Chicago Cubs: Base Running And Fielding Anti-Wizards
My recent piece for ESPN concerned the dismal state of the Chicago Cubs base running and fielding. Along with the article, I sent them something like six graphs. Naturally, the article had only enough space for two. So I figured I'd share the rest here. Please do note that these stats are a week or so old by now.
This first one illustrates the overall lack of speed on the team:
The Cubs have not really been caught all that much — or, rather, their success rate is about league average — but they rarely, if ever, test the catchers. And this is probably best given the team is just kind of slow in general (except for Tony Campana and Darwin Barney and a dash of Starlin Castro).
Despite their being not terribly inefficient with stealing bases, the Cubs roundly suck at everything else running-wise:
UBR looks at basically all non-steal base running, and the Cubs are epicly bad in that category. No NL team compares to their ineptness.
And that problem seems to be coming largely from their third base coach:
With runners on second, the Cubs are malpractice-bad at scoring on singles. Add that together with their utterly broken defense, and they rank better than only the Lance Berkman-in-right-field St. Louis Cardinals:
Fielding and base running has never been a priority in Chicago's northside, so when guys like Darwin Barney (a seemingly above average defender and fast, efficient base runner) and Tony Campana (a speedy defensive maven) come along, it's like suddenly watching the game in fast motion.