TCR Friday Notes and Introducing a New Bears Blog
Well that little fling the Cubs had with the playoffs was fun, but I'm back to not giving a damn. One of our readers suggested a poll on what was the reasons for the Cubs demise in 2009. You never want to jump the gun too soon on something like that, but I think by the end of the weekend, it'll be safe to post.
- BP looks at the some of minor leaguers around the NL that took a big stride in their prospectdom. Kyler Burke and pitcher "Cub" Carpenter(so as not be confused with the Cardinals Chris Carpenter) get mentioned.
- A nice article on where and how the Cubs make their money and where new owner Tom Ricketts will try to boost profits.
- Fun day at the ballpark yesterday....Cubs lose again and Randy Wells looks cooked. Milton got on-base finally, but complained of a knee injury and was removed from the game. This sent the press corp into some sort of odd frenzy, which of course Bradley fed with a terse post-game press conference around his locker followed by Lou sort of dressing Bradley down for his actions. This after Lou just decided he wasn't going to hold a press conference of his own. Oh yee double standard, how I love you so...
The writing is getting pretty clear on the wall that Lou and Bradley just aren't going to get along. I imagine Hendry will be working the phones for some overpriced relievers to try and swap bad contracts this offseason. Then he can cut the reliever and flush $23M down the drain.
- Speaking of Bradley, there's been some odd debate between the on-field merits of Alfonso Soriano vs. Bradley this year in the comments. Seems pretty cut and dried to me, but I did try to look at it objectively in this comment. I reposted the analysis after the jump as well.
- And I'd like to welcome all of you Bears fans, to The Bear Truth. A little Bears blog I'm going to start up. Right now, it's just yours truly, but hopefully I can blackmail a few more writers into joining the venture (drop me a note if you're interested, qualifications are the English language and not being an over-opinionated douchebag). If anything, it will hopefully keep the Bears talk off here. I'm sure it'll one day grow into something just as kick-ass as TCR, but for the time being, it'll be just a good place to gather and chat about the Bears, including Parachat on gamedays. I also plan on using it as my testing ground for improvements to TCR as the two sites run on the same platform. Stop on by...
Bradley vs. Soriano in 2009 (with a few minor additions from the original comment)
to be an effective baseball player, there's basically 4 things I look at...
you get on-base, you drive in runs, you hit for power, you can play
defense...if you want to add a 5th, you can add baserunning and speed,
but it's very much the 5th wheel...
1. you get on-base
it's pretty easy, look at OBP
.376 vs .303 (Bradley vs. Soriano)
.371 vs. .326 for their careers
Major Advantage Bradley
2. you drive in runs
yeah, there's RBI's, they don't tell a good story. They don't tell
you about the RBI opportunities. I've preached this for a long time but
BP and the game logs of individual players on Baseball Reference carry the information.
Bradley: 288 Runners have been on-base (ROB) when he's come up, he's driven in 28 of them for a woeful 9.7%
Soriano: 276 ROB, 35 driven in (this excludes driving themselves in on a home run) for an also woeful 12.7%
Generally about 15-16% is considered average and only Ramirez and
Lee are above that this year for the Cubs. The only thing about driving
in runs and hitting with runners on, is that is has shown to fluctuate
greatly from season to season.
Bradley's ROB% from 2008 in descending order (2007, then 2006 and so forth): 15.6, 16, 14, 12.9, 12.8, 17.6, 12
Soriano's ROB%: 16.4, 13, 13.9, 16, 16.2, 14.1, 17.7
Slight Advantage Soriano
3. you hit for power
Bradley: 12 HR's, 30 XBH's in 2009 (terrible)
Soriano: 20 HR's, 46 XBH's in 2009 (about the only decent thing from him all season)
Soriano obviously has the career advantage as well...
Major Advantage Soriano
4: you play defense
I think Soriano has been a disaster this season and certainly taken
a step back from some decent years he had before that, mostly thanks to
his arm. Left field tends to be the place you sacrifice defense so
comparing him to his peers versus Bradley's right field and center
field peers is hardly ideal. Nonetheless...
Soriano BP rate2 (100 is average): 114 for his career in LF, 102 in 2009 (that's a tough one to swallow)
Bradley BP rate2: 104 for his career in RF, 107 in 2009
Soriano UZR/150: 5.4 for his career in LF, -13.1 in 2009, 5.2 in 2008, 22.4 in 2007
Bradley UZR/150: 7.8 for his career in RF, 6.6 in CF, - 2.3 in 2009, 14.2 in 2006
Slight to Substantial Advantage Bradley
There's some decent cumulative stats that try to sum up a player...WAR(via BP) and WARP(via Fangraphs) are the most prominent.
Bradley: 1.3 WAR in 2009, 2.4 WARP
Soriano: -0.8 WAR in 2009, 0.8 WARP
Salary: $16M for Soriano this year, $7M for Bradley
It's like comparing turds in a punch bowl, but Bradley for the win in 2009.
I don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.
TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.
Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?
Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.
Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.
Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.
Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.
marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD
This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.
How odd the stats:
Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB
2nd to last in hitting.
In May they were 1st in both.
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.