The best Cubs and other links from the last week (that I saw!)
The big news from the last week was the Cubs missing out on Joe Girardi. I was disappointed but I wasn’t as enthused about Girardi as everyone else seemed to be. I didn’t get the narrative that signing Girardi would be a sign of the Cubs brass speeding up the rebuild, but everyone else seemed to buy into so it could be that I’m probably the one who’s wrong there.
- John Arguello at Cubs Den is your man if you’re looking for analysis on the Cubs’ top candidates for manager. He’s provided general thoughts on the top candidates and in-depth looks at both A.J. Hinch and Rick Renteria.
- Ken Woolums at Beyond the Box Score with a deep look on David Price. The short of it is that Price isn’t quite an ace but people perceive him as one, which probably means that he’ll cost the same as one. Unsurprisingly, Woolums lists the Cubs as a potential landing spot. He mentions Jeff Samardzija as a possible piece in a trade for Price, which makes no sense to me. Brett Taylor at Bleacher Nation nailed it on Monday. “If the Cubs can’t lock up Jeff Samardzija two years before free agency and decide to shop him, why would they trade to get Price and put themselves in the same situation with him?” Furthermore, why would the Rays trade for Samardzija and put themselves in the same situation?
- Jason Brannon at Baseball Nation lists the unluckiest pitchers in baseball this year, the pitchers whose ERAs were 20% higher than their xFIPs. The good news? Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson are both on there (and so is Justin Grimm). The bad news? If you did the reverse, and looked at the luckiest pitchers, Travis Wood would be one of the first, if not the first guy listed. His 3.11 ERA was 30.9% lower than his 4.50 xFIP, which was the second-worst mark among qualified starters last year. I’m inclined to think that people are going to be surprised at who succeeds in the 2014 Cubs rotation and who doesn’t.
- These playoffs have been awesome but like pretty much everyone, I’m bummed about the teams that advanced to the league championship series. David Roth and David Raposa go back and forth on The Classical about how terrible it is that these are the teams who advanced, but it’s also okay, but it’s also terrible.
- Former Cub Andy Pafko died at 92. This leaves Lennie Merullo as the only living person to play for the Cubs in the World Series. Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue has a good write-up on Pafko.
- One last Pafko note. The dude could hit.
Andy Pafko, who died at 92, had prime from 1948-52, 134 OPS+. Only better hitters during that span: Musial, Kiner, Doby, Sid Gordon, Jackie.—
Howard Megdal (@howardmegdal) October 09, 2013