Gioskar Amaya, INF Jeffry Antigua, LHP Frank Batista, RHP Julio Borbon, OF Justin Bour, 1B Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Javier Castro, RHP Zach Cates, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP Pin-Chieh Chen, OF Casey Coleman, RHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Willson Contreras, C Aaron Cunningham, OF Wes Darvill, INF Michael de la Cruz, RHP Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Paolo Espino, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Luis Flores, C Anthony Giansanti, OF Edgar Gonzalez, INF Enyel Gonzalez, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Jae-Hoon Ha, OF Marcus Hatley, RHP Marco Hernandez, INF Walter Ibarra, INF Eric Jokisch, LHP Austin Kirk, LHP Matt Loosen, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP Eric Martinez, RHP Marcos Mateo, RHP Darnell McDonald, OF Trey McNutt, RHP A. J. Morris, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF Thomas Neal, OF Chad Noble, C Alan Oaks, RHP Loiger Padron, RHP Yomar Pacheco, RHP Amaury Paulino, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Carlos Pimentel, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP Greg Rohan, IF-OF Jose Rosario, RHP Victor Salazar, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Elliot Soto, INF Nick Struck, RHP Chris Valaika, INF Jeudy Valdez, INF Yao-Lin Wang, RHP Casper Wells, OF Eli Whiteside, C Oliver Zapata, OF
Hello, everyone! I'm Lizzy: Native Virginian, devoted Cubs fan, and author of a blog called The Fair Base Ballist. I was supposed to make a guest post here when Rob G. was on vacation, but technical difficulties prevented my doing so. I spent a good chunk of time hammering out individual player projections for 2010, and Rob has been kind enough to let me go ahead and post them. I hope you'll enjoy, and please contribute your own ideas to mine (especially for the mystery bench player who is likely to be announced 5 minutes after I publish this. I have omitted the 4 candidates for brevity's sake.)
Without further fanfare, your 2010 Chicago Cubs previews. They are all 100% serious.
The latest projections use the Diamon Mind simulator and run 100 seasons using CAIRO projections (which I never heard of until today, but apparently have been the mostaccurate of the projection systems of late).
They have the Cubs doing a bit better than PECOTA with 83-84 wins and a 17% chance of winning the division, although like PECOTA they'll run the projections again as the season approaches and playing time is a little more certain. As Neyer notes in one of the links above and others have, there's pretty much a 6-game margin of error no matter what projection stats you use, so we're talking 76-89 win range at the moment. That being said, the Cubs are pretty clearly looking up at the Cardinals at this point and apparently the Reds.
Fangraphs has added the CHONE projections on their player pages along with the Bill James projections. The Hardball Times comes out with theirs in their pre-season annual and of course Baseball Prospectus and PECOTA should be out shortly. But I promised updates when I put up the Bill James projections, so here are the wOBA CHONE projections (league average is generally around the .330 mark, give or take a few points).
Fangraphs is once again going to list the projections on their player pages from a variety of sources, Bill James, CHONE, Marcel....maybe more. Bill James projections are up first and here's how the Cubs ranked by wOBA and their 2009 wOBA (explanation of wOBA here). I'll try and expand when new projections are released. Age is their 2010 playing age. You can click on their names to get their full slash line predictions and more.
Furthermore, they've got the Cubs listed 10th in their power rankings, fourth in the NL behind the Phillies, Mets and Braves.
I think we can infer two things from this new information. First, the Cubs aren't quite the locks to win the NL Central that some of us have led ourselves to believe. Second, that Sean Smith who runs the CHONE projections is a Cub-hater2. I think that's irrefutable. I even think I found a picture of him.
1 - Is it pronounced Shawn? If so, I would have just called it the FIGGINS projections.
Baseball Prospectus updated their team depth chart with new PECOTA information and the Cubs are hands down the class of the simulated National League Central. The Cubs come out with 96 wins and an easy division crown with the Brewers being their closest competition at 83 wins. That's also the best record in the NL and second best in the league behind the 98 imaginary wins that Boston has under their belt.
Replacement Level Yankees blog ran some of their own predictions using The Hardball Times projections back in early January and came up with 91.5 wins for the Cubs. That half win is going to be tough.
It's probably a good time to point out that PECOTA had the Indians winning 92 games last year and Tigers 90, although it did predict the Rays for 90 wins to its credit. I can't seem to find the full 2008 NL Predictions, but it did land the top two spots in the NL Central last year and had 89 wins for the Cubs. I believe it nailed two division winners (Angels and Cubs) and four playoff teams (had Dodgers and Red Sox as the wild card) overall in 2008.
So congrats to the 2009 Cubs - NL Paper Champions!
in fact, there comes a point (especially when you've shed a lot of payroll) where you invest before you become better than the bottom 10. 8 wins is all that separates this year's #4 cubs pick from the #11 pick (which means you lose that draft pick if you sign a protected player).
I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the debt issue is a bit misleading since the Ricketts family essentially created a vehicle to loan themselves the money to make the purchase. So to say they can't increase the payroll because the left hand needs to re-pay the right hand is a bit disingenuous.
It's better to have a guy who's 23 hit 23 HRs and knock in 80 than a 38-year-old with 30 and 103, since after that season McGriff had 113 games left in the tank, with very little production.
People always assume it's about money, but I really think it's about sustained excellence. From the Cubs' point of view, Ellsbury was attractive for his left-handedness; but signing him would have been Cub-career ending for Soler, Lake, Vitters, probably Vogelbach and others you could name, since Bryant and Almora are going to occupy two thirds of the outfield fairly soon.
It was that kind of season for the Daytona Cubs, who had two no-hitters, a four-homer game, the most prospects in the franchise’s 20 years as a Cubs affiliate, and oh by the way, a run to the high Class A Florida State League championship.
You're right about the Zell demand - I forgot about that. Somebody should erect a Zell statue in front of Wrigley that has replaceable balls that can get cut off by the people as they go through the turnstiles.
the debt you speak of was a demand by Zell to lower his tax burden. Any owner that bought the team would have the same issues.
I don't doubt the Ricketts are now using at as an excuse to get the Wrigley improvements they want now and TV deal they want, but I also have little doubt that if the Cubs were any good, they'd be bigger players in the free agent market.
What puts Tanaka in play for the Cubs — who often are forced into mid-market decision-making because of debt-related restrictions — is that the often-exorbitant posting-bid price isn’t subject to restrictions on player spending that have been in place since the Ricketts family’s highly leveraged purchase in 2009, a source said.