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.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.