Guess the Pitchers
Time to play a little game of who would you rather have on your team....your three contestants.
Everyone should be pointing to Player B, right? Let's add some columns though...
Just a friendly reminder on BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), where BABIP should usually settle in the .290 to .310 range for a pitcher, so if a pitcher is below it, don't be suprised when it goes up along with all his other numbers and if he' s above it, dont' be suprised if it goes down. Knuckleballers and change-up specialists are the exception to that rule. FIP is a similar concept, in it's basically the ERA for a pitcher on what they are ultimately responsible for....walks, strikeouts, hit by pitch and home runs, essentially factoring out defense and lady luck.
The additional columns make the argument a lot more interesting and it's pretty clear that Player A was considerably unlucky last season and you can say that for his entire injury-plagued career.
But the Cubs, in their quest to improve on a 2008 ballclub have decided they're gonna run with Players B & C, which is pretty clearly going to be an inferior product. And if there's anyone still trying to figure it out, your players are Kerry Wood (A), Carlos Marmol (B) and Kevin Gregg (C).
Sure, the Cubs are up against it budget-wise, but there's a lot of creativity that could have gotten them to fit Kerry Wood's salary into their budget. The cost of Kerry Wood and Jose Ceda wouldn't be considerably more than the potential costs of Kevin Gregg (expected to make $4M), Michael Wuertz (around $1M), Chad Gaudin (around $2 M), and Neal Cotts ($1 M). And if you really think any of those last three are essential to the Cubs, which I don't, there's probably a few more ways to hack $5-6M if the Cubs are really that desperate (I'm looking at you Jason Marquis).
Yes, Kerry Wood is an injury-risk, moreso than most pitchers and yes, it's generally unwise to throw 9-10MM at a bullpen arm, but it's also unwise to knowingly go into a season trying to win a World Series with lesser talent, which is exactly what the Cubs are preparing to do.
Is some of this bias towards one of my favorite Cubs players? Maybe, I mean I don't know how you can completely remove that from your sub-conscious. On the other hand, I don't care either. It's not like Kerry Wood is in the Mark Grace stage of his career, he's still one of the best pitchers around, even in a different role. A helluva a lot better than Kevin Gregg will be next season. The ship has probably sailed on Wood pitching for the Cubs in 2009, but there's still that small sliver of hope that the new ownership group gets named rather quickly and rides in on their white horse with a new contract for Kerry Wood.
Charlie 4 hours 37 min ago (view)
Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.
crunch 6 hours 36 min ago (view)
RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists
bradsbeard 10 hours 31 min ago (view)
Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure.
Arizona Phil 11 hours 20 min ago (view)
There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games.
Arizona Phil 12 hours 15 min ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.
He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls.
bradsbeard 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me.
KingKongvsGodzilla 2 days 23 hours ago (view)
AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!
crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)
jim hickey new nats pitching coach.
bradsbeard 4 days 3 hours ago (view)
Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there.
tim815 4 days 4 hours ago (view)
Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.
crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)
not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.
big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.
too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).
bradsbeard 4 days 8 hours ago (view)
Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 14 hours ago (view)
I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability
Hagsag 4 days 16 hours ago (view)
Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?
tim815 5 days 6 hours ago (view)
Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.
crunch 5 days 8 hours ago (view)
yup, they're gonna try. starts in about a month.