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miami marlins logoFor a couple weeks now, I’ve been closely watching the Miami Marlins’ efforts to deal Ricky Nolasco. As one of the better rental starting pitchers on the market, a Nolasco deal is going to impact the Cubs’ efforts to deal Matt Garza in a variety of ways, including by impacting the market’s desire/need for pitching, and by arguably setting a “floor price” on a Garza deal.

Well, it sounds like after at least a week of being on the verge of a deal, the Dodgers are finally going to get Nolasco. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Marlins are “getting close” to a deal that would send three prospects to the Marlins, with the Dodgers taking on all of Nolasco’s remaining salary ($5.5 million). Marlins beat writer Joe Frisaro says that although the deal is for three pitchers, only two are “prospects.” Rosenthal described the players involved as not “upper echelon” types. Frisaro expects the deal to be done tonight.

I’ll keep watching this deal this evening and update you as it comes to pass (or doesn’t), together with my thoughts on how the deal impacts the Garza market.

The initial reaction – and not speaking to the Marlins’ return – is that this is good news for the Cubs. The Dodgers are arguably in the market for as many as two starting pitchers, so landing Nolasco does not necessarily take them out of the Garza market. Though it probably does take them out of his market, with most teams looking for a starter, you wouldn’t even be able to say there was a chance – so that’s a positive. Put differently: Nolasco to the Dodgers takes a pitcher off of the market without necessarily taking a trading partner off of the market.

More importantly, Nolasco bolstering the Dodgers in the tightly-knitted NL West is a great thing for the Cubs, as they will potentially be shopping Garza to each and every team in that division. Now, perhaps, the other four teams will get a little more liberal with their offers.

As for the return, it sounds like it won’t be great, what with the Dodgers taking on all of Nolasco’s salary. Hopefully, when it comes time to deal Garza – who is inarguably a superior option than Nolasco, but they’re in a similar ballpark – the Cubs will emphasize prospect return, rather than money savings.

UPDATE (6:14pm CT): Frisaro says one of the arms going to the Marlins is Steve Ames, a minor league reliever with solid numbers across the board. He was the Dodgers’ 15th best prospect to John Sickels coming into the season. Presumably, then, he’s one of the two “prospects” in the deal, but hopefully not the headliner. A 25-year-old reliever, even one with great minor league numbers, isn’t much of a center piece for Nolasco, and wouldn’t really move the needle on Garza.

UPDATE 2 (7:35pm CT): Chris Cotillo reports that the other two pitchers in the deal are Angel Sanchez and Josh Wall, confirmed by Jon Heyman. Other folks aren’t quite ready to confirm Sanchez in the deal. It sounds like the Dodgers will also be getting international pool money, which could be skewing the return.

UPDATE 3 (7:43pm CT): Wall is a so-so relief pitcher/prospect. He’s 26 and has had a cup in the bigs, but doesn’t have tremendous numbers in the minors (in his defense, he’s pitched in a whole lot of hitter-friendly locations). Sanchez, 23, is an intriguing prospect with decent numbers, but who still at High-A. He was well-regarded, though, by MLB.com going into the season – it had him as the Dodgers’ 8th best prospect. He does not appear in the top 20 on other lists out there, though, and his stock is probably falling a bit.

UPDATE 4 (7:53pm CT): Big-time Dodgers blogger Mike Petriello loves the deal for the Dodgers, which tells you all you need to know about the perceived value of these three pitchers going to the Marlins (and that’s not considering the international pool space the Dodgers are reportedly getting). Assuming the deal proceeds as has been reported, the Marlins return – in early July, mind you – is quite thin. A decent relief prospect, a so-so low-level (but older) pitching prospect, and a so-so middle reliever. They get Nolasco’s salary paid for, which is obviously the priority for the Marlins. Ultimately, I was hoping to see the Marlins get a shockingly large return for Nolasco, because that would justify the Cubs’ gaudy demands for Matt Garza. What we have is a pretty “meh” return, which is probably a commensurate value for what the Dodgers got. That’s fine, and Garza is the superior pitcher. But this doesn’t really help the Cubs if they wanted to point to Nolasco as a low-end comparable.

UPDATE 5 (7:59pm CT): Just to button it up on the value here, Bill Shaikin notes that, going into the season, Baseball America had Wall, Ames, and Sanchez ranked 20, 21, and 25 in a weak farm system. And I’d argue that Wall’s and Sanchez’s stock is down further from there. This is flat-out a very weak return for Nolasco, and I’m going to do some scrambling to emphasize just how much better of a trade option Matt Garza is …

  • CubsiFaninMS

    I think we should wait until the official announcement. If the trade happens as rumored here, it does hit Garza’s value to a small degree, but there’s little supply and a large demand for a Garza-type player. In that context, a bad return from Loria and his boys will not affect Garza’s value much. That being said, how often is a trade exactly as is it rumored to be? Let’s wait and see.

  • mudge

    Diehard Cub fan’s last request: put on WGN and give me a dose of Viagra.

  • Die hard

    Dodgers improve with deal.. But pennant not sewed up yet if tonites game indicates league figured out Puig… 0-4 all ks

  • mick6x

    I really don’t think this will lessen Garzas value at all, teams know the Marlins recent track record. If anyone has anything to bitch about our ownership/FO take a long look at Miami.

  • curt

    it’s not as bad as b Netflix movie but it is as bad as any sci-fi channel movie.

  • curt

    Ty for link to Baez , Spenser that was very nice

  • Zachary

    The return doesn’t really mean what the cubs can get. Garza is the best pitcher available. If teams want him the will pay. Regardless what the Marlins hot for nolasco, It only matters how much a certain FA gets

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    LHP Andrew Miller just twisted his ankle.

    Boston needs a pitcher…James Russel?

  • Gcheezpuff

    My biggest concern with this deal is if the return is universally considered weak, why didn’t more teams get involved? Another team looking for a solid mid-rotation SP could have easily trumped the Dodgers offer. I get that Garza is better and that it is still earlier then some teams want to deal, but this return worries me. The value of prospects has been on the rise, this could be a sign that teams just aren’t willing to risk losing talent for a rental. I still expect a better return for Garza, but I think Theo is gonna have to push it to the deadline to maximize value and even then, the dreams of multiple top prospects seems less likely.

  • Adam

    People may disagree but I fully believe that the Dodgers willing to take on another month of Salary for Nolasco was probably a huge selling point for the Marlins.

    I don’t think anyone will take on Cliff Lee’s salary, and the Astros have no real need to trade Bud Norris. Not sure why the Brewers would deal Gallardo at this point as his value is probably not as high as it has been in the past or could be with a few rebound months. Even though there is an injury risk, Cubs should take Garza to the deadline and make teams desperate. If need be, don’t trade him and take the draft pick. Plenty of productive major leaguers come from the supplemental first round.

  • Michael

    Starlin Castro and James Russel to Detroit for Avasil Garcia, Nick Castellanos, Rick Porcello and Rondon.

    Matt Garza and Soriano ( We eat the contract ) to Rangers for Martin Perez and Luke Jackson

    • Michael

      Gregg also to Tigers in the deal

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Look at that trade from a Tigers fan standpoint:
        1) They have a middling minor league system aside from those 3 best you want
        2) Castro is down, and plays SS, but Peralta is doing well (WAR 2.4) and will not be a FA until the end of 2013 (so, bad timing) to do that deal – and they would want to have him.

        SS Eugenio Suarez is in AA, and can do what Castro is doing now.

        3) Russell is a LHP, which Detroit has Smyly and Downs that satisfy that role
        4) Gregg – is an option for Valverde; but how much of an option?
        5) Castellanos, Garcia, and Rondon are all young and talented – and cheap

        Castellanos will get to the Detroit MLB if he has to DH, OF or play 2B (a move some can make, hard since he’s been only a 3B in the minors)
        DH Martinez is gone after 2014
        OF Hunter ditto
        2B Infante after 2013

        Garcia is already contributing
        6) Porcello is the pitching equivalent of Starlin – talented obviously, but struggling too
        But I’d take Porcello only if he wasn’t ARB eligible. He is. Gets 5.1 now and will be going up, up. You’ll have him for 2 seasons. But he’s likely as good as Garza in the NL in theory.

        Rondon could be a stud closer. 100 MPH arms don’t come easy.

        The Cubs would be raping them without vaseline.
        And their FO (Dave Dombrowski) was Theo before Theo was 10.

        I’d love it. But you’ll never get a peep on it. MHO.

        • Michael

          Peralta could be suspended any day now and like you said is a FA in 2013, Porcello just needs a new home and Smyly moves back into the rotation. Rondon yes throws gas but has no accuracy what so ever. Castellanos has no position, Garcia is not contributing please go look. But this a lot but getting a SS who is 23 and been to two All-Star games already and then getting Russell I the pen both who have some controllable years and a rental In Gregg which solves the closer situation for the year.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            All your wishing aint gonna make it so.

            • Michael

              Don’t remember wishing for it. If that’s all you came up with guess you didn’t remember Smyly is a natural starter or Peralta might be suspended or Garcia hasn’t done much to contribute. Ill let your ignorance slide this once but do homework next time

            • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

              Smyly was not in my things to remember cart this morning. But what is his role at present? RP -32 games, no starts – 2.08 ERA with a 1.9 WAR. Wow, he’s more valuable that Castro (-1.6), Kevin Gregg (1.2) and James Russell (.7) are together. And he’s 24, and cheap.

              Why would I want Castro? Or get Gregg and Russell to provide the same as Smyly does for me right now? AND give away my best prospects?
              And Porcello?

              Oh, because of Peralta. I can find a replacement player in the minors to do what Castro is doing now which I stated before.

              I also stated I’d love to get that trade. Detroit gains nothing from such a bargain.

  • rockin’ dawg

    Is this for real or are you speculating??

    • Michael

      Just throwing out what would be a nice return if for some reason they decide to trade Castro

      • MichiganGoat

        That is a complete lopsided trade

        • Michael

          How so

  • Michael

    Looks good written down if the prospects can pan out.

    SP
    Jeff Samardzija
    Travis Wood
    Rick Porcello
    Martin Perez
    Edwin Jackson

    C Wellington Castillo/ ?
    1st Anthony Rizzo
    2nd Arismendy Alcantara
    SS JavierBaez
    3rd Nick Castellanos
    LF Kris Bryant
    CF Albert Almora
    RF Jorge Soler

  • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

    People are really jumping the gun on moving Castro. After 3 years and 1 month of being an effective regular, I’d like to believe he deserves more than 2 months to prove he hasn’t permanently and irreparably regressed.

    And from a physical standpoint, it would make no sense if that were the case. It’s not like he’s physically declined in any way.

    • Michael

      I agree with you. But to get multiple pieces is important when you have players coming up in the system who play the same position. Castro will turn it around but the mental errors kill him with that said Baez makes errors too but his offensive up side is higher then Castros and I don’t believe he could be worse in the field. This is a dream scenario but gives the Cubs a good return with a already MLB SP in Porcello a OF in Garcia who can start next year and Castellanos who could be ready to start by next year. Rondon who knows with his control

      • THEOlogical

        All it took for me was seeing Castro being traded. Why in the world would the FO sign Castro to a long term contract, only to trade him the same yr AND when he was down? That’s like the Rangers trading Andrus this yr. It bears repeating but Ace touched on it earlier, big time FA’s won’t sign with you if you trade away a player you just signed long term. That’s it, done deal. Please stop these nonsense trade scenarios.

        • Cheryl

          Castro however is at a turning point in his career. Other teams see him struggle and know that if he doesn’t improve he’s a likely trade candidate. Management doesn’t seem to know what to do. They won’t bench him which would give him some time to sit and observe and hopefully recover. They won’t send him down to the minors to get him away from Wrigley. The only way open may be to trade him and hope a change of scenery helps. I’ve never wanted to trade him but when the other options re there and aren’t used it doesn’t leave much choice.

          • Timmy

            Players sometimes have years like this. I think it’s Theo’s fault for leaving him vulnerable in the lineup without any protection. But I also think that a change of scenery to a more “serious” team could easily reinvigorate him, and I think another team will be willing to gamble on this speculation too, specially since he’s tied up for so many years.

            The question is what will be his return? And the answer is nothing exceptional.

            • Eric

              Which is exactly why you don’t sell low. If there is a season for the kid to figure things out when he is going through a horrific slump it is one in which the team isn’t going anywhere.

              • Timmy

                I agree, I’ve been saying for months that we need hitters in the middle, not another fire sale. Theo’s treating Rizzo and Castro as sacrificial lambs to obtain 15 year olds from across the globe. It’s a wild and desperate gamble at the expense of his entire legacy.

        • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

          FO isnt trading castro. If they can long term
          Garza they will. Bird in the hand! Every year
          you can go out and sign Feldman,Villanueva,
          Dejesus,Schierholtz,Barney types that is who
          they want to flip. The Cubs are very close to
          contending, For next year they need a couple
          of run producers and one top starter and a
          veteran reliever.

        • YourResidentJag

          Problem is…the Rangers should have never signed Andrus to that contract, so you’re point isn’t valid based on that comparison.

          • Cheryl

            Yes, I agree. You don’t want to trade him at this low point if you can help it. But it would sure help if he was given some time off.

    • baldtaxguy

      I don’t understand all the chat about trading Castro. First, ig you really believed that he is now no longer part of your future, his value now is arguably at the lowest. So you want to trade him now?

      Secondly, I’ll do some research first, but trade Castro supporters are seeing his dip in offensive performance this year as the first of its kind for a player? Once you have a 200 hit season, you need to improve on that each and every season, or otherwise you are regressing?

      Now (vs. his first three seasons) his fielding is an issue? If we are now putting such a premium on his defense, why wasn’t he gone years ago? Oh, he was hitting well then, so now it matters?

      This team has a luxury of having a very good, and potentially year-to-year all-star caliber shortstop (he did make the all-star team last year, but needs to do this every season or he is “regressing?”), and after a stretch of 2 bad months we need to trade him…? and now….?

      He is “at a crossroads?”

      For all his mental slip-ups this season, and offensive woes during this stretch, I could not be happier that we have him as our everyday shortstop. Arguably, we have not seen his game all together yet in his career. Once we do, I hope it is as a Cub.

      • Die hard

        Agree— but as a lead off CF

        • Internet Random

          [img]http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/XMLCTkd76eTb/c16a8pBEjaxk.jpg[/img]

        • baldtaxguy

          Maybe down the road that is a possible shift, it is intriguing. Such positional moves (Yount is notable) were done for teams’ needs/strengths at certain positions and the player’s skills changing. I must agree with earlier posts, Castro is very good at judging pop-ups and is virtually playing short left field with Soriano playing on the warning track every at bat. I admit, he likely could be a very good defensive outfielder. But I think the timing of considering such a move would be the result of when a better option at SS presents itself in Chicago, and that is a few years off.

          • Die hard

            Barney can play there creditably until a kid displaces him… Would like to see Castro settle in to new position and then close stance so he’s waiting for the pitch like prior yrs rather than pitch waiting for him causing him not to hit square.. More fastballs may be beating him but he never had problem hitting fastballs when stance more closed

            • Timmy

              the strangest thing is how when fans are faced with how bad the team is, which they’ve repeatedly announced is on purpose, their response is: ‘the team isn’t bad, it’s amazing and ready to contend’. no one believes this who actually watches games.

              • BT

                That IS strange. It’s also completely made up and/or pulled from your rectum. Almost no one believes this team is awesome, or ready to contend. But it helps you make your case I suppose.

                • Die hard

                  first hemmoroids and now rectum pulls– ass-ymetry?

                • MichiganGoat

                  Guys we’ve got to stop replying and engaging these baiting comments.

                  • wvcubsfan

                    you are right, but it’s kind of like not looking at the train wreck.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Look and enjoy just don’t respond it was once fun to call out the asinine comments but it’s only fueling the absurdity.

                  • Cyranojoe

                    Agreed. Feels like the trolling & responding-to-trolls have taken over a considerable portion of the article comments. :( I’ve certainly “contributed”, if you can call it that.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      As have I but now it’s time to ignore what we clearly no are baiting trollish comments and only respond, discuss, and engage the posters that want to have serious, rational, and intelligent conversations.

                    • Scott

                      I tend to look at some of the trolls around here like a racist great-grand parent. They say absurd things and then you feel awkward/laugh/or both, but you can’t change them.

                    • Timmy

                      here come the fanboy censors again. so much for dissenting viewpoints in stalinish cubsdom.

                    • King Jeff

                      And here comes the whining generalist, who does nothing but complain, make blanket criticism, and claim people are picking on him when he does so.

                    • Timmy

                      i make 3 claims applied to different scenarios: 1) the upper management has abandoned its current players on the field, and their coach, 2) the low morale, lack of experience, and team chemistry is hurting the productivity of the players we do have, and 3) owner have artificially lowered our salary base significantly, and this has hurt player development and the team on the field.

                      tell me how this is trolling or negative. negative is our team record, ownership’s relationship with its neighborhood and the mayor, and your reaction to statements of the obvious. this die hard guy is starting to look like a genius compared to some of you.

      • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

        You’re right about trading low, but his defense has been especially brutal this year – by far the worst UZR/150 of his career.

        Still, though, I agree with your overall point. Trying to trade him doesn’t make much sense.

      • Pat

        Not sure why you keep questioning his regressing. He was worse last year than in 11 and worse this year than last year. I don’t believe he should be traded, but there is certainly an argument that can be made in favor of it.

  • RoscoeVillageFan

    Not sure why folks like Porcello so much. Plenty of other SPs I’d rather have

  • Die hard

    Girardi gets my vote for manager of year if Yanks keep this up using smoke and mirrors of small ball and good bullpen… Small ball would’ve been strategy to be employed by Cubs given weaknesses … Still time to do so

  • Jp3

    Between the Obsessive Garza watch and the Kris Bryant game of chicken I’m finding it hard to not be on this site and be productive.

  • Die hard

    Tigers may have other needs soon too– like a Nutri-systems sign up incentive — looks like Fielder and Cabrera each weigh 300 lbs… Pretty soon the Tigers will the Lions

  • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

    Cubs will be in playoffs in 2014, they need to
    sign 3-4 free agents. Then look at the minor
    league team that is a year or a few away.
    LF Soler
    CF Almora
    RF Jimenez (a few more years away)
    3B Bryant
    SS Baez
    2B Alcantera
    1B Vogelbach
    P Blackburn,Johnson,Cabrera,Zystrnysky
    Future looks good.

    • Timmy

      This is a plausibly good team, but it’s more like 2018. Kids don’t just come up at age 20 with no mature team leaders in the middle and win. In fact, without team anchors younger players tend to lose valuable development time. That’s why we’ll trade Castro and Rizzo in the offseason. They were just bandaids while Theo looks to well into the future, and were never considered serious building blocks.

      • Internet Random

        [img]http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/XMLCTkd76eTb/287c034746efc6c5d3a66ea9c46ee8e3.jpg[/img]

        • Timmy

          depictions of trolls like this have anti-semitic origins, you know…

          • Internet Random

            Case in point.

        • Die hard

          Now we know what you look like- thanks!

  • Satch Dobrey

    Garza is a clown. Give him away, please! Addition by subtraction. He represents all that is ridiculous in the Cubs mentality. Only when they are swept clean of all the clowns in the organization can they start to build a competitive ball club.

    • Jp3

      What??? If you told me he’d throw 200+ innings the next few years I wouldn’t trade him for anything short of 2 stud prospects…

    • X the Cubs Fan

      How is he a clown I would love to see your explanation because on game day there’s no one more serious.

      • Satch Dobrey

        Shaving cream pie in the face in the middle of an interview with WGN is not only childish but clownish. Embarrassing to watch. Trade him fast before he gets hurt again.

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          Because that never happens in the MLB anywhere… I’ve never seen a shaving cream pie in the face in the middle of an interview….

          • Satch Dobrey

            Travis Wood was not laughing…Garza does this every time and it was never funny but keeps the luvable cubby mystique alive and well. Sickening…

        • wvcubsfan

          Yeah, I totally agree. Every minute of every day of the long MLB season should be treated with the utmost sincerity. There can’t be any room for humor or levity on my favorite team. The front office should absolutely get rid of any player that tries to keep the atmosphere in the club house loose or fun.

    • frank

      You’ve got to be either kidding or trolling–or you have not been paying attention.

  • cubchymyst

    Looking at Castro’s stats for this year compared to past years. His batted ball percentages are right in line with his career norm so when he makes contact. He is swinging percentage for pitches outside the zone is lower then past years so he his taking more balls. The problem is his contact is down on pitches in the zone (yes, that is in the zone). Pitchers are attacking him differently (throwing more fast balls) and he need to make adjustment. Scouts and coaches have said that his physical skills have not changed so he still has the ability to be a league average hitter, which is great for a shortstop. Keep him, let him make the adjustments and leave him at shortstop.

    • Timmy

      This is exactly right. He’s doing worse because the team is built to fail, and he has less opportunities to hit. This is by design and Theo’s race to the bottom is having dire effects upon player development.

      • baldtaxguy

        Not sure whether you actually believe this and are simply trying to garner reaction. But…I’ll bite. You think Castro has less “opportunities to hit” this year vs. years past? Can you explain why?

        • Timmy

          no one is pitching to him because the lineup is so weak from top to bottom, and he’s built to make contact with a usual register of pitches. he’s not tony gwynn, but he can hit 300 with the right support.

          • Hansman1982

            So either Rizzo/Soriano behind him or Valbuena/Schierholtz isn’t enough protection for a 15-20 HR hitter? I’d challenge you to back up the protection claim with a breakdown of in the zone and out of the zone pitches.

            My guess is it’d be close to his career number.

          • Rich H

            Actual if you look at contact rate a young Tony Gwynn is a good comparison. His swing and miss rate is elevated this year because of his change in mentality. He is failing at recognizing the driveable pitches because he has the voices in his head yelling….. “BE SELECTIVE DAMN IT.” When that voice becomes more of a whisper and less of a scream you are going to see a quantum leap as far as his development. The only question is will his mistakes make that voice keep getting louder until it finally causes damage.

            I do not know anyone that can take all the stress of being the next anything when all the people around them are trying to change them from being the first Castro. As many famous leaders have pointed out we learn more from our mistakes and defeats than from our victories. Why don’t we just let the kid make his mistakes and become the best Castro he can be instead of constantly degrading what it is he does.

            • Timmy

              great post, and more reason to give him a team to work with instead of constantly trying to dismantle it to slightly improve statistical variance.

          • baldtaxguy

            So you never really answered my question, so I’ll infer from your response – you feel this year’s lineup is the weakest lineup top to bottom, compared to the last 3 seasons? Do you have support for that?

            • Timmy

              It’s just as weak as past years, but it’s also stale and sliding due to negative momentum. That’s the morale problem I keep alluding to. These guys hate playing for the Cubs now. They’ve been told they wont compete for years, that the park is going to be altered, and that they’re movable trade chips and not valued contributors. It’s a bad situation all around and in every way. Let’s hope in 5 years Theo’s plan miraculously changes our *new dugout culture, which he inherited as negative, which he’s turned into despairing, into an optimistic time. We could all use it and so far the owners have done all they can to attack the fans, which isn’t helping.

              • wvcubsfan

                You do realize that playing a game is actually a job for these guys right?

                Are you old enough to be a full time employee? If so do you have great morale at your office? If you don’t perform to an expected level do you think your boss will replace you with someone who can?

                MLB, unfortunately, has become a big business and players aren’t there for the love of the game nor is there any loyalty between the player and the team or the team and the player. As much as I may not like it that’s just the way it is the the real world in 2013.

                • Timmy

                  thank you, yes i think this is a problem for the cubs. exactly what you say here. i just don’t feel complicit about it.

              • baldtaxguy

                You appear to have conceded that the lineup is similar to that of prior years as far as relative strength, or lack of.

                So Castro has had less “opportunities to hit” this year vs. past years because of a morale problem this year and the lineup hates playing for the Cubs?

                I’m really trying to understand your point. Help me.

        • MichiganGoat

          It’s just bait

          • Timmy

            it would behoove you to actually challenge with an argument sometimes instead of throwing tin cans, goat

      • cubchymyst

        His play has nothing to due with the rest of the team. His average should be lower this year compared to past years because of the increase in strike outs. But the strikeouts alone do not account for his lower average this year. The reason is average is so low is because his singles are down. His doubles are actually on pace to match his career high.

        • Timmy

          you have everything right but the reason why all of this has happened. there’s a reason this was formed as a team sport, not a player WAR metrics sport.

          • cubchymyst

            At what point did I mention WAR? I have only talked about Castro’s walks, strike outs, and hits and all of those are individual stats. In baseball there are stats that require a team effort (Wins, RBIs, Runs, etc.) and their are stats that talk about individual performance and all of the numbers I have talked about give insight on individual performance.

            I gave the reason for Castro’s performance change in my initial post, pitchers are attacking him differently and he needs to make an adjustment. Pitchers are attacking him differently because of his past success or failure on certain pitches not because of how the team is performing this year. I highly doubt that the coaching staff has not told Castro that teams are attacking him differently. It is up to the individual player to adjust to how pitchers are attacking them not the coaches (nor the rest of the team).

            • Timmy

              some good points here, but i still think lineup, morale, and chemistry are key to consistency and wins. the history of baseball says so, the past 5 years of stats nerds don’t. i’m going to go with history.

              • mjhurdle

                you aren’t alone. There are plenty of people in this world that choose to ignore things like stats and facts in favor of an idealistic historical viewpoints.

                • Timmy

                  this comment i love. we’ve pointed out a genuine point of departure in baseball philosophies. players as parts, stats, and objects, vs baseball pre-2000 based in team play, local heroes, loyalty, hard work, and genuine satisfaction when a team wins because you were with the _players_ from the beginning. i’m not even sure what half of you are rooting for anymore since we have a revolving door policy.

                  • DarthHater

                    This just shows that you don’t understand sabermetrics. Half of it is trying to develop more accurate measurements of what each player actually contributes to team success. Sabermetrics also identifies the flaws in stats that, for many decades, have promoted stardom for some players who really did not contribute as much to their teams as misleading stats indicated. Another important part is assessing the real contribution to team success of strategies like stealing and sacrifice bunting in various situations.

                    • Timmy

                      at best i think this is correct, that quantification is a tool. but it also becomes the sole decision making process these days. so you get teams like the cubs and dodgers who chase WAR and then die. and you get teams with 50m payrolls like pitt and tampa build around chemistry and win.

                      the result of this new stats focus is that players have become so expendable that a team rarely has an identity. the unfortunate result is that cubs fans root for GMs and owners instead of their own team, because there’s no actual team left to support.

                    • Die hard

                      You forgot that also eliminates favoritism in decision making on whether to keep or cut a player… Too often players kept around cause ” good clubhouse ” guy which I could never understand– does that mean he picks up his towels off the floor and flushes the toilet ?

              • frank

                People talk about protection in the lineup, but that has less impact than people think, at least the way the game is played today. Pitchers will more often pitch to either their own strengths or a batter’s weaknesses regardless of who’s next in the order. Does it help to have a “Murderer’s Row”? Sure, to an extent. But if a batter is weak on the inner half, that’s what you throw whether Mickey Stanley or Mickey Mantle is next in the order.

                • X the Cubs Fan

                  It is a big deal because if there is no one that can hit behind you they can just pitch around you and risk a walk without consequence that’s why 8 hitters may get walked so much in the NL.

                • frank

                  In fact, if your argument is correct, as one of the only players who can hurt you in the lineup, he’d likely be receiving a lot more intentional walks than he is.

                • Timmy

                  this conclusion is exactly support for my reasoning. that protection leads to pitchers not exclusively focusing on batters’ weak zones, and more willing to compete with a guy. castro just has no chance at this point, neither does rizzo. and it’s what general management wants so we can get more draft picks.

                  • Hansman1982

                    So the conclusion that pitchers care little about the next batter (outside of hilariously terrible hitters, such as pitchers) supports your position that pitchers are pitching around Castro because theo wants the team to succeed?

                  • cubchymyst

                    The percentage of pitches Castro is seeing as strikes and balls this year are consistent with that of every year prior.

                  • Timmy

                    look, we can argue that it’s not important to have experienced talented players on the team because a statistic seems similar to a past year’s statistic somewhere. but does this even make sense anymore?

                    • cubchymyst

                      No one will argue that it is not important to have experienced talented players on a team. The thing with Castro is that his performance this year is not dictated by the players around him. A break down of the pitches thrown to him says Castro has seen more fastballs this year compared to past. How does player protection explain a player getting more fastballs when he has no protection?

  • Die hard

    If Dodgers so desperate for intl cap $$$ there is nothing to prevent them from trading Marmol to a team willing to give up some of this booty … Marmol could go down in history as Mr Intl Cap … He could be passed around team to team for cap which could make him more valuable this way than a relief pitcher …. But if team willing to make him starter they may have a quality innings eater for many years

  • rockin’ dawg

    An innings-eater with a 5.75 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP.

    • Die hard

      As a reliever—- he’s like a thoroughbred asked to pull a plow— turn him loose and let him run thru the lineup 3 times like he did with success in the minors

      • http://the-billy-goat.mlblogs.com Cubs_Questions

        Marmol does not have the stuff in his arsenal anymore that would allow him to run through lineups. He’s walked 6.1 batter per nine innings in his career, including 7.3 BB/9 when he was in the Cubs rotation for 13 starts in 2006.

        In addition to those walks, he gives up base hits now, which is something he was always good at eluding (4.8 H/9 from 2007-10, 6.9 H/9 since and 8.5 H/9 in 2013). He just does not miss bats like he used to.

        Unless he can figure it out as a reliever, his career is as good as done.

        • Die hard

          Again-As a reliever- give him 2 months to stretch out and work on 3rd pitch — he will contribute as starter cause he’s got great arm

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