This is turning out to be WAR-pie weekend. I got a request from a commenter for a Cubs WAR pie, so here it is. Sure enough, Kevin Gregg, with his -0.4 WAR, does not make the pie…


What immediately jumps out at you about this pie is how small it is. The Cubs total team WAR, including negative values, is only 21.6.  Compare that to 33.7 for a good team like the Dodgers, or 41.3 for a great team like the Yankees, and you can see why the Cubs are scuffling this season. They are simply not getting much value out of their roster this year, whether due to injuries to a guy like Aramis Ramirez, or generalized suckage for guys like Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano (whose -0.7 WAR means he doesn’t even make the pie!).

Suprisingly, the Cubs best player so far this season has been Kosuke Fukudome, due to his breakout year at the plate in combination with the fine defense he has played in center field, and shockingly, the team’s third best player has been largely unheralded shortstop Ryan Theriot. The staff ace has been rookie Randy Wells, and the much-maligned Carlos Zambrano, who some people have even called for the Cubs to release, has actually been the team’s sixth most valuable player.

It’s nice to see WAR giving credit to minor-league call-ups like Jake Fox and Sam Fuld, who have been almost as valuable to the team as guys like Bradly and Giovanni Soto, despite vastly more restricted playing time.  Based on the way they’ve played so far, Fox and Fuld should both be playing more.

And now, for comparison with the Phillies post I did yesterday, here is a pie of the relative contributions of Cubs pitchers vs. position players, which as you can see is much more balanced:


4 Responses to “Cubs WAR pie”

  1. That about sums it up, Fukudome, Lee and Theriot along with the starting pitching is all that has shown up for the Cubs this season. Soto, Soriano, Fontenot and Bradley were all projected to be much better than they have been this year.

    Bradley has actually started to rebound in the 2nd half and regress towards his career norms but Soriano has not. He hurt his knee in mid-May and hasn’t been good ever since. The injury to Aramis Ramirez, arguably the team’s best hitter, has had significant impact when you combine it with so many guys under-performing. Geovany Soto came into the season out of shape and has spent time out injured. He’s not done much when he has played but some of it may be bad luck with a .249 BABIP.

    The bullpen has been a weakness at times but the offense has been the biggest problem. Fox and Fuld have both made contributions but their weaknesses would also likely be exposed with more playing time. Fox is an Adam Dunn level performer defensively and Fuld is a 4th/5th outfielder.

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    Yeah, I agree that Fox and Fuld are not equal to Soriano and Bradley, talent-wise. But given how Bradley and Soriano have played so far, and how Fox and Fuld have played so far, and how desperate the Cubs are for offense these days, I would try to find as many excuses as possible to get Fox and Fuld into the lineup, at least for now.

  3. Thanks for the Cubs pie. I am a lot more surprised by the dominance of Fukudome and Theriot than I am by the apperance of Fuld and Fox, both of which have been actually enjoyable to watch this year. I was also surprised by how low D Lee’s value was, but thats just me ignoring his first half for his recent hot streak.

    Although Soriano has natural talent, he is such a head case that in a perfect world he would get put on waivers, and more unlikely that someone would pick him and his huge contract up. I am still willing to give Bradley time to get himself back together.

  4. white sox suck go cubs

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