Dismiss Notice
Guest, I have a big favor to ask you. We've been working very hard to establish ourselves on social media. If you like/follow our pages it would be a HUGE help to us. SoSH on Facebook and Inside the Pylon Thanks! Nip

2015 Chicago Cubs: Theo and Maddon's (Unholy?) Alliance

Discussion in 'Adopt-a-Team' started by Section15Box113, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Section15Box113

    Section15Box113 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    As winter turns to spring, there's definitely hope on the North Side.  
     
    Last year's 73 wins was an improvement, and the 2015 edition should be an interesting team, with the kids developing and Lester heading the rotation.  Probably still at least a year from contending for the Central, but .500 seems within reach.
     
    Rizzo, Castro and Soler have another year under their belts.  Lester-Arrieta-Hammel-Hendricks should be pretty good and I like Rondon at the back end.  Fowler and Montero were solid acquisitions. 
     
    And Kris Bryant will be installed at 3B in just a few weeks. 
     
    Finally, as much as people dislike Maddon, he is - in my opinion - a very good manager for a young team. 
     
    On the flipside, Dan Shaughnessy picked them to win the division.  Doomed. 
     
    Discuss all things Cubs here.
     
  2. Hairps

    Hairps Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,788
    Lots of chatter about Maddon batting Lester eighth, which I saw SoxScout already covered in a tweet...
     
    https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/585118364227350528
     
    ...but I'll be more interested in tracking how consistently they pull their starting pitchers for pinch hitters earlier in a game relative to other NL clubs. This is another area, IIRC, that MGL has harped on for years where teams can rack up "extra" runs over the course of a season.
     
  3. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    17,175
  4. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
  5. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Cubs stormed back in the ninth v. old friend Mark Melancon to beat the Bucs tonight.
     
    Partial box:
    Rizzo: 2-4, 2 R (25 years old)
    Soler: 2-5, 2R (23 years old)
    Bryant: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI (23 years old)
    Castro: 3-5, 1 R, 4 RBI (25 years old)
    Russell: 0-5, 3K (ML debut) (21 years old)
     
    Their bullpen needs some significant help, but this is a really exciting team.
     
  6. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Cubs are now 12-7, having won 4 in a row.  They've got a tough matchup tomorrow (Gerrit Cole), then three in a row against Milwaukee before they face the Cards for as big a series as you can have in early May.
     
    Kris Bryant is currently OPSing over 900, Rizzo just under 1.000, and Addison Russell has started a hitting a little.  If Soler can OPS in the .700s and Castro and Dexter Fowler hit in the .770s again, this lineup gets really long, especially for the NL.
     
    If Lester gets straightened out and Theo/Jed deal one of the catchers for a reliever or two, this team could be as good as advertised.  
     
    In other news, it sounds like Javier Baez will start playing in AAA soon.  He's been in Arizona getting himself in game shape after missing time on bereavement leave after his sister, who had spina bifida, died.  
     
  7. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Cubs have been cleared of tampering to get Maddon, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.
     
  8. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    After going 3-7 v. the Brewers and Cards, the Cubs have righted the ship, winning 6 straight v. the Mets and Bucs.  The team is now 6 games over .500.
     
    Current numbers:
     
    Rizzo: 1.082 OPS
    Bryant:  .900
    Soler: .765
    Russell:  .693 
     
    Russell's defense has been a bit shaky, but the youngsters have really impressed so far.
     
    On the pitching side, the Cubs moved Travis Wood out of the rotation, as he's been getting lit up.  They're hoping Wada can return and provide some league average pitching.  They likely need to make a move for another starter if they want to surpass the Cards.  
     
  9. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
    Tinkering with fourth and fifth starters in May seems a hallmark of a maturing rotation.
    In his most recent outing Jon Lester looked like Jon Lester. He is settling into the season.
    Soler is getting lousy calls at the plate (I hope it is just noise and not something deliberate but it is hard for a kid to develop without steady feedback from the ump), and the Cuban will heat up as the weather does (and as he gets more consistent calls). He is 23. 
    Rizzo is taking every base they're giving him and teaching Bryant to do the same.
     
    This team's time is here.
    I will be looking for a move that puts Coghlan on the Cubs' bench (or someone else's). One more bat. 
     
  10. Section15Box113

    Section15Box113 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    Cubs go into the 8th down 6-4 in Arizona last night. Put up 2 in the 8th to tie and 3 in the 9th for a 9-6 win.

    Rizzo 2-6 with a 2B, HR and 6 RBI.
     
  11. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    The Cubs brought up Kyle Schwarber for a short-term look and some tutoring from David Ross. In three games, he's gone 6-10 with a homer and a triple. I'll be curious to see if they keep him up until he cools off.

    Cubs are going to be in a dogfight for the NL wild card with the Pirates, Mets/Nats and Giants.
     
  12. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Tough 3-game losing streak for the Cubs leaves them 6 over .500.  They're still in good position to make a wild card spot.  I think Theo may have made a mistake with his strong pre-season statements about making the playoffs this year.  While the Cubs are going to be close to making the Wild Card this year, does Theo really want to sell assets for a closer/bullpen help just to sneak into the playoffs this year when the team is currently set up to be very solid for a long time?  
     
  13. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
    Entering the second half of the season the Cubs are still a few games over .500. The starting pitching has been effective. The pen, effective in places. Hitters generally have not been putting up the numbers projected over the last few weeks especially in support of Lester. Still the club has eked out a lot of low scoring W's
    .
    Even without any big trades the team's record will improve in the second half. Young hitters Addison Russell, Jorge Soler, and Kris Bryant will continued to adjust to big league pitching, as it has to them. Many of the 'older' guys (Rizzo, Castro) are still in their mid 20s and probably will improve, too. The pen will soon be joined by Rafael Soriano who is finishing his season tune up at AAA next week, followed by Neil Ramirez (rehabbing shoulder) a little later.
    Roster depth at starting pitcher IS thin, but if the front three can stay healthy, that's a great rotation.
    The second half schedule is easier for the Cubs than the first. Those opponents in the cellar are likely sellers and so will be even weaker.
    Although the Cubs lost starting catcher Montero for a while to injury, another young bat now (re)joins the bench in Kyle Schwarber. He is on the roster as a catcher, but Schwarber's bat is way ahead of his other skills. Those skills are being modeled for Schwarber by old friend David Ross, as noted by nattysez, above. Schwarber reported being impressed by the game prep and real time adjustment that happens inside the data storm of the big league.
     
    I expect Hoyer and Theo to make some move, maybe even a big one (anyone need Starlin 'change-of-scenery' Castro?), but more likely some smaller one or two, perhaps helping someone with a little payroll. Baez, that other holdover from the previous regime, is rehabbing a broken finger, so has not been able to prove his value to others' futures.They won't be jeopardizing future Cubs teams for this year's edition. They don't have to. Their division title seems out of reach. A wild card spot is quite achievable.
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew broke his neck in costa rica SoSH Member

    Messages:
    12,005
  15. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Two really bad losses in a row to the Phillies (and really, what loss to the Phillies isn't a bad one?), combined with a surge by the Giants, and suddenly the Cubs are out of the playoff picture.  All is not lost, particularly given the incredibly tough schedule the Giants have upcoming, but the Cubs desperately need a closer.  They also need to figure out what to do with Starlin Castro.  Those two things may not be unrelated.  A Hamels-and-Paps-for-Castro deal would make sense for both teams if Maddon thinks he can keep Paps under control in the clubhouse.
     
  16. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    The Cubs are reportedly benching Starlin Castro for Addison Russell.  This could be Maddon's first big test as a manager.
     
  17. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
  18. Section15Box113

    Section15Box113 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    As of this morning, the Cubs sit at 68-51, third in the N.L. Central, but with a 4.0 game lead for the second wild card.

    Their .571 winning percentage is the third best in the N.L. and the fourth best in baseball.

    While they are 8.5 games behind STL and 4.0 behind PIT in the division, they would be leading:

    The N.L. East by 4.5 games over the Mets.
    The N.L. West by 1.5 games over the Dodgers.
    The A.L. East by 1.5 games over the Yankees.
    The A.L. West by 3.5 games over the Astros.

    Remarkable.
     
  19. canderson

    canderson Fomenting voting confusion and angst since 2016 Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    22,561
    Joe Maddon is the baseball whisperer or something. 
     
  20. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
    [SIZE=10.5pt]Postseason preview [/SIZE]AND A preview of postseasons to come for this Cubs group
     
    [SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10.5pt]Tonight we get an in season look at what the probable 2015 National League Wild Card game will look like.[/SIZE]
     
    [SIZE=10.5pt]--[/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]Arrieta and his Cubs vs[/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt].[/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]AJ Burnett and the Pirates.[/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]Arrieta has not only been ace of the Cubs staff (better than even Lester, who last night pitched a one run complete game), but has been good in historical terms. Arrieta has the lowest post All-Star break ERA -- ever. He currently has 1.99 ERA for the season. If he registers a win tonight that will be 20 so far this season.  [/SIZE]
     
    [SIZE=10.5pt]This Thursday September 16 game is on ESPN at 7PM.[/SIZE]
     
    [SIZE=10.5pt]The 2015 edition of the Cubs team is likely the foundation for the teams that can make it to the post season play for years to come. They are mostly [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]very young[/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]and mostly under team control for (cheap) years. [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]Kris Bryant[/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt], Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber; that's a core. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10.5pt]Other's are carrying their weight and then some this year. Coghlan surprised me, but only because I was ignorant. He has been solid all season. Fowler has surprised anyone who gave up on him in the first half of the season by performing for the last few months as the lead-off hitter and centerfielder Theo told us he was. The pen [/SIZE]may not be built for the postseason this year, but all the boys are Maddon-loose and will perform like their best selves as long as there is baseball to play. 
    [SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10.5pt]After years of building, the Cubs are now poised to make some noise. And then make more for a long time.[/SIZE]
     
    [SIZE=10.5pt]edit to add Arrieta's Wins in case anyone knows someone who still follows that stat[/SIZE]
     
  21. E5 Yaz

    E5 Yaz Transcends message boarding Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    58,948
  22. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
     
    OK
    Who?
    The Cubs chased Cole in less than 7 innings yesterday in the day game. (3 ERs)
    Liriano's ERA is about 4 over his last 10 games.
    Happ is hot and held the Cubs to 2 runs last night (losing to them), but had BP help I think (left in the 6th), plus Schwarber had the night off.
    I just don't know their staff well enough to say. 
    I wish we had Melancon in our pen. I liked him mostly because a while back someone here at SoSH posted stuff on his adjustment with the cutter (here?). Taught me a thing or two.
     
    Anyway I'll watch to see how Jake pitches them. We get them again this weekend, too. After the Cards. ( this playoff system...)
     
    edit: checked last nights box score for Happ
     
  23. E5 Yaz

    E5 Yaz Transcends message boarding Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    58,948
     
    It would be Cole. Two of the "three earned runs" you speak of scored on Soria wild pitches. That's hardly "chasing."
     
    In a one-game scenario, you send out your best. 
     
  24. Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

    Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat has big, douchey shoulders Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    31,494
    It will be Cole
     
  25. nattysez

    nattysez Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Kang's injury really hurts the Bucs.  Based on the results of this series, you've got to think the Cubs will feel confident going into the WC game.
     
  26. E5 Yaz

    E5 Yaz Transcends message boarding Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    58,948
     
    Agreed, although it probably hurts more over a longer series.
     
    Crap, it was bad
     
    espn: Jung Ho Kang has a torn MCL and fractured tibia and out for the year. He needs surgery.
     
  27. snowmanny

    snowmanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    10,086
  28. Erik Hanson's Hook

    Erik Hanson's Hook Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    782
  29. daveuk

    daveuk ¡el ticos son estúpidos! SoSH Member

    Messages:
    219
    Cubs pitching a little wild today. Issued 3 hbp but hung to beat the Cards thanks to a spectacular play by Addison.
     
  30. soxfan121

    soxfan121 JAG Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,043
    Tom Ricketts on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me was very funny. 
     
  31. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

    Messages:
    30,104
    Arrieta won No. 20 in style tonight, with a complete game 3 hit shutout (11 k's, 1 bb) against Milwaukee.  Now, 20-6 with an absurd 1.88 ERA on the season.  His post all star game ERA was 0.95 coming into tonight and will drop to around .87 or so (I think) after tonight, which is just plain outrageous.  Has there ever been a pitcher that's taken a back of the rotation career (at best) and completely turned it around into Cy Young contender basically overnight?  His move to Chicago resulted in a difference in his numbers that is insane.  Every one of them, but it's his control that's just off the charts.  He basically had a career K/BB rate of around 1.50 prior to coming to the Cubs, and last year, it went to 4.07, and is around 4.50 this season.
     
    Speaking of Cy Young, Arrieta or Greinke?  I'm not sure how you can't give to Grienke and his obscene ERA, but has a pitcher ever had a better season than Arrieta and his 7.4 WAR (going into tonight) and not won it? 
     
    Edit:  For comparison sake:
     
    Arrieta:  20-6, 220 k's, 48 bb's, 1.88 ERA, .90 WHIP, 7.4 WAR, 207.2 innings
    Greinke:  18-3, 180k's, 36 bb's, 1.65 ERA, .85 WHIP, 8.7 WAR, 225 innings
     
    Kershaw is having a "down" year, and he's 14-7 with 272 k's, 40 bb's, 2.18 ERA, .90 WHIP, 6.7 WAR in 215 innings
     
    To put this season into perspective, Kershaw's two best seasons, (2013 and 2014), his WAR was 7.9 and 7.5 respectively.  What Greinke and Arrieta have done this year has been historically good, particularly Arrieta's 2nd half. 
     
  32. Section15Box113

    Section15Box113 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
     
    Wild Card berth clinched.  Third best record in the N.L. to this point.
     
    Crow tastes delicious.
     
  33. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
     
    No one saw this before the season started. (Maybe Rizzo did. But he knows magic.)
    FanGraphs projected 84 wins back in January when the Cubs added Fowler. Cubs fan sites were compiling total win predictions from us civilians in the low to mid 80's as well. I did read one reasoned estimate from a fan of 90 wins on one site, but that was an outlier.
    I think some contributions to this pleasant surprise come through Bosio and Maddon. 
    But, like you, most of us were only surprised by the speed of this development ('2016 and 2017 we will really shine'). Stuff sure moved fast; Russell (and Russell to short) for example.
     
    Going for win number 94 today. (Resting Kris Bryant against a lefty (Baez at third). They're just numbers until October 7--when the only number of wins that matters will be 1.)
     
    Edit: English language
     
  34. Section15Box113

    Section15Box113 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    “We have to be an outstanding club and avoid a lot of valleys during the season, win our 95 games, and get to the postseason.”
    - Theo (in Boston)

    Well, he just did it, winning his 95th game.

    On the North Side of Chicago.



    Edit: Apparently I am geographically challenged. Thanks for the catch.
     
  35. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
    North.
    But the quote from 2009 has Theo building one of the three best teams in baseball, all in the same division. Funny how history is repeating.
    A successful franchise is always simultaneously building three different teams-- a team that can get into the playoffs, a team that can compete in the playoffs (not the same as the first group, just ask Tim Wakefield), and the team that will continue to mature into a multi-season core. Theo may have finally built all three in the current Cubs organization, but no one builds a one game play in team (Pittsburgh included). Happy they are here, but I'm too keyed up for this Pirate showdown. This feels like football.
    Go Cubs.
     
  36. Section15Box113

    Section15Box113 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    Wow. Duh. Thanks for catching my brain fart.

    So 15 years after leaving Chicago, it's official: I can no longer tell the North Side from the South Side. Fixing post accordingly.

    Glad to be a Bostonian again.
     
  37. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
    Welcome home. Here's to a nice long thread here over the next few weeks.
     
  38. Section15Box113

    Section15Box113 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    So, NLCS it is.

    Cross-posting from the game thread, my favorite sign spotted in the Wrigley stands tonight:

    "I ain't 'fraid of no goats."
     
  39. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
    Was Bill Murray holding it?
     
    Congratulations. Rest up for the next series (and deploy days calling out of work judiciously as we progress.) 
     
  40. Blundatola

    Blundatola Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    451
    My last Cubs playoff game was a complete shellacking by the Dodgers in 2008, so I was uneasy as I took my seat this evening and Piscotty's bomb definitely didn't help, but after the Baez homer everything seemed like it would be okay, and somehow it was!

    It was weird how few Cardinals fans were at the game. So different from my usual experience, and it was even weirder giving high fives to Shawn Marion, who randomly was sitting behind me.

    Schwarber...I was sitting in the right field corner where our company's season tickets are so I've seen plenty of fly balls over there and that ball was like nothing I could even fathom. The launch angle was so high it seemed like a pop fly, but it came toward us fast. No one had any idea where it landed.

    It was so great to see them take out the Cardinals after all the years of domination. Go Cubs!
     
  41. Wake's knuckle

    Wake's knuckle lurker

    Messages:
    565
    So now they have knocked off the two teams in baseball with better records than they had. Does that make them the best team left? Of course, if Kershaw and Greinke get hot, none of this may matter... but those young bombers are tearing it up right now.
     
  42. BestGameEvah

    BestGameEvah Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,089
    Theo is already in 2016 mode.
    Thinks adding quality pitching was evident and imperative.
    Will be placing an organization-wide emphasis on controlling the running game and situational hitting.
     
    Schwarber will be working with catching coach in the spring, and will continue to work in the outfield.
    He had some awesome quotes about our Sam Travis:
     
    Schwarber says his best friend at Indiana, first baseman Sam Travis “will be the hitting surprise of next season. He can rake, and he’s just like me.” Travis in 198 games since being taken in the ’14 draft has hit .310 with a .384 on base and .457 slug and 16 homers in 198 games. “He is a doubles machine,” says Schwarber, not realizing Fenway is a doubles, not homers park.
    A Mets official says Travis “is going to be a really good big league hitter right away. (Gammons)
     
  43. Yaz4Ever

    Yaz4Ever stumps for Trump Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    10,119
  44. SamK

    SamK lurker

    Messages:
    74
     
    I was surprised to hear Theo speak so soon on these issues even generally. But, he has been parallel processing this season with thoughts about the Cubs' future as a matter of habit right along.
     
    Schwarber's hitting has been way ahead of his fielding from the start. He was taught very little about catching at Indiana, and his bat blew him through the Cubs minor league lessons faster than a Schwarbomb gets out of Wrigley. But, he really wants to become a major league catcher. He has already put a ton of work in with Ross and Montero, For example he shadows Ross doing mock game day prep. He seems to be willing to do anything he has to to mature into a catcher.
    [​IMG]
     
    He was a lot better than a Wily-Mo-Pena-type in the outfield during this post season, but it was still (too much of) an adventure. Still, the shorter-cut to MLB level would be to have him put all his valuable off-season work into learning to field (instead of catch). (The shortest cut would be to realize his value now in a trade to an American league team as a DH.) But, I think the Cubs are willing to let him try to figure out catching. If they can get his production out of that spot, that would put his value to the team at the top (or off) of any chart.
     
    I don't doubt his sincerity, but the fact that he had nice things to say about his college teammate also helps show Kyle's makeup. 
     
    Edit: English language, clarity
     
  45. BestGameEvah

    BestGameEvah Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,089

Share This Page