John Mallee

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Re: John Mallee

Postby David » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:45 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
David wrote:If Heyward went out next year and somehow lucked into a normal (pre-Cubs) Heyward year where he played elite defense, hit like .280/.380/.440 (which is good for maybe like 4-5 WAR)...would he opt out?


Heyward will be 29 on opening day 2019 and will be guaranteed 5/106 if he stays. He'd have to really crush the ball to be sure he would get that type of money. Heyward does have a second opt out after 2019 though, so if he puts together consecutive good not great offensive seasons, I could see him opting out of 4/86 at 30.


it sucks because i would love to have the jason heyward we signed up for. having a not useless hitter who can play outfield defense like that is a really nice luxury to have (and you really see how spoiled we are when he sits). i never needed him to take the next step everyone wanted him to take based on his physical appearance (in terms of him looking so big and strong and not hitting for enough power and yada yada). and it really sucks to have to resent him because he's so likable.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:57 pm

The lack of improvement among most of the young offensive core is a little disconcerting to me. Add to that, the awful year Zo had after the injury, and Heyward's significant improvement didn't even come close to producing an average line - there's enough uncertainty to feel like the FO will mix things up considerably. Let's face it, that outfield is a nightmare compared to what most teams should be able to expect to get out of their OF. Hoping that Heyward rediscovers his pre-2016 self feels like a fools errand, as well.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby TBS Playoffs Insider » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:00 pm

the only complaint i have about this person whom i couldnt pick out of a lineup of 2 is that heyward got way worse and russell hasn't improved. everything else has been great.

You could probably even give him credit for schwarber's post-demotion stats and Happ's constant in-season adjustments.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:00 pm

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:The lack of improvement among most of the young offensive core is a little disconcerting to me. Add to that, the awful year Zo had after the injury, and Heyward's significant improvement didn't even come close to producing an average line - there's enough uncertainty to feel like the FO will mix things up considerably. Let's face it, that outfield is a nightmare compared to what most teams should be able to expect to get out of their OF. Hoping that Heyward rediscovers his pre-2016 self feels like a fools errand, as well.


Bryant was awesome again, Baez had his best year ever, Happ hit the ground running despite being a high risk profile, and Almora got better as the season progressed. Schwarber's start and Heyward's continued slump were disappointing yes, but Zobrist and Russell battled injuries too.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Tim » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:09 pm

Bryant's BB/K has gone from 11.8/30.6 his rookie year to 14.3/19.2 this year. Javy is a bit better in both categories since Mallee has been here. Willson was far from a sure thing when he was promoted and has thrived.

If anything, go hire Terry Pendleton as assistant hitting coach and assign him purely to Heyward (Pendleton was the hitting coach his rookie year).
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Re: John Mallee

Postby woodchip2153 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:20 pm

davell wrote:I see where he's probably coming from. I THINK anyway. He may be looking at Russell and Schwarber struggling, Heyward and Zobrist too.....The rest just seemed to do what's expected.....

To that, I'd say the young guys are just that. They're young. Either of those 2 could make a huge leap next year. Zobrist is getting old. He may or may not bounce back. Heyward? Eh, he's just a bad deal at this point.

At any rate, if things go 100% as expected, we'd have the best offense in baseball. The talent is there for it. But, things never go completely as planned either. Just be happy that we've got an elite offense. It'll be more elite some years than others.

But, I doubt Mailee or anyone else is going to truly do much to change the path of how its going to go, in am honesty.


Not really. It plays a role, but I expect those ebbs and flows in production, especially from the young guys. I also kind of expect them to balance out.

The team performed below expectations, so is that because the expectations were out of whack or because the team under performed. Probably a little from column A and a little from column B. Just because they still performed well, doesn't mean they didn't under perform. Yes, there were injuries and other factors, but where there any others?

I see the approach the hitters take, and I see room for improvement. They see lots of pitches and are patient, all good things. As has been pointed out they did this better than anyone else. With that said, too many times, in my opinion, the hitters get up in the count (or even first pitch) and sell out for a fastball and end up swinging at a pitch that is well out of the zone. Maybe this approach works more than I realize, because you don't notice when they guess correctly. But I see almost all of the players do it, so I assume it comes from the coaching staff. I don't like that approach, because I feel it can be exploited more by better pitching.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby woodchip2153 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:23 pm

Tim wrote:If anything, go hire Terry Pendleton as assistant hitting coach and assign him purely to Heyward (Pendleton was the hitting coach his rookie year).


I thought about suggesting something like this, but don't we already have a assistant hitting coach and Maddon helping too? If we hired another, I'm worried it would be too many chefs in the kitchen.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby LeonDurham » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:31 pm

Why all the ridicule? Are people happy about the offense? How is everyone so sure that the offense didn’t underperform. They put up good numbers and won a WS. But to say a team didn’t underperform you’d have to know what the full potential of the players is.

What I do known is Rizzo, Bryant and Baez did not improve from the year before. Russell regressed. Schwarber has an injury but started horribly and did a little better after mine league coaching. Heyward continued to perform below his career standard.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say the offense underperformed. They guys were all top prospects and draft picks. The offense was
Tremendously streaky and inconsistent and numbers inflated by 12 run games.

I don’t pretend to understand hitting. But I do know that the coaching staff philosophy seems to be hands off. Let the players do their thing.

Maybe guys in their early 20s need coaching. Maybe they don’t need to be skipping BP or being fined bottles of wine for showing up early. I’m just saying.
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Re: RE: Re: John Mallee

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:41 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
We Got The Whole 9 wrote:The lack of improvement among most of the young offensive core is a little disconcerting to me. Add to that, the awful year Zo had after the injury, and Heyward's significant improvement didn't even come close to producing an average line - there's enough uncertainty to feel like the FO will mix things up considerably. Let's face it, that outfield is a nightmare compared to what most teams should be able to expect to get out of their OF. Hoping that Heyward rediscovers his pre-2016 self feels like a fools errand, as well.


Bryant was awesome again, Baez had his best year ever, Happ hit the ground running despite being a high risk profile, and Almora got better as the season progressed. Schwarber's start and Heyward's continued slump were disappointing yes, but Zobrist and Russell battled injuries too.


I see all that but Baez' improvement was marginal, the real test for Happ comes now that the league has a book on him, and he appears to be major trade bait for us, Almora's approach vs RHP is a little too Vittersish for me to feel comfortable that improvement is around the bend, and we basically have to bank on him continuing to crush LHP that well to produce average offense if that same-side hitting doesn't improve.

Speaking for myself here but when I looked at that core last year I just expected more. That's my own fault but I was really sold on this glut of positional talent and it has underwhelmed to a fairly significant degree.

Just thank horsefeathering god for Bryzzo, obviously. They mask a lot of problems the offense has. When they suck, we are hopeless, collectively.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:41 pm

LeonDurham wrote:Why all the ridicule? Are people happy about the offense? How is everyone so sure that the offense didn’t underperform. They put up good numbers and won a WS. But to say a team didn’t underperform you’d have to know what the full potential of the players is.

What I do known is Rizzo, Bryant and Baez did not improve from the year before. Russell regressed. Schwarber has an injury but started horribly and did a little better after mine league coaching. Heyward continued to perform below his career standard.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say the offense underperformed. They guys were all top prospects and draft picks. The offense was
Tremendously streaky and inconsistent and numbers inflated by 12 run games.

I don’t pretend to understand hitting. But I do know that the coaching staff philosophy seems to be hands off. Let the players do their thing.

Maybe guys in their early 20s need coaching. Maybe they don’t need to be skipping BP or being fined bottles of wine for showing up early. I’m just saying.



Bryant and Baez had better numbers this year than last. Rizzo was slightly down but not in a meaningful sense. Contreras continued to be great, Happ was very good offensively, Almora got better and better as the season progressed.

No one is saying 'things are perfect, can't change a thing', but there's far more good than bad, and when you're talking about a dozen hitters there's always going to be disappointments. That's not the organization or hitting coach's fault. The offense not performing quite as well as it can is like 71st on the list of things to worry about, shortly after the video board affecting wind patterns and if they have the right ratio of organ music being played at home games.
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Re: RE: Re: John Mallee

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:43 pm

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:
Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
We Got The Whole 9 wrote:The lack of improvement among most of the young offensive core is a little disconcerting to me. Add to that, the awful year Zo had after the injury, and Heyward's significant improvement didn't even come close to producing an average line - there's enough uncertainty to feel like the FO will mix things up considerably. Let's face it, that outfield is a nightmare compared to what most teams should be able to expect to get out of their OF. Hoping that Heyward rediscovers his pre-2016 self feels like a fools errand, as well.


Bryant was awesome again, Baez had his best year ever, Happ hit the ground running despite being a high risk profile, and Almora got better as the season progressed. Schwarber's start and Heyward's continued slump were disappointing yes, but Zobrist and Russell battled injuries too.


I see all that but Baez' improvement was marginal, the real test for Happ comes now that the league has a book on him, and he appears to be major trade bait for us, Almora's approach vs RHP is a little too Vittersish for me to feel comfortable that improvement is around the bend, and we basically have to bank on him continuing to crush LHP that well to produce average offense if that same-side hitting doesn't improve.

Speaking for myself here but when I looked at that core last year I just expected more. That's my own fault but I was really sold on this glut of positional talent and it has underwhelmed to a fairly significant degree.

Just thank horsefeathering god for Bryzzo, obviously. They mask a lot of problems the offense has. When they suck, we are hopeless, collectively.


I'm trying to be diplomatic, but good grief this is textbook fatalism. When the two best offensive players on the team who play corner infield positions slump, they look bad. Baez only got somewhat better. Almora got better but I wish it had different proportions. Happ was good but I'm worried in the future it might not be good.

I mean, say this stuff out loud, it's ridiculous.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Cubswin11 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:44 pm

Doing God's work, TT. This is horsefeathering ridiculous
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Re: John Mallee

Postby woodchip2153 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:45 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:Doing God's work, TT. This is horsefeathering ridiculous


What was ridiculous about what I was saying?
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Cubswin11 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:50 pm

woodchip2153 wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:Doing God's work, TT. This is horsefeathering ridiculous


What was ridiculous about what I was saying?

The notion that you're letting a small sample of playoff games, in which we faced Strasburg x2, Kershaw x2, Darvish, Scherzer, Rich Hill and Jansen a bunch cloud your judgment that somehow our offense is bad and it's the hitting coaches fault. The offense sucked, but it was against very good pitchers who make offense look sucky more times than not. There's been plenty of guys who've shown real growth under Mallee this year and his whole time here and a lot of the underperforming this year can be attributed to non Mallee things like Injuries, aging and just generally still having a lot of guys learning on the job. We still had one of the best offenses in baseball this year.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby davell » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:01 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:
woodchip2153 wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:Doing God's work, TT. This is horsefeathering ridiculous


What was ridiculous about what I was saying?

The notion that you're letting a small sample of playoff games, in which we faced Strasburg x2, Kershaw x2, Darvish, Scherzer, Rich Hill and Jansen a bunch cloud your judgment that somehow our offense is bad and it's the hitting coaches fault. The offense sucked, but it was against very good pitchers who make offense look sucky more times than not. There's been plenty of guys who've shown real growth under Mallee this year and his whole time here and a lot of the underperforming this year can be attributed to non Mallee things like Injuries, aging and just generally still having a lot of guys learning on the job. We still had one of the best offenses in baseball this year.


Never mind, I guess TT is talking to multiple people.
Last edited by davell on Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Cubswin11 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:02 pm

davell wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:
woodchip2153 wrote:
What was ridiculous about what I was saying?

The notion that you're letting a small sample of playoff games, in which we faced Strasburg x2, Kershaw x2, Darvish, Scherzer, Rich Hill and Jansen a bunch cloud your judgment that somehow our offense is bad and it's the hitting coaches fault. The offense sucked, but it was against very good pitchers who make offense look sucky more times than not. There's been plenty of guys who've shown real growth under Mallee this year and his whole time here and a lot of the underperforming this year can be attributed to non Mallee things like Injuries, aging and just generally still having a lot of guys learning on the job. We still had one of the best offenses in baseball this year.


I could be wrong, but I think TT was responding to someone else entirely there, wasn't he?

He was but I just wanted to add my 2 cents and my post was more of a global thing than just talking to woodchip
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Cubswin11 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:10 pm

woodchip2153 wrote:
Tim wrote:If anything, go hire Terry Pendleton as assistant hitting coach and assign him purely to Heyward (Pendleton was the hitting coach his rookie year).


I thought about suggesting something like this, but don't we already have a assistant hitting coach and Maddon helping too? If we hired another, I'm worried it would be too many chefs in the kitchen.

Yeah idk what to do with Heyward. We do have an asst hitting coach but I forget the name. Adding another guy just might be too many noises like you said (though you’d like to think the org is smart enough to be voicing the same things to him on a unified front and not a million different suggestions). We’ve tried to do it “our way” it seems, so maybe the best thing is tell him go back to whatever you did in previous offseasons when he was a Brave (and whoever that was with) and see if that sticks instead of spending it in Arizona with “our” guys again. Or maybe he can move in with Kris Bryant’s dad over the offseason.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:15 pm

Hinske is the assistant hitting coach
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Re: John Mallee

Postby woodchip2153 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:32 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:
woodchip2153 wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:Doing God's work, TT. This is horsefeathering ridiculous


What was ridiculous about what I was saying?

The notion that you're letting a small sample of playoff games, in which we faced Strasburg x2, Kershaw x2, Darvish, Scherzer, Rich Hill and Jansen a bunch cloud your judgment that somehow our offense is bad and it's the hitting coaches fault. The offense sucked, but it was against very good pitchers who make offense look sucky more times than not. There's been plenty of guys who've shown real growth under Mallee this year and his whole time here and a lot of the underperforming this year can be attributed to non Mallee things like Injuries, aging and just generally still having a lot of guys learning on the job. We still had one of the best offenses in baseball this year.


1) I never said the offense was bad. I said it didn't perform up to expectations.
2) I didn't base this on just the playoffs.
3) I've acknowledged that Mallee has done a lot of good, and I'm fine with him as the hitting coach. I'm just speculating that there might be room for improvement, and I think that could be through some minor tweaks to the hitting approach.

Am I doing that bad of a job, explaining my thoughts, that everyone continues to think that I think the offense and Mallee are terrible?

I just think that maybe a new hitting coach or change in hitting philosophy could possibly make the offense even better. Did I put enough qualifiers in there, so people realize I'm not demanding Mallee be fired, or think he hasn't done anything good in his time here?

I get others may not feel the same. Maybe they think the under performance was just baseball. Maybe they feel making a change from Mallee isn't worth the risk, since there are definitely worse hitting coaches. Maybe they feel bringing in a specialist to help specific batters would help.

Heck, I probably fall in the camp, that a change isn't worth the risk. The only reason I'm considering the possibility is because I've seen some things I don't like, and I feel we have one of the few front offices that would find someone better.

We're talking about a team who has made the NLCS 3 years in a row and won the world series last year, which is returning 99% of their position players. When looking for possible areas of improvement to the offense, of course it's going to be nitpicking.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby Tim » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:46 pm

Let's put it this way: Can you name someone you think would be better than Mallee? What do you think is wrong with the approach that can be improved?
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Re: John Mallee

Postby KingCubsFan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:47 pm

Zobrist is old, so getting injured and falling off a cliff wasn't a huge surprise. I expected more from Russell, but the divorce/injury certainly affected him, and I was encouraged by the fact that he probably had the best AB's on the team during the playoffs. Schwarber was playing his first full year in the majors, and the adjustment was a bit more drastic then I think anybody really expected. Heyward sucks, but that's why you don't build your team through free agency.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby bd811 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:57 pm

KingCubsFan wrote:Zobrist is old, so getting injured and falling off a cliff wasn't a huge surprise. I expected more from Russell, but the divorce/injury certainly affected him, and I was encouraged by the fact that he probably had the best AB's on the team during the playoffs. Schwarber was playing his first full year in the majors, and the adjustment was a bit more drastic then I think anybody really expected. Heyward sucks, but that's why you don't build your team through free agency.


i mean, this isn't really an example of why you don't build a team through free agency. heyward was a 26-year-old coming of 6.1 and 5.1 win seasons the previous two years. he just fell apart.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby trushar » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:58 pm

While we are at it, DFA Q, Monty, and Carl’s. Wait let me start a Bosio thread for that.
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Re: John Mallee

Postby woodchip2153 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:34 pm

Tim wrote:Let's put it this way: Can you name someone you think would be better than Mallee? What do you think is wrong with the approach that can be improved?


woodchip2153 wrote:It seems to me that they guess or predetermine if they will swing too much.


woodchip2153 wrote:I see the approach the hitters take, and I see room for improvement. They see lots of pitches and are patient, all good things. As has been pointed out they did this better than anyone else. With that said, too many times, in my opinion, the hitters get up in the count (or even first pitch) and sell out for a fastball and end up swinging at a pitch that is well out of the zone. Maybe this approach works more than I realize, because you don't notice when they guess correctly. But I see almost all of the players do it, so I assume it comes from the coaching staff. I don't like that approach, because I feel it can be exploited more by better pitching.


As far as specific names, I have no clue. I don't follow baseball closely enough to have specific names. Heck I can probably only name two hitting coaches in baseball, and that would just be guessing ex-cub coaches and Jacque Jones. Teams that I think have a good approach from what I've seen, the Astros, Brewers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Indians. But those are for the most part, just really good offenses with really good players. Again, I think the Cubs are in good hands, I just also think there might be room for improvement (see above).
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Re: John Mallee

Postby bd811 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:54 pm

woodchip2153 wrote:
Tim wrote:Let's put it this way: Can you name someone you think would be better than Mallee? What do you think is wrong with the approach that can be improved?


woodchip2153 wrote:It seems to me that they guess or predetermine if they will swing too much.


woodchip2153 wrote:I see the approach the hitters take, and I see room for improvement. They see lots of pitches and are patient, all good things. As has been pointed out they did this better than anyone else. With that said, too many times, in my opinion, the hitters get up in the count (or even first pitch) and sell out for a fastball and end up swinging at a pitch that is well out of the zone. Maybe this approach works more than I realize, because you don't notice when they guess correctly. But I see almost all of the players do it, so I assume it comes from the coaching staff. I don't like that approach, because I feel it can be exploited more by better pitching.


As far as specific names, I have no clue. I don't follow baseball closely enough to have specific names. Heck I can probably only name two hitting coaches in baseball, and that would just be guessing ex-cub coaches and Jacque Jones. Teams that I think have a good approach from what I've seen, the Astros, Brewers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Indians. But those are for the most part, just really good offenses with really good players. Again, I think the Cubs are in good hands, I just also think there might be room for improvement (see above).


the brewers rank in the bottom half of baseball in every meaningful offensive category except BB%, where they're 11th. let's cross them off the list of teams to emulate.
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