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mlb logoAn impromptu tour around the bigs, prompted mostly by …

  • Awful news out of New York: pitching phenom Matt Harvey has a partially torn UCL (yes, that’s the ligament associated with Tommy John surgery), and is going to be shut down for the rest of the year. The folks involved will soon decide whether Harvey needs surgery, which would end his 2014 season as well. Although his performance has been eclipsed by Clayton Kershaw’s historic season, and his “story line” (rare, youthful success) had started to erode thanks to the righty in Florida who is three years Harvey’s junior, Matt Harvey was one of the best stories of the season. He was dominant and fun, and magnified by the New York lens. He was also something on which fans of rebuilding teams could hang their hat – maybe someday, those fans dreamt, we can have our Harvey blow up! I am bummed for Mets fans, and bummed for baseball. I really enjoyed watching Harvey. (And his spot on Jimmy Fallon was funny as hell.)
  • There is a serious rift between Angels manager Mike Scioscia and GM Jerry DiPoto, per Jeff Passan and others. It seems likely that one or the other will be gone after the year, and Scioscia is under contract through 2018(!). The narrative is that DiPoto is a “stats” guy, and Scioscia is an “old school” guy, but it could just be the case that you’ve got a horrible mix of personalties – including overly-involved owner Arte Moreno – that all contributed to putting together a crummy roster. Throw in some bad luck, and you’ve got a very expensive underachiever. Heads usually roll in those situations.
  • Those Angels problems date further back than this year, too. Scott Miller reports that Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols almost came to blows last year amidst a dysfunctional clubhouse. BUY ALL THE PLAYERS not only doesn’t always work, sometimes it blows up in the face of what you already have.
  • Grant Brisbee dispenses with the mini-controversy about Ichiro’s 4,000 hits between Japan and MLB by determining how many hits he would have had in the States had he played in MLB for his entire career. Brisbee’s calculation comes up with something just shy of 3900, but that’s not as much fun as reading how he got there.
  • If you make a commercial with baseball as the backdrop, you better make damn well sure it’s within certain boundaries of reality – lest Cespedes Family BBQ smack you down.
  • Mr. B. Patient

    Re: Matt Harvey.

    With the frequency of this happening, this is why the FO tends to like position players high in the draft. This should put the Bryant vs Gray debate is perspective.

    With the frequency of this happening, those who want to trade Baez/Almora/Soler for Price should take a step back.

    • Scotti

      The problem with this line of thought is that you then have to go out and acquire top pitching talent through free agency (or get really, really lucky with lower picks in the draft). That means you are spending 100′s of millions on top free agent pitchers who are almost as likely to get injured as their younger counterparts.

      Instead, the team should draft (US) and sign (international) pitchers with high upside (when drafting this means high in the draft) and then sign position players to large contracts because A) position players get hurt far less frequently and B) position players will return value even when injured/old.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        I’m not saying you never make trades for, or draft, high end starting pitching, I’m just pointing out that it comes with significant higher risk. In the draft, you only pick the pitcher if he is clearly better than the position guy. When making trades, I wouldn’t send top prospects unless the pitcher is the guy who puts you over the top. I just don’t see Price being that guy at this point.

        • Scotti

          Individual pitchers via trade or free agency are obviously individual decisions (i.e. To Price Or Not To Price). However, consistently avoiding pitchers high in the draft FORCES the hand of a given FO to prioritize top pitchers through trade or free agency and, thus, the god awful expense and risk of either (trade or draft). That is unless a team is exceedingly lucky in its drafting lower in the draft (luck is never a good plan).

      • gocatsgo2003

        I don’t think that’s true, as it is a matter of draft money allocation as much as anything else. As we have seen recently, the current front office is much more likely to take a position player earlier in the draft (where he is able/likely to demand more of a signing bonus) before filling out much of the rest of the draft with pitchers. Due to the relative “hit” rates between position players and pitchers, the front office therefore believes it is more likely to “hit” on its more expensive players (e.g. position players) and compensates for the relatively lower “hit” rate amongst pitching prospects by taking the “quantity over quality” approach.

        • Scotti

          gocatsgo, you are referencing the draft in isolation. Of course pitchers have a lower hit rate in the draft. They also have a lower hit rate in free agency and for most of the same reasons. The problem is that top pitchers COST exponentially more in free agency and an injured pitcher on the MLB level is FAR more costly than an injured position player. Take Soriano as an example. He hurt his knee in his second season (one of, if not the, worst injuries for a position player) and he was a bad, but contributing, player while he recuperated. Had that same free agent money gone to a pitcher who busted his arm (a very frequent occurrence) in his second season you’d be very lucky to get crap the rest of the way through the contract. If it’s “just” TJ then you lose 12-18 months and likely a recovery year. That could have a negative impact on 2-4 seasons. And that’s being “lucky.”

          Again, lose on a high draft pick and you lose $3-5 million max (way down from a few years ago). Lose on a top free agent pitcher–IF he makes it to the market–and you could lose $100 million or more (and going UP). If you TRADE for that young pitcher (Price) you lose some top prospects AND tons of money.

          • EQ76

            If only we can clone Verlander.

            • Scotti

              Verlander is a great point. Teams with even moderate resources just don’t let guys like that walk. Detroit didn’t and he cost them $28 million per year for his 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 years. And that isn’t the whole contract and it wasn’t full price. Dudes like that, Price, Lincecum, etc. get ridden HARD by their drafting team then make free agency if they fall of the mountain.

              Cubs actually drafted Lincecum late in 2003 but the Cubs didn’t pony up enough to deter him from going to college.

          • Kyle

            The draft pick costs you more than money. It costs you the pick itself.

            You can sign as many free agents as you can afford (well, there are some limits, but they rarely become an issue). Draft picks are much more scarce.

            • Scotti

              You can pay all you want in free agency but you can’t sign Verlander. You don’t want to sign Lincecum. David Price won’t hit the market but his contract will look like he did (and you’ll have to cough up plenty of really, really good prospects for the opportunity).

              Matt Garza WILL be available. Anibal Sanchez was available. But, in both cases, their current teams had to trade away valuable prospects to get them (C.J. Edwards will shoot up the rankings and Jacob Turner was top 20ish). And, even though they are considered the cream for their respective free agent crops, those guys are not top tier guys (even with Sanchez having a good year).

              If you want a top-tier guy then you draft him or force yourself to pay d e a r l y for him and then hope against hope he doesn’t get injured or regress.

          • gocatsgo2003

            … isn’t all of that evidence that it’s better to build a deep foundation of pitching (both in the rotation and out of the bullpen) from within your own system rather than signing free agents to top dollar contracts?

            • Scotti

              Yup. And the way to do THAT is to include the high first round pick where a lot of the top talent resides (Verlander #2 overall, Lincecum 10th, Price 1st overall, etc.). Sign those guys to free agent contracts and you’re likely to be disappointed.

              • gocatsgo2003

                The other pitchers drafted in the first round of the MLB draft? Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann, Mark Rogers, Jeremy Sowers, Homer Bailey, Wade Townsend, Thomas Diamond, Jered Weaver, Bill Bray, David Purcey, Scott Elbert, Chris Lambert, Glen Perkins, Phil Hughes, Kyle Waldrop, Taylor Tankersley, Matthew Campbell, and Eric Hurley. Add in the supplemental round and you get JP Howell, Zach Jackson, Justin Orenduff, Tyler Lumsden, Matt Fox, Gio Gonzalez, Jay Rainville, Huston Street, and Jeff Marquez. Even in the 2004 draft (which is considered to have produced a BUNCH of MLB pitching), there are still a ton of guys on that lise on whom you go “who?”

                The point being that you’re still more likely to get a MLB player at a position with that big money, which is where the front office has decided to allocate their resources at the top end of the draft.

                • Scotti

                  “The other pitchers drafted in the first round of the (2004) MLB draft?”

                  Look at the top of that draft. Matt Bush. Bush or Verlander? If you’re going to allow a philosophy to keep you from Verlander in that draft then you’ve got a bad philosophy.

                  Many teams draft based on other than just talent and Bush was one of those picks (easy sign and cheap). In the same vein, many of those college arms were drafted because they were deemed “quick to the majors” (and that they were for all that that meant). Not a philosophy I espouse. But if you believe in your scouts (and we have some great ones), and you are willing to pay for best value, then taking arms early in the draft can save you hundreds of millions later on.

                  Anyone can play, Look what draft pick did well after so and so was drafted. Not the point here. The point is doing what you can in the draft to avoid wasting hundreds of millions chasing after top tier pitchers later on.

                  “The point being that you’re still more likely to get a MLB player at a position with that big money…”

                  What “big money?” Big money is spending $200,000,000.00 on a top tier pitcher in free agency based on what he did in the past and watching them decline rapidly. Spend that money on a top tier position player. MLB position players hold their value much better than MLB pitchers.

              • gocatsgo2003

                As another example, look at 2005, where Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, and Jay Bruce all went in the top 12 picks. I know individual years don’t prove a pattern at all, but I think both of these years are insights into the larger pattern that is shaping the thoughts of Theo and Jed.

                • Scotti

                  I hope that the Cubs FO philosophy isn’t shaped by a handful of recent drafts. I agree that they differ with me but I’m inclined to believe that it has more to do with not wanting to be wrong on a draft pick (via injury) than any handful of drafts. For me, I’d rather be wrong on a top pick because of injury than on a big time free agent because of injury. But, of course, I’m not Theo and the press/fans won’t get on my ass for missing on “my” number one pick.

                  • gocatsgo2003

                    I think we are saying roughly the same thing, but I don’t think Theo is likely to spend that kind of dough on a pitcher at any point.

  • YourResidentJag

    It’s amazing how many people don’t recognize Matt Harvey interviewing them and even after there’s a baseball picture right there of him during the interviewing. Funny indeed. :)

    • A.J.

      I must say, your picture of Modern Woodman ( I still call it John O’Donnell) is exquisite!

      • YourResidentJag

        Thanks!

  • Jon

    Does this put a damper on the Mets plans to trade us Noah Synderguard for Starlin Castro this offseason?

    • On The Farm

      We get it, you don’t think the Mets would even entertain a trade of Syndergaard for Castro.

      • Jon

        It’s even more hilarious, because the actual arguments being used as for why the Mets would agree to such an assinine trade is that because they already have Harvey and Wheeler at the top of their rotation…whoops!

        • On The Farm

          Do I need to post the names of young SP who have bounced back from TJ like Strasburg and Liriano, or should I just point out the success of Matt Garza when he had a ligament issue and never had to have the TJ surgery. The Cubs need pitching just as much as the Mets need hitting, but just so you know we aren’t laughing with you, we are laughing at you.

          • gocatsgo2003

            To which I would retort that the list of players who have failed after having TJ/elbow issues is a LOT longer, but we haven’t heard of many/most of those guys. Which is kind of the point.

            • gutshot5820

              To be fair the list of players included that have failed after Tommy John surgery probably includes players that would have sucked anyways or would have eventually sucked. A better comparison would be to look at the ratio of success of players after TS compared to the normal range. If that makes any sense.

      • DarthHater

        Dead horse, here comes another beating…

    • mjhurdle

      They can’t trade Syndergaard this off-season because that would interfere with his enshrinement him to the HoF.

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      It just means they plug in Rafael Montero 1 year sooner than they planned and still could trade Syndergaard if the right deal is presented.

  • savant

    My fantasy team has lost Heyward and Harvey in less than a week.

    • On The Farm

      Sorry to hear. Might as well go and pick up Rusin then.

  • Bacboris

    Just in case this helps anyone else (either to quiet conspiracists or due to their own schadenfreude). http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/08/26/report-worst-team-in-baseball-set-to-become-most-profitable-in-mlb-history/

    • Scotti

      From the actual Forbes content:

      “Although Crane is making money off of the old formula now, he could make even more if he ups payroll and fields a team good enough to draw fans back to the ballpark — and more importantly, back to their television sets.”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2013/08/26/2013-houston-astros-baseballs-worst-team-is-most-profitable-in-history/2/

      It’s a good read. If you extrapolate that to the Cubs you see that they ultimately make more profit if they are winning but, also, perhaps a reason for losing is, in part, to create an incentive for their Comcast SportsNet Chicago partners to let them buy out of the deal prior to 2020.

  • Cheryl

    Some questions as we approach the off-season: With all the changes on the cubs roster and attendance being down this year I wonder how the cubs will fare next year? Is there a chance that some of the highly touted minor league players will make the 2014 team? If so, which ones? Will the cubs’ attendance bounce back or are we still in a holding pattern until 2015?

    • Cheryl

      P.S.: And will Sweum be back next year?

      • Mr. B. Patient

        As far as Sveum. I would hope not, but in my opinion, the determination on Sveum should be dependent on how many prospects come up. I don’t want him anywhere near our top guys.

        • mick

          Mr. B You are a genius. Please Theo, get Rob Deer-alias Rob Dibble and Sveum out of this organization. We can put up their statues at a later date after Wrigley remodel done.

    • mick

      No Cheryl, he will not . He will be a male model for the Gillette corp. Also substitute weatherman on WGN.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Consensus seems to be we’ll see Baez around June. It’s possible Olt could break camp with the Cubs, if he gets his health/career back on track. Look for Alcanatara, Bryant and Soler to be in the Sept call-up conversation.

      • Danny Ballgame

        I would like to see Ha break with the big club as well.

        • mick

          I just hope the Cubs protect Ha. Toolsy player without much publicity.

          • Danny Ballgame

            He could be a nice sleeper in the organization

            • EQ76

              Ha?? why’s everybody laughing?

              • mick

                Na. He was in our outfield with Ha for a couple yrs until we traded him. Forgot where he went.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  San Diego.

                  • mick

                    Thanks Luke. On days they would be in lineup together everybody would be smiling. Ha could not speak English but he had memorized a few karaoke songs and would sing them anywhere with a nice voice. Hope we can keep him–still young.

          • Kyle

            He can’t hit.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              I think he’ll hit enough to be a defense first reserve outfielder type.

            • Jason P

              He hit plenty in AA for an extra outfielder. It hasn’t translated to AAA thus far, but lets give him at least another year to see if that happens. His defense, even in center, is awesome. He’s the only one in the system who’s outfield defense can rival Almora’s.

            • gocatsgo2003

              While nobody is going to confuse him for Mickey Mantle, a .256/.320/.372 combined AA-AAA line and .243/.288/.374 at AAA isn’t TERRIBLE for a guy expected to be glove-first at the big league level. His last 28 days at AAA have also been .277/.320/.447, so hopefully there’s some progress taking place as well.

              • mick

                Smart player with a couple injuries of late–have no doubt that he will see mlb time in future–maybe not us.

                • Jason P

                  Ha reminds me of a slightly better hitting version of Sam Fuld.

  • Gutshot5820

    I cannot understand people who constantly complain and spout that “buy all the players” does not always work. “Buy all the players” may not always work, but is a hell of a lot better than having cheap owners.

    Give me “BUY ALL THE PLAYERS” anyday, consequences be damned. Of course this is assuming you have a competent FO making the decisions.

    • CubsFaninMS

      If you look at profitability metrics, “BUY NONE OF THE PLAYERS” looks to be working quite well for the Houston Astros, expecting to profit $99 mil this year. It wouldn’t shock me if the Commissioner took a gander into this.

    • Gutshot5820

      I recall everyone on this board, constantly using the Dodgers as a prime example of why BUY ALL THE PLAYERS does not work. Duh, I guess it works sometimes. Yes, the Angels have failed and made gloriously bad decisions, but the Dodgers turned their franchise around in one year. That’s what big market teams do.

      The Cub fans are stuck with small market tactics.because the owner is too cheap to dig into his pockets.

      • gocatsgo2003

        Clarification: that’s what big market teams with absurdly lucrative new TV deals do.

        • Gutshot5820

          Regardless, BUY ALL THE PLAYERS does work, and it is ridiculous to keep using a few teams with bad management as examples of why it sometimes does not. I just get annoyed at people who keep writing and reminding us that BUY ALL THE PLAYERS sometimes does not work, as if to brainwash us and to appease us into thinking the current course of action was the ONLY and smartest way to a winning team.

          • hansman1982

            Ahhh, but you are lumping two disctinct strategies into one. The Angels pursued FA far more heavily than the Dodgers. The Dodgers also targeted a couple 20-something starting pitchers and a 20-something OF as their big FA spending. THAT is the smart way to BUY ALL THE PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!! not chasing 30+ year old free agents.

            • mick

              The Angels is one of my favorite organizations here in Tempe–doing all the right things with development. Then they go nutso with two ticking timebombs like Hamilton and Pujols. So today either the G.M. or Sociaso or both will be fired. Mike has a long term contract but wishful thinking that Cubs could hire him.

            • Gutshot5820

              Agreed. But in hindsight, there were a lot of moves the Cubs could have made if they were willing to fork over the cash that would have sped up the re-building process immensely. So either the FO and scouting dept are bad at their jobs and improperly valued players such as Darvish, Cespedes, Pui, Ryu, etc whom are all outperforming their contracts(by a large margin) or the owner was too cheap to provide the money to make the proper investment to sign the players.

              Based on recent reports, the owners were too cheap and this current decade long re-building process was the only course of action Theo had. Looks like Ricketts wants every profitable dollar maximized before he expands payroll. Not saying that is bad and he has every right. Just as a fan, there are a lot of billionaire owners out there that are willing to do whatever even if it sometimes means you have to take a loss occasionally to jumpstart the franchise. The Ricketts, obviously are not one of those type of owners. They want every penny accounted for before spending a dime.

              Our biggest free agent aquisition…wait for it… Edwin Jackson. PUKE/BARF. Thanks Ricketts.

              • gocatsgo2003

                Well… Darvish has continued his torrid pace, but there’s also the concept espoused by Scotti above; Cespedes has an OPS+ of 99 this year, so it’s not like he is playing otherworldly baseball; Puig has been playing lights out, for sure, but let’s see how sustainable his performance and reckless playing style really are; Ryu has been a really nice story, but sustaining that performance may be the issue.

                The greater point is that it is quite easy to point to the guys who have worked — hey! Did you know Yaiel Puig is pretty good at baseball? — but much more difficult to point out the big money spendings that haven’t worked, simply because we don’t really know about them. At this stage in our team’s development, our front office is more worried about limiting the downside rather than maximizing the downside.

                PS — EJax has not been nearly as bad this year as many people think. Maddeningly inconsistent, sure, but his peripherals show a much better performance than most are willing to give credit (e.g. a 3.80 xFIP, 3.59 FIP, etc.).

                • cubfanincardinalland

                  Edwin Jackson is sabermetrics worst nightmare. In the real world, he has been horseshit. Period.

                  • gocatsgo2003

                    If more advanced tools are available than the “traditional” pitching metrics (e.g. W-L, ERA, etc.), why not use in the analysis of pitchers? Or are we falling back on “my eyes are the only scouting tool I need!”?

                • Hansman1982

                  Nonsense, I have an excel spreadsheet chock full of free agents that didn’t work. There’s a thread about it on the message board.

                  Before this season GMs spent $11M per WAR obtained through free agency. Ill update it this offseason and dig much deeper into it but most 3-5 year contracts blow chunks.

            • Kyle

              For the purposes of this conversation, there’s not much practical difference between taking on a huge contract in a trade and signing a free agent.

            • YourResidentJag

              And yet the fact remains that the Dodgers were mocked, intentionally or not, here. And probably by you as well, Hansman.

      • Scotti

        “The Cub fans are stuck with small market tactics.because the owner is too cheap to dig into his pockets.

        The method the Cubs have chosen is costing this owner $100 million plus per year (vs. what the team would be making of contending). That isn’t a cheap owner–it’s one who believes in investment. One can criticize whether this is the right plan for a large market team but to call TR and family cheap is just missing facts that are well laid out here on nearly a daily basis.

        • SenorGato

          Now that the direction has been firmly established I love what the Ricketts’ have done. For what’s being done the money is going into all the right places, and I’m expecting huge things going into the next decade.

  • MightyBear

    Sad to see about Harvey. I hate the Mets but I enjoyed watching him pitch and he is good for baseball. Always sad to see a young kid have arm problems. First thing I always think about now is Prior. Is he going to be another Prior? I hope not.

  • Patrick W.

    Thanks to linking to Cespedes Family BBQ. I like what that guy’s doing over there.

  • Jon

    “BUY ALL THE PLAYERS” might not always work, but interesting to pick a case like Angels. Of course you could point to the Dodgers, Boston, and Detroit, all with top 5 payrolls. At some point you have to spend money.

    • mick

      Exactly, our development is fairly exciting but when the buses un-load during fall instructs or Arizona fall league–out pops these big stud prospects of Cincy, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Oakland, Milwaukee, Colorado, Seattle, Rangers, Angels, San Diego, and it can deflate you a bit. And this is just teams within 15 to 50 minute drive here in Phoenix. Only then you realize the day approaches when our G.M. has to go after the expensive free agent–that we will not be out-growing other teams easily.

      • gocatsgo2003

        With the exception of the Dodgers, pretty much all of those teams have focused on using a slow and steady approach focusing on the development of their own prospects rather than big ticket free agent signings. Theo has not been shy about saying he is willing to spend the money (i) when the player in question is worth such an investment and (ii) the revenue streams are there to back up such a significant outlay of cash.

        • YourResidentJag

          I’d remove the Tigers from that statement as well.

  • ssckelley

    Curious if anyone knows if veterans are less likely or just as likely to have arm problems and end up with TJ surgery? I have always thought, perhaps incorrectly, that younger pitchers are more of a risk because of incorrect techniques and being not used to the strain of a 162 game season. Where as veteran pitchers have usually been corrected and are used to the wear and tear.

    • Kyle

      I can’t speak to TJS surgery specifically, but in general the risk of catrastrophic injury or lack of effectiveness is huge at 22 and before, then valleys in the 23-26 range, then slowly climbs back up the rest of a pitcher’s career.

      The early peak is because the muscular structure is still developing, then later in the career wear-and-tear comes into play.

      • ssckelley

        Then drafting a college pitcher over a HS pitcher is safer?

        • Kyle

          Absolutely yes. Always has been.

    • Drew7

      Kyle frequently refers to the “Injury Nexus” for young pitchers. My understanding of it boils down to this:

      1) The older the pitcher, the lower the odds of an arm-related injury, as long as said pitcher has remained injury-free.

      2) Once one arm-related injury has occurred, the chances of an subsequent injury are exponentially higher.

      • jj

        Is there a selection bias – for example, by age 27 to 30 MLB has weeded out a lot of pitchers, leaving the hardy few.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Isn’t that kind of the point?

          • jj

            Not if we use the number to assess risk of injury across years for a single pitcher. We have a larger pool of pitchers earlier in their 20s, the smaller pool of post 27 is made up of healthy pitchers. The risk of injury for the pitcher who,remained healthy, for whatever reason (build, mechanics, luck) was, in fact low (for the same reason). Really, all this tells us is that a percentage of young pitchers get hurt. Those that dont will see increasing odds of injury as they age.

      • Kyle

        The “once an injury has occurred, the odds of future injury go up exponentially” is a different thing from the injury nexus, but both are true.

        The injury nexus is the period from about 20-22, when a pitcher is trying to train his arm to throw 200 professional innings a year but his muscular structure is still developing, leading to an insanely high injury rate in those years.

    • jt

      I just googled why pitchers ‘risk of catrastrophic injury or lack of effectiveness is huge at 22 and before” from Kyle’s post and got:
      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1658
      seems to make sense to me

  • Aaron

    Last season, pitching in Triple A and with the Mets, Harvey tossed 169 ⅓ innings. Already this season, he’s thrown 178 ⅓ innings over 26 starts with big club and another 30+ innings in the minors. That’s alot of innings for such a promising young power arm. Looks like the Mets, who are devastated with the partially-torn UCL news, were a bit too late in limiting his innings pitched.

    Mark Prior threw 116 innings in 2002 for the Cubs. He then threw 211 innings in 2003. Prior was never the same after that.

    I hope Harvey recovers well from his upcoming surgery and will once again be a top major league pitcher again.

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

      Innings? Probably not…If that amount of innings is considered a lot, well, then we best go to a 6-man rotation to limit innings. Right?

      Isn’t the leverage of the situation, how hard one works when in crisis, that matters more?

      What is the right equation? 100 pitches? 6 innings? Some complex equation no one has yet to figure out?[img]http://www.brooksbaseball.net/cache/fc36575e6bca5bd86fa70739b3c0f58a.gif[/img]

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

        And they have created models, but it is no guarantee…just a range of factors to project breakdown

        Thus the maxim: ‘You can never have enough pitching.” Cos it is always just a arm/shoulder injury away from being useless…for a period of months if not 1 1/2 seasons.

        Harvey did not loose his release point late in games recently, a predictor of problems, if this web tool is correct:

        [img]http://www.baseballheatmaps.com/graph/cache/lj06aa4h3iqn1tl2kldghcgp92injuryindex.png[/img]

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

    Harvey: Here’s hoping he doesn’t turn into a Mark Prior pumpkin…

  • cubfanincardinalland

    What would the Cubs record be this season with these players on the roster. Dempster, Victorino, Napoli, Stephen Drew, Uehara, Gomes. Combined WAR 17. 49 million this year in salary, total contracts 93 million(40 mil. more than just for Jackson).
    You can go out and get players.
    By the way, the Red Sox won 69 games last year.

    • jj

      Hmm. Napoli, Drew, Gomes, Victorino play the positions of Rizzo, Castro, Soriano, and Schierholtz. Offensively, Cubs were roughly equal for less money than these 4 Red Sox. Only Victorino’s defense adds great value, at $11M more than Schierholtz. Also, I suspect Theo would have been firedif he dumped Rizzo and Castro for Napoli and Drew.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        You miss the point. Sitting around waiting for 23 year old and less players and prospects to become impact players has to be combined with proven quality players. Or become the Astros, royals, twins, etc.

        • jj

          I understood your point, but if you argue the Cubs should have done more on the MLB roster (eg Kyle’s arguments) it should be incumbent on you to showsome better decisions that cpuld reasonably have been made. Your suggested position player changes would not have improved the team much in 2013, would have cost more (diverting funds from other areas), and would harm the future by sitting core young players including a two-time AllStar SS at age 23.

  • sittingupmud

    There seem to be a lot of fans who expect the Cubs to “go out and get players,” without ever specifying who those players would be, exactly. And they gloss over the fact that we did go out and get Schierholtz, Navarro, Jackson, Feldman, and Hairston.

    And really, we’re not winning because we didn’t drop Castro for Stephen Drew, or Rizzo for Napoli?

    • cub2014

      After reviewing I noticed that a lot of the top hitters who
      made it to majors in early 20′s actually improved as they
      went through the minors. They had their best years in the
      minors at the AA or AAA (AGonzalez,Cabrerra,Upton,
      Posey,Votto,Stanton,Cano,Molina,Kemp,jeter,ARamirez,
      Granderson) to name a few.

      Some guys like Pujols,Konerko,CGonzalez,Braun,Puig
      killed it from the get go.

      Starlin Castro is in that group as well. Is it a trend or
      coincidence I don’t know; but it could speak well of Baez
      Lake who also have improved as they have moved up
      the levels.

    • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

      They are the same ones that openely expressed their love for Pujols, Hamilton and many other long horrible contracts. So hopefully since nobody is throwing names out they might have learned to be quiet.

  • mick

    The reason we signed certain players this year is. When the clubhouse man said he had two size 38 waist pants we would search the wavier wire for a fit. The pants legs could be adjusted. This saved on our uniform allowance but allowing us to field a 25 man squad for our fans.

    • Drew7

      What?

    • Pat

      The Johnny Bravo method of filling out the roster.

  • True blue

    I like this point and agree. Another year of this baseball team being terrible is going to drive me nuts.

  • Danny Ballgame

    Baez with another dinger

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      He really is making it look way to easy.

      • Danny Ballgame

        Dude is nasty

  • Brian

    It looks like Matt Harvey made one huge mistake. He could have signed with the Angels instead of going to college. He went to North Carolina and it looks like they abused his arm. I was just reading an article from back in June and the writer mentioned the Mets were nervous. They visited Harvey before the draft and he was over 150 pitches. If he signed with the Angels out of high school he could have done things properly. Face it, most college coaches don’t give a crap about their players. As long as they last long enough to help them win.

    • SenorGato

      Coming out of HS people were worried about Harvey’s shoulder because he came straight over the top. He dropped his arm in college. Can’t think of a starter who comes straight over the top – and Harvey out of HS was pretty extreme there – so I assume this was a good thing. Possibly the Angels fix him mechanically, but he’s one of those guys who improved on some pretty big talent in college.

      Anyway – I’m assuming his injury is just #pitcherlife rather than being abused there or here or everywhere.

    • JeffR

      I’m not a pitching coach and probably have an average at best amount of baseball knowledge. But I am in the strength and conditioning industry, and refuse to believe that 1 game 3 years ago was the cause of his UCL tear. Maybe he was “abused” all season long and that is partially to blame, but it angers me a little bit to see all the stuff on twitter about his 157 pitch outing.

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  • Fastball

    Was listening to Hollandsworth and Memalo on the way to the office. Topic of discussion Harvey and the TJ. Then it got to the core of the problem. I agree with their sumize. Too many kids playing just baseball from early on. Kids don’t develop naturally because they play too much baseball before they are developed. Also too many stupid coaches who are hell bent on not only winning but at all costs. Kids don’t play multiple sports and they over train toward one goal. I agree with one point they made especially. If your kid isn’t good enough to play only 40 games of baseball a year and then go off and play football and basketball then he probably isn’t going to be good enough to play at a hi level in college, minors, majors anyway. Too many of these kids are just focused on one sport which is all wrong in my opinion. I was and still am not in favor of raising a kid to be a single sport athlete. My boys played baseball, basketball and football. All 3 got scholarships for baseball at major universities. None of them had surgery for anything. They have careers in professions not related to sports. Parents have to understand that even if you think your kid is the best player around. He probably isn’t the best player around if you look 30 miles out from you home address. So get over it and let your kid be a kid and play sports they want to play. Tell coaches who demand your kid play baseball or any other sport year round to piss off. Maybe you have a child who is good athlete. Hope he or she can get a free ride to college and get an eduction and have a career and a good life. Odds are so against your kid being a professional athlete in any sport. I have seen athletes who were so talented it blew my mind get hurt and never even finish college. I am not really for the TJ surgery because it’s a crutch for a player. He can do things wrong mechanicly or he can be over used or what have you. Get a surgery and a year later maybe your good to go for a little while longer. Meanwhile, you don’t realize that your a piece of meat beholden to a program or organization. This whole subject makes me really not like the game sometimes.

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