Graphing the recent decade-leading pitchers

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My friend Ethan Stock — the same one who suggested that I make that list of pitchers who lead a given decade in wins — made a graph for us.  His comment in the email accompanying the graph is Quote of the Day material:

“Saying Jack Morris is a Hall of Fame pitcher because he occupied the top spot for six years is like saying that Nixon was a good President for the same reason.  He was clearly lesser than those who went before and came after.”

Word.  And now, the graph:

No, I don’t think this reveals any secrets of the cosmos. Wins went down just before Morris took over the decades win lead because pitcher use changed. And of course, wins are a fairly meaningless way to gauge a pitcher’s effectiveness in the first place. Like I said in the comments to the last post, this is all for fun.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.