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: