39 players are on 40-MAN ROSTER (one slot is open)
One player is on 15-DAY DL
One player has been DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT(does not count against 40-man roster)
Three players are on 60-DAY DL (do not count against 40-man roster)
13 players have been optioned to the minors
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* James Russell
* Travis Wood
# Dioner Navarro
* Anthony Rizzo
* Luis Valbuena
* Julio Borbon
* David DeJesus
* Nate Schierholtz
* Ryan Sweeney
15-DAY DL (1):
Shawn Camp, P
60-DAY DL (3):
Scott Baker, P
* Steve Clevenger, C-IF
Arodys Vizcaino, P
Alberto Cabrera, P
* Brett Jackson, OF
Junior Lake, IF-OF
Trey McNutt, P
* Brooks Raley, P
* Chris Rusin, P
Eduardo Sanchez, P
Dave Sappelt, OF
Jorge Soler, OF
Matt Szczur, OF
Christian Villanueva, 3B
Josh Vitters, 3B-1B
* Logan Watkins, INF
This is a couple of weeks old, but Chris Dial at Baseball Think Factory came out with a huge spreadsheet rating every player in the league on offense and defense with the appropriately named metric OPD (Offense Plus Defense). It does not take into account baserunning though, and be aware that players are compared to those who play the same position. He briefly explains the methodology in that link and a further description of the defense can be found here. I didn't spend a lot of time assessing the merits of his system, but it seems solid enough. It tells me Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer were the best players in their respective leagues last year and well that certainly passes the smell test, although by no means is it the ONE stat that will settle every argument from now until the end of days.
The full Google spreadsheet can be found at this link and I've listed the Cubs team ratings and individual players below. It would have been nice to put a ranking next to each player so I didn't have to count them out, which I'm not going to do for every player, but I'll let you know that Soto was 17th in the NL and DeRosa 18th. The numbers are runs relative to average, not replacement or wins, and of course, a positive number is above average, negative is below average.The general sabermetrician's rule of thumb is that 10-12 runs is good for a win.
One of the many toys at Baseball Prospectus is something they call "Secret Sauce". BP has successfully cracked the code to playoff success and nailed the last 45 World Series winners. What? How have you never heard of this amazing prediction system? Because I made that last part up, but nevertheless a fun tool to look at as we await our playoff opponent.
I looked back through 2000 and BP did predict three World Series winners and six of the 16 participants in the World Series correct. You scoff, but what's your playoff prediction success rate?
The formula is simple enough and rather intuitive to what is commonly believed among baseball folks that power pitching, a good closer and good defense wins in the playoffs. In this case, BP uses FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average), EqK9 (Equivalent Strikeout Rates per 9 innings) and WXRL (Win above Replacement Pitcher for the team's closer) and comes up with a score.
Their predictions and the 2008 rankings after the jump.
No, this isn't a bold Ryan Dempster-like statement about the Cubs 2008 chances. We're going to hop into the DeLorean we have sitting around here at the sprawling TCR headquarters and visit my all-time favorite Cubs team - the 1984 ballcub.
I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who can point to the 1984 Cubs as the reason why they're still Cubs fans today. As a young nine-year old living in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, I had not yet quite sworn my life-debt to either Chicago team. If anything I was leaning towards the White Sox as they had just come off of a successful 1983 season and Dad G. fancied himself more a White Sox fan over the Cubs. Plus me and my brother scored like 8 White Sox helmets on a giveaway day the year before and that was kind of cool.
Then 1984 hit and the Cubs-love swept through Chicago. The mix of the "Daily Double", WGN, Harry Caray and being able to catch the end of most Cubs homes games right when I got home for school was enough to sway me to the Northsiders.
But, this piece isn't about my reasons for being a Cubs fan, rather about one man's bold prediction.
FG article from yesterday about the overwhelming underperformance of the 2013 Cubs. If I understand their 'Clutch' stat correctly, then the Cubs this year are 40% less clutch than the 29th-most clutch team in baseball.
as an aside...though jim d. hasn't been awful in the booth, it's a bit disappointing he didn't/doesn't do the amount of "homework" getting to know the team or critiquing things being done like bob did.
so far, when i hear jim d. calling a game it feels like he's a national "game of the week" generic type announcer that doesn't know the team well.
he's a full-on 100% replacement for "bad joke bob" type humor, though.
all kidding aside, this team really has been running on a single bright spot (the starting rotation) and rizzo pounding the ball hard when he's not slumping (and his extension)
welly's doing as expected (though a few more homers/doubles would be nice)...valbuena is helping people forget about i.stewart, though he's not doing anything extraordinary...kevin gregg has been a nice surprise as the new closer...castro is being castro, though a few more walks or hits would be nice since he's performing slightly below expectations...
It's definitely hard to get excited about this team. When they suck like this it feels like a huge part of my summer is just completely missing, so I want to come here and get a little bit of a Cubs fix, but lately it's 100% split squad games at Fitch Park. I can't stand any of the major newspapers' coverage, and I really don't like BCB or any of the other Cubs blogs. I guess I just miss the good old days with 200+ comment threads, even if 90% of it was just The Real Neal arguing with himself.
So I haven't commented much lately, and I don't want to be that guy, but is this site now exclusively dedicated to Extended Spring Training? I absolutely love everything AZ Phil brings to the table, but could we maybe get a few posts about the big league squad?