Maintains being a strong pitcher, tough list discussion ahead

After another strong start from Adrian Sampson – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5H, 0 BB, 1K – it feels like we’re not going to get a very clear turn from him the rest of the way (i.e. fall horribly, or start hitting everyone he encounters) . Something extreme could have spelled out upcoming roster decisions, but persistence was the order of the day instead.

If you’ve been reading this year, you know I’ve been waiting for this clarity on Sampson for months, but it seems to be settling in more and more on what is truly It is now: throwing a strike, managing contact, and avoiding barrel firing with a varied mix of pitch. There is value there as a novice from the back and a rocking guy.

It’s almost the profile that Sampson, 30, has shown in the minor tournaments and in Korea, although he was a better version of him this year at the major tournaments. Thanks to a variety of modifications over the past year. It’s also the profile that leaves a top bowler early in the league vulnerable to an inside blast or two when hits don’t find gloves and two fly balls leave the field, but we haven’t really seen that from him yet.

Over 112.0 Major League Rounds with the Chicago Cubs between last season and this, spread across 26 appearances (19 starts, 7 relief appearances), Sampson scored a 3.46 ERA (16% better than the league average by ERA-), and 4.42 FIP (9 % worse than the league average by FIP-). His strike rate (17.8%) and walk rate (5.8%) scream ‘contact manager’, but his 7.7% strike rate screamsVery well Contact manager. “

If you’re curious, Sampson’s expected WOBA against him in Statcast is higher than the actual WOBA, but not by much (.324 vs. .315). And even if that .324 was the actual wOBA against it, it wouldn’t be much lower than the league average (.310). Die, xwOBA Drew Smiley this year It is .322 and Keegan Thompson is .335. It’s not as if Sampson’s results were completely out of hand with his performance, at least not compared to some of his fellow rotations.

Any way you rate the advanced metrics, you’ll come out with a picture of a guy who’s definitely better-than-performed, but whose core ability may be very close to the league average or a little lower.

When it comes to 40-player roster decisions, it’s very difficult to weed out someone who has shown they can start or loosen up, and can give you results close to the league average. Remember: Even on a good team, the presence of a swing shooter pays off Slightly below average Handy, especially if he has secondary options left, as Sampson will do in 2023.

In other words, when I start to cross the list of 40 men and Difficult Security Decisions In the future, I find it very difficult to say that Sampson is a man who obviously should bounce back. Or maybe bounce. Heck, the closest I can get to thinking, “Hey, maybe there’s a team out there that would rate it a very strong probability and not a Base 5 qualification.” Then again, do the Cubs have so much depth at this level that they’re the team that has to dump a bit of it? They have a lot of depth of tone at the AAA/MLB edge, but, say, that’s a good and desirable thing!

Anyway, I was curious, against all this background, how the Cubs look at the Sampson situation. You won’t be getting a completely clear answer anytime soon, but I thought David Ross’ comments at Cubs.com Kind of a hint to things:

“Adrian has done a really great job of filling the void for us,” Ross said before Thursday’s game. “My favorite thing is that every time he’s had to fill up – last year, this year – it just doesn’t feel like filling. He’s out there, competing at a really high level, and hitting kicks. And I don’t think he’s portraying himself as a catalyst.” .

Sampson’s presence has enabled the Cubs to allow some of their merchandising prospects to focus on development. Caleb Killian got a taste of the Majors in June, but stayed on Triple-A. Younger freshmen like Javier Asaad and Hayden Wisinski were recently promoted to Chicago.

“It gave us a lot of flexibility, constantly pressing for a rotation spot, while not having to call up any of the guys who might not be ready or the guys who might not be good enough for that level,” Ross said. There is every fifth day and the competition is very high and has given us a chance to win consistently.”

It feels like, to me, even the cubs are in that murky space where they feel Adrian Sampson’s date and profile are just a dull guy…but he keeps getting better than that. So I was left unable to make any kind of grand statement (or even hint at it) in either direction. You just have to state the facts: He helped the cubs so much, giving them a head start almost every time.