View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



May 2017



5 Burning Questions Among The Chaos

Written by , Posted in General

Managers can usually tell what type of hand they have been dealt by the end of May.  Fans like to think they can tell what type of hand they have been dealt by, oh…. well, the end of the first week of April?

As an organization, fans included, we came into 2017 with a massive hangover from the glee of 2016.  With thoughts of Dynasty floating through our minds and expectations of a follow trip to the World Series booked in our hearts, we projected 2017 as yet another display of our dominance over the rest of the league.  Little did we know that we would actually have to play the other teams on our schedule.  What kind of atrocity have we stumbled upon?

The Cubs have played sub-par baseball to this point, at least by their standards, if not the league.  As baseball fans it is our job to over-analyze the minutia and figure out what the GM’s can not, after all, we know everything (at least if you look at Twitter during a ballgame you would think this, and by god it is a wonder how some people have not been tabbed for a front office job!).

All sarcasm aside, I have a few questions/concerns and hopefully our answers will help sort out the chaos:

  1. The Cubs led the Majors in Defensive BABIP in 2016.  They had an otherwordly .255 BABIP against, which is incredible.  Currently in 2017 they sit at .300 and are in the bottom half of the league.  I ask some of you that can shed light on this stat, what is realistic for end of 2017? Will a major shift in BABIP towards the norm be enough?
  2. Hard contact has definitely been up this season.  We currently have a hard contact rate that ranks in the bottom half of the league at this moment.  We ended 2016 with the second lowest hard contact rate in the league.  Again, what do we attribute this too and at this moment who is the weakest link in the staff?
  3. If you trade for a starter, let’s say the caliber of Chris Archer, who would you be willing to give up?  If you were a Rays fan, who would you realistically expect to get back in return?
  4. If you had to pick one reliever that will step up this season and dominate down the stretch, who would it be?
  5. Looking forward to season end, what is more likely: Anthony Rizzo leads the team in Batting Average or Kyle Schwarber leads the team in HR’s?

Okay, enough fun for today.  The Cubs are a .500 team and have not even sniffed their best effort yet.  Leave your answers in the comments and remember, we have not even seen the best the Cub’s can produce on the field, and yet they are still a part of the conversation.  Plus, we already won the big one, why all the stress?

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    We have a Ray’s fan who reads this blog?

  • Bryzzo1744

    I don’t know the answers to 1 or 2
    3. Baez
    4. Hardee’s
    5. Rizzo BA

  • index) yellow mustard
    middle) tabasco sauce
    ring) Cholula
    4) Wade Davis
    5) Bryant / Bryant

    • Sherm

      You forgot Mike Hampton

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I thought he only forgot about those minor league guys.

  • Buddy

    I was in a band in college called Hard Contact. We rocked. Don’t know if Kellen Winslow ever saw us perform.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Best answer ever!

    • Adam Peters

      I’m currently in a band called BABIP. But it stands for something different.

  • Seymour Butts

    If, indeed, these are truly burning questions, do they not merit a larger font or bold type?
    And most burning issues can be cured with tetracycline.

    • Doug S.

      One of the VFTB benefits, free medical advice. It’s almost as though you’re in Canada, eh.

      • Mark_from_Toronto

        Even better as it doesn’t require spending 3 hours in the waiting room.

  • cap’n realist

    The world I live in, BABIP is not, nor will ever be, a burning issue. Who am I kidding? Neither will hard contact.

  • Doc Raker

    Funny how hard contact rate and BABIP run parallel. Batter hits ball hard it is more difficult to defend, batter hits ball softly it is easier to defend. BABIP is a function of several things but mostly how hard the balls are being hit. Bad pitching equals bad BABIP defense

    • Dork

      So your saying the pitchers should have gotten more credit last year? People seemed to dismiss the low ERA’s because of the historic defense.

      • Doc Raker

        It all starts with the pitching in my view. Of course pitchers should get credit for low ERA’s along with the defense but it all starts on the mound. Exit velocity and BABIP are connected. Any saber dude that fights that fact is blinded by numbers.

    • Adam Peters

      I’m with you, Doc. BABIP goes hand in hand with hard contact and a blind man could see other teams are hitting the ball a lot better against the Cubs this year–especially the starters. They seem to be righting the ship, so hopefully this all levels out moving forward.

  • Sherm

    They should serve Babimbap at more ballparks.

    • Seymour Butts

      It’s on the menu just before Bambi.

  • Dork

    The cubs are actually 3 games above 500

    • Sherm

      So 503?