Jeff Samardzija is in Elite Company and Other Bullets

jeff samardzija gatorade showerLast night, in the fog that accompanies half-sleep and 2am, I tried to calculate the odds that we’d have a night in the near future where both kids slept through the night without requiring any assistance. The Little Boy had been doing very well, but a newfound interest in trying to crawl and some teething have put him down at something like a 90% chance of at least one wake-up. The Little Girl hasn’t been terribly interested in sleeping for quite a while now, and her rate of wake-up is probably somewhere in the 70% range. Taking them together, on any given night, we have just a 3% chance that neither child will awaken in the night and need a change or a bottle or a cover or whatever. That’s how I spent my wee hours.

  • Although it’s been an uneven year for Jeff Samardzija (his “good” has been very good, and his “bad” has been a five-run sixth inning out of nowhere), he has topped the 200 inning mark and the 200 strikeout mark. Per Patrick Mooney and Carrie Muskat, he joins an elite list of guys who’ve done that so far this year: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee, Chris Sale, Adam Wainwright, and Max Scherzer. Samardzija tells the Tribune that he’s learning more about his body each year, and he’s got a different plan of attack for the offseason (not as much rest) this time around. Extension discussions remain in the background of all things Samardzija.
  • Dale Sveum hopes Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Darwin Barney have great final weeks to the season so that they can have something nice to think about during the long winter months. Speaking of Rizzo, it sounds like he has the right idea about his 2013 season – the batting average looks ugly, is dragging everything else down, and is probably partially due to bad luck.
  • It sounds like the Cubs are already feeling better about the bullpen going into 2014 than they were at the start of 2013. I am inclined to agree, but only in terms of the depth of serviceable arms. The Cubs have far more quality options available to fill jobs. But I am still suspicious of the back-end. I doubt we’ll see the Cubs make a big addition in the pen in the offseason, but, if they do, it would be nice if it were another hard-throwing, late-inning type.
  • Random, Starling Marte note: last night was the second time I can remember him taking an outside corner, two-strike breaking pitch out to left field against the Cubs in a critical situation (I want to say the first was against Shawn Camp). Don’t do that pitch anymore. Kthxbye.
  • Cubs waiver claimee Daniel Bard is still working on getting back into form, and, although he won’t pitch for the Cubs this year, he tells the Tribune that he could pitch in a winter league in Puerto Rico, just to get some innings.
  • In this year’s Arizona Fall League, Jim Callis – of now, not BA – is most excited to see Kris Bryant on the positional side (outside of Byron Buxton, who was such an obvious choice that he was precluded from selection). Callis adds that he’s excited to see Albert Almora and Jorge Soler. With apologies to Bryant, I am far more interested in seeing Almora and Soler, because of their injuries. Arodys Vizcaino would have topped the list if he hadn’t been scratched from the league late last week.
  • Writing for the Daily Herald, Burt Constable laments the end of the 2013 Chicago Cubs season at Wrigley Field, primarily because he’s not looking forward to a JumboTron next year (note: all present indications are that the video board will not be completed before or during the 2014 season). Constable goes on about how the fascinating conversations he had during the Cubs’ 5-2 loss to the Braves this weekend would have never materialized if everyone was utterly enraptured by a large video board, staring at it without any free will to look away. Constable is right, of course, as I have never had a single conversation during a ballgame at a park with a video board. I have also never wondered what actually just happened on that play, how the Bears are faring right now, or how Jeff Samardzija has pitched against Joey Votto this year. You know, now that I think about it, I have had conversations in parks with video boards. Lots of them. I’ve even had some that were driven by that very video board. Imagine that. I’m not an automaton after all.
  • David Cross – oh so very funny – apologized for his rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame this weekend, but I really don’t think it was all that bad.
  • Zubaz Night at Wrigley? Oh yes.

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

213 responses to “Jeff Samardzija is in Elite Company and Other Bullets”

  1. Jim

    Thats a really interesting point on the jumbotron v. discussion part. Personally I agree with you, that it will slant towards being a conversation starter, not a discussion black hole. But, I too am not a robot…

  2. Blublud

    What is Zubaz? And why was some guy commenting on it last night while using my username?

    1. On The Farm

      According to Wikipedia:

      ‘Zubaz’Zubaz (/ˈzuːbæz/ ZOO-baz)[1] is a brand of shorts and pants that became popular during the early 1990s. They were created in 1988 when Michael Hegstrand and Joseph Laurinaitis brought the idea to two Minnesotan bodybuilders, Dan Stock and Bob Truax. Initially, they were marketed as a comfortable, functional short for weightlifting.[2] Hegstrand and Laurinaitis used their professional wrestling personae as the Road Warriors to help popularize the pants in the early 1990′s.[2]

      1. Kramden

        See the tai Kwon do instructor in Napoleon Dynamite – “No one’s gonna mess with these bad boys!”

        1. TWC

          Rex Kwon Do

    2. MichiganGoat


    3. MichiganGoat

      Stupid image fail and it was funny

      but here are the pants

  3. On The Farm

    “Cubs waiver claimee Josh Bard”

    Should be Daniel Bard, but thanks for putting this up, I was just getting curious as to how he was doing with all the tweets from Sharma last night (Sharma was tweeting about Rondon being a 2014 bullpen option, which made me wonder how Bard was doing).

  4. Jono

    Sometimes the way to tell which side of an issue to side on isn’t to look for the really good argument, but to look for the really bad one. Burt Constable’s point about not wanting a jumbotron fits this perfectly

  5. On The Farm

    “I am far more interested in seeing Almora”

    Almora is on the taxi squad correct? I was just curious as I am assuming guys like Soler and Bryant will be getting consistent starts, but with Almora being so young, I am assuming he is just getting spot starts here and there?

    1. C. Steadman

      yeah, so i think he can only play two days a week…I also heard they might take him off the taxi squad b/c of Baez now

    2. Blublud

      Almora will probably get bumped to the regular squad with Baez not playing. Im more interested in Almora myself. I think his perfomance means more than Soler or Bryant. His defense is unquestionable, but his bat will dictate his pace through the system. I think his injury cost him more than Solers, and Bryant is almost certain to be ready for the big after next season if not during the season. Almora, s performance may be the difference between him getting a ST invite or not.

      1. On The Farm

        If he is getting regular ABs then that is awesome. It is hard telling who the ABs are more valuable for (Soler or Almora) because Soler has all that time establishing residency outside of Cuba.Hopefully these fluke injuries are done for these two and we can get a full season look at them next year.

        1. Blublud

          I think the fact that Soler has already established himself at a higher level, all while believed to be playing with an injury, and producing pretty decent numbers, would make consistent AB more valuable for Almora.

          Almora is a guy without good speed, not much power, and I haven’t heard much on whether he is a good baserunner or not (has a high baseball IQ, I believe, so naturally should be) so his average (sorry sabermetric guys) and ability to collect XBH at the higher levels against better pitching is going to be huge. His high singles rate is not going to carry him at the higher levels. Without the HR ability of the other 3, he is going to have to be a doubles machine to carry a good OPS. This will be his first time facing established elite talent. These AB are definitely more important for him.

          As much as people think I dislike him(I really don’t dislike him, I just don’t think he is on a level comparable to the other 3), I’m hoping he puts up the best numbers this fall.

          1. C. Steadman

            I think we can only put weight into Almora’s performance in the AFL if hes on the regular squad and not the taxi squad

            1. Blublud

              I was assuming he will now be on the regular squad.

              1. C. Steadman

                i hope so!

          2. On The Farm

            That’s fair, at the same time I was interested to see how Soler could do over an extended period of time. Much like you were hoping Baez wouldn’t be physically tired for the AFL, I was hoping to see how Soler would handle a minor league work load considering he has had time off. Much like Alcantara and his late season drop off, which some/most attributed to fatigue, I was wondering if Soler would experience any of that.

            All of that being said I could make another argument for how important the ABs for Almora are (young for the league, higher level of competition, etc), but that is why I said it would be tough to say who the ABs are more important for. My opinion is that they are equally important, they both have some big things to prove. Even with Soler’s success at Daytona, the jump from A+ to AA is a big test. Maybe I am just indecisive.

            1. C. Steadman

              i think its been said that the jump from A+ to AA is the hardest jump in the minors, especially for a hitter

              1. willis

                I think that’s pretty accurate, which makes what Baez did this year even more drool worthy. I am geeked to see how Soler and Almora do, and as been said by y’all, hopefully with Baez out Almora will pick up the full time spot. If those two have a good fall and show healthy, it’s a big boost for this rebuild going forward.

                1. Sacko

                  weather Almora hits for XBH doesn’t really bother me as maybe he will really get on base? Right Barney? You are toast and will service somewhere else nest year.

                  1. Blublud


                    1. On The Farm

                      Apparently Sacko wasn’t paying attention in Barney’s first and second season when 79% and 73% of his hits were only singles respectively. So in effect while saying he doesn’t care if Almora is only a single hitter as long as he gets on base more than Barney, he is contraindicating himself, because over Barney’s career he has been a singles hitter.

                      Also, if a single’s hitter runs into “bad luck” or low BABIPh he is pretty muca poor hitter (see Barney).

                    2. On The Farm

                      “pretty muca”

                      *pretty much

                    3. Blublud

                      Its funny, because this is why I compare Almora to Darwin Barney. Almora has a very high singles rate, and doesn’t come up with very many XBH, Like Barney. Is very good at making contact, like Barney. Doesn’t walk a lot, like Barney. Doesn’t hit for much power, like Barney. Not fast, but his high IQ will get a few steals, like Barney. Plays great defense and is very baseball literate, like Barney. They are so similar offensively, and at their respective positions defensively that I can’t think of a better comp for Almora then Barney. I never said his ceiling is Barney, like some have suggested. But they are very similar.

                    4. Sacko

                      Oh I know, and actually liked him up until this year. Overall his BA is not very good for a singles hitter. Also appreciated the glove. However I still think he is traded this winter and also just very excited about Baez and Alcantara. Is that understandable?

                    5. C. Steadman

                      Almora(age 19 season) is slugged .466 at low A this season while Barney(age 21 season) slugged .392 in his stint at low A…Almora has more power and definitely has potential to add more power

                    6. Blublud

                      Barney is a valuable player and will not be dumped. If he is traded, it be for a very good prospect. Or for another MLB caliber player. I doubt he is traded until next years deadline, and tgats only if Baez and Alcantara both prove to be ready.

                    7. ssckelley

                      Blubud, when has Barney ever slugged .465. Almora at 19 has already passed Barney offensively and he will develop more power.

                      I get that you do not like Almora very much, you prefer those sexy power numbers like Baez, but Almora could have the highest floor than any of the Cubs prospects. Defensively he is already MLB ready and his bat is progressing nicely. You go and compare Barney minor league numbers to Almora and there is little comparison. At 21 Barney only hit .715 OPS at low A while Almora hit .842 OPS at only 19.

                    8. Blublud

                      Steadman, you are comparing stats. I have never once compared Almora and Barney stats. I’m comparing their makeup. Their makeup is almost identical.

                      But since you wanna compare the slugging. Singles, or lack of singles, is the #1 factor in deciding how much luck a player is having or not having. Rizzo season is being driven down by singles, the same way Almora’s season is being driven by singles, just in opposite directions. 70% of almora’s hit are singles. An abundance of singles will also drive up your slugging %.This why almora is slugging .466. Realistically, I don’t think Almora can maintain that slugging at the higher levels without increasing his XBH, or mainly his doubles, because all other XBH are mostly by chance. He will not maintain his singles rate at the higher rate at the higher levels, and if he does, it’ll because he is not a good hitter.

                    9. Blublud

                      Ssckelley, I have never once said I don’t like Almora. I like the kid. He a good, hard working kid by all accounts. I have never said anything bad about him to suggest i dont like him.
                      I never said his talent level is that of Barney. But they are the same type of player. Almora has more talent, maybe, but they are the same exact type of player.

                    10. jh03

                      Almora doesn’t have the highest floor. Baez does. His floor is Adam Jones offensively. Duh.

                    11. Blublud

                      I prefer those sexy power numbers, huh.

                      I guess that’s why I was a fan of Tony Campana.

                    12. ssckelley

                      Omg, his “makeup”? Almora is only 19 years old! Right now he is a skinny 6’2 whose body could develop into more power. At 5’10 and 27 years old we already know what kind of a hitter Barney is.

                    13. Sacko

                      I did say traded not dumped and maybe it will be in July but he is gonna go. I don’t see the value of a week hitting 2nd basemen on this awful team. It will be interesting to see if Baez gets some work at 2nd during the summer. Instructional League I believe?

                    14. ssckelley

                      I disagree, Baez has the highest ceiling. His high strikeout rate keeps his ceiling down.

                    15. jh03

                      I was being completely sarcastic. That’s what Blublud tried telling me Baez’s floor was, then said I had a “uninformed opinion” when I disagreed. lol

                    16. C. Steadman

                      Almora 6-2 180 is only 19…he has room to add muscle and increase his power, Barney is 5-10 185…the only thing you can compare is that defense is the main part of their game…”Lacks power now but has room in frame for added strength and increase power output. Generally projects for average home run power with plenty of doubles”(BaseballProspectus) “Offensively, Almora sprays line drives all over the field. Mechanically, he gets loaded well, has good timing and is quick to the ball with very good bat speed. He swings with good extension, squares up everything well and is dangerous on the basepaths” (PerfectGame) “He looks to be a solid to above average hitter, with average power. Due to his solid bat speed, he could develop into a 20 home run hitter, but should consistently hit around .290-.300 with 10 homers and 15 steals”(Coast2Coast Prospects)

                    17. ssckelley

                      Blu, your arguments are running in circles. You say you are not comparing Barney to Almora talent but you compare there hitting. So which is it? Is Almora the 2nd coming of Darwin Barney in centerfield or isn’t he?

                      If that is your opinion then own it.

                    18. Blublud

                      Almora’s makeup is that of Darwin Barney. There isn’t anything you or I can say to change.

                      Almora will never be more then a 10-15 HR a year guy. So yes, that gives him more power then Barney.

                      Almora is probably slightly better then Barney at squaring the ball up, which will lead to a few more homeruns, and hopefully a few more doubles. If believe last year is more of an indication of who barney is then this year. Most the Cubs offensive players have played below potential for some reason this season.

                      But looking at Almora’s numbers and comparing the 2, if barney is a .250/.300/.350/.650 guy, I could see Almora being a .280/320/400/.720 guy. That would be swell though if it comes with GG defense.

                    19. ssckelley

                      Sorry, gotta turn my sarcasm meter back on. Plus I meant to say Baez strikeout rate is what keeps his FLOOR down, not ceiling.

                    20. DarthHater

                      “Almora’s makeup is that of Darwin Barney. There isn’t anything you or I can say to change.”

                      The second sentence is quite true–but only because the first sentence is quite meaningless.

                    21. ssckelley

                      So honestly Blu, Almora projects to be a better hitter than Barney. Now see why your comparison is silly?

                    22. Blublud

                      Don’t think I ever said Baez’ floor was Adan Jones, I said that Baez’ comp. I never said Almora’s ceiling is Darwin Barney, I said that his comp. I’m not running in circles. You guys like to take arguements and twist the words. If you don’t agree, then fine. But don’t twist my words to argue your point.

                    23. C. Steadman

                      what the heck is makeup anyways? They both play great defense thats about all i can see for similarities…Almora is a better hitter

                    24. jh03

                      Not twisting your words at all, but good try.

                      September 11, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink | Reply
                      Yeah. Not a chance he is a bust. He may not become a super star, but Adams Jones would be his floor offensively.

                      Followed by:

                      September 11, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply
                      Oh well. That your uninformed opinion.

                      Yup. Any more excuses?

                    25. TWC


                    26. Blublud

                      No I don’t see how it’s silly. Because their contact abilities, low walk rates, low SO rates, slightly above ave speed, slight power and great defensive ability are very similar.

                      I could argue that Rizzo and Votto are similar players, does that mean Rizzo will produce Votto’s numbers. No. But they are similar players.

                    27. ssckelley

                      So Blu, what the hell are you trying to say? I never twisted anything you said, only validate and argue against you suggesting Almora is going to be another Barney offensively.

                    28. Hansman1982

                      Almora already has a higher ISO than Barney ever has. Basically the only thing they share is the ability to make a lot of contact and plus plus defense.

                      Honestly, saying Almora is Barney (which is what you’ve done) is about the dumbest thing you’ve ever done. If you stuck Almora in MLB right now I bet you’d get Barney. By the time Almora is 27, you’re gonna get Jacoby Ellsbury without the SB

                    29. Blublud

                      I don’t remeber say floor, but I guess I did. I have comp Baez to Adam Jones a million times, so I’m sure I meant comp and not floor.

                    30. Blublud

                      I hope, but I would be willing to bet you don’t get close to Jacoby Ellsbury

                    31. jh03

                      Pretty sure you didn’t, because I gave an argument why his K and BB rate would suggest he had a much lower floor than what Adam Jones is and that’s when you said:

                      September 11, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply
                      Oh well. That your uninformed opinion.

                      So, go ahead and tell me when I twisted your words and I’d be happy to admit I was wrong.

                    32. Blublud

                      You put Almora in the bigs right now, and you would get the worse hitter in baseball, but that’s probably the casefor most guys at low A.

                    33. Norm


                    34. Blublud

                      I’m still pretty sure I meant comp, because I have always comped Baez to Adam Jomes.

                    35. Blublud

                      I always use comp, and very rarely, if at all, use ceiling and floor to desribe a player. Maybe a pitcher, but usually not a hitter. So if I used floor, I was even driven to it by domething else, or it was a misprint.

                    36. jh03

                      Funny point on the Almora better than Barney right now thing:

                      Even if Almora would be the worst player in the MLB, he still might be more valuable than Barney. Scouts say Almora could play GG defense right now… Well by wRC+ Barney is the second worst player in the bigs with a 51. If Almora was the worst, at say 49 (worst is 50), playing CF.. he still might be more valuable than Barney lol. And I don’t think he’d be *that* bad anyways.

                    37. hansman1982

                      “You put Almora in the bigs right now, and you would get the worse hitter in baseball, but that’s probably the casefor most guys at low A.”

                      Isn’t that what Barney has been this year?

                    38. On The Farm

                      Well I am about to go off the reservation here, but I actually get where Blublud is coming from. What I got out of this whole thread here is that Blu said (to sum up) Almora is similar to Barney in that a large portion of their hits are singles. This is different from a player like Rizzo (or Votto) where their singles and XBHs are closer to a 50-50 amount (obviously going to lean toward more singles unless the guy is a beast). Both Barney and Almora play gold glove defense at their positions (although Almora’s is a bit more of premium position).

                      I understand that Almora did way better at A ball than Barney did, and Almora did it at a younger age. I am also aware of Almora’s age and realize he still has the ability to grow. But, I don’t think Blu is wrong, Almora (to me at least) looks like a 10-15 HR guy, maybe a couple good seasons with 20 HRs sprinkled in. As of right now, its not a bad comparison, considering their D both being gold glove, and their hits being large majority singles. My final thought on this is that Almora will grow, and as he faces tougher competition he will eventually learn to hit more doubles, where as right now (from what I saw of him) he doesn’t look the least bit challenged at the level and could hit about every pitch thrown his way.

                    39. Blublud

                      I don’t dislike Almora. I think a 280/320/400/720 GG CF is very valuable. There is no doubt he can play defense in the bigs. But to suggest his 70% singles rate season has not been lucky, but then to suggest that Rizzo has been unlucky due to a lack of singles is crazy. If you put him in front of a MLB defense, he would lose many of singles, and with his lack of XBH, would have nearly the slugging % he has.

                      At 19, we were not waiting on Baez, Soler, Vogelbach and a few other hitters to develop power and gap power, they already had it. Its like predicting that Profar will eventually be a good hitter, when he has never shown it. He may, but the majority of the prospect who scouts say will develop this, or will develop that never develop anything. Could Almora be one of the few that eventually does, yes. But until he does, I can’t consider it.

                    40. C. Steadman

                      just throwing this out there, but Jacoby Ellsbury hits 70% singles, yes he has more speed but that only adds maybe a couple more singles a season but also subracts singles by being able to stretch it into doubles…he has been able to sustain his AVG at a career .297 and SLG is around .430 which i can see Almora around .280 with a SLG ~.410 with less SB than Jacoby..I see a better comp to Ellsbury than Barney

                    41. Sacko

                      I’ve got it! Trade Almora, Baez and Alcantara so we can keep Barney! Holy,Barney is gonna go.

                    42. On The Farm

                      Exactly Sacko, that’s literally what everyone was trying to get across. Glad you saw through all of the bull crap and made sense of it.

  6. MichiganGoat

    David Cross has a really good voice and as many other have said its almost impossible to hear yourself singing while your up there you don’t have a monitor to give you feedback. And of the all time bad versions of that song that one didn’t even come close.

    I do hope that when the jumbotron comes in they start to consider doing something else than the guest singers unless it is someone with a strong history of Cub fandom vs. somebody promoting something. Having Harry singing it from the jumbotron would be quite cool.

    1. cubzfan

      I listened to that rendition on the radio. It was very painful. On TV or live, the singer’s voice gets covered a little. I recall others that were just as bad, but this ranks with the worst of them.

    2. C. Steadman

      that would be awesome to play a video of Harry singing it!

      1. Jay

        Would certainly make the jumbotron more palatable to some people, I’m sure.

    3. Funn Dave

      Strongly disagree. The guest singers have a rich history, are almost always entertaining, and can provoke some interesting discussions–and they’re usually Cubs fans or prominent Chicago individuals anyway.

  7. Ron

    I am surprised the haters haven’t already came out lambasting the words Samardzija and elite in the same sentence! (Everyone “knows” he is at best a 4 or 5)

    Ace, that stinks to hear about the little ones. We had a patch like that also with the now 4 yr. old (didn’t sleep through the night till almost 3) and the 2 yr. old. Good luck, it will get better. Just think of it as continual training for the next blogathon!

    1. Blublud

      Why does someone who thinks Shark has struggled has struggled have to be a hater. I a huge Shark fan, and I think he will be just fine, but if someone else doesn’t share my perspective, it doesn’t make them a hater.

      1. Jay

        Not a hater, but I’ve been pretty disappointed with him this year all things considered. With his stuff, he should dominate nearly every time out, not have a meltdown inning most times out and throw 25 gopher balls a year. Travis Wood is exhibit A for how to pitch with average stuff and that a 95 mph heater doesn’t mean squat if you can’t locate it.

      2. Ron

        Saying that Shark has struggled is not necessarily a hater (I don’t think there is a single poster that hasn’t acknowledged his struggles). Calling him a 4 or 5 is a hater. This is his second year as a full time starter after yo-yoing from starter to reliever. The hardest part for any pitcher at any level is consistency and that has been his problem.

        1. Voice of Reason

          Saying someone is a #4 or #5 starter is not being a hater. Grow some stones. It’s being honest about a player. I think Shark has some character which is hard to find in players.
          That said, Shark is probably a #3 at best. He is still young enough to develop into a 2, but I don’t see it happening. I’m not hating, I’m just giving an opinion.

          1. Blublud

            I agree. He has Ace stuff. But it takes more then stuff to be an ace, just ask Chris Volstad(2 references in on day. Thought I was over this guy). I’m starting to think his ceiling is that of a very good 3, a decent 2, you know, if you are into numbering pitchers.

            1. Voice of Reason

              And, don’t feel pity for Shark! lol
              He’ll make millions and millions of dollars being a good #3 starter in the major leagues!

            2. Cedlandrum

              I’m not sure that many thought Volstad had Ace stuff. Maybe as a two or three, but he has always been more of a finesse type guy.

          2. mjhurdle

            I would say that saying that Shark is a #3 at best is a bit ridiculous.
            I know he has had a disappointing season, and we all want more from him. But that said, he threw 200 innings, and ranks in the top 50-70 in most pitching stats MLB wide from a quick glance (H/9, HR/9, ERA+, SO/BB).

            I think you could make a case that he is a good #3 already. It is debatable, but he is at least close. To say that is his ceiling is basically saying that this year was the best we could hope from out of Shark.

            1. Blublud

              Shark has not pitched like a good number 3 this season. Last year he did. This year is more like a bad 3, decent 4. But that said, he is no different then Castro and Rizzo. They all have had bad seasons, but the skill level makes me feel they’ll be just fine moving foward.

            2. C. Steadman

              yeah, he is a #3 now, and it was his second full season of starting…guys can have bad seasons and you shouldnt judge Shark off this season…here is some interesting stats of one current ace in his third full season as a starting pitcher…4.84 ERA, 201IP, 3.9 BB/9, 7.3 K/9, 8.7 H/9…that would be Justin Verlander…and dont take this the wrong way, I dont think Shark is gonna be a Verlander but you cant slap a ceiling of a #3 starter yet…he has room to improve and can still definitely be a #2 starter

              1. C. Steadman

                maybe even a #1 but I think it is a stretch but the stuff is certainly there

            3. Voice of Reason

              Ok, so on a crappy team he could be a #1. Like on a rebuilding team that has crappy starters across the board.
              I don’t want the Cubs to be a crappy team, though. I want the Cubs to win a World Series and if Shark is part of it, he will not be the #1 starter. He will be a really good #4 or a solid #3.
              Does that help all you Shark lovers out there for goodness sake?

              1. mjhurdle

                Why is everyone a “Shark-Lover’ for pointing out that, according to his stats, you can argue that he is one of the top 50-60 pitchers in the MLB?
                You are doing the same thing you just got through whining about by labeling everyone that doesn’t share your opinion.

                I guess i can agree that i would LOVE for Shark to be our #4 and our 1-3 consisting of 3 pitchers in the top 50 in baseball, but i just don’t see that as a realistic goal.

              2. Blublud

                Why does someone who thinks Shark has more potential a Shark Lover. This labeling people just because they disagree with people is crazy.

                1. mjhurdle

                  you are such a hater for not agree with everyone’s opinions of labeling.

                2. DarthHater

                  Oh, sure. Just label people as crazy labelers. :-P

                  1. On The Farm

                    Is there any way we could get a BN label maker for people? Brett? I mean if you aren’t going to give us the delete option, you can at least give us the label maker option.

                  2. Blublud

                    Or in your case, psychotic poster. :-D

                    1. DarthHater

                      I may be psychotic, but I don’t contradict myself (or any of the voices in my head)! ;-)

            4. Kyle

              Well, he is going to be 29 next season. He’s past the peak age for a pitcher.

              And yes, his arm has fewer innings on it, but we have seen the last two years that it’s not easy to not wear down over an MLB season if you don’t have a lifetime of building up arm strength.

              If xFIP is right and Samardzija’s HR propensity the last two years has been negative variance, then he’s a decent No. 2 (apologies for letting myself get sucked into one of these silly starter-label deals), but if not, then a No. 3 is probably fair.

          3. Ron

            Well OK.
            noun: opinion; plural noun: opinions
            1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
            noun: hater; plural noun: haters
            1. a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing.

            I think a thorough honest review of past comments will justify my statement. Constant negativity not based in fact presented in an unnecessarily antagonistic way. They are out there, I did not label anyone in particular. If you take offense to this label kindly review your past statements and perhaps use some introspection to ask why someone would say such a thing.

            1. Blublud

              And that is your opinion that you can intertwine the two and come up with one meaning. I guess your opinion is not necessarily based on fact and knowledge.

            2. On The Farm

              The thing with Samardzija is he has shown flashes where he is a top of the rotation guy (13Ks on April 7, vs. Atlanta) and he has had bad outings (9 ERs given up vs Angels and Philly). Of the 32 starts Shark has made, he had had 12 starts (37.5%) giving up 4+ ERs. Looking at his FIP and xFIP he is nothing more than average as a SP (so mid rotation guy). So if someone makes the argument either way they are just expressing their opinion, not necessarily being a hater if there is evidence for both sides of the coin.

        2. Jono

          Why is that being a hater and not just someone with a different point of view?

          1. willis

            I guess I’m a hater then because I see Shark as a ceiling 3 floor 4. Very similar to EJax in a lot of ways. He has some time to develop into something greater of course. He had a pretty good outing last night. Need a little more control and pitch count control. I do think the 200+ IP and the 200+ strikeouts is very impressive.

            1. On The Farm

              I don’t like to give numbers to pitchers because everyone debates how many #1s there is and so on.. But anywho I think the flashes Shark shows he just looks like he should be a top of the rotation guy. Like in April when he had that 13K performance against the Braves you could just see he has a chance to be something special. I think if he has a feel for his splitter he is pretty much unstoppable. Its happened before to other pitchers, and I think some year he is just going to put together just a monster season. I am not saying he will still be with the Cubs, or that he will be able to do it year in and year out, but I think it will just click.

              1. Voice of Reason

                But, that’s the difference between aces of a staff and #3 starters!
                Sure Shark could throw a no hitter or throw 12 strikeouts in a game. The problem is that in between the really good starts there are two, three or four stinkers or average games.
                For the most part Shark has been consistent throughout the year, though he appears to be tiring down the stretch. Those consistent numbers are those of a #3 starter for a team that is making a run at a World Series. That’s where I want the Cubs to be… making a run for the championship! If Shark ends up throwing for a bad team then he could certainly be a number 1!

                1. On The Farm

                  Yeah, I think he is still figuring out how to be a starter so if I had to give a number I would say as he learns more about being a starter in the MLB he could develop into a #2 with upside.

                  1. C. Steadman

                    true, during this Shark argument I’m starting to wonder about giving pitchers numbers, for hypothetical purposes say Verlander hits free agency and the Dodgers buy him up like they have been doing…then Verlander is a 2, Griene a 3 and Ryu a 4…and i think most people agree Verlander isnt a 2, Grienke isnt a 3 and Ryu is most definitely not a 4, but on that team they are

                    1. Coop

                      To be clear – when scouts label a guy as a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, they are talking about overall in baseball, not for that particular team. So a #3 does not become a #1 if he moves to a team with a crappy rotation. He is still a #3, but just happens to be the best pitcher on his team. There is NOT a #1 on each team in baseball. And you can have more than one #1 on a single team (though it is pretty rare). Usually there are only about 10-12 true #1s in the league at any given time (think Clemens, Maddux, Pedro, Kershaw – these are the consistent year-in-year-out Cy Young candidates). Then you have larger tier of #2s (recent examples would probably be something like Matt Cain, CC Sabathia, Jered Weaver) – these are guys that will challenge for the CY Young in a good year, but aren’t in the discussion every year. Then the range from #3 to #5 is pretty variable. #3s can still be very good pitchers, but tend to lack in one or more of their abilities.

                      I think Baseball America has a very good summary of the concept somewhere. Part of the rating is based on the number of plus-plus pitches, control, makeup, etc. It is somewhat quantitative, but also somewhat subjective.

                    2. On The Farm

                      Coop, that is a pretty good summary of how people view the 1s,2s,3s,4s, and 5s. If I had it my way I would just say you have your Top of the Rotation (1s and 2s) guys, Mid rotation (3s some 4s), and Back end (4s and 5s) rotation. If you wanted to be more specific you could say someone is a Cy Young candidate if he is the elite (#1), and then fillers (5-6 pitchers). I know it looks like I am still using rankings, but some pitchers pitch better than their stuff (or in Arrieta’s case worse) in a given season. It just seems like people spend a lot of time arguing if someone is a #1 or a #2, when you could just say he is a TOR guy, and if he is a Kershaw he is a CY pitcher.

                    3. Scotti

                      “Then you have larger tier of #2s (recent examples would probably be something like … CC Sabathia…) – these are guys that will challenge for the CY Young in a good year”

                      From 2007 to 2011 Sabathia was Cy Young Award 1st, CYA 5th, CYA 4th, CYA 3rd, CYA 4th. Had an excellent 2012, too (in many ways better than 2011). Sabathia was a clear #1 prior to this season.

                    4. Coop

                      Good points both of you.

                      On The Farm – I agree with you. Labeling is useful only to a degree. I think you are right that it all really comes down to is a guy a “stopper” or “TOR”, is he a solid mid-rotation reliable type, or is he a back of the rotation just eat some innings type.

                      Scotti – fair enough. I was just pulling names out from my personal gestalt feel. Looks like CC maybe should be in the ace category. Although I think BA is far more detailed than simply Cy Young candidacy – that was more my lazy easily approachable measure.

                    5. Voice of Reason


                      You’re splitting hairs, dude.

                      Every team does have a #1 starter. It would be the best starter on their team. It doesn’t matter if he blows, he is still the #1, or best starter, that the team has!

                      That’s like saying not every team has a leadoff hitter because they’re not a prototypical leadoff hitter or not every team has a cleanup hitter because they don’t have one player to club the ball out of the ballpark! Every team has someone hitting fourth. They may only hit 14 homeruns or whatever in a season, but they still hit “clean up”.

                    6. Coop

                      Yes, every team has a guy that is *their* #1 starter. That does not make him a #1 in the parlance of the scouting circle, which is what is generally the context of “is a guy a #1 a #2 or a #3?”

                      So you are sort of right, but I am more right.

                    7. Coop
                    8. On The Farm

                      Voice of Reason, actually you are incorrect. What Coop said was: “when scouts label a guy as a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, they are talking about overall in baseball, not for that particular team”

                      He is referring to when a scout is referring to a prospect or opposing pitcher they are advanced scouting they used #1 as ace, #2 as real solid pitchers who flirt with CY contention every now and then (or in prospect future TOR arm), #3 as solid pitchers who give you consistent starts sometimes they wow, other times they are lack luster, and so on.

                      What you are saying is different from what Coop originally said. The way you are saying is that a scout would look at the Cubs and say “That Jeff Samardijza is an ace” “or Since Pierce Johnson or CJ Edwards are the best in the Cubs system they have #1 or #2 potential”. This is not the case. A scout that is looking at Shark is going to call him whatever he ranks him (whether it be a #2 or #3), but he will NOT tell his team that he is a #1 SP just because he is the best pitcher on the team.

                      So in fact when you use scout terms of number starters, it doesn’t matter what they are on their own team, it matters what they are compared to all of baseball. This is where the confusion comes in and people call Travis Wood a #2 pitcher because he is considered either our best or second best pitcher. This is also why I prefer using TOR arm, Mid rotation guy, back end of the rotation guy. eliminates some of the confusion.

  8. macpete22

    I think David Cross blue himself when singing the stretch, or should I say Tobias Funke

    1. Cizzle

      You mean the world’s first Analyst and Therapist?

  9. Frank

    I personally think that Jeff Samardzija started to run out of gas this season. I have to keep in mind that he was a reliever turned starter, so I’m guessing that next year he’ll have his feet firmly planted on the mound.

  10. Aaron

    Samardzija is a fierce competitor and is the kind of player the Cubs will need to go from a terrible team to a championship one. The Cubs understand this which is why they are expected to make a long-term contract a priority this winter with Shark and his agent.

    Samardzja is on the clock as an arbitration-eligible player who can become a free agent after the 2015 season.

    1. willis

      For fear of putting on the jinx…what I do love about Shark is that he is a fierce competitor and you know he will be there to take the ball every 5 days. He’s durable, much like Jackson, and even though both have had meh seasons, that’s something you need in a rotation. The cubs have that in those two and looks like they may have it in Wood as well. That’s a huge thing moving forward.

      1. Kyle

        He’s literally just finished his only complete season of starting. I think it’s a bit premature to label him durable.

  11. Aaron

    “He’s that guy — it’s game on when he’s pitching that day,” Sveum said. “The other four days, he’s a starting pitcher who doesn’t sit around for four days. He’s into every game, and picking his teammates up. He’s fallen into that leadership role as well.”

  12. #23

    “The Cubs now have a 20-33 record in one-run games to go with 26 blown saves.” Wow.

    1. #23

      Just improving the bullpen next year will go a long way.

  13. #23

    I’m guessing Strop will be the closer. Russell and Rosscup the lefties. Villanueva the swing man. After that there are a lot of possibilities for the final 3 spots: Rondon, Vizcaino, Lim, Bard, Cabrera, Grimm, Rivero, Parker, free agent, Gregg? . . .

    1. willis

      I’d say out of that list, you round out the pen most likely with Parker, Lim and Grimm. I think Cabrera gets another starting look in AAA to start, Vizcaino won’t be ready/healthy, Gregg is gone and Rivero is in AAA. Rondon in AA and as for Bard, who knows.

      1. On The Farm

        I thought Cabrera was out of options?

        1. willis

          Crap, I always forget that. And that sucks because he needs more time to develop and figure out if he is a starter or reliever.

          1. Kyle

            At his age, it’s time for him to be a reliever if he can’t make an MLB rotation, which I don’t think he can.

  14. terencemann

    Speaking of the AFL/next season, BP has this to say about Baez today:

    “The word out of Cubs camp is that Baez is skipping the Arizona Fall League to rest up for a big Spring Training battle, in which he’ll get time at other infield positions. Of course, he’s likely to lose that battle since there are service time concerns here…”


    1. Blublud

      I honestly feel like the FO is feeling pressure to get Baez to the show. Declining ticket sales, lower tv ratings, bad team. I hope this is not the case. As much as I think he is ready, I hope they don’t make any decision base on anything other then his proper development.

      1. On The Farm

        They sat on Rizzo in 2012 even though another power bat would have been useful. I am more worried about Baez being called up too early because we need another bat and he is the easiest option (like the Jackson/Vitters situation).

        1. Blublud

          Yeah. But Lahair was dominating at 1st to begin last year, so they had the ability to sit on Rizzo. They won’t have that luxury this year, with Barney/Watkins/Valbeuna/Murphey possibly in the IF. I just hope he gets the nod because he is ready, not because of pressure.

          1. bbmoney

            This is all true. However, I really think the Cubs FO is smarter than rushing someone as important as Baez if it isn’t in his best interest. Yes I want the Cubs to be competitive next year, but I doubt Baez by himself would be the difference if we’re talking an extra 2 months in the minors.

            But… never know.

    2. Frank

      I don’t understand why anyone should worry about service time concerns, if the Cubs were worried about it, they wouldn’t have signed Rizzo and Castro to contracts. They could have kept them on the cheap for a while.

      1. bbmoney

        I’d actually argue the exact opposite of that in regards to Castro and Rizzo.

      2. Blublud

        That’s the point of controlling service time. It gives the FO leverage when negotiating contract extensions.

      3. hansman1982

        Service time and cost control are two different, but interconnected things.

  15. #23

    Any way you look at it, I’d say the pen will be much improved compared to the start of the 2013 season.

  16. Frank

    What’s wrong with going with a six man rotation after the all star break? Wouldn’t an extra day of rest be helpful down the stretch?

    1. bbmoney

      In the Cubs case I it really wouldn’t be a problem problem since they weren’t competing this year.

      But if you’re trying to make the playoffs and before you are locked into a spot, you’d be losing 2 or 3 starts from your best pitcher and giving them to your 6th best pitcher. And 2 or 3 starts from your 2nd best pitcher and giving them to your 6th best pitcher. And so on.

      It’s possible your pitchers would pitch better with an extra day of rest. But it’s also possible they don’t. And don’t you want your best pitchers out there more often than a guy that didn’t make your starting rotation at the beginning of the year? Not to mention it’s probably really your 7th or 8th best starter because of injuries.

  17. CubsFaninMS

    If one of these websites such as Fangraphs that computes all of the major metrics can measure a pitcher’s performance, I wonder if any of them have gone through the trouble to rank all MLB starting pitchers by each metric, compute an overall score for each pitcher, and rank them in five subgroups. If they do this at the end of the season, we can truly identify which pitchers are the #1′s, #2′s, #3′s, #4′s, and #5′s that season.

  18. Aaron

    Cubs offense has scored 594 runs this season. Where do they rank against the rest of the teams in the majors? Answer: 26th out of 30.

    1. On The Farm

      2.5 games out of the White Sox. I am not trying to get anyone’s hopes up, but #3 pick is within reach with a little luck.

      1. TheDondino

        Its possible but we are 3 out of the win column so we need them to win 3 of their last 6 to force the tie. We have 5 left against Pit/StL which does not bode well for any more wins for the Cubs. Sox have 2 against Cle and 4 against the Royals. Cleveland needs to sew up their playoff spot so a win won’t be easy, but the Royals could be eliminated with a few games to spare. I don’t know if I can see 3 wins there for the Sox and any additional win by the Cubs locks up that 4th spot most likely.

        1. C. Steadman

          I’m just glad the Twins won and are now 1.5 games “behind” us for 4th….I hate this because I’m a walking contradiction…when I watch the games(if there is no football, The League or Duck Dynasty on that night) I root for them to win, but after the games if they lost I’m kinda happy…i’m all twisted inside

        2. On The Farm

          There is where the luck comes in. Both Chicago teams are facing teams in contention St. Louis still needs to lock up the division, and Pittsburgh is facing a bad team and are lucky enough to have Cole going (en Fuego), and Liriano (whom the Cubs haven’t had much luck with). Not that any Cub fan should root for losses, but they are going up against a buzz saw here to close out Pitt, then have St. Louis (almost hope they help Pitt or Cincy clinch the division over these yay-whos).

          As for the Sox, I am not that impressed with the KC rotation so I am hoping they can pick up one from the Indians, and two from the Royals at least.

      2. #23

        I’d still be happy with the #4 or #5 pick if it shakes out that way.

        1. On The Farm

          The Twins are a little close for comfort, but as I pointed out its a tough row to hoe with Cole and Liriano the next two games.

    2. Kyle

      Never mix the leagues when ranking runs.

      1. On The Farm

        ….until the DH is added?

  19. cubsfanforever

    I think they might be inclined to trade Shark if the demand it too high. I think he is probably a nice 3 starter but until they get a true number 1, it will be rough sailing. Looks like the bull pen will be stronger out of the gate than this year. They surely will pick up a bat or 2 from somewhere. I cant imagine with declining ticket sales and all that goes with empty seats that they will not make some improvements to this team. 2b, of

  20. Aaron

    Where do the Cubs rank in the majors as far as wins and losses? Answer: 26th out of 30.

    1. C. Steadman

      aaron buddy…you need to learn the reply button…I like the point you made but it took me a little while to figure that you were making a point and not just randomly throwing out stats haha

  21. Kev

    Cubs fan living in the greater Denver area here.

    I go to Rockies games at Coors field pretty regularly, because it’s fun to go see a ballgame, even if the Cubs aren’t out here except for one series out of the year. The park has a massive jumbotron and the truth of the matter is, the jumbotron is a total conversation-killer.

    This past Sunday we sat directly in front of the jumbotron in section 155. It was completely insane to see people do a full 180 about-face between innings to look at whatever Todd Helton farewell video montage they decided to put up. But everybody in my section did it, instead of taking in the sights and sounds of the ballpark and/or talking to their neighbors about the game. Pretty sad to see.

    The same thing is going to happen with a jumbotron at Wrigley, because people are people. The Cubs aren’t just going to have non-invasive ads, replays, and stats on there. They’ll have silly shit happening on it between innings (just like everywhere else) and it’ll suck people’s attention away from the game. Period.

    Maybe the positives ultimately outweigh the negatives, but let’s not deny outright that the negatives even exist.

    1. Coop

      Versus everyone staring at their smartphones between innings because they don’t have a jumbotron to look at. At least the jumbotron is inclusive of everyone in the park…

    2. Funn Dave

      Yes. Thank you. There are too many distractions at ballparks as it is–food, scores from other games, ads, phones, etc. A jumotron would just add another distraction that further increases the disconnect between the people that are there for the baseball & want to talk about what’s happening on the field, and the non-fans or not-very-serious fans who get bored after three innings and want to talk about anything but what’s happening on the field.

    3. ssckelley

      If people want to spend 50 bucks a ticket to stare at a jumbotron is fine by me.

  22. #23

    I have to think next year will be more about giving Baez, Bryant, Olt, and Alcantara opportunities at some point during the season. They may pick up one outfielder like Granderson or Choo, but for the most part, I think it will be a waiting game to see how those four prospects respond. With the bullpen improved and a pretty good core group in the starting rotation (Shark, Arrieta, Wood, and Jackson), the focus may be to try to sign one more starting pitcher and then the one starting outfielder. Barring any blockbuster trades, I’d say we have a fairly quiet offseason. An experienced power arm in the pen is also a possibility. Other than those moves, I just don’t see any major spending spree this offseason.

  23. Craig

    We should send Castro to the Pirates for Marte and some minor league pitchers. Marte can be our lead off man and he has great speed with some pop. Opens up SS for Baez at some point next season and gives the Pirates a quality SS.

    1. jon

      We already have a Starling Marte, his name is Junior Lake.

  24. JB88

    On the little girl and sleep training:

    Have you tried incentives? We’ve tried a couple: (1) created a sticker chart and after 10, 20, whatever number of nights that she stays in her bed all night she earned a toy that she wanted; or (2) take away something every night that she comes out (usually TV for the following day for us).

    Good luck with it! It is definitely a tough time in a kid’s life for a parent.

  25. Funn Dave

    I went to the Bradley Center to see the Bucks get eliminated from the playoffs by the Heat earlier this year. The young woman who accompanied me is a huge NBA fan, but she spent the entire game looking at the fucking jumbotron. There’d be some huge play, and she’d be too busy giggling at some dumb fan on the Jumbotron to even notice. It came close to ruining the whole experience. So Brett, while Constable’s article does contain a fair bit of hyperbole, it also contains enough truth to warrant more than a sarcastic dismissal, IMO.

    1. King Jeff

      Or, that your friend has a very short attention span and can’t help but look up to look at a jumbotron the entire game instead of looking straight ahead at the game being played in front of her.

  26. jon

    “Doesn’t hit for much power, like Barney.”

    Funny, Almora slugged 54 points higher at low A than Barney. Almora was also 19 at low A while Barney was 21. But never let facts get in the way of your assinine argument.

    1. DarthHater

      On the flip side, they both have the letters b, r, a, and e in their names. So there’s that.

      1. C. Steadman


    2. Scotti

      “Funny, Almora slugged 54 points higher…”

      Actually 74 points but that’s largely driven by the difference in batting average (.273 v .329) and not power. There was actually only a 19 point difference in their isolated power. That’s basically statistical noise.

      While I’m with the “Almora could possibly develop 10-15 HR power” crowd, there is no doubt that he simply hasn’t done it yet.

      “But never let facts get in the way of your assinine argument.”

      The vitriol on this site has just gone overboard the passed few months. Blu is making a basic argument that he likes Almora but doesn’t see power production. He’s compared his makeup to an excellent makeup guy on the Cubs current roster. That’s a compliment. That’s no reason to go off on Blu (especially given that YOUR facts were off and you didn’t even spell asinine correctly).

      1. C. Steadman

        i think it was a play on words and was purposely mispelled…get it “ass”-inine –> assinine

        1. Scotti

          That would make is simply more unnecessary vitriol.

      2. Jon

        Nothing about my facts were off. I’m also willing to bet if you let Almora play in low A again, his power numbers would even be better. Won’t happen as Almora will likely be in AAA by 21. So continue to harp on a single misspelling, but to suggest they are the ‘exact’ same player is ASININE.

        1. Scotti

          .466 – .392 is .074 NOT .054. That was a factual error. Insisting it wasn’t doesn’t help your argument.

          Using SLG doesn’t help your argument, either. Blu was talking power. Power is ISOP (isolated power) or SLG – BA. Comparing power to SLG is like comparing apples to apples AND oranges. SLG gives credit for singles and extra base hits. Just take out the oranges (singles) and you get apples to apples (comparing power to ISOP(i.e. the same thing)). There was a .019 difference in their ISOP and that’s just not statistically significant.

          Getting all caustic with Blu because you disagree with him (or take him too literally–I mean, really, “exactly”??? Of course not exactly. Duh.) doesn’t help your argument, either. It does nothing but bring down the level of discourse.

          1. Jon

            His quote, verbatim, was that Barney & Almora are the ‘exact’ same player. The burden on proof is on him to defend that stupidity.

            1. Scotti

              Just as the burden of proof is on you to defend the “stupidity” of .466 – .392 = .054, or using SLG instead of ISOP or any number of things we ALL get wrong every day on this site, daily.

              Disagree with someone? Fine, Lord knows I do. But it can be done without jumping down someone’s throat. There’s no reason this site shouldn’t be known for its comity as well as its baseball acumen. If it’s known for both, it has the potential to really help Brett. If it’s known for only for having some smart baseball discussions once you sift through all of the vitriol, he doesn’t stand a chance.

              1. Jon

                I consistently labeled the argument as stupid, not the individual. You’re trolling for something that isn’t there.

                1. Scotti

                  Calling someone’s argument asinine (and harping on him for using the dreaded term “exactly”) ain’t comity. We CAN disagree agreeably. It isn’t hard and it doesn’t cost anything.

                  1. Jon

                    But ‘exactly’ drives the entire argument. I would agree that Barney and Almora are similar(in the fact that they both play for the Cubs organization), but ‘exactly’ the same ? Um, not likely. That’s something to harp on. You harped on me for misspelling a word, which of course I would have fixed if the blog allowed you to edit posts.

                    1. Scotti

                      Jon, the reason I brought up the misspelling (and the simple math error) was because of how you were nitpicking on Blu. We can all go off on each other about misspellings, math errors, faux pas, banned words, hyperboles, etc. What’s the point, though? Does it add to the board? No. I can dish it as well as anyone else, but it has gotten out of hand here. You’ve been here for some time and you bring a lot. Let’s just hold each other to a higher standard.

                      As to the similarities? Almora and Barney have quite a few and that is a good compliment albeit not a great comparison. Are they clones? No (and even clones are dissimilar in some ways). However, they are both up-the-middle plus, plus defenders with average speed who give you more than their skill sets imply. At the moment, Almora hasn’t developed the average power that may come. Neither has he shown much in terms of BB/K management. That may come as well. SOME of that needs to come soon or his ceiling drops significantly.

              2. DarthHater

                “There’s no reason this site shouldn’t be known for its comity as well as its baseball acumen. If it’s known for both, it has the potential to really help Brett. If it’s known for only for having some smart baseball discussions once you sift through all of the vitriol, he doesn’t stand a chance.”

                Well, crap, Scotti. When you put it like that, it takes all the fun outta being an a-hole. :-P

                1. Scotti

                  No, no. Being an a-hole can still be fun. We a-holes just need to try to find an outlet somewhere else. For instance, I plan on splashing through more puddles when I drive (soaking pedestrians on cold days) and the like. That’s some fun stuff there.

          2. hansman1982

            Here’s the thing, Almora had statistically similar A ball power numbers compared to Barney while being 2 years younger AND having FAR fewer PA against low-A (college being at least similar to A-) competition.

            Barney and Almora share similarities. High contact rates, low K and BB rates, not great power, plus-plus defense; however, Almora is at least matching Barney while being 2 years younger and that is statistically HUGE.

            1. Blublud

              The point is what I was comparing was the contact, BB and K rates, not great power and plus plus defense, high singles rate. I never said Almora wasn’t statistically better, or wouldn’t be statistically better. I never even mentioned until it was mentioned to me, and even then, my prediction for Almora were superior to those of Barney.

              1. ssckelley

                “my prediction for Almora were superior to those of Barney.”

                So why even compare the 2? You say they are similar yet Almora is superior. Make up your mind!

                Remember this entire debate started with you making this claim: “They are so similar offensively, and at their respective positions defensively that I can’t think of a better comp for Almora then Barney.”

                1. On The Farm

                  “So why even compare the 2? ”

                  Because they have some similar attributes? I generally agree with you ssckelley, but outside of this year for Barney you could say that Almora could be a Barney-like player. They both don’t strikeout a lot, both draw walks, neither hit a ton of HRs, both play excellent defense, both hit a lot of singles. Just because Blu doesn’t think Almora will develop his XBH much more doesn’t make him wrong. Almora is similar in many respects to Barney. Seems like a mountain is being made out of a mole hill here (by a lot of people). The intent of the original post was to point out similarity between two players, and while he said they are exactly the same player is a stretch, they do have similar qualities.

          3. On The Farm

            “or take him too literally–I mean, really, “exactly”??? Of course not exactly. Duh.”

            This is one of Blu’s biggest problems, he uses too many definitive statements (maybe this isn’t the right word), but I do feel like he uses statements that get taken to literally. However, it usually ends up in a good discussion of why (in this instance) Almora is going to be a great player.

      3. DarthHater

        Your point is generally well-taken, but Blub’s comments about Barney and Almora went beyond just comparing Almora’s makeup to the excellent makeup of Barney. It’s a standard technique of minor trolling: to articulate a point in an unnecessarily extreme form and then defend it with an intricate combination of obstinate certitude and goal-post-shifting. And it does exactly what it is designed to do, which is to generate these sorts of flurries of argument. For myself, I’ve found Blub to be a nice guy, so I only get sarcastic with him, rather than vitriolic. But, really, it’s not surprising that a lot of his comments get under some people’s skin.

        1. hansman1982

          Don’t worry, in a year we will get a post talking about how he was just kidding and never thought Almora was like Barney at all.

          1. Blublud

            Nah. My just kidding post was on on the post Campana trade hate I had for the cubs. I have never bern just kidding on anything else.

        2. On The Farm

          Some of Blu’s earlier comments just really stick with people and since you can only go off your first impression of a person on the internet it’s hard to change your perception. For instance, my first impression on his taste of women was him saying Kim DeJesus is not hot. I disagree and because of that if he makes a statement I disagree with, I am going to let him know.

          *WARNING: this post’s content objectifies women to a small degree. If you don’t want to read anything like that, don’t read this post.

          (I think I am going to put warnings on my posts from now on to avoid confusion)

          1. ssckelley

            Wait a minute, he said Kim was not hot? Blu not like women?

            1. On The Farm

              Yeah, wasn’t a fan of her curves (from the behind). Said there wasn’t enough for his liking. If I recall correctly he said, she was attractive, but to call her hot was a bit of an overstatement.

              *WARNING: again objectifying women.

              1. Blublud

                I like women with butts. I would never consider a woman with no behind hot. Thats just my opinion.

                1. On The Farm

                  That’s fine, but this is one instance, in which no amount of your convincing will allow me to see your side of the argument. The only way you could work it to your advantage is if you created a hypothetical universe. Like if in some world two Kims would be interested in me, one with a butt, one without. Obviously the latter might be a better choice, but that universe is so far-fetched, I am going to stick with my original opinion that having a butt is a mandatory requirement to being hot. And there is no disrespect intended in this post at all.

                  1. Blublud

                    Ok. Well I would never date a woman who doesn’t have a nice bottom and a naturally beautiful face. I guess I’m just picky. There is no either/or, its both. If I want pancakes, I’ll go to IHOP.

                    1. DarthHater


                    2. Blublud

                      Not really. That butt has to be on a size 5 frame or smaller. Google Vida Guerra, Meagan Good, Brittany Spears, Kerry Washington. Those are the types of butts I like. Nice butts on small frames.

          2. C. Steadman

            haha might want to put the warning at the top…its like showing Manny Machado’s injury GIF at the top of the article and then after someone has seen it then putting “Warning: This article contains a graphic injury”

            1. On The Farm

              No because deep down I still want people to read my post and don’t really care if I offend people. HA!

              *WARNING: I am not usually a jackass so I feel like if I am offending you, you are way too thin skinned and need to get over it.

              1. C. Steadman

                haha fair enough

          3. Gutshot5820

            Don’t you think it would be wise to put the warning sign BEFORE the post?

            1. On The Farm

              Warnings are like the Terms of agreement, do people actually ever read them? But, as long as I put it on there, I can’t get in trouble.

  27. jon

    “Steadman, you are comparing stats. I have never once compared Almora and Barney stats. I’m comparing their makeup. Their makeup is almost identical. ”

    Translation, you are making your argument based on facts, while I am just making stuff up.

    1. DarthHater


    2. DarthHater


  28. jon

    Albert Almora is 6’2, plays outfield, and is projected in the outfield, while Darwin Barney is 5’10 and has played the infield his entire career. So of course I could see why someone would project those two as the exact same player


    1. jh03

      Not to mention that Almora projects as a, “.290/.350/.450 from premium defensive position, with 10-15 home run pop, plenty of doubles, and a chance to steal 15-20 bases at a high success rate.: type of player, according to BP. I don’t think Barney has ever sniffed those numbers, without looking it up.

      1. jon

        It would be one thing to say, “Barney reminds me a bit Almora”, but no, he’s gone “all in”. They are the exact same player!

        This HAS to be trolling.

        1. Blublud

          They are the exact same kind of player. Low k, low BB, high contact, light power, slightly above average speed, very good defensive players. Rather or not one is statistically superior to the other does change that they are the same type of player.

    2. wvcubsfan

      I think I understand where you are coming from, but I don’ think you are understanding what Blu is trying to convey. He’s NOT saying that Almora and Barney are going to be similar type players. He actually directly alludes to that by pointing out they play different positions. What he IS tying to say (IMO) is that like Barney, Almora’s numbers will be highly dependent on batting average (read singles) based on what evidence we have so far in his baseball career. Due to this fact “luck”, “randomness”, “BABIP”, or whatever you would like to call it may cause wild fluctuations of his baseball card numbers from year to year.

      Having said all of that, I still don’t know if we’ve seen the “true” Almora as of yet. I know his walk totals aren’t great, but that may not be because of his batting eye it may be because the pitchers haven’t thrown 4 pitches that he couldn’t handle. I’d like to think that as he progresses up the chain that the walk numbers will go up and the average won’t dip too much.

  29. Headscratchin

    Brett- words of wisdom from my Mother when I had very young children – We were visiting her from out of state and our youngest was up all night for one thing or another. Next morning we were setting at the breakfast table and Mom looks over and says “sounds like the baby has you trained pretty well.”

    When we got home we stopped getting up with them. First night he screamed for 45 minutes and I had to hold my wife down the entire time. Next night he only screamed for 15 minutes and then we never heard a peep out of him again. Put them to bed every night at the same time and then forget about them until morning. Much less stressful plan for parenting!

    1. Cubbie Blues

      “Next night he only screamed for 15 minutes and then we never heard a peep out of him again.”
      My condolences.

      1. Headscratchin

        LOL!! That was funny. Should have elaborated a bit on that one.

  30. BN>Twitter

    Why do people hashtag on blogs and Facebook…? This isn’t twitter and is kind of lame in my opinion.

    1. MichiganGoat

      It’s a habit and is how twitter is taking over our minds, I actually had a student hastag in a paper this year.

      1. DarthHater

        Hopefully, said student #flunked. ;-)

    2. Jon

      Facebook picks up hashtags now, I believe


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