Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

cacti mesaWith today’s off-day, we’re at the halfway-ish point in Spring Training, and it could be fun to look at some of the stats that are accumulating.

You are forewarned that these stats are meaningless. But …

  • Your OPS leader for the Spring is Jeff Samardzija (2.500), built entirely on the back of that homer he hit yesterday. Second place is Barret Loux, who is 1 for 1 with a single (believe it or not, that’s a 2.000 OPS).
  • Your OPS leader among the positional players who’ve actually played a bit is Brian Bogusevic, which shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been paying attention. His line is .440/.500/.840 over 28 plate appearances, and he actually leads the team in each of those individual slash stats, too. He’s been killing it Scott McClain style.

  • Christian Villanueva leads the team with three homers. So what if those are his only three hits? (Gotta love that .000 BABIP, though.)
  • Matt Szczur was your OPS basement-dweller (before he was cut) at just .180 in his 16 plate appearances (one single, one walk).
  • Of the guys expected to make the team, the lowest OPS belongs to Scott Hairston – .130/.167/.261 over 23 plate appearances. For reference, if he add just one 4 for 4 game, his batting average would double. Small sample sizes!
  • Brett Jackson’s strikeout rate over 18 plate appearances: 27.8%. But he also leads the team in walks (5), despite having only a fraction of the plate appearances of many other players.

  • Javier Baez’s line: .310/.333/.552 (30 PA). Jorge Soler’s line: .304/.385/.565 (26 PA). Albert Almora’s line: .000/.000/.000 (1 PA).
  • Best pitcher this Spring? Easily Frank Batista. 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP. He just allows nothing. Er, that is to say, he allowed nothing in that 0.1 inning he pitched.
  • Shawn Camp, Hector Rondon, and Kyuji Fujikawa are your actual ERA leaders, each at 0.00 over about 4 innings. Each has a WHIP under 1.00.
  • Casey Coleman isn’t going to make the roster, but he’s also got a 0.00 ERA. Maybe he’ll figure it out as a reliever at Iowa. Most of the best relievers failed as starters when they were younger. Blake Parker is another reliever at 0.00, but, his chances of making the bullpen out of Spring are only slightly better than Coleman’s.

  • On the balance, the relievers are dominating (virtually all relievers in camp have an ERA under 3.00 and/or a WHIP under 1.00) when compared to the starters. Then again, the relievers are typically facing minor leaguers and roster filler, while the starters are facing more of the other teams’ regulars.
  • Travis Wood is killing it among the starters, leading the team in innings (12) and strikeouts (11) by a mile. His ERA is 3.00, and his WHIP is 0.92. Small sample and all that, but it’s a nice set of numbers.
  • Brooks Raley (21.21) and Alberto Cabrera (16.20) were your hilariously-high ERA guys among the legitimate roster contenders before they were cut yesterday. Now the title belongs to Barret Loux (15.19), though he’s not really a roster contender.
  • It’s not a pretty picture for the current non-Travis Wood rotation members in the ERA department: Edwin Jackson leads the pack at 4.50, and then you’ve got Jeff Samardzija (5.59), Carlos Villanueva (5.87), and Scott Feldman (9.00).
  • Chris Rusin has an outside shot at a bullpen job as a lefty/long-man, and so far so good: 1.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP in eight innings. He’s also got a K/BB ratio that breaks the calculator: two strikeouts, but zero walks.

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