Writing About the Chicago Cubs and Looking at the Team’s Past
[powered by WordPress.]
Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, turns 76 today. Congratulations to one of the best players in Cubs history.
Baseball Prospectus’ Marc Normandin wrote up a detailed profile on Cub’s slugger Derek Lee. Lee was an MVP candidate in 2005 and then his 2006 season was derailed when he broke his wrist. If the Cubs are going to compete, they need Lee there with his bat doing his thing.
You definitely have to like what you read here. First optimistic thing is that Will Carroll gave him a green light as far as his wrist injury and said he should be over it. The other optimistic thing is what they project Lee will do in 2007. It’s a subscription article so I don’t want to reveal too much but this is both good news and an excellent read.
I touched on this earlier in the week and it finally went down. The Cubs signed Cliff Floyd to a one year deal for $3 million. When Floyd is healthy, he can be very good. For $3 million, this isn’t a bad deal unless Floyd completely stinks it up or he misses most of the season. He’s a lefty so he’ll get some time and it looks like he’ll split time with Matt Murton in left field.
There’s also a ton of incentives if he reaches either 500 or 550 plate appearances. There’s a mutual option for 2008 and if he reachs the plate 500 times in both years, he’ll make $15.5 million. If he reaches 550 in both, it goes up to $17.5 million.
The Cubs are close to shoring up their outfield by signing slugger Cliff Floyd to a one year deal. Odds are Floyd will start the season as the fourth outfielder but I’ve been seeing a lot of rumors that have the Cubs trading Jacque Jones to make room for Felix Pie. If that happened, you’d expect Floyd to get a little more time as they ease Pie into the big leagues.
Floyd is a solid, yet injury prone veteran that I can see Lou Pinella liking. In just 2005, Floyd had a career year so if he can get back some of that and if he’s past his injuries, he could make for a great left handed option.
I talked about the offer the Cubs made to Notre Dame standout Jeff Samardzija and now the two sport star has chosen to sign on with the Cubs. Samardzija will make a guaranteed $10 million over the life of the five year contract and he also has full no-trade clause. The team has a couple of options and if he’s the real deal, we should see Samardzija in a Cubs uniform through 2013.
It looks like the standout starter will make his debut at High A in 2007. I’ll be sure to follow his progress through out the season next year.
Ah, the dead ball era. In 1907, the Chicago Cubs ruled the land when it came to pitching. With a team ERA of 1.73, it’s pretty safe to say that the Cubs had quite a few pitchers duels in 1907. Even more impressive was that the team threw a grand total of eight pitchers the entire season. One of those pitchers was Hall of Fame hurler Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown.
Following up on his 26-6 season in 1906 (probably the best of his career), Brown was right back to his old tricks in 1907. His 20 wins would be the second season he’d reach that mark in a series of six consecutive seasons. His 1.39 ERA was third in National League and his 0.944 WHIP was the best in the senior circuit. And while that ERA of 1.39 sounds impressive by itself, with a park adjusted league average of 2.49, Brown finished third in the league in ERA+ with 179. That was his third highest total in a very impressive career.
Twenty of Brown’s 27 were complete games and Brown even saved three games in his seven relief appearances. Six of those 20 complete games were shutouts. And while Brown wasn’t a great hitter, he did have one of the Cub’s thirteen homeruns in 1907. The National League leader that season was Dave Brain with 10 and the team high was two.
Here’s a look at Brown’s numbers in 1907:
Games Started 27
Complete Games 20
Innings Pitched 233
Earned Runs 36
Runs Saved Above Average 30
Neutral Wins 20
Neutral Losses 6
The Cubs paid through the tooth for their 2006 fifth round pick but they’re competing with the NFL. Jeff samardzija is a star pitcher and wide receiver for Notre Dame. The Cubs took a chance on him last year in the draft and they’ve agreed to pay him a draft record $7.25 million if he sticks around through 2010. Jim Callis at Baseball America recently wrote an excellent article about the transaction and he talks about how Samardzija might not be picked as high in the draft as initiall thought, which would be good news for the Cubs because the offer the Cubs made will far exceed anything he might get from the NFL.
The Cubs agreed to a one year deal with left handed relief pitcher Neal Cotts today. He’ll make $825k with some incentives.
Cotts has had an up and down career for the White Sox. He was lights out in 2005 but he really struggled in 2006. Batters hit .291 against him and he gave up 12 homeruns in only 54 innings. Hopefully he’ll be able to bounce back and pitch effectively as the Cubs left handed specialist.
[powered by WordPress.]
21 queries. 0.886 seconds