I Took A Record Of Pretty Music - White Sox 5, Cubs 3

As Joe Maddon is fond of saying, they can't all be Rembrandt's. Or something to that effect. In a season of 162 of these things, you're going to get some pretty loose efforts here and there. This one would definitely qualify as that, as the Cubs just made mistakes and played in a way that didn't seem all there.

Let's take the first inning as an example, when Lucas Giolito was just the latest Sox starter to treat the strike zone as some sort of quarantine area for malaria. After three walks in the first, and walking Schwarber right in front of him on four pitches, Addison Russell comes up swinging at the first pitch. Now, I guess you could argue Giolito would be looking to just get anything over, but that was a pitcher's pitch. If you're going up there intent on swinging, and you should probably make him throw a strike anyway, it's gotta be one spot or nothing. That's just not all there.

The second inning saw Kyle Hendricks try three straight change-ups to Matt Davidson, and if any pitcher can get away with that I guess it's Kyle, but it still seems like it's pushing it. And Davidson pushed it all the way to the bleachers in a hurry.

The third inning saw Willson Contreras with a throwing error to set up the equalizer for the Sox. Again, loose.

The fourth inning is the killer, as the Cubs had second and third with no out and didn't score. Russell with a base-running screwy (not a good day for him) and then Zobrist grounding into a double play and it was over before you could crack open a beer. You have to get more than the one run that the Cubs did there.

And that was about it. Their ABs from there on out were pretty quick and didn't seem like working much, even though Giolito's control remained spotty. Hendricks made another mistake to Delmonico, which hey, that happens. It just sucks when your lineup is basically laying down in the box after that. The Cubs managed one hit from the sixth inning on, and the Sox bullpen isn't exactly a a grouping of Smash TV weapons (none of you are going to get that, are you?) Felt like a Sunday game where the Cubs were still beaming over their efforts over the rest of the week/weekend. Been there, for sure.

Duensing didn't cover himself in glory either, and Steve Cishek came in for his 76th appearance of the season. His arm is going to be about 12 feet long by September at this rate.

Disappointment for the moms. Nothing worse than disappointing mom, Cubs. Feel shame, you will. Would have been nice to get the streak up to six with the surprisingly spiky Braves on tap for the next four. But you can't always have nice things. My mom told me that repeatedly, usually after I broke something pretending to be Ryno. So let's end with that.

Your WPA chart:

chart

Onwards...

 

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  • Bad loss when you are up by 2 runs playing a horrible team on your field.

    When does LaStella start taking Russell’s spot? Never thought I would type those words. Russell’s first at-bat today is a “throw up in your mouth” bad one. A little patience and there’s a good chance Giolito does not make it out of the inning.

    Good news is we took 5 of 6 from teams we have to beat regularly.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    That was such a big play in the game. A game changer. Still, 5 of 6 isn't bad, but when we have Hendricks pitching, up 2 in the first and with our bullpen, we expect to win.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Be careful what you wish for. Cliff1969 will come and say you are wrong

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Cliff is a good dude. He has been around in here for years. He is knowledgeable and will voice his opinion. You will learn to appreciate him.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    He’s an angry old man. He stalks you if you disagree ignore his washed up bitter a**

  • In reply to bolla:

    bolla, dude, come on. I'm not responding to that other clown but I will to you. Your takes are sometimes harsh, but you make valid points, and I respect that. But that went too far. There is no need to personally attack one another. This shit sucks.

  • In reply to bolla:

    bolla, dude, could we chill a bit? I'll ignore the new troll, but I'll respond to you. Your takes are often hot and harsh but you make valid points. I respect that. Please respect others here. There is no need for name-calling and personal insults.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    lol relax. That cliff guy follows me like a shadow over disagreements. He's very immature and disrespectful

  • In reply to bolla:

    But you have to get in yet another personal attack in order to demonstrate your "maturity," right?

    That "cliff guy" pointed out that you are violating the forum rules with your personal attacks, which happen all too frequently. You STILL are. Example, calling people on this board racists because they had the nerve to criticize Javy Baez. Rather than paying attention and moderating yourself, you took it as a personal challenge and bickered like an angry 12 year old for DAYS.

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    It wasn't even so much that people criticized Baez. If they were insufficiently enamored with him it would draw a response.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    and I won't say anything else about that guy.It's over with

  • In reply to bolla:

    How about not saying anything else about ANYONE other than the subject of this forum, BASEBALL.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Angry perhaps, but the derogatory comment may be a little much, but I guess whats good for the goose is good for the gander so I can't be mad at you as I agree w your position 100% today.

    We just have to try and be more mature and ignore the haters even the angry narrow minded 1 track fellas.

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    In reply to Oldno7:

    Ding Ding. Some people just don't realize that this beautiful game of baseball we love can be played, won, managed, stratagized, and broken down and discussed in so many ways and for the most part nobody's is indisputably right.

    Its the beauty of this great game. Its not like mathematics like 2+ 2 is always going to equal 4. There are so many way to dissect a game and so many ways to win a game which makes discussing this game w all the brilliant, passionate, and smart people here at Cubs den so a great thing.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Cliff1969 thinks we won because he thinks cubber Lang pitched a no hitter

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    It's pretty obvious that you have no intention of abiding by the rules that govern this forum. In days past, John would have warned you and then banned you.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Now wouldn't Manny Machado look great at short stop !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Was just looking up some Machado versus Russell numbers: with RISP Machado is batting an incredible .484 versus Russell's .176.......we need to make a trade for Machado now............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Manny would be expensive but I feel his presents would put the Cubbies over the top !
    He will definitely be playing for another team than the Orioles.
    Theo, are you all in ?

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    In reply to Treebeard:

    You look at that and say "WOW!! What a difference.". I look at it and say "That looks like it is due for a correction both ways."

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    In reply to Treebeard:

    is.484 good? I thought BA isn't important anymore? Whats his OBP w RISP or his WAR? Plus i been hearing there is no such thing as "clutch" in baseball?

    I always thought and still do ( because I don't understand the game obviously) that .BA was important ( not the most important measure of a player but not something irrelevant like some like to push) and .BA w RISP ( when there is enough sample size of course) was very important because it measures who you can really depend and how you should base your batting order.

    Lets see if the Cubs O is fixed or we just whooped on some crappy teams w the wind blowing out. I say wait until June before we start putting together Machado packages because his services are going to be bid on by a lot of teams and most those teams have better prospects to offer then us. I think after this 4 game sweep at the hands of the Reds that the Dodgers are going to make a big move because I know they won't ever ever consider punting on the season ( plus why would they as its too early). The next couple weeks will be very important for them. Puig just came back and Forsythe and Justin Turner come back Tuesday so thats 3 new bats added to a floundering offense.

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I would love to get machado but unless you're ready to give up russell + alzolay and de la cruz I doubt it happens. The cubs farm currently sucks they don't have much to offer and is machado a better defensive ss than russell? I'm scared of any more trades theo gives up way too much imo

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    In reply to bolla:

    At SS Machado is not as good as Russell. And I think your idea for what it will cost is probably pretty close.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yea that's too much for a rental or a guy you can possibly sign in the offseason.

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    In reply to bolla:

    That is why I am not jumping on board the "Trade for Machado" wagon. I see the logic of it. He does make the 2018 team better. But likely at the cost of the next several years in my opinion.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Unfortunately too Jose Albertos stock is declining rapidly so it's hard to see him being an acceptable secondary piece. If I'm the Orioles I ask for Russell, Alzolay ++ and I think that the inclusion of Alzolay maybe a potential stalemate in any negotiations. Hopefully we can get them to take Underwood, de la cruz, albertos and russell while retaining alzolay. Underwoods stock is on the rise from what I've read on prospect reports.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The stock of a 19 year old pitcher does not decline a month into the season as long as he remains healthy. Raw, 19 year old pitchers just don't have much trade value regardless of the results they are putting up.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I get what you mean Michael and that's good to know that you still value Albertos highly but it's just my view that he's not living up to expectations that I had for him thus far this year. We've handled him relatively cautiously and I wanted to at least see him have success at the A level so what we've seen so far with the results and poor command have been troubling to me and make me thing he maybe more suited for a relief role long term. I get that he's probably in a funk and not pitching to the levels that we've seen before but either way it's getting hard to see him as a potential high end secondary piece in any Machado deal at this point. And while teams typically want guys that are closer to ML ready they do make exceptions for special young prospects such as Torres or Eloy. It's just hard for me to see a deal happening that doesn't start with Addison + Alzolay given Addison's slow start and due to the fact that we don't have blue chip prospects to trade due to players being traded and graduating to the majors. Personally though I'd love to add Machado in a weak NL but I don't have to have him either, I have confidence in this group either way and believe that if Machado can't be had that Theo will look to bolster the big club in other ways if it's clear we're WS contenders by July.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Alzolay is the closest to mlb of any of the cubs pitching prospects. I expect him to be called up in august/september for bullpen help or if one of the starters goes to the dl later this season. If he thrives and the cubs make the playoffs he can be key addition. I also think if he does well when he does come up a chatwood trade could happen this winter. So basically there's no way I give up alzolay .

    I doubt the dodgers go after machado because of their luxury tax situation and they may not even make the playoffs. It will probably be the brewers,d backs or cards.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I don't think I'd trade Alzolay too but I wouldn't be surprised Theo is more aggresive minded then I am and he may see this as an opportunity to make us clear favorites in a weak NL. We also have to remember that Alzolay technically isn't ranked very high on top 100 prospect lists compared to many other top propsects that we've had and it's hard to see us getting machado without including alzolay given russells early season struggles. Personally I'd like to get machado but as I said to Michael we don't have to get him we have a bright future and nice young core either way and we can sign machado in the offseason if we love him so much. I personally think Alzolay maybe a real nice reinforcement for our bullpen in the 2nd half and I'd really prefer not to trade a nice piece that can help us this year for another rental.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Exactly.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I would be against Alzolay too, Bolla. As much as I like Machado, he is an arm Iwnoukd not give up. If Machado has another 6-7 years on a big contract I would consider it.

    I actually think Alzolay becomes our #5 next year and Chatwood is traded with a very affordable deal. Then it frees up nearly $12M to contribute towards a big FA signing. Chatwood could make another team listen on Heyward. I just would not let Alzolay out of sight.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    LaStella will never take Russell's spot

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Obviously not rbrucato, but I think he means that Javy will move to SS and TLS will move to 2B. I am as big a TLS supporter as there is and even I don't want to see TLS starting at SS.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes. Thanks Joel. I was thinking of La Stella getting more at bats and becoming past of Joe’s matchup routine we see at other positions.

  • This is a loss I’m not going to worry about particularly and if it means that the team does a little self examination before facing two very good pitchers in Teheran and Foltenewicz the next two days then it could actually be beneficial. The Braves are definitely a test and I’m counting on the guys to be ready. That said I really don’t want to see a whole lot more of Ian Happ, but I know we will and I understand why. As fans we tend to look at every game as it’s own thing with the win being the only goal. The team has to look at it in terms of the win being the goal, but losses not being the end of the world if you learn something. They have to know who these players are prior to say mid-June so they start making determinations on what moves need to be made to put the team in the best position to win in the postseason. Given that I’m good with it, especially against bad teams where the margin of error is larger, but I fully expect the best lineup Joe can muster on May 14 to be facing the young, growing in confidence, Braves tomorrow.

  • In reply to TC154:

    As someone that's frustrated with happ (and ive posted multiple times about the teams big picture reasons for playing him including in today's game post)but I respect that you at least get the big picture of why they're playing him. That being said I've posted defending him many times and now I'm gonna play devils advocate. To me that left handed swing which has always been his stronger side is clearly off and I believe it's a mechanical issue that may take some time to fix. He had a solid day overall but he's still consistently swinging through hanging breaking balls low and in and pitches right in his wheel house that he typically crushes I felt he should've had 2 home runs his 1st ab with how many mistakes were made to him. I just don't feel optimistic that he's close to a breakout from the left side at this time and I worry he may me this years schwarber. I still feel like this kid has a bright future at the plate and I believe he's going to get better I just hope it happens soon and not in August or next season.

    That being said they need to still get him ABs for now he's by far our best option in CF from a hitting perspective vs RHP if he plays to last years form and like I said previously we know from their history that the team is gonna approach this from a big picture perspective rather than just play an inferior option (Almora) from a big picture perspective vs RHP just bc he gives us a better chance to win today over a slumping happ. This slump isn't gonna solve itself with happ becoming a bench player he needs to play to find his mechanics and hit his way out of this. If he doesn't turn it around before the deadline I think there's a great chance we see the team acquire a jon Jay type of player. Speaking of which I personally thought we should've retained Jay for the contract he hot but I get that they thought they didn't have ABs to give him. What's even more baffling is how locked in happ was at the plate from the left side in the spring. Theo has said in the past last season before these struggles that happs always been a streaky hitter that sometimes loses his swing but when he finds it he gets hot and stays hot for a long time.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Does anyone know happs slash line the past 3 weeks also. He's clearly not right from the left side but he's been better overall would be my guess recently I think most fans still haven't washed the bad taste out of their mouths from his rough 1st couple of weeks off. The ops is still respectable over .700 which is surprising given how badly he seems to be slumping

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You can get all you want from baseball reference. It has most any stat you want but Happ stats for April .247/297/405/703. 33k/5bb

    For May .189/304/267/444/711. 14k/3bb

    Last 28 days.235/304/431/735

    25k/5b

    Plate appearances Apr 74

    May 39

    Last 28 days 56. Looks to me like he was a better hitter April and not much if any better since April ended. Too many numbers and a lousy format person but it really doesn’t look as if he’ improving offensively. You can go to baseball reference and see how these poor numbers in my mind break out batting righty or lefty.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    .250/.313/.477/.790 for the last 3 weeks per dangerous.

    As a pub during that stretch he is .233/.303/.467/.770

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Sorry. as a lhb. Not pub.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Thanks for posting that, so the numbers show what the eyes have been seeing. We discussed this in a previous thread, but his ABs and his swing have looked much sharper and controlled from the right side recently whereas from the left side his head is moving a lot and he's not been keeping his eye on the bat on the swing. Crazy I know as historically he's been a much better LH hitter.

    Obviously the short sample situation is to be considered, but IMO he needs to go down to Iowa and play for 2-3 weeks straight and see if he can even out the strokes as well as get more reps in CF. Maybe when Heyward comes back? They said on the Score the other day why they believe JOE keeps playing Happ and won't advise sending him to AAA.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Man, I hate the autocorrect on my phone. The data is per fangraphs. Their "Splits tool" is great for finding data like this.

    The .250/.313/.477/.790 is total as a hitter (both sides).
    The .233/.303/.467/.770 is strictly as a LHB.

    Both have a limited sample size. Do these numbers confirm what you see with your eyes? To me it looks like he loses about 10 points of OBP and 10 points of SLG. I wouldn't consider that to be significant given the small sample size. The larger is around 50 PAs and the smaller around 35. In April, especially the first week or two, we are careful to point out SSS. But these are equally small SSS, if not smaller.

    This is not to say that he does not need to go to AAA or, possibly ditch LHB, but the data doesn't show that (nor does it show it is not necessary in my opinion). I think this kind of split would be pretty common for a player struggling a little bit. Anytime we pick an aribtrary start/end date funny things can happen with slash lines, especially small sample sizes. This is not to say that they can't illustrate things. But if a player is really "struggling" I would expect their OPS to be closer to .650 than .800.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Thanks for the breakdown Joel and credit to you overall for all the great stats based analysis that you provide for this forum I definitely get a lot of great insight from your numbers analysis. And that's really not as drastic of a split as I expected as Happ seems locked in from the right side and out of sorts from the left side right now just going off the eye test. I guess it's somewhat of an illusion because I'm accustomed the left side being his better side but it definitely seems like he's swinging and missing through pitches in the strike zone a ton batting left handed. And when I say a ton that means more so than usual even accounting for the fact that Happ has been a very high strikeout player at the ML level.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    To me the eye-test and the numbers need to balance one another. It may surprise no one that, when there is a discrepancy I side with the numbers. Many others are the other way. And that is fine.

    The problem with both systems (eye-test and numbers) is they are prone to confirmation bias. If we try hard enough we can find a number that justifies the conclusion we have already arrived at before we started looking. For instance, it is easy to say, "Man, Javy has trouble making contact. Let's go to the numbers. This season his K% is actually below 20%. That doesn't jive with what I believed. [Pauses to look some more]. Ah, here we go. From April 28-May 2 he struck out 37.5% of his PAs. That is unacceptable." That is also utterly irresponsible use of the numbers as it ignores the fact that it only covers 4 games and 16 PAs. It is data-mining. I have also seen people who then keep that set of games and simply try to extend it out to find a better sample size AND maintain their original position.

    The problem with the eye test in something like this is it is susceptible to things that are memorable. We remember a game where a player looked really good/bad and extrapolate that over to the rest of his games. My favorite example of this is Schwarber. He is not a good fielder. But he is not as bad as those who depend on their eyes think he is. Often they mistakenly remember his "belly-flop" attempts and forget the routine ones he handles well. Again, I am not saying he is a good defender, but if all you recall are his disaster plays it is easy to believe he is the worst defender in history.

    That is why I tried to stay neutral in terms of Happ. Personally, I believe that Happ could use some time in AAA. But I don't know that the data bears that out. But nor does it say that he is under-rated or anything like that. Interestingly his BA and OBP are not very good but his SLG% indicates he is still doing damage. As I sometimes say, if he is the best player on your team you are playing for draft position. If he is your super sub with decent speed and can bat from each side he can be a useful player.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Agreed 100% and that numbers analysis is what I think folks have to understand with this dilemma in CF. The eye test says Almora is playing a lot better than Happ right now and that there is an incremental difference in their hitting overall vs RHP according to some posters here (which I disagree with when Happ isn't slumping) but to me a lot of fans seem to have a level of bias when it comes to Almora because he's the type of grinder that seems to be a constant fan favorite and I myself have a certain attachment with the way he plays and goes about his business. When you break down their career numbers vs RHP though, you see that Happ is a significantly more valuable hitter overall vs RHP. I think Schwarber is another perfect example because the eye test says he's not a good, fluid outfielder. But when you really closely analyze him play to play he does make most of the plays although he can look ugly on plays on certain occasions but he's a lot better than he was at the beginning of 2017 even going off the eye test from my own perspective at least. In addition I think his arm is extremely underrated and it's become a legit weapon out there. He's always had good arm strength but now he's translating that into his OF play and I think his arm and overall better consistency out there is a big reason why you're seeing much improved defensive metrics this season despite many fans saying he's a DH. Give Kyle credit for his improvement in this area and hopefully he can sustain this and limit the goofy looking mistakes because his value takes a huge step forward if he can just become a competent outfielder defensively.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think Kyle should be a DH. It would be perfect for him. But, alas, the DH isn't in the NL at this moment so to get his bat in the line-up we have to live with him in LF.

    Actually, I was perusing his defensive numbers and they are actually pretty good. I still think of him as below average but I am kind of drifting him toward average. I would really like to see him improve how he plays caroms off the wall. For me that is a short-cut to judging an OF. Does he recognize a double off the bat and do everything he can to limit it to that or maybe even hold the guy to a single by playing it well off the wall/fence?

    I am curious to see if teams stop running on him. That, to me, would be even better than him throwing guys out as far as the team is concerned. I haven't seen that yet but haven't found a good place where I can find how often runners take an extra base. That, to me, will be when I start considering his arm a real asset.

    I think there is some sentimentality toward Almora. He was the Epstein/Hoyer regime's first draft pick. And he was touted as a GG caliber CF. I think it was Sveum who, after a post-draft workout at Wrigley declared him the best CF in the org. So "GG Defense" almost became Almora's middle name. Not sure if he will reach that level. It is not likely when working with a CF with average speed, but not impossible. And he has the skill-set to make up for it by taking good routes, getting a good read/jump off the bat, and great body control.

  • On another topic it's early but Kyle schwarber after a scorching start has really had a tough time at the plate since that Cleveland series. His overall line is strong and if he hits .250-260 with his high Obp and power then I'd still be happy as that's where I expected him to be preseason but I'm a little disappointed that his average dipped as rapidly as it has he's reverting to some of the bad habits from last year trying to pull everything recently. Hopefully he makes me look bad with a huge series vs the braves and at least it's nice to see him going to the opposite field at times this year but I hope he gets it going soon we need his bat were just not getting acceptable overall production from out OF in recent years

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    He seems comfortable and very confident at the plate as he's been taking his walks, but your 100% correct that he is pulling everything right now whereas in the beg of the yr he was beating the shift and making it a priority to drive the ball to the left side of the infield, and he even tried bunting in April.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think that Cleveland series where he hit all those home runs may have been the worst thing for him it got him back in pull mode and going away from what made him successful in the 1st place just my theory anyways. Either way he's another nice week away from getting those numbers looking more favorable. I'm still encouraged that we've seen flashes of brilliance from him and I expected ups and downs and personally didn't see him as more than a .250-260 hitter right now with room for improvement as he moves closer to his prime. I'd be happy with an average like that given his high walk rate and his power potential.

  • And then rbrucato he will say u can’t say that. He is for censorship .

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Back off brother. Not sure what you are trying to do but it is not welcome here at Cubs Den. Move along.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Thanks. You move along. I am not sure what you are doing

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Ok. Whatever. You must be lost as this is not Cubs.com, ESPN.com, or BCB. We don’t do personal flame wars here. I’m asking you to stop.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Not worth it, my friend. He said "toodles" in a recent comment. I'm not hip to current slang, but I think that means "goodbye". We shall see.

  • Same with the guy named barley pop they are very smart and know baseball better than all of us lol. Lol. Lol. Lol.

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    In reply to Oldno7:

    You have thrown a stone into the still pond that is Cubs Den. Let us be calm again.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Oldno7:

    Excuse me, don't forget its BarleyPop ( capital B). Come correct or don't come at all.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    That was what this site taught me. You better have something to back up an assertion. Lately that seems to be going by the wayside.

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    For kkhiavi, in May, Schwarber has a slash line of .207/343./.310/.653.
    Compare that to April---.273/.392/.530/.923.
    That's quite a drop off.
    As for Happ, I do recommend that he be sent to AAA, but really the only player I'd like to see up here is Brian Rademacher. He's like a AAAA player, but he's been such a good player for so long in the system that I'd like to see him get a shot. Happ is clearly overmatched right now and playing every day can help him and all he has to do is look at how it helped Kyle.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I said the exact same thing about Schwarber the other day and denizens came flying to His defense like Superman. He has GREAT oba + though

  • In reply to bolla:

    bolla, not everyone who disagrees with you is making a personal attack. You seem to take any disagreement as a slight to your mother or a racial slur. No. Just no.

    We debate as baseball fans. There is plenty to disagree about. I love Javy and have taken plenty of gruff over the years for being a blind fool for not seeing his fatal flaws. I've watched with supreme fulfillment as he has become the unicorn I've always known was there, but I stop short of calling out everyone who doubted him, and me. I'm not insecure, and I feel no need to beat my drum at others expense.

    I just don't get the need to insult other readers. I'm here to share my love of the Chicago Cubs with like-minded fans, learn something, and make an occasional funny. Anyone who comes into a tight community such as this to stir trouble and elicit negative responses should really re-evalutate their lives.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I don't insult people like that only 2 people. I just think schwarber sucks and is not that good of a hitter and is being overrated because of 2015 and playing in the world series. That's all I've been i'm saying

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think sucks is a strong word but overrated I can understand his overall production isn't in line with his strong reputation as a hitter. You also need to understand that he's in his 2nd full season of actually playing and there's projection involved with estimating where a young player is now and where he'll be in a few years. Schwarber as far as I'm concerned had a nice 2015 before a horrendous 2016 in which he still hit 30 home runs and had a fantastic walk rate and now he's off to an overall nice start now.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I personally only think he's overrated right now too I still think he's gonna be a darn good hitter when it's all said and done. We have to keep in mind the experience level with certain hitters like Happ, schwarber, almora, etc.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Minor point but 2016 he only had a couple of PAs. Remember, he got hurt. He had a horrendous first half of 2017. After going to the minors he played well. But that was almost exclusively has a platoon guy.

  • After watching the 8th and 9th innings of Saturday's game, I figured the Cubbies were in for a game like this one !
    Whoever is in for Manny Machado @ short stop, raise your
    hand !
    6 out of 7 isn't bad !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Manny Machado at shortstop would be absolutely awesome.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    For how long? 2018 remainder of season? Longer? How does his acquisition impact salary cap for whichever period you sign him and the ability to sign international free agents?

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm not in any way suggesting that the Cubs should get him, unless the O's agreed to accept a low level prospect in trade for the rest of the year (which they won't...). Signing him after the season would be nice, but the cost of that contract would certainly impact the team's ability to resign all of the current players. I don't see it happening, but it's fun to fantasize about Machado at SS for the Cubs!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    With Theo at the wheel, never say never ! I agree that getting Manny Machado is probably a pipe dream, but who knows ?

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    In reply to stix:

    I don't know if this answers your question, but the Cubs are making so much money right now that its silly. Hand over fist, they could afford to sign Machado and Harper and then extend KB and Baez if they wanted. Would they be over the luxury cap? Heck yea, but IMO during this window they need to not worry about payroll ( does that mean sign and overpay avg/mediocre players, NO but elite talent, at market rate, yes) as they need to get as many championships as possible w this core and pitching staff.

    Anyone who tells you the Cubs can't afford Machado or Harper are the same people who believed Soriano's contract was the main reason why the Cubs were not competitive during that period. IE don't waste your time arguing.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yes, the Cubs could still be very profitable for a few years and sign Machado and Harper. Cubs fans are like that. They will go to games and buy gear, etc.

    When I say they can't afford it I think that the Cubs want to stay below the luxury tax. Or close enough that they can dip below it to prevent the really draconian measures. It isn't just a financial penalty. The luxury tax also starts costing draft picks and international pool money. THAT will be hitting the Cubs where it hurts. Those are guys that can replace aging players. Those are guys that can be used to trade for established players.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Thats my concern too but somehow the Dodgers have built a pretty decent farm system and prior to Friedman taking over, they were over the luxury tax every year and way over w Carl Crawford, A-Gon, Kemp, Billingsley, Either, ect deals and somehow kept a pretty little decent farm. Its only getting stronger now. They been finding gems late in rounds and developing them like Bellinger who they already got surplus value out his draft spot.

    It's kinda like those who were trashing the white sox farm and potential because even though they have lots of 1st rounders, but their scouting and development leaves something be desired. As noted, the majority of their blue chippers are from other organizations acquired via trade. They have some of their own guys coming, and Fernando Tatis Jr is going to be a beast, but they obviously didn't either know how good he was or how to develop him because he should have never been traded for a MOR arm like Shields.

    Of course it helps to have crazy pool money and top draft pics w the slot money, but good organizations can find a way to keep acquiring good players and then developing them. I believe the Cubs have built one of those organizations.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The Dodgers have notoriously been stingy with a good amount of their prospects. They rarely have let go of them in deadline trades, hence their farm system has been strong, and like the Cardinals, they usually can promote from within with great success. With Friedman in charge there now, it will be interesting to see if they continue being as stingy in trading certain prospects.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think for a long time the luxury tax was purely a "fine." If the owner was willing to pay it that was it. I think the new CBA started putting new restrictions on young player development. So it is new. Personally I think that played a big part in teams not signing the mega-deals that people like Arrieta were expecting. Though some of it is also that people wanted to save their resources for next year's crop of FA.

    I think that with the changes in the CBA teams will take a year or two to sort out their overall strategies.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    But at what cost? Russell and Montgomery and an A arm gets it done. That's a lot of control to give up, but it could force me into my second session of drunken snow angels. Is it worth it?

    My simple answer is no, because offense shouldn't be our problem. But anytime you can add significant production to an already potent lineup you have to look.I don't want to sound too confident, but I'm assuming an NL Central title. Then it's on. How much does the addition of Machado increase our chances of winning it all, and what are we willing to pay for that bump? The Cubs have highly-paid geeks to crunch those numbers and make those decisions. I'll just drink beer and RESPECTFULLY debate my fellow Denizens.

    Cheers. And Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I would argue that he would be an enormous upgrade. Why? Because I would disagree that we have a potent offense. We just don’t. It is wildly inconsistent and a sub .700 OPS Russell coupled with CF/RF struggles makes this team susceptible to bad streaks. We score 11, 10, and then 1 and 2. You would say we are averaging 6 a game and 6 per game should equal about 90+ wins. With the way we score, we go .500. That’s the difference.

    Also, with arb coming up, I have no problem if Machado was a rental and we lost Russell. Baez slides over and then a Bote, TLS, or Zo could hold down 2B for a season or two. We are going to get to the point that not all players can be extended. I would argue that Russell is about about 6th in line to get an extension behind Hendricks, KB, Baez, Willson, and Schwarber. Russell already makes $3.2M so is he worth $6M and then $10M over the next 2 seasons? I know some will point out his WAR and say there is value there. His WAR is all D and I do not trust dWAR stats to be accurate to show a player’s value. Fangraphs in the glossary admits as much when analyzing the D statistics available. A sub 85 wRC+ player is just not good. Regardless of me agreeing with Jim O, the Cubs are rich and only getting richer when the tv deal starts, we are not going to see a $250M or higher payroll.

    That is why I think it could work. I would not hold my breath on it though. I felt the off season was the time and don’t feel good about a deal coming together now. Alzolay is the only pitcher in our system that I would not deal for Machado.

    These are the fun debates I enjoy in here.

  • fb_avatar

    Maybe we're just dreaming about Manny, but he is a younger Heyward who is just as good defensively and as good as there is offensively. Addy is never going to be close to him offensively and he is only 25. I don't know about being all in at the trade deadline but the earlier we could make the deal the better.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Manny is represented by Boras and is going to test free-agency. Any thought of a deal during this season needs the restraint of knowing this is a rental. There will be no advantage to signing him long-term, other than familiarity.

    Theo and Jed are ruthless in a competitive window. I wouldn't rule anything out.

    It would be a much easier discussion if we still had someone like Torres in the system. But we don't. If we deal Russell and lose out on landing Machado long-term, everyone says fine, just put Javy at SS and play Happ/Zobrist at 2B in 2019. But that doesn't work. Pegging Javy as the everyday SS drains the bench and forces us into other roster moves. Javy is unique and his versatility not easily replaced.

    We will make a huge move before the deadline, I guarantee. This FO cherishes every shot at a Championship, and they will go all-in to field the most competitive team for that run. It's up to them, and us, to figure out what that move is as the season winds down.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I stay away from trading for Machado. I would love to see an infield of Machado at 3rd Russell at SS, Baez at second and of course Rizzo at 3rd for 2019. That only happens if the Cubs can trade Heyward and play Bryant in right.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    My gut tells me we may trade for Machado this year. This decision comes down to how they view Russell long-term, both on and off the field. I've made up my mind, we'll see if they agree.

    I don't see any package we send for Machado that doesn't include Russell, so I don't see a need to punt Bryant out to RF.

    We can all speculate. Machado would obviously upgrade our offense. We can swing this deal, especially dealing with Angelos. I truly believe that whether or not this deal gets done is based entirely on how the FO views Russell, and we're not privy to that knowledge.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I agree. I see some on here who think they have inside info on how the front office sees Russell. I do not believe any of that. This front office is a tightly run business. Any one saying they have inside information on Russell or anyone else i find not true. Time will tell though.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    In your other post I like your suggestion of Russell, Montgomery, and an A arm, yet I'm very hesitant for wanting the Cubs to trade away any more future pitching. We need that for ourselves, even if it's still a couple years away. The unfortunate part is knowing that the O's will want some sort of pitching (more than Montgomery) back. But here's a thought (and long-shot) that I'd be more than happy with which takes in my agreeance with you on how much depth we lose once Baez is moved to SS. What if we trade Russell, Montgomery, and either Happ or Schwarber (probably still have to throw in a minor league pitching prospect, but not one of our higher ranked ones) for Machado and one solid BP arm (who that is is very questionable), if and only if Machado agrees to a 1-year contract extension for $30M for 2019, along with a player option for another $35M for 2020 that Machado can choose if he reaches certain performance criteria (along with a $5M buyout if Machado reaches said criteria but chooses free agency. This way, it gives the Cubs another year (maybe 2) before they need to worry about middle infield depth, and even better, puts the Cubs in a situation for the quality offer and the compensation draft pick scenario to bring us another higher draft pick and its corresponding slot money.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    That's a lot to unpack. I hate to burst your bubble, but no.

    There will be no creative deals with Manny. He is going to free agency. Could there be a slight advantage in our favor with his positive experience with our fun guys for the rest of the year? Maybe. Him playing with his BFF Almora, Jr? Probably. Experiencing a title in Wrigleville ? Certainly.

    I threw up in my mouth a little when you added Happ or Schwarber to the Russell/Montgomery/A arm package I proposed, but I see had more coming back. Won't happen, but that is an interesting point. What postseason-bound team doesn't bolster the back end of their pen? I know you realize the O's have a guy named Button who will be returning sometime after the All-Star break. That will definitely make for a richer offer, but we won't offer Schwarber or Happ.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    My phone did a bunch of spelling for me on that one. Britton, of course, and you got the rest.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I laughed when I read Button, and knew who you were talking about, but couldn't for the life of me remember Britton's name! If he's back healthy and pitching effectively by that time, he'd obviously be the one in that deal I proposed... which I know will never happen anyway. But I gotta add a big "DOH!" to my post because I had dreamt up this trade last week in my head and there was one O's prospect I had included, but forgot to mention. Anthony Santander, at 23, he's kind of an interesting prospect who's not ranked highly, and if developed right, I see him as a switch hitting, power hitter with above average contact skills, corner outfielder, with hopefully an average glove.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Machado is not that good defensively at SS and would be a downgrade over Russell. He is not worth acquiring for a couple month rental and will test free agency.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    It’s closer than you think. In 41 games, Machado has played 360 innings with 5 errors. He has 105 assists and 64 put outs.

    In 33 games, Russell has 294 innings with 3 errors. He has 90 assists and 38 put outs.

    We all agree Russell is a very good defender. Machado is more than holding his own as a SS. The fans in favor of Machado are speaking more about the value of the bat which is an HUGE gap. Russell is at a .699 OPS, 93 wRC+, 11.6% BB Rate/19.6 K Rate, and 1 HR with 8 RBI accumulating .8 WAR and Machado sits at an 1.100 OPS, 187 wRC+, 12.7% BB and K Rates, 13 HR and 38 RBI with 2.4 WAR.

    It’s about a gap as big as arguing for Almora instead of Bryant. The only real point which you use is “rental and testing FA” if acquired. Valid concern. But the players are completely different not really close on what they produce on the field.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    Not really close on production in the field, IMO.

    DRS favors Russell +5 vs Machado -6. UZR favors Russell 2.9 vs Machado's -3.6, UZR150 also favors Russell 7.8 vs Machado -12.8. In my opinion on defense trading Russell makes little sense. I don't like fielding percentage as it can be distorted by simply not making it to a questionable ball, or giving an advantage to a player who has a pitching staff that throws more ground balls for an infielder to field. In short, given the chance, Russell will likely make plays that Machado won't on defense at SS.

    I will without hesitation concede that on offense there is even less viable comparison so far this year and that favors Machado. But this deal makes the defense unequivocally worse, IMO.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Those numbers are revolving 3 year aggregates, as you well know. The variance year-to-year cannot be trusted. They are not reliable on an annual basis. With that said, I am not going to argue Machado is Russell’s equal on D. But i maintain it is closer than faulty metrics say. At SS, I want the routine plays made and a few special one’s. Machado is making the routine plays as frequently as Russell. He has not gotten to the same number of balls which could be for a myriad of reasons — pitching staff, analytic spray charts, etc. He has really good hands and a great arm. I would maintain our defense would not deteriorate. IMHO, the “worse” is marginal at best.

    From Fangraphs Glossary:
    “DRS isn’t going to work well in small sample sizes, especially a couple of months or less. Once you get to one and three-year samples, it’s a relatively solid metric but defensive itself is quite variable so you need a good amount of data for the metrics to become particularly useful. There’s plenty more to say about this issue, but that’s for another entry. In general, DRS isn’t perfect because it doesn’t factor in shifts, positioning, and can’t perfectly measure everything it needs to, but it’s still among the best options out there.”

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    It looks like we will just have to agree to disagree. Thanks for a conventional Cubs Den conversation. You know, like the old days. No name calling. We know one another is competent.

    Just for fun, here is what is in Fangraphs glossary for UZR:
    The other thing to remember is that UZR isn’t going to work well in small sample sizes, especially a couple of months or less. Once you get to one and three-year samples, it’s a relatively solid metric but defensive itself is quite variable so you need a good amount of data for the metrics to become particularly useful. There’s plenty more to say about this issue, but that’s for another entry. In general, UZR isn’t perfect because it doesn’t factor in shifts, positioning, and can’t perfectly measure everything it needs to, but it’s still among the best options out there.

    Compare and contrast that with their comments you posted above about DRS. It looks like they are not above copying and pasting. Actually, the entire entry for "How to use" they just simply substuted UZR for DRS (or the other way around, not sure which was written first). My favorite part is that they kept the awkwardly worded: ...solid metric but defensive itself is quite...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    If they acquire Machado I expect he will play 3B and it will open 2B playing time for Zobrist, TLS and maybe Happ if they want to go there. Then Baez moves to SS. Bryant will move to the outfield so that Heyward can focus on being a positive influence on the team. HaHa.

  • Barley, I value your opinion as one of the more enlightened on this board but disagree with you on Machado. Baez would play well at SS next year with Bote at 2B. No Z or Happ at 2B as it would be deleterious with either. Russell is absolutely not the answer so I think the combo of Baez/Bote would be better than Russell/Baez. That would be in 19 after winning another WS in 18. JMO.

  • In reply to veteran:

    I like, actually LOVE, your call for another WS title in 2018! Machado (and Britton?) could help facilitate that. Again, I think these discussions revolve completely around how the FO views Russell long-term. None of us know that answer.

    I do know that we are completely within our competitive window through at least 2021. There is no way we play Bote at 2B during that window. I like the guy, but he is not a full-time option for a contending team. And with Javy at SS we get back to the discussion we've had numerous times that we'd need to carry a back-up SS on an already-short bench.

    Who knows? I hate to bring up reality, but a major injury or two may force the moves we make. But I absolutely, positively guarantee we make a move to put the best team on the field to chase that ring.

    Book it.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    And I have to admit that talking Cubs baseball with my fellow Denizens is so much more satisfying than having to chastise haters and trolls.

    Go Cubs!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I would gladly trade Happ (very low value though) and/or Schwarber and Russell for Monty. Consider that both Happ and Schwarbs are really young prospects that happened to be ML players. If we were to trade Montgomery also that could mean that another deal is coming or that the FO believe his replacement is in the system--could be bringing Maples up or having Rob Z as a long/short man. It certainly is possible, and we've seen that Theo is all business. He did trade Nomar from Boston and he was beloved there. If he smells a title, he deals, and having Manny in the lineup would be formidable and we would have one of the best--maybe the best--defensive infields in the majors.
    I would love to see him here.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Monty? We trading Monty for Monty?

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Yep. That is a “win-win” deal. For Monty. LOL.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    He kind of ends up in limbo, like he has been since we got him. LOL

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    It has been my contention all along that Baez and Russell increase one another's value to the Cubs. If we trade Russell we are left with someone like Mike Freeman probably taking the place of TLS on the bench. I am not comfortable with that at all.

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