Cubs Ready to Sign Jim Edmonds
The recently released Jim Edmonds should clear waivers on Wednesday and it looks like the Cubs are going to bite. The move would likely send Felix Pie to the minors and give Edmonds the majority of playing time in a center field platoon with Reed Johnson.
[UPDATE 4:00 PM]:Ruz has added his take, at the bottom of the article.
So it's understandable that the Cubs want to upgrade center field right now. It seems to be the only weak spot in the lineup and some of our guys are certainly going to regress substantially from their early season success. But could the Cubs actually find someone to upgrade with?
A tale of the 2008 tape after the jump...
|Felix Pie||Jim Edmonds|
|Defense||Really Good||Slipping Fast|
|Intangibles||Not a douchebag||Frost his tips, has a vanity license plate that says "Hollywood"|
Other than pitches per plate appearance, Felix Pie is actually out-hitting someone in baseball and it happens to be the guy about to replace him. Granted, another bat in the lineup that is going to see over or near four pitchers per plate appearance is going to drive pitching staffs batty, but that's one small plus for this potential transaction in a sea of minuses.
Of course, it could be argued that Edmonds has a history of being a pretty good hitter and center fielder and he's going to bounce back at any moment.
I doubt it.
(Ed note: So as not to be misleading, 100 is a league-average OPS+, not 125 as the chart suggests. I assume most of you know that, but just in case.)
He's clearly on the downside of his career, I think he's actually going on the "put him out to pasture" part of his career.
But even if Hendry and the Cubs can catch some lightning in a bottle, it's Jim "Fucking" Edmonds. I hated this guy for every one of his eight seasons with the Cardinals. How the hell can you root for Jim Edmonds on the Chicago Cubs? There's part of me (a rather large part) that hopes he goes 0 for his first 20 or 40 or whatever it takes to get him cut as soon as possible. This is the guy that Zambrano drilled twice in one game after some home run showboating.
My stock response in these situations when the Cubs have a player that I'm not particulary fond of is, "I hope he does well, but I doubt it". In this case, I hope Zambrano drills him with a fastball the moment he walks in the clubhouse...and then another one the first time he takes batting practice...maybe one more when he's in the clubhouse shower.
Freaking Jim Edmonds is about to be a Cub...maybe Hendry can swing a deal to bring in AJ Pierzynski, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt, Barry Bonds and Ozzie Guillen in as a bench coach. That would definitely take the "lovable" out of "lovable" losers. Oh sure, I want to the Cubs win, pretty much at all costs. But since I have serious doubts that Jim Edmonds will be anything other than a road bump for Felix Pie's eventual return to the club or a trade for legitimate upgrade, I'd rather the Cubs just let him ride off into the sunset. Or maybe off to the Reds.
I will be so angry if this happens.
I have a visceral anti-Edmonds reaction, and the comments below show me I'm not alone. For me, it's not about his frosted tips (something which I will admit to having done myself). It's not even about the fact that he is more identified with the St. Louis Cardinals than just about any player in the last decade. That, in and of itself, wouldn't make this a bad signing. Believe me, if the Cubs traded for Albert Pujols, I would have no problem rooting for him.
No, the problem is that not only is Jim Edmonds Mr. Cardinal, he also sucks. He just got put on waivers by the Padres, who are currently the worst team in baseball. The Padres are hitting .233 as a team, and they decided they didn't want Edmonds any more, that they'd rather take their chances with Scott Hairston and Jody Gerut in center. Edmonds is about to turn 38 and is in the middle of his fourth-straight season of declining production. He's hitting 178/265/233 (yes, he's slugging .233!). Why send Felix Pie back to the minors to take a flyer on an aging veteran who might, but might not, regain his stroke?
Several years ago there was chatter about the Cubs acquiring Chipper Fucking Jones. Now there are few players in baseball I dislike more than Chipper Fucking Jones. In fact, there might not be any player in baseball I dislike more than Chipper Fucking Jones. But when the possibility of Chipper Fucking Jones becoming a Cub was raised, I got over my initial distaste because it seemed pretty clear that acquiring him would help the Cubs.
If Jim Edmonds was still getting on base at a .360+ clip and hitting 20-30 homers, I would be happy to see him in a Cubs uniform. After all, I'm a Cubs fan, and anything that makes the Cubs better makes me happy. But this isn't going to make the Cubs better; it's going to make them worse, at the expense of one of their young prospects, and it's going to come with the indignity of Jim Edmonds in a Cubs uniform.
DO NOT WANT.
One last poll on the NL Central Smackdown below this post or on the right sidebar...promise. I just want some data on what you guys think is the best overall staff in the NL Central. My ranks would be Cubs, Brewers (w/ Gallardo), Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Astros.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.