Sometimes I feel like torturing myself (self masochist?) and I check out the post game radio show and listen to the barrage of uninformed callers.
I was not to be disappointed this Sunday, as right out of the gate a caller declared he was done giving the Cubs his money after they gave up Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm at the deadline.
The next caller deemed Starlin Castro “average” and that Brett Jackson “couldn’t hit his weight”. To be fair, the host tried set the callers straight on some of their short sighted views. However, this host like much of the media in town are guilty of sounding short sighted themselves when using stats to frame their arguments.
Are we ever going to get to a point where the Chicago media doesn't use batting average as the true measuring stick for a player? There have been numerous occasions lately where I’ve had to endure Chicago media members both on air and in print abuse the limited stat. Here is just a small taste:
For example, anyone notice as we watch the Cubs/Rockies series this weekend that Colorado leadoff hitter, and former Cubs prospect--that Epstein traded away--DJ LeMahieu is batting .297? Sure, he hits mostly singles, but that's what a leadoff hitter is supposed to do--get on base. Tyler Colvin was also traded to the Rockies and is hitting .290 with 52 RBI. That would look good next to the Cubs counterpart in center field, Brett Jackson and his .172 average.
By the way, LeMahieu at the time had compiled a .315 OBP. Ah yes, getting on base indeed.
I’m not going to get into this at length, as I know our readers are smarter than that. It just drives me insane that players like Jackson are torn down in this town too soon while Darwin Barney is deemed an indisposeble part of the core.
Did I mention there was talk the Cubs were effective ruining the already .300ish hitting Castro by trying to make him a more patient and potent hitter?
However, another point that was brought up made me think a little differently towards next season. We all know that the Cubs are likely a couple of years away from being truly contenders. You can look to Baltimore and Oakland this season to prove there are always some surprises.
That being said the question was raised if the Cubs could at least be a .500 team next season? Is it possible the worst is over? Or is there another 90 plus loss season on the horizon yet?
The Cubs front office may have cashed in their best trade chips already. The ability to move Matt Garza still exists. However, unless Garza has a great first half, they won’t likely sniff the kind of return they were seeking this past July. That is why it’s likely he is still a Cub come April.
With Garza still around it is entirely possible the Cubs rotation could be better than average if you factor in a healthy Arodys Vizcaino and an almost certain addition of a vet arm a la Maholm.
Names that could make sense are free agents such as Kyle Loshe, Joe Saunders, and Francisco Liriano.
Couple a legit starting staff with some natural growth from players like Castro, Jackson, Anthony Rizzo and Wellington Castillo and is it possible this team could at least be average?
Did I just sound like one of those callers?
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