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2016 WS Champions/Cubs Thread


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Congrats to Troll and NJ.  Real fans even back during the tough times.  Hoping the Cubs win the WS for you guys. 

Ironically enough, in 1997, I was a 13 year old Indians fan. It wasn't my first baseball heartbreak. That would be whenever Albert Belle signed with the White Sox. That son of a bitch. It's tough to r

Thanks Rob - it was a phenomenal season. I think it gave  - truth be told - my favorite sport a shot in the arm too which just adds to the special nature of what happened here. I was at the first

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Good on the Brewers for landing Yelich. Exciting player

They gave up their top two OF prospects to do it, two quality ones at that. Their fanbase is obsessed with the Cubs’ spending and how that shortens the window to contend but this mid-market team just traded a top 10 prospect in baseball, another top 50 prospect bat...Still a badass move THO - Braun, Yelich, Santana is a good OF.

Meanwhile the Mets resigned Jose Reyes lol. That franchise is a treasure. 

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Epstein on Morrow:

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And yes, the Cubs are done looking for a closer. Cishek and Carl Edwards Jr. are the backups at that spot, if necessary.

“When we signed [Morrow], we told him, in our minds, he was our closer unless somehow, we were able to bring back Wade Davis,” Epstein said. “It’s the best role for him.”

Like Davis last year, the Cubs plan on using Morrow exclusively in the ninth inning or later. (Davis entered with two outs in the eighth one time in the regular season, on Sept. 15.) If you're the kind of person who argues about old-school baseball vs. new-school analytics, Epstein explains how tradition wins out in how the Cubs still relate to closers.

“With Wade going exclusively in the ninth, that structure allowed him to stay healthy and thrive,” Epstein said. “That should serve Morrow well also. This is one of the areas where optimal analytical usage butts against reality. The best way to play someone like Morrow is matching up against different parts of the order in different innings. That’s where you can get the greatest impact from a shutdown guy. But in reality, using him the way we used Davis should allow him to thrive over what we expect is a seven-month season. I’ll take suboptimal usage on a nightly basis for a better chance to stay healthy over the course of seven months.”

 

https://theathletic.com/221674/2018/01/25/theo-epsteins-almanac-a-fallow-winter-could-still-lead-to-a-prosperous-spring-and-summer-for-the-cubs/

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12 hours ago, SenorGato said:

Theo and consequently we will regret this stance - if it's true.

The post season and critical series in the regular season have become a relief pitching stand-offs and hoping to get lucky with some current (and suspect) arms to accomplish that isn't going to work.

I though Theo learned that last season - guess not. We won't be able to score enough runs to make up for what we'll give up.

Thats ok - we have plenty of years left with this core of bats to be competitive going forward.

I'll see them all - including a side trip to Otani-ville in 3 weeks. 

 

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35 minutes ago, NJ said:

Theo and consequently we will regret this stance - if it's true.

The post season and critical series in the regular season have become a relief pitching stand-offs and hoping to get lucky with some current (and suspect) arms to accomplish that isn't going to work.

I though Theo learned that last season - guess not. We won't be able to score enough runs to make up for what we'll give up.

Thats ok - we have plenty of years left with this core of bats to be competitive going forward.

I'll see them all - including a side trip to Otani-ville in 3 weeks. 

 

This offense is going to be bomb af. 

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3 minutes ago, SenorGato said:

Schwarber - Bryant - Rizzo - Contreras

and

Contreras - Rizzo - Bryant - Schwarber

will destroy worlds this year. 

Javy will show improved discipline at the plate and Almora should finally bloom too.

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8 minutes ago, NJ said:

Javy will show improved discipline at the plate and Almora should finally bloom too.

I think Bryant and Rizzo are going off this year. It’s insane that Bryant’s kept shrinking that K rate. I expect the first .300/.400/.500+ seasons from both the team’s perrenial MVP candidates. 

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On 2/10/2018 at 4:02 PM, Scott Dierking said:

Cubbies get Darvish for 6 years.

Absolutely like Christmas in February Dierk, but I honestly would rather they had signed Holland for 2 years.

This rotation is going to be very stout. But I still have major doubts about the pen which, now days, is what gets you to the Series.

I'll hopefully see him in Cubbie Blue on Saturday in AZ.  

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I was curious what you guys thought of the deal.

He's pretty good when healthy, he's thrown 200 innings exactly once.  At this point he is almost exactly a 6 inning pitcher.   He does have good stuff, gets strikeouts, but he's 30 now, and 6 years is a long deal.

I'm kind of on the fence on it.   #1, I'm neutral on the Cubs, don't really like or dislike, so I'm not stirring the pot.  #2, I live in Fort Worth, I've seen Darvish pitch plenty of times, he just seems like a guy who should be better than he really is.  Short term, it should help, longer term..   in 3 years this might be a deal you really wish would just go away.

It's not nearly as bad as Ellsbury on the Yanks, but I don't like it, and I don't know who you were really bidding against that you had to give that many years.

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On 2/12/2018 at 10:51 AM, chirorob said:

I was curious what you guys thought of the deal.

He's pretty good when healthy, he's thrown 200 innings exactly once.  At this point he is almost exactly a 6 inning pitcher.   He does have good stuff, gets strikeouts, but he's 30 now, and 6 years is a long deal.

I'm kind of on the fence on it.   #1, I'm neutral on the Cubs, don't really like or dislike, so I'm not stirring the pot.  #2, I live in Fort Worth, I've seen Darvish pitch plenty of times, he just seems like a guy who should be better than he really is.  Short term, it should help, longer term..   in 3 years this might be a deal you really wish would just go away.

It's not nearly as bad as Ellsbury on the Yanks, but I don't like it, and I don't know who you were really bidding against that you had to give that many years.

There's nothing to like about a 6 year deal Rob. But he's got 6 pitches he can throw for strikes and maybe he's not done learning from good pitching coaches. 

If he starts to get rung up consistantly in the starter role after a few years, maybe he morphs into the setup guy or closer. His BB/9 has been trending down since he got here. 

Way I look at it is if he's the #4 starter we're neigh on an embarrassment of riches in the rotation, but for my money the smarter play is to be able to say that about your pen - like the Yanks can and do.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Darvish is going to be such a monster addition, what a coup. I had him at 5/125, so 6/126 is no stress. Guy’s top 5 all time among SPs in K/9 even before facing pitchers, is an elite spinner, throws as many as ten different pitches, gained nearly a full MPH in fastball velocity last year (an indication of a healthy arm) ...He’s a 7/200+ million dollar arm without that TJ surgery, top of the league kind of pitcher in everything but workload which is going coming down for allSPs anyway. 

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He looked good after he settled in yesterday.

Starting pitching is going to be very good to superb.

Run production should be the best we've seen out of this heralded line-up.

Now do something magical Theo and get us Holland  - 

 

listen to me .... I sound like a damn Yankee fan that just expects they'll get all the best available free agents because they deserve them ...   :lol:

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I’m fine with the bullpen as is. It’s deep, offers several looks, and is loaded with velocity and or spin. They don’t need to push the salary cap and take themselves out of next year’s FA to pay big money and a draft pick for a guy to throw low impact, clean 9th innings more often than not. 

I think the Cishek and Morrow signings were clever as a muh. Morrow was a priority FA for me, was glad they landed him as not allowing a HR last year is kind of a big deal. I didn’t realize Cishek offered power stuff from a weird arm angle, plus he covers the nominal closer thing if they even need it (I think Morrow gets the 9th) while offering role flexibility. 

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This article does a great job explaing why I'm super duper high on Darvish. There is a clear path to untapping some more production out of him and that deep, high spin repertoire which includes an underused high mid-90s fastball:

https://www.mlb.com/news/yu-darvish-should-use-high-fastball-with-cubs/c-268281900

Quote

 

Yu Darvish and the Cubs might be a perfect match. It goes beyond Darvish giving the reigning National League Central champs a front-line starter to replace Jake Arrieta. Few pitchers have an arsenal like Darvish's, wide-ranging and live-wire; in that respect, he'd boost any club.

But there's an area within Darvish's repertoire where there could be untapped potential -- and if anyone can help him unlock it, it's probably Jim Hickey, the Cubs' new pitching coach. Statcast™ suggests Darvish might be underutilizing a tool that was a hallmark of Hickey's tenure with the Rays: the high fastball.

With Tampa Bay, before reuniting with Joe Maddon in Chicago, Hickey instilled the high fastball as a foundational weapon for the Rays' pitching staff. Pitchers like Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly became heavy high-fastball users under his tutelage. But Hickey didn't have starting pitchers with fastballs like Darvish's.

Darvish's four-seamer not only sits in the mid-90s -- it also has elite spin. In 2017, across the regular season and postseason, his average fastball spin rate was 2,502 rpm. Of the 128 MLB starting pitchers who threw at least 500 four-seamers last year, Darvish had the third-highest spin rate, behind only two of the game's true aces, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. The MLB average four-seam spin rate was just 2,255 rpm.

Highest average four-seam spin rate by a starting pitcher in 2017
Minimum 500 four-seamers thrown

1. Justin Verlander: 2,552 rpm
2. Max Scherzer: 2,504 rpm
3. Yu Darvish: 2,502 rpm
4. Sonny Gray: 2,484 rpm
5. (tie) Tyler Chatwood: 2,482 rpm
5. (tie) Jeff Samardzija: 2,482 rpm

One of the key insights from the three years pitches have been measured by Statcast™ is that a four-seamer with higher spin tends to get more swings and misses. The high spin creates the "rising fastball" effect -- the baseball defies gravity for slightly longer than the hitter expects, making him more likely to whiff.

 

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For some context: The overall xwOBA on all elevated four-seamers thrown in the Majors last season was .305. On low four-seamers, the overall xwOBA was .379. So Darvish was better than average whether he threw his fastball high or low -- but his degree of separation from the rest of the league was much greater on his high fastballs. Darvish was 67 points of xwOBA better than average on high fastballs, versus 25 points better on low fastballs.

Darvish's high fastball was especially hard to hit. Last season, he ranked No. 1 in whiff rate on elevated four-seamers, of the 128 starting pitchers who had at least 100 swings against those pitches. Batters whiffed on 42.2 percent of their swings against Darvish's high heat. Of the 145 total swinging strikes Darvish got on his four-seamer last year, 92 -- nearly two-thirds -- came when he elevated.

Highest whiff-per-swing percentage on four-seamers in upper third of zone or higher by a starting pitcher in 2017
Minimum 100 swings on high fastballs
1. Yu Darvish: 42.2%
2. Jacob deGrom: 40.1%
3. Rich Hill: 38.0%
4. Danny Salazar: 37.0%
5. Robbie Ray: 35.7%

This team is going to be, as the kids might say, off the chain. I say this expecting *someone* significant to crap the bed this year, with my non-Heyward candidate being both Zobrist and Hendricks. It won't be enough to slow down just how good Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras, Darvish, Lester, Quintana, Edwards Jr, etc are. 

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On 3/15/2018 at 9:21 PM, NJ said:

My guess - no takers.

Aaaand he's employed again, ML deal with the Royals. Grimm's got a hot ass gymnast wife, just want to toss that in.

Speaking off the Royals...Soler might be getting his act together. Hope so, I like the Royals forever for sh*tting on that loser second team in NY back during the 2015 WS. 

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54 minutes ago, SenorGato said:

Aaaand he's employed again, ML deal with the Royals. Grimm's got a hot ass gymnast wife, just want to toss that in.

Speaking off the Royals...Soler might be getting his act together. Hope so, I like the Royals forever for sh*tting on that loser second team in NY back during the 2015 WS. 

Wish it was the Cards or the Brewers so we could feast on him till he's cut again. 

Yes - his wife's from our town and he's been to our 4th of July event before. I wish the guy the best - just don't want him losing games for the Cubs.

Also saw Soler shoot a rope single off Wilson for an RBI the other day. Jimenez rocked a pinch homer off us and Dylan Cease whiffed 9 in 6 IP in camp before going down. Torres, even after a bad start coming back from injury still has many saying his skillset is Cooperstownesqe and McKinney would be playing outfield this year in most ML parks not called Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium. Don't care. Price of doing business. I'll keep the guys we have and love them.

One guy really does hurt though .... fk'ing Adam Warren ... couldn't keep the ball in the park at Wrigley and goes back to the Yanks and continues with his Walter Johnson imitation. Boy that stings - really, really, could have used him in a pen that I still believe is very suspect. Oh well

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11 hours ago, SenorGato said:

Remember when like 40 pages of this thread was clueless Mets fans talking sh*t after they lost a WS to the Royals at Citifield? Good times 

I just remember being truly ecstatic and honestly not giving a sh*t about being swept by them after sending the Cards home in the series prior. I knew there was more to come and it would be sooner than later.

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20 hours ago, NJ said:

I just remember being truly ecstatic and honestly not giving a sh*t about being swept by them after sending the Cards home in the series prior. I knew there was more to come and it would be sooner than later.

Meanwhile beating the Cubs that year is still the biggest thing the Mets have done in the 21st century.

-----

I was watching Darvish's start the other day and got all giddy. 9 days until opening day!

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On 3/8/2018 at 4:13 PM, SenorGato said:

I’m fine with the bullpen as is. It’s deep, offers several looks, and is loaded with velocity and or spin. They don’t need to push the salary cap and take themselves out of next year’s FA to pay big money and a draft pick for a guy to throw low impact, clean 9th innings more often than not. 

I think the Cishek and Morrow signings were clever as a muh. Morrow was a priority FA for me, was glad they landed him as not allowing a HR last year is kind of a big deal. I didn’t realize Cishek offered power stuff from a weird arm angle, plus he covers the nominal closer thing if they even need it (I think Morrow gets the 9th) while offering role flexibility. 

Last chance to sign Holland. 

He can be had for a 1 year $10-12MM at this point which is very cheap insurance for a pen that has nothing but question marks.

Morrow - 18 career saves - .132 career WHIP

Wilson - nothing positive shown in camp  - umbay written all over him.

Cishek - looks like a good pick-up, but not an overwhelming/saving grace addition.

Duensing - caught lightning in a bottle last year - doesn't have the stuff and will get lit up in pressure situations.

Montgomery - anybody still thinking he'll ever be anything close to Andrew Miller is wrong. A decent lefty arm that can spot start.

C. J.  - hopefully can work back to his 2016 abilities and throw an unhittable strike when he has to. 

Stroup - is he somehow magically going to be better than last year? I can't hallucinate enough to see it. A guy who's numbers only look good because he's a seldom utilized solution when the games on the line. And that's for a good reason.  

This situation will put us behind the 8 ball sooner or later.

We might score enough runs to let them give up a bunch and still win a lot of ballgames, but when it's time to play the best teams out there in the postseason it's not going to work.

It wouldn't change the potential ineptitude of this group but it would be different if we had to commit 15 - 20 a year for 3 years to get Holland.

But the talk is he'll go for the numbers I mentioned earlier.  

C'mon Theo - quit playing riverboat gambler with bad cards.

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, NJ said:

Last chance to sign Holland. 

They're still better off, under this current CBA, not going over the luxury tax for a closer. Saves kind of aren't so valuable when it's possible more than half the lineup has a legit shot at 30+ HRs along with high OBPs...Plus Holland is on the market until he's not, so if they found some loopholes to exploit in season a signing remains possible.

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I'm liking that the Cubs went with a bat first, switch hitting backup catcher in Caratini. He's been on my radar as a while, hard for me to resist a bat first switch hitter who happens to handle a premium position well enough while being either young or age appropriate for his level. He doesn't have starter upside, at least not first division starter upside, but the profile alone should keep him employed in the league for a long time.

This roster is pretty gd loaded but I'm still thinking there's big a trade to consolidate within the next year. I'm still huge on trading for Stroman and Osuna from the Jays or Archer and Colome from the Rays. Picking up their respective CFs in the same deal wouldn't hurt but not interested without the pitching. Stroman or Archer, I personally prefer Stroman by alot, would be superstars in Chicago, bigger than they already are...

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Wilson actually showed some talent tonight in his obligatory inning against the Bo-Sox. 

After he grooved one to Moreland that was inches from going out - he settled in and struck out  2 guys with some nasty breaking stuff.

C. J. was horrible and threw the game away.

I love Caratini's bat too - hope he regularly displays better D than he did tonight as he was atrocious.  

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