Author Topic: Cubs in '20  (Read 39608 times)

JeffH

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2019, 08:03:24 pm »
Theo is the ultimate salesman.  Beware.
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Ron

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2019, 08:08:12 pm »
Theo is the ultimate salesman.  Beware.

Jeff is the ultimate turncoat. Beware.  ;)

craig

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2019, 08:34:20 pm »
Theo is a master at those news conferences.  He made it clear that significant changes are needed, but the proof will be in the pudding. 

Yeah, we'll see.  It's one thing to "need" change, it's another for it to be "attainable".  Every-day CF types are few and will be VERY expensive.  It's one thing to want personnel changes; but if the only way is to make bad trades, unfavorable trades, is that the thing to do? 

He still thinks his guys are really good, had a lot of good years, and seemed to think he had a lot of trade fodder.  In particular, he used the word "studs".  I thought that was interesting.  I don't think you talk about "studs" when alluding to Almora, or Ademan, or Abbott or Happ.  Who would qualify as "studs" on this team?  Baez, Bryant, Contreras, Rizzo.  Maybe in Theo's world, Schwarber's hot stretch makes him a stud?  Certainly not Heyward.  I don't think Happ's good week qualifies, either.....   

I inferred two things from what I heard.  Like Ron, my sense is that Rossy is far from the preferred candidate.  Secondly, I was struck with Theo praising Contreras and then immediately talking up the season that Caratini had.  I might be reading too much into it, but I'm sensing that they will be ready to move Contreras for the right return

Maybe he's just trying to sell Contreras and Schwarber.  Who knows.  I thought it was fun that he was selling the idea that Contreras has fixed pitch-framing, and late in year he figured out what's going to work for him, that he's going to work at it this winter, and that he's going to be a MUCH improved framer next season.  I'm an optimist so love those spring camp hope-springs-eternal stories, so I'll be happy to believe it might be true.  :) But I admit I don't really see how you "work on" framing big-league velocity and movement during a winter hanging out at home? 



brjones

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2019, 08:44:50 pm »
"least contact"  "fewest fastballs" "parts of the strike zone we're otherwise vulnerable too" "harder to game-plan for".    "Schwarber, breakthrough season.."  "team that can be game-planned-for"

Since I've been saying "dysfunctional offense" for three years, this kind of talk really resonated with me. Hope they finally address it this offseason.

Secondly, I was struck with Theo praising Contreras and then immediately talking up the season that Caratini had.  I might be reading too much into it, but I'm sensing that they will be ready to move Contreras for the right return.

I didn't really read it the same way because (unless I'm forgetting a Caratini reference) it was a part of the news conference where he was just listing off players who were good this year. It made sense that he'd mention the backup catcher who performed immediately after the starting catcher who performed. He also talked later about how Contreras had made a framing adjustment late in the season that was working for him, so it sounded like he thought there had been some positive development in his only weakness.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Contreras traded, but I didn't think anything Theo said today really changed my expectations from yesterday.

craig

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2019, 08:45:36 pm »
Other thought is he can talk "change, change, change", and I think "different players".  But Theo is exec of a big organization and a believer in organizational impact.  So he might view changes in manager; in interface between analytics and scouting; in minor-league minor-league coaching structure; in introducing team practices; in adding a coach; in getting McLeod out of scouting and development; in improving implementation of pitch lab; and in changing how much time the manager spends in the clubhouse as "big changes".  Even if the core personnel on the roster change not so much.

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2019, 08:50:00 pm »
Theoís press conference is really a rorscharch test of your Cubs fandom.

Cubs non-pitchers had a 74.2% contact percentage. The 15 team was 76.5%. The number 5 team was 77.7%. The Astros were top at team at 80.8%.

Bryant (74.1%) Schwarber (73.9%) and Happ (71.7)ranked 9, 10, 13 on the Cubs this year. Castellanos was 16 at 70.4%. Contreras 18th at 69.7%  Baez ranked 20th at 66.7%.   I set it to a minimum of 50 PA.

My gut is that the Cubs will look into trading some of the position players, but the returns wonít be worth enough and youíll see them supplement. So you stick Happ in CF and bring in somebody like Jarred Dyson to platoon with him. Hoerner and his contact percentage gets 2B and you protect him some with Kemp and Bolte.

The Dodgers had a run differential of +273, the Cubs +97.  The Dodgers starting rotation pitched 893 IP and gave up 344 runs. The Cubs starting rotation pitched 888 IP and gave up 455 runs. The Cubs were -111 runs to the Dodgers because of their rotation. That needs to be fixed or the Cubs offense is going to have to score 1000+ runs to win the World Series.

Ron

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2019, 08:53:26 pm »



Maybe in Theo's world, Schwarber's hot stretch makes him a stud?  Certainly not Heyward.  I don't think Happ's good week qualifies, either.....   

Maybe he's just trying to sell Contreras and Schwarber.  Who knows.  I thought it was fun that he was selling the idea that Contreras has fixed pitch-framing, and late in year he figured out what's going to work for him, that he's going to work at it this winter, and that he's going to be a MUCH improved framer next season.  I'm an optimist so love those spring camp hope-springs-eternal stories, so I'll be happy to believe it might be true.  :) But I admit I don't really see how you "work on" framing big-league velocity and movement during a winter hanging out at home? 

Schwarber's "hot stretch" lasted either a full half season (.996 OPS) or full season (.871 OPS).  Come on, craig. I've never been a particular Schwarber fan, but reality requires he be given credit for a terrific second half season (not just a hot stretch) and an overall very solid season at the plate.

He did not claim that Contreras had "fixed" his pitch framing issues.  He said that Contreras tried different approaches to improving pitch framing and found one approach toward the end of the season that he was comfortable with, and that he would work on that over the winter.

Ron

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2019, 08:56:49 pm »
Other thought is he can talk "change, change, change", and I think "different players".  But Theo is exec of a big organization and a believer in organizational impact.  So he might view changes in manager; in interface between analytics and scouting; in minor-league minor-league coaching structure; in introducing team practices; in adding a coach; in getting McLeod out of scouting and development; in improving implementation of pitch lab; and in changing how much time the manager spends in the clubhouse as "big changes".  Even if the core personnel on the roster change not so much.

It's hard to believe that you reached that conclusion after listening to the press conference.  Seems to me that flies in the face of everything he said about the players. Depending, I suppose, on what you mean by "core personnel." 
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CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2019, 09:06:01 pm »
Raul IbaŮez is getting some mention as well for the manager job. He has been a special assistant to Friedman with the Dodgers since 2016 and the Cubs has interest in him as a bench coach last year.  If the Cubs could tap into the Dodgers work with hitters that would be nice too.

Ron

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2019, 09:06:25 pm »
Theo also addressed the Cubs' pitching issues, something that has been a subject of some debate here. He said the expectations were that the starting pitching would be a major strength, a strength that would "separate" the Cubs from other teams, but that this did not prove to be the case. And he noted that the Cubs were particularly poor in high leverage situations, saying that having an overall very good ERA did not matter that much if there was a weakness in high leverage situations.  He did praise some the relief pitchers who utilized the research and development resources to become more effective.

brjones

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2019, 09:09:24 pm »
I've seen these BetOnline.ag manager odds on a few different Twitter accounts today. Espada is the Astros bench coach, is he the playoff coach candidate Theo referred to today?

David Ross +200
Joe Espada +300
Mark DeRosa +400
Mark Loretta +600
Hensley Meulens +600
Joe Girardi +750
Carlos Beltran +750
Kevin Youkilis +1000

Ron

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2019, 09:10:54 pm »
Theoís press conference is really a rorscharch test of your Cubs fandom.

Cubs non-pitchers had a 74.2% contact percentage. The 15 team was 76.5%. The number 5 team was 77.7%. The Astros were top at team at 80.8%.

Bryant (74.1%) Schwarber (73.9%) and Happ (71.7)ranked 9, 10, 13 on the Cubs this year. Castellanos was 16 at 70.4%. Contreras 18th at 69.7%  Baez ranked 20th at 66.7%.   I set it to a minimum of 50 PA.

I'm confused. You seem to be saying that there were 8 Cubs who had better contact rates than Bryant, that 15 had better rate than Castellanos, 17 had higher rate than Contreras and 19 higher than Baez. Who were they?  Of course, 50 PA is very low standard for comparison.



« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 09:16:00 pm by Ron »

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2019, 09:17:26 pm »
Zobrist, Rizzo, Hoerner, Kemp, Lucroy, Heyward, Caratini, Almora, Bryant, Schwarber, Descalso, Happ, Russell, LESTER, Castellanos, Bote, Contreras, DARVISH, Baez, HENDRICKS.

This is the Cubs top 20 hitters by contact rate. My phone didnít reset it to 50 PA my first post and guys like Zagunis and Taylor Davis where in there. 

Iím not sure why Baez gets a pass when it comes to contact rates. I love him, but he is the streakiest player on the team.


« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 09:25:27 pm by CUBluejays »

craig

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2019, 09:23:59 pm »
Ron, basically it's Schwarber, Bryant, Baez, or Contreras as the four core guys who might be hypothetically considered for trade in order to bring back impact talent. 

I'd consider the "core personnel" to be the following guys:
1.  "studs", which would be Baez, Bryant, Contreras, and Rizzo. 
2.  Add Schwarber as you suggest, now with his great second-half and breakout season. 
3.  Darvish and Hendricks would also be core. That's 7. 
4.  Heyward and Lester are 2016-2020 starters; not "core" in being long-term future assets.  But kinda "core" in that they've been around for all 4 or 5 years; will surely be around next year; and are "core" from a budget-perspective. 

So, that's 9 core-guys. 

I think Theo is looking to consider moving one of those 9 guys. 

But he's not able to move Lester or Heyward; he won't want to move Hendricks or Darvish; and he won't want to move Rizzo. 

So basically that leaves Schwarber, Bryant, Baez, or Contreras as the four core guys who might be hypothetically considered for trade in order to bring back impact talent.  Baez seems awfully unlikely, too.

It might happen, and it will be exciting and scary and a big deal and kind of disappointing if he does move any one of those guys. But I think there's a very real possibility that Theo won't get fair value for any of those four, and that the "changes" will occur with the other supporting personnel. 

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2019, 09:33:54 pm »
Craig say the Cubs replace Hamels and Quintana in the rotation and Strop, Cishek, Kintzler, Phelps, Brach, Morrow, Duensing in the bullpen. Would that be a big change?