Photos of Jose Quintana, who was traded to the Cubs from the White Sox.
Calling newest Cub Jose Quintana “a good No. 2 starter’’ might be seen as a bit of shot at Cubs ace Jon Lester. Because they’ve been the same pitcher over the last three years, according to Fangraphs.com.
In fact, Quintana might be considered a fraction better than the Cubs’ $155 million man.
That might surprise you. It surprised me. But in the wake of the Cubs-White Sox deal Thursday, Fangraphs.com’s Jeff Sullivan presented a graphic that compared both left-handers over the last three years and found that Quintana posted a wins above replacement of 13.9 in 96 starts while Lester’s WAR is 13.4 in one more start. Lester strikes out a greater percentage of hitters, but Quintana allows a smaller percentage of homers. And both throw fastballs averaging 91.8 mph. Same guy.
This comparison, of course, reflects solely the regular season. The playoffs are altogether different. Lester is a postseason stud. He has pitched in and won three World Series with a ridiculous 1.77 ERA and sports a career postseason ERA of just 2.63.
Quintana, meanwhile, has never thrown a postseason pitch.
For the Cubs, that might be the bigger uh-oh than whatever Eloy Jimenez becomes.
“Every season is sacred.’’ Theo Epstein checked that box again.
Forecasting how each player on the Cubs roster will perform after the All-Star break, relative to their first-half performances.
This is too good, too perfect, too Quintana:
He leaves a Sox team that ranks 21st in runs with 397 in 87 games and moves to a Cubs team that, get a load of this, ranks 20th with 399 runs in 88 games.
Do the math, and while it’s only a fraction of a decimal point, Quintana just joined a team that averages fewer runs than the one that forever has hung him out with a lack of support.
A year ago, if you suggested the Sox would build the best minor-league system in baseball, then authorities would’ve seized your bong.
I mean, Gar Forman was saying Pau Gasol would be a big part of the Sox’s future.
But now, after the hauls for Quintana, Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, the Sox boast nine of MLB.com’s top 100 prospects. That seems to be enough to offer insurance against some of them turning out to be busts.
Not trying to be mean, but that’s the greatest probability. Judging the human species is rife with failure.
But that still means the rest of them will be the stuff contenders are made of.
And now, playing the role of Jason Hammel: John Lackey.
If the Cubs don’t trust Kyle Hendricks to come back and stay back from his finger injury, then that makes Lackey important, which means they have to acquire another starter, rental or long-term, for whatever’s left of the farm system or a player off the major-league roster because here’s the rule: If Lackey is important, then playoff chances are minimal.
I loved Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck talking with NL right fielder Bryce Harper while play was going on during the All-Star Game. What I really wanted was someone to hit the ball to Harper while he was conversing with Buck, but alas, no, of course not, because baseball has become a live version of Pong (kids, ask your parents). It tells you how numbingly prevalent baseball’s strikeout-homer-walk mentality has become that an announcer can talk to a player while he’s in the field without fear that there will be action requiring the fielder’s attention.
Email from Steve Walt on Kyle Schwarber: “In case you didn’t notice, he’s the best DH in the National League.’’
Excellent summation of the problem. Now if Schwarber could consistently put the ‘hit’ in “designated hitter.’’
What’s up, Matt Karchner?