2021 Spring Training Thread.

Chicagosports89

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According to Ross, he has been talked about every spot and to my knowledge is up for it.
I feel like he has earned it. But they don't seem to be stretching him out and I keep seeing cfs talk as if Mills is locked in when I'd much rather have Miller
 

CSF77

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Miller makes more sense.

But middle relief is vastly under rated. Most of the Cubs losses happen after the starter comes out.

When the starters start pushing 6-7 innings this will impact less.

You ha e to look at it as a starter effects 1 out of 5 games. A middle reliever effects 5 out of 5 games for 1-2 innings of work.

So Miller might impact more stabilizing the pen vs pitching every 5th day.

Reverse this. Put Mills into middle relief. Starter comes out. Mills goes in 3 times a week. With his numbers going right now he might lose the starters effort in the 6th inning vs Miller who preserves it.


Miller is not on the active roster or on the 40 man. Some one is going to get bumped off. I believe the 40 man roster is at 39. Miller is one guy that has deserved it. Catcher has higher priority and PJ Higgens needs to go on first as the back up.


Holder and Tepera are on the 40 man bubble. Miller should take 1 spot.

Now if they were serious about Alozay then Mills would be that guy. Jed has not pushed Alozay out there so this points towards holding his service clock back and if forced to play him expect as another middle relief arm. Which is not a bad thing. Stabilizing the pen effects far more games than a starter does.
 
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beckdawg

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Something you need to consider when talking about pitching and cubs pitching in general is that the cubs are very likely to be an elite defensive group. If Nico wins the 2B job kris bryant whos roughly an average 3B is the worst defender on the infield. The other 4 guys including Contreras are at least contenders for gold gloves. Heyward probably isn't what he once was but he's still above average. Joc should be pretty good in LF. I'm not really sold on Happ's defense personally but if he's the worst guy out there you're going to have a pretty good defense. Also don't sleep on Burl Callaway making his way to the majors soon.

Overall I think people will be surprised with the cubs pitching. I think when you factor in their team defense it will be a team who's greater than the sum of its parts especially if they replicate Contreras' framing improvement in 2020.
 

beckdawg

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Also I'm curious how MLB's process of removing people using pinetar/foreign substances will effect pitching. I'm interested to see if a lot of the high k rate pitchers who popped up recently have bad years
 

CSF77

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Something you need to consider when talking about pitching and cubs pitching in general is that the cubs are very likely to be an elite defensive group. If Nico wins the 2B job kris bryant whos roughly an average 3B is the worst defender on the infield. The other 4 guys including Contreras are at least contenders for gold gloves. Heyward probably isn't what he once was but he's still above average. Joc should be pretty good in LF. I'm not really sold on Happ's defense personally but if he's the worst guy out there you're going to have a pretty good defense. Also don't sleep on Burl Callaway making his way to the majors soon.

Overall I think people will be surprised with the cubs pitching. I think when you factor in their team defense it will be a team who's greater than the sum of its parts especially if they replicate Contreras' framing improvement in 2020.

Well one of my concerns was lessened yesterday with Davies going strike out happy. It tells me that he can when needed.

And that is the main point. BABIP on avg will be .300. A good D will lessen it. A bad D will increase it.

But a strike out holds the most weight. But that is not efficient in keeping a pitchers pitch count down. Sure there will be a amazing Kerry Wood effort but the majority will be his 5 innings sitting at 90 pitches+ and losing the game in the middle innings.

So in general the way Jed is going about this is based off of efficiency and that is not sexy. It is not going to be a strong base to build a contender. But I doubt that is the goal. The goal is survival this year.
 

beckdawg

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BABIP on avg will be .300. A good D will lessen it. A bad D will increase it.
Yes and no. Like generally speaking yes BABIP will be .300 for league average year to year but there are pitchers who consistently out perform that by getting weaker contact. Over 123 games started Davies career babip against is .287 so he already shows he is that type of pitcher.

As for not building a sexy rotation... i think people forget what baseball can and used to be. Tom Glavine is an all time great and his k/9 was 5.32 with a 3.06 bb/9 and a 0.73 hr/9. Davies is presently at 6.54, 2.62 and 1.04 respectively. Now I'm not saying Davies will be Tom Glavine here. He had 20.2 fWAR prior to his age 27 season where as Davies has put up 9.

The point I'm trying to make is that you aren't going to get an edge following trends. So, chasing high k rate pitchers as is popular right now is just going to wind up with you either over paying guys or getting middling guys who aren't the best at what they do. That's why I appreciate them caring less about velocity than other teams. I mean look Glavine was still a useful pitcher at 39. Jamie Moyer was still useful at 45. So, you find the right control guys and you have a long term corner stone.
 

CSF77

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Yes and no. Like generally speaking yes BABIP will be .300 for league average year to year but there are pitchers who consistently out perform that by getting weaker contact. Over 123 games started Davies career babip against is .287 so he already shows he is that type of pitcher.

As for not building a sexy rotation... i think people forget what baseball can and used to be. Tom Glavine is an all time great and his k/9 was 5.32 with a 3.06 bb/9 and a 0.73 hr/9. Davies is presently at 6.54, 2.62 and 1.04 respectively. Now I'm not saying Davies will be Tom Glavine here. He had 20.2 fWAR prior to his age 27 season where as Davies has put up 9.

The point I'm trying to make is that you aren't going to get an edge following trends. So, chasing high k rate pitchers as is popular right now is just going to wind up with you either over paying guys or getting middling guys who aren't the best at what they do. That's why I appreciate them caring less about velocity than other teams. I mean look Glavine was still a useful pitcher at 39. Jamie Moyer was still useful at 45. So, you find the right control guys and you have a long term corner stone.
Atl lost many world series. They won 1. They were built to get there. Smoltz started to peak in 1995 and was a big factor on why they pushed through that year.

Play off teams need high leverage arms. I would rather rent them though because in the regular season efficient arms hold more value.
 

CSF77

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Getting to high leverage. Alozay and Maples. These two can make hitters look stupid up there. I would love to see them held back some and use them as weapons later season. Get through the first half and if they are in the thick of it they would have a big impact in the final run.

The only guy that bothers me is Mills and it seems like the #5 will be fluid. Some weeks not needed so I would expect Mills and Miller to make spot starts vs a locked in #5.
 

beckdawg

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Atl lost many world series. They won 1. They were built to get there. Smoltz started to peak in 1995 and was a big factor on why they pushed through that year.
I feel like you're talking about something entirely different here. I'm talking about being an effective pitcher not contending for a world series. But setting that aside, Glavine isn't why the Braves didn't win more world series. He had a career 3.42 ERA in the playoffs. Maddux was at 3.27. Randy Johnson who was clearly viewed as your prototypical big game pitcher was a career 3.50 ERA in the playoffs. Andy Pettitte who was widely viewed as a good post season pitcher was 3.81. Braves didn't win more world series A) because they had shit bullpens and B) because they kept running into the yankees who were the best team of the generation.

As this relates to Davies, I want to be clear I'm not suggesting the guy is a cy young contender by any stretch just that he can be effective. For reference he's 28 this year. Through age 27 Hendricks was a 7.73 /2.17 k/9 bb/9 guy with 2.94/3.43 ERA/FIP which includes that insane 2016 season. Davies is at 6.54/2.62 with a 3.79/4.18 ERA/FIP though he trended substantially better last year at 8.18/2.47 with a 2.73/3.88 ERA/FIP. His career rates make him easily a solid-ish #3 and given what he's done this spring coming off a really superb 2020 it's not difficult to be slightly bullish he's better than that.

I just feel like people sleep on him quite a bit. Getting that back on top of 4 interesting prospects for Darvish could turn into a very nice get. I doubt Darvish will be quite as good as 2020 though I think he'll still be a quality #1 type starter. But if Davies ends up being a low end #2 high end #3 starter the trade is way more palatable.
 

CSF77

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Nothing against Davies at all. Ross is slotting the rotation as Hendricks, Arreta, Davies, Willams. That is a fair starting point.

Apr 1 Hendricks at home.
Apr 2 off
Apr 3 Arreta at home.
Apr 4 Davies at home
Apr 5 Williams at home
Apr 6 Most likely Hendricks on 5 day rest
Apr 7 Arreta at Home
Apr 8 Davies at Pirates
Apr 9 Off
Apr 10 Williams at Pirates
Apr 11 Hendricks at Pirates
Apr 12 Arreta at Mil
Apr 13 Davies at Mil
Apr 14 Williams at Mil
Apr 15 Off
Apr 16 Hendricks home
Apr 17 Arreta Home
Apr 18 Davies home
Apr 19 off
Apr 20 Williams Home
Apr 21 Hendricks Home
Apr 22 Arreta Home
Apr 23 Davies Home
Apr 24 (First game needed for a 5th starter)

This run lasts til the 6th of May. So here a stable #5 pays off. May they have a 10 game run where they can use a #5 2x. Then a day off that leads into a 16 game run. This is where you want to commit to a full time #5 as June has 2 off dates.

So if I am Ross I'm am thinking 4 man out of the gate. Mills and Miller as long men. Rex Brothers as the 2nd lefty. Alozay and Maples in alternative training for regular work.

Apr has 4 off days. May 4 then that drops to 2 in June. So Ross is better off spot starting in Apr and May. May 25th is when the games start filling up the month so here is when he needs to commit to one of the 3 guys. By then Alozay should have been in Iowa for a few weeks to build up his stamina and this way they can control his work load early season.
 

beckdawg

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So I know it's spring training and all but... joc is now 15/41 with 7 of those hits being homers for a .365/.426/.927 triple slash which is whatever because it's arizona and ST pitching but what caught my eye more was the 5 walks and 8 k's in 44 PAs for a 11.4%/18.2% bb/k rate. Obviously some of that is just facing less than your typical MLB rotation/bullpen pieces but it looks a lot more in line with the 9.0%/19.2% 2018 and 9.7%/21.6% 2019 than the 8.0%/24.6% 2020. In 2018/19 he ended up posting a 126 and 127 wRC+.

You'd also normally think when you see that kind of triple slash that he has some absurd BABIP. However, he's only currently sitting at a .296 BABIP which in fairness wont hold for him. His career BABIP is .257 but still if you chunk 40 points off average obp and slugging that barely puts a dent in it. You're still talking about someone whois hitting roughly .325/..386/.887

All this is to say Joc is looking like a steal of a signing thus far. It'll be interesting to see what he does vs lefties but one of his homers today was off a lefty.
 

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