Cubs

Who should replace Brenly?

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Who should replace Brenly?

As the news broke that Bob Brenly would be leaving the Cubs' TV booth, the next question on everybody's mind was -- who will replace him?

It's a valid question, and considering the popularity of the Cubs across the nation, it figures to be a very desirable job.

We took to twitter to ask our followers who the best fit for Len Kasper's sidekick would be.

We got back a variety of answers, including Jeff Garlin and Bill Murray, two of the funniest Cubs fans in existence. One person even suggest Sammy Sosa.

Some serious suggestions included Rick Sutcliffe, Kerry Wood, Ryne Sandberg, Doug Glanville, Mark Grace, Steve Stone and Dan Plesac.

We can immediately remove Sandberg from that list, as the Hall of Famer has made it very clear he has his targets set on managing at the big-league level. Wood just retired this year and said he wanted to spend time with this family, so it'd be hard to see him go back on that and show up at the ballpark for 162 days next year.

Sutcliffe and Glanville may be the initial front-runners, as both have Cubs ties and have worked in the field before. Glanville is a consultant with ESPN, but may be available for the right price. Grace also has a very strong history with the Cubs, but he parted ways with the Diamondbacks after a DUI arrest this summer, so his status as a color commentator is up in the air right now.

Plesac and Stone also have links to the North Siders, but currently have other positions elsewhere in baseball, Stone as the color guy to Hawk Harrelson on the South Side and Plesac as an MLBNetwork analyst.

Todd Hollandsworth, co-host of Cubs PGL here at CSN, may also be in the mix as his name has been thrown out as well.

Who do you want to see replace Brenly in the booth? Vote in the poll above.

Who Knew? Cubs at the All-Star Break

Who Knew? Cubs at the All-Star Break

With a break in the action, let’s take a look at the season so far.

 

Today, I’ll focus on the first 57.4 percent of the Cubs’ 2018 season. Which is to say, the 93 games before the All-Star Break. Clearly more than “half.”

 

In all seasons with an All-Star Game (1933-present, minus 1945)

 

This is the fifth time the Cubs have had the National League’s best record at the All-Star Break.

 

Here is the entire list (note – 2016 is NOT on this list. They trailed the Giants by 3 games at the Break in 2016):

1937 44-25 +2.0
1969 61-37 +5.0
2001 51-35 +0.5
2008 57-38 +4.5
2018 55-38 +2.5

Which is incredible since:

  • Anthony Rizzo has a wRC+ of 100, which is league average

(he was at 131 – 31% better than league average - through the All-Star break last season)

  • Kris Bryant has missed 23 games and has only 10 home runs
  • The Cubs as a team have 30 fewer Home Runs through 93 games than they did last season

(100 this season, 130 last season)

  • The Cubs have had six pitchers make 8 or more starts this season and only one (Jon Lester – 2.58) has an ERA under 3.90
  • Cubs pitching has an MLBhigh walk percentage of 11.0%

(Tyler Chatwood’s 9 starts with 5 or more walks is most in a season by a Cubs pitcher since Dick Drott’s 13 in 1957)

  • Cubs have outscored their opponents by only one run in the first inning (5251)

This includes being outscored 18-13 in the first inning in Kyle Hendricks’ 19 starts

  • Cubs are 57 against the Reds

(they were 27-11 against Cincinnati in 2016-17)

 

That being said, it’s not so incredible since…

  • The Cubs have scored at least 10 runs 15 times this season. No other team has done it more than 12 times.
  • Jason Heyward has a wRC+ of 109 (he’s 9% better than league average).

This is notable because in 2016 he was at 71 (29% worse than league average) and 88 in 2017 (12% worse than league average).

  • The Cubs have EIGHT qualified players with at least a .340 OnBase pct. (and Ian Happ, who is eight PA short of qualifying, is at .379)

The only qualified Cub with a SUB-.340 OBP is Javier Báez (.326 – a career-high). However…

  • Javier Báez has 50 extrabase hits in 91 games. Last season he had 49 extra-base hits in 145 games.

Báez is the first player in Cubs history with 15 Doubles, 5 Triples, 15 HR and 15 Stolen Bases before the All-Star Break**.

Báez is the first player in MLB history with 18 Doubles, 6 Triples, 18 HR and 18 Stolen Bases before the All-Star Break**.

 

**seasons with an All-Star Game – 1933-present (minus 1945)

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Cubs truly the best NL team at the All-Star break?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Cubs truly the best NL team at the All-Star break?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Hub Arkush, Jordan Bernfield and Fred Mitchell join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel. 

The Cubs have the best record in the National League at the All-Star Break but it doesn’t feel like it. Can they still win the N.L. pennant? And will the Home Run Derby mess up Kyle Schwarber or Javy Baez’s swings?

Plus, Will Perdue drops by to talk about Jabari Parker’s signing. He also shares his surprising prediction for how the Bulls will do next season.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: