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  • Organic Improvements

    Alot of time when a team wins more games, it is because certain players make big improvements year-on-year, and turn in a great season. Sometimes because they are trending toward greatness, sometimes is a blip. Who on the Cubs last year do you think can make a big improvement this year, and improve the team without making a move?

    My top choices in this department:

    Z
    Rich Hill
    Pie
    Soriano
    D-Lee (I think he can hit for more power)
    Wood
    Eyre (lets forget last April ever happened for him)
    Soto (big improvement over Kendall/Barrett)

    ...and those I think could fall back a bit over last year:

    Ward (hard to stay at that level off the bench)
    Fontenot
    Dempster
    Marquis
    Lilly (still will be decent, but exceeded expectations last year)
    Marmol (Can't possibly be that good forever)

  • #2
    If you use BABIP as the measure, you would expect the following pitchers to improve.

    Pignatiello (.500)
    Eyre (.366)
    Guzman (.345)
    Gallagher (.308)
    Cotts (.301)
    Wuertz (.301)

    Pichers expected to do worse based on BABIP:

    Petrick (.192)
    Marmol (.264)
    Lilly (.270)
    Zambrano (.273)
    Marquis (.275)
    Hill (.278)
    Dempster (.279)


    Overall, it looks like our starters were either slightly lucky (not sustainable) or had slightly better than average defense (sustainable, and possibly can be improved on). It's encouraging to see that all our starters with the exception of Marshall (.293) have roughly the same BABIP, which to me suggests above average team defense rather than luck. This year, we will likely see improvements in defense at the CF, RF and C positions (and if Cedeno plays, an improvement at SS or 2B), with no expected drop in defense elsewhere. In other words, we could conceivably see similar pitching results from our starters next year.

    For those unfamiliar with BABIP, it's a measure of how often hitter contact results in hits (excluding home runs). After reading many people's take on the statistic, my takeaway is that most pitchers in fact should have an expected BABIP around .290 if they have average defense and average luck, and pitchers with higher BABIP likely shows that they were unlucky or had bad defense, while pitchers with low BABIP may have been lucky or had good defense. There are exceptions to this--for example, knuckleballers induce poor contact from hitters, so their BABIPs are below normal. Also, there is some evidence that certain pitchers (probably smart with good control) like Maddux that know how to pitch to contact can sustain a BABIP below .290 over much of their careers.
    To offset some of the pain of being a diehard Cubs fan, I've learned to also be a moderate Yankees fan.

    Comment


    • #3
      Zambrano's BABIP is actually much higher then his last two years of BABIP and right about average for his career.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey Bob--what's the current thinking on Ceda? Think he's now considered a reliever long term? ETA 2009?
        To offset some of the pain of being a diehard Cubs fan, I've learned to also be a moderate Yankees fan.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scartissue View Post
          Hey Bob--what's the current thinking on Ceda? Think he's now considered a reliever long term? ETA 2009?
          Oh yeah, Ceda's probably on the fast track in 2008, especially after what he did as a reliever. Ceda started the season off in Peoria (Low A) as a starter but suffered some shoulder stiffness, so the club sat him for awhile, when he came back he was a dominating force in the pen. In 23 IP in the pen, he struck out 42 batters while giving up 0 hits, that's not a typo, Ceda gave up 0 hits as a reliever. There he was able to capitalize on his high octane fastball that reached 99 mph and usually sits 94-97mph with movement. The pitch right now is a 60 on the Scouting Scale but has the ability to be a 70 or a 75. He also features a tight high velocity slider that rates a 55 now but looks to reach a 65 with his ability. Ceda's biggest problem is keeping down his weight despite his large frame along with keeping constant mechanics. He's been compared to Jose Mesa by his stuff and makeup, and the way he made the Low A hitters look, it wouldn't be a surprised to see him in the closer's role in Tennessee (AA) to start the 2008 season. Depending on how things go for the MLB club and for Ceda, he could see some late season action this year but more likely challenge for a pen spot in 2009. The only way Ceda starts again is if the club thinks it's good for his arm to build strength by throwing 3-4 IP.
          What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
          Line Drive: .356
          HBP: .342
          Non-Intentional Walk: .315
          Intentional Walk: .176
          Outfield Fly: .035
          Groundball: -.101
          Bunts: -.103
          Infield Fly: -.243
          Strikeout: -.287
          It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bob Sacamento View Post
            Oh yeah, Ceda's probably on the fast track in 2008, especially after what he did as a reliever. Ceda started the season off in Peoria (Low A) as a starter but suffered some shoulder stiffness, so the club sat him for awhile, when he came back he was a dominating force in the pen. In 23 IP in the pen, he struck out 42 batters while giving up 0 hits, that's not a typo, Ceda gave up 0 hits as a reliever. There he was able to capitalize on his high octane fastball that reached 99 mph and usually sits 94-97mph with movement. The pitch right now is a 60 on the Scouting Scale but has the ability to be a 70 or a 75. He also features a tight high velocity slider that rates a 55 now but looks to reach a 65 with his ability. Ceda's biggest problem is keeping down his weight despite his large frame along with keeping constant mechanics. He's been compared to Jose Mesa by his stuff and makeup, and the way he made the Low A hitters look, it wouldn't be a surprised to see him in the closer's role in Tennessee (AA) to start the 2008 season. Depending on how things go for the MLB club and for Ceda, he could see some late season action this year but more likely challenge for a pen spot in 2009. The only way Ceda starts again is if the club thinks it's good for his arm to build strength by throwing 3-4 IP.

            Thanks. Could turn out to be a very good return for Todd Walker.
            To offset some of the pain of being a diehard Cubs fan, I've learned to also be a moderate Yankees fan.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Scartissue View Post
              Thanks. Could turn out to be a very good return for Todd Walker.
              All because we had a scout, Hinton, report to the wrong instructional league...
              What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
              Line Drive: .356
              HBP: .342
              Non-Intentional Walk: .315
              Intentional Walk: .176
              Outfield Fly: .035
              Groundball: -.101
              Bunts: -.103
              Infield Fly: -.243
              Strikeout: -.287
              It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

              Comment

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