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  1. #1
    CCS Donator Omeletpants's Avatar
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    Default What Theo needs to do in 2018

    -Trade Schwarber to NY for a reliever like Robertson

    -Re-sign Davis. Edwards is unreliable
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    Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen.

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    Has too many players on the roster who can either hit or defend. Hard to win the WS like that.

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    "If Theo doesn't make some drastic changes this offseason, the 2018 Cubs will end up as only the second-best team in the National League!"

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    - # 1 priority is starting pitching. Otani would be nice but is a pipe dream. A trade is likely needed and someone from the roster will go. Likely Happ. This game all hinges on starting pitching.
    - You're probably going to be forced into signing Davis. Clearly Wilson was brought in to avoid that and he failed. I think he'll be a solid part of the pen next year but you can't write that in stone which means he's not your closer. It's money I wish they didn't have to spend but there's no avoiding it that I can see.
    - They need another solid contact bat that is they can give at least 350 PA to. Might be the guy to replace Happ (or Schwarber I suppose) if he's moved
    - Clearly the bullpen needs work. I'd like to see them sign Duensing and pick up a live RH arm to be what they've always hoped Grimm would be. Strop can't handle that all alone and Rondon ain't the guy. On top of that they probably need 5-6 more potential arms for bullpen depth. Underwood is probably one of these and he's here already.
    - You have to figure out the leadoff hitter. Could Almora be that guy? I don't think he walks nearly enough but you've got a ton of guys that need AB so you're options are limited unless you do something crazy.

    This team does not need wholesale changes. Most of what it needs is to solidify both the starting rotation and the pen. The rotation was bad early while the pen shined and the reverse happened late. You need to stabilize that. The starting pitching made the offense work from behind which kept them out of their rhythm until July. You can't do that again and you also can't go into a stretch run/playoff run with maybe 3 guys in the pen you trust including your closer. Do those things and we'll be right back here next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TC in Mississippi View Post
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    - # 1 priority is starting pitching. Otani would be nice but is a pipe dream. A trade is likely needed and someone from the roster will go. Likely Happ. This game all hinges on starting pitching.
    - You're probably going to be forced into signing Davis. Clearly Wilson was brought in to avoid that and he failed. I think he'll be a solid part of the pen next year but you can't write that in stone which means he's not your closer. It's money I wish they didn't have to spend but there's no avoiding it that I can see.
    - They need another solid contact bat that is they can give at least 350 PA to. Might be the guy to replace Happ (or Schwarber I suppose) if he's moved
    - Clearly the bullpen needs work. I'd like to see them sign Duensing and pick up a live RH arm to be what they've always hoped Grimm would be. Strop can't handle that all alone and Rondon ain't the guy. On top of that they probably need 5-6 more potential arms for bullpen depth. Underwood is probably one of these and he's here already.
    - You have to figure out the leadoff hitter. Could Almora be that guy? I don't think he walks nearly enough but you've got a ton of guys that need AB so you're options are limited unless you do something crazy.

    This team does not need wholesale changes. Most of what it needs is to solidify both the starting rotation and the pen. The rotation was bad early while the pen shined and the reverse happened late. You need to stabilize that. The starting pitching made the offense work from behind which kept them out of their rhythm until July. You can't do that again and you also can't go into a stretch run/playoff run with maybe 3 guys in the pen you trust including your closer. Do those things and we'll be right back here next year.
    #1 and #2 are starting pitching and relief pitching. I dont see them getting rid of Happ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    #1 and #2 are starting pitching and relief pitching. I dont see them getting rid of Happ.
    He feels like the odd man out to me, but I'm not sure of that. Someone's going to go and he seems most likely. I have to think Almora is your CF so it's not going to be him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbeard View Post
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    "If Theo doesn't make some drastic changes this offseason, the 2018 Cubs will end up as only the second-best team in the National League!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC in Mississippi View Post
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    He feels like the odd man out to me, but I'm not sure of that. Someone's going to go and he seems most likely. I have to think Almora is your CF so it's not going to be him.
    Schwarber is a defensive liability. That raises pitch counts and ERA. Happ is an improvement there and can cover a couple of other spots, as needed. Much better than Schwarber and he has decent pop in his bat.

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    If they sign Davis they don't need Robertson. They need a decent set up guy. They will have Strop and Edwards back who while not exactly lock down 100% of the time are both good pitchers. Hopefully they get enough starting pitching that Monty stays in the bullpen full time. If that happens you're really only talking about needing one guy in the pen and not necessarily even a closer. Maples should be a decent option though given his walk rate issues in the past I don't want to count on him 100%.

    Overall people are overreacting based on a handful of games. If the cubs sweep the nats rather than blowing up game 2 their bullpen is rested and many of the issues they have had the past 2 games go away. The fact that lackey is having to pitch immediately shows the issue. And let's not forget the starting pitching they've faced. They haven't had a weak arm in the bunch which I mean I guess is expected given the playoffs but all the guys they have faced have arguably been as good or better than any starter the cubs have thrown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    Schwarber is a defensive liability. That raises pitch counts and ERA. Happ is an improvement there and can cover a couple of other spots, as needed. Much better than Schwarber and he has decent pop in his bat.
    As much as I love Schwarber's hitting potential I don't necessarily disagree. I just have a feeling that it's going to be Happ that goes. The intriguing thing there is can Happ bat leadoff? I would yes if you think he can get his OBP to .350-.360. Still not what you want but could work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beckdawg View Post
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    If they sign Davis they don't need Robertson.
    I feel the Cubs are hellbound to force Edwards into the closer role and save 12M per year, but he is not a pressure pitcher

    One question: what do you think is the culpability of the pitching coach to all the walks by our relievers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    I feel the Cubs are hellbound to force Edwards into the closer role and save 12M per year, but he is not a pressure pitcher

    One question: what do you think is the culpability of the pitching coach to all the walks by our relievers?
    Do feel he will never be a pressure pitcher or that he isn't one now? I would agree with the latter and say we have no idea on the former. He can't be the closer next year, I would agree with that, but to say he can never be a closer is a stretch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    I feel the Cubs are hellbound to force Edwards into the closer role and save 12M per year, but he is not a pressure pitcher

    One question: what do you think is the culpability of the pitching coach to all the walks by our relievers?
    Well here's the thing... if you believe the cubs are trying to save money that doesn't mesh with them trading for Robertson because he's making $13 mil next year. So, if you're going to have to add someone making a fair chunk of money may as well be davis.

    As for the walk issue... I'd blame it more on the front office than the pitching coach. They have targeted a specific type of reliever which is to say they've focused on guys with good pure stuff but not necessarily great control. The reason for that is because getting both costs you $10-15 mil a year and relievers are super inconsistent. Largely their problem is where as a lot of teams pull relievers from their pool of young starters, the cubs pitching obviously hasn't been as deep. Maples is the only guy they drafted(previous regime but w/e) who has turned out to be a MLB guy. They now have some arms coming but because they were ineffective finding pitching their first few years they are now in a position where they don't have much depth and have to trade/sign it.

    Overall though I don't think the bullpen is that bad. I think they have a few holes that are exposing everyone else. For example, if Rondon were better they wouldn't need to rely on Edwards so much. When edwards has his best stuff he's near untouchable but they are in a position where he's often their only legit option. Likewise the Wilson trade has not worked out. I wasn't thrilled with Wilson prior to the announcement of the trade and he's been worse since. Koji also being down hurts them a bit.

    What I see them doing is they basically have to bring back Davis. I don't really see any other way around that. I could then see them spending some money on someone like Pat Neshek or Juan Nicasio. Davis, Edwards, Strop and one of those two is a pretty decent bullpen if Monty is your LH specialist. You'd still need to replace Duensing as your loogy type but those guys with Maples as a Rondon replacement is the makings of an interesting pen. It's not on the level of LA or NYY but it's solid.

  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC in Mississippi View Post
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    Do feel he will never be a pressure pitcher or that he isn't one now? I would agree with the latter and say we have no idea on the former. He can't be the closer next year, I would agree with that, but to say he can never be a closer is a stretch.
    All we Cubs fans should care about is can he do it next year. I say no
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckdawg View Post
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    Well here's the thing... if you believe the cubs are trying to save money that doesn't mesh with them trading for Robertson because he's making $13 mil next year. So, if you're going to have to add someone making a fair chunk of money may as well be davis.

    As for the walk issue... I'd blame it more on the front office than the pitching coach. They have targeted a specific type of reliever which is to say they've focused on guys with good pure stuff but not necessarily great control. The reason for that is because getting both costs you $10-15 mil a year and relievers are super inconsistent. Largely their problem is where as a lot of teams pull relievers from their pool of young starters, the cubs pitching obviously hasn't been as deep. Maples is the only guy they drafted(previous regime but w/e) who has turned out to be a MLB guy. They now have some arms coming but because they were ineffective finding pitching their first few years they are now in a position where they don't have much depth and have to trade/sign it.

    Overall though I don't think the bullpen is that bad. I think they have a few holes that are exposing everyone else. For example, if Rondon were better they wouldn't need to rely on Edwards so much. When edwards has his best stuff he's near untouchable but they are in a position where he's often their only legit option. Likewise the Wilson trade has not worked out. I wasn't thrilled with Wilson prior to the announcement of the trade and he's been worse since. Koji also being down hurts them a bit.

    What I see them doing is they basically have to bring back Davis. I don't really see any other way around that. I could then see them spending some money on someone like Pat Neshek or Juan Nicasio. Davis, Edwards, Strop and one of those two is a pretty decent bullpen if Monty is your LH specialist. You'd still need to replace Duensing as your loogy type but those guys with Maples as a Rondon replacement is the makings of an interesting pen. It's not on the level of LA or NYY but it's solid.
    I'd make resigning Duensing a priority. Solid lefty. I completely agree on bringing back Davis but I don't have to like it. He's going to probably get close to Jansen money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TC in Mississippi View Post
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    I'd make resigning Duensing a priority. Solid lefty. I completely agree on bringing back Davis but I don't have to like it. He's going to probably get close to Jansen money.
    I mean if you're not going to spend it on davis who would you? Sure ideally you develop enough home grown talent to never need to pay FA relievers but that's not entirely realistic. Ultimately it's either money or prospect/players to acquire someone and I'm not sure anyone that is better than Davis will be available. What i would like to see the cubs do though is try to identify more failed starters and put them in the pen. Duensing has worked quite well for them. Marrow worked fantastically for the dodgers. Those type of guys who turn around in a bullpen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TC in Mississippi View Post
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    I'd make resigning Duensing a priority. Solid lefty. I completely agree on bringing back Davis but I don't have to like it. He's going to probably get close to Jansen money.
    He might get close to Jansen's AAV, but he won't come close to 80mil. Jansen was 29 when he signed his contract. Davis will be 32. No one is going to give a 32-year old relief pitcher a five year deal, no matter how good he's been. Davis will probably get 12-13mil for three years, with maybe an option for a fourth year. More of a Melancon-type deal than Jansen/Chapman.

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    I've thought this roster was flawed from the start of the season. They let "you go we go" go. They didn't have a replacement for that and I am not sure I see one on the team currently. I think Maddon has done a better and more exhausting coaching job this season. Too many moving parts that aren't versatile enough to be moving...Schwarber, Heyward. Old pitching. Baez swinging at total garbage. I loved his walk last night. I feel that the K he had where he swung at a FB higher than his head embarrassed him enough that it may be the catalyst for a better mental approach in the future. He was clearly unhappy with himself. I think that's healthy and I believe he will have an improved BB rate next season.

    As Zobrist has gotten older, he doesn't have as much range defensively. His play time looks to be reduced next season. Baez is starting 2B. The person on the team who can fill the Zobrist role is Happ. Can Happ fill the lead-off role? I don't know, but he shouldn't be going anywhere. The odd man out has to be Schwarber. There won't be a lot of trade value either, but that eliminates a flaw in the roster of a player who belongs in the AL. Heyward should be kept around as a late inning defensive replacement. That contract was too large, but it isn't my money. Schwarber can't hit well now and Heyward's swing that was supposedly worked on all off-season didn't work out. Does the Cubs hitting coach have the answers? I don't know. Coaches coach and players play, but Heyward has the same swing flaws he had last season.

    These kinds of posts are very hard for me to write, as I like the players and coaches. They won a world series and are fun to watch. I'm trying to write this from an observer's perspective. I don't think what I've posted are "drastic changes" as much as a few roster moves and they are right back there again. Every team is looking to improve in the off-season. Milwaukee will be improved next season. If the Cubs essentially stand pat, they will eventually get passed up.
    Last edited by Parade_Rain; 10-16-2017 at 12:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    I've thought this roster was flawed from the start of the season. They let "you go we go" go. They didn't have a replacement for that and I am not sure I see one on the team currently. I think Maddon has done a better and more exhausting coaching job this season. Too many moving parts that aren't versatile enough to be moving...Schwarber, Heyward. Old pitching. Baez swinging at total garbage. I loved his walk last night. I feel that the K he had where he swung at a FB higher than his head embarrassed him enough that it may be the catalyst for a better mental approach in the future. He was clearly unhappy with himself. I think that's healthy. I think he will have an improved BB rate next season.

    As Zobrist has gotten older, he doesn't have as much range defensively. His play time looks to be reduced next season. Baez is starting 2B. The person on the team who can fill the Zobrist role is Happ. Can Happ fill the lead-off role? I don't know, but he shouldn't be going anywhere. The odd man out has to be Schwarber. There won't be a lot of trade value either, but that eliminates a flaw in the roster of a player who belongs in the AL. Heyward should be kept around as a late inning defensive replacement. That contract was too large, but it isn't my money. Schwarber can't hit well now and Heyward's swing that was supposedly worked on all off-season didn't work out. Does the Cubs hitting coach have the answers? I don't know. Coaches coach and players play, but Heyward has the same swing flaws he had last season.

    These kinds of posts are very hard for me to write, as I like the players and coaches. They won a world series and are fun to watch. I'm trying to write this from an observer's perspective. I don't think what I've posted are "drastic changes" as much as a few roster moves and they are right back there again. Every team is looking to improve in the off-season. Milwaukee will be improved next season. If the Cubs essentially stand pat, they will eventually get passed up.
    Here's the thing... I think Almora can lead off vs LHP. He destroys LHP and walks a lot more than vs RHP. So, in that sense you're covered in about 25% of your games. The question then is who leads off vs RHP. That I'm not 100% sure myself. Bryant is their best hitter vs RHP but you don't want him leading off. Rizzo is #2 but again don't want him leading off. La Stella is #3 but probably not starter worthy. #4 is Happ who hit .243/.334/.529 vs RHP. #5 is Contreras .274/.339/.489. I think you could probably live with either Happ or Contreras leading off though it's not really ideal. I think the bigger problem is that Heyward just doesn't offer a ton as of right now and because of that you're really limited positionally. You have to get a lead off hitter out of 2B, LF or CF. What's weird is Heyward used to crush RHP. If he could ever get back to where he was in 2014 you could feasibly put him there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    These kinds of posts are very hard for me to write, as I like the players and coaches. They won a world series and are fun to watch. I'm trying to write this from an observer's perspective. I don't think what I've posted are "drastic changes" as much as a few roster moves and they are right back there again. Every team is looking to improve in the off-season. Milwaukee will be improved next season. If the Cubs essentially stand pat, they will eventually get passed up.
    I'm also torn as I like most of the players on the team. But from this point, I think they need to be ruthless when moving people. I love Happ but if he needs to go then ok

    Also been wondering on thoughts about flipping Russell and Baez. Russell has played 2nd before and Baez has a better arm and more range suited for SS. What is the downside?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    I'm also torn as I like most of the players on the team. But from this point, I think they need to be ruthless when moving people. I love Happ but if he needs to go then ok

    Also been wondering on thoughts about flipping Russell and Baez. Russell has played 2nd before and Baez has a better arm and more range suited for SS. What is the downside?
    Russell is far more consistent defensively than Baez. That's why Maddon has him at SS over Baez. He's basically at the top or near it in making plays on balls at SS. That is to say he gobbles up almost everything hit his way. Baez will make the fantastic play every now and then but he also doesn't make nearly as many routine plays. So, frankly I'd be shocked if Baez took over at SS vs Russell.

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