Cubs Organizational Report Week 18

Team Records updated through 8/8/05; Individual Stats updated through 8/8/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10
Chicago Cubs54-57(Div)16.0/4th
(WC)6.0/7th
2-8
Iowa Cubs52-609.5/4th5-5
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx*25-172.0/2nd5-5
Daytona Cubs18-239.5/5th7-3
Peoria Chiefs20-246.0/7th5-5
Boise Hawks20-260.0/1st3-7
AZL Cubs2-75.5/9th2-7
Cubs Ex W/L: 55-56; (2003) 57-54; (2004) 61-50 * West Tennessee clinched the first half North Division title of the Southern League

Tea Leaves

For the first time in a long time, I'm glad that I haven't seen a Cubs game in a while. I spent the weekend back at the old homestead, cleaning things up (literally and figuratively), and the only contact I had with the Cubs was reading TCR, yesterday's New York Times, and a little bit of ESPNews this morning. It looks like I didn't miss much.

All Change

Because this season terminates here? Well, the last few days might suggest as much, because you don't need me to tell you that 4-6 against the Giants, Diamondbacks and Phillies just doesn't cut it. Then again, there's still some reason for hope: today the Cubs activated Nomar Garciaparra, Kerry Wood and Scott Williamson from the disabled list, disabled Jerry Hairston, demoted Sergio Mitre to Triple-A Iowa, and designated Mike Remlinger for assignment. Is it enough to save this team? Not in my opinion.

It’s Catching

On Wednesday night, with the bases loaded and the game tied, one out in the bottom of the ninth, Mike Wuertz struck out Pat Burrell swinging. Michael Barrett though allowed the ball to get away, and though he recovered in time to catch Jimmy Rollins in no man's land, marooned between third and home, Barrett then literally threw the game away. What ought to have been a simple inning-ending rundown turned into a catastrophic game-ending score. And that led me to think, just how bad is Barrett's defence? And to what extent does it undermine his rather more quantifiable offensive value? The common consensus, which is based based largely on just watching the two behind the plate and with which I agree, is that Barrett is at best a mediocre defensive catcher, but that Henry Blanco is a fine defender, one of the best in the game. Perhaps it would be interesting to monitor just how the two have fared so far this year. There are plenty of complex defensive metrics around that aim to measure defence, but I generally find them just too obscenely obscure, abstract, incalculable, contradictory etcetera. But Catcher ERA, a very simple yet alarmingly crude and therefore flawed statistic, gave me an idea - calculate each pitcher's line throwing to Barrett, and then their line throwing to Blanco, and see what that throws up. And so I did...

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