matt garza chinAnother set of projections are out for the 2013 Chicago Cubs, and this set comes from Baseball Prospectus. The PECOTA projections, as they are known, are not particularly kind to the Cubs so far, although they do project 77 wins for the 2013 club as constructed, which actually strikes me as mildly optimistic.

I don’t want to give away the farm on this one because the projections are premium information right now, but I will share a little bit of BP’s wisdom.

The back end of the bullpen is projected to be very good for the Cubs, with Carlos Marmol at a 2.88 ERA and 1.20 WHIP – and just 36 walks in 61 innings, which, for him, would be incredible. Kyuji Fujikawa is even better, at a 2.56 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. The system isn’t nearly as kind to the rest of the bullpen, including James Russell, who comes in at an ugly 4.82 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Only Hisanori Takahashi fares well, and that is – I assume – because he’s being projected as a situational lefty. Then again, if he makes the Cubs, that’s what he’d be, so maybe he would pitch pretty well.

The system also kind of hates Jeff Samardzija, who projects just a 4.56 ERA and 1.38 WHIP – the worst marks of any of the seven rotation candidates. Some regression for Samardzija in 2013 is possible (as is some advancement), but that seems like a bit much, assuming he plays a healthy season. PECOTA likes Matt Garza (3.61 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) and Scott Baker (3.62 ERA, 1.16 WHIP), and is pretty lukewarm on the rest of the rotation candidates.

The offense looks ugly, too, with Anthony Rizzo the only regular projected to have an OPS over .750 (and he’s at just .787). Darwin Barney projects at an atrocious .259/.298/.354 line, and Starlin Castro is at just .287/.326/.421. I’d bet a dollar or two that a healthy Castro puts up a much better line that than this year.

The system believes Brent Lillibridge will win the last bench spot in Spring Training (and then will be terrible), believes that Scott Hairston will see more plate appearances than Nate Schierholtz (and will be pretty decent), and believes that Alfonso Soriano will regress substantially.

All in all, it isn’t a pretty picture. But, then, that doesn’t ring altogether unfair when you consider the roster, particularly on the offensive side. Sure, you hope they outperform expectations, but the expectations are what they are. On paper, this is a weak roster with some decent pitching. These projections fall largely in line with that gut feeling.

It’s important to note that this is but the first iteration of the PECOTA projections, which will be revised from time to time.

  • Seth

    That Barney line is overly atrocious. I really can’t see him being THAT bad. But what do I know. I don’t like the Shark prediction either. Just my two cents.

    • Seth

      Well I guess Barneys season last year wasn’t far off from that. Surely he’ll be marginally better than that. Who knows.

      • Jim

        Barney went from 2 homeruns in 2011 to 7 in 2012. I don’t think it is out of the question for him to get to double digits this year. That is my optimism. If he can continue to play defense like he did last year and could get his OPS over .700 I think I would be okay with that.

    • GDB

      Barney in the 2nd half last year – .247/.293/.345
      Barney away from Wrigley all last year – .206/.246/.264 – a .509 road OPS!!!

      I can see why PECOTA doesn’t like him…

      • terencem

        I just pray he’s not hitting 2nd this season. It seemed like he was in the bottom of the lineup in the second half but 1/3 of his appearances were batting 2nd. That’s just a terrible idea.

        • JBarnes

          I got into this debate with someone on the Cubs website. I looked up his stats and he hit much better in the 8th hole opposed to the 2nd. I know he’s not ideal on offense but my arguement was that if he’s put in the right spot (8th) in the lineup and add in the defense and he’s a pretty valuable piece. I think people forget that last year was only his second full season; I’m not saying he’ll be Cano but I think he’ll improve his OBP enough to be relevant.

          Most will disagree because they want more offense from the position but I love his defense and range and hope he stays around for awhile.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            The problem with that is that Barney had so few PAs in either slot: 220 batting #2 and 153 batting #8. So, the difference is entirely within the range we expect given sampling error.

            • Kygavin

              Another thing is that his OBP could be artificially inflated due to intentional walks if he hits 8th. The 8th hitter was IBB’d 174 times last year which was about twice as much as any other spot in the batting order. If you divide that by the 16 NL teams thats about 11 walks per 8th hitter which would raise Barney’s OBP from 299 to 318

              • DocPeterWimsey

                It could, but…. Barney got one IBB all year, and it was while he was batting at the top of the order, I think. It was late in the game with men in scoring position, so they must have been trying to set up a double play.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Hey, speaking of Darwin and (pitch) Selection, it’s Darwin Day! Chucky D was born 204 years ago. He’s quite the icon in my world (evolutionary biology). Some dude named Abe Lincoln was born on the same day: top that all other days!

              • mudge

                Robert Burns & Ewan MacColl, January 25

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  mmmmm…. nah.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    So all a player has to do is bat 8th and his batting eye will improve? Hilarious.

                    • Kygavin

                      No where close to what I said. Those were the intentional walks that were taken in the NL by 8th hitters averaged over the number of teams. The 8th hitter in the NL is intentionally walked more than any spot in the lineup which could improve his OBP

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Right, but Barney failed to get any IBBs in nearly one quarter of a season batting #8 in 2012. Now, this partly reflects the low OBP of the Cubs lineup reducing the situations where you would walk the #8 guy. However, I don’t see that team OBP being much better this year.

                    • hansman1982

                      The proof isn’t there though. Barney had 1 IBB last year.

                      Getting an IBB is 50% chance and 50% skill. You need 1st open, the right game situation and a fear that you will do more damage swinging the bat than given a free pass to 1st.

                      Of the IBB top 15 (the only guys in baseball to get 10+ IBB), 10 of them had a SLG over .500, 3 of them were .446 – .499 and the other 2 had a SLG of over .400.

                      The top 5? Fielder, Cabrera, Wright, Pujols, Braun.

                    • Kygavin

                      I would say for the 8th hitter to get a IBB its more like 99% luck 1% skill since it all depends on the situation; a situation the Cubs werent in much due to the bad team OBP.
                      I also never said that it was a definite to happen, I just said that it was possible and that even a small uptick in his IBB would take his OBP over 300 (still garbage but better).
                      BTW AJ Ellis had 11 IBB and hit 8th in over half his AB’s (couldnt find how many hitting 8th) and Andy Parrino (who?) had 7 with 61 of his 116 AB’s coming from the 8th spot. I know its not an exact science to predict IBB (or anything really) but looking at the numbers it is very possible that Barney could see an increase in his IBB which would artificially inflate his OBP

                    • Kygavin

                      Ryan Hannigan also had 13 IBB and had 286 of his 317 AB’s in the 8th spot

                    • hansman1982

                      Ya, Hanigan is quite the outlier. He was on pace for 25 IBB last year had he played a full season.

                      It is quite possible he would see a few more IBB batting solely in the 8th spot.

              • hansman1982

                Nov 27th – Me and Jimi Hendrix

                and boom goes the dy-no-mite!

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Ah, but you two were born on the same date, not the same *day*! (Not unless you are a lot older than your pic suggests!) Abe and Charles both turned 204 a couple of days ago.

                  • hansman1982

                    Bah, Charlie was a heratic and an agent of the devil, Doc-ie.

                    Doesn’t matter. Nov 27, 1982 is, was, will always be

                    THE GREATEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Diamondrock

    At this point, I don’t really care how average or below average this year’s team turns out to be. I just want baseball to start. The season as a whole may largely be a lost cause, but it’s all building to something. And in the meantime I think it’s still possible to enjoy the season game by game.

    They’re going to lose a lot of those games, but they’ll also beat the Cardinals at least a few times. And there will be spectacular catches, nick-of-time slides, and exciting walk-off wins. I’m content with that. For now.

    • EB

      You’re right Diamondrock. I’m reminded of Joe Mather’s walk off hit last year against the cardinals and how the nickname Super Joe was born. Sure, Super Joe was awful, but I’ll always remember him for that. There is still a lot to look forward to even if the Cubs don’t project to be that good.

  • JR

    Castro’s line is b.s. He will absolutely be better than that. He was clearly trying to change some things with his approach last year. I can see the other predictions happening though.

    • J Wilson

      I actually, and sadly, agree with the PECOTA line on Castro. If you looked at his approach for the last 2+yrs, you can understand why he is projected to swing at balls, widen his zone, and put the ball weakly in play much too often. In other words, if he doesn’t change his approach at the plate, he won’t be the .300/.360 player we all wish he can be.

      • Jeremy

        Did you not watch any of the 2nd half of the season or something? His approach vastly improved after the hitting coach switch. Not to mention he showed even more power last year and his power has improved every year since he came up. That projected line for him is awful.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          The other thing is that Castro actually did not deviate from a constant rate performance last year. His down months saw no change in his core numbers: his K, BB and extra base hit numbers were well within bounds for what you expect given his overall numbers. Indeed, in at least one of his down months, those numbers were better than usual.

          What killed him was a couple of months of very low singles rates on balls he hits. Batters have next to zero control over that: that rate is controlled more by the frequency of poorly hit balls that get past fielders than anything else.

          Castro actually is a great example of what consistency looks like. If you look at a plot of his career monthly averages and compare that to what we expect for a “true” 0.300 hitter, then it’s almost spot on. Given the variation in month-to-month competition, playing conditions, etc., that actually is pretty remarkable.

        • J Wilson

          I know, I have heard people say his approach changed, and I hope that’s the case. Maybe, hopefully, there is more promising data in the peripheral numbers, but he only drew 31 walks…all of last year. His avg, OBP, OPS, and OPS+ have all trended south. And no, I didn’t watch much of the 2nd half last year because a) I was busy, working, b) I can’t watch horrendous baseball for long, and c) I live in NYC. No CSN for me. Further, Castro’s strikezone was absolutely humongous last year. I am concerned, that’s all I’m saying. I hope PECOTA is wrong.

  • Spencer

    I don’t think Shark will be too far off from those projections, unfortunately. I think most people’s expectations for him this season are a bit too high.

    • Seth

      I’m not so sure Spencer. You take out his horrible month of June (10.41 ERA) stretch and you can get an ERA close to 3. Also, his post All Star stats are pretty incredible:

      2.58 ERA, 80k’s in 73 IP, and an opponent’s BA of .210.

      I’m a firm believer that he can have a pretty decent year this year.

      • Spencer

        I hope you’re right. I’m just a bit weary since last season was really his first full season as a starter, so hitters are going to be making adjustments to him; hopefully he can make the adjustments right back.

        • Seth

          I might also be a little biased, I saw him pitch his first game last year against the Nationals when he almost threw his first complete game (went 8.2) and he looked lights out. Ever since then, he has won me over. He’s got some crazy good potential.

        • fromthemitten

          The thing that worries me is doubling his IP from the prior year. I know he was shut down but he’s a candidate for the Verducci effect

          • hansman1982

            The Verducci effect isn’t really a thing (beyond that it might get a few extra looks on a webpage).

            Here is a study done by Baseball Propsectus:

            With the conclusion:
            So here’s to hoping that I don’t have to resurrect this column a year from now. It’s time to just admit that the Verducci Effect doesn’t hold water and move on.

            That is two major theories about pitchers that I have learned are incorrect over the past week (the other one being that taller pitchers are better than shorter pitchers (not true (at least from 6’0″ to 6’6″‘)))

      • GDB

        Yeah, I wonder whether PECOTA predicts struggles because of the increase in innings from 2011 (88) to 2012 (174)?

    • hansman1982

      I dunno,

      His xFIP, FIP, BABIP were all decent last year (indicating it wasn’t a flukey ERA), his BB% was a tad high but his K% was good. His LD% was decent, FB and GB % were decent.

      I think the 3 projections out on Fangraphs are more realistic than this one (high 3.00 low 4.00 ERA), but this one is quite the outlier (.5 run higher).

  • Bigg J

    Well I am not going to look much into it as I am sure they didn’t have Sori and Shark doing well last year. I don’t like looking at projections because it is just a thing they put out there to get everyone worked up about and they are rarely close to it, but if they are they can say “I told you so”. No one knows what is going to happen this year and I would love a 77 win season.

  • Rob

    Maybe it is how I read the post, but to me it seemed that the individual projections were largely bad enough, that it should not add up to even a 77-win projection – if Soriano and Shark regress that much, and Castro isn’t that huge, and Rizzo has a sub-.800 OPS, etc. how are we winning 16 MORE games than last year??? Just doesn’t seem the whole is equal to the sum of the parts, from what I am reading.

    • hansman1982

      Because the projection system is looking at the Cubs having these guys all year. Last year’s team was just god-awful after the deadline (on pace for 115-120 losses). 77 wins would be an 8 win improvement on the pre-deadline team.

      • Rob

        Great point – I thought having the ML ERA leader for 2/3 of the year would have made up for some of that, but they really did go in the tank after the trades. It will be interesting to see, if the team is only 6 or 7 below .500 in mid July, how deep the sell off will be? Balancing obtaining prospects against trying to avoid consecutive truly embarrasing seasons.

        • DB Kyle

          My guess is the sell-off will be deep in that scenario.

          They’ve given themselves a chance to be over .500 with some breaks, which is a better decision than the one they made last year, but if there’s any sort of adversity they will sell hard and fast.

  • Marc N.

    I’ll say this…I agree with PECOTA on Matt Garza still being the best starter in the organization right now.

    • Rcleven

      Actually they like Baker.
      Garza has a contract year. Should pitch his little heart out for his next contract.

      • Marc N.

        Not making sense, but OK.

  • willis

    Interesting to me that the two pitchers they are most hot on out of the rotation candidates are both coming off elbow injuries.

  • Big_O

    Agree with you Rob….the numbers dont add up with the total of wins

  • Norm

    “Darwin Barney projects at an atrocious .259/.298/.354 line”
    That’s .001 OBP away from his exact 2012 line.
    Maybe they mistakenly put 2012’s numbers into his projection

  • Mat B.

    I’m never going to understand why everyone is so in love with Garza. He seems to be a great teammate. To me, that seems to be his biggest plus. He won’t win me over until he wins 18 games with an ERA of less than 3.5. I still believe the Cubs overpaid for him. Go ahead let me have it. Tell me how wrong I am.

    • Marc N.

      Since we gave up Fuld AND Chirinos there isn’t a person in here who can tell you you’re wrong. For those guys I can’t get into him until he delivers 20 wins and a sub-3 ERA.

      • Mat B.

        Wow, someone who agrees with me. I can’t say I expected that.

        • Marc N.

          You didn’t expect people to get on the wagon that he cost us CHEAP, YOUNG talent like Sam Fuld, Brandon Guyer, and Robinson Chirinos? I think you underestimate the intelligence of your fellow fan. Those guys aren’t even the big gets. Chris Archer is basically on pace to be Matt Garza++ while Hak Ju Lee could have given this franchise a proper SS.

          • Mat B.

            Ah, yes. I forgot about Lee. And, Guyer was the Cubs minor league player of the year before the trade. I can’t believe people didn’t stand up and scream when the Cubs gave up all that for a pitcher who to that point hadn’t done much, and in the time he has been a Cub, has done less.

            • Marc N.

              Lol. So far the Rays have gotten ~30 decent innings from Archer, but the Cubs are the ones who got the guy/s that hasn’t done much?

              In the past year there’s something about this fanbase and prospects that creeps me out. Maybe it’s because I root for the team that I notice it more, but the unlimited credit line Cubs fans hand out to prospects will never fail to confound me. Hak Ju Lee wouldn’t be higher than the third best under 25 shortstop in the organization at this point ffs, and I probably take both Alcantara and Hernandez over him for their pop.

              • Mat B.

                Archer and Lee have their entire careers ahead of them, while Garza has shouldered the load and single handedly carried the Cubs to the post season as the number one pitching stud the Cubs thought they were getting. Yeah, I stand by the statement that Garza hasn’t done much. You said yourself, you can’t get into him until he wins 20 games with an ERA under 3.00. Maybe Alcantara and Hernandez will be better than Lee, but Lee will be in their starting shortstop soon, and, again, you praised him as a “proper shortstop”. I don’t know if you’re intending to play devil’s advocate or not, but that seems to be the case.

                • Marc N.

                  Archer and Lee have their entire careers ahead of them….Matt Garza hasn’t done much…The mentality will never cease to floor.

                  • Mat B

                    Okay wise one, what has Garza done for the Cubs? And, why have you done a complete 180 from your agreement with my original statement?

                    • Marc N.

                      Garza has done much more for the Cubs than Lee or Archer have done in the MLB at all.

                      What have Lee and Archer done to deserve the limp praise (they have their whole careers ahead of them!) you are doling out to them?

                    • MJ

                      I don’t know what’s so hard to figure out here. It’s simple. The previous front office had no business gouging an already thin farm system when the team was in decline and not close to being a championship threat. Now, the new front office finds itself in all out talent acquisition mode. Lee and Archer are much younger with more upside and that’s more valuable to the Cubs right now than a pitcher approaching 30 coming off of an arm injury.

                      Matt Garza not having done anything is inaccurate. He’s a good pitcher. It just wasn’t the right move to trade for him when Hendry did. Remember — this front office TRIED to trade him last year before he got hurt.

                    • Marc N.

                      Oh and when they say they are in talent acquisition mode they mean major league players. Major league players like Matt Garza who HAVE done something with their minor league prospect status and hype.

                      What is more upside? Which one of those guys reasonably projects to be to put up the ~16 fWAR Garza has put up so far in his career? Which one of those guys reasonably projects to put up a better season than his 2011?

                      Finally, both Archer and Lee are approaching 30 because everyone in their 20’s is approaching 30. No one can stop the aging process. Much more goes into the thought process than “who’s young and cheap?”

                    • MJ

                      Oh, I get it. You’re “Sign All The Players Guy”.

                      They did that before. We know how it ended.

                      Lee & Archer are in the top 100 list right now. I would call that close to an elite prospect. I would take the equivalent of that.

                  • Marc N.

                    The “already thin” farm system was ranked 8th by BA before the trade. Less than two years later the Cubs have several prospects muuuuuuuch better than Lee/Archer (and better fodder than Fuld and friends) along with Garza. You’re right that it’s not complicated because the previous FO did exactly what great franchises do with their farm system.

                    Remember this FO didn’t trade him in the end. I don’t give them points for things that didn’t happen, and certainly we’ve learned how little rumors actually mean in the end. This same FO has also said that they “need more pitchers/players like Matt Garza.”

                    • MJ

                      The reason they didn’t trade him was because they overplayed their hand. They waited until the last possible minute to get the deal they wanted and, wouldn’t you know it. Sore elbow.

                      “Need more pitchers/players like Matt Garza” is GM speak for, “Hey, this guy is great! Please, give us some good prospects for him!” Just like when they give glowing comments about Alfonso Soriano. They might be telling the truth, but you know damn well they can’t wait to get rid of him if they hear what they want.

                      I agree, all great front offices make deals like that — when their team is on the upswing, not a downturn.

                    • Marc N.

                      – “Need more pitchers/players like Matt Garza” is GM speak for, “Hey, this guy is great! Please, give us some good prospects for him!”

                      Ranking well but not elite on prospects lists is saying “yeah this guy has talent but lets not actually put any eggs into that basket yet.”

                      As you can not substantiate

                      – I agree, all great front offices make deals like that — when their team is on the upswing, not a downturn.

                      Acquiring Matt Garza does more to get into that upswing than hoarding a couple of non-elite prospects because they’re prospects. It’s a loser’s mentality to think that hoarding prospects is the right way, which is why 2011 and 2012 (years of major prospect acquisitions for the Cubs) happen to coincide with a shyteton of losing. Having Archer and Lee does nothing to stop that, and certainly it garauntees nothing towards the future progress of the franchise. The Cubs can and will find pitchers who throw hard with breaking stuff and major strike throwing issues again, just as they will be able to find glove SSs who can hit .260 in AA.

                      I don’t know damn well that they can’t wait to get rid of him as he’s still here despite the fan movement to re-coup prospects. If someone comes up with an offer way better than that overrated heap they gave up for him, then yes they probably will move him. If all someone had to do was offer the equivalent of a Chris Archer and Hak Ju Lee + nobodies package for Garza then someone would have paid that price a long time ago. Fortunately this FO appreciates just how hard it is to translate prospect talent to ML talent and acquire high quality starting pitching.

                • cub2014

                  trading prospects for a known quantity is good if you are trying to win. so that is what they did, but these guys have done nothing as of yet and Archer is the only one who looks like he has a chance to contribute at major league level.

                  so when you are ready to compete I would trade prospects for
                  a known quantity every time.

          • Luke

            Chris Archer will be in no way comparable to Matt Garza at the major league level if he doesn’t figure why he sometimes goes weeks without consistently hitting the strike zone.

      • Marc N.

        I’ve been saying for a while now that the Cubs fan mentality towards Matt Garza is “he owes us prospects.” I still don’t think that is too far off from the mentality. I still remember the “he’s basically Paul Wilson” remarks when that trade was made. Classic stuff.

        • Mat B.

          Don’t forget, they gave up Chris Archer, too.

          • Marc N.

            It’s impossible to forget that. People like to say he doesn’t throw enough strikes but last year he went from his usual 5 BB to 9 to 4 BB to 9. In a few years he’ll be down to 0 BB per 9 and everyone’s going to be like whaaaaaat.

            • MJ

              I think that’s completely accurate that Garza “owes the Cubs prospects”. I’ve always been bothered that they gave up Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee. Hendry nearly emptied out the farm system for him. Garza’s a talented pitcher, but the wrong guy at the wrong time for the wrong team. People are hoping Epstoyer Inc. can “right a wrong” with a good trade for him, so to speak.

              • Mat B.

                There’s no way in the world, they’ll come close to getting what they gave for him.

                • MJ

                  You never know. It was rumored that the Rangers were close to giving the Cubs a similar package last summer for him.

                • DB Kyle

                  Well, they’ve used him for two years. That has value.

                • Marc N.

                  I can imagine a scenario where the prospects returned are >> Archer and Lee + 3 minor leaguers closer to 30 than 20 without much in the way upside.

              • Marc N.

                Those people are ridiculously short sighted and probably the same ones making the Paul Wilson comps, but the viewpoint seems so damn dominant in the fan base. One of those things that just blows my mind. I just renubd that this is a franchise and a fanbase who hasn’t seen or understood winning for a long, long time.

                I’ll refer to the GM of the franchise on acquiring winning talent to address your idea that Garza came at the “wrong time”:

                “Since you can’t snap your fingers and just sign up four or five big time free agents in one offseason, you have to accumulate pieces in stages. It was the right time to get someone like Jackson.”

                • Marc N.

                  Wow. *remind myself, not renubd

                  • MJ

                    The only thing they gave up for Edwin Jackson was $52MM. Not a bunch real prospects.

                    The GM of the franchise also used the term “foundation for sustained success” which means you don’t sacrifice the future until you are close to doing something special. The 2010 Cubs weren’t close to winning anything when they traded for Garza. So you don’t empty out your farm system at that time.

                    You don’t see the Cardinals making trades like that. They lose Albert Pujols, and they don’t flinch. They just bring up more talent. And make the playoffs. Again.

                    • Matt Holliday

                      Hi, I’m Matt Holliday. I’m a professional baseball player. You may remember me from that time, not too long ago, when the Cardinals traded quite the prospect haul to get me.

                    • Marc N.

                      The term “foundation for sustained success” got translated all the way to “don’t sacrifice the future until you are close to doing something special?” How? How does that phrase become that definition? What constitutes a “foundation for sustained success?”

                      The Cardinals owned the best player of the 2000’s, a guy who is in the elites of baseball history. It’s dumb to compare any franchise to them and what they did. Without Pujols they could very well be making trades like that soon enough. They are all of one year into the post-Pujols era, and have lost their rotation horse as well (possibly Garcia is declining as well due to injuries).

                    • Marc N.

                      Matt Holliday doesn’t count because the Cardinals were winning. The only time you trade prospects is when you are winning. Otherwise you are just costing yourself The Future.

                    • MJ

                      Hello, Matt Holiday. Nice to see you here. It must have been nice to be traded to a team for a big haul in the middle of a pennant race and win the World Series soon thereafter. It’s nice when a franchise knows when it’s the “right” time to make certain moves. :)

                    • DB Kyle

                      So you are asserting that the franchise that has almost never been bad in the last two decades doesn’t make trades when they are bad?

                      That’s technically true, but I’m not sure what point you think it proves.

    • Bigg J

      I will agree on both ends. The Cubs should have never got Garza when they did. On the other hand Garza hasn’t had much of a run support since he has been with the Cubs. Ya if he was dominating then he should have under a 3.5 ERA. We all know he is a not a stud, but you have to look at what the Cubs put on the field. (not comparing Garza to Hernandez) Look at Felix Hernandez record and he is going to be getting 25 mil/yr if everything works out. He has won 19 games once in his career and nothing more then 14 games in any other year. You have to have a whole team that can win you games, you can’t win them by yourself.

  • DB Kyle

    Honestly, those all seem pretty reasonable to me. The only one that really made me flinch was Samardzija. If I thought Samardzija was that bad, I’d have the Cubs at 77 wins too. But I don’t, so I have them ~79.

  • MichCubFan

    They just made projections that are very close to the players’ numbers from a mix of the last 2 or 3 seasons. Safe projections, but don’t take major improvement/regression or other variables into account.

  • OregonCubFan

    I hope everyone realizes that these projections are pure speculation. Even though we can look at a players past performance and quantify it using statistics, those numbers do not have a bearing on what a player will do in the future.
    Undoubtedly the numbers offer evidence on why a certain guess is made. But it is no different than when a scout or coach looks at a player’s athletic ability, eye-hand coordination, arm strength, etc. and project the possibility that a certain player will blossom into a superstar. Their evaluations of the ability are probably right. But sometimes those projections turn into Corey Patterson (flop), sometimes Mark Prior (stud before injury) and sometimes Shawon Dunston (neither superstar nor flop – but a long productive career – albeit erratic).
    Truth is, half of the BP projections are probably too high and half are too low. Probably 10% on either side are grossly over or understated as it is impossible to predict who has a breakout season and who simply has a terribly sub par season and/or is injured. Every statement above which disagrees with these projections is probably just as valid except for the inescapable bias we all have toward wanting the Cubs to succeed resulting in our tendency to overestimate our players’ values.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    The Shark projections seem low to me. I dunno, I have always had a soft spot for him as a Notre Dame fan, but barring injury, I don’t think he would regress from last year/

  • Tom

    The thing that depresses me is the link in the “related posts” – “The 2009 Cubs will win 96 games” ~sigh~

  • Die hard

    Lack of attendance will result in many changes by All Star break is my prediction

    • Brett

      Maybe so, but even the business side recognizes you can’t reclaim attendance in the second half by making moves. If the team sucks in the first half and attendance is flagging, no amount of re-jiggering will save second half attendance. They’d have to wait until 2014 anyway.

      • DarthHater

        My prediction is that any changes the FO makes by the All-Star break will be based on their assessment of what is in the best long-term interest of the team and will not be based on short-sighted, unimaginative, knee-jerk views about a few weeks of attendance figures.

  • cub2014

    1996-2003 starting pitchers cubs have drafted:

    1996 kerry wood
    1997 carlos zambrano
    1997 jon garland
    1998 kyle lohse
    2000 dontrelle willis
    2001 mark prior
    2003 tim lincecum

    somebody knew how to draft pitchers but since 2003
    brownlie palawak simpson all top picks……bad!

    • Bigg J

      I don’t see Lohse in 98, but we could have gotten Antwaan Randle El in ’97 as a 14th rounder

  • cub2014

    sorry lohse was 1996 traded to the twins for Rick aguilera
    also 1997 juan cruz and 2001 ricky nolasco

  • cub2014

    wood prior zambrano lohse & garland i think are all available. and we already
    have willis back, now just trade for cruz, lincecum & nolasco!

  • Lou

    Bourn to Indians! I wonder what we’d get for Garza going there?

  • cub2014

    1999 marmol & 2003 sean marshall and probably some other quality pitchers like
    Scott downs and many other lesser players. i think flierta was the scouting director since 1995. But 03′ until now? russell & samadijza? maybe a couple are on the way?

  • another JP

    Good to see Bourn signed somewhere besides the Cubs. If it was for something like 4/40-45M I can’t wait to hear the whining that Theo/Jed blew it. And if the Indians pick up Campana half our fan base can then root for the Indians this year.

  • Jono

    Next revision: Cubs win World Series.

  • farmerjon

    What does Bill Pecota know about baseball anyway, terrible catcher on terrible teams 😉

  • The Dude Abides

    So PECOTA projects us for the 8th pick in the 2014 draft…

    • Brett

      If the Cubs aren’t going to be competitive, it would definitely be nice to fall within the top 10 picks.

  • jim

    Cubs move to omaha. Perfect.

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