By the Numbers….Derrek Lee

The third and final installment of the CCO’s look at the ‘Big Three‘ is focused on the Cubs’ Gold Glove first baseman, Derrek Lee. Lee had a good season but did not put up the numbers expected from the third spot in the lineup. Lee struggled during the year hitting for power….and for most of the season, elevating and driving the ball. Lee’s production dropped after the All-Star break (26 doubles and 15 home runs in the first half, 15 doubles and 5 home runs after the break) and many questioned if Lee was tired or suffering from an undisclosed injury.

For the second year in a row Lee’s slugging percentage, doubles, home runs and OPS dropped. Lee hit 41 doubles in 2008 down from 43 in 2007 with 20 home runs, down two from his 2007 total of 22….all in 5 more games and nearly 60 more at bats. Lee also developed the bad habit of grounding into double plays and ended up with 27 for the season.

The rumors began a few short days after the Cubs made it back from the West Coast that Lee could waive his no-trade clause and approve a deal to one of the teams in California this winter. While Lou Piniella should move Lee out of his familiar spot in the lineup, Lee performed quite well against the top pitchers in the league and in the post-season. Lee brings more than a solid glove to the park each day. He saves his fellow infielders countless errors and is a productive player….

Before taking a look at Derrek Lee’s numbers from 2008, there are several factors that must be considered….

  • The injuries to the Cardinals pitching staff did not provide a consistent closer for comparison throughout the season. The CCO listed Ryan Franklin as the Cardinals’ closer.
  • The Marlins, due to injury and players returning from the DL, shifted their rotation several times throughout the season. Arguments could be made which pitchers were their top three during the season….and the Cubs did not face Ricky Nolasco in either of the two series against Florida.
  • The injury to Yovani Gallardo and the addition of CC Sabathia to the Brewers rotation….as well as the demotion of Eric Gagne and the promotion of Salomon Torres to the closer role for Milwaukee.
  • The injuries to the Braves rotation and bullpen led to the Cubs sweeping the season series against Atlanta.
  • The Nationals did not have a true closer in the last series at Wrigley. Jon Rauch had success against the Cubs early in the year and was traded before the deadline to the Diamondbacks.
  • Injuries decimated the Padres rotation as well and the Cubs did not face Chris Young in 2008. Greg Maddux finished the season as a Dodger but faced the Cubs both times as a Padre….the former Cub is listed as a member of the Padres for this comparison.
  • Alfonso Soriano missed the Cubs entire Interleague schedule last season and the numbers for Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee are what they put up against the Orioles, Blue Jays and Rays’ respectively….the pitchers’ listed are not necessarily the top three of each staff.

National League Central

Cincinnati Reds

  • Edinson Volquez – 1-for-7 with 3 strikeouts
  • Aaron Harang – 2-for-11 with a home run, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts
  • Bronson Arroyo – 2-for-7 with a double, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts
  • Francisco Cordero – 0-for-2 with a walk

Houston Astros

  • Roy Oswalt – 4-for-7 with a double, a home run and a strikeout
  • Wandy Rodriguez – 4-for-6 with a double and a strikeout
  • Brian Moehler – 2-for-9 with a home run and 2 strikeouts
  • Jose Valverde – 0-for-2 with a strikeout

Milwaukee Brewers

  • CC Sabathia – 4-for-12 with a double and a strikeout
  • Ben Sheets – 2-for-9 with a home run, a walk and 4 strikeouts
  • Manny Para – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Eric Gagne – 1-for-1
  • Salomon Torres – 1-for-2 with a double

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Ian Snell – 0-for-7 with a walk and 2 strikeouts
  • Paul Maholm – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Zach Duke – 2-for-15 with 2 walks and a strikeout
  • Matt Capps – 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Kyle Lohse – 4-for-9 with a double and 2 strikeouts
  • Todd Wellemeyer – 2-for-12 with 2 strikeouts
  • Adam Wainwright – 0-for-3 with 2 walks
  • Ryan Franklin – 2-for-5 with a double, a walk and 2 strikeouts

National League East

Atlanta Braves

  • Tim Hudson – 0-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Jair Jurrjens – Cubs did not face Jurrjens in 2008
  • Jorge Campillo – 1-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
  • Tom Glavine – 3-for-5 with a double and a home run
  • Rafael Soriano – Lee did not face Soriano in 2008

Florida Marlins

  • Ricky Nolasco – Cubs did not face Nolasco in 2008
  • Chris Volstad – 2-for-5 with a double, a walk and a strikeout
  • Anibal Sanchez – Lee did not face Sanchez in 2008
  • Kevin Gregg – 1-for-2
  • Matt Lindstrom – 0-for-3 with a strikeout

New York Mets

  • Johan Santana – 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout
  • Oliver Perez – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • John Maine – 1-for-3
  • Billy Wagner – Lee did not face Wagner in 2008 (1-for-2 in career with a home run, a walk and a strikeout)
  • Luis Ayala – 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and 2 strikeouts

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Cole Hamels – 3-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Brett Myers – 5-for-7 with a home run and a strikeout
  • Jamie Moyer – 2-for-5 with a double, a walk and a strikeout
  • Brad Lidge – 0-for-3 with a strikeout

Washington Nationals

  • John Lannan – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Odalis Perez – 2-for-4 with a double and 2 walks
  • Jon Rauch – 0-for-1

National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Brandon Webb – Cubs did not face Webb in 2008 (2-for-5 in career with a walk)
  • Dan Haren – 0-for-3
  • Randy Johnson – 0-for-3
  • Brandon Lyon – Lee did not face Lyon in 2008 (2-for-2 in career)

Colorado Rockies

  • Aaron Cook – 2-for-6
  • Jeff Francis – 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk
  • Ubaldo Jimenez – Lee did not face Jimenez in 2008 (0-for-2 in career with a strikeout)
  • Brian Fuentes – 0-for-1

Los Angeles Dodgers

(Numbers from Regular Season)

  • Derek Lowe – 1-for-6 with a strikeout
  • Chad Billingsley – 1-for-5 with a home run, a walk and a strikeout
  • Hiroki Kuroda – 2-for-6 with 2 strikeouts
  • Jonathan Broxton – 0-for-2
  • Takashi Saito – 0-for-2 with a strikeout

San Diego Padres

  • Jake Peavy – 0-for-3
  • Greg Maddux – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Cha Seung Baek – 1-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Trevor Hoffman – 0-for-1 with a strikeout

San Francisco Giants

  • Tim Lincecum – 4-for-7 with a double and a strikeout
  • Matt Cain – 2-for-5 with a double, a walk and a strikeout
  • Barry Zito – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Brian Wilson – 1-for-2 with a triple

Interleague Play

Chicago White Sox

  • Mark Buehrle – 0-for-2 with a walk and 2 strikeouts
  • John Danks – 0-for-2
  • Javier Vazquez – 4-for-6 with a double and a strikeout
  • Bobby Jenks – 2-for-2 with 2 doubles

Baltimore Orioles

  • Jeremy Guthrie – 1-for-3
  • Radhames Liz – 0-for-3 with a strikeout
  • George Sherrill – Lee did not face Sherrill in 2008

Tampa Bay Rays

  • James Shields – 3-for-3
  • Scott Kazmir – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Andy Sonnanstine – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
  • Troy Percival – Lee did not face Percival in 2008

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Roy Halladay – 2-for-2 with a triple and a walk
  • A.J. Burnett – 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout
  • Jesse Litsch – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • B.J. Ryan – No official at bat – Walked in only plate appearance

Derrek Lee’s 20 home runs in 2008 were hit off the following pitchers:

  • Juan Cruz
  • Doug Davis
  • Edgar Gonzalez
  • Tom Glavine
  • Octavio Dotel
  • Josh Fogg
  • Aaron Harang
  • Jeff Francis
  • Oscar Villarreal
  • Mark Hendrickson
  • Shawn Chacon
  • Brian Moehler
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Chad Billingsley
  • Ben Sheets
  • Jeff Suppan
  • Nelson Figueroa
  • Brett Myers
  • Tom Gorzelanny
  • John Lannan

Derrek Lee’s Batter vs. Pitcher Page from Yahoo Sports

Whether Lee will still be a Cub on March 1st is anyone’s guess at this point. The numbers show that Lee put up a solid season against the top pitchers in the league….and arguably better than both Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano. If Lee is with the team next season, Lou Piniella must find a better spot for him to bat in the lineup.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver