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emilio bonifacio cubsIt hasn’t always been fun for Chicago Cubs fans in the first week of the season, but there has been on clearly enjoyable, repeatable event: whenever Emilio Bonifacio comes to the plate (if not always when he’s (not) standing on first). The 28-year-old utility man, whom the Cubs picked up just before Spring Training when the Royals paid him several hundred grand to go away, has enjoyed a pretty remarkable first week with his new team.

And because his performance has been fun, let’s have a little more fun with Emilio Bonifacio as we await his next game, tomorrow night:

  • Bonifacio has 14 hits through 6 games, which puts him on pace for a cool 378 over the course of a 162-game season. That’s probably not sustainable, but that’s OK – the record is a mere 262, by Ichiro in 2004. Should be a piece of cake.
  • Emilio has been nuts this year, but his .491 wOBA is good for just 11th in baseball, behind such luminaries as Todd Frazier (.499), Matt Joyce (.506), Yangervis Solarte (.536) and Charlie Blackmon (.592).
  • (Incidentally, the wOBA leader so far this year in baseball? It’s an Angel, but not the guy you think. Or maybe the other guy, either. It’s Josh Hamilton, at .610.)
  • Finding the next Cub on the qualifying wOBA list requires clicking through a few pages of 30 names apiece, and then scrolling to the bottom: Anthony Rizzo, at .338. Platoons will do that, though, because three non-qualified players fall between Bonifacio and Rizzo – Ryan Kalish (.481), Luis Valbuena (.362), and Junior Lake (.351).
  • Bonifacio is fourth in Major League Baseball with one intentional walk, tied with, among many others, D.J. LeMahieu for some reason.
  • Bonifacio’s line - .500/.548/.571 – is very attractive, but it was actually bested several times over the course of an entire season by Barry Bonds (asterisk inserted). For example, in 2004, over 614 plate appearances, Bonds hit .362/.609/.812. Bonifacio’s wOBA this year is .491. Bonds’ in 2004 was .537.
  • Bonifacio’s four stolen bases are tied for most in baseball with recent opponent, Ben Revere (who has been on base nine fewer times).
  • Small sample size, obviously, but with everyone talking about all of the hits, no one has pointed out this: so far, Bonifacio’s walk rate (9.7%) and strikeout rate (12.9%) are both considerably better than his career marks (8.0% and 20.3%, respectively).
  • Bonifacio has already been worth 0.6 WAR, according to FanGraphs. His total WAR last year in 136 games, split between Toronto and Kansas City? Yup: 0.6.
  • Emilio Estevez’s career WAR, by the way: 0.0.
  • Emilio Rivera’s career WAR was also 0.0, but he’s made a hell of a go of it as a character actor in a boatload of TV shows and movies. Maybe he, too, is just looking for his leading opportunity. Or, maybe he’s just the Hollywood equivalent of a great utility guy, and we shouldn’t mess with what works. (Now my brain is scrambling for other baseball/Hollywood parallels. Miguel Cabrera = Brad Pitt? Raul Ibanez = Christopher Lee? Ryan Theriot = Carrot Top?)
  • Everyone’s favorite jinx-tastic stat: if Bonifacio goes 0 for his next 18, he’ll still be hitting over .300. He could go hitless in his next 42(!) at bats, and still be above the Mendoza Line (hitting an even .200 at that point).
  • Although I was partial to MVPilio Bonifacio (it was my first idea for a Bonifacio quip, so you can understand), but I’m starting to get behind Super Emilio 64 as the nom de net of the versatile utility man. This picture pretty much pushed me over the edge:

  • Blackhawks1963

    With all due respect, it would be nice if you took your foot off the Emilio Bonafacio accelerator pedal. For crying out loud, it’s been 6 games and where this team has gone 2-4 ! Oh, and we are talking about a MUCH TRAVELED ballplayer who has a SUB .300 OBP for his career.

    With all due respect

    • Argonzo

      Heck no! Hit the gas, sea bass!

    • roz

      I think not. Clearly Brett believes 6 games is a large enough sample size to crown Bonifacio as the NL MVP.

      • Sandberg

        That was the obvious takeaway from this post.

    • Jon

      Happy loves Bono too

    • ssckelley

      Perhaps you are looking at the wrong player stats but Bonifacio has a career .325 OBP. Cripes Brett is just having fun with the numbers. If this bores you on a off day then you can join in on the financial stuff in a different article.

    • Edwin

      I think it’s rare that the Cubs seem to sign a FA and have that FA actually exceed expectations right from the start. It’s an occation to celebrate.

      • wkranz

        Feldman, Schierholtz, Maholm, Navarro. Sure there have been some misses, but this FO has landed guys that exceed expectations several times. The problem is, the expectations are almost always extremely low.

    • Fishin Phil

      Apparently Blackhawk missed the first word in the title – Fun

    • C. Steadman

      Sheldon, that was sarcasm. 0 for 1.

      • Fishin Phil

        Bazinga!

    • Senor Cub

      I think Emilio should retire now and go out on Top!

    • DarthHater

      With all due respect, there is a zero percent chance that you are not being obtuse.

      • Jon

        What did you call me Dufresne?!?!?!

  • Jim

    How can we combine Super Mario and the “quack” chant into one super-meme?

  • Kycubs

    Numbers are fun.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      +i

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    “Emilio Estevez’s career WAR, by the way: 0.0.”

    Only because AmazingHockeyMovieStats.com doesn’t use WAR. They use WAEE (Wins Above Emilio Esteves).

    • Edwin

      Wouldn’t his WAEE still be zero, since he is Emilio Esteves?

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        [img]http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh49/deepsix13/ahoy-there-captain-obvious.jpg[/img]

        • Edwin

          You’re just a big mean person.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            Is that a fat joke?

    • ssckelley

      [img]http://www.roguejoker.com/movies/the-breakfast-club-now/images/Emilio-Estevez-Breakfast-Club.jpg[/img]

      • ssckelley

        Damn, must have crashed the site. Emilio, state champion wrassler baby!

  • Medicos

    Bono leads the NL in BA, SB , and hits. He’ll be here for another 4 1/2 months and in August the FO will flip him to a contending team just they did with Dempster, Johnson, Garza, Soto, Feldman, DeJesus, Johnson, Maholm, and Sori. That’s Plan A.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

    Carrot Top=Ryan Theriot is the best thing ive heard all day!

  • Spoda17

    As much as I give Jessy Rodgers an eh on his reporting, I think he is spot on with this…

    “The lineup: If you want to give manager Rick Renteria the benefit of the doubt for the first week of the season, go ahead. If you think Ryan Kalish deserves some starts, an argument can be made for it, and not just because of his two-hit, three-RBI performance Sunday. He was a rising prospect with Boston before injuries sidelined him, and he’s young enough (26) that he could play his way into a larger role in Chicago. But there is no short- or long-term reason that outfielder Ryan Sweeney should be getting starts over Junior Lake. And Mike Olt needs to be playing more often as well.

    Are the Cubs really going to rotate a platoon through basically four positions at third, second, left and center? That does no one any good. Renteria might be trying to win a game that day, but if the Cubs are interested in winning every game, they would have a better team on the field in the first place. Nothing against Sweeney, but he isn’t going to be a starter on this team when it becomes a contender; neither will Luis Valbuena. The other players could be. The argument ends there.”

    • ssckelley

      You put the team on the field that gives you the best chance to win.

      • Spoda17

        Exactly, and we are 2-4… so your point is well taken, we are putting the wrong team on the field. This is not about wins, this is about what team we will have in the future.

        • ssckelley

          For me it is all about wins. This is April, not August or September heck even July I can see your argument. But the first few months of the season I am telling RR to put the best lineup on the field that you think will give you the best chance to win TODAY.

          When the Cubs are out of it then let’s start screaming for Babe Watkins to start ahead of Barney, ect ect.

          • YourResidentJag

            Cubs shouldn’t have offered a contract to Barney, period.

            • ssckelley

              I would not have wanted to enter this season with Watkins as the top 2nd baseman on the depth chart, that would have been stupid. Teams would have been ringing Barney’s agent off the hook had the Cubs declined on giving Barney a contract. At the end of the day Barney is still a damn good defensive player that has a career WAR of over 6 in 3+ seasons.

              • YourResidentJag

                So, Valbuena or Bono can’t play 2b? I’m not sure teams would have had Barney’s phone ringing off the hook. He probably would have signed a minor league deal after last season.

                • ssckelley

                  Bonifacio was not available when contact decisions were made. Valbuena has primarily been used at 3rd base.

                  You are wrong about Barney, there are a number of teams who would have offered him. To suggest the Cubs not offer him a contract is not thinking rationally.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    Bono wasn’t available but guys like him always are. Neither was Donnie Murphy for Texas when they first lost Profar.

                    • ssckelley

                      Right, a 4 WAR 2nd baseman over a 7 year career are found everywhere. OR they could simply re-sign their own 6 WAR over 3+ years 2nd baseman that is a gold glove defender.

                      As mentioned several times your Barney hate is clouding your judgement. You are wrong and you’re not man enough to admit it.

                      Moving on……..

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  He wouldn’t have gotten as much money as he got with the Cubs but he’d be starting for someone right now.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    Maybe.

                • mjhurdle

                  no way Barney signs a minor league deal. One year removed from a 4+ WAR season? 6.2 WAR in 4 years?
                  The Rangers signed Murphy, who hasn’t had more than 1 WAR in a season in his 8 year career, and has totaled a whooping -0.5 WAR in 8 seasons, because of one injury. If you don’t think there wouldn’t be more than one team jumping at the chance to have Barney as a bench player, then you are being irrational.
                  im not saying teams would be beating down the Cubs door to get Barney to start for them, but he would have had a major league contract from someone at least as a bench player, and *maybe* as a starter for a bad team.
                  I don’t mind the Cubs offering him a contract. If he somehow gets close to his 2012 season again, he would actually be a decent trade chip, or an above average place-holder until the next wave comes up.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    What does signing a minor league deal have anything to do or not to do with being a bench player? He could still play his way onto a team in ST. An above avg placeholder is Valbuena at 2b and then Bono. Olt is an above avg defender with plus power, a skill set Barney doesn’t have. It’s all about Runs Scored and always will be. You don’t hold that back, especially with 25 yr olds. That’s why Kalish should be playing most days as well. Because he has another skill set Barney doesn’t. OBP.

            • Edwin

              Why? He’s cheap, has decent upside, and is at the very least a decent bench player.

              • YourResidentJag

                And won’t be around next year.

                • Edwin

                  But the Cubs still need players for this year. I think Barney is a nice player to have on the bench.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              Barney is very capable of being a league average 2B when you factor in the amazing glove.

              If his bat reverts to 2012 levels, he has value. If he played SS (which he is very capable of doing), he has the potential to be a top-10 SS.

              • YourResidentJag

                Except that he isn’t league avg anymore. Get rid of those notions. You’re WAAAAY overvaluing him compared to playing at the very least Valbuena at 2b, whom the Cubs did have last season.

            • craigp

              Correct. Phone ringing off the hook for Barney? Seriously?? Not a chance in hell

              • ssckelley

                Yes seriously, if the Cubs cut Barney tomorrow there would be a number of teams interested in him. Clear your mind of the Barney hate, not many teams would pass on a cheap, gold glove infielder who can play shortstop. At the very least to have as a solid glove off the bench.

                • YourResidentJag

                  No. Not a chance.

          • Edwin

            I just think the “Olt needs to play every day” thing is overdone. If healthy, he’ll get plenty of starts this season to “devlope” and show the Cubs what he’s got. It’s not like he’s been tearing the cover off the ball anyways. Starting 100 games or 150 games this season isn’t going to make much of a difference either way.

            • Head and Heart

              I think the reason fans want to see him playing now is because of his struggles last season. He was a big time prospect and after all the things that happened last season we need to know what we have with Olt. We aren’t going to learn that with him playing every other day. He needs to be in the lineup everyday getting his ABs. It doesn’t do him much good to get 3 trips to the plate then sit then get 3 more. let him play everyday, see the ball, hit or not hit and then decide what to do moving forward. Wins and losses don’t really matter this year. So juggling the lineup to squeeze out wins, which I assume is what Renteria is doing, doesn’t really help long term compared to playing Olt and seeing what we’ve got.

              • Edwin

                It could also be that they want to go easy on Olt’s shoulder, or go easy on his playing time to ease him into MLB. I admit, I’d rather see Olt play than not play, it just doesn’t bother me that much if he’s not in the lineup.

                • Head and Heart

                  I guess with Bryant, Villanueva, maybe Baez and Alcantara I just feel like there is a time crunch here to find out what the Cubs have in Olt.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    It is still April, and early April at that. The Cubs have plenty of time to figure how to piece that particular puzzle together.

                    • Head and Heart

                      Yeah you are right of course. I am just impatient I guess looking ahead to a future. Be nice to get to where I don’t roll my eyes when I see the Cubs lineup for the day. I still watch the games and cheer for the good guys. I just ever so slightly prefer cheering when Olt and Kalish are in the lineup.

              • ssckelley

                The Cubs have not chucked this season yet, again, you do not scrap the season in April. If this season does get scrapped there will be plenty of time later in the season for the Cubs to give young players at bats and experience.

                Putting players in the lineup simply to get them at bats instead of putting the best team on the field to win would send a horrible message to the rest of the team.

                • Head and Heart

                  Well personally I actually think Olt and Kalish give the Cubs a much better chance to win as well as being younger. That’s why I want to see what we have in those guys by playing them a lot. If I am wrong, which has happened, then at least the Cubs know and can move forward with that knowledge. I am not suggesting packing in the season as I hope the Cubs work to win as many games as possible. I just think there is information we can get this year that is as important as winning games in 2014 because it can help the Cubs prepare to win more games in 2015 and beyond.

                  • ssckelley

                    After the season Olt had last year I think they want to put him in the best possible situation for him to succeed, and for right now that means starting Valbuena over Olt against tough right handers.

                    Olt will get his chances.

                    • Head and Heart

                      As I said somewhere else I think consistent at bats would give Olt the best chance to succeed. He broke camp with the big club. If they were worried about him succeeding or his shoulder or anything else then they should have started him in AAA. He’s here so play him.

                    • ssckelley

                      Again, the Cubs are still trying to win games. You and I are spinning our wheels arguing about this. Obviously are complaining that Olt is not playing, and you do it in the form of “wondering” this and “wondering” that. Luke and I have both offered you reasonable explanations as to why Olt is not playing and at the end of the day all you are going to do is bitch about it. I don’t like all the decisions RR and the FO make either, but it is what it is.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      Sskelley you are wrong.

                      Ask yourself one question…. can the cubs get at least a wild card and make the playoffs this year?

                      If you answer yes you are nuts.

                      If you answer no then Olt needs to play everyday so we will be ready when you can answer yes to the question.

                      We have two other third basemen in villanueva and Bryant. If Olt can’t do it then get another third base prospect who can make it. If Olt can make it then move Bryant to outfield and perhaps trade villanueva.

                      We are wasting at bats by playing valbuena. Time is of the essence. Same thing with lake.

          • Spoda17

            Sskelley, I want to win too, but Valbuenna and Sweeney will not be on this team next year. We don’t need them to develop, we need Olt, and Lake, and Kalish to get experience. We should be working for sustained wins. And, if you don’t give them a chance, you will never know if they are better than Valbuena et all. They need a chance to prove they can, or can’t do it…

            • ssckelley

              Don’t you understand what I am saying? You do not worry about next season in April! When/if the Cubs fall out of playoff contention THEN you worry about getting the young guys experience and time to develop at the MLB level. Not when you are 6 games into a season.

              Unless you are cutting or trading Sweeney or Valbuena they will both be Cubs next season. Sweeney signed a 2 year deal and Valbuena is under team control until 2017.

              • Spoda17

                Sweeney has this year and a team option next year. If you actually think playing them gives us a better chance to win… nothing I can say that will change your thought. What I am saying is Olt, Lake, and Kalish ARE BETTER…. not just young and need to play… they are BETTER…

                • ssckelley

                  I never said Sweeney gives the Cubs a better chance to win, right now Sweeney is playing like shit and I hope RR goes with the hot hand tomorrow in Kalish. But Olt is not hitting worth a crap either so I have no problem with RR using him the way he has.

                  • Head and Heart

                    I do wonder though if part of the reason Olt is struggling is because he is in and out of the lineup and not getting consistent 3 or 4 PAs each day.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      He’s likely in and out of the lineup because that shoulder isn’t at 100% yet and the Cubs aren’t going to gamble by just chucking him in there and hoping for the best.

                      I strongly suspect that Olt’s playing time will go up with the average day time temperature, at least until he’s had plenty of opportunity to show whether or not he can handle major league pitching.

                    • Head and Heart

                      Luke, I wonder then why they didn’t started him in AAA then where he could have DH’d and played first as well so he would get consistent at bats every day?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      The weather would have been similar, and I suspect they would have been just as cautious with his shoulder.

                      If he’s only going to get occasional at bats anyway, I’d rather he get them in the majors than in Iowa. I really don’t see any profit to shipping him to Iowa just because they are being cautious in this case.

                • ssckelley

                  and you are mistaken on Sweeney, his option is for 2016 not next season.

              • Brocktoon

                We started worrying about 2015 in July 2013

              • http://bleachernation.com woody

                I don’t really understand why they gave Sweeny a two year deal. I know he was hot before the injury last year, but for me that wasn’t a big enough sample size to justify this contract. I don’t understand the criticism of Valbuena. He is a guy that a lot of teams would want on their bench.

                • ssckelley

                  It looked like a good deal at the time. But in hindsight seeing how well Kalish and Bonifacio have done the FO is probably regretting giving Sweeney a 2 year deal.

                • Chad

                  It was a 2 year cheap cheap deal for a 4th outfielder that was going to get treated like one. I doubt anyone saw Kalish being a part of the team and Bonifacio was not in the picture at the time of the signing so it probably looked really good at that point in time.

              • Jason P

                I agree. I think you’ve got to do everything you can to win baseball games until it becomes clear you’re out of it. That shouldn’t take long for this team.

                I don’t know why people think a few weeks of platooning is going to somehow significantly hinder Olt or Lake’s development.

      • Henry Rowengartner

        [img]http://jmmnewaov2.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/moneyball/[/img]

    • craigp

      Yes…..exactly!

  • E

    Bonny has earned an everyday job for sure. The problem is, where? I’d vote for the following lineup:

    1. Bonaficio 2b
    2. Lake CF
    3. Kalish LF
    4. Rizzo 1b
    5. Olt/Valbuena 3b
    6. Castro SS
    7. Sholtzy RF
    8. Pitcher
    9. Castillo C

  • Hee Seop Chode

    Do players accumulate WAR over the course of a season and throw them in the statistical bank for safe keeping, or can that 0.6 decline if he say strikes out 42 consecutive times?

    • Kyle

      If he plays below replacement level, it will decline.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        However, the 6 extra runs created so far is for keeps. If we expected 2.6 WAR from Bono at the outset (a number I just made up for ease of calculation), then regression predicts that he’ll wind up wind up with about 3.1 for the year: the 2.5 we expect from the final 25 weeks plus the 0.6 he already has.

        But, as Kyle notes, if Bono essentially contributes -6 runs to the Cubs run differential over some span, then he will erase this WAR.

  • YourResidentJag

    I hope Ryan Kalish outperforms expectations.

    • Spoda17

      in order for that to happen, he has to actually play…

      • KHRSS

        He should be playing over Sweeny who was bad in ST and has been bad so far this year. Give Kalish a shot.

      • YourResidentJag

        Well he should.

  • BennyTheJet

    Who says no?

    Cubs get: Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Chance Sisco

    Orioles get: Shark, CJ Edwards, Christian Villanueva

    • cubbiekoolaid2015

      Cubs.(no way Edwards and Shark go in the same trade)

      Shark and Vogelbach for Bundy, Gausman, and Berry might be better deal for both sides.

      • Jason P

        A mid market team like the Orioles are not going to move their top 2 pitching prospects for a number 2/3 starter with under 2 years of control left.

      • Norm

        At least you admit you’re drinking the KoolAid.

    • Jon

      Orioles say no

      • Chad

        That would be a pretty sweet deal for the cubs honestly. But it will never happen. I think Jed and Theo would jump all over that. Both Bundy and Gausman project to be better than Shark (shoot Bundy was prior to injury) and some still don’t know if Edwards can stick long term in the rotation, so yeah the cubs would be all over that.

      • mjhurdle

        I think the Cubs say no to that.
        A TJ surgery pitcher that hasn’t been above AA (but awesome A+ stats before the injury) plus a HR susceptible Gausman that hasn’t had blow away numbers in the minors but projects well for a young #2 and the a stud minor league pitcher (MiLB pitcher of the year but doubts about starter potential in the majors) plus the best defensive 3B in the minors with an above average bat (but doubts about whether the bat can be above average in the majors).

        The Orioles are getting a known quality (Shark) plus 2 good lottery tickets (Edwards and Villinueva) ad the Cubs get 2 lottery tickets. I don’t know a ton about Sisco, but he doesn’t seem to make up the difference.
        I think the Orioles would jump all over that trade.

        • Chad

          Bundy was called up to the majors shortly. You don’t do that with a 19 year old kid if he’s not a stud. yes he had TJS, but his upside to the cubs would be more than 2 years of shark. It will never happen though, so I’m not worried about it. Also, if you are really worried about Gausman he could be a major piece in another trade because he is so highly thought of by the experts.

        • Norm

          Gausman is “home run susceptible” because of his 47 career innings?
          The O’s would laugh and hang up.

        • Edwin

          Yeah, that’s really overselling Edwards and Villanueva while underselling Gausman and Bundy. Baseball America has Bundy at #15, even with the Tommy John, and Gausman at #20. Edwards is #28, and Villanueva is not even in the top 100, even with his Greatest Defensive Third Baseman stuff.

    • YourResidentJag

      I believe the Cubs would get a package that would involve Harvey, Rodriguez, Sisco, and Wright.

    • Karl Groucho

      I have a hard time seeing a context where it makes sense for the Os. Even assuming Bundy-for-Edwards is a fair deal (I think it’s at best neutral, but probably has the Cubs giving up too little), I can’t see the Os biting on a Gausman-for-Shark trade. If they’re in a situation where they need quality ML pitching, they’re not going to give up quality ML pitching to get it! If the reason they need quality ML pitching, though, is that Gausman isn’t doing well, then they’d probably not sell low after a half-season. And I’d bet they’d be able to find a trade partner who will give them quality ML pitching for something else.

      The Villanueva piece strikes me as gravy barring injury — if they’re in the hunt such that they need a good SP, a decent AAA prospect at a position of strength (with Machado/Schoop covering 3B/2B) isn’t going to move the scales much.

      • Karl Groucho

        I’d be glad to get Sisco, though, if only to hear “The Thong Song” every time he comes up to bat.

      • Chad

        Villanueva would be more logical for the O’s as they chose to give up less to get Feldman last year than give up more prospects to get Garza.

  • Bric

    Anybody else remember about five years ago in late April when Jim Hendry said he had a major announcement. We all thought it was a major trade and it turned out all it was Castro being called up. And we all thought “big deal”. And then Castro went 3 for 4 or something awesome like that and we all thought “Awesome!” That was probably his best day in the majors.

    The point is it appears Bonificio may’ve just realized at the age of 28 that you’re no longer a rookie with “upside”, there ain’t any more room to grow, and you better start getting your head on straight, save your money and rely on your natural ability and just do the things that got you here or you’re gonna be selling cars along with all of your memorabilia before you’re 30. Let’s hope Castro learns from this but unfortunately I can see a similar story being written about him in about 5 years by the Blue Jays, or Rockies, or whatever team he ends up on when the Cubs get tired of his salary and lack of production. Utility players are a dime a dozen after the first 4 years of their contract.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Secret is out- Emilio is a Hologram

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