636 Reasons for Cub Fans to be Thankful in 2008

In a special, Thanksgiving edition of his Stat of the Week, John Dewan chronicles the Cubs' aversion to taking walks from 2003 through '07.

Here is how the Cubs hitters ranked among NL clubs in BB:

2003 14th of 16 teams
2004 14th of 16 teams
2005 16th of 16 teams
2006 16th of 16 teams
2007 15th of 16 teams

Last year  was a different story.

The Cubs led the NL with 636 walks--the league average was 551--and, as Dewan points out, "the Cubs increased their run production by over 100 runs...leading the 2008 NL in runs scored with 855."

Based on the individual player stats at FanGraphs, here is how the key figures in the Cub lineup aided the cause and how their willingness to walk in 2008 compared to 2007 and the rest of their careers:

Player  '08 BB%
'07 BB %
Career BB %
Jim Edmonds 13.9% 10.1% 12.8%
Mark DeRosa 12.0% 10.4%  8.7%
Aramis Ramirez 11.8% 7.8% 7.4%
Ryan Theriot 11.2% 8.4% 10.0%
Derrek Lee 10.2% 11.1% 11.3%
Alfonso Soriano 8.7% 5.1% 5.7%
Reed Johnson 5.4% 5.5% 5.4%

 

Geovany Soto  (just 79 career AB's before last year) and Kosuke Fukudome aren't listed because they had no MLB track record to compare to, but both wore their walking shoes last season: Soto walked 11.2% of the time (2nd among NL catchers) and Fukudome finished at 13.9%, a higher BB rate than all but three other regular NL outfielders, Adam Dunn (19.1%), Pat Burrell (16.0%), and Atlanta's Gregor Blanco (14.7%). As much as Fukudome appeared to be overmatched for much of the season, his patience at the plate, at least early in the year, seemed to set the stage for the Cubs' overall offensive approach in 2008.

 

Comments

some may not miss jim edmonds at all, but the guy's partial production would be a MVP-calibre season over a full year.

hope someone picks up the slack there...at least DLee has room for improvement in that area.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-peavycubs...

My guess is the A's, as they are trying to win the division next year, Peavy on the Angels doesnt help that. Also what SD needs OAK has a surplus of (pitching and outfielders).

It could be our AAAA affiliate in Pittsburgh. I hear that Jack Wilson has been seen on the mound shagging flyballs.

I have to think that whatever the deal, it wouldn't be a great one for the Cubs. Vitters is a lock to be in it and probably Pie, Marshall, or Castillo as well.

I'd love to have Jake Peavy, but I hope that after signing Dempster, acquiring him doesn't preclude us from getting a solid RFer. Adding Peavy and, say, Dunn or Ibanez to this team make it pretty stout, but are Jim and Lou on the same page?

I just can't accept all those numbers, Rob. Do you mean to say that THE MORE BASE RUNNERS WE HAVE, THE MORE RUNS WE SCORE?

Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. That can't be right. Ok I'm gonna go look for witches to burn at the stake now.

10man,

The heresy was mine, not Rob's. But enjoy your witch-burning. : ) 

My apologies to you, Cubnut. We all know that Rob is the witch here. hehe

Don't forget Chad's foray into Gay Witchcraft!!

Apparently there have been some talks about the Cubs acquiring Peavy from San Diego.

http://www.prosportsdaily.com/comments/padres-work...

I am thankful and give credit to Fukudome for showing the way in terms of patience at the plate. I honestly believe he influenced the team in that reguard. I hope the '09 Cubs follow that approach.
Please do not get Adam Dunn, I cannot bare to hear the laughter coming from Cincinnati. Let him go play football in Europe.
Is Ichiro available?

Oops I mean, "bear." Go bears.

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  • 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 35 min 20 sec 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 35 min 58 sec 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 42 min 25 sec 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 45 min 57 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 49 min 33 sec 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 58 min 29 sec 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 1 hour 21 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • QuietMan 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 33 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 2 hours 11 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 2 hours 55 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 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 56 min ago view