If you’re just tuning in, big news earlier this morning: the Cubs have hired BP’s Jason Parks. Freaking awesome.
- Your must read of the day from Dave Cameron, writing at Fox Sports: it’s a statistical look at the Cubs as a team that has underperformed its expected record (by Base Runs) for two straight seasons, and how that could imply success in 2015. You have to be a little careful not to go too far with this and fall prey to the gambler’s fallacy, but the point remains: even without the coming tsunami of top prospects, the Cubs have performed like a roughly average team the last two years, but having received Lady Luck’s blessed kiss. Add a little talent – as the Cubs will – and, boom, you’ve got a team that projects to have a winning record next year. Of course, those of us who’ve been following things closely these last few years have come to expect this turning point for a while now, but it’s nice to have some non-prospect-based data to back it up. A guess here? The various projection systems are going to have the Cubs as an above-.500 team heading into 2015.
- And Jon Heyman writes out the narrative version of all of that above. In short, pretty much everyone everywhere has now bought in: the Cubs are going to be very good, very soon. I could play the “we all said it months ago, and knew it years ago” card, but, meh. I’m just happy to see national folks finally seeing the Cubs for what they are: a team on the freaking doorstep. Sure, the revenue and renovation issues have a part to play in the “sustained” part of the sustained success model, but that will be sorted out in time. And it doesn’t really detract from what we can already see happening on the field.
- On Starlin Castro’s disappointing failure to run out of the box on his 400+ foot single last night, I can’t really add anything to what Rick Renteria told Cubs.com: “He feels bad. He knows. He’s apologizing to everybody about not getting over there. He’s got a lot of things on his mind, and he’s out there doing the best he can …. When a young man tells you he’s made a mistake, it’s very hard to do anything other than accept it.”
- Great shots of the aftereffects of Jorge Soler’s first homer. Love that unbridled joy:
— Michael Bolling (@mikealexbolling) August 27, 2014
- Lots more on the Soler promotion from Cubs.com, including quotes from Theo Epstein, Jose Abreu, and Soler, himself.
- Regardless of whether you care about it from a fantasy perspective, this is really important stuff from Craig Goldstein at BP: recalibrating your beliefs about what is a “good” ERA, FIP, and xFIP in 2014. Just two years ago, a 3.05 ERA would have you in the top ten in baseball. Ditto a 3.27 FIP and 3.24 xFIP. In 2014? You’d need a 2.53 ERA, a 2.77 FIP, and a 2.84 xFIP. Pitching rules the day (and viva the Cubs’ load-up-on-offense strategy).
- Theo Epstein did his part to add to the Jackie Robinson West celebration:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 27, 2014
- In case you missed this week’s episode of BNTV, here it is: