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Thursday

1

September 2011

75

COMMENTS

Game 137 – Bumgarner's Beauty

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 0, Giants 4

Box Score / Highlights

What Went Right

  • …thinking…thinking… – nobody died.

What Went Wrong

  • Madison Bumgarner – WOW, just a really well pitched game. I was at the game on Monday night and Randy Wells was stunning – taking nothing away from Wells, Bumgarner was even better in carving up the Cubs on Wednesday. He started 22 of the 27 batters he faced with a strike, while throwing a strike over 73% of the time. The Cubs looked completely lost against him.
  • Cubs Offense – Aramis saw 19 pitches, Castro saw 20 – and that got him three strikeouts! No other Cub saw more than 16 pitches. It almost goes without saying, when they don’t get more than a handful of looks at your stuff, it’s easy to keep them off balance. The Cubs were the definition of baffled at the plate.
  • Mike Quade – must not repeat myself, must not…I’m not strong enough to let it pass. When Aramis signs a new deal, part of his agent’s presentation better be “well look, he had Jeff Baker hitting behind him for X% of his games”…Ramirez deserves better than to have Jeff Baker “protecting” him in the lineup. JEFF BAKER IS NOT A CLEANUP HITTER!
  • John Grabow – Yes, you’re darn right I put a guy who threw five pitches, all strikes, as what went wrong. I’d do it again too – he is absolutely maddening to watch. The game is quickly spiraling out of control, we’re heading for a blowout…and then he reels of five strikes and restores calm? This is the same guy who has given up 6 runs (5 ERs) in 11.1 innings in his previous 8 appearances during August. It’s like watching Frank DiPino, and just like DiPino I can’t stand Grabow and nothing will change my mind…I hope today was his last appearance as a Cub (don’t rain on my parade, with rosters expanding it IS possible!).
  • Rodrigo Lopez – to carry on with the past Cubs theme, he’s not 1994 Mike Morgan bad…or even 1999 Steve Trachsel bad. He feels more like 1983 Steve Trout. He’s bad, to be sure, but not so bad you’re completely convinced the game is lost before it starts. Today he was mostly cruising along until the Giants broke their 6-game homerless streak with back-to-back jacks to start the 4th (if you can’t get a ball to leave the yard in 4 games against the Astros and then 2 games against the Cubs – I’d say the deck is more than a little stacked against your odds of repeating as champions). Lopez’s outing wasn’t his worst, and frankly most teams would’ve been beaten Bumgarner today anyway.

The Takeaway

NL West Kingmakers? Last year, the Cubs rode into San Diego for the second-to-last series of the season. The Padres found themselves a half game out with 4 games against the Cubs and then 3 against the Giants, who they were chasing. The Cubs inexplicably took 3 of 4 from the Padres enabling the Giants to pad their NL West lead to 3 full games meaning that the Padres needed to sweep the final series to make the playoffs. Of course they didn’t, and the Giants went on to win the World Series.

This week the Cubs rode into San Francisco with the Giants staring at a four game deficit. They leave the defending World Champions 6 games in arrears and on their way to, wait for it, the Arizona desert to face the division-leading Diamondbacks. Granted, the Giants have more than one series to make up their deficit but based on their offense of late I don’t like their chances of catching the Diamondbacks.

 

Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Madison Bumgarner (.337 WPA)

2nd Star – Jeff Keppinger (.200 WPA)

3rd Star – Pablo Sandoval (.100 WPA)

  • August = 1st winning month of the Cubs sesaon, took a while
    We’ve been in 5th place since May 14th.
    Looking forward to see who starts the Sept. expanded roster games.

  • Chuck

    I would love to see more of Colvin, Brett Jackson and Vitters. These guys are supposed to be part of the future and they need to get some extended playing time to see what they have. Unfortunately, they probably won’t unless word come from the top or Quade is very confident that he won’t get fired. If Quade is on thin ice you won’t see a lot of the kids because Quade will have to win games now to keep his job instead of looking towards the future.
    BTW: Baker is a monster against LHP.

  • Also btw…Jeff Baker since June 1st:
    .191/.263/.292
    = UGH

  • Doc Raker

    Jedi- I am not so concerned about what Arams agent will say when he signs his new deal, I am just hoping the agent is speaking to someone other than the Cubs.

  • Jedi

    Doc I’m with you on that…I love Aramis, but his time with the Cubs is up.

  • Chuck

    I hate to break it to you guys, but the Cubs may need Aramis next year. They need somebody, anybody in the lineup that has some pop and gets on base. Castro may develop some pop over the next few years, but right now he is a gap hitter. Barney has no power. Byrd has no power. Soriano has power but can’t get on base (sub .300 OBP can’t cut it kids). Aliens have kidnapped Geo (.229/.318/.412 = Ugh!). I don’t see any better bat in the lineup than Aramis. Take him off this team and the offense stinks.
    Mediocre hitting combined with a sub-par pitching staff means that next year will be even worse than this year.

  • Jedi

    Chuck – we’re going to be terrible in 2012 with or without Aramis. I’d rather pile up his money for someone who can contribute when we’ll be good again (2013 maybe!)…or put it towards buying out Soriano…or Zambrano.

  • Norm

    Cubs should exercise his option (he’ll decline), then offer him arbitration (he’ll decline), then let him walk and get that multi-year deal elsewhere.

  • Chuck

    I support Norm’s approach to the situatuation. That way he will probably be a Type A free agent and you get a sandwich pick in the draft.
    I never support any approach that leads the Cubs cratering to 100 loss territory. When you are racking up losses at that rate it become difficult to get good prospects by trading vets because all of your vets will be terrible. I only see 3 “keepers” on this team aside from Aramis. They are Garza, Castro and maybe Geo (2012 will be his last chance to retain that status).

  • Jedi

    Until we get a new GM, it’s all highly speculative as to what we will wind up doing with Ramirez. I’m also not sure that Ramirez, who was afforded the opportunity to walk away from the deal last year, would feel so differently this year that he would decline twice. But I’m glad Norm’s emphatic about it.

  • Norm

    Last year he hit 241/294/452…that’s why he didn’t void.
    He just re-established his value in 2011.
    And the good thing is, if he accepts, the Cubs have themselves a third baseman on a 1 year contact. Win/Win.

  • Jedi

    “if he accepts” – I thought this thing was done, done.

    Not many 34-year olds are going to get a long-term deal…he might because of his talent…but like I said – it’s all highly speculative until we get a new GM. It might be that Aramis really likes the guy, or that the new GM really wants to hang on to his best hitter knowing that his team will still be terrible.

  • Noah

    Honestly, I’d look at trading Geo this offseason as well. I’m not saying I’d necessarily do it, only if I got fair value for him in return, but he’s entering his second year of arbitration next season and will be approaching the expensive territory. Honestly, I’d be fine starting Welington Castillo instead next season and letting him get a year in the majors under his belt while the Cubs stink.

  • Buddy

    I’d trade anybody if the price was right. I don’t believe in the “untouchable” theory.

  • Katie

    Nice recap, Jedi. 🙂 I like Ramirez’s numbers the past month or so, but had he done up until then? Basically, nothing. I’d like to see him go. He’s getting old. We need young guys. Either way, we won’t be very good unless we get a miracle-worker as a GM.

  • Doc Raker

    If you believe in rebuilding than you need to answer this question: Who do you want on the team in 3 years? Anyone else you trade or let go. Aram is not someone I want on the team in 3 years. Castro and any other promising rookie that will still be under 6 service years is all I want on the team. Until Soriano and Z are gone we are stuck in contact albatross hell.

  • Buddy

    My crystal ball is still in the shop, but I would hope these players (at least) are productive and on the Cubs roster in three years:

    Soto, Castro, B. Jackson, Garza, R. Wells, J. Baez, D. Vogelbach, plus a minor leaguer/future pick or two. Maybe Chris Carpenter is a stud next year. Maybe a great player falls to the Cubs in next year’s draft. Etc. Guys who might be on the roster in three years, but I wouldn’t mind if they weren’t, include Marmol, Marshall, Barney, and Cashner. I’m sure I’m missing somebody obvious, as this was off the top of my head.

  • Norm

    Buddy, surprised you have Cashner in the second group…any particular reason why?

  • Buddy

    He only has one Major League quality pitch, and he’s coming off an injury.

  • Jedi

    Buddy, I’d also swap Welington Castillo for Soto…mainly because in three years Soto will be 31…Castillo is only 24 now and based on how bad we’ll likely be, I too (like Noah) would be up for exploring what we could get back for Soto.

  • Norm

    Buddy I think you’re under rating Cashner’s slider. Goldstein, Law, Callis, Fangraphs all liked both pitches…its that third that leaves open the RP vs SP question.
    Anyway, I’d no doubt take him over Wells.

  • Buddy

    Despite the Cubs plans to start Cashner earlier this year, I see him as a reliever, which means he’s pretty replaceable. I wouldn’t mind if he was a Cub in three years (just like those other guys on my second list), but I don’t care if he isn’t either. No great gain or loss either way. As far as Castillo goes, he can play D, but I don’t see him as much of a hitter (yes I know, he hit well in the PCL for 250 AB’s). However, I’d love to be wrong about him. Watched him play in Peoria (low A) and always liked the guy for some strange reason. He didn’t hit much in Peoria either.

  • Jedi

    Norm, his WHIP as a reliever was 1.564 last year – a lot of hitters like those pitches even more than your charts and graphs do…even Carlos Marmol’s WHIP hasn’t been that high since he was a rookie. I’m with Buddy…fine if he’s here, fine if he’s gone too.

    Buddy, I know what you mean about Castillo – but since Soto isn’t exactly tearing it up I’d be up for a different catcher who can’t hit…just to change it up a bit.

  • Buddy

    That’s certainly a fair point Jedi. For me, Soto has shown that he can produce offensively (in 2008 and 2010). It’s REALLY hard to find a good hitting catcher, so I would give him a longer leash if I was calling the shots.

  • Jedi

    Yeah, and I’m fine with Soto as our catcher…especially now. I’m not trying to show everyone the door. My concern is in three years, when his knees are shot…what do we do with him then? Maybe the answer is to worry about it in three years when his knees are finally shot…but I think I’d at least see what I could potentially get for him right now.

    How the new GM deals with a lot of the guys on our roster will reveal how soon he thinks we’ll be able to contend. Honesty would demand a realistic expectation of no earlier than 2013. But what if the new GM thinks it’s more likely we won’t genuinely contend again until 2014? I think then it’s more likely you’ll see guys like Soto get dealt, perhaps even this offseason.

  • Norm

    a 23 year old rookie with a high WHIP thru 54.1 innings…well, stick a fork in him.

  • Buddy

    Good point. I could see Soto aging quickly, and badly. He catches just about every damn day. Hopefully next year the Cubs find a useful backup, instead of the Koyie Hill’s of the world who hit like my Aunt Mable. Then maybe Soto could get more days off, thereby keeping his bat fresh.

  • Buddy

    I don’t think anybody is saying “stick a fork” in Cashner. It’s more like, “there’s just as much to worry about as there is to be excited about.” I’m not dying for the Cubs to move him, I just don’t see him as that important in the three-year model Doc asked us to address. His trade value is pretty low right now anyway, what with the injury and all.

  • Norm

    What’s to worry about though?
    The likelihood of him reaching his ceiling is low, but what if he did? He’s a #2 pitcher if he does.
    The risk is far outweighed by the reward.

  • Buddy

    Poor word choice on my part. I didn’t mean worry like “oh no,” I meant he’s just as likely to be crappy/injured as good.

  • Norm

    Put another way, if Cashner was still eligible to be a ‘prospect’ (he’s younger than Chris Carpenter), he’d be one of the top 3 or 4 on the list. I don’t want any Cubs prospects on another team in 3 years.

  • Buddy

    Fair enough. Hopefully my Spidey Sense about Cashner is wrong.

  • Jedi

    Of course no one said to “stick a fork” in him…and of course Norm knew that when he ascribed it to those holding a differing opinion.

    I’d also like to know Norm, why is it ok to say your charts and graphs LOVE his pitches after 54 innings, but it’s not ok to say his WHIP was crap after 54 innings?

    You have a particularly infuriating way of misrepresenting the argument of anyone who disagrees with you.

  • Norm

    Dont have any “charts and graphs” jedi, just good old fashioned scouting reports from the sources I mentioned.
    54 innings doesnt tell you anything about the talent of the player. You brought up the perfect example in Marmol.

  • Jedi

    Are you being cute, or is it really lost on you? Not going to address the rest of it…still looking for where I said the Fukudome trade was stupid no doubt…

    I thought after 54 innings we knew for sure the quality of that slider?

    “I apologize for my bellicosity, I’ve had a hernia operation.”

  • Doc Raker

    Soto is interesting, he showed such potential but has been disappointing these past 2 seasons. If he gets expensive I would let him go, .220 doesn’t cut it. If he can get up around .280 with some pop like his rookie year I would keep him around. All and all I agree with the basic debate with these players mentioned and I hope this is the direction the new GM goes in. It was nice to read about our future without the names of Pena, Aram, Z and Soriano being mentioned, I hope our new GM will do the same. A speedy recovery to Jedi.

  • Buddy

    Soto has struggled in 2011, but his 2010 was solid: .280/.393/.497.

  • Norm

    Must be lost on me because I have no idea what you are trying to say.

  • Jedi

    I’ve been remarkably blunt.

    Why is it ok to say his slider is incredible after 54 innings but not that his WHIP is crap?

    Are you going to point out who said to stick a fork in him?

    Or are you just going to walk away from your assertions like you never said anything now that you’ve been set straight?

  • Norm

    Never said his slider was incredible. But, there is more than 54 innings in Cashner’s history. You have his entire minor league career where scouts look at him. Why ignore scouting reports?
    54 innings is what is called a ‘small sample size’. In that amount of innings, his numbers don’t stabilize. Kinda like Sam Fuld’s April of this year. He was awesome. But given enough time, those numbers stabilize and he goes back to looking like Sam Fuld.
    Nobody said it. But you brought up last years WHIP as if it demonstrated something meaningful.

  • Jedi

    So his WHIP isn’t meaningful but his pitches against minor leaguers are?

    You said his slider was an MLB pitch, wouldn’t that mean it is incredible?

    If no one said, why bring it up? You want argue, fine…but don’t go creating straw men to improve your argument. It’s distasteful.

  • Norm

    His 54 innings is not meaningful in the same way that Alfonso Soriano’s 2 for 3 with 4 rbi’s today isn’t meaningful. Neither tells you how good or bad they are.
    His ‘pitches’ are the same against minor leaguers as they are against big leaguers. His fastball is just as fast with the same movement, and his slider is just as fast with the same movement. This is what scouts look at when they grade their pitches.
    Fine, wont say it again, I’ll just say that those 54 innings give no indication about how good or bad of a pitcher he will become, so there is no point in bringing them up to make him look like a good or bad pitcher.
    And please dont say I’m using ‘charts and graphs’ when I’m quoting good old fashioned scouts.

  • Jedi

    Fangraphs is not old fashioned.

  • Jedi

    And the effectiveness of his pitches against minor leaguers tells you very little about how effective he will be in the MLB. No one ever said he was a bad pitcher, simply disputed that he for sure had two major league pitches…which is debatable at this point…and then you decided to misrepresent the argument.

  • Norm

    They are looking at the pitch itself, not the result of the at bat.
    What do you think scouts do; look at stats or look at players delivery, stuff, control, and velocity?
    You are confusing results with scouting reports. Apples and oranges.
    Scouting reports say two good pitches.

  • Jedi

    And I’m telling you that for some of us the jury is still out on that…we don’t all have to agree with your assessment Norm (or the assessment of those upon whom your opinion is based). But thanks for telling us which information it’s ok to accept and which it’s ok to discard.

  • Norm

    No you don’t have to agree with the professional scouts and analysts I read, you are entitled to your own opinion based on whatever it is you base your opinion on. But I will continue to write that stuff because I would think people put more stock into professional scouting reports than to yours, or my, personal opinion.

  • Jedi

    *some* scouts and analysts…Cashner is not a consensus “can’t miss” – stop acting like anyone who disagrees with you thinks the earth is flat.

    It’s the insufferable way in which you act as if you’ve cornered the market on knowledge that’s so consistently irritating.

  • Norm

    Did I every say “ALL” scouts and analysts? Please tell me where you get your information.
    Did I ever say “can’t miss”?
    YOU are the only one disagreeing here. I respect Buddy’s opinion, so I asked him why. He answered. I said I think he’s under rating Cashner based on what I’ve read. That was pretty much the end of it.
    But you have to jump in and use a meaningless small sample of innings pitched to try and dispute professional scouting reports.
    Sorry, but it’s the insufferable way you have a closed mind to any stat you think is considered ‘sabremetric’.
    Small sample size is not a sabermetric idea.
    Runs and RBI’s don’t tell you how talented a player is. (And runs + rbi’s is ever worse if you don’t pull out the home runs)
    Pitcher ‘wins’ don’t tell you how good a pitcher is.
    OBP is a more important statistic than AVG.

    Since you don’t care what I think, have an open mind and do a little research on your own…
    If you’re arguments are wrong, I’m going to say so and I’ll post links with people smarter than us saying so. If you want to refute it, please do the same.

  • Jedi

    Again with the fake argument huh? I never said you claimed all scouts, I never said you called him can’t miss. (I simply clarified your statement so that it didn’t sound so absolute.) In fact I never said virtually anything you tried to ascribe to me (by inference) in that long rambling diatribe.

    So you think there’s only one right opinion of Cashner and yet I’m the one who is closed-minded?

    It’s sounds like you truly believe that you’ve cornered the market on knowledge and we all need to fall in step with the opinions you’ve formed based on the information you’ve found because you have the best sources with the best information…do I at least have that right?

  • Norm

    I just believe facts and I believe in the information given by pro’s. If someone believes otherwise, I just like to know why so I can add that to the equation. I am a baseball addict, and if there is something out there that has info that I am not aware of, I want to know about it.

    I have an idea. Instead of us doing this debating here in the comments, we should do it over email while having one of the other contributors moderating. They can send us the question we disagree on (Why do you think OBP is more impotant than AVG, for instance) one of us start, the other replies to that. Jedi vs. Norm, offseason feature when it is slow around here.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Norm said: “YOU are the only one disagreeing here.”

    Please don’t mistake my silence for assent.

    Por exemplo, I’m a little surprised by your strong confidence and trust in the inexact science of baseball scouting–especially as a Cubs fan. How many highly-touted prospects need to flame out before you begin to take scouting predictions with several grains of salt.

    Now maybe the specific scouts you mentioned above have sterling track records and have never picked a flash-in-the-pan or a headcase who couldn’t stay on the field. Maybe they really are that reliable? But given that it is such an inexact science, I think the best we can safely say is that Cashner PROJECTS as a big league pitcher (which may have been your original point–it’s tough to tell).

    And frankly, I’m thrilled to know they think so highly of Cashner. If he can bounce back from his injury, I think he could possibly develop into our next closer. But I don’t think scouting predictions alone are enough to make him a player I’m counting on for the future (which is essentially what Buddy was getting at with his two lists of players–Cashner being in the “Take It or Leave It” list).

    Furthermore, I think it’s a little disingenuous to say that Cashner’s 54 innings are “meaningless.” For starters, his performance last season meant enough that the Cubs were counting on him for this season. More than that, even–it gave them the confidence that he could successfully transition to the starting role. They took enough meaning from it that they replaced Ted Lilly and Tom Gorzelanny with Garza and Cashner. Actually, they took so much from those 54 innings and his Spring Training performance that they were willing to pay Carlos Silva the majority of his $11.5M salary to sit down for the season (and eventually sign with the Yankees).

    So if the Cubs were willing to make that much out of his small sample of major league work, can’t you allow that someone else (Jedi) could use the same small sample of stats to form his own opinion. (And even if you want me to say the scouts’ opinions are part of the reason he was promoted to the starting staff, you’ve got to admit that it wasn’t those scouting evaluations ALONE that earned him the promotion.)

    Can’t speak for Jedi, but what I find frustrating isn’t your opinion or your confidence in scouting reports. It’s your staunch refusal to recognize the validity of his argument. If you keep that up, do you really think he’ll want to debate you here or in email chains throughout the offseason?

  • Norm

    Jeremiah:
    “I’m a little surprised by your strong confidence and trust in the inexact science of baseball scouting–especially as a Cubs fan. How many highly-touted prospects need to flame out before you begin to take scouting predictions with several grains of salt.”

    I do take scouting reports with several grains of salt. But those guys are right a lot more often than guys like us.
    ———————–
    “I think the best we can safely say is that Cashner PROJECTS as a big league pitcher (which may have been your original point–it’s tough to tell).”

    “The likelihood of him reaching his ceiling is low, but what if he did? He’s a #2 pitcher if he does.
    The risk is far outweighed by the reward.”
    I think that’s pretty clear.
    ———————-
    Your paragraph on the 54 innings (too long to quote, these comments get too long), I’m a bit confused. It seems like you are agreeing with me. The Cubs found those 54 innings and bad WHIP so meaning*less*, that they still decided to do all that you wrote. Why would the Cubs do what you wrote if they thought the WHIP was a bad sign?
    The Cubs pretty much ignored his bad 54 innings and put him in the rotation.
    ———————-
    “It’s your staunch refusal to recognize the validity of his argument.”
    54 innings of (insert good or bad stat) is not a valid argument. Anyone can have a bad whip, a great whip, a bad anything or a good anything in only 54 innings pitched. It takes HUNDREDS of innings to get a read.

    Look at Roy Halladay. First 149 innings, WHIP of 1.57. What does that say about Halladay? Nothing, other than he had a rough 149 innings to start his career. He still had all the talent in the world.
    Look at Greg Maddux. First 186 innings, 1.66 WHIP. Indicative of talent level? No. Rough 186 innings, yes.
    Mariano Rivera. First 67 innings, 1.50 WHIP. Meaningless.
    All of those, even Maddux’s 186 innings, are STILL a small sample size which do not indicate how good or bad a pitcher will be.
    Using 54 innings as an argument is not a meaningful argument. I’m sorry that that comes off frustrating.

  • Jedi

    Norm, you said you were going to stop misconstruing my argument, and yet you continue to do so. Never did I say that 54 innings completed the book on Cashner. All I said was that his slider, which is purported by some to be an MLB pitch, doesn’t look like it after 54 innings. You seem unable to distinguish this from the argument that you keep attributing to me – that we should “stick a fork” in Cashner after 54 innings. Do you really have a hard time understanding the distinction between “put him out to pasture” and “maybe his slider isn’t really that good”?

  • Jedi

    Maybe I missed it, did you answer me about whether there is only one right opinion of Cashner right now?

  • Jedi

    Let me restate it Norm…54 innings as an argument is not a meaningful argument *in your opinion*. In my opinion, his 54 innings have shown that PERHAPS his slider is not an MLB pitch…to me that is not meaningless. You don’t have to agree…but don’t belittle me or rearrange my argument simply because you disagree (which is exactly what you’ve done).

    Jeremiah highlighted it, so I’ll mention that I think it’s funny you’ve singled me out as “the only one who disagrees” when this started with you, wait for it, disagreeing with Buddy (whom I happened to agree with) – but it’s a very Norm-centric world I know…

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Norm, It can’t be that confusing–I’m absolutely NOT agreeing with you.

    Those 54 innings must have meant something to the Cubs. Is your argument that they awarded him a starting spot in the rotation based solely on his performance in the minors and the projections of some scouts? To keep asserting his time in the majors last year is too small a sample size to mean anything is patently ridiculous.

    Nobody here said that the 54 innings were enough to dump him, or give up on his future. All anybody said–starting with Buddy like three days ago or more–is that he’s not a sure thing and we’re not counting on him for the future. Is it really worth all this time to stomp down such an offensive opinion?

    What’s frustrating is your inability or unwillingness to accept and dissect an opposing opinion. Your tactic of laying waste to armies of straw men is not winning you any fans here.

  • Norm

    Jeremiah, you are talking about different things than Jedi.
    Jedi talked about a *statistic* in 54 innings. Statistics in 54 innings pitched don’t mean anything.
    You don’t appear to be talking about a statistic. You seem to be talking about player evaluation. There is a difference between statistics covering 54 innings and evaluating a player over 54 innings.
    My argument is that *statistics* in 54 innings are meaningless.

    I am not stomping down anything. You guys are asking me questions and I am answering them.

    Are you familiar with the concept of ‘small sample size’?

  • Jedi

    Statistics in 54 innings don’t mean anything, TO YOU. It’s not your *argument*, it’s what you prevented as fact to browbeat me into accepting your opinion of Cashner.

    You only answer selective questions. Is there only one right opinion of Cashner at this point? The crux of everything you say seems to suggest you do in fact believe that only one conclusion on Cashner can be made at this point – but you inferred I was closed-minded.

  • Norm

    You don’t have to accept my opinion of Cashner.

    Do you agree or disagree that 54 innings is a ‘small sample size’?

  • Jedi

    That wasn’t what I asked. Is there only one right opinion of Cashner at this point?

    I ask it because I don’t think there is…I’m perfectly fine with someone, like you, who thinks he can still develop into a workhorse starter or even potential front-line of the rotation guy. I don’t hold that opinion, but I can at least see the merits of it; he has an electric fastball and even a second really good pitch would give him a shot as a starter.

    I hold the opinion that I have yet to see that second pitch; and until such a time as it regularly appears, I’m going to expect that the best we can get out of him is a solid reliever. It’s rare that a “solid reliever” is so good that you’d hold onto him in the face of every trade…if I may be so bold – I think that’s all that Buddy was trying to say from the start.

    What I don’t accept is the notion that anyone who holds to either opinion is so wrong that they need to be battered into submission, being told that their opinion lacks some critical analysis…but that type of reprimand seems to be your M.O.

  • Norm

    No, one opinion is not all there is.
    There can be hundreds of opinions.
    What I’ve been arguing against the entire time is your use of WHIP in 54 innings to come to that conclusion.
    If you said that you watched him and didn’t like the way the slider looked, that it didn’t have enough break, that it wasn’t thrown hard enough, that he didn’t have good enough control over it, that’s opinion based on visual observation. Nothing I can argue about over that.

    But I will argue with using a 54 inning WHIP statistic because it is a small sample size.

    Do you agree or disagree that 54 innings is a small sample size?

  • Jedi

    54 innings is the only sample size we have for Cashner at the MLB level. So I’ll continue to use it…even if it’s small.

    So you take issue with my assertion that “a lot of hitters like those [his] pitches” – because that’s what I originally said that sent you into a tizzy. Because the FACT is that a lot of hitters did like those pitchers, slider included, and until I see more from him, I’m going to use whatever sample size I have…

    If I understand it correctly, you take issue with the method by which I form my opinion…not the opinion itself – so you say. And yet, if I am to form my opinion as you see fit (believing your scouts, your hierarchy of information, your method of analysis) it would be impossible to arrive at any other conclusion than the one which you possess. Point being, as I’ve said all along – it seems as though you believe you’ve cornered the market on knowledge. It’s called an *opinion* Norm…lighten up and stop trying to tell people where their *opinion* is “wrong” (things like, “I think you’re under rating Cashner’s slider”…I’m pretty sure we don’t all need *rate* Cashner’s slider at the exact same place on the scale – and I’m pretty sure that we don’t all need to ignore every small sample size because you deem it meaningless…as I said, the “small sample size” has *some* meaning to me…it MEANS I need to see more before I’m sold on his “other” pitch, because regardless of what pitchfx shows his WHIP was crap).

  • Norm

    OK, good, we agree that it is a small sample.
    Now, would you agree or disagree that statistics in small samples can be misleading?

  • Jedi

    Haha, nice…so you’re going to prove my point – that I should come to a conclusion in the same manner that you do. I’ll play along…quid pro quo!

    Of course small sample sizes “can be” misleading.

    Now, would you agree that *sometimes* – even *often* – a player can exhibit what seems to be an MLB quality pitch at the minor league level, only to show against MLB competition that the same pitch proves to be ineffective?

  • Norm

    Yes, a player can exhibit an MLB quality pitch in the minors only to show it to be ineffective against MLB competition.

    “Can be” misleading. So you don’t see the problem with coming to a conclusion based on information that can be misleading?

  • Jedi

    Just what was my conclusion that you find so preposterous? That the jury is still out on Cashner at the MLB level, but the early returns aren’t good; and that if we can get a decent return for him we should explore trading him? I see what you mean, that sounds rather ridiculous.

    Oh trust me, I see the problem – someone might only read your last two posts (a small sample size) and not realize that you frequently post your opinion as fact and then proceed to arrogantly bluster on as if any dissension is intolerable.

  • Kevin

    I used to love this blog. You guys were providing very insightful and meaningful baseball commentary. Until I read this abomination of a post. I can’t even get through half of this with your back and forth bickering. It is insufferable

    Not sure who Jedi is, but you are ruining this blog. Your personal attacks on Norm are childish and in poor taste. If anyone is using a ‘Strawman’ here, it’s you. You’re playing the semantics game to besmirch Norm’s position and make him appear inaccurate. At least he’s out there researching and collecting data from multiple well established sources. I haven’t seen this Jedi character provide any substantial evidence or corroboration for his stance. In the end it’s opinion so nobody can ever win the argument, but I’ll trust the guy who’s actually doing his research instead of spending his entire day trying to “get his name up in lights” on a blog roll read by 15 people.

    Here’s to the end of Jedi. Cheers!

  • Jedi

    I’m sorry you feel that way Kevin – I would however like to emphasize that I’ve never even close to suggested that Norm was wrong…quite the opposite in fact, I fully understand the merits of his opinion. I just happen to have a different opinion – which isn’t acceptable to Norm.

  • Norm

    As you just said:
    “If I understand it correctly, you take issue with the method by which I form my opinion…not the opinion itself”

    What I’ve been arguing the entire time, my issue is coming to a conclusion based on information (WHIP in 54 innings) that can be misleading.

  • Jedi

    As I also said: “I’m pretty sure that we don’t all need to ignore every small sample size because you deem it meaningless…as I said, the “small sample size” has *some* meaning to me…it MEANS I need to see more before I’m sold on his “other” pitch, because regardless of what pitchfx shows his WHIP was crap.”

    The problem is – you don’t deem that to be an acceptable *opinion* to hold.

  • Jedi

    You also didn’t start out by *arguing* but rather creating a straw man to make the voice of another opinion seem utterly preposterous.

  • Buddy

    I think this is where a live chat feature might be useful. Those of us who like to politely battle back and forth could just use the chat room.

  • Jedi

    Buddy – what about those of us (read:me) who can be at times impolite?

  • Buddy

    You’re always polite!