Almora's Disastrous 2019 Extended to the Field, Coaching Moves, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Almora’s Disastrous 2019 Extended to the Field, Coaching Moves, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

There is a dude across the way at the coffee shop just STARING at me. I mean, like, I noticed it incidentally when I got up at one moment, and then I looked again, and he was staring again. So now I’m like addicted to peeking, and every time I look up, he’s just blank expression staring at me. It’s weird. I am not that interesting.

UPDATE as I write the Bullets: He got more coffee and moved seats. But I just looked … STILL STARING AT ME.

  • The recent update to Defense Runs Saved – which makes Javy Baez look even more like a freaking stud – got me look at some of the other end-of-season defensive metrics, and that had me looking at the SABR Defensive Index, which is the total defensive metric used as a component of the Gold Glove award process. Take it all as a “for what it’s worth” kinda deal, but some things jumped out:
    • Willson Contreras wound up just about neutral on defense, and it appears that includes pitch-framing?
    • Kris Bryant was surprisingly negative, rating as the fourth worst defensive third baseman in the NL.
    • Kyle Schwarber rated as solidly above-average in left field, and Jason Heyward, as you’d expect, was even more above average in right field.
    • In center? Albert Almora rated as the second worst defensive center fielder.
  • On Almora, the other advanced defensive metrics also rated him as strongly negative this year. Yes, advanced defensive metrics are far from perfect yet, especially for just a single year, but when they all agree? And when the eye test was not impressed? Something went deeply and completely wrong with Almora this year, as he was a disaster at the plate (though that goes back much further than this year), and apparently, also in the field. For a guy whose calling card MUST be his defense, the year could not possibly have gone worse. Almora is arbitration-eligible and is projected to get just under $2 million. I’m not sure he’s a non-tender candidate, but I’m quite sure the 2019 version of Almora isn’t worth a roster spot, much less nearly $2 million. The Cubs will have to do some serious soul-searching on the first first-round pick of this front office’s tenure.
  • Former Cubs pitching coach, and much more recently former Yankees pitching coach, Larry Rothschild was without a job for about 15 minutes:

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.