Archive for October, 2003

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

I apologize for not writing yesterday but school comes first. I noticed that there were only two comments and both were by the same person. This disappoints me because the Richie Sexson idea is not that common. Oh well, up next on my analysis is the second base position. You know itís funny, we have a team that narrowly misses the world series, which I never thought I would say, and yet there are really only a few positions on our team that are pretty much set in stone. We know that our third base position is set. We know 4 of our starting pitchers are set and weíre pretty sure that Alou, barring any unforeseen trade will be our left fielder. Thatís it!! Thatís all we know. Itís exciting but also nerve racking because we could go either way. We could completely drop the ball this off-season and sign a bunch of has been guys or we can build this team into a machine.

So at second base our main person who would be considered a starter would be Mark Grudzielanek. He is eligible for free agency this year so whether or not Hendry decides to bring him back. I believe that Grudzielanek probably would like to come back. The question will be if he will be willing to take a massive pay cut. I think that he is an ok fill in if we have a player that is close to being our starter for the next few years. For example, if Bobby Hill were still around, I would advocate possibly signing Grudzielanek for a one-year deal and using him to plug the gap. I donít think that weíre in that position just yet. Brendan Harris seems to be doing well in the fall league but because this team is very close to being over the top, we really shouldnít place our hopes on a kid. If we were in a rebuilding time or a typical Cub off-season, I would say let Harris play second base and see what he could do. My take on this though is that we need a legitimate lead off guy. We need that blazing speed that we enjoyed near the end of the year with Kenny Lofton. Because Patterson will be our CF most of the year, we will not have Lofton to leadoff. To fix this problem, I would go after Louis Castillo. I know that there are a lot of people that are not high on him at all but we need his speed in our lineup. He makes pitchers nervous and as a result they make mistakes. He can turn singles into doubles and has a pretty good glove at 2b. Castillo does have his shortcomings. He at times makes poor decisions when judging a good time to run. There were many times throughout the 2003 season that the Marlins would run themselves out of an inning. He also does not have a very high OBP, which is something that a leadoff hitter is ìsupposed to haveî. The fact is, Castillo makes plays. He gets the job done. I worry that Grudzielanek, who I have to say was a very pleasant surprise, had a career year and will not show up next year. Castillo is young and fast and also brings a World Series ring to the table. He has been there and has the experience.

Another option at second base that I wouldnít mind would be Todd Walker. He isnít as much of a playmaker as Castillo but I think he could add some decent power at the second base position this next year. I am not sure who would bat leadoff for us though. I really do not want to see Patterson bat lead off because of a few reasons. He is coming off a major injury so he is going to need some time to be able to get back into the swing of things. Also, because he went down and didnít get to finish last season, we need to keep building his confidence by batting him in the position that gives him the biggest chance for success.

So, for this off-season, the Cubs have some options. My feeling is that they need to sign Castillo. I think he can do more for this team than any other second baseman on the market this off-season.

Cubs 2003 2b Grade ñ B (Grudzielanek was a pleasant surprise, but donít look for it to happen again.

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

So I was cruising ESPN.com and I was reading an article about the Spankies and I just think it is kind of scary when the Boss will do anything and everything including mortgaging his left testicle if it meant his team wins. Why can’t our organization be like that? Maybe it’s because our organization is not run by someone with testicles, it is run by a newspaper. That’s the problem. We need to get some testicles owning our team. Anyways, I want to make it clear that I do not like the Boss or his methods, but I have to admit it must feel good to know you have a real shot in Oct. every year. Maybe one day our newspaper will grow testicles. Or maybe its wishful thinking.

Anyways, over the next few days leading up till the end of the free agency filing deadline, I will be going over our team position by position and talking about what I think we should do as well as what the Newspaper will do. So, today I will start with the 1b position. Here is who we have and what they did this year

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS

80 202 31 44 17 0 8 28 37 71 1 1 .218 .350 .421 .771 = Choi

124 410 47 113 17 0 16 72 16 37 0 0 .276 .309 .434 .743 = Simon

We have both of these guys so what to do with them? Well, there are rumors floating around everywhere that the next Cub first baseman is Richie Sexson. I am totally sure what I think about this. I would love to have his bat and wonderful production, and because the Milwaukee Drunks may be dealing him for salary reasons, he could go a lot cheaper than he would otherwise. I just do not want us to miss out on a great firstbaseman like we did last year in Jim Thome . I think Sexson would be a perfect fit and is young enough to where he could make a splash with this organization. I don’t know who we would have to give up to get him but I am sure the Drunks would take almost anyone considering their team is so bad. I will leave that up to the organization without a nutsack to decide. I would think that either Choi or Simon must go seeing that they both bat lefthanded. We would probably have to deal Choi considering he is younger.

1B Grade = B- (We get more power at the position then we are used to the last decade but we really lack the big bat that needs to be at 1b)

Solution = Trade Choi and Prospects to Mil. for Sexson

What the Cubs will do = Open spring training with 2 lefties at 1b and hope for Choi to develop

What do you all think about 1b for the Cubs? Post a comment!!!!

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

Ok, there are a few things that I would like to do with this post. I only have a few minutes before class to do it in so hang with me. First, I would like to say thank you to those people who have began to read my site. I appreciate it and I welcome comments and responses as often as you would like. I do not claim to know everything, but I am always learning. Second, I would like to say a big fat thank you to the people who have put links to my site on theirs. I REALLY appreciate it. Also, Dan sheets, your link to my site does not work. Third, I want to point out that the previous post about the offseason is not what I actually expect to happen. It is what I would do if I owned the team and had the money and the reckless abandon like Mr. Steinbrenner. So, as a result, I will be posting in the next day or so what I would realistically like to see the cubs do this offseason and what I truly believe they will do. I am thinking I will make a starting lineup that I would like and a starting lineup that we will see if Cub’s history holds true in terms of offseason moves. So, thanks again everyone and keep on reading. Also, be sure to check out the other blogs linked on my site. All of them are very good and written by very knowledgeable people. If you have any suggestions for what you would like me to write about, drop me a line.

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Monday, October 27th, 2003

My Wish List

So here is my first official post to this site that means anything. I am going to talk about what I would like to see happen with this team in order to get us to a position where we can dominate. Bear in mind. This wish list is purely what I would do if I owned the team and had pockets like a certain owner in NY.

Step 1: Hope and Pray that Sammy Sosa elects to search for greener pastures and free up some money for us.

Step 2: Use money freed up to sign Vlad!!! (This is a must if step 1 is going to be successful)

Step 3: Resign the following members from the 2003 club: Tom Goodwin, Kenny Lofton. I know that it seems like we should sign more than this, but trust me, other people are coming.

Step 4: Sign these players: Louis Castillo, Miguel Tejada, Vlad, Kelvin Escobar, Ugueth Urbina

My lineup would then look like this:

1. Castillo – 2b

2. Patterson – CF

3. Guerrero – RF

4. Tejada – SS

5. Ramirez – 3b

6. Alou – LF

7. Simon/Choi – 1b

8. Miller – C (This is the only real weakness)

9. Pitcher Slot

Rotation

1. Prior

2. Wood

3. Zambrano

4. Clement

5. Escobar

Bullpen

Farnsworth

Borowski

Urbina

Remlinger

Cruz

Mitre/Wellmeyer

I think this would work. Let me know what you all think.

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Test Post

Monday, October 27th, 2003

I found a couple of projections for Fukudome for this upcoming season. Obviously, any projection on a player who has never played in the Major Leagues has to be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s still interesting to see how various people project him. It has be excited, at least.

Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus has him projected via his PECOTA system.

PA   R   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB  CS  BA    OBP   SLG
465 80 30 4 15 58 70 94 9 3 .289 .401 .504

Keep in mind that those are a little low in part because of the injury he had last year.

Baseball Think Factory weighed in with their ZIPS projections as well:

2008 ZiPS Projection - Kosuke Fukudome
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS+
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Projection 457 66 134 33 2 13 67 64 100 1 .293 .382 .460 114
2009? 444 66 129 33 1 14 66 59 93 2 .291 .376 .464 113
2010? 386 57 108 26 1 10 57 55 85 2 .280 .372 .430 104
2011? 327 45 90 20 0 8 50 43 72 1 .275 .362 .410 97
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Opt. (15%) 537 91 170 42 3 19 87 87 95 4 .317 .415 .512 135
Pes. (15%) 376 46 98 25 0 8 45 44 86 0 .262 .341 .391 87
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Top Comps: Jay Johnstone, Dixie Walker

I found a couple of projections for Fukudome for this upcoming season. Obviously, any projection on a player who has never played in the Major Leagues has to be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s still interesting to see how various people project him. It has be excited, at least.

Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus has him projected via his PECOTA system.


PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG
465 80 30 4 15 58 70 94 9 3 .289 .401 .504
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