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tsuyoshi wada cubsFor the first week of the Pacific Coast League season, Chicago Cubs pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada was the bee’s knees. He went 13.1 innings over two starts, allowing just one run on seven hits and one walk, and he struck out 18(!). Unsurprisingly, then, the lefty was named the PCL Pitcher of the Week. On Friday, he followed up the hot start with another eight innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and one walk. He struck out five.

The dude is absolutely dominating at AAA, to put it mildly.

Under normal circumstances, the hype meter would have turned up on a “prospect” like Wada, with folks wondering, “Hey, when are we going to see that guy get a crack in the bigs?”

But you know that Wada’s aren’t quite normal circumstances. For one thing – the biggest thing – he’s already 33. That’s not prospect age by any stretch, and the fact that he hasn’t yet pitched in the big leagues would normally count as a strike against a guy that age. But there’s a however to the however: Wada pitched for a decade professionally in Japan before coming over the States (quite well). He would have made his Stateside debut around age 31, which is relatively normal for a Japanese pitcher coming over to MLB (dominant Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma, for example, made his debut at 31, and Kyuji Fujikawa came to the Cubs at 32).

He’s not so old, then, in that regard. But why hasn’t he pitched in the bigs? Well, he came over on a two-year deal with the Orioles, and almost immediately needed Tommy John surgery. It took him the normal recovery time, and, when he was ready to pitch again, the Orioles opted to hold him down at AAA (where, by late 2013, reports had him pitching very well). The Cubs got him on a minor league deal after the season.

As we saw in Spring Training, when Wada was one of the final competitors for the fill-in rotation spot, he really does have a fantastic changeup when he commands it, and this FanGraphs piece (calling Wada one of the “fringe” prospects of the week) has some GIFs where you can see his deception in action. You can tell only so much from a few AAA starts, but, clearly Wada has what it takes to get out AAA hitters. In Spring Training, I wasn’t terribly impressed, but that, too, was a very limited sample.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Wada if he keeps tearing up AAA (it’s so early, so let’s not assume anything). The Cubs have Jake Arrieta returning soon, and James McDonald on the 60-day DL. They’ve got Chris Rusin hoping to get a starting chance at some point this year, and Kyle Hendricks, Eric Jokisch, and Carlos Pimentel all waiting in the wings at AAA, too. Even if there are a couple trades or injuries, it’s unclear whether Wada is going to get the first crack at a rotation opening.

That said, I kind of hope he does. Yes, he’s 33, and no, he doesn’t have huge, long-term upside. But he does have big league upside, and, if the Cubs found him a keeper this year, they’d have control over him for several inexpensive years if they add him to the 40-man roster.

  • http://becomehealthier.com drcub1908

    if he can hit, then bring him up

  • Fishin Phil

    Does he still have that blazing 60 mph fastball?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hitting 62 last week.

  • Rebuilding

    Wada as a situational lefty? Yes. As a starter? Only for about two starts where he gets torched

  • itzscott

    Is this the same Wada that gave up 14 runs in 14.2 innings pitched while sporting an impressive 8.59 ERA in spring training?

    Yes, let’s bring him up immediately. And maybe another 4th outfielder to round things out.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Yes, because 15 innings of Spring Training determine a pitcher’s worth, everyone knows that!

      • Karl Groucho

        I’d love for him to be awesome, but surely 21.1 AAA innings with a .163 BABIP against and a 100% LOB rate tells us little more.

        • mosconml

          Still… 23 strikeouts and 2 walks over 3 games pitched.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I’m not saying that he is anywhere near as good as the pitcher that he’s shown in AAA so far this year, but judging a guy off of 15 Spring Training innings his hilarious. He’ll probably settle in nicely somewhere between the two.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “Yes, let’s bring him up immediately. And maybe another 4th outfielder to round things out.”

      I may have missed where that was even remotely suggested. Perhaps you could point out to me where I went off course, and I can correct. Thanks.

    • itzscott

      Probably just me but now whenever I read the word “fringy” I’ve become like Pavlov’s dog and associate it with a really good player that every team is missing out on except the Cubs.

      • DarthHater

        “I’ve become like Pavlov’s dog”

        I was wondering what all the drooling was about.

  • JCubs79

    I’d give him the first shot over Hendricks. He could slide into the swing man role once Villanueva is gone at some point in the future if he remains with the team.

  • Norm

    ugh, another example of Castillo’s poor pitch framing
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-most-or-least-important-pitch-framing-question/

    • Rebuilding

      I think a lot of people that post here should click on that link. It discusses a lot of the objections people have with pitch framing and it uses our very own Wellington Castillo as an example

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

        Maybe I am mis-reading your reply but I don’t think that article says what you think it does.

        The article isn’t a discussion of “pitch framing exists” vs. “pitch framing doesn’t exist” it is a discussion of “Should pitch framing be an issue?” From that you can take the inference that the author is framing the debate as automated vs. human strike zone.

        The article raises some interesting points regarding keeping a human strike zone. Since pitch framing is a thing, should we keep the human zone? This would encourage teams to draft and develop good framers and weigh the benefits of that over a different deficiency that the catcher has. But, why don’t we give bonus points for well-hit balls that turn into outs?

        • Karl Groucho

          I came to post it here for exactly what Rebuilding was saying, so my 2c…

          I think it’s one of the better reads for people hesitant toward the concept of framing. It shows you perhaps the most egregious example of poor framing (by, alas, a Cub), discusses framing as an inevitable and up to now largely invisible thing, and asks whether we should — now that we know about it — embrace it as a skill or find a way to get rid of it.

          The article does a good job of separating the descriptive and normative aspects of the issue, which too often seem to be conflated by people just coming to understand it. That it does happen and that we want our catcher to be good at it is one thing. Quite different is the question whether we should be happy about teaching it or find it uncomfortable.

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

            It was known previously, it’s just that now, with Pitch F/X, we are able to quantify it. Now that we can quantify it, more folks are studying to see what it can tell us, with more people studying it, it gets talked about more.

            It is an interesting debate, do we want the human strike zone and the errors from it so we can keep a skill or do we want an automated zone with no errors and an even zone for everyone.

            • OCCubFan

              The essence of baseball is a batter hitting a ball that the pitcher tries to make him miss (or at least miss solid contact), subject to a defined strike zone. Every hitter and pitcher should have the same strike zone in the name of fairness.

              Pitch-framing might be a skill but it is not the main event—no one goes to a ball game to watch a catcher do a great job of framing pitches. Fans watch baseball to see batters hit and pitchers try to miss bats. Make the primary thing in baseball as fair as possible. Bring on automated ball-strike callers.

              • FFP

                Hey, OC.
                Like the avatar. Red Shoulder, no?
                I appreciate your comments here, so it gives me no pleasure to contradict you. I have gone to games where one of the best things was watching an effective catcher work. He can make a whole a game. Coddling head-case pitchers. Working hitters he knows well. And framing pitches/working the ump. Good catchers are another coach on the field. I like good coaches. (So I also like good management (you can see when a bench is giving the battery its head, and when they take that away.)) In fact these are some of the things I liked most about going to the pahk. You need the right seat and a maybe a little pair of bins; but, you get to see a game that never gets broadcast on TV or radio.
                I’m still a no vote on the auto-strike zone. Let’s teach and reward this cool people skill.

                • OCCubFan

                  Yes, the avatar is a red-shouldered hawk that perched on our back fence one day.
                  I appreciate your different point of view. You clearly are an astute observer of the game (and birds!) and I certainly respect that. However, I think that most fans do not see what you see, or at least that is not their primary reason for watching.

              • blublud

                Hell no. Human element and Human involvement is part of the game. I would rather have a horrible official than a automactic strike zone anyday.

                • FFP

                  Speaking of the human element, I forgot
                  why I came back to this thread in the first place. Must have been the Shoulder.
                  Wada.
                  Wada and his age and Japan and the O’s made me think of Uehara last year. I read somewhere (sorry, human element again, can’t remember where) that Koji worked his hand in such a way that he created a new grip. It was a grip that an older pitcher would be better at, for a while. A splitter I think. Kind of like watching a bass guitarist warm up his fingers before a show. A lot of crazy stretching.
                  Would Koji have shared this with Wada at some point? Either affinity or opportunity based insider stuff?
                  I’d hope yes. See Uehara’s crazy numbers for an old guy from last year.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Blown calls are a distortion of the game, not part of it. Every blown call is equivalent to a rules violation: the rules say “If X then Y” but the umpires say “Because I failed to recognize X, then not Y.”

                  At this point, there is no justification for this other than tradition, i.e., no justification at all.

                  • blublud

                    Right. You guys believe computers should play the game. Let’s just take humans out the game all together, and let data bases play the game. I say this, and this is not an exageration nor am I being over dramatic.

                    I hate that the game I have loved since before I could walk is being changed dramatically. I not against replays, though I’m not really for it. Maybe one challenge a game max for each side. No automactic strike zones. Adjusting to the strike zone has been a part of the game forever. I don’t wanna watch some stupid computer decide games. The game has worked forever, why change.

                    • mjhurdle

                      Even Diehard would call this post ridiculous.
                      F-

                  • FFP

                    Thanks, Doc. I hear you. And I never want to be a slave to tradition. But, I want the transitions to make numerical sense. Although the strike zone can be effectively managed by a system like (or better than) the one in tennis, but in three dimensions; it would change the game into a different sport if it just was implimented tomorrow. How, though, I can only guess.

                    In fact I am surprised nothing that like an auto strike zone in-game is being piloted by MLB (in the minors for example?) yet (to my knowledge). I want to know how it will change the game. Because it will. New questions will arise.

                    Maybe sites like this will calculate the value of SBORPS (Shot Batsmen One Relief-Pitcher Specialists) OK maybe I’m kidding. But, seriously, who resets the top and bottom of the zone for tall and short batters? (Is he a local guy or does he travel with the officials?) Does croutch matter? How precise is that ‘line’? to the nearest inch? mm?

                    Until then I want MLB to continue to require umps to review their strike zones after the game. Teach them up. Norm them. (and help them remove their biases) But, in the arms race of balls and strikes, let catchers work their game up in the next evolutionary iteration, too. We’ve got the data. I enjoy seeing how humans process it in-game situations.

                    • FFP

                      “Short Batsmen” not “Shot” that *would* be a different game. (I tried ‘Little People’ but that was worse)?

            • CubFan Paul

              “Now that we can quantify it, more folks are studying to see what it can tell us”

              Castillo is getting a lot of the (wrong) attention this year.

  • JasonP

    All this excessive depth of back end of the rotation starters is uninspiring, until you recall the last couple of months of 2011 with Doug Davis, Rodrigo Lopez, and Ramon Martinez being brought out of cryogenic storage.

    • NorthSideIrish

      End of 2012 was pretty horrific too with Justin Germano and Jason Berken making starts. There were days I’d hear the pitching match up and it would take me a minute to figure out which one was a Cub.

      • JasonP

        Oy vey, digging through the repressed memories of who has taken the hill for the Cubs over the past few seasons is rather depressing.

        Not that Tom Gorzelanny did anything great after he was traded away, but the group the Cubs got in return for him puts in perspective the relative quality of the deals the current FO has been able to make with guys like Feldman, Maholm and Dempster.

        • terencemann

          Yeah, Hendry was pretty bad about taking pretty bad lottery tickets instead of trying to get young major league players with some upside or low ceiling but high floor guys which is what Hoyer seems to be doing.

          • half_full_beer_mug

            Good God what kind of revisionist history work are you living in? The one and only thing that most sane people would agree on that Hendry did really well was trade for major league ready players. Many will say that he did this at the expense of the farm system.

            • Jon

              I was about to say, Aramis Ramirez might be the poster child of a young a major league player with some upside.

              • Brocktoon

                And Chris Archer was a really good lottery ticket.

            • Brocktoon

              He was also pretty damn good at signing free agents, but the new Cubs history tells us that free agents are the devil.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Many said that at the time. However, most of the future HoFers that Hendry traded away failed to amount to much. That was the larger problem with Hendry’s term: very few players from the Cubs farm system amounted to much for anybody, never mind the Cubs.

    • Fishin Phil

      I believe Walt Disney even pitched one inning of relief that year.

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

      Last couple of months? That was mid-May through June.

  • Cubs_Questions

    I’d like to see him get a shot ahead of Hendricks only because I think he could provide trade value at the deadline if he proves to be effective. Wada, if effective as a starter in the majors, could be worth a decent return from a playoff contender. I think Hendricks is close to being ready for the big leagues, but that won’t come until later in 2014.

    • JasonP

      Completely agree. Although, I’m beyond excited to see Hendricks pitch. Not because I think he’ll be great, but I love the idea of a crafty pitcher with good command and smarts being wildly successful and I so badly want to see it happen in a Cubs uniform.

    • JCubs79

      Hendricks shouldn’t come up until September. Develop him for as long as you need to at AAA.

  • Medicos

    38-yr-old KYLE FARNSWORTH is the new METS closer. Closers such Mariano Rivera are all but extinct in MLB . If a team can find a 9th inning closer who is able to do the job for 3-4 years consecutively, it will be amazing. Most can barely last 2 years. Watch the Cubs will let Veras go and 3-years later he’ll wind up a 40-save closer on a WS champion!!!

  • blublud

    Off the subject, but just curious.

    Anthony Rizzo suffered from “bad luck” last season, due to a lack of singles. This season, he doesn’t have many XBH, so far, and a lot of single. So the questions are is he getting lucky this year, and what point of regression should we expect? Will the single rate drop or will the XBH rate climb? Because if the single rate stays put and the XBH rate climbs, you could be lookinf at a well over 1.000 OPS season from him.

    • Jon

      I figured an old school dude like you would say “fuck the stats just watch the game” and observe he’s hitting against the shift more and with better success.

      • blublud

        The I watch the games argument is something I have always been against, and something I continuously knock Cubfanpaul for. I make my judgements off of stats, I just don’t trust or believe a lot of the new stats. Not all, just some. I’m not knocking Rizzo, and supported the bad luck theory from last year, just asking the question.

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

          But you’re not above the “I PLAYED AT A HIGH LEVEL!!!!11!!” argument…

          With Rizzo, I suspect that he is trying to go the other way more to beat the shift. As he becomes more comfortable with that approach/when teams stop shifting so much against him, the power should return.

          Even if it doesn’t, and he continues with a .900+ OPS, I’m fine with a 20 HR first baseman.

          • blublud

            Yes. I support the I played the game in college, so I know more about baseball than most people argument. I think Chris Volstad sucks, but I’m sure he knows more about the game than I do, considering he’s played the game at a higher level and received much more coaching than I have. This may not true 100% of the time, but in most cases, it is.

            It’s the same way I feel about some stat guy playing with numbers telling Renteria how to manage. It’s why I very rarely call a manager out on his coaching and game calling style. The one time I called Renteria out, it turns out he didn’t make the call.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              But blu, I played in college too, how do we know which one of us knows more about baseball?? (Hint: It’s me ;) )

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

                I played softball while I was attending college…do I know a lot now?

                • blublud

                  About softball, maybe. But considering that I play at least two seasons a year of softball, probably not.

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

                    Wow, so your playing of softball impacts my brain???

                    *fashions another tinfoil hat to go over my current one*

                    GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!!!!

                  • Patrick W.

                    I pay 3 seasons a year, BAM I know more about softball than you!

                    • Patrick W.

                      Pay and play.

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

                      Well…because you play 3 seasons of ball, Blu now doesn’t know a lot about baseball.

                      I’m now at Forrest Gump level and am going to need my Mom to do some dirty things to allow me to continue commenting on baseball.

                      Thanks, jerk-face.

                    • blublud

                      Well, maybe you do know more than I do. :-D

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  Duh!! The argument that if you played at a higher you automatically know more about the game is absolutely hilarious to me. More skill?? Absolutely. More knowledge?? Come on now.

                  My knowledge and understanding of the game has little to do with the level I played at. It has everything to do with my desire to learn about the game any time I get the chance. I had many of teammates in college who I wouldn’t trust coaching a Little League team.

              • Medicos

                i know very little about stats, but I was able utilize the abilities of my ball players to win 3 City Championships in 17-years of coaching. It sometimes amazes me how I could have accomplished this without using any Sabermetrics.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  Think of how many you could have won if you had embraced Sabermetrics!

                  • Medicos

                    Great comment FC Tommy: After nearly 40-years of teaching and coaching sports I asked for a 3-year $6 million dollar contract. The Bd of Ed said no way. So i retired with a great life time pension. Hopefully before my time on Earth is over the World Series flag will flying at Clark&Addison!!!

                • Chad

                  Yes, winning city championships = winning world series championships

                  • Medicos

                    CHAD—I was just kidding about asking for a 3-year $6,000,000 contract. But 3 City Championships in 17 years of coaching baseball isn’t too bad.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              To take this argument to an extreme, it’s like saying that chimps know more about chimps than Jane Goodall does. However: they don’t. Puliing it over a node, this will be true of sports and “talent” activities like musical performance or acting, that involve a lot of non-cognitive skill. Good baseball players like good violinists don’t necessarily understand it: they just *do* it. They often have no clue about the theory involved: but, then, that’s for GMs, managers, composers, conductors, writers, directors, etc. They don’t need to do so: they just do it.

              So, take Chris Volstad. He might be able to tell you about how *he* threw pitches, and maybe he’ll give sensible answers. (Of course, most pitchers understand nothing about biomechanics or physics, so that’s a real “maybe” after all, there are pitchers on record as insisting that how they follow-through affects the trajectory of the ball after it leaves their hands!) He probably could give you more fuzzy answers about how very different styles of pitchers from himself threw. And his answers about how to field at SS or how to bat would be no more insightful than would be a basketball player’s comments.

              After all, Anthony Rizzo thought that his job as a #2 hitter was to hit the ball to the opposite field: and that should tell us a ton about how deeply ballplayers “understand” the game!

              • Patrick W.

                None of that refutes the fact that Chris Volstad knows more about baseball than blu.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Touché….

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

                “…there are pitchers on record as insisting that how they follow-through affects the trajectory of the ball after it leaves their hands!”

                I’ve always wondered how, unless it impacts what you are doing prior to hitting/throwing the ball, follow-through matters.

                • CubChymyst

                  I think you got it backwards, what you are doing prior to hitting/throwing the ball impacts the follow-through. Proper mechanics likely lead to a good follow through.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  It’s almost certainly a case where doing something wrong at one point in your motion causes you to: a) throw the ball incorrectly and b) do something different with your follow through. So, the follow-through can be a diagnostic symptom of a particular mechanical flaw (e.g., elbow angle, shoulder movement, leg movement, etc.).

                  The problem, I suspect, is that curing the follow-through might not “reboot” a pitcher to the proper motion(s)!

                  Again, it’s probably a case where pitchers and pitching coaches are just going on correlation (follow-through A coincides with good curves, follow-through B coincides with hanging OPS love bombs). And, let’s face it: in the old days, what else did they have?

                  In all honesty, I dont understand why teams don’t just do a ton of digital imaging of their pitchers from both sides, above, front, back and even below in order to track exactly what part is going where when a pitcher throws, and how that corresponds to the pitch. Biomechanicists do this stuff all the time. (It’s way cool to watch the talks, too!)

              • blublud

                Saying you know more about baseball than Renteria is like saying I know more about science than you, or you know more about Lean, Six Sigma or 5S than I do. Its we do for a living. Unless you are an IE, you don’t know more about my job than I do, I dont know more about yours than you do. Maybe by chance we do, but you’re the guy who talks about chances, so you tell me. I can tell you, I know very little about studying animals.

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

                  It’s two different concepts.

                  Chris Volstad knows a helluva lot more about how to kinda effectively throw a baseball towards home plate and get it to kinda do what he wants it to do.

                  Now, would Chris Volstad have known that sac-bunting runners from 1st and 2nd over to 2nd and 3rd cause his team to score fewer runs in the long term? Without statisticians, would he have known that the only requirement of a lead-off hitter be that he can get on base a lot?

                  If the guys who play the longest know the most about baseball, why is it some of the best managers today had short, crappy playing careers? Even the “Gold Standard” of GM’s (Beane) didn’t play that long. Wouldn’t it fit your theory that Jaime Moyer would be the most knowledgable baseball man ever?

                  There is knowing about a specific thing that is a part of the whole and there is knowing about the whole without knowing about the specific things.

                  A lot of the guys who have revolutionized the sport of baseball in the last 20 years either didn’t play professional baseball at all or had short careers.

                • Patrick W.

                  Talk to me when you get to 7Sigma

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

                    What about SaberSigma?

                    Or does that make me a poser?

                    • Patrick W.

                      One letter off of what that makes you.

                    • DarthHater

                      hoser?

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

                      Ouch, dude, ouch.

                  • waittilthisyear

                    a high school teammate of mine, andrew hagins, was drafted out of high school by the then devil rays (27th round i believe). he played baseball at a higher level than all of us, and he didnt, doesnt, and never will know jack shit about baseball. he sure could swing a bat at a moving object though

            • Brocktoon

              I assume the Renteria call in question was when Castillo bunted on his own…but Castillo plays major league baseball so what are you doing calling him out when he knows more about the game than you?

              • blublud

                Notice I said rarely. We all make bonehead decisions about thing we know every now and again. I’m not perfect, so I know I have.

              • jp3

                Hmm, just because he “plays” Major League Baseball doesn’t mean he necessarily knows more about the sport that this person or that. They’re not playing chess, they’re playing a sport where most have won the genetic jackpot and have been blessed with elite hand eye coordination and physical skills from berth, not because they know everything about baseball.

                • Brocktoon

                  That’s not how blubud’s logic was explained. Maybe Chris Volstad is just a really smart guy, I dunno.

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

                    That’s the implication though. That because Player X has played baseball in the bigs he knows more about baseball.

                    Then again, it depends on your definition of “knowing about baseball”.

                    He would certainly know more about the day-to-day baseball stuff but that doesn’t mean he knows more about what makes a baseball team successful or what the proper strategy is or that he knows anything about baseball outside of his own experience.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Right. He knows how to be a cromulent baseball player. His experience means nothing more.

        • CubFan Paul

          “something I continuously knock Cubfanpaul for”

          Because you don’t watch the games.

          “I make my judgements off of stats”

          So do I, thanks for not asking.

          “I just don’t trust or believe a lot of the new stats.”

          Math probably isn’t your strong suit.

          • blublud

            Right, cause I only watch 140 or so games a year.

        • Jon

          For those that listen to Boers and Bernstien, there was an awesome crap a listener sent in this past Thursday. It was based on an article that said Trout should be never be considered MVP, because he doesn’t run into walls, steal a lot of bases, or hit for a high average. The jyst of the crap was that if you look past those evil “advanced stats” you will find out that Trout, steals a ton of bases, hits for a high average and runs into walls making highlight catches.

          I couldn’t help thinking of you blu.

          • blublud

            Why would this apply to me considering I think Trout is the 2nd best player in the league.

            • half_full_beer_mug

              Because 2nd best players don’t win the MVP?

    • bbmoney

      I’d expect him to hit for more power as the season goes on, because I think he’s just that kind of player and the power not being there yet is a sample size issue.

      Along those same lines he’s gotten “lucky” this year and his current BABIP is almost certainly unsustainable. So I’d definitely expect some regression in the batting average and correspondingly with his OBP.

      All that said, love his approach so far this year. Love the BB and K rates, even with some regression coming in his average (say put the over/under on year end batting average at .270 or .275?) he should still be well positioned for a big year, especially if/when the power starts to show up again.

    • Norm

      He is more on the “luck” side this year. I’d expect the OPS to be under .900….closer to .850.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Rizzo is getting singles on 32% of his batted balls. Last year, he averaged singles on 15.9% of his batted balls. (The sample sizes are, of course, too small to be significantly different.) More to the point, the MLB average is 24%: so we can expect (quite!) a bit of regression from Rizzo.

      Rizzo’s XBH’s are superficially down: however, if he had 7 instead of 5, then he’d have what we’d expect given his XBH frequency from last year. Basically, we expect one player in four to be “under-achieving” by this much at this point: and that doesn’t even account for our expectation that XBH rates go up as the weather warms up.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Oh, just to emphasize the point: we expect about 12% of MLB players to be exceeding the overall singles rate by this much, and thus nearly a quarter of players to be deviating from expectation by this much. Wake me up when it’s more like one in a hundred…..

        • half_full_beer_mug

          Wouldn’t a certain amount of the regression be negated if the opposing teams continues to *give* him a single by playing the shift with no one on? Assuming that he is still willing to attempt the swing designed to push the ball towards third base?

    • CubFan Paul

      “Rizzo suffered from “bad luck” last season, due to a lack of singles”

      It wasn’t “bad luck”, it was a lack of execution (despite a shit ton of adjusting) on his new all-fields approach. There’s a difference there (if you care to understand actually why his BA was low last year).

      • blublud

        Right, cause you know more about baseball than anybody.

        • CubFan Paul

          No, not by a longshot. I just don’t explain the explainable with the unexplainable.

          Next time, just keep my name out of your mouth when we’re not conversating and there’ll be no issue.

          • Patrick W.

            That’s the second time in a week I’ve seen or heard that turn of phrase … ‘keep ____ name out of your mouth’

            I had never heard it before. Is it common? I like it.

            • CubFan Paul

              “Is it common?”

              Very. It’s pronounced “Keep my name outta ya g-damn mouth”

              • willis

                Three Six Mafia had a song a few years ago called “keep my name out ya mouth”….it was horrible but that’s when I first heard it. Now I hear it all the time.

                • CubFan Paul

                  It’s an old school black-people thang (older than 3-6).

          • blublud

            Funny how you dont like people to do to you what you do to others. Everything about you is a joke.

            • CubFan Paul

              Still nothing smart to say. E-Jerk away, please. All over yourself.

              • blublud

                I think most people knows who the ejerk is, whatever that is.

                You complain more than my wife/ex wife/no longer ex wife. Oh.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I would wait and see how Wada’s numbers look around the time we trade Shark. Right now unless Arietta doesn’t perform we don’t really have a spot for him. I’m still waiting to see who pulls the trigger and ponies up the prospects for Shark. The Braves are still hanging with the Nats for the time being so I still think the Jays are still the best possibility to do the deal.

  • Brocktoon

    I’d imagine Wada has some sort of out in his contract that’ll force us to call him up or lose him in a month or so.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s usually right around June 1 for guys like Wada, and I’d guess you’re right.

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

        I’m sure we could use a few new relievers in the next month.

        • Brocktoon

          But at whose expense? If Veras bounces back at all, they won’t be cutting him loose. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind trading one of Russell or Wright, but how easy is it to find a trade partner for a LOOGY in May? I guess truthfully, nobody in the current pen is really a lock to be worthy of the roster spot come June 1.

          From looking at Arrieta’s game logs, it would look like in the very least, he’d need to clear waivers prior to being optioned(and barring injury explaining the gaps in major league appearances, he’d be out of options)

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

            According to AZ Phil he has 1 option year left which could be used this year.

            • Brocktoon

              Thanks, couldn’t figure out where to track that down. I’m not an Arrieta fan at all, so I’m fine giving his innings to Wada. (Or Hendricks, Jokisch, or Pimentel for that matter, but Wada is the one with a likely roster deadline)

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

                Roster rules, always go to AZ Phil.

  • CubsFanSaxMan

    Come July the Cubs will need a few starters as well. Bring them all up for a shot. You pitch a quality start, you get to go again. You don’t, you get put back to try again later. Kind of like the College of Coach’s in the 60′s. Everyone gets chance. Would make things interesting if nothing else.

    • Patrick W.

      If that would make things interesting, then what you’re seeing right now should be down right riveting.

  • Bixler51

    Wada will get shelled in the bigs. I saw him get absolutely destroyed in one start in the spring. The Japanese version of Carlos Villanueva.

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