Author Topic: Cubs in '19  (Read 64218 times)

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2018, 01:36:29 pm »
139 games at 37.  The guy just wakes up and hits.  The fact that he could play second would make it easier with Russell likely done.

brjones

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2018, 01:47:40 pm »
He only started 108 of those 139 games, though. He had most of a day off once every 3 games this year, and that will likely happen more frequently next year.

I don't think they should count on Zobrist for more than 400-450 PA next year. I'd like for the Cubs to have a guy at the top of the lineup that can be expected to play far more than that.

Bennett

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2018, 01:58:36 pm »
If only Terrance Gore could hit somewhere north of .200

With the versatility of many of the current players, I hope they could find a roster spot for him.

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2018, 02:42:03 pm »
I don't think they should count on Zobrist for more than 400-450 PA next year. I'd like for the Cubs to have a guy at the top of the lineup that can be expected to play far more than that.

The problem is who and where do they play. 

Whitfield is the only really interesting guy I've seen mentioned and for the Royals to trade him it would be expensive. 

Just looking at the middle infielder, OF leaderboards on Fangraphs and guys that are FA for OBP
2B Jed Lowrie
2B Logan Forsythe
OF Andrew McCutchen
OF Nick Markakis
* Marwin Gonzalez if you believe 2017 was real

That isn't a great group to chose from.

For trades it is guys like Whitfield, Cesar Hernandez, Pham and Mallex Smith.  None of them maybe available and the Rays are rumored to not want to trade with Cubs.  Get enough good hitters and the leadoff guy doesn't matter.

The Red Sox hit Mookie Betts as their main leadoff hitter, so I'm not convinced hitting Rizzo or Bryant there is a bad idea either.

Robb

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2018, 03:00:28 pm »
I like Whitfield, although this year was his best and he won't be cheap.

brjones

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2018, 03:02:47 pm »
This probably won't impact the Cubs because I doubt he'll still be in the organization by next spring, by just FYI...

Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs
Should have breaking news on Addison Russellís situation momentarily. Suspension forthcoming. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-40 games.
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ben

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2018, 03:15:46 pm »
As we look into 2019, one glaring item is how our front office has prioritized "older" pitchers and young every-day players (except Grandpa Zobrist) and that formula has worked pretty well.  So far.   

Is that prioritization of older pitchers more out of necessity or does our brain trust place greater value than other teams on pitchers who are in their 30s and have "learned how to pitch" at the top level?

If we sign Hamels for next season, our starters will be:
* 35 - Hamels and Lester
* 32/33 - Darvish (turns 33 in August)
* 30 - Quintana
* 29 - Hendricks

Our non-starting pitchers aren't exactly young by MLB standards either:
* 34/35 - Morrow (35 in July)
* 33/34 - Strop (34 in June)
* 35/36 - Chavez (36 in August)
* 32/33 - Cishek (33 in June)
* 31/32 - Wilson (32 in August)
* 29/30 - Monty (30 on July 1)
* 27/28 - Edwards (28 in Sept)

No doubt our brain trust will try to bring in some good young pitching, too, tho' it tends to be so costly and at least somewhat unpredictable.

Despite 4 consecutive playoff years, most of our core players are still quite young:
* 29 - Rizzo and Heyward (both turned 29 in August)
* 26 - Bryant and Contreras
* 25 - Baez (will turn 26 in December), Schwarber (will turn 26 in March)
* 24 - Almora and Happ (who turned only 24 in April and August, respectively)
Bote turned 25 in April and Russell played the entire season at age 24.

As for Russell, if Cubs are rather convinced he did the very bad stuff he's accused of, I'd guess he's gone pretty quickly...if they aren't convinced, they may still wish to move him after he gets at least somewhat hot.  After all, before his personal problems surfaced, in '16 he hit 21 HRs (95 RBIs) with 49 extra-base hits at the age of 22 (some in the biggest moments)! 

Some of the young Cub hitters will likely make significant improvements next season. One could well imagine Bryant coming back with a great season in '19 and some of Contreras, Schwarber, Almora, Happ and Russell could have much better seasons, too, due to expected improvement as they move toward their peak years.

Of course, some will get hurt and/or regress for one reason or another.  It will be interesting to see if we do make a run at Machado or Harper or some other big FA.

ben

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2018, 03:21:02 pm »
Just seeing Rogers' suggestion that, following MLB's investigation, Russell will get 25+ game suspension. 

I'd guess Theo will conclude MLB did a thorough investigation...and Russell is as good as gone.  And he should be...no room on the team for such guys!

mO

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2018, 03:22:53 pm »
40 games, retro to 9/21

JR

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2018, 03:38:50 pm »
This probably won't impact the Cubs because I doubt he'll still be in the organization by next spring, by just FYI...

Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs
Should have breaking news on Addison Russellís situation momentarily. Suspension forthcoming. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-40 games.


Yeah that might need to be moved to Cubs History before long.

craig

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2018, 04:05:33 pm »
Some of the young Cub hitters will likely make significant improvements next season. ...some of Contreras, Schwarber, Almora, Happ and Russell could have much better seasons, too, due to expected improvement as they move toward their peak years.....

This is the challenge.  It's going to be easy to roll out rationalizations:  some guys weren't entirely healthy, and our young guys got tired because they needed a day off in September. 

But I admit I do wonder.  Maybe I'm blinded by my eyes watching games, maybe it's recentism, and maybe I should get away what I saw watching games and should look at some statistical stuff.  But watching Schwarber and Happ, it's kind of hard to see how or why they should be much more productive, Schwarber especially, because it will be his year 5. 

Happ, maybe has a little more chance.  Think he's been trying to analyze and figure out why he can't hit much, maybe he's thinking too much and perhaps he'll hypothetically simplify to a see-it-and-let-it-rip approach and hypothetically end up blossoming into a .250 hitter or something.  But watching their swings, and how rarely they can hit strikes or fastballs, it's hard to really see why we should naturally expect a lot of improvement. 

I think one of the other factors with hitters is that sometimes with extended struggle, I suspect that can erode a guy's confidence.  A guy used to be good; but now you're not that good anymore, hard contact has become rare and flukey rather than normal, and you've tried everything you can and it doesn't help much?  Hard to swing with confidence when hard contact is so uncommon. 

Deeg

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2018, 04:32:48 pm »
Russell's suspension does impact the Cubs, because it torpedoes whatever trade value he still has.

I've never been more divided about a manager than I am about Maddon.  On the one hand he's clearly great at managing a clubhouse and shielding his players from the media.  On the other, he's an abomination at handling a pitching staff and these inexplicable in-game decisions are really getting old.  Then there's the fact that if he's back, it's almost surely going to be on a contract extension because neither he nor Theo will want him here as a lame duck.  Is he full of himself?  Of course, but that in itself isn't really a decisive factor.

There's more of Dusty Baker in Joe Maddon than anyone would like to admit.

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2018, 04:59:15 pm »
But I admit I do wonder.  Maybe I'm blinded by my eyes watching games, maybe it's recentism, and maybe I should get away what I saw watching games and should look at some statistical stuff.  But watching Schwarber and Happ, it's kind of hard to see how or why they should be much more productive, Schwarber especially, because it will be his year 5. 

Happ, maybe has a little more chance.  Think he's been trying to analyze and figure out why he can't hit much, maybe he's thinking too much and perhaps he'll hypothetically simplify to a see-it-and-let-it-rip approach and hypothetically end up blossoming into a .250 hitter or something.  But watching their swings, and how rarely they can hit strikes or fastballs, it's hard to really see why we should naturally expect a lot of improvement. 

I think one of the other factors with hitters is that sometimes with extended struggle, I suspect that can erode a guy's confidence.  A guy used to be good; but now you're not that good anymore, hard contact has become rare and flukey rather than normal, and you've tried everything you can and it doesn't help much?  Hard to swing with confidence when hard contact is so uncommon. 

Schwarber's power was down this year.  His ISO was .229 vs .241 and .256 in 2015 and 2017.  His wRC+ was 115.  That tied for 63rd in MLB for qualified hitters and that is your 5-7th hitter.  Maybe he doesn't reach Rizzo levels, but he's still good.

Happ, like Baez before him needs to drop his K%.  Maybe he can, maybe he doesn't.  He has a career wRC+ of 109 and was 106 and he's basically a back up. 

Look at it this way, if you take the Red Sox team and guys with more than 250 PA.  Schwarber would rank 5th and Happ 7th in terms of wRC+.  On the Cubs they ranked 5th and 6th.  The difference between the Cubs and Red Sox is Betts and Martinez performed like superstars and Bryant and Rizzo didn't. 

ben

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2018, 05:37:43 pm »
Craig, don't forget that Schwarber, Almora and Happ have only 1,086, 855 and 751 MLB at bats, respectively.  Not a lot. 

Contreras has barely 1,100 ABs in his career.

Some scouts say it takes most good players 1,500 MLB at bats to perform against MLB pitching.  Javy had almost 1,200 ABs before this breakthrough season. 

Our guys have been around a while, so it's easy to forget how young they are.  Of course, not all improve a lot, but some do.  My best guess is that AT LEAST two of Schwarber, Almora, Happ and Contreras will take their offensive games to the next level (with more power) in the next year or two, though no real way of knowing which.  Another of those four may not figure it out offensively until age 28 - 30. 

If Russell gets his personal life straightened out, I won't be surprised if he returns to his 2016 hitting form or better. 

It usually takes time - and ABs - with good young players.

Playtwo

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Re: Cubs in '19
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2018, 06:25:17 pm »
Replace Russell with Machado and with the likely bounce back of Bryant and Contreras you will have a fine offense.
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