The 25: Jake Arrieta

In Commentary And Analysis by berselius65 Comments

Previous programming note from Myles:

Now that the season is fast approaching, and I've started to get the itch to talk baseball again, I'm hoping to pick up the pace. Hopefully I can convince the other writers to do the same. I'm going to take a look at the 2017 Cubs, starting with the best players and taking a descending order. I'm just sorting by projected WAR (ZIPS). 

Programming note from Berselius:

Don't gently suggest to me what to do.

I'm going to upend this and break the descending WAR thing since there already is a half-written Rizzo post sitting in drafts.

Programming note:

A moose once bit my sister

Jake Arrieta (SP)

In 2016: Jay Carrieta posted a 3.10 ERA and 3.52 FIP with a 23.9% strikeout rate and a 9.6% walk rate, good for 3.8 fWAR and 3.4 bWAR. He also pitched another no-hitter and won a silver slugger award on the strength of a eye-popping (for a pitcher) .262/.304/.415, with two home runs, worth an additional 0.9 WAR.

In 2017: ZiPS projects 8.95 K/9, 2.78 BB/9, a 3.02 ERA and 3.35 FIP, good or 4.0 fWAR.

In haiku:

Great but not elite?

Looking for an extension

Likely won't get it

 

2015 Jay Carrieta was one of the greatest pitchers that I've ever seen not named Pedro Martinez. 2016 Jake, well, he was still really good. But it's also a reminder of just how goddamn hard it is to pitch at that level. His stuff still has insane movement but just a small decline in his control over it led to a much more inconsistent season. He did throw a no-hitter early in the year, and even going into the playoffs I thought that he was the Cubs starter with the best odds to have the stars align and do it again. The only problem is that he also felt like the starter most likely to get lit up and get pulled by the second inning. It feels strange to criticize Arrieta because every team in baseball would kill to have him, but having seen so much of JAKE!!! in 2015 made it disappointing to see him have a start where he walked 2-4 guys and gave up two runs in six innings. The Cubs would love to keep this version of Arrieta around but it's clear to everyone involved that he is going to get paid by someone in free agency based off that 2015 season, while the McThoyers likely believe that 2016 Jake is closer to what one can expect going forward.

Pitch mix-wise he threw a lot more sinkers in 2016 and a lot less of his killer 2015 slider/slutter, probably because he had less of a handle on it. Looking at the numbers on brooks, it's not quite as bad as I thought – only about 4% more of them were thrown for balls. However batters got more wood on them when they swung, as the whiff rate dropped from 17% to 13%. If you look at his fangraphs pfX numbers, it's even more stark. In 2015 he had the best slider in baseball, worth 23 or so runs over the course of the season. In 2016 it was exactly average, though his fastball (sinker) was still one of the best pitches of its type. The velocity on all his pitches also dropped by 1mph or so.

As mentioned above, Jake's bat was a surprisingly underrated asset last year. I even got to see one of his home runs in person! /humblebrag. I'm actually kind of surprised he only had two.

If Jake has another solid year in 2017 he's going to need to add a Scrooge McDuck style money-bin to his house. I just don't think the Cubs will (or should) be the ones filling it.

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Comments

  1. cerulean

    So Ian Happ isn’t very good. His power isn’t high enough to stick in the outfield and his glove isn’t good enough to stick in the infield. He’s another overrated college guy with good on base skills but without a position.

    Like Kris Bryant.

    I am really starting to feel like the Cubs are cursed.

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  2. SK

    cerulean,

    I’m really not paying attention although I have seen twittergasms about Happ (I think). So is there any way he forces himself on the 25man, which i realize is already as tight as a Scottish rat’s arse?

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  3. dmick89

    SK,

    I think about the only way that happens is if both Baez and Zobrist get injured and even then I’m guessing they get by without him. He needs some more time in the minors IMO.

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  4. cerulean

    Rice in limbo,

    I think it goes without saying that Happ needs more seasoning. At least a few weeks worth. You know, for defense.

    Speaking of defense, both Baez and Bryant were poor defenders that couldn’t handle their position(s). (!?)

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  5. cerulean

    So the Cubs’ FO seems to have spent a lot of time selecting for players with what I would call a top-notch spatial awareness and capacity—basically an aptitude for connecting the visual cortex (which should be thought of as more than just seeing since it keeps track of objects in space) with an innate kinesthetic ability. And whatever training regimens they have must be geared toward strengthening those pathways, making reactions instinctual, because most of their players have had this upside surprise both offensively and defensively. It’s astonishing.

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  6. cerulean

    SK:
    cerulean,

    I’m really not paying attention although I have seen twittergasms about Happ (I think). So is there any way he forces himself on the 25man, which i realize is already as tight as a Scottish rat’s arse?

    He should learn how to throw lefthanded. What the Cubs need is a decent LOOGY.

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  7. cerulean

    Berselius,

    A rather serious question re a math(s) degree bestowing knowledge: What are your thoughts on the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences”?

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  8. uncle dave

    cerulean,

    I think that the difference between Happ and Baez/Bryant is that Happ is not quite the elite caliber athlete that those guys are. Baez and Bryant unquestionably have the tools to be plus defenders, they just needed the reps. Happ could become good at a nonpremium position (or two) but from what I’ve heard he’s lacking the tools to get really good really fast.

    Regardless, I feel like the bat will play and he’ll be up for at least a cup of coffee this year. There ain’t a whole lot of room for him, though.

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  9. Smokestack Lightning

    uncle dave: I think that the difference between Happ and Baez/Bryant is that Happ is not quite the elite caliber athlete that those guys are. Baez and Bryant unquestionably have the tools to be plus defenders, they just needed the reps. Happ could become good at a nonpremium position (or two) but from what I’ve heard he’s lacking the tools to get really good really fast.

    What you’ve heard crumbles to dust in the face of small sample Spring Training hot streaks.

    All the Ian Happ for HOF. Done deal sealed.

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  10. uncle dave

    Been thinking about this for a while, and though I think that the 2016 World Series was very gratifying, I still think that the 1991 NBA ECF was pretty much it in terms of the holy shit, fuck you factor. Flame away, tho.

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  11. Edwin

    cerulean,

    The was a whole big discussion on the Calvinist case against Lutheranism, but as you can imagine, all the arguements went about as expected, so all the related comments were removed since we’ve already had that discussion many times before.

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  12. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    EnricoPallazzo:
    i don’t know about anyone else but i’ve been boycotting this site because of the censorship of vincentcn51 and fresh gay porn

    I’m boycotting until Dodgers_in_5 comes back

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  13. BVS

    Edwin,

    We’ve basically resolved all the big issues here. As far as I can tell, the only ones left are:

    Pam (and similar) cooking sprays: Yes or No?

    And

    Szczurzcr, La Stella, or another RP: Pick two.

    For the record, I don’t cook, I wash, so my answer on 1 is baking yes, frying no.

    And 2 position players please.

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  14. dmick89

    BVS: Pam (and similar) cooking sprays: Yes or No?

    No. Fuck No.

    Only time I use Pam is if I’m measuring something sticky (like peanut butter). spray the measuring cup and it will come right out.

    BVS: Szczurzcr, La Stella, or another RP: Pick two.

    relief pitcher and a fourth catcher because Joe loves those positions.

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  15. Author
    berselius

    Rice Cube,

    It’s all about figuring out how to route the sound, in both Skype and Audacity. I can tell you what I did my mac laptop but I think it’s similar for Windows if you have it.

    1. Install Soundflower, which is some kind of background sound software. Maybe there’s better stuff out there now, but it’s what I have. It makes an extra ‘device’ that you can route your audio through.
    2. Create a multi-output device that sends audio to soundflower AND your headphones. That way you can listen like normal but the raw audio data is now running through soundflower. (there’s some utility in the mac utilities folder that does this. Or maybe in the sound management thing in the control panel, I can’t remember).
    3. Create a multi-input device that includes your microphone and soundflower – this way it is reading both what you say and what Skype is outputting.
    4. In Skype, go to the audio/video in preferences. Set your microphone as the input, and the multi-output device as the output.
    5. In Audacity, set the multi-input device as the input. Make sure you select enough channels that it gets both your mic and the (probably stereo) output from skype.
    6. Hit record in Audacity and make your skype call. You can test this with the Skype test number.

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  16. SK

    berselius:
    Rice Cube,

    It’s all about figuring out how to route the sound, in both Skype and Audacity. I can tell you what I did my mac laptop but I think it’s similar for Windows if you have it.

    1. Install Soundflower, which is some kind of background sound software. Maybe there’s better stuff out there now, but it’s what I have. It makes an extra ‘device’ that you can route your audio through.
    2. Create a multi-output device that sends audio to soundflower AND your headphones. That way you can listen like normal but the raw audio data is now running through soundflower. (there’s some utility in the mac utilities folder that does this. Or maybe in the sound management thing in the control panel, I can’t remember).
    3. Create a multi-input device that includes your microphone and soundflower – this way it is reading both what you say and what Skype is outputting.
    4. In Skype, go to the audio/video in preferences. Set your microphone as the input, and the multi-output device as the output.
    5. In Audacity, set the multi-input device as the input. Make sure you select enough channels that it gets both your mic and the (probably stereo) output from skype.
    6. Hit record in Audacity and make your skype call. You can test this with the Skype test number.

    Back when America was great we just turned on our transistor radio to hear Brickhouse call the game. We didn’t need any Mortimer Snerds from the grandstands giving their amateur opinions.

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  17. dmick89

    SK,

    I don’t know. I’d suggest tasting the spray and some good olive oil. If it’s similar enough for you, go for it. I’m guessing the olive oil spray sucks, but I don’t know for sure. I’ve never considered it. I’d just use olive oil instead.

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  18. Author
    berselius

    dmick89,

    I did this last night when making some peanut sauce, it worked great. Our inlaws bought us some spray bottles a while back to put olive oil in, since they’re Pam users from way back. It doesn’t distribute as well as the aerosol sprayers, but you don’t get that extra aftertaste.

    I only thing I’d use a cooking spray for is baking – not for the pan itself but it’s very useful for spraying the top of your loaf to keep it from sticking to things as it expands, either in the pan or while it rises under something

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  19. Author
    berselius

    dmick89:
    At this rate, The 25 will be completed by the time next season starts.

    I’m staying on brand by taking four days to edit and post a 17 minute podcast.

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  20. BVS

    EnricoPallazzo,

    I listened to the road sign one since you guys mentioned it and I was caught up on my other 4 podcasts. Funny. Wrong Way cracked me up.

    Fwiw, I’d draft the rectangular signs with diagonal stripes that are supposed to slope down and in on narrow bridges and other narrow spots in the road. Mostly because when I lived in PR they were frequently installed with the diagonals sloping to the ditch instead. That would suggest you should edge the car to the right, and into the ditch or bridge abutment, though I never saw anyone do that.

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