The Front Office is Seriously Smart and Other Bullets

professor frinkIn case you missed the late-arriving fresh podcast episode yesterday afternoon, here is your opportunity to un-miss it. We had PITCHf/x guru, and generally fun guy, Harry Pavlidis on the show with us, so it’s one you’ll want to take in.

  • Jon Greenberg, after some laudable effort, remotely interviewed the Cubs’ new statistical and sabermetric genius Tom Tango, who has agreed to consult exclusively with the Cubs. You’re going to want to give that one a read, but here’s a sample answer from Tango, when asked why fans should be interested in advanced metrics: “What these metrics try to do is focus in on something specific, a subset of a player’s performance, and present that as a number …. So, with FIP, the focus is on those things a pitcher does that doesn’t involve his fielders (outside of an occasional Mike Trout-stealing HR). Therefore, we want to focus on walks, hit batters, strikeouts, and HR. It’s nice to see that Felix walks 7 percent of his batters and strikes out 23 percent and he doesn’t give up many home runs. But, we’d like to express all those different aspects as a single number, much like OBP and SLG are single numbers. The question therefore becomes how to combine, how to weight, walks and strikeouts and HR. It’s not as obvious as OBP and SLG. So, the FIP metric is suggesting that we need to weight the HR the most (13), the walk and hit batter next (3) and the strikeout the least (and in negative, at -2). If we just weight it like that, we’ll get a single number that properly encapsulates his non-fielder performance. But we still have a problem with the scale, since the number returned will be meaningless. We therefore turn it into an ERA-scaled number …. wOBA does the same thing in terms of trying to combine OBP and SLG into a single number, without the clumsiness and bad math of OPS.” Dude is smart. And the front office is smart for soliciting his input.
  • FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron, via a chat yesterday, has generally had complimentary things to say about the Cubs’ moves at each turn this offseason, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that he thinks, among the “lower echelon teams,” the Cubs had the best offseason in baseball, behind only the Blue Jays. Of course, that doesn’t mean he thinks the Cubs will be competitive in 2013 (he also doesn’t think they’ll be terrible). He sees the Cubs being competitive in 2014, and says the Cubs have one of the best front offices in baseball (natch).
  • Baseball Prospectus recently put together a piece about the “elite” tools (80 on the 20-80 scouting scale), and how extremely rare they must necessarily be. This year, only one Cubs prospect came up with an elite tool. Dan Vogelbach’s power? Nope. Roni Torreyes’ hit tool? No, no. It was Junior Lake’s arm, which is an almost unanimous 80. (In case you’re wondering, only one prospect name was mentioned as *possibly* having 80 power, and that was Miguel Sano.)
  • Dave Kaplan previews the 2013 Draft and the possible Cubs picks (seems an odd January endeavor for the Kapman, but, hey, it’s something to read), and you’ll find the usual names profiled.
  • Tim Baffoe says anyone who would keep Sammy Sosa out of the Cubs’ fold – the team, the fans – is being a hypocrite, given the nasty things for which people readily forgive other athletes.
  • Pierce Johnson gets the Vine Line profile treatment, and I continue to think he’s an underrated prospect in the Cubs’ system. Sure, the forearm/elbow thing from early 2012 makes you a little nervous, but if it was truly a mere blip, this is a guy who could emerge as a legitimate top five prospect in the Cubs’ system by midseason.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

    more cubs news

    Enhanced Box Score: Mets 11, Cubs 1 – June 21, 2024

    The home run regression stick hit Shōta Imanaga as hard today as the Mets did (even when they weren't hitting homers). He was not sharp, the Mets were on him, and the velocity was noticeably down. As long as he's...

    Bleacher Nation Has an Official Beer … And You Already Know Who It Is

    Earlier this year, we asked you guys who you'd want to see us partner with this season if you could pick any company or brand out there. And the No. 1 answer - BY FAR - was Old Style. And...

    Pre-Gamin’: Cubs vs Mets (1:20 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

    CUBS LINEUP — Shota Imanaga is on the mound. The sun is shining. The Cubs have won two games in a row. And we have a 1:20 start at Wrigley Field. Life has been worse. Chicago Cubs Lineup: Nico Hoerner,...

    Could the Entire NL Central Actually Wind Up as Buyers at the Trade Deadline?

    Although the Cubs are not YET in a position to be classified as obvious buyers at the 2024 MLB Trade Deadline, they certainly hope to get there. Not only because of how long its been since they've been a contending...

    Cubs Farm Report | June 21, 2024: Ballesteros and Shaw Homer, Close Games, More

    CUBS PROSPECTS — Moises Ballesteros continues to adjust well at Triple-A and hit his first home run last night in an I-Cubs win over Indianapolis. Cubs Prospects Report | June 21, 2024 Triple-A Iowa Cubs Prospects The Iowa Cubs defeated...

    The Rickwood Game, Hoerner’s Slump, Brewers TJS, This Year’s All-Star Caps, and Other Cubs Bullets

    The heat wave continues to constrain the things we can do with the kids. This time of year, I generally just like to be outside with them for long stretches, doing whatever. But 95 in the sun is not really...

    Keep the Vibes Going – Cubs vs Mets Series Preview

    Cubs vs Mets — In a testament to just how far the vibes had fallen, things feel pretty good right now. The Cubs have won two games in a row, which led to their first three-game series win in over...

    Must-Watch: Reggie Jackson on the Violence, Fear, and Intimidation He Faced as a Player

    I'm not qualified to offer any thoughtful or insightful introduction to the video you're about to see, nor is it really necessary. But I did want to take this opportunity to share Reggie Jackson's raw and honest stories of extreme...

    Cubs Prospect Highlights: Shaw, Rosario, Ballesteros, Wiggins, Rodriguez, Wild Win

    With the big league team off, I was following the minor league games a little more closely last night. In the process, the highlight clips people were sharing reached a volume where I was like, you know, other people might...

    Let’s Talk About Playing Time for the New Cubs Catching Tandem

    With Yan Gomes DFA'd and Tomas Nido signed, the Cubs effectively traded one veteran back-up-ish catcher for another, hoping that the 30-year-old Nido still has tread on the tire. No one anticipates him being an impact bat, but he won't...

    Latest News

    Cubs vs. Mets: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 22

    In the second game of a three-game series at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs (36-40) take on the New York Mets (36-38), Saturday at 2:20 PM ET.Hoping to find out who's playing for the Cubs and the Mets? Keep scrolling...

    Cardinals vs. Giants: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 22

    At Busch Stadium on Saturday, the San Francisco Giants (three straight losses) meet the St. Louis Cardinals at 2:15 PM ET.Want to see who's in and who's out for the Cardinals and the Giants? Continue reading to see full injury...

    Liberty vs Sparks Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – June 22

    The New York Liberty (13-3) will host the Los Angeles Sparks (4-12) after winning five home games in a row. The contest tips at 3:00 PM ET on Saturday, June 22, 2024.Liberty vs. Sparks Prediction & OddsFavorite: Liberty (-15)Total: 166.5Liberty...

    Wings vs Mystics Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – June 22

    The Dallas Wings (3-11) will visit the Washington Mystics (2-13) after losing five road games in a row. The contest begins at 3:00 PM ET on Saturday, June 22, 2024.Wings vs. Mystics Prediction & OddsFavorite: Wings (-1)Total: 161.5Wings Moneyline: -118Mystics...

    Rangers vs. Royals: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Jon Gray will take the mound for the Texas Rangers (34-40) when they host starting pitcher Michael Wacha and the Kansas City Royals (42-34) on Saturday, with first pitch at 4:05 PM ET.If you're intending to watch this game, keep...

    How to Watch Orioles vs. Astros: Live Stream or on TV

    The Baltimore Orioles (49-25), with Corbin Burnes on the mound, visit the Houston Astros (35-40) who will counter with Ronel Blanco, at 4:10 PM ET on Saturday.If you're intending to watch this game, keep reading for TV and streaming options...

    Nationals vs. Rockies: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    On Saturday, C.J. Abrams and the Washington Nationals (36-38) begin a series against Ryan McMahon and the Colorado Rockies (26-49) at Coors Field, with first pitch scheduled for 9:10 PM ET.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Washington-Colorado...

    France vs. Poland Euros Odds, Match Time and Preview – June 25

    France takes on Poland on June 25 at 12:00 PM ET in their third match of the group stage at the 2024 UEFA European Championship.Tune in to FOX to watch this match live. In terms of the odds, France is...

    Netherlands vs. Austria Euros Odds, Match Time and Preview – June 25

    In their third game in Group D at the 2024 UEFA European Championship, the Netherlands and Austria play at 12:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 25 at Olympiastadion.Want to watch this match? You can do so on Fox Sports 1....

    How to Watch Red Sox vs. Reds: Live Stream or on TV

    Jarren Duran and the Boston Red Sox (40-35) visit Elly De La Cruz and the Cincinnati Reds (35-39) at 4:10 PM ET on Saturday.Find out how to watch the Boston-Cincinnati matchup below.When is Red Sox vs. Reds and when does...

    more cubs news