Cubs Hits Of The Week (5/5 Through 5/11)
The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during a week that began with a disappointing series against a team in the throes of a long losing streak, but ended with a sweep of the club with the best record in the National League, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):
#5 Big Hit: Tuesday, v. the Reds, 4th inning — After Geovany Soto whiffs with men at second and third, Ronny Cedeño connects for a two-out, two-run single to extend the Cubs lead to 3-0, which turns out to be more than cushion enough for Carlos Zambrano. Cedeño's hit was far and away the Cubs' biggest one during the three games in Cincinnati. WPA .172
#4 Big Hit: Saturday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — Alfonso Soriano, who opened the week flailing and failing in Cincinnati and looking like a living, breathing argument for players going on rehab assignments following stints on the DL, had his biggest day of the year on Saturday. One of Soriano's four hits was this tie-breaking double, which brought pinch-runner Jason Marquis home with the run that put the Cubs in front to stay. WPA .181
#3 Big Hit: Saturday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — Daryle Ward, who, up until this game, had managed to take the "hit" out of "pinch hit," collects his first hit of the year coming off the bench, a single that scores Mark DeRosa from second base with the run that draws the Cubs even with Arizona, 2-2, and sets the stage for the fireworks that are to follow. WPA .183
#2 Big Hit: Sunday, v. the Diamondbacks, 8th inning — Turns out the D-backs got a double dose of Daryle this weekend. On Sunday, Ward steps to the plate with the bases loaded, one out, and the score tied 4-4 and pounds a Tony Peña pitch into right-center field for a two-run double. Kudos here to Lou Piniella for his decision to pinch-hit Alfonso Soriano immediately before batting Daryle Ward, knowing that Arizona would walk Soriano, but then be without a lefty to face Ward. That being the case, we'll deposit 30% of this WPA into Lou Piniella's account. WPA .187
#1 Big Hit: Sunday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — In the last two years, Juan Cruz had allowed his former team just one earned run in 15 IP. This past weekend was another story. On Sunday, Reed Johnson clubs a Cruz pitch deep into the left-centerfield bleachers, a two-run shot that knots Sunday's game at 4-4 and is sufficiently dramatic to overshadow a scintillating Kasper/Brenly interview of Tony Romo. WPA .319
best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...
also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.
Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.