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  1. 21 Apr '10 22:59
    moves to 8th inning setup man.

    one of the worst moves of all time. laughably stupid, even by cub standards.

    thoughts?
  2. 22 Apr '10 13:16
    I don't think it is a joke at all. Zambrano just is not pitching well. Maybe if he pitches one inning and goes all out he'll pitch well. Plus the Cubs need relief help. The Yankees put Jaba in the pen and it made Jaba better and found other people to start better than Jaba.
  3. 23 Apr '10 02:22
    it's 14 games into the season, you don't devalue and take away innings from your ace/second best starter. it's a totally idiotic move.
  4. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    23 Apr '10 13:39
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I don't think it is a joke at all. Zambrano just is not pitching well. Maybe if he pitches one inning and goes all out he'll pitch well. Plus the Cubs need relief help. The Yankees put Jaba in the pen and it made Jaba better and found other people to start better than Jaba.
    JOba is the pitcher. Jabba was in Star Wars. Never heard of Jaba.
  5. 23 Apr '10 13:55
    Zambrano career is a rapid decline. Last year he was 9-7 with a 3.77. While that is not worthless, it certainly is not ace material. This year while it is early he is 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP. I have no problem with the Cubs either giving him a wake up a call or having him work on things as an eighth inning guy. To me it is far more moronic to make believe that Zambrano is pitching the way he did from 2004- 2006.
  6. 23 Apr '10 15:08 / 2 edits
    In the past three seasons, Zambrano has posted ERAs of 3.95, 3.91, and 3.77. This is hardly a "rapid decline" and at age 29, he's hardly over the hill - although he's not quite the same pitcher as he was between 2003-05 when he had ERAs of 3.11, 2.75. and 3.26.

    If this is just a panic move in response to Zambrano's early season struggles this year, its probably a bad idea - in all likelihood, Zambrano will end up putting up numbers that are consistent with his recent past. Is the guy that gets Zambrano's starts going to put up numbers that are at least similar to a 3.85 ERA? Most teams find their 5th starters' performances to be a less than pleasant adventure.

    On the other hand, does the team have a legitimate reason to believe that Zambrano's skills have truly dropped from even last year's level? Or are they hoping he becomes an 8th inning monster who can put up an ERA of 1.85 or something. If so, he might help the team more as a reliever.

    Or it could just be a temporary thing to help a slumping pitcher get his groove back quicker at a time when the fans are less than happy with their team's underwhelming start to the season.
  7. 23 Apr '10 15:29
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    In the past three seasons, Zambrano has posted ERAs of 3.95, 3.91, and 3.77. This is hardly a "rapid decline" and at age 29, he's hardly over the hill - although he's not quite the same pitcher as he was between 2003-05 when he had ERAs of 3.11, 2.75. and 3.26.

    If this is just a panic move in response to Zambrano's early season struggles this year, its ...[text shortened]... when the fans are less than happy with their team's underwhelming start to the season.
    There is a huge diference between high 3 ERA and low 3 ERA and Zambrano has been much worse so far. If he is an over 4 ERA guy in the NL, he has just average value. They paid him 18M/ yr becuase they feel he has the ability to more than average.

    I understand that an eighth inning guy pitches fewer innings than a starter but that is really besides the point: The way Zambrano is pitching now he just hurts the team, if he could pitch more effectively in meaningful situations he could really help his team.

    The Cubs might feel he can be dominant as an eight inning guy, which can be extraordinarily valuable and is a huge need for that team. A confidence boost (if that is the problem) could help him if/ when they move him back to the rotation.
  8. 23 Apr '10 15:45
    Originally posted by shortcircuit
    [b]JOba is the pitcher. Jabba was in Star Wars. Never heard of Jaba.[/b]
    I figured it was an accent thing.
  9. 26 Apr '10 12:39
    Zambrano's replacement throws 6 innings 3H, 2BB no runs and Zambrano pitches 1 1/3 inning and gets a hold. Cubs move into second place. Does reality count for anything?
  10. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    26 Apr '10 12:54
    Originally posted by quackquack
    They paid him 18M/ yr becuase they feel he has the ability to more than average.

    This is why, with rare exceptions, that it is foolish to give pitchers big money, long term contracts. When they get hurt or go bad, you can't get rid of them.

    That being said, Zambrano is head strong as is Piniella. Lou will rock his world a bit, Zambrano will try and prove Lou is wrong (exactly what Lou is banking on), and he will be back at the top of the Cubs rotation in short order.

    For what it is worth, the term "staff ace" is indicative of the best pitcher on that particular team. All "staff aces" are not equivalent by a long shot. So your assertion that Zambrano is no longer an ace is wrong. He would not be the ace on several clubs, be he would be the ace on several clubs and I guarantee you, he would get a ton of phone calls from interested GM's if he was available.
  11. 26 Apr '10 17:01
    Originally posted by quackquack
    There is a huge diference between high 3 ERA and low 3 ERA and Zambrano has been much worse so far. If he is an over 4 ERA guy in the NL, he has just average value. They paid him 18M/ yr becuase they feel he has the ability to more than average.

    I understand that an eighth inning guy pitches fewer innings than a starter but that is really besides t ...[text shortened]... dence boost (if that is the problem) could help him if/ when they move him back to the rotation.
    the issue is whether or not Zambrano is really any different from the past three seasons. He's had a lousy first three weeks of the season. This doesn't mean he's suddenly become a lousy pitcher - or is even any worse than he was the past three seasons. The good teams understand that players will have hot streaks and terrible slumps and don't go crazy. Bad teams go crazy and panic.

    If there is a very specific reason why the team feels Zambrano has lost his skills (maybe he's suddenly lost 5 mph off his fastball), then it might be more than just a slump and further evaluation is justified. But sometimes it's just a matter of the guy having a couple bad starts.

    And it shouldn't matter how much a player is being paid. That's water under the bridge. Zambrano is what he is. If he is now someone you expect to have an ERA of 3.85 over the course of a full season, than that's what he is. If you have other starters who can pitch better than that, than use them. If your best alternative is a typical 5th starter, then use Zambrano.
  12. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    26 Apr '10 19:25 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    the issue is whether or not Zambrano is really any different from the past three seasons. He's had a lousy first three weeks of the season. This doesn't mean he's suddenly become a lousy pitcher - or is even any worse than he was the past three seasons. The good teams understand that players will have hot streaks and terrible slumps and don't go crazy. Ba t, than use them. If your best alternative is a typical 5th starter, then use Zambrano.
    I agree with most of what you say, however, I do disagree with your last statement about being well paid.

    History has shown that players tend to perform their very best levels when they are in the last year of their contract.

    Also, statistically speaking, most tend to have a dip in production in the first two years of a long term big money contract.

    The reasons are pretty easy to determine.
    When they are in the last year of a contract, they are playing for the future security of a long term deal.
    When they are in the first year, they tend to press to justify their contract to the fans and media who can be harsh at times.
    The second year is typically a slump year or a bounce back year off of the first year.

    You will also find that players in the long term deals tend to miss more games because of aliments than if they are in the last year of a contract.

    Sadly, the quality of baseball dropped when the long term contracts came into force.
    Players no longer go all out in many cases.

    I was talking to Duke Snider once and he put it very succinctly and eloquently when he said, and I quote "The players today are a bunch of pussies.
    They sit out with a hang nail, a headache or a hemorrhoid flare up.
    I played with a broken hand for an entire month because they needed me to play.
    If you sat out, you let your team down, and you might lose your position.
    Just ask Wally Pipp."
  13. 26 Apr '10 20:05
    Originally posted by shortcircuit
    I agree with most of what you say, however, I do disagree with your last statement about being well paid.

    History has shown that players tend to perform their very best levels when they are in the last year of their contract.

    Also, statistically speaking, most tend to have a dip in production in the first two years of a long term big money contrac ...[text shortened]... you sat out, you let your team down, and you might lose your position.
    Just ask Wally Pipp."
    some other reasons why a player may have a dip in production in the first two years of a long term big money contract:

    1. Typically, such players are in their early thirties - so they're at a point in their career when one would expect to see declining performance.

    2. Often, such players are coming off a season where they had numbers that were well above their typical season. Teams rarely make big commitments to players coming off bad seasons. But whenever a player has a season that's much better (or worse) than their norm, they usually return to that norm. It's a statistical rule called "regression to the means". This is why teams should be wary about acquiring players coming off an anomalous big season. (The Yankees might be learning about this the hard way with Javier Vazquez).
  14. 26 Apr '10 20:17 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by shortcircuit
    Sadly, the quality of baseball dropped when the long term contracts came into force.
    Players no longer go all out in many cases.

    I was talking to Duke Snider once and he put it very succinctly and eloquently when he said, and I quote "The players today are a bunch of pussies.
    They sit out with a hang nail, a headache or a hemorrhoid flare up.
    I ...[text shortened]... you sat out, you let your team down, and you might lose your position.
    Just ask Wally Pipp."
    Usually, its not the players that are being the wimps. I suspect that 95% of the times, the wimps are the managers or the GMs or the owners.

    If you were a GM and the pitcher you just gave $15mill a year for the next 6 years is slightly favoring his elbow, are you going to want to see him remain in the game? If your superstar slugger has a hamstring twinge, are you going to want him to take any chances?

    On the other hand, it's probably NOT a good idea for a player to play through an injury. I remember a time when Mike Cameron was on the Mets and he injured his pinky and he insisted on being a man and playing through the pain. After an entire month of a batting of .100, he finally realized he wasn't doing his team any favors by playing.
  15. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    26 Apr '10 20:24
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    Usually, its not the players that are being the wimps. I suspect that 95% of the times, the wimps are the managers or the GMs or the owners.

    If you were a GM and the pitcher you just gave $15mill a year to slightly favoring his elbow, are you going to want to see him remain in the game? If your superstar slugger has a hamstring twinge, are you going to ...[text shortened]... onth of a batting of .100, he finally realized he wasn't doing his team any favors by playing.
    I will disagree with you there. Players call the shots more often than management ever did.

    Management might step in and rest a player they think is hurting for the reasons you suggest, but too often, they player has already removed himself from the game.

    I was also speaking more in terms of the everyday players as opposed to pitchers.

    The long term contracts caused this mentality. You don't see nearly as many players going all out all the time.
    There are way too many hot dogs, wearing body armor, charging the mounds who think that a pitch that gets within two feet of them is encroachment.
    There are too many pitchers who are afraid of retribution from the commissioner's office to throw tight on hitters.