Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Yin and Yang of the Cubs

The All-Star break is a time when bloggy nerds like me trot out a report card for the players on their favorite team.  My problem with that method is that grading a player is pretty subjective.  For instance, Tyler Colvin has a .263 batting average and a .313 OBP, neither of which is setting the world on fire.  But he's hitting for power and he's a young guy who is breaking his way onto a veteran team.  It was fairly unexpected for him to be performing as he has, so people may be inclined to give him a low A or high B for beating expectations.

Meanwhile, Alfonso Soriano is bettering his career numbers in every batting slash category except batting average, but he is getting paid a gazillion dollars, he sometimes hops when he catches a flyball, and Bob Brenly doesn't like him, so people might give him a low B or even a C for coming in under expectations that may have been too high in the first place.  How fair is that?

So I'm not going to try to come up with an objective grading system.  I'm just going to try to say one good thing about every player and one critical thing about every player and leave it at that.

Jeff Baker

Good: He provided some good internet fodder by alledgedly burning his ass while lighting farts.

Bad:  He has exactly one hit in 36 at-bats against right handed pitchers this year.  That is only one more than I have.

Marlon Byrd

Good: He was the lone Cubs All-Star and is having one of the best seasons of his career. Everyone but Joey Votto loves Marlon Byrd.

Bad:  He still thinks that the Cubs can turn things around.  That is dangerous to say around Jim Hendry and the Rickettses because they'll want to believe him and not trade anybody.

Starlin Castro

Good: We no longer have to watch Ryan Theriot "play" shortstop.

Bad: He might already have 20 errors if there was someone besides Derrek Lee receiving most of his throws.

Tyler Colvin

Good:  The kid has put on some weight and really started smoking the ball with power.

Bad:  He is striking out at almost the same rate as Adam Dunn.

Mike Fontenot

Good:  He isn't as bad as he was last year.

Bad:  He isn't as good as he was in 2008.

Kosuke Fukudome

Good:  Kosuke was one of the few players that started out hot when the year began.

Bad:  He is still not good at hitting in months that don't rhyme with Bapril.

Koyie Hill

Good:  Seems like a good guy and his teammates like him.

Bad:  His hitting line of .213/.253/.281/.534 is getting dangerously close to the .185/.224/.242/.466 line put up last year by Aaron Miles.

Derrek Lee

Good:  Remember last year?  Last year, Derrek was awesome.

Bad:  He's been so bad that the Anaheim Angels of Anaheim would rather play two catchers in their lineup than trade for him to play first.

Xavier Nady

Good: He kind of has a cool name.

Bad:  Everything else about him.

Aramis Ramirez

Good:  In the last couple of weeks, Aramis has put up a slash line of .361/.395/.806/1.200 which is more like it.

Bad:  It's pretty much too late to make a damn bit of difference.

Alfonso Soriano

Good:  He has rebounded nicely from a horrible season last year and is actually having the best season in OPS+ he has had as a Cub.

Bad:  Even with his production, his contract is still virtually untradeable.

Geovany Soto

Good:  Statistically so far, he is having as good a year or better than his breakout 2008 season.

Bad:  He apparently pissed in Lou's Cheerios at some point because he keeps losing at-bats to Three Finger Hill far more often than makes logical sense.

Ryan Theriot

Good: He didn't win his arbitration case, so the Cubs are paying him less money than they would have had he settled or won.

Bad:  He has surpassed Dwight Smith as the all-time worst baserunner in the history of the Cubs.

I'll work on the pitchers later.  Trying to think of good things to say about Ryan Theriot and Koyie Hill broke my brain.  I have to go lie down.


The pitching good/bad post is here.


Mo Alou said...

How come I don't get any love as the Cubs worst base runner of all time?

Aisle 424 said...

It's too easy to just make fun of you for peeing on your own hands.

Chris said...

I met Mike Fontenot's dad at the Cracker Barrel in Mattoon, Illinois. I live there, and he was coming home from the game on the 4th of July. He saw my Ronald Reagan t-shirt, and I saw his Cubs hat, and we started talking. He seems like a nice guy, and his son looks just like him.

Aisle 424 said...

Wow, that's crazy. Mattoon is an awful long way from the Merry ol' Land of Oz.

Post a Comment

The easiest way to comment is to choose the Name/URL option from the Comment As dropdown menu below. You do not need to put in a URL for this option to work.

Sometimes upon submitting the comment, you will get an error saying there is a problem. Submit the comment again and it should work. I am looking into correcting this glitch.