I have uncovered some interesting data. It appears that Yadier Molina only hits well when the Cubs are playing very well. Or the Cubs only play well when Yadi is hitting the cover off the ball. Either way, I don’t know what to think about this, but here’s the disturbing data:
The Cubs and Cardinals have both played exactly 120 games which you can slice into thirds in clean 40-game increments. Through their first 40 games of 2016 the Cubs went 29-11. Through the Cardinals’ first 40 games Yadi hit .315/.395/.413. He was hitting so well I wrote about it at the time.
Over the next 40 games the Cubs cooled off a bit and only went 22-18. In games 41-80, Yadi had an atrocious slash line of .197/.243/.239. That amounted to a wRC+ of 30.
In games 81-120, the Cubs have gone 26-14, including winning 14 of 16. Meanwhile, in games 81-120, Yadi has hit a blistering .371/.426/.571. Huh.
Yesterday, Joe Schwarz wrote about Yadi’s resurgence at plate and did an interesting job breaking it down with fancy tools like launch angles and heatmaps. He also theorized, as many have, if the rest over the All-Star break was simply all Yadi needed to get going. All that stuff is nice but it’s clear all he needs is for the Cubs to run roughshod over the rest of the league. The Cardinals are likely playing for the wild card at this point anyway (13 games back) so I’m fine with the tradeoff.
Keep winning, Cubs (I guess). And keep raking, Yadi.
Here’s what else you may have missed yesterday at VEB:
Injuries and depth
I wrote about the Cardinals’ injury issues and how they finally have the depth to withstand it all.
The Cardinals’ brass believes that Carlos Martinez may be on the verge of greatness and are pushing him in that direction. Lil Scooter explains it here.
Down on the farm
Speaking of Yadier Molina, his potential successor, Carson Kelly, continues to impress in Memphis.
Facebook live, episode 10
VEB site manager Craig Edwards hosted everyone’s questions for nearly an hour on Facebook yesterday. Highlights include the news that Craig might be getting his hair cut, as well as some good information on Alex Reyes.
Have a great weekend, everyone.