great clips!

Guessing about what the Cubs could get for trading Garza.

http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2011/12/1/2603618...

Nice that he put some effort in, but the Cubs don't make any of those trades.

By the way. when did Logan Morrison of the 1.0 WAR become a player you won't trade for a top of the rotation starter?

logan morrison is much much much more of a player than his numbers show.

he's a 30-40HR power guy eventually, easy.

he's also undergoing surgery...or has over the past day or 2 or something...

either way, he's a much better player than his already decent numbers show.

it's scary that mike stanton is also better than his almost-awesome-except-Ks numbers...

That's interesting . I haven't seen anyone anywhere else suggest that Morrison has 40 HR power. If that's the case, then certainly he's a pretty valuable commodity.

If he's an 875 OPS first basemen, those aren't all that hard to find.

9 last year. Howard and Teixeira were sub .875.

This is the first time I've ever been mooned by home plate. I certainly did not see that coming. Nice touch!

Some rumor on XM about Dewitt for Ian Stewart offer

http://harding.mlblogs.com/2011/12/02/post-ro...

...interested in Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart, the Denver Post reported Friday that the Rox have asked for versatile infielder Blake DeWitt in return. The paper says talks have quieted but could kick up again during baseball’s winter meetings in Dallas. Teams begin arriving Sunday.

http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_19453415

Wait, the cubs are holding that up? Can't be right...

What - are you getting a chubby for Stewart with his Colvin-easque 2011 numbers?

I'd just as soon keep DeWitt as a bench filler than get Stewart.

Yep, and I don't like DeWitt.

It's Blake Dewitt, take the chance on Stewart's potential and a change of scenery. Stewart can play 2b too in a pinch and be a utility guy if needed. I understand the risk with Stewart, but there's a lot more upside there.

The Denver Post article indicates that the Rockies want DeWitt AND a pitcher in exchange for Stewart.

"Next, please."

Ah, that's a bit different... But if that pitcher is Casey Coleman I'd still do it.

Hey, based on the current state of our rotation, Casey Coleman is slated to make 30 starts for us next year as the #5 starter...

Follow-up article, says it was cubs that offered Dewitt and Rockies turning it down. Then something about preferring Colvin or a pitching prospect. Colvin for Stewart wouldn't be a terrible challenge trade.

http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_19456564

Be better if they threw in a million or a minors arm.

Who is throwing in the sweetener?

Well, no one but "they" would be the other team. Stewart is going to be paid more than Colvin.

Yeah, but Stewart plays 3rd and Colvin has been terrible at every level of baseball except for the first 2 months of 2010.

Ok. Colvin has work to do or he'll be a fringe fuy forever. Terrible at every level? C'mon now Doc.....lol.

He's been a sub .800 OPS Corner OFer at every level.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profil...

Well, he was a sub .800 OPS CFer in some places. If he showed more consistent power, he could get over .800.

Uh..2007 .812 OPS
2009: .812 OPS.

I get that he's not a stud. But to me, terrible is hitting .220/.270/.390 or something. If he could ever be coached to get even a mediocre amount of walks, he'd be a decent, cheap RF. I'll wish in this hand...

If he was a catcher his bat would play. As a corner OFer he needs to be relegated to the 4th OF role at best.

If you can deal him for a starting 3rd or 2nd basemen. I think you gotta do it.

"12:07pm: The Dodgers and Capuano are closing in on a two-year, $10MM deal, Bowden tweets."

Oh well.

Saved by the dodgers, once again.

Same type of deal as the DeJesus signing to me.

Bosio next Cub pitching coach. Towel Drillers rejoice!

Bosio tells the Appleton Post Crescent (his home town paper):
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20111202/...

it's a 2 page article...also says the Brewers are not offering a contract to Craig Counsell, so if he retires formally, the Cubs may add him to the coaching staff although the Milwaukee Sentinel has said the Brewers have talked to Counsell regarding a "non-playing" role. It also says Pat Listach will be the Cub bench coach again (but Jamie Quirk was hired in that role, so the Cubs will have to clear up Listach's retained role).

“All of those long-suffering Cubs fans, their will to win, their want to win, their passion to win, it’s going to be a lot of good energy,’’ said Bosio, who left his position as the Brewers’ Triple A pitching coach in Nashville to join the Cubs.

“It’s going to be agonizing at times, and rewarding as well. That’s the rigors of the season. But we’re going to try and create some magic at Wrigley.’’

...“I just can’t tell you how excited I am, number one, to be working with Dale,’’ said Bosio. “When he offered me the job as pitching coach of the Chicago Cubs, to hear him say that, knowing the confidence he has in me, that’s a great feeling. We’re going to be prepared, are going to have intensity and a lot of enthusiasm.’’

BJ Surhoff can't be far behind...

Terry Franconca was also on the '89/'90 Brewers.

counsell for hitting coach!

counsell for hitting HBP coach!

/fixed

every time i watched him bat (except when he dropped his bat-straight-up stance late in his career) i wished he'd get hit by lightning...not because he's a jerk...i just think it would have been funny...but probably not for long. *shrug*

his dad was a scout...who the hell taught him to bat like that? =p

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

says they are considering counsell for a coaching gig

Batting stance coach? Scrappiness coach? How-snag-starting-gigs/stay-on-the-active-roster-despite-all-odds coach?

Believe 1st and 3b coach still available, which is usually combined with infield and outfield coach. Suppose they may add a position or two, not sure the rules on that. Rudy should be worried either way :)

I just think to all of those late nights we spent pounding shots back at The Thirsty Pickle and can say to myself 'Finally, it all pays off."

Remember when Pitching Coach was considered an important position? That was sort of cool.

Darryl Hamilton for Hitting coach?

The Cubs new coaching staff motto: Middle infielders, collect 'em all...just can't get enough.

Better than the two separate times when Hendry tried to build the roster around Quasi-2nd basemen.

2003-6: Mark Bellhorn, Ramon Martinez, Augie Ojeda, Tony Womack, Todd Walker, Neifi Perez, Rey Ordonez, Mark Grudzielanek, Nomar Garciaparra, Ronny Cedeno, Jose Macias, Enrique Wilson, Cesar Izturis, Jerry Hairston (Jr).

2009-11: Jeff Baker, Theriot & Fontenaught, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Freel, Aaron Miles, Darwin Barney, Blake DeWitt, Bobby (Free) Scales, DJ LeMahieu

...and you call yourself a Frederick Bynum acolyte. For Shame!

stoopid

Interesting read by Jerry Crasnick at ESPN.com on Yoenis Cespedes. Several teams are going gaga over him, but he's already 26-years old and will likely need a year in the minors before he's big league ready. Is he really worth north of $50 million?

http://espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove11/story/_/id/...

I'd say "no". The track record for Cuban hitters in MLB is very spotty and this guy wasn't dominant. Maybe $10 million and an MLB contract, but he seems like a guy who is going to get your GM fired in three years.

Darvish on the other hand...

I tend to agree, TRN. The $50 million+ that they are talking about just seems like way too much money.

I don't know enough about Darvish to say one way or the other, but I do like Kuroda and/or Buehrle. They can both eat innings and do it with a 3.50 to 4.00 era.

John Heyman posted an article earlier today about the upcoming winter meetings. Here's what he had to say about the Cubs:

2. Cubs. Their dalliance with Albert Pujols logically can be nothing more than a leverage play, as this is a rebuilding team with a long way to go and a 31-year-old (at least) mega-star makes little sense. Prince Fielder is at least four years younger and has a connection to new manager Dale Sveum (who was Fielder's hitting coach with the Brewers), so he makes a bit more sense. Their biggest upcoming move could be a trade for their best pitcher, Matt Garza. New front office saviors Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are in a tough spot here. One saving grace: They know they can always bring back Cub lover Kerry Wood on an under-market contract.

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

i still dont get the garza thing...Z/dumpster most likely gone next year and garza's just the type of guy you hand a 3-5 year deal to. you have to build around something with the pitching staff and there's 5 slots to fill.

there's been rumors with him staying and ones with him possibly going...i can't imagine him going anywhere with the current pitching situation and the sheer amount of payroll flexibility for 2013.

It all depends on what they can get back. I would assume that they'll get a least someone who can be put into the rotation immediately. If they could get Machado and Matusz (or a similar package) I could see them preferring that two two years of Garza at a $9 million discount.

Regardless of whether they will trade him or not, they should at least see what they can get.

Some twitterness from Levine (or maybe it was on the radio) about expecting cubs to trade for headley this week and to trade from their pen.

Darvish likely to be posted after winter meetings.

The Cubs make as much sense as anybody else to pursue this young, high-ceiling starting pitcher. Time to stop talking to Cespedes and redirect those funds.

Navigator spends a lot of time talking about how the Cubs don't have any money and they need to service their debt. I don't know about that, but if that is the case, I could certainly see paying $50 million to win the posting process on Darvish (or a $30 million up front signing bonuses with Cespedes) difficult to do.

Wish I had the link handy, but I read an article the other day that said Darvish is the real thing, four or five MLB 60 or better pitches, is bigger, throws harder and less miles that Daisuke.

I'd rather spend money on Darvish than any other free agent available this year. He should be entering his prime, and the Cubs need to address the front end of the rotation more (in my opinion) than any other part of the roster, if the plan is to build a long-term contender. Pujols is getting older, Fielder is going to be ginormous, and the Cubs don't need outfielders or injury prone middle infielders. If the Cubs finished this offseason with Darvish, DeJesus, and some middling second baseman/third baseman to contend for playing time, I'd be pretty okay with that.

the team really does need a power/RBI bat, too...especially with aram gone.

the current cubs power is on scale with pitiful-as-hell OAK right now. of course 1st will provide more power, whether they spend big on fielder or go-cheap on pena...aram's power won't be replaced at 3rd without a gamble suddenly becoming really good. aside from gambling at 3rd, they could "go safe" on a contact hitting guy with low/med power (various) or "go insane" and put j.reyes there (not likely at all).

the team does have a lot of flexibility with money, especially factoring in 2013 and backloading possibilities, but they also have a lot of high-end need.

It's always possible to get some kind of power hitter to play first base or left field, and often it's possible to get one for right field too. There aren't any good power options to fill third right now within or outside the organization.

Darvish and Fielder are the only available free agents that look like possibly good investments for the Franchise. I'd rather have Darvish for a few reasons: 1.) Teams can make use of and probably need more than one top of the rotation starter. 2.) He ought to be entering his prime and the Cubs would retain control of him for a long time. 3.) I'm not confident in Fielder's ability to stay healthy or productive with that body type. 4.) I think the Cubs will have other opportunities to fill first base (maybe not with a slugger quite the quality of Fielder) over the next few years through free agency, trades, or the farm system (Vitters, Vogelbach, etc.). 5.) I don't see many true ace-potential pitchers in the Cubs organization.

I don't see the Cubs contending next year anyway (though it's obvious they aren't going into true rebuilding mode), so I don't care that much if they go a year without reliable slugger.

yeah, rebuilding beyond a single season (2012) is pretty much out of the question based on how much $$ comes off the book this year (thanks to aram) and especially in 2013.

even if rebuilding is in the plans (or wheel spinning), there's going to be plenty of loot to play with in 2013...even more if they plan on short-term punting in 2012.

it's hard to predict what beane will do with the club in 2012 (i'm not about to give real GM credit to anyone but beane no matter what job titles say until proved otherwise, btw).

Beane?

hahah...

yeah, umm...the "other beane"...yeah...theo, god, whatever he's called this week...which probably isn't beane...

Yeah, you know, the guy who wrote "Moneyball".

i was referring to the gay one. =p

Not sure I agree that Fielder is more likely to suffer a decline over the course of his contract than Darvish would over the six years he's presumably going to be signed for. Pitchers get hurt. Also, there's no bat as good as Fielder's that's going to be on the FA market for the next few years.

I do think the upgrade from Coleman to Darvish is likely to be greater than from LaHair to Fielder, though.

The obvious solution is to sign both of them!

It's totally a guess on my part. I see Fielder as more likely than his 1B slugging peers to suffer a significant decline to his health. I'm not sure I see any reason to suspect that Darvish is more likely than his SP peers to suffer from an injury. Ultimately, the big thing for me is what you identify in that second paragraph: I see a bigger difference between what Darvish might be and what the Cubs might otherwise place in the starting rotation than I see between what Fielder might be and what the Cubs might otherwise put at first base.

I'm not sure I see any reason to suspect that Darvish is more likely than his SP peers to suffer from an injury.

He's not. He's just a pitcher. Pitchers tend to tear their UCL's and fray their shoulder sockets. First basemen, not so much.

On Darvish:
“The player, I am told, is very quirky with a huge ego. Apparently, he will feel disrespected if the post is less than Matsuzaka’s was with Boston," the scout said.

http://nmsn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/yu-darvis...

Ugh, that sounds like somebody who has gotten used to the Hendry mediocrity of the last couple years. My impression from the Theoregime's remarks has been that they plan on doing a lot of personnel movement. I'd like to see as much change as possible, even if it's change for change's sake.

I guess what you might see as settling for mediocrity I see as appreciating a sort of modified rebuilding mode--but that only makes sense if they are building towards making a major run circa 2014 or so.

I've been pro rebuilding for a while, but I've reconciled with the likelihood that the Cubs will never truly rebuild. So instead I could see a reasonable course of action being as follows: Over the next two years or so, dish out big money on only players who you really want to lock up because they could contribute over the long term (Darvish and Fielder types, or potentially extensions for guys like Castro or even Garza). For 2012 and 2013, go relatively cheap and few years in areas where long-term fixes are not available--like they just did with DeJesus in RF and might do at 3B with a guy like Ian Stewart or Chase Headley. These are moves that will do little to make the Cubs contenders in the next year (what would?), but also put the organization at very little risk. Then when the team has shed some of the more expensive vets (or is close to shedding them) like Soriano, Zambrano, Dempster, and to a lesser extent Byrd, make a real run at it, building around Castro and whatever other long-term guys they may have accumulated--Darvish/Fielder, Garza/whatever they get in a trade for Garza, whatever they might get for Soto, plus hopefully some youngsters who step up (Cashner, B-Jax, McNutt, Vitters, Castillo, Flaherty, LeMahieu, etc.). Hiding behind what appears to be acceptance of mediocrity is actually a great deal of wishful thinking on my part.

A source tells WEEI's Rob Bradford that the Red Sox are interested in Kuroda, but that their ability to sign him would be contingent on gaining financial flexibility through other moves.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/rockies...

Then they should get off their asses and trade Gonzalez, Youk, and Pedroia to the Cubs for various shitty prospects and veterans.....and a can of Simoniz.

And a used infield rake!

given that he didn't pick up a ball in 2011 it's not much of a surprise, but one of baseball's fun guys is officially walking away.

"Pedro Martinez told reporters Saturday that he's planning to officially retire from baseball."

he was the manny ramirez of pitching...only without the drugs and with a work ethic.

yay!

via the National Department of Total Retardation and Brain Injured Executives...

"The Marlins have offered Jose Reyes a six-year, $111 million contract, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com."

Holy wow!

ESPN Deportes says Marlins have offered Reyes 6/111.

http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/news/story?id...

as the offseason moves...the cubs-rumors aren't getting pretty.

even the boourlee rumors have tamed out.

it seems they're seeing no love for fielder...and only with pujols to drive up his price.

only thing they seem to be involved with going into winter meetings is a japanese guy requiring posting loot and a cuban OF'r linked to 20+ other teams.

i really hope this offseason/season doesn't come down to getting a bunch of suits and some wheel-spinning replacement parts.

it's still way way way too early...there's just a lack of cubs rumors on players while teams are being strongly linked to certain players.

I agree. I'm writing it off to the new Epstein/Hoyer regime playing things close to the vest. I've got to believe there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than what is being reported.

Why so disappointed? You didn't really expect 2012 to be a turnaround year, did you? Instead, 2012 will be the bottoming year, things should (had better!) improve for 2013. Let Theo and Jed find a few pieces for this year, plug in a few unproven young players, and see what develops so they can make a more meaningful push 12 months from now.

I agree with others above, I don't want the Cubs to spend another mega-$$$ contract on Fielder, or unproven foreigners like Cespedes and Darvish. I'd rather the team seek out young minor league talent and make trades to bring these prospects into the Cubs system.

this is a high-$$ team with a ton of loot going away next year and aram off the books this year.

they have money for 2012, a ton of money flexibility in 2013, and need for both power and upper-rotation pitching.

paying a guy 5m to lead off and hit singles (yes, he has low-doubles+ linedrive power...i'm not "therioting" the guy) won't help much without some power behind him.

that said, it's still very very very early...a lack of rumor linking a team doesn't mean anything, as we've learned in years past in every offseason.

I'm not sure I expected a turnaround year in 2012, but I sure don't expect the Cubs to go into rebuild mode. As Crunch said, the Cubs have money to spend and I think it makes sense to sign high dollar free agents now while they are available. Hitters like Pujols and Fielder do not come along every year.

You simply can't wait until 2013 and decide, "Okay, now we're going to sign the players we need." Building a competitive team is a continual process and teams sometimes have to add a piece they are going to need when that piece is available, even if the first year of the contract may seem like a bit of a waste from a competitive standpoint.

At this point, a lack of rumors doesn't mean a thing. I just hope we don't get to Spring Training and still wonder what they plan is.

Marlins big spenders...

Rosenthal tweet says Reyes agrees to 6/106 pending physical and there is No no-trade included.

Heath Bell passes physical so that deal is done.

http://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal

Wow. That's a lot of years for Reyes's overall production and injury history.

Wow. That's a lot of years for Reyes's
---
not to mention that Hanley Ramirez may have to change positions (which he's implied he's not happy about)

reyes/h.ramirez/morrison/stanton/g.sanchez

...hope the NL East has fun with that.

crazy money for reyes, though. maybe they'll see a WS before everyone involved in the financing for the new stadium gets locked up in jail...oh wait, they don't lock people up for that very long...nevermind.

I thought 6/111 WAS the no-trade clause.

Hell, I would trade that deal for Soriano right now.

Isn't the dominance of that lineup somewhat dependent on Morrison turning into the 30HR guy you see him as and the Hanley that can mash showing up?

barring injury i would honestly give 30+ HR to morrison a near 100% chance if he plays 150+ starts.

Yeesh- It's just Jose Reyes. Yeah, I mean he's good, but 106/6? It's okay, I guess (in years 2 & 3) if salaries continue to skyrocket, but lately salaries have been stagnating badly. Seems too high to me.

Heyman tweets the asking price for J. Danks to Yankees would be... banuelos, AD montero cant blame 'em for trying. not serious yet, obis.

Heyman also notes that Marlin deals have the advantage of no Florida state income tax.

serious rumor mill starting to churn, kewl.

Heyman...

cubs told at least 1 team that would need to be overwhelmed to even consider trading garza.

http://twitter.com/DKnobler/status/1435383746...

Not sure who that is. Makes a little sense if you don't think Pujols is in rapid decline and prone to injury.

unless they can snag pujols for 5 years or less i hope they're just bidding him up like others are suggesting.

Maybe four years at $112 million to soothe his ego, but I am not sure I even like that contract. By Fangraphs FA value system he was worth $23 million on the open market last year, so you're paying him to be the best player in the game, and expecting a rebound...

Of course, if the Cubs 1B in 2012 put up 37 HR, and .299/.366/.541, they'd probably put a statue up for him....
Amazing isn't it that last year was a "bad" year for Pujols.....man.

Our third basemen hit .306 .361 .510 and we're all but chasing him out of town with a pitchfork and torches.

Of course our 3B also is a statue defensively, and apparently has no power until June 1st..
Still..good point Neal.

I don't really see why it matters that much when a player hits well as long as on average he does over the season. If he's hitting a bunch of home runs all in a row chances are they'll be winning a bunch of those games just as much as if he staggers them out. 3 months of good slugging is still pretty good to me and that August line was epic as was September from an OBP stand point. 4 months of 140+ sOPS+

Uh...if the player is hitting with little to no power the first 2 motnths of the season...when the Cubs need him to, and the offense is struggling, and the team gets buried in the standings....then it doesn't matter as much how he does when the team is out of contention. You can't win the pennant in April and May, but you can sure lose it.

Except I don't agree with that. If you win 5 games, then 15 games, because of a streaky player, how is that different then winning 10 games then 10 games because of a consistent player who ends up with the same average stats? Teams all the time go through bad stretches then get on hot streaks and I've never bought into the idea that one time is as good as another to win except probably that it's good to get into the playoffs on a winning streak but Cardinals showed even that isn't necessary in 2006.

What if you lose 5 of 20 games in April because your bats are cold, and then in July when they heat up, you win a few more games, but the extra 1-2 runs that cost you in April don't do any good in 12-5 blowouts when everyone's bats are clicking?

That could happen yes if everyone gets hot at the same time. We're talking about one player though. Not to mention we might need all the runs we can get to win a lot of our games.

The point of course is "congrats for being on fire every year when your team is out of the race"

I think that statement ignores Ramirez's contributions to 2004, 2007, 2008--according to Fangraphs at least he was worth 4 wins or more in each of those years, and the Cubs were competitive in each of those years. Of course Ramirez had his cold streaks and could have been better, but it certainly wasn't always his fault or only his fault if the Cubs happened to be out of contention during certain hot streaks he had. He was never a player that could carry a mediocre team on his back, but he also never had the power to destroy his own team with a cold streak--partly because we always knew that he wasn't the type of player a team should depend on to be the man a la Pujols. A-Ram was at his best as a really good #5 hitter who had decent power from left field to right center and had an approach at the plate that produced moderate walks as well as moderate strikeouts. Never an MVP candidate, but nothing to scoff at in his prime, either.

Ramirez was a dangerous hitter, who also was streaky. He was the Cubs best 3B since Santo. He has also become a liability in the field, and has health issues. I wish him the best, but a 3-4 year deal for a 33 year old 3B is risky for a team who may not be in contention for a couple seasons.

Doesn't seem to me anyone is chasing him out of town. More like a general consensus that although he was/is the most productive third baseman on the north side since Santo, his age, the number of years he wants, and the money he'll command don't match up with the team's ability to compete right now. If the Cubs were a third baseman and one other move from serious contention, I think Aramis would be welcomed back with open arms and a three-year contract. Management seems to be building toward long-term value now, even if they aren't quite throwing in the towel on 2012 (acquired DeJesus, seem to be fairly committed to holding onto both Garza and Marshall through the beginning of the season, etc.).

Golden Era HOF vote due momentarily...

Ronnie's IN

obviously bittersweet but still teary-eyed about this

I choked up , but happy. I only wish he were here to enjoy it. Long over due.

Cubs met with Dan Lozano, who is the agent for Pujols and Jimmy Rollins. Rollins could be a fit a second and leadoff, if they weren't necessarily talking solely about Pujols.

If the Marlins do get Pujols, they'll be looking to trade Sanchez (or maybe Morrison) for pitching. He and Dominguez would make a nice package for Garza, if the Cubs are sold on Dominguez's bat.

I doubt most teams are sold on Dominguez' s bat.....apparently he is gold glove caliber at 3B, but hitting .255/.325/.418 in the minors isn't inspiring a lot of confidence for MLB success...

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