Cubs

The 2015 NL Cy Young race: Two pitchers are going to get screwed

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The 2015 NL Cy Young race: Two pitchers are going to get screwed

Clayton Kershaw is the 2015 NL Cy Young.

Zack Greinke is the 2015 NL Cy Young.

Jake Arrieta is the 2015 NL Cy Young.

All of those statements are true. You could also make a case that Arrieta is the National League Most Valuable Player (Bryce Harper is clearly the MVP, but he's not on a playoff team and that matters to some people).

[RELATED - Forget Cy Young, Joe Maddon thinks Jake Arrieta could be NL MVP]

Two of those pitchers are going to get screwed. There's just no other way around it. Major League Baseball is not going to cut the trophy in thirds and give each of those guys their fair share.

It's a shame. All three pitchers are having absolutely wonderful seasons. Unbelievable seasons. These are three of the best seasons compiled by a pitcher in baseball history.

And yet two of the pitchers are going to be left off the award, their names kept out of the record book.

It seems there are quite a few people who are looking just at the ERA and thinking it's a two-man race between Arrieta (1.82 ERA) and Greinke (1.68 ERA). But Kershaw is pitching out of this world, too.

Kershaw tossed a one-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night, striking out 13 and walking just a single batter. He improved to 16-7 on the season with a 2.16 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.

The 27-year-old southpaw has won two NL Cy Youngs in a row and three of the last four (he finished second in 2012). He also is the reigning NL MVP and has claimed the league's ERA and WHIP title in four straight seasons.

Yet Kershaw has actually gotten better this season. He has 294 strikeouts (46 more than his next-best season in 2011) and 11.6 K/9 (his next closest was 10.8 K/9 last season).

FanGraphs also rates this as Kershaw's most valuable season, pegging him for 8.4 WAR, better than the 7.7 mark he put up in 198.1 innings last season.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs postseason gear right here]

Advanced stats also show Kershaw may be the best of the trio this season, judging by FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and xFIP (Expected Fielder Independent Pitching) which essentially boils down to just pitching, taking real-life fielding and luck out of the equation as much as possible.

Kershaw: 2.16 ERA, 2.04 FIP, 2.14 xFIP
Arrieta: 1.82 ERA, 2.40 FIP, 2.66 xFIP
Greinke: 1.68 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 3.25 xFIP

The peripherals show Greinke has been more than a little lucky, while Kershaw has actually been a bit unlucky. It's not often a a pitcher of his caliber has a FIP and xFIP below his ERA.

At the end of the day, only one of these guys will walk away with hardware while the other two are left out in the cold.

And that just plain sucks.

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:

 

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.