Are You Taking the Cubs' Rotation or the Mets' Rotation? And Other Bullets

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Are You Taking the Cubs’ Rotation or the Mets’ Rotation? And Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

jon lester cubs featureThere is nothing more parental than having to remove a bug with your bare hands from your unsuspecting child’s shirt.

That’s right, dear, daddy’s a hero. And you’ll never know.

(I am not a bug fan.)

  • USA Today writer Ted Berg recently brought some New York-based dissatisfaction upon himself by ranking the 30 MLB rotations and putting the Cubs at the top, ahead of the Mets. The poll associated with the piece came out strongly in favor of the Mets, and if you look at the responses to the article’s original tweet, you can see that Mets fans are pretty salty about the ranking.
  • While I don’t think admittedly subjective rankings are anything to get too rankled about, I think the Cubs on top of any rotation rankings is probably off. Top five? Yeah, I could get on board with that. And I guess if there’s no consideration at all given to depth after the nominal starting five, then maybe the Cubs would be even higher. But the Mets and Indians, for two, look like they’ve got a stronger starting five. I might go White Sox, too, over the Cubs. It’s actually a pretty interesting discussion, and when you consider that the Cubs clearly have one of the top offensive lineups in baseball, it’s quite fun to actually have them also in the conversation on the rotation side, too.
  • Perhaps if Matt Harvey was less busy playing ‘never have I ever’ with Connie Chung, the Mets would rate higher. (I kid, because I hope Matt Harvey never stops doing things like playing ‘never have I ever’ with Connie Chung.)
  • I’d never heard the story of how close the NL came to adopting the DH back in 1980 – although I knew there was a vote back then and it narrowly failed, I didn’t know it involved an owner who was out on a fishing trip and couldn’t be reached, which brought the whole thing down, according to David Schoenfield. Ah, those halcyon pre-cell phone days.
  • This FanGraphs piece on the projected best platoons is an interesting read, and got me to check the platoon advantage leaderboard at Baseball Reference, which is very interesting in its own right. How frequently did the Cubs have a platoon advantage (i.e., either an opposite-handed batter at the plate for them, or a same-handed pitcher on the mound for them)? 55% of the time, which was just above the league average mark of 54%. Now, then, painting the platoon advantage this broadly has its drawbacks (split-neutral players, reverse-split players), and in any given situation, you might not want “the platoon advantage” (if Jake Arrieta’s first batter of the game is a lefty, for example). In other words, I’m not so sure that a list like this isn’t just kind of an after-the-fact interesting thing as opposed to a “that team did it a lot better than the other teams” kind of thing. There are good and bad teams at the top and the bottom of the list.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.