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June 2014

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COMMENTS

Arrieta is Good, Rizzo is Good, Twitterites are Morons and I Don't Like Renteria

Written by , Posted in General

MVP – Jake Arrieta (.289 WPA)

If you missed the game yesterday, I came away from it with four thoughts that I wanted to share.

1. Arrieta is really really good. – Noah wrote about it yesterday that when the dust settles, he may be the best starter on the staff. It makes the trade to acquire him look amazing. In case you forgot, the deal was Arrieta and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger. Yeah, that’s an alright trade. Last night Arrieta took a perfect game into the 7th inning, which prompted my second take away.

2. People on Twitter are morons. – David Kaplan and Len Kasper were both tweeting that Arrieta had a perfect game working, and caught hell for it. Kap in particular had a pretty good back and forth with some moron woman who I think honestly believed that somehow Kap mentioning the no hitter caused him to lose it. Honestly people, if you believe in that BS, you need to seriously consider mental evaluation.

3. Ricky Renteria over manages the piss out of a ballgame. – I’m trying to like Renteria. I really am, but watching him be completely clueless when it comes to roster management is starting to wear on me. The fact that we’ve been carrying eight pitchers, which I believe is solely for the purpose of giving him bullpen training wheels, is beyond frustrating. Last night he’s bringing guys in the for one pitch. It’s as if he doesn’t realize that this has adverse effects on a guy’s health. It’s not just one pitch that he throws. He has to warm up. If you’re going to use a guy, then use him.

4. Anthony Rizzo is really good. – That’s really all you have to say. I hadn’t seen him as a 30-35 home run guy, but he hit his 17th of the season last night and is starting to look like he has that potential. If he’s capable of producing that kind of power and you pair him with guys like Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and even Starlin Castro, this lineup has the potential for a scary amount of power up and down the lineup.

This is our first edition of this today, so we’ll make it Arrieta themed after his knockout performance last night.

Q. Would you rather anchor your pitching staff with Arrieta or Travis Wood?

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    I did miss the game yesterday due it’s rain delayed start. I tend to agree about Renteria’s shall we say unorthodox use of the bullpen. When I checked the box score this morning, I was amazed that 5 pitchers were used to close out the final 2 innings of the game.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    I did miss the game yesterday due it’s rain delayed start. I tend to agree about Renteria’s shall we say unorthodox use of the bullpen. When I checked the box score this morning, I was amazed that 5 pitchers were used to close out the final 2 innings of the game.

  • Doug S.

    I’m missing way too many games lately and appreciate the write-ups and comments. Nice to see both Arrieta and Rizzo do well.
    More Len fodder for Raker.
    I too am trying to like Ricky, not sure that I do. Dislike the bringing of a guy in for one pitch, especially if it becomes a regular thing.
    Tough question. My anchor has 2 arms and I’ll go with both Wood and Arrieta.

    • PLCB3

      I feel the same way. I want both of them going forward.

    • Noah_I

      I think Wood’s fairly overrated. He’s a solid 3/4 type in my opinion, potentially more a 5 on a good team. He may in fact be this mid 4’s ERA pitcher based on talent, as his xFIP each of the last two seasons is pretty much right at 4.50. What’s the difference between his 2013 and his 2014? He had vastly better than average results in BABIP against and left on base percentage. Whether you want to call it luck, randomness, whatever, those two rates are two of the least predictable season to season. After having a .248 BABIP against in 2013, he’s at .293 in 2014, right around the league average, which hovers around .300 year in and year out. And his left on base rate was 77.4% last season. League average sits around 70%. This season, he’s at 69.1%.

      If Arrieta stays healthy, he’s the guy I want the Cubs extending. I’d prefer they just go year to year with Wood and either trade him in his final arbitration year or let him go in free agency if he isn’t willing to give a big home town discount.

  • Doug S.

    I’m missing way too many games lately and appreciate the write-ups and comments. Nice to see both Arrieta and Rizzo do well.
    More Len fodder for Raker.
    I too am trying to like Ricky, not sure that I do. Dislike the bringing of a guy in for one pitch, especially if it becomes a regular thing.
    Tough question. My anchor has 2 arms and I’ll go with both Wood and Arrieta.

    • AC0000000

      I feel the same way. I want both of them going forward.

    • Noah_I

      I think Wood’s fairly overrated. He’s a solid 3/4 type in my opinion, potentially more a 5 on a good team. He may in fact be this mid 4’s ERA pitcher based on talent, as his xFIP each of the last two seasons is pretty much right at 4.50. What’s the difference between his 2013 and his 2014? He had vastly better than average results in BABIP against and left on base percentage. Whether you want to call it luck, randomness, whatever, those two rates are two of the least predictable season to season. After having a .248 BABIP against in 2013, he’s at .293 in 2014, right around the league average, which hovers around .300 year in and year out. And his left on base rate was 77.4% last season. League average sits around 70%. This season, he’s at 69.1%.

      If Arrieta stays healthy, he’s the guy I want the Cubs extending. I’d prefer they just go year to year with Wood and either trade him in his final arbitration year or let him go in free agency if he isn’t willing to give a big home town discount.

  • Wood is my anchor. It’s been said he pitches hard.

    • Seymour Butts

      Has anybody here seen my old friends Johnson?
      Can you tell me where they’ve gone?

      • I don’t know, but it wasn’t that long ago when a guy couldn’t turn around here without bumping into a Johnson or two.

  • Wood is my anchor. It’s been said he pitches hard.

    • Seymour Butts

      Has anybody here seen my old friends Johnson?
      Can you tell me where they’ve gone?

      • I don’t know, but it wasn’t that long ago when a guy couldn’t turn around here without bumping into a Johnson or two.

  • Noah_I

    I’m curious if it was Renteria’s call to have the 8 man bullpen or not. Typically, the manager is not the decision maker in regards to who is on the active roster, only with how to use the players on the active roster. While I find the 8 man bullpen odd, I’m ok with it for now. I think a part of it is the fact that so many of the Cubs’ relievers are young, and either have significant injury histories (Rondon in particular) or are recently converted relievers (Grimm, Ramirez) that the Cubs have concerns about pitching too many of their guys more than 2 days in a row at most, and I think most of them you’d see the Cubs prefer to not pitch consecutive days. My guess would be that they will not have an 8 man bullpen in 2015.

    I’m also ok with occasionally having pitchers face one hitter (that’s what the LOOGY technically does anyways, particularly in an attempt to end a losing streak. Unfortunately, some of the Cubs’ relievers have started to have some issues. Grimm is having control problems, Schlitter is someone who is likely pitching over his heard. The Cubs really only have three relievers who I’d trust to give a full inning to right now: Rondon, Ramirez and Strop. And I believe only Ramirez was available last night.

    I agree, though, that the affect of having a pitcher warm up is ignored. It’s not the same as pitching in the game, but once a pitcher is warming up, that means he’s not exactly getting a day off.

    • I’m with you until the last sentence. Bullpen warming up just that…pitches don’t really happen until the decision is made.

      • Noah_I

        Dave Duncan appears to believe that warm up pitches count, and it was a part of their regime in St. Louis to cut bullpen sessions and warm up pitches, for their starters in particular, in half to make every pitch possible count in games. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=4359938

        I’d say warm up pitches and in game pitches aren’t a 1 to 1 trade off. Clearly there’s far more effort that goes into in game pitches. But, for example, there was a point earlier in the season where Renteria pitched Rondon three games in a row based upon Rondon having only thrown something like 8 or 10 pitches in each of the prior two games. But that ignored that, on top of those pitches, he probably threw at least 25 warm up pitches per game. In that situation, Renteria probably shouldn’t have just though “he only threw 18 pitches in the last two games, he’s good to go again!” He should have thought that he threw 18 full effort pitches, and 50 half effort pitches, and evaluated whether Rondon should have been available 3 days in a row (he has not been since) on that basis.

      • I’m on board with that, but warming up is warming up. There are three states though…not pitching, pitching, and warming up. You wouldn’t stick a pitcher on the shelf for stretching, which is what the warming up phase is. Get loose –> warming up; get ready –> pitching.

      • Noah_I

        I don’t disagree. I get more concerned when guys are up and down and up and down warming up and then getting cooled down again, but that more seems to affect the less valuable middle relievers. Typically when Rondon, Ramirez or Strop are up, it’s to pitch a whole inning, and they’re just getting warmed up once.

  • Noah_I

    I’m curious if it was Renteria’s call to have the 8 man bullpen or not. Typically, the manager is not the decision maker in regards to who is on the active roster, only with how to use the players on the active roster. While I find the 8 man bullpen odd, I’m ok with it for now. I think a part of it is the fact that so many of the Cubs’ relievers are young, and either have significant injury histories (Rondon in particular) or are recently converted relievers (Grimm, Ramirez) that the Cubs have concerns about pitching too many of their guys more than 2 days in a row at most, and I think most of them you’d see the Cubs prefer to not pitch consecutive days. My guess would be that they will not have an 8 man bullpen in 2015.

    I’m also ok with occasionally having pitchers face one hitter (that’s what the LOOGY technically does anyways, particularly in an attempt to end a losing streak. Unfortunately, some of the Cubs’ relievers have started to have some issues. Grimm is having control problems, Schlitter is someone who is likely pitching over his heard. The Cubs really only have three relievers who I’d trust to give a full inning to right now: Rondon, Ramirez and Strop. And I believe only Ramirez was available last night.

    I agree, though, that the affect of having a pitcher warm up is ignored. It’s not the same as pitching in the game, but once a pitcher is warming up, that means he’s not exactly getting a day off.

    • I’m with you until the last sentence. Bullpen warming up just that…pitches don’t really happen until the decision is made.

      • Noah_I

        Dave Duncan appears to believe that warm up pitches count, and it was a part of their regime in St. Louis to cut bullpen sessions and warm up pitches, for their starters in particular, in half to make every pitch possible count in games. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=4359938

        I’d say warm up pitches and in game pitches aren’t a 1 to 1 trade off. Clearly there’s far more effort that goes into in game pitches. But, for example, there was a point earlier in the season where Renteria pitched Rondon three games in a row based upon Rondon having only thrown something like 8 or 10 pitches in each of the prior two games. But that ignored that, on top of those pitches, he probably threw at least 25 warm up pitches per game. In that situation, Renteria probably shouldn’t have just though “he only threw 18 pitches in the last two games, he’s good to go again!” He should have thought that he threw 18 full effort pitches, and 50 half effort pitches, and evaluated whether Rondon should have been available 3 days in a row (he has not been since) on that basis.

      • I’m on board with that, but warming up is warming up. There are three states though…not pitching, pitching, and warming up. You wouldn’t stick a pitcher on the shelf for stretching, which is what the warming up phase is. Get loose –> warming up; get ready –> pitching.

      • Noah_I

        I don’t disagree. I get more concerned when guys are up and down and up and down warming up and then getting cooled down again, but that more seems to affect the less valuable middle relievers. Typically when Rondon, Ramirez or Strop are up, it’s to pitch a whole inning, and they’re just getting warmed up once.

  • Doc Raker

    Noah is a baseball prophet with yesterday’s post on Arrieta. I want both Arrieta and Wood in the Cubs rotation. The Arrieta/Strop trade for Clevenger/Feldman might be the best trade since Lee for Choi.

    Len Kasper tweets during broadcasts? Maybe that’s why he has nothing insightful to say, he is to busy tweeting. Who would follow Len Kasper?

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Every time VFTB highlights a pitcher he pitches well. We need one of these articles for every Cub pitcher before he starts.

      To answer your question about who follows Len, I believe it is Bob Brenley and his favorite band, also those who follow his band. Probably a grand total of about 10 people,

  • Doc Raker

    Noah is a baseball prophet with yesterday’s post on Arrieta. I want both Arrieta and Wood in the Cubs rotation. The Arrieta/Strop trade for Clevenger/Feldman might be the best trade since Lee for Choi.

    Len Kasper tweets during broadcasts? Maybe that’s why he has nothing insightful to say, he is to busy tweeting. Who would follow Len Kasper?

  • Doc Raker

    I am looking for 2 field box seats for Wednesday August 13. If anyone has tickets to sell please let me know. I will pay face value plus a coupon for a free super size upgrade on the combo deal at Wrigleyville Subs on South Addison street.

  • Doc Raker

    I am looking for 2 field box seats for Wednesday August 13. If anyone has tickets to sell please let me know. I will pay face value plus a coupon for a free super size upgrade on the combo deal at Wrigleyville Subs on South Addison street.

  • Aaron Dickens

    Travis Wood, simply because of durability and Stamina.. Jake has never been able to go Deep into games thus far and came in 1 game under .500, 37-38, i think.. But the sample so far is outstanding, finally doing what many predicted this mid-round gem, but with his fatigue factor and past shoulder injury, im going with the Proven All-Star Wood.. Im hoping team Thoyer go & get Justin Masterson, Jon Lester or James Shields to go with E.Jax(were stuck here) Arrieta & Woody to be 2015 starting Rotation, barring the trade arms we receive in the Shark,Hammels trade,and hoping Kyle Hendricks & Arodys Vizcaino or Alberta Cabrera come to fruition..im also up for any project Bosio can tinker with.. Chris Bosio is hands down a miracle worker, he never gets the credit but is Tops for pitching coaches in mlb.. Team Thoyer needs to grab Dernard Span for CF, leadoff & clubhouse veteran leader, as well as.. Lol.. Old punching bag & crosstown jerk.. AJ Pierzynski to back up Welli Castillo.. Also need to grab Andrew Miller(LH specialist) and Rafael Soriano to help solidify the bullpen as we have Kris Bryant(LF or 3rd) Javy Baez(RF/3rd), Arismendy Alcantara(CF/2nd) .. So we look to be an Xciting young, powerful and Strong Armed group of Studs.. Cubs will make the playoffs in 2015, by Division Champs or 1 of the Wild Card spots and will be perrennial favs. For years & years.. Team Thoyer.. Keep Jason Macloud in-house and not to Padres as GM so we can keep our Org. Deep and Talented!!

    • Doc Raker

      Who’s Thoyer? Same guy as Thed? Do you mean Epoyer or Hoystein?

      • Eddie Von White

        I like Hoystein. Has a nice ring to it.

      • I think it was maybe before you were coming around EVW, but there was a creep named Tommy who used to hang around here. He (no shit) tried to get CAPS to send him shirtless pics from his lifeguarding days and referred to the Cubs as “Dale’s boys.” Neither of those things have nice rings to them.

      • Seymour Butts

        Haven’t hear much from “Tommy” since Jerry Sandusky lost internet privileges.

      • Eddie Von White

        Lizzie was running Tommy out of town about the time I arrived here at VFTB. Another thanks to our blog-mom.

  • Aaron Dickens

    Travis Wood, simply because of durability and Stamina.. Jake has never been able to go Deep into games thus far and came in 1 game under .500, 37-38, i think.. But the sample so far is outstanding, finally doing what many predicted this mid-round gem, but with his fatigue factor and past shoulder injury, im going with the Proven All-Star Wood.. Im hoping team Thoyer go & get Justin Masterson, Jon Lester or James Shields to go with E.Jax(were stuck here) Arrieta & Woody to be 2015 starting Rotation, barring the trade arms we receive in the Shark,Hammels trade,and hoping Kyle Hendricks & Arodys Vizcaino or Alberta Cabrera come to fruition..im also up for any project Bosio can tinker with.. Chris Bosio is hands down a miracle worker, he never gets the credit but is Tops for pitching coaches in mlb.. Team Thoyer needs to grab Dernard Span for CF, leadoff & clubhouse veteran leader, as well as.. Lol.. Old punching bag & crosstown jerk.. AJ Pierzynski to back up Welli Castillo.. Also need to grab Andrew Miller(LH specialist) and Rafael Soriano to help solidify the bullpen as we have Kris Bryant(LF or 3rd) Javy Baez(RF/3rd), Arismendy Alcantara(CF/2nd) .. So we look to be an Xciting young, powerful and Strong Armed group of Studs.. Cubs will make the playoffs in 2015, by Division Champs or 1 of the Wild Card spots and will be perrennial favs. For years & years.. Team Thoyer.. Keep Jason Macloud in-house and not to Padres as GM so we can keep our Org. Deep and Talented!!

    • Doc Raker

      Who’s Thoyer? Same guy as Thed? Do you mean Epoyer or Hoystein?

      • Eddie Von White

        I like Hoystein. Has a nice ring to it.

      • I think it was maybe before you were coming around EVW, but there was a creep named Tommy who used to hang around here. He (no shit) tried to get CAPS to send him shirtless pics from his lifeguarding days and referred to the Cubs as “Dale’s boys.” Neither of those things have nice rings to them.

      • Seymour Butts

        Haven’t hear much from “Tommy” since Jerry Sandusky lost internet privileges.

      • Eddie Von White

        Lizzie was running Tommy out of town about the time I arrived here at VFTB. Another thanks to our blog-mom.