What to do with Marlon Byrd?

What to do with Marlon Byrd?

Posted by Bruce on Sun, 10/10/2010 - 16:24
Last year, we took a look at the stats of Cubs players when all was said and done for the 2009 season. Let’s do the same this year, tailoring it to the questions that people had about various players entering 2010. We’ll look at the offense for a few days and then the pitching. Let’s start. Marlon Byrd Question entering 2010: Would his offense suffer leaving the Texas Rangers and their hitter-friendly ballpark for Chicago? Byrd with Texas in 2009 .283/.329/.479 with 20 homers, 89 RBI and an OPS-plus of 106. The ISO was .196, and the BABIP was .308 Byrd with the Cubs in 2010 .293/.346/.429 with 12 homers, 66 RBI and an OPS-plus of 102. The ISO was .136, and the BABIP was .335. The power went down significantly from ’09 to ’10, but the OBP was up. One of the big differences in Byrd’s numbers was that his GB/FB went from 0.99 to 1.71 from last year to this. He hit 40.5 percent groundballs in 2009 compared with 52.2 percent groundballs this year. The flyball rate dropped from 40.7 percent to 30.4 from ’09 to ’10. We’ll take a look at a couple more splits with Byrd. Byrd at home in 2009 .282/.336/.538 with 14 homers and 52 RBI Byrd at home in 2010 .271/.330/.406 with 6 homers and 27 RBI So Byrd hit more homers in Arlington, Texas, last year than he did all of this year with the Cubs. It certainly looks like Byrd was helped by Rangers Ballpark than he was by Wrigley Field. One more set of splits with Byrd is telling. That’s his pre-all-star and post-all-star splits from this year: Pre-all-star .317/.365/.480 for an OPS of .845 Post-all-star .261/.321/.361 for an OPS of .682 Byrd played in 152 games for the Cubs this year, and it sure looked like he was banged up by the end, although he got his back up whenever that subject came up. What to do: Byrd is 33 with two more years left on his contract. A lot of the talk on this blog and elsewhere is that the Cubs ought to try to trade Byrd while his value is high. The Cubs and GM Jim Hendry long have been accused of rarely “selling high” on players when they make trades. One exception I can think of is Mark DeRosa, even though that trade was panned by many Cubs fans at the time. No doubt Byrd brings a nice approach to the game. The Cubs believe center-field prospect Brett Jackson is coming fast. You’re stuck with Alfonso Soriano in left (his contract has four more years to run). The Cubs want Tyler Colvin to play, and as much as first base has been talked about, it appears to me they want him to remain in the outfield. If you don’t move Kosuke Fukudome, he could be a stopgap in center while the Cubs wait for Jackson (even though Fukudome is much better in right). But the idea of trading Byrd has some appeal. We’ll take a look at Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin in the next installment.
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