I was checking out some current stats on BP and found myself surprised by some of them, so I thought when I got a chance I would post some thoughts and open up some discussion, hopefully at least a little bit of it will be on different topics than the usual suspects.
Ramirez .300/.412/.502 You have to like seeing A-ram with 40 BB: 41 K as of this writing(doesn't include tonight's rays game). He's doing exactly what we want and need here, and is the most valuable Cub hitter by VORP, although this is basically because he has more PA's than Soto, it looks as if Soto is slightly more valuable (due to the obvious scarcity of hitting at C) on a per-PA basis. Purely looking at hitting and not positional scarcity though, A-Ram is definitely the top hitter to date- that ridiculous .412 OBP is so awesome to see, I in fact wet myself seven times while typing this paragraph.
Soto .288/374/.527 Maybe we should trade for Jason Kendall? Yeah, Soto strikes out a lot, but as anyone who probably cares to read this post knows, strikeouts don't matter. At least not when you kill the ball otherwise and take walks at a solid rate. Geo, I love you. That is really all that can be said.
DeRosa .299/.384/.464 I'm a little unclear as to if VORP includes DeRosa's at-bats as carrying the value of the defensive position he is playing while he takes them...but anyhow he is putting together a great season so far- note that he does seem to be outplaying the projections in regards to AVG which is probably due to slightly higher than usual luck, but even a slight dip in average has him as one of the more valued players on the team. Yeah, he has sucked at 2B so far this year, but I feel like his statistically awful fielding numbers are due to a few terrible games in the first few weeks of the season....cwyers can maybe weigh in on if this is true or not,. Anyway his versatility is nice as we all know, and as he is generally at least a decent 2B, he won't worry me too much there when Soriano is presumably back for good.
Lee .289/.349/.511 Where are the walks Derrek? Love to see the power back in full effect, but the OBP isn't what we expect from you...I know it is unlikely but if these numbers hold up, a lineup shuffle would actually be pretty helpful, something like Sori/Dome/A-Ram/Soto/Lee/(edmonds or dero) etc., rearrange as desired or if you're BlueMike trade Soriano for Barry Zito and call it a day with Theriot batting in all nine lineup slots. But seriously, Lee is hitting more like an RBI guy than a true OBP+power star, so hopefully he can start walking more soon!
Soriano .283/.332/.547 Honestly, these stats are pretty much exactly what you would expect from him.
Theriot .310/.388/.373 Surprisingly he is sitting at 14.3 runs over replacement, which of course now is time for the massive DISCLAIMER that this does not include defense....which the point has been hashed and rehashed to a sufficiently thorough level by now that, even though he grits and grinds and is white, his defense is absolutely ass-suckingly bad. Probably significantly better than Derek Jeter, but it is still a big old turd. All things considered though, he still is solidly over a replacement level player, probably right about at average or slightly below, and for his tiny salary.....you can't complain. Also he brings a lot of humor to the team by diving towards balls he has no chance at getting and also getting thrown out on the basepaths a lot and having good interviews with Mark DeRosa. All in all, I rate him a 4, which if you drink enough is plenty pretty to satisfy one's short-term sexual appetite. I wouldn't want to marry a 4, though.
Dome .293/.401/.423 Surprised to find he translates currently as the 7th most valuable hitter by VORP! I guess decent corner guys are really pretty easy to find. However, adding in his D it's pretty clear he is WAY more valuable than the aforementioned SS wonderboy from LSU. I expect a few more 2Bs to fall for him and he should be looking at a more reasonable SLG while hopefully keeping up the same walks. right now i am thinking DAMN OUR TEAM IS DEEP.
Z Big Z is our 8th best hitter by VORP. this is not a typo. He also currently has better triple-slash stats than DLee. He also apparently has one of the longest streaks ever without taking a walk. This is only cool because he is a pitcher, so don't any positional Cubs get any ideas. Unfortunately, the lame warning of "small sample size" makes me tell you that he probably won't finish the year with an ops of almost 900. But hey, how about a 750-800, Z? Keep killing it. And throwing strikes...
The next five in order of VORP are Edmonds, Cedeno, Hoffpauir, Reed, and Little Mikey Fontenot. Small sample sizes make these numbers pretty meaningless, but I will maybe go into some of what this means at a later (or just earlier tomorrow...cause its late) time.
Z 5.96 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 0.63 HR9- the home run rate is pretty low, which if he can keep it up(tough, but it shouldn't go up by too much if it does, he's been around 0.9 recent years), the dip in K's from previous years doesn't cause warning at all...Z pitching like this is one of the best no doubt, he is currently the 4th ranked P by VORP.
Demp 7.53 K/9 3.51 BB/9 0.80 HR9- Little high on the walks, but that's what you'd expect. It looks like he is legitimately pitching better this year than any Cub starter has in the past few years....who'd have guessed that not only would Z step up from where he has been the past couple years, but RYAN DEMPSTER would top that level as well? I like him (not just for the jokes) and think he would look great pitching a Game 3 in the playoffs...Game 2 I'd be less excited about but depending on how the trade market looks I could be convinced it is right.
Lilly 8.79 K/9 3.28 BB/9 1.48 HR9 The HR rate is ridiculous. Hopefully it will drop a bit, cause we should keep seeing him improve his results if it does....that 8.79 K/9 is great! If he can keep that but drop his HRs to a more normal 1.3 per 9 innings, he is definitely a TOUGH #3 as well....just compare him to who other teams would have in such a spot. I think he's going to keep his year going upward and end it with solid stats.
Marquis 4.48 K/9 3.38 BB/9 0.73 HR9 Yeah, he can't K anyone and has fair control. But he has yet to have a barrage of HRs unleashed against him, and until that occurs (it is inevitable, isn't it?), he should continue to post an ERA around where it sits right now at 4.24. I don't hate him. I wouldn't cuddle with him on a stormy night, but we could probably hang out without incident.
Gallagher 7.78 K/9 3.24 BB/9 0.86 HR9 No idea if he can keep up these raw numbers, but the minors seem to indicate he should at least be close to them. If he keeps these numbers up....well let's just say please don't trade him, please don't trade him...well unless we get A-Rod or Hanley or something. I also like how he is much less fat, it makes me feel better about his cholesterol AND chances with the ladies, which are two of the most important "deep sabermetric" stats only kept by those extremely into the field.
That's all I have for now, if there is continued interest I plan on following this up with some discussion of our options for the trade market, which i am guessing no one here cares about judging by the history.....ha. Also some talk about relievers, why a 12-man bullpen is unnecessary, why Mike Fontenot is unnecessary , and if things go well a detailed discussion of the ins and outs of arm-tats, featuring Hank White and Ronny Cedeno. All this and more, on the next cycle of old-fashioned anabolic goodness, courtesy of Canseco's Roid Party.