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.

Recent comments

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  • Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.

    Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.

  • It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.

    I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.

  • I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.

    This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/making-too-much-of-...

  • Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!

  • Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.

  • Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.

    Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.

  • Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.

  • Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.

    Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.

  • He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.

    He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.

  • Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.

    Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.

  • That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible

  • I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.

  • rollercoaster loss...ugg.

    at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.

    anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.

  • Now looming VERY large. Game tied.

  • That Braves TOOTBLAN trying to stretch a double into a triple is looming very large.

  • Phil, do you know if Victorino has an opt out date approaching? Thanks.