How many Wins If This Was The Cubs '11 Team?
I have no clue who the Cubs are going to get this offseason. I do think they'll try and move Fukudome and maybe Silva (good luck on both counts). Since the Cubs aren't going into the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, the only pitcher I find remotely interesting would be Javier Vazquez, but by no means is he a certainty to land with the team. But here's a possible 2011 Cubs team, how many wins do you think they'd be worth? (remembering they won 75 last year and their expected win-loss was 73 wins).
C - Soto, Backup C (Varitek, Hill, Castillo, Blanco, Chirinos, etc)
1B - Carlos Pena (Berkman, LaRoche, N. Johnson also possibilities)
2B - Dewitt/Baker
SS - Castro
3B - Ramirez
LF - Soriano
CF - Byrd
RF - Colvin
Bench: Backup C, Dewitt or Baker, Barney, Vet Pinch-Hitter (Stairs, Hinske, etc), Utility Outfielder likely right-handed to spell Colvin (Guyer, R. Johnson, Fuld, etc).
SP - Zambrano, Dempster, J. Vazquez, Wells, Gorzelanny, Silva (someone goes to the pen or minors or is traded of course)
RP - Marmol, Marshall, Grab-Ass, D. Wheeler and fill out the pen with 3 of: Cashner, Samardzija, Caridad, Dolis, J. Jackson, Maine, Gaub, Coleman, Russell, Berg, etc
No one quite knows who exactly the Cubs will sign and acquire via trade, but a left-handed power hitting 1b-men, a veteran starter and a veteran right-handed reliever are on the agenda and Pena, Vazquez and Wheeler would fit those roles. I'm sure a lot of Cubs folks would like to see Kerry Wood join the team, but I'm guessing he'll find a closer role somewhere or at least a a chance to compete for the role that he wouldn't get in Chicago.
I'd put that team at 80 wins unless Z and Vazquez find the fountain of youth and stability.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?