It’s the sixth episode of a super awesome podcast featuring me and Sahadev Sharma. You can listen to the podcast there below, or download it for later listening. You can also subscribe via iTunes. Here’s your iTunes link, and you can also find it by searching in the iTunes store. For those of you who use other feed-catching services, here’s the podcast feed.

As always, you can send questions, comments, etc. to the official podcast email address (podcast AT bleachernation DOT com) if you want your thoughts included on a future show. It’s fun to include you folks, so, like, do it.

On this week’s episode, we talk about the big news (Scott Feldman signing), the small news (the Rob Deer hiring), and the imminent tough decision (Ian Stewart and non-tender deadline). We also touch on the rash of extensions for young players in baseball, including the one just given to Evan Longoria, and we continue our free agent series with a look at old friend Ryan Dempster. And I finally get to Part Two of Lifetime’s ‘The Brett Taylor Story.’


  • RoughRiider

    Josh Vitters released.
    By Caracas

    • CubsFanBob

      Perhaps Trade ? Odd to be pulled after two games.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I just got a reply from Sappelt on Twitter.

        Dave Sappelt

        @timhall76 couldnt tell you but i no his team is stacked with big leaguers

        • CubsFanBob

          ya but why would the Cubs/Vitters send or go to all the trouble to flying down there , arranging a spot, etc just to pull him after 7 at bats.

  • cubchymyst

    Question for the peanut gallery, Is there a reason for using K/BB ratio for pitchers and not for batters? Seems like they tell similar information about how well the player controls the strike zone. It seems like if you are going to use K% and BB% for batters that is should also be used for pitchers.

    • Norm

      % should be used for pitchers.

      • cubchymyst

        Thanks for the answer.

    • Edwin

      K/BB ratio has a much higher correlation for predicting pitcher success than it has for prediciting batter success.

      If I had to guess why, it would be that pitchers have less control over outcomes(balls in play) than batters do, so controlling the amount of outcomes is much more important. The less a pitcher allows a ball in play, the less chance of unfavorable outcomes. Strikeouts are good becasue 99.99% of the time a strikeout is an out. Walks are bad because 100% of the time they are not an out.

      With batters, you want to analyze what the batter does when they put the ball in play, so it makes more sense to look at OBP, Slugging, ISO, whatever.

      That’s just a guess though, no real thought or research to back it up. I’m sure Doc or someone else could provide a better, more thought out answer.

    • Edwin

      Nevermind, I thought you meant why not use K/BB to judge hitters as well as pitchers. Norm is right, K% and BB% should be used for pitchers, although I think that K/BB is the same whether you use K/9 and BB/9 or K% and BB%. The % number just gives a better representation of the skill in question, and /9 numbers can be inflated by the total amount of batters faced.

      • Cubbie Blues

        % takes the BB out of the denominator and therefor brings it to equal footing with the K. If left in the denominator it carries more weight than a K. Using straight % they are on equal footing and can be looked at independently. If you want to compare the two you can always use the (K-BB)/PA to come to a single nice number to use for comparison.
        Here is the link to the article.

    • Cubbie Blues

      There was a good article on fangraphs about the usage of % instead of K/BB a day or two ago.

      • Brett

        Beyond the Boxscore had one. I linked it in the Bullets.

    • Sahadev Sharma

      There’s a few reasons why…
      K/BB ratio isn’t as big of a deal for hitters as it is for pitchers. Walks are good for a hitter (obviously) but strikeouts are just not as big of a deal as we once thought they were for batters. So really, what does a K/BB stat tell us about hitters? It’s just not very informative. K/BB is good for pitchers because strikeouts and walk totals are two of the best stats to use when evaluating a pitcher.

      However, using K% & BB% for pitchers (and hitters as well) is your best bet. K/9 & BB/9 are ok, but percentages are better. I’ve been meaning to explain this on the podcast because someone asked me about it on twitter, but I just haven’t had the time since we’ve been packed with news lately. Essentially, you can be less effective as a pitcher (due to BABIP and other factors) and have a higher K/9 than a pitcher that’s more effective who has a higher K%.

      Good example, look at Tim Lincecum. His K/9 went UP in 2012 (9.12 to 9.19), but we all know he wasn’t as good of a pitcher. Look at his K%, it went down from 24.4% to 23%. It’s just a more accurate indicator of a pitcher’s effectiveness, a more clearer picture.

      • cubchymyst

        I prefer the use of percentages because the ratios do not tell what the percentages are. Is the 2/1 K/BB based on a 12%K and 6% walk or a 18%K and 9% walk? I was curious because of the use of K/BB for pitchers show up in stat lines but never for batters. Makes sense for it not to be used with batters if the stat does not give good insight. Thanks for the reply, enjoying the podcasts so far.

        • Norm

          K/BB is based on the raw numbers: 200 K’s / 50 BB’s = 4.00

          • cubchymyst

            Same thing, because K% and BB% are over the same denominator.
            K%/BB% = (K/BF)/(BB/BF) = K/BB.

  • MichiganGoat

    When will we have the Dick Tidrow story

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Brett, Could the Cubs pick up somebody in the Rule V draft with the 2nd pick next week and package it with another couple midlevel minorleague prospects and get a really good prospect in return.

  • Spencer

    “I don’t wanna disparage the profession of law, BUT….” :)

    • Brett

      I think I tap-danced that one appropriately. :)

  • Fastball

    Looking into my crystal ball I see Vitters being traded in the next 24 hours. I think Theo and Jed have told him not to Twitter or Talk to anyone. I see a new RF coming our way.

  • Rich

    HMMM Would a team pull a guy that is struggling for a WL team to trade him? That is an interesting take. I would love to see Vitters traded but that would that be enough to get more than a fringe guy at this point?

  • justinjabs

    Yikes! I have to get on number 5…

  • Tyler

    I love the podcast. It’s great to be able to hear you guys talk about the Cubs and is easily the best Cubs-related podcast I’ve ever listened to.

    But I have to say, the addition of “Talkin’ Softball” at the end of the episodes officially makes it my favorite thing on the face of this planet. Thank you for that, Brett and Sahadev. [img][/img]

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  • TWC

    Volume 6 of the BNpcast is great as usual, but Sahadev, please stop moving around the microphone while talking. There’s way too much volume dynamic… perhaps compressing/limiting the file before publishing?

    • Brett

      While I have you on the line: do you subscribe through iTunes, if so, when did the podcast “show up” for you? Just curious.

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