Who was the Cubs 2008 MVP?

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I went with Dempster, but it's very close. In my book, Soto or DeRosa you could make almost an equally strong argument for.

Dempster was the staff ace, so I gave it to him. Our rotation looks MUCH worse without him.

Soto and DeRosa were very very good. I would give the edge to Soto over them, because he plays a tougher position.

All 3 vastly exceeded our pre-season expectations.

Since when is exceeding expectations the same as the MVP?

It is amazing how few votes ARam is getting.

Where is this pitching staff without Geo? Blanco is great don't get me wrong, but he's a PT player at this point.

Aram is probably the best producer this season, but I just can't get past how valuable Soto's handling of the pitching staff is and how inspiring his breakout on offense is at one of the most difficult positions to find offense.

According to BP - with the one caveat that I threw out Dempster's batting numbers because BP does that wrong for pitchers (I guess another email is coming) here's the Batting/Pitching, baserunning and fielding Runs Above Replacement (as in a AAAA guy) for the candidates:

Dempster 82
DeRosa 76
Soto 60
Ramirez 57
Theriot 45
Marmol 36

Marmol obviously would look better in an evaluation that takes in leverage like BP's silly named stat or Win Probability Added. Oh, what the hell I am bored, lets look at WPA:

Marmol 3.77
Ramirez 3.31
Dempster 2.37 (-1.17 due to batting)
Lee 1.81
DeRosa 1.80
Harden 1.65
Edmonds 1.63
Soriano 1.41
Soto .95
Theriot -.22

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I feel the Cubs got what they expected from Soto this year - average in the 280s, 20ish HR power, good game-calling. I know he's a rook but it's not like he came out of nowhere in Spring Training.

The only Cubs (IMO) that performed beyond anyone's wildest expectations this year were Dempster and some of the role players (Fontenot, the scrap-heap CF platoon).

I voted for Aramis because, considering his offense and defense, he was the most irreplaceable guy on the team, therefore the most valuable. IMO.

No they weren't. I really don't understand someone saying Geo Soto VASTLY exceeded expectations. ON the contrary, he just about perfectly met them-- batting average, power, defense and handling pitchers. Expectations were high. And he came through.

PECOTA's 50% forecast for Soto was .275 .353 .477. He actually hit .285 .364 .504, so in that sense he exceeded expectations. Was anyone surprised that he had a .868 OPS? Probably not, except maybe Manny because he came up as a Cubs farmhand.

There are no MVPs this year. This year was a year of failure. They all lose in my book. I call no MVPs until we at least make it to the NLCS.

Also Hendry deal is official (sorry if 3/44). 4 more years. I don't mind that Hendry will be with us another 4 years--he seems to be learning from his mistakes--but I'm not looking forward to seeing Manny's sig and hearing his endless griping over the next 4 years.

I went with Soto. Our offenses improvement from last year to this year because we went from the worst production in the NL at C to top 3 if not the best in the NL. Also he handled the pitching staff well for a rookie.

I think this is a race between Aram and Marmol. If you took Aram off the team, how many less wins would we have? His walkoff HRs (two?) are obvious, but Marmol had several holds that, in my opinion, if you look at the rest of the bullpen, would have been losses. If you take Marmol off this team, you could easily turn 1/3 of his holds into losses the way the rest of the bullpen threw.

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  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 1 hour 9 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 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 35 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • QuietMan 4 hours 2 sec ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 4 hours 57 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 41 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 52 min ago view