Cubs Hits Of The Week (4/28 Through 5/4)
The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past. not terribly successful week against the teams we'll have to beat if we want to take the division, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):
#5 Big Hit: Tuesday, v. the Brewers, 7th inning — The opener of the Cubs' three-game series with the Brewers is getting out of hand when Mike Fontenot hits a two-out, bases-clearing double that brings the home team to within two runs at 9-7. WPA .133
#4 Big Hit: Sunday, v. the Cardinals, 2nd inning — Reed Johnson gets the Cubs on the board against Todd Wellemeyer by doubling home Geovany Soto, moving Fontenot to third, and setting the Cubs up for a monster inning...that never materializes. WPA .134
#3 Big Hit: Thursday, v. the Brewers, 9th inning — Moments after seeing his team's closer (and I use the word loosely) cough up a 3-1 lead, Ronny Cedeno leads off the last of the ninth by working Eric Gagne for a walk, and with the power-hitting Soto due up, the stage is set for a dramatic resolution. Unfortunately, Soto, who strikes out, and Felix Pie, who raps into a game-ending DP, didn't read the script. WPA .135
#2 Big Hit: Saturday, v. the Cardinals, 4th inning — The Cubs are already leading 1-0 when Soto steps in against Kyle Lohse with the bases loaded, cracks a ground-rule double to extend the Chicago lead to 3-0, and reminds us once again how positively swell it is to have a catcher who can rake. WPA .145
#1 Big Hit: Friday, v. the Cardinals, 9th inning — With a certain segment of the Cub-loving population already planning their "We have to trade Alfonso Soriano!" phone calls to the local sportstalk radio stations, Fonzie does all he can do to make everyone forget what a truly horrific night he was having by sending a laser beam over the leftfield fence and bringing the Cubs even with the Cardinals at 3-3. (We should have just gone into a prevent defense after that and settled for a tie.) WPA .342
Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA.
CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.
The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.
If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.
The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:
It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.
The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.
Wait...you're flip-flopping again?!
Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?
I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.
Happ signs w Jays
Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay
needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch
As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing
+ Bankruptcy Court
2 spots left on the 40-man...wonder if they're going to play around in the rule-5 market...
A special after day after Thanksgiving thanks to AZ for his insanely detailed posts on all things roster. I don't know how you keep track of all that stuff - I suspect a chip implant, but whatever it is, it's cool.
...the wrong half.
there's nothing like crapping out of the playoffs with a strong/young cheap team after pinching pennies for years then having theo talk about having to be creative with money to make things work for 2016...but hey, baseball isn't baseball without a farmer's market and beer garden plaza with ice rinks.
they can do both...then again, if you want to look at it from a business point of view, they don't have to do both because the team is expected to be competitive and the merch+tickets+eyes-on-team are going to be at a peak unless they fail badly.