Cubs Talk Podcast - NL awards predictions and round table discussion

The Cubs remain in first place in the division and are almost a lock to make the playoffs, but will players like Yu Darvish be recognized for their individual efforts this season? Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by award voters Jesse Rogers of ESPN 1000, David O'Brien of the Athletic, and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register as they have a roundtable discussion about who wins the Cy Young, MVP, and other awards in the NL. (1:25) - Will Yu Darvish win the NL

  • Play Speed:
Content Keywords: David O'Brien MVP T one
00:00:05
Welcome to another edition of my Cubs Talk podcast on NBC Sports Chicago. Check out a brand new NBC Sports Chicago. Com website Nation. Why was Gordon wittenmyer today? ESPN. David O'Brien from the athletic in Atlanta Braves beat writer and Bill Plunkett from the Southern California news group. He will also be going for a. Lam dep David has MVP and Rookie of the Year. Jesse has MVP has died young and I profess to be an expert on all of it. Let's play two.

00:01:01
worm game

00:01:22
first of all, I'd help date because we have a guy who I think will win Cy Young and he just keeps the ring on the road and Yu Darvish Max free though is right there with him. And is David as you look at this Backstreet just went on the injured list. Yeah. He's not with him anymore Max and actually not stumbled but had a couple of for him meet your car starts and ends last two. I thought he had slipped behind shoe after the last two and then today he goes on the IL with a back spasm lumbar. They called it back spasm muscle spasm of the lumbar spine and other words for 10 days. I think you'll be back in 10 days 11 days at the most but in such a short season that effectively eliminate the house. I know it's Preposterous that eliminates in from the side pretty much and unless

00:02:16
What's a month in a normal season of the season? So you would have to fall on his face at this point the Weather Channel jansen's having a hell of a year for a closer. But I generally I don't give it to a closer and less none of the starters as an exceptional year. So that's just how I look at it Jesse Clayton Kershaw. He's at one connection is really look terrific numbers are really piling up and say where are you on you Darvish right now? It is funny Deva and both days. I actually had freed really neck-and-neck not just saying that because if you can go a whole

00:03:04
60 games or a hundred and not give up a homerun. You're in the right and he is still yet to give up a home run now, I agree with Dave O'Brien his last start three earned. It looks good, baby was turning a little bit there with the injury, but I thought if he continued with a near 102 and no home runs given up P&R. We should be neck-and-neck having said that you Darvish has been you know, all the numbers in in fact is batting average on balls in play is 289 numbers in and have a bath in a little higher. I mean, it's in the W darvish's award to lose right now with with free doubt. I don't think Kershaw I can get there on the ground would be the one to ground would be the one in my mind.

00:03:56
For the Grammys three and one which in the in the past few years that he ended up the year with about Tim went. So for him, he's going to he's got a great day sweetheart behind some of the other metrics exactly and he's also got if it's all things are equal, you know, they're going to vote for him after the last two clearly better stats David and Bill don't get to see you all the time like we do now this guy went from people calling in the biggest bust signing of the team to now they stole him at a hundred and twenty six million dollar man. It's amazing how perspective changes. Let me let me give you a little perspective on that. First of all Jesse did a nice story on it turn around go back and check out your SC story on ESPN.

00:04:56
But I covered the Mariners in the 90s with the Randy Johnson. I covered the twins in the 2000s with the Yohan Santana when he was when it says Young Award and of course Jake Arrieta few years ago. This reminds me of those three guys when I was covering them the same feeling like no other pictures are covered. And those are the four guys that when they took them out when they were on a run like this. You just knew what do they won or lost? They were only going to give up a run on a bad day. And and I know you were going to see a lot of walks and you were going to just see strikeouts in a dominating performance and those guys and I'll say this bill you and you and Jesse can speak to this probably better than I can I expect him to get MVP votes that that's how good is going. Well, that's what I thought as well because he's the only started the Braves have had after Soroka got her at the old literally the only started a guy that could be count.

00:05:55
How to get five or six Innings and he was completely carrying until last week believe it or not. He was the only started it had a win on the Braves team in the first month of the season schedule you figure 1210 starts to say he had that kind of an impact on the whole season and that that's going to that would be a tough a tough to convince for me and I and I voted for pictures before I can order for Verlander when he won the MVP Kershaw when he won not afraid of that but it this year being such a strange year. I'm not not sure how high up the board is going to get. I wonder build out if you can twist it and go the other way on it that middle letter in MVP the value and this is where when I go to vote I'm looking at bow.

00:06:55
Call you to a team more than ever in a 16-game season. It's why I might go for a picture and it's also why I may not vote for one.

00:07:04
Or Michael conforto some guys having good years on bad scenes in the past. I would have I liked when Andre Dawson won the MVP on a last-place team for the Cubs, but this 16-game season IV value with c

00:07:18
So I'm really looking at the teams that are winning and the best players on those teams. And of course the team I cover and half is right there at the top of the list for me that makes me think of to all the I've noticed already the most difficult part of about voting this year is going to be the regional schedule. We're so locked into our Region's is being a light. I can tell you about the teasing and Mookie Betts and Corey Seager and Manny Machado, but I don't I have not seen Juan Soto or Dom Smith going to get a lot of these guys as much as I would in a normal year and the thing with pitching that back in the Verlander year of the thing that convinced me to vote for pictures is we all know that there's a trickle-down effect on the rotation in the bullpen when you've got a dominant starter.

00:08:14
But the other part of it was the number of batters faced for a good starting pitcher is usually at roughly about the same as the number of plate appearances that a position player will have over the course of the season. So yeah, they only pitch every 5th day, but they are out there and having you know that kind of an impact, you know, what was in that pitch hitter confrontation. So I'm not afraid to vote for pictures. I'm just not convinced yet this year. I think it's a great Point Bill about Regional stuff because even in a normal year Gordon, I might see tatis what six games and that's not a full picture of the player. It does give us an idea. Then we can go to the stats and dig deeper. So I agree with you that the regional stuff hurts. Even if it is only a handful games. We normally see these guys it gives us a picture.

00:09:14
What it is that we can go back in and draw from when we go to vote. I remember when we had the rare when we had the rare. Look at Mike Trout years ago for the first time and I remember thinking there's a guy we all know is the greatest player in the game and he plays out on the west coast. So we don't always see his games live and we're doing our own games anyway and here up-close-and-personal it was like you really get the impact this guy speed and his power in the whole combination of the skill set in in a way you don't if you just know his stats or see the highlights and in so I'm With You Jesse and that's a very powerful valid question. You guys are all members of the baseball writers association of America. You do a great job you cover your team hears me a talk show host cool. I watch everything every night. My wife will tell you I got five TVs in the basement. I Got 5 baseball games. You don't get a vote. So save it.

00:10:14
Think in today's times we will ever get to the point where someone who's I've done twenty-five years of pre-and-post. I've Been Around the game. I watch everybody play American League National will we ever get to the point where someone like me would get about or no tip ESPN has the ESPYs Jesse gets that if he wants go make it to your CAC Awards. And the thing is I don't want to music Lashae that it's a slippery slope. But if it if you start to do pre and post-game then do you get gas are employed by teams? You can't have them voting for awards guys are on the payroll, but I'm not employed so many broadcasters around the league now are and not only employed by the teams with the outlet is owned by the team.

00:11:14
Mlb.com guys, come on. Yeah, good luck. Next time. I think this year. We've actually just been so much attention paid to the Padres cuz of all the movies they made and how exciting tattoos is. This is one time where I think most everybody in the country is fully aware of. Bass and how good he is even though he's not playing here on the East Coast this year even in the middle of the country as much as I've seen of anybody being a fan of die-hard knows that Ian Happ League Baseball. No PS Ian Happ an exact even though he's not the most well-known Cog. Delete. He's got a better Opie s in than Tutti Santi chat some other number.

00:12:14
Whatever, but I agree with your most most people are probably in the Beaufort. T's for a bunch of different reason starting with name recognition. Even though he's a young player play. Everybody knows it's true that Cubs have everybody sees the Cubs play normally but not this year when I started digging into the ballad about a week ago. I was very surprised by halves number Tom Smith with somebody I had to end been on my radar and it is having a terrific gear Marcell Ozuna. I knew you was having a good year with a plan that didn't know how good a stolen bases and 39 RBI stats. He's really really yeah and she'll and that's the thing that plays a premier position, but he doesn't play great plays it adequately and that's what it's costing him in the war rankings for whatever that's worth. You know. I know some guys like to to to go there and just kind of do their Bell

00:13:14
Great pie war but that's the only thing holding him back from looking maybe even more Elite than his offensive numbers would suggest the Mookie Betts gets this monster contract here in Chicago one year control left on Kris Bryant Javy Baez Anthony Rizzo, Kyle schwarber, two more years. I willson Contreras. Do you think that we are going to see guys be able to get 250 300 million dollars a Javy Baez or a Kris Bryant whoever these guys are or do you think the pandemic and the quote on quote biblical losses Tom Ricketts called them will affect contracts going forward and mookie was a one-off then getting the money from Joe Ricketts. It's definitely going to affect them for a while.

00:14:06
I think it's going to especially affect the non-elite guys. I think the elite guys are still going to be a market for him. Yeah, but everybody else is going to have to tighten the Bell Bell's exactly, right? And here's the thing the guys you mentioned cap. I hope you're not listening. I'm not sure of the event there the elite of the elite and not just based on this 60 Game season, there were flaws and some of these guys games even bias. Brian's been injured these last four years, but that's that's a knock even though it's not his fault. They're not Mookie Betts. They're not Mike Trout the star player.

00:14:43
Yeah, they're not they're not the guys in Atlanta either. T's would get it if he's a free agent coming out now, but not the your boys were that they had to sign those lowball dealers de Acuna and Albie's Acuna amazing. Is that a hundred million for the next like decade amazing unbelievable ceiling for the next year or so?

00:15:10
Yeah, I mean he might be hoping that some other guys don't get you don't look so bad, you know six years from now when guys are making I was thinking this going to be 10 guys making 40 million six years from now. He's going to make it 17 million. That's the ceiling of his contract 17. Anyway, Captain the high-end guys were going to make their ears and then the guys below we're going to get hurt if it's going to definitely go in that direction. I mean, look how willing to do on Harper had to wait to get there and that was before the pandemic Lukie didn't come out and admit it but I definitely think it was a factor for him and not waiting until the winter and seeing what's out there when the doctors came across with 65 million that's turned his head and you didn't have to worry about the know what the market was going to be like next Wednesday to a guy like you stole indoor who great white

00:16:10
Great person amazing Defender. He could be a face of your franchise. Does he get three hundred million dollars? I don't I don't think so. I think I think there is there are teams out there that will still do it the end of the big money teams the New York Yankees the Dodgers and maybe a couple others, but it and he's not a free agent this winter you can wait and see what the what the ramifications are weather fans are back in the stadiums next year or not. Another year. Did you let me throw one more question you guys on the economics of this that the Rockies tried to move Nolan Arenado and it he's got the the biggest extension at least in the league going and how do you how do you even begin to think about moving him? If you were to try again in the winter you can if you will go bald unless you put a bunch of cash in the deal.

00:17:10
Hey, I was pushing your buttons on that crap. I put a quarter in you on that one. I know.

00:17:15
February 4th, very close screwed a problem with Arenado about how good is he going to be away from Colorado? I mean his career splits aren't as ugly as as some guys that have played there, but you still have to make it I still believe that piece to the side.

00:17:43
I'm going by the latest odds in Vegas that this is only two to one mic is strumsky 421 mookie 41 and then there's a huge drop off the Harper Ian Happ trade Turner Juan Soto Marcell Ozuna. So who was off the board? Who's the next choice?

00:18:11
Mookie Betts

00:18:13
And the reason I like you in happens just going off of LPS. The next Cub on if it is on that list ranks 40th in Oak vs. Khan schwarber's 40th. Steven has Wil Myers at like 17th or something. So I put them up there further than I normally would going back to that letter value value to your team and have got moved Elite off a spot that killed the Cubs and he's excelled there as well. I am boy. He's moving out a week ago. I was right behind but he's getting close to surprise me and is even better than advertised in a say that grudgingly. I expected there to be kind of a drop-off. I thought maybe Fenway had the inflated his numbers a little

00:19:13
But he is he is a five tool player with all five tools being Elite at best base runner. I've seen in in years just I don't think he's made a bad decision on the field yet really good Fielder better power than you would expect from a 59510 guy and India, you know, he had the pressures of the numbers the big trade and the big contract and it hasn't seemed to affect him a bit that he's he's been better than advertised. I'm going to go with the guys that play better defense. I mean, they're not just offense and you know average or below-average defensive player. And I mean, you got mookie you got to know, you know who he's been hitting. Well as DH custom raise got lucky because they were going to have to claim in left field every day. If the DHHR not come along when they signed and it was to be the everyday left fielder and he is not good defensively at all. We saw that and see

00:20:13
Amazingly and he's below but to give the guy we have mentioned is citrate Turner who just shills the brakes and me chills, but look at his number straight Jenner's right now. He's having a hell of a year man. He's got ya Jesus / 362 with LPS over a thousand 2626 going to be talked about Juan Soto being about a three three-time MVP because right now is only second all-time in a single season 2 Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds who have the top seven or eight with Lou Gehrig and then would come so dumb right now at 7:50, but it's it's limit amount of games is on a losing team.

00:21:13
One of my top three or four photo might be the best player in baseball in about 2 years so far any pipe be right up there with the cheese at the other one qualifies directions to clear favorite at 2 to 1 Mac screen. We just said went on the injured list today was 421 Trevor Bauer 521 Jacob degrom 61 and Sonny Gray 71, then you got to drop all the way down to 16214 Clayton Kershaw. So is this darvish's award then to lose if he just continues to be he's going to win it.

00:22:03
I've never seen a year where the shy young could literally pivot on one start like it as it is out of the race. Look at Bower he was in control of it and then he gave up for 5 runs in one game Booby drops down about fifth or sixth. It's like having three bad starts at 1 and yeah, will you have only 12 starts make you can't afford to have one at least you can't afford to have two bad ones and some when deciding which year and there's only four left now, so they're even bigger. I think the Grom had a bad one at the at the beginning and then he's with his numbers down as soon as our Bishop Meyer said to me better be locked in on tomorrow night's game Wednesday game to Cubs Reds Bauer Darvish at Wrigley.

00:23:00
I tell you I had to try young boat last year and I spent more time trying to parse the difference between degrom and hunjan Rue than I ever had about part of it was because there was someone in a doctor's uniformed Personnel whose name I won't mention but he was he was working me hard once he and his thing was that degrom had fattened his numbers against the Marlins while Rue had to go to pitch at Coors Field twice. And so I ended up breaking it down with their numbers against teams over 500 and Below 500 and it turned out to be very little difference when you put it all together. And if so any info for people out there who think we don't take this thing. Seriously, I put in a lot of time last year on that one.

00:23:58
What's my next question for all of you for fans that are out there? They go out of these guys. Just take a balance checking name off. How serious do you want the public to know Jesse Gordon David bill that you guys take your balance absolute.

00:24:17
But if it's a NH with all the stats that are available, I think everybody I know kind of lines them up and put them on a screen and and and I mean spores over on first what's up can hours, you know, whether you start maybe a week before you actually vote really counts in the numbers, but I don't know anybody that takes just cavalierly and just to let you know without without really going over and study in the numbers and everybody looks to warn everybody looks at sabermetrics milk. I don't know of anybody who doesn't look at all that stuff that just looks at the real basic stuff. Anybody that knows me knows I hate that stuff that that modern that's the one place I use it a lot. I bring it in bring it in with everything else including obviously the eye testing and how good the team is and things like that by the way, and I'll let you go next. Just I was just going to point out what a lot of people may not know is that mvp ballot goes 10 Deep End and everybody. I know it's ever voted on it takes that ten-spot very

00:25:17
Seriously to Prince much as the one spot these days the other words for 3 voting so weak we do but have time to do it. I have an MVP vote for the first time in for 5 years. I started my work last week. I'm usually not a baseball nerd but I've been watching video. I want to watch I've been watching Texas highlights specifically for MVP vote. We we do at during voting time because you want to just want to get it right. I tell you what my what my process is and has been for gosh. I've had some kind of vote for 20 years or more. I don't know about you guys, but it's been at least 20 for me.

00:26:17
And I will get an email from Jack O'Connell early in September telling you what committee you've been put on MVP Cy Young whatever and what I do is immediately kind of go through the the surface things and throw together a list in this case of about 15 guys and my first impressions and I will spend the next the rest of September Jackie and guys around looking deeper into certain things listening to things, you know, reading things and that original list of 15 will get changed. I don't even know how many times before I finally put a ballot together and mail it in.

00:26:59
And always asking to get I don't get to vote. It's your guys isn't as you at your the people died when you were saying all of Fame, you're all Hall of Fame voters when you vote for the Hall of Fame. How much does the personality the media Savvy or the jerkiness of a player get into a borderline guy who might be a Hall of Famer might not like it's a slam dunk that the lake Tom Seaver was going to the Hall of Fame but when a guy is not real good with the meteors a great ass hole. Does it affect boat it only on my case only if it affects the clubhouse. All I have to do is answer. The question is really simple. I voted for Kurt freaking Shillings. I hate everything he stands for

00:27:59
And I voted for him exactly the same way. I don't have to wait a few more years, but I thought about this and what I like about the Hall of Fame voting is River literally is no criteria Joanne and the fact that we have so many voters that's not true. That's not true. There. There's a like a list of five things. They ask you to consider and one of them is character, but you can use that to you. However, you want to use yet. Oh my point is there so many voters that I think you can use your personal opinions and bias and that's okay because at the end of the day the right people will get it. That's the way I look at it. But I like the fact that they leave a sort of wide-open to your interpretation.

00:28:59
And when I gave him a hard time about getting on a jury duty and he's his thing was the jury's have a collective wisdom and I was I will hope that the bbwaa when it comes to things like this has a collected wisdom that that carries over and answer your question. I get to Oakland more collection Collective wisdom than than biosci. I give zero weight to any kind of personality issues that I may have heard about her had with a player. That's me that's not part of the process. I'm not part of the story. I'm not part of that guy's career, right? I shouldn't factor into it. That's the way I look at the year not all of you are voting on it. I believe David is the only one of the group that will vote for rookie of the year. The latest odds have Jake cronenworth are the Padres a prohibitive.

00:29:59
Favorite to win it to win a hundred where no one else is in the negatives Dustin. May David Peterson Mauricio. Dubon, Alex Bowman to Philly goes to the guys that their way up the trash. What's Corners odds?

00:30:16
Nico hoerner is off the board.

00:30:23
Yeah, it's pretty clear cut right now. Statistically. You have a tough time making a case for anybody but dude from Padres. How do you not pronounce this name from work crew cronenworth to look him up to vote for player of the month or rookie of the month. I have had to look up his spelling. You're betting $120 on the national league rookie of the year award. You got bigger problems and how to pronounce cronenworth. What's the weather but is there somebody that jumps out to you? I've heard some people are praising the job David Ross has done many are praising the job in San Diego. There's a bunch of different ways. You can credibly hard here. I mean, how can you not give some credit to Mike shildt in Don Mattingly for navigating The Cove in situation. Both teams will be in the playoffs Ross and in Tingler for sure.

00:31:23
I get some extra point who knows how to write these things, but I think it's difficult is my point. I think you can eliminate Tingler cuz of his take on the 30 pitch probably be play Mattingly is got to get some some extra love for what he's been through with that team. And I mean, they came out of their whatever it was we was out playing and we're one of the hottest teams in baseball for a while. Some of the credit has to go to him there. But if you're right, it's usually it's usually a manager whose team does better than you expect it. Whether your expectations were right or not. It it's it's somebody who does better than they expected maybe David this year has the whole new variable into it that you have to consider in this covid-19. You have to have that likes to go to Vegas did the Marlins get in.

00:32:23
Or at least one round because in a basket 3 they have starting pitching now. It's not experience in October, but they have Young starting pitching lineup not careful, please. I mean that they get all healthy at the same time and they're playing well in October. They could win a couple rounds going to mess up their record that I've never been to the postseason when they did not win the World Series on part of it and never finished first either World Series, who would it be Padres?

00:33:13
Padres Padres got Clevenger, I love the Braves but they're done before free got hurt as well as an address.

00:33:28
Ron agreement first round series or any series with the Clevenger Paddock and Garrett Richards, you know an ace a future age in a former race. That's a pretty good threesome to throw out there in a short series the Dodgers in that the semi-final basically they're not afraid of them. And I think that's that's something the Dodgers might be losing a little sleep over and you look at the Cubs other than Darvish and Hendricks and got nothing behind them back. That's the only chance they have and I put them opposite the Dodgers and the Padres.

00:34:21
Correct Because by the time you might get one of them you might have but one who knocked out the others that's for the Padres Bill 2:40 or 8 + 9 * my bump Richards mentioned it a few times the cap on the radio the extra round of playoffs the potential for blastoff days. You'd better have at least three stars. If not for and that's why Clevenger was such a Difference Maker in the trade them for two games could win and be down to low in the next series before they even take the next breath because because they don't have anything after Darvish and Hendrix

00:35:21
I'll do amazing working for really really thrilled. You were agreed to be on the podcast. Thank you to Bill Plunkett Gordon wittenmyer Jessie Rogers David O'Brien. I'm David Kaplan. You guys have a great rest of the season. Please stay safe. Please. Stay healthy and we will talk to you next time the Cubs Talk podcast Rocky by wintrust.com website. We will see it.
Translate the current page