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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 NL All Star Team

Well, in lieu of the Sweepers becoming the Sweepees over the weekend, I choose instead to focus on my picks for the 2008 National League All Star Team. Who wants to talk about Aramis getting pitched inside all series, going 0 for 14 (oops) and then going off to the DR to take care of serious family issues. He'll miss the San Fran series. Now Big Z, The Reedster, A-Ram and (the DL VIP) Scott Eyre are off the Cubbies squad. Yeah, let's just talk NLAS instead. At least until Cubs-Giants tonight.

Here's the 2008 Unrestricted View NL All Star Starting Lineup:
  1. Brandon Webb ~P~ (Sheets, Volquez, Lincecum, Haren), Brad Lidge, (Wagner, Wood, Capps, Roush)

  2. Geovany Soto ~C~ (McCann, Martin)
  3. Lance Berkman ~1B~ (Pujols, A.Gonzalez, D.Lee, Teixeira, Fielder)
  4. Chase Utley ~2B~ (Uggla, DeRosa)
  5. Chipper Jones ~3B~ (A.Ramirez, Wright)
  6. Hanley Ramirez ~SS~ (Reyes, Theriot, Guzman, Escobar)
  7. Pat Burrell ~LF~ (Holliday, Ludwick, Bay, Soriano, Braun, C.Lee)
  8. Nate McLouth ~CF~ (Beltran, Ankiel, Rowand)
  9. Kosuke Fukudome ~RF~ (Nady, Giles, Schumaker)
  10. ~DH~?? Take the 1B and LF list, make 1/2 play the field, and 1/2 just swing away. Start with Albert.

Pitcher, Starter
Brandon Webb. Any questions? Good. But, a lot of other guys are in the mix. Let's look at the ol' chart:


What can I say about the numbers? Look at the freeaakin' 3.45 Webby puts out there in ground ball to fly ball ratio. Wow. That'll get ya out of a jam now and again, eh?! Let's look at Volquez of Cincinatti and Lincecum of San Francisco. Yes, great numbers, but they lack the ability to go deep in games. Lots of pitches per inning, especially for Edinson, which can pretty much be linked directly to their BB/9 numbers. Why not Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano? As much as I want to put 'em in there, they just don't match up with those other guys. What happened to the strikeouts for Big Z? Demp walks too many. and doesn't strikeout as many as Lincecum, so he just isn't in the top tier yet. Comeback Player of the Year? Sure. And, while the Arizona Diamondbacks have Webb and Haren, the Chicago Cubs don't look so bad with Zambrano and Dempster.

Pitcher, Relief
A change of scenery will do you good. Never has that meant more than to Mr. Brad Lidge, the Albert Pujols Launching Pad. He got run out of Houston by 99.9% of the town, and he ends up in Philly, and shines on. Maybe even deserves Comeback Player of the Year more than our man Dempster. Did you see the smile on his face in his Philly Bio? You'd be smilin' too. And reminding the Astros how many games out of First they are. Everyday. On the hour.

How about Kerry Wood turning out the second best NL Closer line on the season so far? He and Dempster's body-switch thang is turning out quite well. While 0.86 WHIP is righteous, but it's hard to knock down a 19 for 19, as hard as some may try.

Lidge 19/19 1.06 0.84 2.80 11.81 4.22 1.00 16.03
Wood 20/24 0.86 2.43 5.67 11.29 1.99 0.84 14.73
Wagner 18/23 0.94 1.91 4.75 10.36 2.18 0.71 15.15
Rauch 16/21 0.92 2.55 6.50 8.29 1.28 0.61 15.05
Capps 17/21 1.04 2.97 5.60 6.41 1.14 0.64 13.93
Valverde 22/26 1.39 4.24 3.33 11.16 3.35 1.00 17.13
Wilson 22/24 1.42 4.26 2.31 10.52 4.55 1.35 19.17

Just want to point out how the Save stat is inflated without the other data. The Save Leaders in the NL are Valverde and Wilson, but they are inferior in comparison to the others when you look at their actual game effectiveness. Look at their ERA, BB/9 and P/IP, and you'll see why they probably won't be on top of the silly "Save" stat anyway.

On a side note: How does the Save stat take into effect the difference between a one-, two-, and three-run lead, and the outcome henceforth? Save. It's a nice little indicator when taken in reference to the save opportunities, but it can, obviously, be misleading when taken by itself.

Looks like Geovany Soto got what he deserved and landed behind the plate to start his first All Star Game in his rookie year. The man's had a good year. Well, half a year, but here's to the second half! (Cheers!) Nice half to McCann and Russell Martin too. Nice half. wtf... Anyway, that's what the ASG is all about! That, and the home field advantage for some little thing called the World Series. OK, back on track, could you argue for Brian McCann instead? Sure. But this Cub Fan will point out Soto's 39.4% caught stealing rate and suggest that's enough of a difference.

Soto .284 .371 .517 13 47 1.79 39.4%
McCann .295 .365 .536 14 45 1.36 32.7%
Martin .307 .405 .443 8 37 0.87 26.8%
B.Molina .308 .333 .440 6 49 1.64 45.2%
Y.Molina .295 .352 .384 4 26 0.57 47.8%

First Base
Sorry Derrek, but this year it's either Berkman or Pujols, and it's got to be The Puma this time around (and D.Lee is presently in fourth, in my calculation). Can you even argue with .364/.444/.690, 21 HR and 67 RBI ?!?! In a word? No. Nyet. Nao. Nein. Not even Albert and his .356/.483/.640, 17 HR and 45 RBI can. OK, maybe just him. But, it takes a lot for this Cub Fan to put a Redbird on top, and I'm giving this one to Lancealot. Ya know, tie goes to the switch-hitter. But if we look at the top six, would you be sad with Adrian Gonzalez, Derrek Lee, Mark Teixeira or Prince Fielder? This is seriously the deepest category of the list (e.g. Votto, Howard, C.Jackson), but in '08, it's a two horse race, and Berkman gets the prize at the halfway point. Hopefully he can keep his shoes on.


Can you believe Pujols and his 0.45 K/BB?!?!

Second Base
This should really be a bumper sticker: "Uggla or Utley?". Even though in the voting, some guy named Mark DeRosa is between Chase Utley and Dan Uggla. Now, I love me some Mark DeRosa. Seriously, the man is probably the Cubs MVP right now. But his stats aren't even in the same league with Chase and Dan, and (as impressive as it is at the MLB level) Mark plays five positions. These other two guys are fixed, super-glue like, at the two-bag (OK, Utley played two games at first, but it was an emergency, not a tendency). Let's look at the comparison:


So, yes, DeRosa is out (although his numbers are great, although obviously lacking some pop). And, you can't really lose with Utley or Uggla. But ya gotta pick someone, so this year, it's Chase Utley and his far superior 1.42 K/BB ratio (i.e. 40 less K's on the year).

Third Base
Yeah, we Cub Fans want to scream Aramis Ramirez and tell the Baseball World how great his year has been, but it's Chipper Jones all the way. If you have to ask, ya just don't know.


Is there anything else needed to be said? Yeah, Aramis has more RBI!! And David Wright deserved mention too (.285/.378/.497, 15 HR, 64 RBI). Umm, OK then, on to...


Hanley Ramirez is the man. Yeah, Boston could still have him, but they got some guys named Beckett and Lowell, so they're doing just fine. His power puts him head and shoulders above the rest of the shortstops (heheh). His D is good, his play is good, his team is doing amazingly well. Just show the man out to Derek's spot in Yankee Stadium already. Kudos to Reyes and our own man The Riot for showing a decent #2 and #3. Here's the evidence:

H.Ramirez .294 .384 .528 18 35 1.74 4.27 .965 20
Reyes .296 .358 .485 9 34 1.29 4.04 .966 28
Theriot .314 .390 .372 1 22 0.72 4.18 .968 13
Guzman .313 .341 .435 5 26 1.86 4.21 .980 3
Escobar .296 .372 .398 6 30 1.11 4.92 .980 2
Tejada .287 .343 .448 10 43 2.67 4.22 .979 6

Lookin' at a 40/40 season pace for H.R. Now that's a Leadoff Hitter (paging the Fonz...).

Left Field
Ahh, remember way up there when I said First Base was the deepest category? Well, perhaps I just pissed off a lot of Left Fielders, because this field is deep. And they Go Deep. Pat Burrell gets the nod from me this season, over Holliday, Ludwick and Bay. Let's check out the graph:

Burrell .271 .410 .571 19 49 1.05 1.70 1.000 0
Holliday .333 .415 .543 10 39 1.47 1.72 .991 8
Ludwick .285 .362 .574 16 56 2.06 2.34 .993 4
Bay .284 .387 .531 16 43 1.30 1.81 .993 6
Soriano .283 .332 .547 15 40 2.67 1.90 .978 7
Braun .287 .322 .552 20 58 4.25 1.95 1.000 8
C.Lee .278 .324 .528 18 62 1.59 1.83 .992 4

Burrell's SLG is the best, OBP and HR's second on this list. Add in the lowest K/BB and the zero errors, and you see why Burrell edges out Holliday and Ludwick in a tough race.

What about Alfonso Soriano, you ask? Well, he's at the top of the second tier, in my opinion. His low BA to OBP differential, the high 2.67 K/BB, and being the poorest fielder (by far) on the list makes that so. Sorry Fonzy, you're Fifth, at best. At least you probably make more than all of them combined.

Center Field
Well, now were we're definitely not talkin' Cubs here, although Jimmy's been back in stride since getting picked up by the Boys in Blue. And here's a new name for lot's of y'all: Nate McLouth. We Cub fans know him, cause he's a Cub Killer Extraordinaire. Nate, welcome to the ASG, my man (Damnit). Here's the rest of the field:

McLouth .280 .359 .522 15 52 1.41 2.60 1.000 9
Beltran .271 .374 .479 12 54 1.04 2.71 .995 11
Rowand .297 .360 .463 8 44 2.81 3.04 .991 1
Ankiel .259 .334 .506 15 38 2.03 2.41 .975 1

I think you could pay McLouth 50 times for what they're payin' Carlos.

Right Field
Fu-Ku-Do-Me!!!! Even though he's on a slide lately, Kosuke is the best in National League in Right. The RF power is significantly lower out of this group, with Dunn's BA keeping him off the list. Nice first MLB season for Fukudome, but it'd be nice if he had a little more Jack in his swing. One thing for sure, it sure beats Jacque Jones... But so does any random outfielder from the CWS.

OK, now that I've got the Blue Kool-Aid out of the system, Xavier Nady deserves lots of attention. Would I hold my breath and stomp my feet if you said Nady should get the start? No, but I might give you the silent treatment for a bit.

Fukudome .297 .405 .434 6 33 1.04 2.15 .994 7
Nady .315 .378 .514 10 49 2.00 2.62 .988 1
Giles .300 .399 .438 5 28 0.67 2.09 .982 1
Schumaker .300 .364 .439 6 30 1.25 2.56 .988 6

How about Giles 0.67 K/BB? And where'd this Schumaker come from and why did he have to end up in St. Louis?!

As far as the DH, after Pujols, really, just grab a 1B or LF.

Wow, that was a lot of work. I'm off to watch the rest of The Ted Lilly - Mark DeRosa Show!!!!

Go Cubs!!

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Blogger tHE dEG said...

You are straight off your rocker, and off on your latest stats. Read up.

According to an article on DunnAndDunner.com, there is a New York Post report this evening, that Brandon Webb will be starting for the Nat'l League...

I'm actually stunned, well, I was for a half a second or so. And then I realized how this works again. And until the All Star Game "elections" are based on true merit and not popularity, nothing will change. While I think that Edinson is higher up on the totem pole than Webb, I have to admit that Lincecum has been the man of the first half for the Nat'l League.

.........and then I woke up and realized that I'm not in San Francisco anymore......

Volquez is being robbed...

i'm going to post their stats, this is unbelievable. Have a look for yourselves. The asterisk denotes who is ahead in the given category:

Volquez 18
Webb 18

Volquez 104.2
Webb 118 *

Volquez 2.24 *
Webb 3.43

Volquez 10
Webb 12 *

Volquez 3 *
Webb 4

Volquez 9.72 *
Webb 7.63

Volquez 113 *
Webb 100

Volquez .210 *
Webb .238

Volquez 79 *
Webb 106

Volquez 26 *
Webb 45

Volquez 4 *
Webb 8

Volquez 110 *
Webb 152

Volquez 30 *
Webb 50

Does anyone with a sane mind really believe that Webb is deserving of starting?

2:07 AM  

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