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NL Central

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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:30 AM

NL Central 


Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:17 PM

Re: NL Central 



cubs2007 wrote: Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?

According to those predictions, sure they can.  There is only a 2-game difference between last place and third place.  That said, if they look like they're heading for a .500 at best record they'll probably be sellers at the deadline which won't help their effort to avoid the basement.

Last edited 2/13/2013 5:19 PM by KatieCubFan

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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:27 PM

Re: NL Central 



cubs2007 wrote: Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?
I don't think so.  I wouldn't be surprised if the pitching is better than expected, but where's the offense? It's another year of Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano offensively.  That's pretty much it.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:01 PM

Re: NL Central 



doughboy981 wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?
I don't think so.  I wouldn't be surprised if the pitching is better than expected, but where's the offense? It's another year of Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano offensively.  That's pretty much it.
DeJesus had an OPS of .752 last year. He's over .800 if he only faces righties. Similarly, the Schierholtz/Hairston platoon is over an .800 OPS. After that, it gets dicier...
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Posted: 2/13/2013 10:31 PM

Re: NL Central 



SportsGoblin wrote:
doughboy981 wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?
I don't think so.  I wouldn't be surprised if the pitching is better than expected, but where's the offense? It's another year of Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano offensively.  That's pretty much it.
DeJesus had an OPS of .752 last year. He's over .800 if he only faces righties. Similarly, the Schierholtz/Hairston platoon is over an .800 OPS. After that, it gets dicier...
How much confidence do you have in Nate Schierholtz? He was on no one's radar as a RFer getting most of the ABs. Same applies to Ian Stewart and Wellington Castillo. They'll all have their moments, but over the course of a long season, I think it's going to be hard to score runs. I foresee long stretches with very few HRs out of the potential lineup. If Soriano doesn't have another monster year, it could get even dicier.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 8:10 AM

Re: NL Central 



doughboy981 wrote:
SportsGoblin wrote:
doughboy981 wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?
I don't think so.  I wouldn't be surprised if the pitching is better than expected, but where's the offense? It's another year of Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano offensively.  That's pretty much it.
DeJesus had an OPS of .752 last year. He's over .800 if he only faces righties. Similarly, the Schierholtz/Hairston platoon is over an .800 OPS. After that, it gets dicier...
How much confidence do you have in Nate Schierholtz? He was on no one's radar as a RFer getting most of the ABs. Same applies to Ian Stewart and Wellington Castillo. They'll all have their moments, but over the course of a long season, I think it's going to be hard to score runs. I foresee long stretches with very few HRs out of the potential lineup. If Soriano doesn't have another monster year, it could get even dicier.
From Pecota - Cubs projected to finish 11th in NL in runs scored - an improvement from 2012 but team needs more impact hitters

Updated

W

L

RS

RA

AVG

OBP

SLG

TAv

FRAA

 

Cincinnati Reds

Hitters: Feb 2
Pitchers: Feb 2

92

70

794

682

.252

.319

.425

.265

8.2

St. Louis Cardinals

Hitters: Feb 10
Pitchers: Feb 6

84

78

735

709

.263

.323

.406

.264

-2.8

Milwaukee Brewers

Hitters: Feb 6
Pitchers: Feb 2

79

83

734

759

.258

.316

.422

.259

-1.1

Pittsburgh Pirates

Hitters: Feb 6
Pitchers: Feb 11

79

83

698

717

.246

.306

.396

.258

1.2

Chicago Cubs

Hitters: Feb 6
Pitchers: Feb 6

77

85

664

706

.244

.302

.396

.251

-8.3

 

Last edited 2/14/2013 9:11 AM by cubs2007

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Posted: 2/14/2013 8:48 AM

Re: NL Central 



doughboy981 wrote:
SportsGoblin wrote:
doughboy981 wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?
I don't think so.  I wouldn't be surprised if the pitching is better than expected, but where's the offense? It's another year of Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano offensively.  That's pretty much it.
DeJesus had an OPS of .752 last year. He's over .800 if he only faces righties. Similarly, the Schierholtz/Hairston platoon is over an .800 OPS. After that, it gets dicier...
How much confidence do you have in Nate Schierholtz? He was on no one's radar as a RFer getting most of the ABs. Same applies to Ian Stewart and Wellington Castillo. They'll all have their moments, but over the course of a long season, I think it's going to be hard to score runs. I foresee long stretches with very few HRs out of the potential lineup. If Soriano doesn't have another monster year, it could get even dicier.

Schierholtz - used as a platoon in 2012 to the tune of an .826 OPS over 201PA vs righties. In 2011, had an OPS of .801 vs righties over 294PA. If they use him like a platoon like they should, I have decent confidence that he could do the same in 2013. He has been terrible vs. lefties the last 2 years, so if they decide to make him the everyday RF and let him face lefties too, then I expect his numbers to suffer accordingly.

DeJesus - same issues as Schierholtz. Very solid OPS (.826, .787) last couple years against righties. Terrible against lefties. They need to have the strength of their convictions and platoon him like Schierholtz.

Hairston - Very good numbers in 2012 in 199PA vs. lefties (.867OPS). Decent numbers vs righties in 199PA (.739). You could actually play him as an everyday guy if you wanted, since his righty splits are respectable. 

Then add that at some point, Jackson might be able to help. Yeah, no clue what if anything we get from him, but it might help.

To answer your question, my confidence in the village of misfit toys that is our outfield is actually pretty high...if they platoon Schierholtz and DeJesus when they play them. Obviously, once the white flag is waved and guys are traded, all bets are off.

Castillo? No idea what we will get. Looked decent in 2012, but Soto looked awesome his rookie year too and then ate and smoked his way from All-Star to Koyie Hill levels...so we'll see with Castillo.

Stewart - No clue. They have Valbuena as insurance, so if Stewart is terrible, you at least have something (though not much) to fall back on.

Overall, I think offense will be improved for 2013, but I totally agree that there are a lot of IFs in it.

HRs? Soriano, Rizzo, Hairston and Castro will give you some....

Last edited 2/14/2013 8:50 AM by SportsGoblin

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Posted: 2/14/2013 8:57 AM

Re: NL Central 



SportsGoblin wrote:
doughboy981 wrote:
SportsGoblin wrote:
doughboy981 wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: Pecota predictions -

Central

  1. Cincinnati Reds – 92-70
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 84-78
  3. Milwaukee Brewers – 79-83
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates – 79-83
  5. Chicago Cubs – 77-85

Can the Cubs avoid a 4th straight 5th place finish ?
I don't think so.  I wouldn't be surprised if the pitching is better than expected, but where's the offense? It's another year of Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano offensively.  That's pretty much it.
DeJesus had an OPS of .752 last year. He's over .800 if he only faces righties. Similarly, the Schierholtz/Hairston platoon is over an .800 OPS. After that, it gets dicier...
How much confidence do you have in Nate Schierholtz? He was on no one's radar as a RFer getting most of the ABs. Same applies to Ian Stewart and Wellington Castillo. They'll all have their moments, but over the course of a long season, I think it's going to be hard to score runs. I foresee long stretches with very few HRs out of the potential lineup. If Soriano doesn't have another monster year, it could get even dicier.

Schierholtz - used as a platoon in 2012 to the tune of an .826 OPS over 201PA vs righties. In 2011, had an OPS of .801 vs righties over 294PA. If they use him like a platoon like they should, I have decent confidence that he could do the same in 2013. He has been terrible vs. lefties the last 2 years, so if they decide to make him the everyday RF and let him face lefties too, then I expect his numbers to suffer accordingly.

DeJesus - same issues as Schierholtz. Very solid OPS (.826, .787) last couple years against righties. Terrible against lefties. They need to have the strength of their convictions and platoon him like Schierholtz.

Hairston - Very good numbers in 2012 in 199PA vs. lefties (.867OPS). Decent numbers vs righties in 199PA (.739). You could actually play him as an everyday guy if you wanted, since his righty splits are respectable. 

Then add that at some point, Jackson might be able to help. Yeah, no clue what if anything we get from him, but it might help.

To answer your question, my confidence in the village of misfit toys that is our outfield is actually pretty high...if they platoon Schierholtz and DeJesus when they play them. Obviously, once the white flag is waved and guys are traded, all bets are off.

Castillo? No idea what we will get. Looked decent in 2012, but Soto looked awesome his rookie year too and then ate and smoked his way from All-Star to Koyie Hill levels...so we'll see with Castillo.

Stewart - No clue. They have Valbuena as insurance, so if Stewart is terrible, you at least have something (though not much) to fall back on.

Overall, I think offense will be improved for 2013, but I totally agree that there are a lot of IFs in it.

HRs? Soriano, Rizzo, Hairston and Castro will give you some....

Just knowing no more Geo Soto/Koyie Hill behind the plate this season is caused for celebration. I was so sick of Cubs fans waiting on Geo Soto to get his act togehter. He had a magicial rookie campaign and like you said ate/smoked his way to being terrible not only offensively but defensively as well. Always being injuried didn't help either.

And the outfield should be fine until they blow it up around the trade deadline like you said.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 9:26 AM

RE: NL Central 


I don't know what to think about the outfield. I'm fine with DeJesus and Hairston being on the team, and I get that there is value to both players if they are used correctly. At the same time, last year was Hairston's best year in the big leagues at age 32, and he never really has been an every day player. I get that DeJesus ended up with his usual numbers last year, but when I watch him I see a very ordinary player. I'd feel a lot better about this team if they had been able to find one of those Josh Willingham or Jason Kubel type low cost guys who aren't necessarily great all around players, but could mash an extra 30 homers out of the 6 hole.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 9:41 AM

RE: NL Central 


gosh our offense is going to be terrible. 

Of course that's what I said about Oakland last year too so who knows.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 9:54 AM

RE: NL Central 



ARAMIS13 wrote: gosh our offense is going to be terrible. 

Of course that's what I said about Oakland last year too so who knows.
+1
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Posted: 2/14/2013 10:30 AM

RE: NL Central 



PorkChopExpress12 wrote:
ARAMIS13 wrote: gosh our offense is going to be terrible. 

Of course that's what I said about Oakland last year too so who knows.
+1
Oakland won with a below average offense but had great pitching. So are you implying the Cubs can win by having a below average offense and good pitching & defense ?
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Posted: 2/14/2013 10:48 AM

RE: NL Central 



cubs2007 wrote:
PorkChopExpress12 wrote:
ARAMIS13 wrote: gosh our offense is going to be terrible. 

Of course that's what I said about Oakland last year too so who knows.
+1
Oakland won with a below average offense but had great pitching. So are you implying the Cubs can win by having a below average offense and good pitching & defense ?
Oakland scored 713 runs last year. That made them 14th in MLB, and 8th of 14 in the AL. They missed 7th in the AL by only 3 runs. I would call Oakland's offense last year roughly middle-of-the-pack rather than below average. They were slightly above average for MLB, slightly below average for AL. Below average can imply their offense was bad, which it wasn't.

The Cubs scored 613 runs last year, 28th in MLB and 14th of 16 in the NL. They were a full 71 runs from being 8th in the NL, the halfway point. Now that is a below average (in fact terrible) offense. Upgrading to what Oakland did would be tremendous.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 10:51 AM

RE: NL Central 



SportsGoblin wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:
PorkChopExpress12 wrote:
ARAMIS13 wrote: gosh our offense is going to be terrible. 

Of course that's what I said about Oakland last year too so who knows.
+1
Oakland won with a below average offense but had great pitching. So are you implying the Cubs can win by having a below average offense and good pitching & defense ?
Oakland scored 713 runs last year. That made them 14th in MLB, and 8th of 14 in the AL. They missed 7th in the AL by only 3 runs. I would call Oakland's offense last year roughly middle-of-the-pack rather than below average. They were slightly above average for MLB, slightly below average for AL. Below average can imply their offense was bad, which it wasn't.

The Cubs scored 613 runs last year, 28th in MLB and 14th of 16 in the NL. They were a full 71 runs from being 8th in the NL, the halfway point. Now that is a below average (in fact terrible) offense. Upgrading to what Oakland did would be tremendous.
Pecota has projected the Cubs to score 664 runs. Oakland won because of great pitching.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 11:43 AM

RE: NL Central 



SportsGoblin wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:
PorkChopExpress12 wrote:
ARAMIS13 wrote: gosh our offense is going to be terrible. 

Of course that's what I said about Oakland last year too so who knows.
+1
Oakland won with a below average offense but had great pitching. So are you implying the Cubs can win by having a below average offense and good pitching & defense ?
Oakland scored 713 runs last year. That made them 14th in MLB, and 8th of 14 in the AL. They missed 7th in the AL by only 3 runs. I would call Oakland's offense last year roughly middle-of-the-pack rather than below average. They were slightly above average for MLB, slightly below average for AL. Below average can imply their offense was bad, which it wasn't.

The Cubs scored 613 runs last year, 28th in MLB and 14th of 16 in the NL. They were a full 71 runs from being 8th in the NL, the halfway point. Now that is a below average (in fact terrible) offense. Upgrading to what Oakland did would be tremendous.

+1

The key of course would be Rizzo/Castro/Castilo/Barney and in a really turn of good luck, Jackson all taking another step and being the catalyst for that. If the Cubs upgrade to the middle of the pack offense because Soriano and the other veterans have above average years while the youngsters just are "ehhhhhh", then it will be a step backwards not forwards.

Aramis brought up a great point that needs repeating. Oakland's offense was being talked about going into last season as being horrific. It wound up being solid. We don't know how all the pieces of the Cubs offense are going to be shaped.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:08 PM

RE: NL Central 



cubs2007 wrote:
SportsGoblin wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:
PorkChopExpress12 wrote:
ARAMIS13 wrote: gosh our offense is going to be terrible. 

Of course that's what I said about Oakland last year too so who knows.
+1
Oakland won with a below average offense but had great pitching. So are you implying the Cubs can win by having a below average offense and good pitching & defense ?
Oakland scored 713 runs last year. That made them 14th in MLB, and 8th of 14 in the AL. They missed 7th in the AL by only 3 runs. I would call Oakland's offense last year roughly middle-of-the-pack rather than below average. They were slightly above average for MLB, slightly below average for AL. Below average can imply their offense was bad, which it wasn't.

The Cubs scored 613 runs last year, 28th in MLB and 14th of 16 in the NL. They were a full 71 runs from being 8th in the NL, the halfway point. Now that is a below average (in fact terrible) offense. Upgrading to what Oakland did would be tremendous.
Pecota has projected the Cubs to score 664 runs. Oakland won because of great pitching.
If Oakland scored the 613 runs that the Cubs did, their pitching would not have been able to save them. They won with good pitching and roughly average offense. It all counts.
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