Travis Wood Might Be Pretty Good and Other Bullets

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  • I’m going to commit a cardinal statistical sin in service of a broader point. Travis Wood’s ERA since joining the Cubs is 3.96, placing him right around league average. That makes him a fine 4th/5th starter in almost any rotation. Great. But hasn’t he seemed a lot better than that? Well, if you take out two wind-aided blowout awful starts in July 2012 (in which Wood gave up 16 earned runs in just 9.2 innings), that Cubs ERA drops to just 3.34 in over 170 innings of work. That’s … pretty freaking awesome. Now, as I said in the first sentence in this Bullet, you can’t really take out a guy’s worst starts to make him look good – you could perform that operation with many players and make them seem better than they are. In this instance, however, I offer the information only as a reference to why you might be feeling that Wood has been better than his overall number suggest. And obviously he’s had great success so far this year: 4 starts, 26 innings, 2.08 ERA, 1.038 WHIP. We’ll see a regression in some of those numbers as they catch up with his meh K/BB rate and his luckily low hit and HR rates. But we could be looking at a really solid number four here, even when the Cubs are competitive.
  • As the lights flicker: if you’re looking to get best sports betting odds, check out Carbon Sports, because they have that.
  • It sounds like Michael Bowden is taking last night’s loss, in which he pitched a scoreless inning, and then gave up three runs in the next to lose the game, particularly hard. I can’t be too mad at him, though. In his second inning of work, he gave up a two-strike single on a nice piece of hitting, a bloop double that should have been a single or caught, a double to a great hitter in Jay Bruce, and then a single to Cesar Izturis. I can grouse about half of that. Maybe. All in all, I thought Bowden looked pretty good.
  • Dale Svuem confirmed that, when discussing players and demotions on Sunday, he wasn’t referencing Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, specifically, as news articles made it seem. Instead, he was speaking generically in response to a question that included Rizzo and Castro. “You guys asked me if those guys couldn’t get sent down. I said nobody was exempt [from] it,” Sveum told the media, per Paul Sullivan. “They’re not the only ones. You guys were pushing them [in the line of questioning].” Sveum isn’t always the most artful guy in his phrasing, but, like I said yesterday, if your choices are “Sveum is saying the Cubs might send Rizzo and Castro down to AAA soon,” and “Sveum is offering a platitude that no player is guaranteed a roster spot no matter what,” it sure makes sense to choose the latter when there’s a little bit of gray.
  • Here’s another hypothetical rendering of a 6,000 square foot JumboTron at Wrigley Field. I want the Cubs to get what they want, and I am also very much in favor of a large video board at Wrigley. But I’m starting to think that 6,000 square feet might be a touch too big. As always, it depends on how well it’s done and integrated, but it’s hard to see how something that big could be tastefully included in the otherwise quiet surroundings. Maybe 2/3 that size?
  • Speaking of the renovation, Dusty Baker says he’s glad it’s finally happening, noting the sub-par player facilities.
  • Brandon Phillips talks about his comments last year upon learning that he’d lost the Gold Glove to Darwin Barney. He still thinks that was the wrong call. (Brandon: U Mad? He Mad.)
  • Someone among you has been submitting BN links to Reddit from time to time. I just wanted to say thanks.
  • The “Fire Dale Sveum” petition is a thing that exists, because of course it is. I would sooner sign the “Build a Death Star” petition.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

79 responses to “Travis Wood Might Be Pretty Good and Other Bullets”

  1. Jp3

    I think the simplest way to know how a jumbotron will help the cubs win is by putting a 6,000sq’ sign of Robinson Cano in the left field bleachers. I believe it’s an easy way (albeit an eyesore) to gain a $25 million dollar salary a year which would be a cano, fielder, poooholes, or Hamilton type. Not one of those guys specifically but someone like that. It’s about the bottom line, they say “where can we save something off labor cost?” Then BAM(eyesore) money saved.

  2. Kramden

    Cubbie Blues and Blublud…

    So what the two of you are saying is that none of those bullet points could exist without the additional Jumbotron generated revenue? The extra night games, concerts, street fairs, hotel, in-stadium ad revenues, new TV deal, etc, etc wouldn’t do it… right?

    What world do you live in??

    1. BluBlud

      Not saying that at all. But if you can generate more funds, then why not.

      Baseball is a business, and Rickett as a business owners should do everything he can to generate revenue. If he chooses to put it in his pocket, I’m not mad at him. If he chooses to put it back into the team, thats even better. Last time I checked, the purpose of running a business is to maximize revenue. If I’m mistaken, please let me know.

    2. Cubbie Blues

      What I am saying is more money is bigger contracts which is better players. It’s all relative. Without the video board will we have more money? Yes, but not as much with the video board. It’s about maximizing revenue.

      In addition, there is a reply button that if used, makes a conversation easier to follow.

  3. BluBlud

    I have to say I agree with everything that Brandon Phillips said in that article. I would have said the same exact things. He thinks he’s better then Barney, and he has the right to say he’s better then Barney. If Barney disagrees, he also has the right to say so. No harm in that. If you and your team don’t think you are better then whats the point in showing up to play. I think the media looks to deep into what players say. These guys are ultra competitive. Thats probably the only reason any of them made it as far as they did. I would tell Phillips to stay exactly the way he is, never bite his tongue, and keep enjoying life.

  4. The Dude

    I can’t imagine a scenario where the Cubs put a 6000 square foot, square Jumbotron up like that rendering. I’ve always imagined a lower profile board that sweeps across the United building and not some awkward square meant to instill Jumbofear in people.

  5. The Dude

    I mean, who owns square tv’s anymore?

  6. North Side Irish

    keithlaw ‏@keithlaw
    New post for Insiders – some possible (or inappropriate) candidates for demotions/promotions, like Anthony Rizzo: http://klaw.me/17UYz9W

    This story won’t go away…

    1. Kyle

      STFU, Keith Law, you troll. Nobody’s demoting a guy who has six home runs on April 22.

      1. Norm

        the tweet says “inappropriate” candidates for demotion/promotion…what exactly did Law say about Rizzo?

        1. bbmoney

          said he doesn’t deserve to be demoted. then gives some analysis wondering if the Cubs tinkered with his swing.

          he’s certainly not advocating Rizzo be sent down.

          1. bbmoney

            but yes i’m ready for that story to die. it’s just silly.

            1. MichiganGoat

              agreed along with this FIRE SVEUM stupidness

  7. Travis Wood is “The Best Starter in Baseball” and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] Cubs at this point, but Wood’s ridiculous start to the year can’t be ignored. And, as I pointed out previously in the Bullets, it isn’t just the start of this season: Wood has been outstanding since he began his tenure [...]