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- I’d still like to see the Cubs add a solid bat to the outfield mix for next season, something Theo Epstein said this week was possible, but Chris Coghlan had me sold as a guy I wanted the Cubs to keep as far back as midseason. After reading this piece on Coghlan from Patrick Mooney, I’m even more sold. I always liked Coghlan’s “story” as the kind of guy who be found on a minor league deal at age 29 and actually be a legit contributor (Rookie of the Year in 2009, hurt his knee in 2010, dealt with that through 2011, took a couple years to adjust to bench duty, and then had to take a minor league deal), and the results this year were not predicated on lucky bounces (.283/.352/.452, .337 BABIP, 9.0% BB rate, 18.8% K rate). I’m very excited that the Cubs will have Coghlan going into next year, but we do have to remember the lesson of Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney and innumerable guys before them: it’s risky to count on older breakout players for multiple seasons. Yes, there are reasons to feel good about Coghlan, but if you absolutely expect him to be this guy again next year, you run the risk of a black hole you could have anticipated and prepared for in 2015. In other words, I’m back to the start: I’d like the Cubs to add a solid, starting-caliber bat to the outfield mix for next year. But I’m very glad Coghlan will be around (he’s arbitration-eligible), and will get his at bats one way or another.
- (In fairness, I should point out that it’s unfortunate that Coghlan’s defense pretty clearly won’t allow him to play center or even much right field. It looked shaky at times in left, though he did make the occasional sparkling play. If Coghlan’s going to be a 4th or 3.5th outfielder next year (that’d be something akin to a semi-starter), it would have been nice to see some positional versatility.)
- Sahadev Sharma has started writing at Baseball Prospectus, and he’s got a great piece there on the value of “average.” No, not batting average, like, being average. Sahadev makes the great point that “average” MLB players are actually pretty awesome, especially when they last so long in the bigs. Don’t hate on “average.”
- Tony Andracki has some fun with numbers, and checks out what the seasons of Javy Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler, and Kyle Hendricks would look like if they had done the same thing they did this year, but over a full season. As you might expect, Soler and Hendricks come out as clear All-Stars, and Baez and Alcantara fair less well. The most fun extrapolation was Baez’s, considering that he comes out at 28 homers … and 295 strikeouts.
- If you want a short explanation of the “FIP” statistic that gets mentioned around here from time to time, here is that explanation: