Conclude what you will... NL hitters with more home runs than Derrek Lee (incomplete list): Tony Clark Scott Thorman Joe Borchard Ronny Paulino NL hitters with more RBI than Alfonso Soriano (incomplete list): Rich Aurilia Joe Borchard Chris Duffy Ryan Theriot NL hitters seeing more Pitches per Plate Appearance than Mark DeRosa: Todd Helton Adam Dunn Albert Pujols NL hitters with a higher batter average with RISP than Derrek Lee: (None) NL teams hitting a higher ratio of ground balls to fly balls than the Cubs: Colorado NL catchers with more passed balls than Michael Barrett: (None) NL pitchers allowing more HR per game pitched than Carlos Zambrano: Paul Maholm NL relievers with more blown saves than Scott Eyre: (None) NL teams with a lower Save % than the Cubs: (None) NL teams with a worse record than the Cubs in “Close Games”: Cincinnati (Stats from and The Hardball Times)


well thanks for making me hate this team a little more. :)

I'm glad DeRosa is taking that lovely P/PA # and using it to hit a robust .248. Don't get me wrong, plate patience is something that this club has desperately needed for a while now. Sure, DeRosa's 20 BBs are nice, but they don't seem to amount to much more than GIDP fodder for Izzy. Both Floyd and Murton have a higher OBP and Floyd seems pretty settled in the 2 hole against righties.

Looks like WADE MILLER is being shown the door His 83 mph fast ball is the stated reason.

The Rangers will probably pick him up. They'll let anyone pitch for them.

(crossing fingers) please let an NL team pick him up, please let an NL team pick him up, please let an NL team pick him up...

I don't know why I just said that. He'd probably, and inexplicably, dominate the Cub's lineup without throwing anything other than a fastball.

If he was left-handed, that 83MPH fast ball would make him a cub killer....

Meet your new Washington Nationals starting pitcher, Wade Miller! (I'm just guessing. But you have to admit, there's a strong chance.)

Great list -- but I don't get people's obsession with Soriano's RBIs. The guy is a leadoff hitter -- the two hitters preceding him are (usually) lousy hitters. I can understand if you think his HR and SB totals (and OBP) stink -- but, expecting a lot of RBIs from your leadoff man doesn't make a lot of sense. He is hitting .286 with RISP -- about equal to his overall average. I don't have a problem with that. The silver lining -- despite the lists, the Cubs are only 5 games out in this cesspool of a division. Significant historical data suggest that Lee and Soriano (and JJ and Floyd) will eventually hit some HRs (unless Lee's wrist is not 100%). The bullpen, on the other hand.....ugh.

Jake Fox and Josh Kroeger drove in five runs, including three in the tenth inning, in a 7-4 Tennessee win on Monday. Kroeger is the right fielder for the Smokies, but yesterday Fox played right while Kroeger DH'd. The Cubs seem to be serious about Fox learning to play right field. This probably has something to do with rumors last week that the Cubs have let it be known that they're willing to part with Matt Murton. Murton is not the first player on the Cubs I would trade--he's actually one of the last--but he's the most likely to be traded, simply because the underperforming veterans on the team are protected by lengthy contracts. If Murton goes, I would expect Fox to be called up as a platoon partner to Floyd in right. Fox is an interesting prospect--and not only because he strikes fear in pitchers. As a spare catcher, he would free up Henry Blanco to enter games as part of a defensive alignment when the Cubs have a lead. Barrett is seriously overworked right now, while Blanco is underutilized. If you say that the veterans most likely to be traded are the ones whose contracts end this year, then their names are Barrett, Izturis and Floyd. If Barrett is traded, Blanco becomes the everyday catcher but he'll get a challenge from Koyie Hill, a good switch hitter. And Fox will be around to help, also. Izturis being traded could open a spot for Fontenot or Patterson, probably Fontenot. After showing he can hit in the bigs, Fontenot could be traded in the offseason. If Floyd is shown the door, the beneficiary could be Kroeger. Who is Josh Kroeger? After a year divided equally between double and triple A for Arizona in 2004 in which he hit .330 in both places, with 19 home runs, Kroeger made this 2005 list of BP top-50 candidates earning honorable mention: Russ Adams, SS, Toronto Garrett Atkins, 3B, Colorado Josh Barfield, 2B, San Diego Zack Duke, LHP, Pittsburgh Jonny Gomes, OF, Tampa Bay Angel Guzman, RHP, Chicago (NL) J.J. Hardy, SS, Milwaukee Conor Jackson, OF, Arizona Josh Kroeger, OF, Arizona Kendry Morales, 1B, Anaheim Dioner Navarro, C, Los Angeles Chad Orvella, RHRP, Tampa Bay Omar Quintanilla, SS, Oakland Jason Stokes, 1B, Florida Huston Street, RHRP, Oakland His career stalled in 2005 in AAA and nosedived in '06 with the Phillies in Scranton, but this year, through May, he has put together a remarkable line of 357/426/586. If the Cubs try to find a lefty-hitting right fielder in their system, it's got to be Kroeger, Tyler Colvin or maybe Micah Hoffpauir.

Jake Fox looks like a man's man of a ballplayer, I like him.

Billy Bucks, what the heck? Soriano is not an RBI guy? This will be the first season since 2001 when the guy did not have less than 91 RBIs. Okay, sure, he was not a lead-off hitter each of those years. But didn't he hit lead-off most of last year, when he had 95 RBIs???? Right now he is on pace to hit, what, about 15 home runs for the season after hitting 46 last season??? What the heck? That tells you that his RBI production even as a lead-off hitter, is way down from what was expected. And he is on pace to get less than 50 RBIs this season after getting 95 as a lead-off hitter last season. Even when he dropped down to hit fifth in the line-up for a couple of weeks this season, he drove in no one, or virtually no one. I mean, gosh, I know that some folks around here, not saying you, complain when there is any criticism of this team, but Soriano has been a big disappointment by any reasonable standard this season. And if I see him ground into another 6-4-3 double play I think I will fall over. If this is all we are gonna get from this guy this season, well, it will be one of the worst signings ever.

I still have faith in Lou, but I am scratching my head over the decision to pitch Eyre with the Cubs up by one on Sunday and to leave him in for 2 innings only down two yesterday. It was a big factor in both losses. Erye should only come in (assuming he should be on the team at all) when we are up or down by more than 7 runs.

Sorry, we were down by 3 not two yesterday.

It's hard to pick up RBI's when Izturis and the pitcher are batting in front of you.

And most of those seasons were spent on AL teams with DH in place of the P spot. Its easier to be an RBI producing hitter in the leadoff spot in the AL. Soriano is a fine player, just a bit overrated. Probably worth the contract, but he isnt the savior of the Cubs. He will be a fine addition to the team but the Cubs still need a couple of pieces. A big RF bat would be nice. And a better SS. I think the Cubs should trade for Tejada. The Orioles are awful and dont need him. Im sure you could trade solid young SP prospects and Izturis and some used sanitary socks for Tejada now. He is getting older and on the downside of his career, but can still play. Might be a nice 2 or 3 year run with Tejada at SS. Id focus on him.

I think the Cubs should trade for Tejada. The Orioles are awful and dont need him. Im sure you could trade solid young SP prospects and Izturis .......................................................................... Do we have any solid young pitching prospects to trade?

Even in a slump, Theriot gets clutch hits, in the eighth inning Sunday when the Cubs went up 1-0, and then in the ninth yesterday. Theriot has earned this slump, by the way. If he had slumped last September or earlier this season, it might have ended his career.

Do we have any solid young pitching prospects to trade? Guzman, Marshall, Marmol are all pitchers that teams would be very interested. Of course, the cubs need at least one of them to fill the #5 slot.

Tejada, ARod--are there any more righthanded hitters you guys covet? Try telling fantasy-league players that you need lefthanded hitters in the lineup to score runs consistently. Iowa has six lefthanded hitters at the top of the lineup, and they score more runs than they know what to do with. Seriously, the closers at Iowa have asked the hitters to score fewer runs so they can get more saves.

I think the Cubs should trade for Tejada. ----- remember they are stretching out Cotts until he's 6 ft 7 inches tall.

Wow, Virginia Phil, you are usually out in left field with your ideas, but did you just imply you would rather have some AAA player over Arod or Tejada because they are right handed? To say it nicely, that is the dumbest post I have read in a long time.

heh, great list.

Gotta agree with Vince on this one. Chosing lefthandedness over actual.... you know........ productiveness seems really Bakeresque.

I think that Virginia Phil means is we have some player at AAA who: A) are left handed B) are hitting the crap out of the ball C)the Cubs could use a lefty stick in the lineup, without trading away the whole farm system for Tejada or A-Rod. Would anyone else prefer to see an outfield of: LF:Murton/Floyd CF: Pie RF: Soriano Anyone?

I would love Tejade if it meant getting rid majority hitting lefthanded Neifizzy.

I just want to have fun watching the cubs. Watching teams blow games (by bullpen, by non-clutch hits, by not adding on, whatever) is painful and simply not entertaining. For whoever said the cubs got 2/3 from the white sox and I was bitching, this is what has happened since. The signs were still there, just hiding from plain sight.

Vince and Aaronb, I think the Cubs' problems are easier to solve than trying to acquire more righty-hitting superstars. The idea that a team can be too right-handed is a little old-fashioned but I don't think it's out in left field. It's a little hard to make the case to people who play fantasy baseball, where lefty-righty makes no difference, and it's also a little foreign to Cub fans, whose heroes (outside of Williams and Grace) have always been right-handed. In other places and at earlier times, going back to Ruth and Gehrig, lefthandedness has been prized, and it has always been over-represented in baseball. Why? Why did Mantle's father--or Izturis's father, for that matter--want his son to bat lefty? I have a strong sense that the Cubs' problem on the offensive side is the lack of production out of their two lefthanded "sluggers," Jones and Floyd. Before you haul out Floyd's batting average and OBP, let me point out that he has six extra-base hits--four doubles and two home runs--in 99 at bats. That's an EBH every sixteen-plus at bats. The Iowa Cubs have six guys at the top of their order who do much better than that. In order to make this case better, I need to do a little research, and would welcome any help and advice from people who know something about the subject and would like to encourage this line of thought. What I have found so far are a few comments like the following. Phil Garner:
"I don't think we're going to have anyone who hits 30 home runs," Garner said, "so that means we're going to have to use our speed and force things. I think our lineup is too righthanded. I think Toronto might have been the last team to win a championship with so many righthanded hitters."
A former Dodger GM:
In search of their first playoff berth since 1996, the Los Angeles Dodgers have taken a left turn. General manager Dan Evans believes that's the right way to go. "We had trouble with righthanders last year," Evans said. "Considering as many as three-fourths of the starters are righthanded, we just felt we were too righthanded a club." The Dodgers made a major move to the left when Evans traded first baseman Eric Karros and second baseman Mark Grudzielanek -- both righthanded batters -- to the Chicago Cubs during the offseason. Their replacements figure to be free-agent signee Fred McGriff at first and rookie Joe Thurston or returnee Alex Cora at second. All hit lefthanded. "We wanted to be more lefthanded and we achieved that," Evans said. "We just didn't have much on offense aside from Shawn Green on that side of the plate. This is a lefthanded game in many ways."

Michael, but last year Soriano played for an awful National League team and still was much, much more productive than he has been so far this season. And, Wes, sorry, I do not buy it. If Soriano were hitting home runs at the rate that was predicted around here when he signed (he will get at least 50 playing at Wrigley on a regular basis), he would have at least 15 more RBIs right now, and that would be even if all his home runs were with no one on base.

DeRosa's OBP would look far better at the top of the lineup, where he'd have people hitting him in. Having him walk and then having Izzy and the pitcher behind him just doesn't wok. Yet another example of how important both lineup construction and the bottom of the lineup are.

V-Phil, Weather we play Fantasy Baseball or not is really irrelvant. I personally think the Righty/Lefty thing is way overblown. The SD Padres build a solid bullpen every year with scrap heap guys because they dont get caught up in the Righty-Lefty stuff. They just go for production. Thats all I want the cubs to value. If some guys from Iowa can be more productive than some of the Chicago guys. Bring em on. But to say they need to be up here because they hit lefthanded. To me, that seems to be missing the real objective. Also, once upon a time lead based paint and asbestos insulation were thought of as the best way to go. Just because people emphasised lefthandedness over production once upon a time, doesnt mean they were right.

If a frog had wings, ARM, it wouldn't have to bump it's ass on the ground all the time. Soriano's struggling to find power just like the rest of the club. If he's hitting singles, he won't pickup RBI's because nobody's ever on base. He's not broken. If he is, then so are Lee, Jones, Floyd, and Barrett. He might still end up hitting 40. Or he might not. It's going to take one serious hot streak to get to 90 RBIs, though. Johann, I'm not sure what exactly you're trying to get at with the DeRosa comment. Yesterday, Lou did have his best two OBP guys (Ward excluded) hitting second and third in the order.

Virginia Phil, Im not disagreeing with the point that the lineup is too right-handed. Im disagreeing with your obsured thinking that you don't add a player like Tejada or Arod because they are right handed when you have some left handed kid in AAA. Where's crunch when you need him? Ever heard of Jason Dubois? There are reasons why these kids are in the minors and not the majors. You don't just bring up some kid because he left handed. Those two players are difference makers. Some left-handed kid in the minors is not. The lefty-lefty/ righty-righty matches are useful, but are blown way out of proportion. Its gotten to the point where managers don't even look to see if a lefty is better at getting lefties out than righties. They simply bring him in because he is left handed (See Remlinger, Mike)

RE:#34 Not a bad argument Vince. I will beg to differ on Eric Patterson and Felix Pie, however. I think that both of these 2 players could be a real asset in the near future.

RE:#34 Not a bad argument Vince. I will beg to differ on Eric Patterson and Felix Pie, however. I think that both of these 2 players could be a real asset in the near future.

You felt so strongly you told me 3 times!!! :) Patterson and Pie could eventually turn out to be real productive hitters in the future. This team isn't built with the future in mind. Hendry has about 4 months left to convince someone he knows how to build a team.

See Remlinger, Mike ----- please lets not. nor Glendon Rusch, Cliff Bartosh, Jimmy Anderson, Andy Pratt, Phil Norton, Ron Mahay...yeecch.

The funny thing about having a lame duck GM is this. Pie and Patterson could very well be big Lefthanded hitting pieces of the future. Unfortunately it may be Kansas City's future after they net us Emil Brown, Reggie Sanders and Scott Elarton. Rest assured that Jim Hendry will pull out all the stops to win 85 games this year.

aaronB- That is funny!!!! Lol.... Scott Elarton?? That, is not funny...ugh. I can't wait to see the 2008 KC Royals starting lineup: C:John Buck 1B:Ryan Shealy 2B:Eric Patterson SS:Tony Pena,jr. 3B:Alex Gordon LF:Billy Butler CF:David DeJesus RF:Mark Teahen DH:Mike Sweeney/Esteban German

aaronb: "The funny thing about having a lame duck GM is this." This is one thing that really pisses me off about the Cubs. They really dropped the ball with bringing Hendry back and giving him all that money to spend. He is, or at least better be, a lame duck, because if this team does not make the playoffs in this horrible division, there is NO excuse that would be good enough to justify it. McDonough has already started off on a bad note with me by keeping his boy Hendry, I hope new ownership steps in and pulls rank next offseason and fires Hendry if the Cubs don't make the playoffs.

If you don't read this Sun Times blurb carefully, it reads like the Cubs could deal Z by the trade deadline- "Though sources say there has been no movement for weeks on contract talks with potential free-agent pitcher Carlos Zambrano, general manager Jim Hendry reiterated that if the Cubs are in contention near the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, he has the green light to deal. ''Absolutely,'' Hendry said. ''We just have to do our part and stay in the race, get back higher in the standings. And if I need to get something then, there will be no problem doing it.'' Sources say, however, that the Cubs likely will be limited to players whose contracts don't extend beyond the 2007 season. "

Curious... is it realistic to expect a team to go from 65 wins to 85+ wins in one off season? And while you can blame Hendry for the 65 win season, in my opinion you either should have fired him last off season or you should give him more than one year to fix the mistakes.

Jacos - I read that quoted section differently. I interpret that as this: "While sources have have said there has been no movement in the Z talks, that does not mean that Hendry does not the freedom to add payroll at the trading deadline." I don't think that means that they are looking to deal Z.

Sorry to bring up the Iowa Cubs again, but this time it's with a slightly different emphasis. They're 29-21 and showing no signs of slowing down, even after losing Guzman and Marmol. It's early, but the class of the PCL looks like Iowa and Sacramento. There are 16 teams in the league, which means that half of the teams in the majors have their AAA franchise in the PCL. So there are the Cubs and the A's (Sacramento), atop the PCL. Isn't this a bit unusual? Since when do we run with the big dogs? Doesn't Hendry deserve a little credit for this? The Tennessee team looks solid, too. And, to bring it back around to my favorite subject, there's a good fit right now between what the Cubs need and what the farm teams have. So I'm not sure Hendry's entirely lame.

From what I heard about the minor leagues the true talent to come is in AA. AAA has a couple of guys waiting to get called up(Pie) and the rest are AAAA players or rehabbing MLBers. I could be wrong.

You may be right jacos, i may be crazy.. Which one is Eric Patterson?

isnt the Pie that's hitting .400 and the Pie that hit the majors hitting about .200 enough of a "hmm" about looking at numbers as a judge of a player. the numbers in AAA arent showing the Pie we saw...soriano-lite. swing and run... not that he's a scrub. he's got killer D, a nice arm, above average speed. imo, if he's gonna swing like that (which he's probably gonna do...see ball swing, repeat) his power really needs to show up lest the team ends up with a singles-hitting future slugger who's getting legged out doubles/triples. i can wait...its not like his due date is really all that far away.

I kinda like a backup OF-1B type. He'll get a shot somewhere, if not with the Cubs. He hit 22 HR's last season between AA and AAA, and this year he's at .281/.326/.515, with 9 HR and 44 RBI in 47 games. Ross Gload lite?

the numbers in AAA arent showing the Pie we saw…soriano-lite. swing and run… Come on crunch... you know better. We saw a total of 49 at-bats from Pie at the major league level. Do you really think that is long enough to make a judgment? Few players excel immediately after they are called up to the bigs for the first time.

"Come on crunch… you know better. We saw a total of 49 at-bats from Pie at the major league level. Do you really think that is long enough to make a judgment?" his swing isnt different in AAA or the majors. its not like he becomes a totally different player once he gets on a plane insted of a bus. he's a free swinging contact hitter who's gonna miss occasionally and has some really fast arms/wrists. develop his power a little and factor in his got soriano-lite. i really dont think its even a stretch of a comparison.

The cubs do have alot of Prospect Talent in Iowa. Alot of AAA teams are filled with Timo Perez type of players. Iowa is filled with actual prospects. Unfortunately the prognosis looks bleaker in the lower levels. Except for MAYBE Jake Fox and Tyler Colvin. There are no legit hitting prospects below Iowa. And pitching is always a crapshoot. Wilken has really got his work cut out for him in rebuilding the system.

Of course, Crunch, the Pie in AAA plays every day, and bats second everyday. The Pie here got 49 at bats, batted 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 9th, and pretty much rode the pine when Soriano came back. This team is going nowhere. I'll take Pie in Center, and trade Jones for a dozen baseballs and a fungo. Put Soriano in RF, and platoon Murton and Floyd in left field, minimizing their lack of defensive skills.

Alfonso's first 50 AB in 2000 at age 24? 9/50, 2 HR, 3RBI, 3 2B, .180/.196/.360 Miggy Cabrera? 6/38, 1HR, 6 RBI, .158/.200/.342 Grady Sizemore? 34/138, 4 HR, 24 RBI, .246/.333/.406 Jose Reyes? 15/73, 1 HR, 15 RBI, .205/.211/.342 Will Pie be as good as any of these example? We can only hope so. But these guys all got a good shot to show one way or another that they were ready, not just 50 at bats.

playing everyday or 1ab a week doesnt change his plate approach. its not like he's in AAA laying off advanced or even run-of-the-mill breaking stuff using his eye to work the pitcher. he's see-ball-swing. hell, vlad is that is neifi...draw you own conclusion.

"Alot of AAA teams are filled with Timo Perez type of players." yeah, the timo perez hitting .332/.374 with 8 homers and 18 doubles in AAA.

playing everyday or 1ab a week doesnt change his plate approach. Ummm... it sure can change your approach. Ask Matt Murton, who often does have the same approach when he is not playing everyday.

heh...rick ankiel has 11hr and is hitting .275/.313...the Ks are killing him (35 in 149ab) with his lack of walks (8). neat.

aaronb, I don't look too closely at Daytona and below, and you're right, it's probably just as well. But don't worry, when Hendry gets done trading JJ, Howry, Eyre, et al., along with their contracts, there will be an influx of new talent in the low minors.

dave, the point is pie is what he is...he's playing everyday in AAA and is still the same swinger so where does that leave it? 3 walks in his last 41ab...14h...7k...he's gonna swing. that's his game.

3 walks in his last 41ab…14h…7k…he’s gonna swing. that’s his game. ................................................................... Unfortunately, that's Jack Jones' game as well.

hey, jones vs. pie...whatever to me. my only real point is pie is a swing-contact-run guy who's power hasnt developed. what jones is doing is of no concern to me. pie's lack of power development currently is. i really dont feel pie's in any position to do much better than jones until his contact becomes more consistant and/or his power appears. i also fall into the camp that jones isnt an incompetent or below average OF'r. pie's got a really fast swing and the power should come. with his D/legs and what he's doing in AAA...he's not gonna be there long, power developed or not. club needs to figure out what to do with the excess of OF'rs first, though.

i really dont feel pie’s in any position to do much better than jones until his contact becomes more consistant and/or his power appears. Hmm... while I am a Jones defender, I think that Pie could at least match Jones' current offensive production while being a much better base runner. Defensively, I agree with you about Jones. But Pie is still significantly better defensively than Jones is defensively, even if Jones is a decent defender.

yeah, i believe pie could pace jones, especially his current production...and do better than him in the field. team has to find an exit for him and/or some of the other OF'rs first, though, imo...burning eligibility for the hell of it is something im not a huge fan of because of how young pie is. if healthy, pie age 25+ should be a lot more interesting than pie age 22. keeping him cheap as long as possible is an option of interest to me pretty much based solely on the 5 OF'rs the club has cuz he's not gonna be in AAA for much longer no matter what.

I agree 100% about Pie and Jones, Crunch. I think people want to get the anointing oils out on him because he has been hyped for so long.

If I had to pick between the two right now, I would take Pie to play now. Based on fielding, arm, speed and future potential that will make him better than JJ and will come quicker with him playing every day.

Screw the anointing oils, I just would like to see the Cubs have a MLB caliber center fielder. It's cool though...come mid July, when the Cubs are 10-12 back, we'll get to see Pie in CF, maybe hitting 2nd or 7th consistently. Oh..and Pie at AAA: 13BB/16K this season

crunch: pie’s got a really fast swing and the power should come. Unfortunately, it's also a ridiculously long swing. Pie will bring a lot to the table, and with Jones looking lost he'd be a better option than Jones at this point, but Pie after all is just another free-swinger. I'd like to see an organizational change in focus toward guys who are "good hitters", not necessarily flashy or high-avg hitters.

unfortunately we will also see Cliff Floyd taking at bats from Murton and still an unsettled OF position.

You know what Pie was told to work on when he got sent down? Nope, it wasn't working the count for more walks and fewer K's like you might expect.. He was told to work on hitting to the opposite field (even though most of his MLB hits were to left and left center) and to advance runners(even though almost all his MLB ground outs were to the right side of the infield). I like Pie on the big club, not in AAA where he is rapidly becoming the greatest AAAA player in history. A guy who hits .400 overall and .140 against LHPs. Nope, right now Pie is someone the Cubs could play against weak RHP's and in late inning close game situations on defense. He may never learn to hit LHP and in this post steroid era he may never put on enough weight to hit homeruns with any regularity. But he brings a centerfield cannon with pinpoint accuracy and a winning attitude that seems to lift every team he plays on including the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had a winning record this year when he was with the team.... Pie, Theriot, and Fontenot all have that same pedigree. They are guys who ignite winning teams and have their entire baseball careers. The Cubs need more players like

"when the Cubs are 10-12 back" Big Brewers' believer Dusty? '-)

The cubs like proven vets.

" in this post steroid era he may never put on enough weight to hit homeruns with any regularity" I know you said "may" but I would check out Reggie Jackson, Sandberg, and Mantle's rookie years and check on there body types.

I checked heights- Ryno- 6'2'" Pie-6'2" Jackson-6'0" Mantle- 5'11" Kpat-5' 9"

"Try telling fantasy-league players that you need lefthanded hitters in the lineup to score runs consistently." VA Phil, Who were the great lefties in the 2003 Marlins and 2005 White Sox line up.

chifan... you can't really look at the White Sox, as they had a pretty mediocre offense. That WS team was clearly carried by its starting pitching being lucky as hell that so many pitchers had career years in the same year.

#75- Well it must be true. After all, you've picked 2 teams out of 130 years of baseball that won the pennant with out some good left-handed hitters. OK. Point conceded.

The Sox had some lefties anyway....AJ, Everett, and Podsednik during an All-Star year

we have Izturis,Jack Jones and Floyd. What more do you want?

Besides Floyd, our best lefty hitter is Zambrano... wahhhhh!

Rynox- Marquis?????

All this proves is that in the off-season, we need to sign Kosuke Fukudome The chants between the left and right field bleachers will be awesome. While it's too bad Harry is gone, I'd be sure to listen to Santo every game of the season.

Fukudome Wow... what a name.

chifan, Both those teams won on great pitching. The Cardinals from last year include in that as well. Don't point to a right-handed heavy lineup as the reason any of those teams won the series. They won despite that reason. The fact that Dye was the only White Sox player to hit .300 in the World Series is evidence enough of that. If the pitching staff was only mediocre, they wouldn't have made it to the series in the first place. I would apply that same principle to the Marlins in '03. If it weren't for Beckett's 1.10, Pavano's 1.00, and Penny's 2.19, they wouldn't have won anything hitting .232 as a team. Pierre and Conine were the only ones to hit .300 for that group. If you don't have great pitching (which the Cubs don't), you HAVE to have a balanced lineup that includes not only speed guys, OBP guys, sluggers, and "get-em-over" guys, but you also need guys from both sides. Handedness matters. I don't know why we have to keep going over this. If handedness didn't matter, righties wouldn't hit 100 points higher against lefties. If handedness didn't matter, you could find me 5 active reverse split hitters. A right-hander who hits righties better than lefties and vise versa. I challenge you to come up with it. More than 50 ABs this season. Good luck.

Jacos, check out what Mickey Mantle was doing when he was 19 and what he did when he was 22 like Pie. (e.g.) Mantle was three inches shorter and weighed 30 lbs more than Pie.

Just curious for those bashing Pie's left handed hitting stats. What's the sample size? In the MLB it's 2/12 so far. In Iowa this year it's 24 ABs. So two words. Sample Size. 24 ABs is almost meaningless. The best way for him to get better is to just play him.

I challenge you to come up with it. More than 50 ABs this season. Good luck. Well... here are five that I found quickly: Álex Rodríguez vs. rhp: .321/.406/.730 vs. lhp: .235/.339/.471 Derek Lee vs rhp: .368/.438/.521 vs. lhp: .276/.344/.483 (but only 29 ab's) Jeter (small advantage, but still an advantage) vs. rhp: .359/.424/.490 vs lhp: .341/.455/.432 Youkilis vs rhp: 373/.434/.585 vs lhp: .298/.421/.447 Vlad Guerrero vs rhp: .362/.455/.608 vs. lhp: .293/.420/.610

2006 in Iowa Pie batted 256/322/327 vs lefties in 156 AB's I don't have numbers before that but I've read more than enough that he's had troubles with lefties for as long as he's been around and they've had him facing lefties predominantly in the winter leagues and practice, etc for that very reason. He'll be decent against them eventually.... that's the win probability swings from Friday's game in all its horrid glory...

Dave, the whole idea behind a challenge is that you arent supposed to disprove it. If it is said than it is in fact true.

The Fontenot-DeRosa debate is more interesting to me at this point than the Pie-Jones debate. I think Pie won that one, even though I agree with Crunch that Pie's hitting is unimpressive to this point. When I watched Pie last month, it looked like he was hitting defensively, like he was trying not to let the ball go behind him. (There's a catcher back there, Felix.) But Pie has so much talent that he raises the talent level of the whole club. And other teams notice. St.Louis came to town and won two of three. The Cubs won the middle game, the Marquis game, by a good margin. Afterwards, Pujols said, we would have won all three if their centerfielder hadn't caught those two balls. Unlike Pie, Fontenot can really help the Cubs with his bat right now. Look at his numbers. They look like Jake Fox's numbers but in a tougher league. Plus he bats lefty. I like when CWTP associates Fontenot with Theriot, two guys who believed they could get to the majors when everyone else knew it was hopeless. I do like DeRosa a lot. (Can he bat lefty?) He was interviewed in the Sun Times this morning, and I loved the stuff he said about how disappointed he was, mostly in himself. He said he felt like he hadn't gotten a big hit all year. He probably has gotten one or two, I don't recall, but he expressed exactly what fans are feeling. Aside from Lee and Theriot, has anyone gotten a big hit all effing year? It's unusual to find a ballplayer who understands what the fans are going through. So I like that about DeRosa, and also how he plays. But there's a case to be made for giving at least some of his innings and at bats to Fontenot. And I'd love to instigate a debate about Cliff Floyd, who's banging out extra-base hits at a lower rate than Juan Pierre did last year.

Rob, that win probability graph looks like the big dipper aka Ursa Major. Do they print horoscopes too (or in the Cubs case horrorscopes)?

In 50,000 years the Dipper will no longer exist as we know it, but be re-formed into a new Dipper facing the opposite way. ---- hope we don't have to wait that long for a pennant

THE "BATTING COACH" So, what happened to the vaunted "batting coach" that was so highly touted coming out of the Oakland system? Did the team completely FORGET everything that was stressed in ST? Are the current players unable to adjust???

FELIX PIE splits for 2005 at West Tennessee vs RHP 229 AB/.324 BA/.953 OPS vs LHP 87AB/.253 BA/.743 OPS courtesy of The Baseball Cube

But there’s a case to be made for giving at least some of his innings and at bats to Fontenot. You really think that Fontenot can give the Cubs an 809 OPS? You do know that DeRosa has a .350 OBP and a .460 slugging, right?

I do agree with you Phil that Fontenot should be given a shot at 2nd. I think a reuniting of the LSU double play combo of Fontenot at 2nd and Theriot at Short would be a really big upgrade to the current lineup. Again, will a GM that is shelling out large sums for guys he aquired in Izturis and DeRosa going to let that happen? I have my doubts.

My point was there is no magic formula to win a World Series. To say out of hand you would not want Tejada because he is a righty is illogical. I wouldnt want Tejada now because he cant hit for any kind of power.

OK, so you've done that. Those are five superstars, who hit pretty much everything. I was hoping for a few role players here and there, but I'll settle for this. Now let me show you those five gentlemen with a little bigger sample size. Here's the last 3 full seasons (04, 05, and 06 combined): A-Rod Left: 301/423/600 Right: 299/387/533 D-Lee Left:317/419/598 Right: 300/374/560 Jeter Left:339/405/533 Right: 306/379/455 Youkilis Left: 268/395/415 Right:277/372/426 Vlad Left:352/433/662 Right:320/372/541 There's not really a lot of questions there. Youk is the lone exception. He's a pretty unusual hitter in several different ways, however. He does draw a lot more walks against lefties, though.

Someone please tell me what Fontenot brings to the table that DeRosa cannot bring.

less d, less arm, and less flexibility. but hey, fontenot might get on base a couple times more a week.

Lets trade for Hawpe to so he can keep Mike "4 A" Fontenot and Theriot company then. DeRosa is playing quality defense and is taking some good atbats. He is not a problem for this team. I really hope Fontenot tears a ligment so I dont have to read one of talking him up as some kind of season savior.

Cubs are 4-8 against lefty starters 18-19 when a righty starts.... vs lefties overall: 247/307/424 (NL league averages are 261/332/409) vs righties overall 274/335/410 (NL league average 256/327/399) (SARCASM WARNING) it's clear that not enough lefties in the lineup is the problem.

but hey, fontenot might get on base a couple times more a week. I doubt it... if there is one thing that DeRosa has done well it is get on base. I would be surprised if Fontenot had higher than a .350 OBP if he got extended playing time. Don't get me wrong - I have no reason to dislike Fontenot. I just don't see how he is better than DeRosa, and I would argue that he would not be as good as DeRosa. Just because DeRosa has a low batting average does not mean that DeRosa has not performed decently this year.

thnx for the splits cwtp, but where did you find them? I don't see splits on his cube page...

Based on what Wes said in #84, it looks like I might have revived an old debate from before I discovered TCR, in which case I'm glad I brought it up. Touche, dave (#87), but the question is not whether there are righthanded hitters who learn to specialize in hitting righties. The question is whether it's an advantage to a pitcher to face only righties. Does it allow him to get in a zone that he can never find against a balanced lineup? I have in mind the scenario where a righty pitcher is cruising along, until a lefthanded hitter steps in. Then it's four straight balls. The target is different, his pitch selection is different, and all of a sudden he can't find the plate. We've all seen this. Then a righty hitter comes up and the pitcher has to adjust back. I would contend that the Cubs are facing pitchers this year who are in a pretty good groove. Soriano's numbers are off. So are Barrett's. So are DeRosa's. Lee and Ramirez are fine, except that Lee has had to turn himself into a right-field singles hitter.

Rob (#103), Lou himself said recently that the trick to beating lefty pitchers is to have lefty hitters in the lineup who can hit lefties.

except that Lee has had to turn himself into a right-field singles hitter. How do you get a .514 slugging percentage if you are just hitting singles? Lee is 30th in baseball in XBH, which is still pretty decent.

Okay, dave, singles and doubles. You can't keep a good man down. Lee is the exception that proves the rule. Most guys keep trying to pull the ball. Those are exceptional hitters in your list in #87.

Those are exceptional hitters in your list in #87. No question... but those "exceptional" hitters still show pretty significant reverse splits, which is what Wes said couldn't be found. I do believe that right handed hitters tend to hit lhp better and vice versa for left handed hitters. But in reality we shouldn't care about what side of the plate the hitter hits from; we should care about how well he hits against lhp/rhp. Obviously we all would rather have a right handed hitter up against a rhp than a left handed hitter if the righty hits rhp better than the lefty.

Oops, Rob, I posted without checking what I had in the submit box (WE NEED POSTING PREVIEW ) Felix Pie's 2005 splits were courtesy of MINORLEAGUESPLITS.COM

thnx, that's where I got the 2006 numbers, didn't realize they had 2005 numbers.


Hmmm... I was taking a look at Mike Fontenot's splits for this year, and he has a .403 babip. Even crazier, he has a 0.538 BABIP in May. Being that the average BABOP is around .300, that shows that Fontenot is getting really lucky. Which does not bode well for his future batting average.

Wow... Pie is getting even luckier, with a .440 BABIP. He does only have a .150 BABIP against lefties, so that could explain some of his struggles against lhp, though the same size is incredibly low. Anyone know if the average BABIP in the minors is higher than in the bigs?

Okay, Dave. What the hell is BABIP?

Never mind.. Got it. I don't get how you could say that all hitters will eventually be in the 280-310 range, though. If the hitter is a good hitter, this stat just reflects the same thing as batting average.

And I know that you didn't say this, dave. Minorleague splits says this when defining BABIP. Makes no sense to me.

I don’t get how you could say that all hitters will eventually be in the 280-310 range I didn't say all hitters. I said the average BABIP is around .300. Generally a .400 BABIP is not sustainable.

"If the hitter is a good hitter, this stat just reflects the same thing as batting average" except that it doesn't plenty of these articles around but an explanation of BABIP and batted ball types...

And I know that you didn’t say this, dave. Oops... :) But again, BABIP generally hovers in the 300 region, with some exceptions. Here is a pretty good overview of BABIP in a comment on Minor Leage Baseball.

dave, that is just like saying that generally a BA of .400 is not sustainable. Two or three people have ever done that through a season. Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby... That says as much about whether they're getting lucky as this stat does.

Two or three people have ever done that through a season. Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby… That says as much about whether they’re getting lucky as this stat does. First of all... I said generally, which means there are exceptions. Second of all, yes, I am willing to say there is a possibility that Cobb, Hornsby, etc were luck to some extent. Third, we are talking about Mike Fontenot here, not Cobb and Hornsby.

ronnie cedeno's hitting .292 with a .393 ob% in 48ab. maybe the club sent him back too early. theriot is slumping. cedeno's numbers in AAA are better. i guess its cedeno time. he's obviously using the magic of playing everyday to become the pimp he is now since he was wasting on the bench in the majors. FREE CEDENO. ...or do we know enough about cedeno to see through that number into the hitter we know we've seen?

I know that associating Fontenot with Hornsby and Cobb is pretty silly sounding. But we are talking about Fontenot's number in AAA, and those guys' numbers in the majors. My point is just that you could look at either Fontenot's BA or his BABIP and still say the same thing : that generally you don't expect that number to be that high, and over time, you would expect it to come down. That doesn't mean it will.

crunch, hitting minor league pitching does not tell us much about Ronny's ability with the big league club. He has proven that several times now. I doubt we will ever see Ronny as this team's starting shortstop on a regular basis.

anyone notice the Nationals have one less win than us? as do the Devil Rays?

Rob G - That was a shot to the nards that I did not need right now... Ugh...

Hello, I am back (for better or worse) BTW, we may have one more win than the Nats and Devil Rays but let us put this in perspective as we also stand one game ahead of the New York Yankees. The best part is that through the miracle of NL Cental Suckage (FWIW the NL Central has represented the NL in the World Series in the last 3 years) we are only 5 games back. Oh, and I still hate this team and I hate Lou Pinheada more. And yes, I would take Dusty back in a blink of an eye over Lou. And we should have hired Girardi.

For clarity, dave, I didn't say you couldn't find them. I knew you'd find some guys who had a reverse split this season. I figured it would be a little tougher than five of the games biggest names, however. 175 AB's isn't that large of a sample. Call me in September on that group, though. We'll reconvene and see if those numbers hold form. Finding players with a career reverse split is a much more difficult task. In fact, in finding Youkilis, that's the first active player I know of. There might be a couple lefties out there, but you'll find that to be the gross exception to the rule. There are exceptions, which is why going to a lefty/lefty matchup in the 8th inning isn't always such a sure thing.

Wow, Chad. It is good to have you back. I definitely disagree with your feeling about Pinella vs. Dusty. Can't say I have any opinion about Girardi, though I have to say that at the time, I wanted them to hire him...

through the miracle of NL Central suckage, we have the same amount of wins as the Pirates, one more than the Astros and two more than the Cardinals and whatever they're calling a starting rotation these days. The Reds though really suck. Imagine if they didn't have Josh Hamilton, they may have been contracted already.

That, and I also showed that doing that in 175 AB's is not all in line with what 4 of those 5 do over the course of nearly 1500 AB's.

This Cub team is the pits! I was always taught that you build a championship team up the middle. This team is softer up the middle than I am (and that's saying something!!!!!)

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   


  • JustSayin' 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.


  • Hagsag 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 


  • JustSayin' 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.


  • crunch 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.


  • crunch 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 6 days 20 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 6 days 22 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 week 20 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   


  • jdrnym 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.


  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."