2010 projected leaders: Strikeouts

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
1. Tim Lincecum – 246
2. Zack Greinke – 211
2. Justin Verlander – 211
4. Dan Haren – 203
5. Javier Vazquez – 200
6. Tommy Hanson – 198
7. Chad Billingsley – 197
8. Roy Halladay – 195
9. Clayton Kershaw – 194
10. Felix Hernandez – 193
11. Adam Wainwright – 189
12. Jon Lester – 187
13. CC Sabathia – 186
14. A.J. Burnett – 183
15. Josh Beckett – 180
15. Ricky Nolasco – 180
Lincecum is clearly the best bet here, even if Verlander did beat him out 269 to 261 for the major league lead last season. On a K/9 IP basis, I’m dropping Verlander from 10.1 last year to 9.2, which is still far better than his career mark of 8.0.
Vazquez was projected with the second-highest total here as a Brave. However, the league switch knocked him down a bit.
Some pitchers with particularly high strikeout rates not to make the list because of their inning totals include: Rich Harden (149 in 142 2/3 IP), Max Scherzer (170 in 177 1/3 IP), Gio Gonzalez (167 in 171 2/3 IP) and Francisco Liriano (136 in 143 IP).

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”