Why The Cubs Suck: Look At Iowa

If you love baseball, you probably already visit Baseball-Reference a few times a week. One of the most intriguing sections of their team page for the Cubs lists the team's record in games started by a certain pitcher. Again, this isn't pitcher decisions; this is whether or not the team won the game when Pitcher X started on the mound.

Here are the stats, sorted by most wins:

  • Ryan Dempster: 15-9 (That is, the Cubs are 15-9 in games started by Demp.)
  • Carlos Zambrano: 13-10
  • Matt Garza: 8-13
  • Randy Wells: 5-8
  • Casey Coleman: 3-6
  • Rodrigo Lopez: 3-4
  • Andrew Cashner: 1-0
  • Doug Davis: 1-8
  • Ramon Ortiz: 0-2
  • James Russell: 0-5

In other words:

  • The team is 28-19 in games started by Demp or Z.
  • The Cubs went 1-15 in games started by Davis, Ortiz, or Russell.
  • Our 4/5 starters (unhealthy Wells, CC, Lopez, Cash) have put up a .400 winning percentage.

Beyond the team's confusing win-loss record in Garza's starts, this information tells me that the Cubs' 2011 season has been destroyed by the franchise's absolute lack of talent at the AAA level. Or, even if we already knew that, this confirms it.
On a related note, let's look at the batting lines of all of the Cubs' position player call-ups from Iowa:

  • Brad Snyder: 1-for-9 with a single and six strikeouts;
  • Wellington Castillo: 2-for-13, both singles, with four strikeouts;
  • DJ LeMahieu: 9-for-37 with one double and nine K's;
  • Lou Montanez: 11-for-46 (.239) with three doubles and a homer;
  • Tony Campana: 26-for-94 (.277) with 12 steals and, recently, a home run.

Campana is looking much better over the past few weeks, but beyond that there's not a lot going on in that group. Add Tyler Colvin's earlier struggles, plus Blake DeWitt's "meh" bat, and you've got a few hundred plate appearances essentially flushed down the toilet.
Also, for whatever it's worth, the barren cupboard that is the Iowa Cubs likely also prevented the team from getting pennies on the dollar for Pena, Reed, and Grabow.So how will this be fixed in the next three to six months? We all have to cross our fingers and hope Brett Jackson, DJ LeMahieu, Ryan Flaherty, Wellington Castillo, Chris Carpenter, and Trey McNutt figure something out really quickly. Other than that, I'm not sure what else can be done really.

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