How Framing Has Hurt Cubs Pitchers, Grace Was Unique, and Other Bullets

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How Framing Has Hurt Cubs Pitchers, Grace Was Unique, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

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  • An extremely, extremely significant update to WAR at FanGraphs, as it now is also incorporating pitch-framing into catcher WAR, just as BP has been doing – and it also impacts pitcher WAR very slightly:

  • We’ll have to dig into this more, but as you would expect, Willson Contreras rates quite poorly, his WAR has been dinged accordingly, and he projects quite poorly going into 2019. I understand that pitch-framing is not uniformly accepted as a valuable skill, but in a world where we can identify the precise spin rate on a 99 mph fastball, it should go without saying that we have the data available to determine which catchers are, in the aggregate (and neutralizing for pitchers and umpires), better at preserving extra strikes at the margins. Of course we can tell. And if you have watched Contreras the last couple years with your eyes, you already know this is an issue.
  • It clearly hurt Cubs pitchers:

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
  • Michael has reasonable hashtag opinions:

  • That is indeed wild:

  • I wonder what Grace’s career would have looked like if he came up in an era where hard contact in the air was valued so much more highly above contact. He was certainly big enough and strong enough to have quite a bit more power, but would his overall game have suffered for it? Was he just a guy who was preternaturally built to have a high-contact, line-drive stroke, and if you tried to tinker, you’d just jack him up? Dude just did not strike out – 6.9% for his career.
  • Kyle Schwarber for MVP? Well, maybe at very long odds:

  • A reminder that we’re looking to hire a full-time Bulls writer here at BN, details here. For those of you who are CUBS-ONLY people, no worries: the incorporation of Bulls coverage will be like when we started covering the Bears. Yes, I’m gonna reference stuff from time to time here in the Bullets, but that’s probably the only intermingling with the Cubs coverage that you’ll notice.
  • Speaking of which, a couple of the latest Bears items:

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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.