Friday Update (June 4, 2010)
Currently the Cubs are 24-29 and people are calling for the whole team to be flushed down the toilet. The peripherals suggest they should be more like 28-25. Here is how it breaks down:
The Cubs' Pythagorean Record is 25-28, one game better than their actual record. The Cubs' record in one run games is 8-12. They are the only team in the NL Central with a record below .500 in one run games. Yes that includes the Brewers.
The Cubs have underscored their linear weights by about 13 runs. They have a league average level offense that is currently 13th in actual runs scored. They should be closer to 8th. That is worth 2 wins.
Their current team ERA is 4.11 which is 10th in the NL. Their xFIP is 3.99, 3rd in the NL. The difference is small but it appears that most teams have an actual ERA much lower than their xFIP while the Cubs are one of the few teams where the opposite is true. I'm going to believe that the Cubs defense has been this bad and only give them 1 win for this.
This makes the Cubs a 28-25 team. If they had that record, I think the mood around here would be more hopeful.
I believe 2 things about this team. I believe they are better than they've shown and will go on a nice run at some point. I also believe they aren't a playoff team. I think given that they aren't a playoff team, losing like they have has an upside. It may force them to do things that losing teams need to do to improve their performance in the future while at the same time, the Cubs have a base in place to turn their team around in a year or two.
The poor season this year will mean the end of the Hendry/Piniella regime. If rumours are to be believed, it could also mean the trades of both Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee, and the move towards building the new Cubs. On top of this, the Cubs will have a better draft pick in the 2011 draft and the commencement of the future will begin.
I do not think we are there yet and I would be surprised if Lee was traded but although the Cubs are clearly underperformaning where they should be this year, I'd still like to see a mini fire sale occur.