Author Topic: Cubs in '22  (Read 41841 times)

ticohans

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2025 on: September 28, 2022, 01:12:30 pm »
Almost feels like the role of C is being evaluated as part of the pitching development infrastructure, rather than a traditional position player role.

If the impact of a Gomes-type on our pitching infra is that significant, I can definitely understand the logic.

Not sure anyone here has the expertise or data to evaluate whether or not that's a reasonable strategic view.
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craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2026 on: September 28, 2022, 01:20:28 pm »
"If you're curious what the Cubs may be looking for in a catcher going forward, I think this piece on Yan Gomes that I wrote the other day sums up the qualities many teams now look for in their backstop." 

I think it's also interesting that while he "sums up the qualities many teams now look for", it's interesting that over the last four years, 3 teams have been willing to let him go.  And I don't perceive Cleveland, Washington, or Oakland as all necessarily being dumb-head team.  No team has ever valued him enough to give more than a $6 or $7 deal.  And only twice has a team give him >390 PA in a season.  (Perhaps not surprisingly, those two seasons being .785 and .762-OPS good-offense seasons.)

I'm not at all trying to devalue Gomes or what he contributes.  I'm just kinda contextualizing Sharma's "qualities teams look for" statement.  Perhaps the league demand for Gomes-ish qualities is more on the $6M scale than on the preferred-primary-starter scale?   


CurtOne

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2027 on: September 28, 2022, 01:28:34 pm »
When I see Willson, I don't see catching or hitting.  I see leadership.  Unfortunately you can't measure that.  But when you have a guy so committed to his team as Contreras, I think you have to find a spot for him, 1B, DH, LF if you trade Happ.  But the guy bleeds Cubbie Blue.  He's an extra coach.  I think his spirit and drive especially as he influences the younger players Hoyer will regret he didn't consider.

Reb

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2028 on: September 28, 2022, 01:29:01 pm »
Almost feels like the role of C is being evaluated as part of the pitching development infrastructure, rather than a traditional position player role….

Yeah, think that might be it.

Really interesting because (1) it’s not really new and (2) maybe getting to be a point of emphasis in the age of analytics.

Perhaps clubs ARE able to quantify this in their internal proprietary analytics or it’s some kind of meshing between traditional scouting and advanced analytics. Contreras could be kind of a test case if his market is tepid.

Or, maybe Cubs are just being dumb about this. Or, maybe it will turn out that Sharma has misread Cubs intentions and Contreras is back multi-year.

Lots of questions.

Bennett

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2029 on: September 28, 2022, 01:36:09 pm »
Gordon Wittenmyer  @GDubCub  4h
Stat of the Day

Second-half records through 9/27:

Cubs           33-29
Brewers      32-29
Yankees      31-31
White Sox   30-32

Reb

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2030 on: September 28, 2022, 01:38:38 pm »
Considering this topic, just wanted to put in a word about Adley Rutschman, O’s rookie catcher.

Man, if you watch even a couple of Orioles games, you can see that he’s the team leader on the field. That was true almost from day one as a rookie when came up late May. Super enthusiastic and gabbing with his pitchers endlessly. And, of course, he hits too.


CurtOne

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2031 on: September 28, 2022, 03:49:05 pm »
Hoyer would trade him.

davep

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2032 on: September 28, 2022, 04:25:32 pm »
Gomes is kind of similar to the Indians long-time catcher Jim Hegan, a highly regarded catcher with a career slash line of    .228   .295   .344.  Had 5 career WAR and was around close to 20 years.

Many other guys like this in baseball history. Clubs have loved these guys forever. Even in these days of analytics that probably don’t measure their worth—whatever it is—they seem to find a home.

There are a great many things that have been commonly accepted in baseball for years, but have been changed due to increased data metrics.  Power over strikeouts.  Spin on fastballs over strict velocity.  Positional location of both infielders and outfielders.  It is interesting to me that one of the few "old school" views still in vogue is the one that is lacking in metrics to evaluate it.  If the old school has been wrong about so many things, why not this one?

craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2033 on: September 28, 2022, 04:43:46 pm »
Yeah, think that might be it.  [component of pitching infrastructure]

Really interesting because (1) it’s not really new and (2) maybe getting to be a point of emphasis in the age of analytics.

Perhaps clubs ARE able to quantify this in their internal proprietary analytics or it’s some kind of meshing between traditional scouting and advanced analytics. Contreras could be kind of a test case if his market is tepid.

Or, maybe Cubs are just being dumb about this. Or, maybe it will turn out that Sharma has misread Cubs intentions and Contreras is back multi-year.

Lots of questions.



Yeah, lots of questions.  Assuming clubs are able to quantify this in some way, I remain curious how much those quantities could change future if automated strike zone ever happens, and framing exits the equation?  And how PitchCom might impact the quantities?  Maybe automated strike zone never happens, and Cubs never use PitchCom or whatever improved variants emerge. 

craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2034 on: September 28, 2022, 04:56:20 pm »
I feel bad for Willson.  What a nice, sincere, motivated, hard-working, committed guy, who has worked so hard at his craft and as a team leader.  "Offensive-minded" is not literally true;  his "mind" and his effort have very much been defensively oriented.  He's worked so hard at being as good a catcher as he could be: in improving his framing, and working with pitchers, and game-calling, etc..  If he's not perceived as ideal, I don't think it's for any lack of effort or will or good-intention. 

After giving so much to become as good a catcher as possible, it would be sad if the Cubs and the league all say "we don't want you."  And if after all the minor league years of effort, and 6+ years of big-league effort, he finally hits free agency and nobody wants him. 

Deeg

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2035 on: September 28, 2022, 05:00:07 pm »
When I see Willson, I don't see catching or hitting.  I see leadership.  Unfortunately you can't measure that.  But when you have a guy so committed to his team as Contreras, I think you have to find a spot for him, 1B, DH, LF if you trade Happ.  But the guy bleeds Cubbie Blue.  He's an extra coach.  I think his spirit and drive especially as he influences the younger players Hoyer will regret he didn't consider.

On the topic of "non-quantifiable", hard to think of anything more non-quantifiable than "leader" and "bleed Cubbie blue".

If you want to keep Contreras around as a DH, you have to pay him accordingly.  How much is a DH whose OPS over the last three seasons is about .790 worth, and would Contreras feel good about signing for that?

DUSTY

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2036 on: September 28, 2022, 06:36:16 pm »
Its crazy to let Willson walk. Sorry. I wont be convinced otherwise.
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ben

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2037 on: September 28, 2022, 10:11:26 pm »
I can't help but feel sort of bad for Willson, too.  I'll feel worse for all of us if the Cards sign him and he plays his best baseball for them.

Chris Morel with the game-winning 3-run bomb off Nola tonight.  Morel's done a terrific job this year (particularly for a guy with little AAA time)!

* .239 BA in 360 ABs, .312 OBP, .444 SLG, .756 OPS, 10 steals (thrown out 7 tho") and played solidly for a young utility player on D.

* he has 15 2b and 4 triples to go with his 16 HRs - 38 XBHs (more than 10% of his ABs, which is very good)

* Morel doesn't turn 24 until mid-May in 2023.  Brennen Davis' description of Morel as "The Electric Show" last year has proven solid this year.

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2038 on: September 29, 2022, 10:21:00 am »
Almost feels like the role of C is being evaluated as part of the pitching development infrastructure, rather than a traditional position player role.

If the impact of a Gomes-type on our pitching infra is that significant, I can definitely understand the logic.

Not sure anyone here has the expertise or data to evaluate whether or not that's a reasonable strategic view.

Sharma has said that the Cubs feel very confident that they can put a value on the defense that catchers provide.  We don't have that type of data available to the public. 
OPS for catchers
Yankees .645
Houston .545
Mets .556
Cleveland .535
Rays .629

Take the Mets out and that is 4/5 heavily analytical teams that have punted offense at catcher.  I think we would all love to have a catcher that can hit and be a great catcher.  I don't think the Cubs would get rid of a young stud offensive catcher that is below average either.  I just don't think they want to pay a lot of money for a 30 year offensive catcher.

As far as Willson coming back, you can take what you wish from Sharma's reporting.  I think the two biggest clues to the Cubs interest in bringing back Willson is they haven't made him a contract offer in years and Willson saying he wants to be somewhere where he feels wanted. 

Could he end back with the Cubs sure, but it is looking like a really long shot that would require is market to implode. 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 10:26:36 am by CUBluejays »
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craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #2039 on: September 29, 2022, 12:31:00 pm »
This has been a really helpful discussion, thanks!  Blue, that's really a good framework and is very persuasive.  If all of the good, smart, successful analytical teams have punted offense at catcher, that is really persuasive. 

Three tangent thoughts: 
1.  I wonder if it's easier to punt offence if you've got a good lineup?  Even with punting catcher, Yankees, Mets, and Houston still are among the top teams offensively.  Perhaps harder for teams whose offenses are lousy to commit to an auto-out? 
2.  Blue, Do you have any recall of when or a link or anything to where Sharma said the Cubs claim to quantify the value?  Podcast or athletic print article?  I'd be curious to see or read more about that? 
3.  I wonder if smart analytical punters will revise their analysis plan in future when pitch-framing goes away?  And as they better utilize PitchCom? 

You can tell I'm paranoid that the Cubs are always behind the curve.  Just when the Cubs finally catch up and appreciate the importance of catcher defense, is that when pitch-framing will cease to exist?  Just as the Cubs appreciate the value of "handling" and pitch-calling, is that when the smart teams will be doing a lot of that from the bench?  I don't know.