The Other Fifteen

Eighty-five percent of the f---in' world is working. The other fifteen come out here.


The sort of things that actual ballclubs don't do, but should consider

Okay, so there's talk of the Cubs acquiring Felipe Lopez. On the surface, this looks pretty dumb - if the Cubs were going to acquire a guy that plays shortstop, there were a lot of better options available earlier in the offseason. And Lopez provides more value than Theriot according to my new, park-adjusted WAR chart (which I'm still cleaning up, in addition to some other projects) but not to the extent where I thing it would show up in the standings -a tenth of a win isn't much to write home about.

But let's think outside of the box here. Lopez had a bad season last year at the plate, but even so still outhit Ryan Theriot after you adjust for park effect. Of the two, Lopez is a better bet to hit well. On the flipside, Ryan Theriot is the better defensive player. If you combined Lopez's hitting with Theriot's fielding, you might have a legitimate major league shortstop.

Well... can we do that?

Let's take a look at some of the Cubs pitching staff. For example, last season, 46.9 % of the balls put into play off Carlos Zambrano were ground balls. With Rich Hill, only 36.0 % of his balls in play were grounders. Here's the breakdown:

  • Zambrano, 46.9%
  • Lieber, 43.8 %
  • Marquis, 49.5 %
  • Dempster, 47.1 %
  • Lilly, 33.7 %
  • Hill, 36.0%

Do you see where I'm headed with this? Give Lopez as much time as possible playing behind Hill and Lilly, and give him plenty of time off when whichever of Lieber, Marquis or Dempster are on the mound, and have they pretty much split time with Z (whose high strikeout rate lets him overcome defensive inadequacies behind him). You might end up with a halfway to decent shortstop that way.

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4 Responses to “The sort of things that actual ballclubs don't do, but should consider”

  1. # Anonymous pmayo

    I dunno. Seems to me this might just be putting a band-aid on a bullet hole. No need to sacrifice defense for a marginal upgrade on offense, not to mention that Lopez has been adamant last season and this spring training (where he's posted a .231/.286/.301 line with 8 K and 4 BB) about not being a bench/part-time player. I think I'd say no to Lopez.  

  2. # Anonymous DeRoMyHero

    The one thing that you aren't factoring in (indeed, you can't): Lopez's attitude. He came up with so much promise in Cincinnati, then Jerry Narron couldn't wait to get rid of him. He was a good SS, but complained that he didn't want to play there. He then didn't work very hard on learning the 2B pivot.

    The Nats were excited to get him, but his attitude was so bad that they signed Ronnie Belliard. How can you measure how poisonous he would be in the Cubs' clubhouse?  

  3. # Anonymous Maddog

    Lopez came up with Toronto, not Cincinnati. I believe, and I might be wrong, but I think it was Tim Wilken who drafted him who is now with the Cubs.  

  4. # Blogger Colin Wyers

    He was drafted by the Jays, but was traded to Cincy in a four team deal:

    Oakland Athletics send a player to be named later (Jason Arnold) to the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Arizona Diamondbacks send Erubiel Durazo to the Oakland Athletics.

    Cincinnati Reds send Elmer Dessens and cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Toronto Blue Jays send Felipe Lopez to the Cincinnati Reds.

    I think Elmer Dessens is still in baseball, too!  

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