Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Backtobanks » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:28 pm

UMFan83 wrote:
Backtobanks wrote:
Irrelevant Dude wrote:I'm starting to come around on Schwindel as a possible piece for 2022. Has he ever played other positions? It's hard to justify carrying a non full time player who can only play 1B. Any chance he can be passable at the corner outfield spots?


Why are you saying he's not a full time player? If he continues hitting anywhere near what he has done so far, he certainly would be the full time 1B next year.


Sure if he does he would be an excellent full time player. People are rightly wary of someone with ok minor league numbers breaking out at age 29 and don't want to hand out starting spots based on a still small sample size of ~150 PAs. He could be legit but its still early to tell for sure.


Well we have to hope because it looks like the plan is for Schwindel, Wisdom, and Ortega are all penciled in for next year.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Tim » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:33 pm

Backtobanks wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
Backtobanks wrote:
Why are you saying he's not a full time player? If he continues hitting anywhere near what he has done so far, he certainly would be the full time 1B next year.


Sure if he does he would be an excellent full time player. People are rightly wary of someone with ok minor league numbers breaking out at age 29 and don't want to hand out starting spots based on a still small sample size of ~150 PAs. He could be legit but its still early to tell for sure.


Well we have to hope because it looks like the plan is for Schwindel, Wisdom, and Ortega are all penciled in for next year.

lol - None of us have the slightest idea what the plan looks like.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby cincycub31 » Tue Sep 07, 2021 1:14 pm

I don't know if he'll ultimately make it, but I loved watching Schwindel go the opposite field on an 0-2 pitch to drive in the go ahead run. It's seems like I've seen a lot of other guys strike out trying to over swing on those types of plays throughout the year, instead of just making contact and putting the ball in play.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Tue Sep 07, 2021 1:46 pm

I'm still very much in the camp that Schwindel is a mirage and his lack of positional flexibility doesn't make it worth it to be sure he isn't, but I am interested if he can keep his walk rate where it is or inch it higher. Combining his Cubs time with a career high walk rate in AAA this year is at least something to hope on from a sustainability perspective, and his plate discipline statistics don't paint a dire picture either. For me, that optimism is mostly in the form of 'he can be the last position player on a Cubs team light on position players if the DH is added', but it's something.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Banedon » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:01 pm

Tim wrote:
Backtobanks wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
Sure if he does he would be an excellent full time player. People are rightly wary of someone with ok minor league numbers breaking out at age 29 and don't want to hand out starting spots based on a still small sample size of ~150 PAs. He could be legit but its still early to tell for sure.


Well we have to hope because it looks like the plan is for Schwindel, Wisdom, and Ortega are all penciled in for next year.

lol - None of us have the slightest idea what the plan looks like.


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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby UMFan83 » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:21 pm

Depressing FYI about sample size:

Bryan LaHair first 33 games of 2012:

.361/.453/.722/1.175, 10 HR

Frank Schwindel first 33 games with the Cubs through yesterday:

.374/.421/.699/1.120, 10 HR

LaHair was also 29 and played 1B coming off a somewhat surprising MiLB breakout the season before
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Bertz » Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:24 pm

UMFan83 wrote:Depressing FYI about sample size:

Bryan LaHair first 33 games of 2012:

.361/.453/.722/1.175, 10 HR

Frank Schwindel first 33 games with the Cubs through yesterday:

.374/.421/.699/1.120, 10 HR

LaHair was also 29 and played 1B coming off a somewhat surprising MiLB breakout the season before


There were some warning signs with Lahair even during that stretch that don't exist with Schwindel.

- He was striking out a lot. His 28.1% rate isn't that notable these days, but back then would have been top 10 among qualified hitters
- He had a .460 BABIP. Four. Six. Zero. Insane, I know we all knew he was lucky even at the time but hot damn I didn't realize how much he was until looking just now. Guys are always going to get good batted ball luck during hot streaks, but wowza
- He had a 37% HR/FB rate. That's also stupid high. This was pre juiced ball so no one in MLB had a higher than 30% rate for the season back then. Even post juiced ball there's usually only 2-3 guys a year over 30% and usually no one over 35%

The funny thing is that while he did crash afterwards, and crash hard, his underlying skills didn't change that much. His hard hit rate stayed steady, his GB/FB numbers stayed steady, his plate discipline stayed steady, etc. He just started running a normal BABIP and a slightly low HR/FB rate.

Schwindel has certainly been lucky. Not as preposterously so like Lahair, but quite a bit. However, if you strip out luck and look at his Statcast xwOBA, he's been good at .344 (it's on the OBP scale so .320-.330 is average). Here's a list of guys within 5 points of his xwOBA:

Bo Bichette
Anthony Rizzo
Kris Bryant
Starling Marte
Brandon Belt
Jake Cronenworth

So like I wrote a few days back, I think what he's currently doing is pretty sustainable. It probably should result in more of a 115 wRC+ than a 173, but there's legitimately good things happening under the hood. The question is whether he can sustain what he's currently doing. We've seen Patrick Wisdom go through two slumps and then adjust and come out the other end fine.

Schwindel hasn't had his slump yet. And with where we are in the season, there's maybe enough runway for one slump and for him to start pulling out of it. But we're not going to *know* if he can do the adjust/re-adjust cycle necessary to be an MLB regular until next year. That sucks, because you can't trust him but at the same time 1B would be a crappy place to allocate resources to this offseason.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Backtobanks » Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:52 pm

Tim wrote:
Backtobanks wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
Sure if he does he would be an excellent full time player. People are rightly wary of someone with ok minor league numbers breaking out at age 29 and don't want to hand out starting spots based on a still small sample size of ~150 PAs. He could be legit but its still early to tell for sure.


Well we have to hope because it looks like the plan is for Schwindel, Wisdom, and Ortega are all penciled in for next year.

lol - None of us have the slightest idea what the plan looks like.


The sad thing is that Hoyer is included with the rest of us.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby CubinNY » Tue Sep 07, 2021 5:08 pm

Frank will definitely be on the rebuilding Cubs roster next year. Any production they get out of him should be seen as a bonus. He's not a player on a team that intended to contend for a World Series (don't give that Jim Hendry "compete within the division" [expletive], but he's not on that team either).
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Backtobanks » Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:25 pm

CubinNY wrote:Frank will definitely be on the rebuilding Cubs roster next year. Any production they get out of him should be seen as a bonus. He's not a player on a team that intended to contend for a World Series (don't give that Jim Hendry "compete within the division" [expletive], but he's not on that team either).


PTR is grinning from ear to ear while thinking of Schwindel, Madrigal, Hoerner, Wisdom, and Ortega in the daily lineup and Alzolay, Mills, Steele/Thompson in the rotation with a bullpen that has Wick, Heuer, Rodriguez, Morgan, and Maples all at or near the league minimum in salary.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby squally1313 » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:06 pm

Don't give him a starters spot, go find some passable corner OF slash first baseman and let him get the majority of time at first, and then let Schwindel get some starts and move that guy to the outfield. If Heyward is still going to be around and Happ is going to continue his hot/cold thing, he's fine to stick around and provide some pop off the bench.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby champaignchris » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:07 pm

Backtobanks wrote:
CubinNY wrote:Frank will definitely be on the rebuilding Cubs roster next year. Any production they get out of him should be seen as a bonus. He's not a player on a team that intended to contend for a World Series (don't give that Jim Hendry "compete within the division" [expletive], but he's not on that team either).


PTR is grinning from ear to ear while thinking of Schwindel, Madrigal, Hoerner, Wisdom, and Ortega in the daily lineup and Alzolay, Mills, Steele/Thompson in the rotation with a bullpen that has Wick, Heuer, Rodriguez, Morgan, and Maples all at or near the league minimum in salary.


Do you really think the Cubs are going to have a payroll under $100 Million next year?
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Rob » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:43 pm

champaignchris wrote:
Backtobanks wrote:
CubinNY wrote:Frank will definitely be on the rebuilding Cubs roster next year. Any production they get out of him should be seen as a bonus. He's not a player on a team that intended to contend for a World Series (don't give that Jim Hendry "compete within the division" [expletive], but he's not on that team either).


PTR is grinning from ear to ear while thinking of Schwindel, Madrigal, Hoerner, Wisdom, and Ortega in the daily lineup and Alzolay, Mills, Steele/Thompson in the rotation with a bullpen that has Wick, Heuer, Rodriguez, Morgan, and Maples all at or near the league minimum in salary.


Do you really think the Cubs are going to have a payroll under $100 Million next year?


Yeah, even when the Cubs were tanking we were still going out and signing mid-tier guys on short deals hoping to score when we flipped them.

Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson ended up part of the Arodys Vizcaino deal which led to Tommy La Stella.
Scott Feldman brought Arrieta and Strop.
Jason Hammel helped bring in Addison Russell.

We will be high on the list for mid-tier free agents. Injured or old but want to prove you still have something in the tank? Had a down year in your walk year before FA? We have a solid coaching staff, lots of time, and very low expectations. And if you do well you can get shipped to a contender at the deadline.

I expect us to fish heavily from this pond. Bargains can be found.
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Re: RE: Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:14 pm

Bertz wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:Depressing FYI about sample size:

Bryan LaHair first 33 games of 2012:

.361/.453/.722/1.175, 10 HR

Frank Schwindel first 33 games with the Cubs through yesterday:

.374/.421/.699/1.120, 10 HR

LaHair was also 29 and played 1B coming off a somewhat surprising MiLB breakout the season before


There were some warning signs with Lahair even during that stretch that don't exist with Schwindel.

- He was striking out a lot. His 28.1% rate isn't that notable these days, but back then would have been top 10 among qualified hitters
- He had a .460 BABIP. Four. Six. Zero. Insane, I know we all knew he was lucky even at the time but hot damn I didn't realize how much he was until looking just now. Guys are always going to get good batted ball luck during hot streaks, but wowza
- He had a 37% HR/FB rate. That's also stupid high. This was pre juiced ball so no one in MLB had a higher than 30% rate for the season back then. Even post juiced ball there's usually only 2-3 guys a year over 30% and usually no one over 35%

The funny thing is that while he did crash afterwards, and crash hard, his underlying skills didn't change that much. His hard hit rate stayed steady, his GB/FB numbers stayed steady, his plate discipline stayed steady, etc. He just started running a normal BABIP and a slightly low HR/FB rate.

Schwindel has certainly been lucky. Not as preposterously so like Lahair, but quite a bit. However, if you strip out luck and look at his Statcast xwOBA, he's been good at .344 (it's on the OBP scale so .320-.330 is average). Here's a list of guys within 5 points of his xwOBA:

Bo Bichette
Anthony Rizzo
Kris Bryant
Starling Marte
Brandon Belt
Jake Cronenworth

So like I wrote a few days back, I think what he's currently doing is pretty sustainable. It probably should result in more of a 115 wRC+ than a 173, but there's legitimately good things happening under the hood. The question is whether he can sustain what he's currently doing. We've seen Patrick Wisdom go through two slumps and then adjust and come out the other end fine.

Schwindel hasn't had his slump yet. And with where we are in the season, there's maybe enough runway for one slump and for him to start pulling out of it. But we're not going to *know* if he can do the adjust/re-adjust cycle necessary to be an MLB regular until next year. That sucks, because you can't trust him but at the same time 1B would be a crappy place to allocate resources to this offseason.
Do you have a theory on why so many Cubs hitters tend to over perform their xwoba?
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Backtobanks » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:20 pm

Rob wrote:
champaignchris wrote:
Backtobanks wrote:
PTR is grinning from ear to ear while thinking of Schwindel, Madrigal, Hoerner, Wisdom, and Ortega in the daily lineup and Alzolay, Mills, Steele/Thompson in the rotation with a bullpen that has Wick, Heuer, Rodriguez, Morgan, and Maples all at or near the league minimum in salary.


Do you really think the Cubs are going to have a payroll under $100 Million next year?


Yeah, even when the Cubs were tanking we were still going out and signing mid-tier guys on short deals hoping to score when we flipped them.

Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson ended up part of the Arodys Vizcaino deal which led to Tommy La Stella.
Scott Feldman brought Arrieta and Strop.
Jason Hammel helped bring in Addison Russell.

We will be high on the list for mid-tier free agents. Injured or old but want to prove you still have something in the tank? Had a down year in your walk year before FA? We have a solid coaching staff, lots of time, and very low expectations. And if you do well you can get shipped to a contender at the deadline.

I expect us to fish heavily from this pond. Bargains can be found.


They do have a lot of holes to fill and mid-tier/short term guys would be the way to go while rebuilding/in transition. they have a couple of years to assess which of the cheap players named above are worth keeping or replacing before seriously thinking about being competitive in 2024 and beyond.
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Re: RE: Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Bertz » Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:27 am

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:Do you have a theory on why so many Cubs hitters tend to over perform their xwoba?


Mostly noise? Most of the old guard underperformed, so I don't think it's a measurement thing. I'd guess it's like 90% SSS and 10% player type.

On player type, there's two things Statcast's X stats don't handle (or at least well): horizontal direction and player speed. A slow guy who only pulls the ball like Schwarber will underperform his X stats while a fast guy who sprays the ball like Hoerner will over perform. So for Hoerner and Madrigal it might be real, but everyone else like Schwindel it's likely just a fluke.
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 1:58 pm

Bertz wrote:
We Got The Whole 9 wrote:Do you have a theory on why so many Cubs hitters tend to over perform their xwoba?


Mostly noise? Most of the old guard underperformed, so I don't think it's a measurement thing. I'd guess it's like 90% SSS and 10% player type.

On player type, there's two things Statcast's X stats don't handle (or at least well): horizontal direction and player speed. A slow guy who only pulls the ball like Schwarber will underperform his X stats while a fast guy who sprays the ball like Hoerner will over perform. So for Hoerner and Madrigal it might be real, but everyone else like Schwindel it's likely just a fluke.
That's not necessarily true. KB, Javy, Willy, Happ pretty consistently over performed by 20-30 pts. Rizzo was on line and Schwarber was the only one underperforming most years.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Bertz » Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:05 pm

Bertz wrote:I still think Schwindel is interesting. Not nearly ready to say he's good, but I've seen enough I do think he's a legitimate MLBer.

He's chasing a lot, swinging at 34.9% of pitches out of the zone. That's a lot (~90th percentile), but a far cry from like Javy. It's more in line with Eloy Jimenez, Ozzie Albies, and Adolis Garcia

His contact rate on pitches in the zone is pretty good. At 87.1% that's about 70th percentile, in line with guys like Starling Marte and Xander Bogaerts

He also hits very few balls on the ground (33.3%, ~90th percentile), and he hits them hard (89.9 EV, ~75th percentile)

These are all things that tend to become meaningful relatively quickly. That's not to say that after ~100 PAs we've found his true talent level, but it does likely mean that on broad terms the four statements above are all likely true. The problem is that with a meh defensive 1B, the bar is really high and so the degree to which each of those statements are true matters a great deal. I think his current peripherals are unique but ultimately able to sustain pretty good production, but if he starts hitting the ball less hard, on the ground more, swing and missing more, etc. things dry up pretty quickly.


After another two weeks, he's still got solid peripherals. The batted ball data has gotten worse, while the plate discipline has gotten better. Again it's looking more and more like he can make this work enough to be a quality MLB hitter.

- The GB rate has gone up a ton. It's now at 41.3%, which is still better than average but only by a smidge

- The exit velo is down from 89.9 MPH to 88.8, which is pretty much exactly average

- The plate discipline has mproved; he's down to a 32.6% chase rate which is ~80th percentile

- The in zone contact rate has improved a bit to 88.1%, now ~75th percentile

The concern is that the bar at 1B/DH is so damn high. Like if he was a 2B or centerfielder I'd already be comfortable handing him a starting spot next year. As it is though I imagine he's going to settle in at a point where he's got good platoon numbers and should only situationally get starts against righties. I'd love to get him a platoon/matchup partner. Somebody like Brad Miller might be perfect. He's (at least nominally) a 3B, so maybe you could add him to the mix with Frank and Wisdom and know you've got both spots handled, even if the ideal distribution of playing time is gonna be a bit of a play by ear scenario.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Tryptamine » Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:40 pm

Among players with at least 100 PAs, Schwindel's 169 wRC+ puts him 4th in baseball behind only Trout, Harper and Vlad.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:53 pm

[quote=Brett]Meanwhile, Schwindel is on a nine-game hitting streak. Just casually. If you go back to two games before that – his first two back-to-back games without a hit – you get the “coldest” streak he’s had with the Cubs. The last 11 games, Schwindel is hitting only .333/.373/.604 with a 158 wRC+. That’s his worst stretch with the Cubs so far. I did not mis-type that sentence. Bonus: he has a 9.8% K rate during that stretch. What he’s doing continues to break my brain.[/quote]

Just old
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Little Slide Rooter » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:17 pm

Tim wrote:
Backtobanks wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
Sure if he does he would be an excellent full time player. People are rightly wary of someone with ok minor league numbers breaking out at age 29 and don't want to hand out starting spots based on a still small sample size of ~150 PAs. He could be legit but its still early to tell for sure.


Well we have to hope because it looks like the plan is for Schwindel, Wisdom, and Ortega are all penciled in for next year.

lol - None of us have the slightest idea what the plan looks like.


Happ, Madrigal, Wily, Nico, and a revolving door of AAAA slug beasts.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Gilby » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:23 am

horsefeathers it, I'm buying in, he's our Muncy.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby Tim » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:23 am

I dunno guys, I think Schwindel might be able to hit.
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby chopsx9 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:05 am

I casually clicked on the stats page and found this - someone should send Tank a screen shot for posterity.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/player/_/view/batting
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Re: Schwindel - Old & Bad or just Old?

Postby squally1313 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:52 pm

His xwOBA would put him at 21st out of 26 qualified first basemen per FG. Add that to a complete lack of defensive ability, a bad spot on the aging curve, and a walk rate that's never once, at any level, been over 6.4% and you've really got something there.
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