Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Planning my 2016 Cubs schedule!!!

So the Cubs finally announced their 2016 Promo schedule here.  I am very excited to see FIVE bobbleheads on my schedule.

My Kris Bryant bobblehead on my desk at work is getting lonely.

The first game on my list will be the May 27th game, my Mom is supposed to be coming to visit me for the games that weekend anyway so why not introduce her to the Budweiser Bleachers?!  Stub hub currently has ticket prices in the Bleachers for about $45 so I really hope those come down!  The Bleachers are fun but I strain my eyes just trying to figure out what's going on in the game!

July has a 3 day series with the Reds (ugh!) that has 3 interesting give aways.  Obviously The Rizzo "Tarp Catch" Bobblehead would have my #1 choice but it's a 1:20p.m. game and it might be hard to convince my boss to let me leave early the day after a holiday.  

Especially since I NEED the Arrieta Bobblehead also given away during a day game and that July 20th game has the added bonus of being against the Mets.

August has 2 Bobblehead games that are both night games.  But I already have the KB bobblehead from 2015 so I may have to skip that one, also because Marlins, duh! I wish they hadn't repeated here but since the 2015 version was gone within 15 minutes of Wrigley opening their doors I'm sure there is a high demand.  

The Joe Maddon bobblehead could be fun and because that game is against the Brewers game has a chance of being somewhat cheap.  

The 5th and final Bobblehead is being given away on September 16th.  I'm willing to bet this would be Jason Heyward.  Unless Kyle Schwarber has a massive season then it could be him.  Last year this was about the date that the Bryant Bobblehead was given out (also originally announced as TBD).  I'm actually shocked they didn't already announce the Heyward bobblehead since last year Lester got one after his big off season signing.  

So 2015 there were 3 Bobbleheads (Soler, Lester and Bryant) and this year we get 5!  Definitely some nice giveaways for 2016 and I'm excited to plan out my Cubs Calendar based on this promo schedule!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Comparing Ender Inciarte and Jorge Soler

The rumors around the internets are that Jorge Soler is a bigger trading block now that the Cubs have acquired Jason Heyward, the basic implication is that he's an unnecessary piece of the outfield puzzle. The most popular speculative option is that he is traded to the Atlanta Braves for Ender Inciarte.  Inciarte was just recently traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the epic Shelby Miller trade.

So I decided to compare notes with the help of Fangraphs information. 

Let's compare 2015 seasons along with the 2016 Steamer Projections.  

Here is Ender Inciarte's stats: 

And here are Jorge Soler's stats: 

The first thing I noticed is that they both have very similar overall WAR projections with Inciarte slighly better at 1.3 vs Soler's 1.2.

A closer look at 2015 shows that Inciarte had a pretty good season with a 3.3 WAR and Soler had a pretty disappointing one with a .1 WAR.  Ouch!  Okay, maybe I do see why fans are calling for Soler's head??  

In 2015 Inciarte played in 132 games with 561 plate appearances hit 6 Home runs, Scored 73, and batted in 45.  Plus he had 21 Stolen bases.  In comparison Soler played in 101 games with 404 plate appearances, hit 10 home runs, scored 39 runs and only had 3 stole bases.  So Soler has more power and Inciarte has more speed.  

Looking at walks and strikeouts, Inciarte had 4.6% walk rate vs. Soler's 7.9% but then Soler struck out 30% of the time vs Inciarte's 10.3% of the time!  So Inciarte needs to get a bit more discerning at the plate when it comes to walks.  Because of so few walks Inciarte's on base percentage is .338 vs .324 for Soler.  

I guess if the Cubs are looking for defense and a guy that will strike out less often then Inciarte is a good choice!  But Soler clearly has more power since he hit more 4 more home runs in 157 less plate appearances.  

After looking at the numbers I'm honestly torn.  I think that Soler has HUGE potential that he hasn't tapped into yet but he also has been plagued by injuries.  He definitely has a strong arm and I've seen him throw out runners at home plate, but I've also seen him take terrible routes while tracking fly balls.  

I'd like to see Soler stick around for at least one more season.  But, I think it's valid to not want the bookends of the outfield to be defensive liabilities.  Steamer projects 18 home runs for Soler in 2016 I just hope they are while he wears a Cub's uniform! My vote is to stick with Soler at least until the July trade deadline.  Right now if it ain't really broke then don't fix it, or at least don't trade position player for position player.  If Soler can get a quality starting pitcher than yeah the Cubs probably should take that offer!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cubbies sign Jason Heyward!!!!

I think pretty much all work production stopped on 12/11/15 when midday the news broke on Twitter and then the internets that Jason Heyward had signed with the Cubs!

It was fun to see how all my coworkers reacted to the news from "duh!" to shock and disbelief!

No official statement from the Cubs organization yet but there is this:

Note that Heyward's last tweet was WAY back on 10/1 so it's not like he's an avid Tweeter but he's obviously excited about this news!!!!

Here are a few other Cubbie reactions:

Rizzo was the first accidentally stealing the Blackhawks hashtag.

Hammel is ready for the Cubbies to go all the World Series!

Bryant posted his excitement (in between Stouffer's ads!)
Always the team player Addison Russell already is giving up his #22 for J. Hey!  

So yeah the fellow Cubbies are just a little bit excited, but does that mean I'm ready to go ahead and order this?

Not yet!  

But I'm definitely excited about 2016!  I have high hopes that Jason Heyward will be a huge contributor to the Cubs along with Rizzo, Bryant, etc.  

I'm most nervous to see how his addition shakes up the outfield.  I really am not ready to get rid of Jorge Soler yet!  

But I do think that he plays all April and October games looking like this is a bit ridiculous.  So maybe the rumors to send him to Atlanta or Tampa Bay might be better for his career?  Maybe he can't really reach his full potential in Chicago?

If Soler stays then an outfield of Schwarber/Heyward/Soler with Coghlan on the bench is pretty freakin' awesome!  I'm a big Cogs fan and I hope he fuels his frustration with being the 4th outfielder into some pretty solid hitting stats!

Things are starting to feel legitimate here on the Northside of Chicago with the additions of Lackey, Zobrist and Heyward.  It's very exciting!!!  Only 110 days until opening day!!!!!