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Brian Lahair, real deal?


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39 replies to this topic

#1 Cerambam

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:06 PM

We are a little over 20 games into the season and i like what is see from Brian Lahair so far. Granted its a small sample size, but e seems to be hitting for average, getting on base, and hitting for power. Considering he comes down to earth a little but still plays well, what do we want to happen in relation to calling up rizzo/ moving lahair around the diamond or to another team.

#2 rcleven

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:45 PM

Rizzo is the future LaHair is NOW. What has suprised more than anything is LaHair's improvement on his defence. Will he be a gold glover? I dought it. I don't see him being traded this season either. Rizzo still will need the rest of this season to develope. Rizzo may be killing it aginst right handers but he still struggles against leftys. Rizzo also has comitted 5 errors in 25-26 games. If LaHair can play close to his April numbers its going to force the front office into some tough disicions this winter.

#3 gratefulled

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:18 PM

LaHair good, Soriano bad.

#4 FFP

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:25 AM

This decision is so far in the future to me. I really want to spend the month of May NOT thinking about it. (Although I appreciate a LaHair thread, and it was high time for one, Cerambam.) I know there's a bridge to the future we have to cross, but honestly, LaHair is such a good time in this moment that I want to enjoy the moment. I'll rethink it on June 1st, but right now I just like rooting for our first baseman. Wistah, baby!

What are we seeing for maturation from LaHair? IS this just statistical noise, or is he improving at the plate (and/or on defense (as we spell it in the American League outside of Toronto (I think the British league actually spells it "wicket" or something)))

#5 JB88

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:00 AM

I really like what I've seen from LaHair. The opposite field power has been pretty huge and his pitch selection/high pitch count really seems to be what the Cubs want to see from their hitters.

I'm at a point where I'd like to see the Cubs consider giving LaHair a few games in LF or RF to see how he handles that. At some point, either he or Rizzo is going to have to move and with LaHair's bat, you'd love to figure out a way to keep him on the team/in the lineup after Rizzo is elevated.

IOW, I like LaHair and I don't want to see him moved. He looks like he could be a nice long term asset for the club.

#6 Brett

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:09 AM

I agree, JB. Even if it's not time to think about promoting Rizzo (and it's not), it would be nice to get a real, meaningful sense of what LaHair could do in left.

Then again, with his touchy back, maybe the Cubs are worried he'll hurt himself (and, if they're hoping maybe to trade him for real value, obviously that's not a risk worth taking).

#7 JB88

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:23 AM

I agree, JB. Even if it's not time to think about promoting Rizzo (and it's not), it would be nice to get a real, meaningful sense of what LaHair could do in left.

Then again, with his touchy back, maybe the Cubs are worried he'll hurt himself (and, if they're hoping maybe to trade him for real value, obviously that's not a risk worth taking).


How bad is his back right now? I know I've seen a few quotes from him on that, but the way he is raking the ball, it certainly doesn't seem to be affecting his swing. At the end of the day, I want to see if he can play in the field somewhere besides 1st to see if we can maximize his bat with Rizzo's.

I just like the idea of four or five lefty bats in the lineup with DeJesus, Rizzo, LaHair, Stewart, and Jackson.

#8 rcleven

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:27 AM


I agree, JB. Even if it's not time to think about promoting Rizzo (and it's not), it would be nice to get a real, meaningful sense of what LaHair could do in left.

Then again, with his touchy back, maybe the Cubs are worried he'll hurt himself (and, if they're hoping maybe to trade him for real value, obviously that's not a risk worth taking).


How bad is his back right now? I know I've seen a few quotes from him on that, but the way he is raking the ball, it certainly doesn't seem to be affecting his swing. At the end of the day, I want to see if he can play in the field somewhere besides 1st to see if we can maximize his bat with Rizzo's.

I just like the idea of four or five lefty bats in the lineup with DeJesus, Rizzo, LaHair, Stewart, and Jackson.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/9686/lahairs-production-as-good-as-it-gets-at-1b?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

LaHair back issues

#9 FFP

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:08 AM

Good stuff, rcleven. I s he describing "sciatica"?

#10 Caleb

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:18 AM

Fenway-- sounds like it. Hopefully it doesn't bring him down.

Also, yes: Lahair is the real deal. And it's not "statistical noise" unless you mean a droning noise, because this is pretty much in-line with his career stats. (though, obviously not major league stats) <---huge caveat

I spent a good 20 minutes this morning searching for a post last year that came up in the midst of the "Lahair's good!/No he's too old!" arguments. My buddy Kyle (Kyle N, not the imposter Kyle "sans N") went through and compiled all of his advanced statistics through the minor leagues to show that his super hot year last year was inevitable rather than a fluke. We never won over all of the people that thought he was too old, but we DID get Brett to offer his patented "I sort of agree but what about this and in the end I guess I hope he does good and if he does that's good but I'm not necessarily supporting him now." type endorsements. And those aren't easy to come by.

I know there's a possibility that Lahair doesn't perform well in the majors, and if that happens we'll have a few good explanations ready. But I think, and have thought for a long time now, that the evidence suggests that he is going to be a good-to-very good first baseman. I staked my street cred to him a long time ago, and now I get to bask in self-congratulation with his every achievement. My friends that aren't baseball fans (oxymoron?) hear me cheer for Lahair and usually ask, "Isn't he that one old guy that you and Kyle always said was good but people thought you were idiots?"

Yup. That's him. And, might I add, a massive exaggeration. I know that there were a lot of avid supporters out there, and most people surely thought, "well, he is old, and it is the PCL, but I sure hope he does swell." Which, is like totally legit. There were a few, however, who scoffed-- yes, scoffed-- at the very idea of him having success with the Cubs. They were the sort who play "armchair statisticians" (Kyle term) and pick one or two stats that, obviously, show why their opinion is certain to be right.

"Lahair? Garbage. If you look at his OGMHHBCP* matrix, he's a paltry 88. And plus, most of his 80 home runs have come against guys with names starting with the letters A-G on Tuesdays on days where it was mostly cloudy."


*Old-Guy-in the Minors-Hitting-Homers-for the Bigleague Club-Probability

So, to those guys, I say "suck it." And to everybody else, let's keep cheering for LaHair! I put a $30 bet (4 to 1) that he finished the season with better numbers that Albert Pujols. Wouldn't that be something?

Caleb out.

PS Anyone still wishing we'd spent 10 million to keep Pena around?

#11 FFP

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:01 PM

Anyone still wishing we'd spent 10 million to keep Pena around?


Love it when a voice cuts through the din. ('Course I like the din, too.)

#12 SirCub

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:33 PM

I put a $30 bet (4 to 1) that he finished the season with better numbers that Albert Pujols. Wouldn't that be something?


Just curious, how will you determine which one has better numbers? OPS+? wOBA? Cause I think it will be close, and that is definitely a race that I'd have fun keeping track of throughout the season! I definitely would've taken those odds.

I've been an avid supporter of Lahair, and I think he is for real, but obviously these numbers are going to come back to earth. However, while his BABIP and HR/FB come down, I think his K% is going to come down as well. But that is all to do with the flukey, streaky aspect of what's going on. I think the real test will be to see if he is able to make an adjustment to the adjustment that the league will certainly make to him.

#13 Brett

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:45 PM

We never won over all of the people that thought he was too old, but we DID get Brett to offer his patented "I sort of agree but what about this and in the end I guess I hope he does good and if he does that's good but I'm not necessarily supporting him now." type endorsements. And those aren't easy to come by.


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#14 DocPeterWimsey

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:47 PM

It also depends on what you mean by "real deal." Baseball performance is complex, after all, and two different types of performance might have nothing to do with each other. The traits that I think are real are:
  • The slugging;
  • The batting eye;
  • The K's (although I expect that the frequency is a little higher than it will be!)
The ones that are, so far, "lucky" are:
  • The ridiculous BABiP;
  • The apparent "clutch";
  • Just how high the K-rate is (I expect it to be "only" around 25%);
  • His back letting him play.
So, I have to think both "so far, so good" and "so far, so lucky."
Gods don't play dice with the universe, they are the dice of the universe: our job is to figure out how many sides and dice!

#15 Brett

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:09 PM

It also depends on what you mean by "real deal." Baseball performance is complex, after all, and two different types of performance might have nothing to do with each other. The traits that I think are real are:

  • The slugging;
  • The batting eye;
  • The K's (although I expect that the frequency is a little higher than it will be!)
The ones that are, so far, "lucky" are:
  • The ridiculous BABiP;
  • The apparent "clutch";
  • Just how high the K-rate is (I expect it to be "only" around 25%);
  • His back letting him play.
So, I have to think both "so far, so good" and "so far, so lucky."

Bingo, in all respects.




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