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Anthony Rizzo is recovering from a knee bruise (which the Cubs have said is not serious), so he didn’t play yesterday, but he currently sports an otherworldly .367/.426/.747 line in his 60 AAA games this year. That, sitting on top of his .331/.404/.652 line last year, and his young age – 22 – gives fans a reason to be excited about the future bat he might become with the big team in the near future.

And Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein says that the “near future” is coming soon.

“We do like our players if at all possible to get a full season of at-bats at the Triple-A level,” Epstein said Wednesday on ‘The Waddle & Silvy Show.’ “And by full season I really mean 162 games because that’s what they are going to face at the big-league level where the season is six months long instead of five months in the minor leagues. He’s getting there. He’s getting real close to having that full season under his belt.

“People might look at the numbers and think this guy is a natural great hitter,” Epstein added. “He’s got a little bit of a higher maintenance load in his swing where he tinkers with his hands sometimes. He’s done a really nice job of finding a comfortable hand position and found some rhythm to his load that he’s able to repeat on a consistent basis.

“His mental approach is outstanding as well, kind of taking a day-to-day routine with him to the ballpark which is something he’ll need when he gets up to the big leagues because slumps, especially for young players, are inevitable at the big-league level. I’m proud of all the progress he’s made, and he’s getting real close to being ready.”

We’ve all assumed that, if Rizzo is healthy, he was going to be up around the end of June or the beginning of July. Just long enough to ensure that the Cubs will have one more year of control before he reaches free agency six years down the road.

But not everyone is convinced that, when Rizzo finally does come, he’ll be able to keep hitting so well (to be fair, no one expects him to put up an 1.100+ OPS in the bigs).

A rival scout who’s seen Rizzo play a number of times this year says that his gaudy numbers are something of a mirage.

“I’m not totally convinced yet,” the scout told Danny Knobler. “He feasts on bad pitching. He might just be an average [hitting] first baseman …. He really does a good job of hitting the weaker pitching.”

It won’t be long before we see for ourselves, but it is indeed possible that Rizzo will struggle at first when he gets his second bite at the bigs. Whether he’ll be an above average bat or merely an average hitting first baseman remains to be seen.

  • Mysterious4th

    I think the scout is from boston and a little pissed they traded him from boston and well everybody in boston seems to be bitter with anything cub related!

  • Jp

    I’m not the professional scout but im not buying that business. Come on I realize there is some weak pitching in the PCL and his stats are inflated a bit but this scout just seems to be trolling for an argument…

    • hansman1982

      Agree, if his stats are merely a product of poor pitching then what does that say about everyone in the PCL (and especially the Cubs) who doesn’t have an OPS above 1.000?

      Sure sounds like sour grapes to me. I am sure his swing and mechanics aren’t perfect but it takes talent to OPS over 1.000 regardless if its beer league softball or MLB. Except kickball. Even there Tony Campana would have a 2.000 OPS.

      • JulioZuleta

        Hahaha. Except kickball. Nice

      • cubs1967

        considering he hit .151 in the majors last year in well over 100 AB; not that the scout is correct, but till he hits in the majors at .285 or higher; there is a question of his talent at the MLB level. that being said’ team theo needs to stop the BS of rizzo being “ready”; everyone knows that means he’ll be up here when he cannot accrue service time; it has nothing to do about being “ready”.

  • SirCub

    Um… what’s he supposed to do? Not feast on bad pitching?

    • Hebner The Gravedigger

      Exactly. A good hitter should crush bad pitching.

    • Leo L

      well a good hitter will fight of good pitches. i never been a fan of soriano because he crushes bad pitches but if you can locate that low and away pitch you can get soriano to strike out. Pitchers know that adn arent afraid to pitch to him. Once you get in the playoffs the pitchers are going to hit thier spots more times than not. if you are in the majors you better hit the bad pitches but if to be a great hitter going to need fight off the good pitches. sounds like he will be a good hitter (first basemans better be) but will he be a great hitter?

      • Drew7

        “i never been a fan of soriano because he crushes bad pitches but if you can locate that low and away pitch you can get soriano to strike out.”

        If that’s were the case, there must be a ton of bad pitching in the Majors. Soriano, for sporting a career .829 OPS and 113 OPS+, really hasnt struck out as much as you’re typical player with that much power. So, if Rizzo merely “crushes bad pitches” and produces similar results, I will be very pleased.

        • Leo L

          Well he is on a hot streak now. if he keeps it up then great but i feel that if he gets traded to a playoff team he would do nothing in the playoffs. Hitting homers in meaningless games. He defeinately has holes in his swing. I know he is a streaky player and still one of the better hitters on the cubs this year but that is not saying much. and really when i say not a fan of soriano, it has to do more with what i expect for his contract.

          • Drew7

            “I know he is a streaky player and still one of the better hitters on the cubs this year but that is not saying much.”

            Actually, one of the better hitters in baseball; You can give all the credit to the streak if you want, but the guy has been hitting since the beginning of May and currently has an OPS+ of 123. His career OPS splits are also the same (so, above average) in close games as it is any other time, so he gets hits “when it matters” too.

            You may have frustrations about his contract, but the fact is, he has come pretty close to being worth the money. If it werent for him being hurt in 2009, he would probably have accumulated over 20 WAR as a Cub so far.

            I know he is on the downside of his career, has bad knees, and isnt *worth* $18mil per year, but he was also worth over 2.5 times what he made the 1st couple years he was here. Trade him if you can, but respect what he has given the Cubs over the years, because its much more than you think.

  • Cheryl

    He may be ready but he didn’t do well the last time he was up so we just have to wait. In the meantime the cubs should go ahead and trade LaHair. Its not doing him any good to wait until Rizzo comes up and he’s relegated to pinch hitting. The slump he’s in now has dragged on too long. Unless he breaks out of it soon he won’t have much value in the trade market.

  • Manfield

    What is Rizzo’s ceiling? Joey Votto?

    • Richard Nose

      My mind was blown by a recent article on Votto. He’s not popped up to the infield all season. He has only popped up to the infield 3 times in the last 4 years. He has only pulled a ball foul in to the stands 1 time in his entire career!

  • Fishin Phil

    Brett, you know I am a big fan of the site and your writing style, but I would have gone a slightly different direction with the headline:

    “Theo Epstein Says Anthony Rizzo is Almost Ready, a Rival Scout is a Putz”

    Just my dos centavos.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hopefully that proves to be the case.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Does anyone know where I could find his stats against specific minor league pitchers?

  • EA

    Doesn’t the saying go “good pitching beats good hitting every time?” You’re supposed to feast on bad pitching, jackass. Verlander didn’t win a Cy Young by getting knocked around.

  • Jp

    Votto-like at 1st for the next decade would be awesome. I’m digging a potential lineup in 5 years of
    2b Devoss
    SS Castro
    3b Baez
    1b Rizzo
    RF Soler
    LF B Jax
    CF Almora
    C N/A yet

    • Jackalope

      I love the possibilities, with talent to spare (Szczur, Hernandez, Amaya, Vogelbach, Candelario, Golden, Dunston, Chen, Vitters, Torreyes, ect.). Now if we could develop some pitching…though the draft was pitching-heavy, and maybe a few more decent arms can be acquired through midseason trades.

    • Jack Weiland

      Right but there’s an absolutely 0% chance that every single one of those prospects turn out. Probably a zero percent chance that even half of them turn out as we hope.

      • Andrew

        There is definitely a pretty strong chance at least half of those guys will turn out to be solid major leaugers. Jackson, Rizzo and Castro, id say are each at least 90% likely to be solid major leaguers for the next 5 years or so. It’s all a game of numbers and i would say there is a pretty good chance that one of Almora (assuming he signs of course), Baez, Devoss, or soler will be a solid major leaguer. Add in all the more unknown guys (Lake, candelario, etc.) in the system or from the draft and there is a lot to be optimistic about. More will have to be added through free agency and trades and that will come but for now there is definitely a good foundation.

        • Kyle

          Rizzo, yes. Castro, yes.

          Jackson? No way he’s at 90%. 50/50 and trending downward, imo.

          The point remains: It’s really silly to be posting future lineups that involve the Cubs developing a current prospect at every position.

          • Jp

            Id rather dream about future lineups thanks than the ones I’ve been looking at this season thats got to be close to DFL in every major category.

          • Twinkletoez

            I think Jackson is more than 50/50, the only thing holding him back currently is his k rate.

            Prospect Ratings by Baseball America:
            Pre-2010: Rated #74 Prospect
            Pre-2011: Rated #38 Prospect
            Pre-2012: Rated #32 Prospect

            That doesn’t look like trending downward to me.

            • Kyle

              If BA did a midseason ranking, I think you’d find Jackson has dropped considerably from No. 32.

              The “only thing” is kind of a big one. It’s a really big one. It’s a huge, blinking red light and a really loud, annoying siren saying “This kid can’t hit advanced pitching.” And it doesn’t get more advanced than MLB pitching, which he almost certainly can’t handle right now and may never be able to.

              • Twinkletoez

                I agree it is a big red flag and I am no scout but is there such a thing as selective bad k rate? Seeing him in person many times it seems to me that he goes to the plate looking for his perfect pitch (good idea) ends up taking some good hit-able pitches, gets in a whole and then k’s on a bad pitch or takes a borderline pitch that is called for strike 3. I think it is more of an adjustment and plate approach then the inability to hit good pitching. I am not saying he is a sure thing, I would just say he has more of a chance then 50/50

                • Drew7

                  I’ve been one of Jackson’s biggest supporters for a long time, but his K-rate does have a lot to do with him having a below average hit-tool.

                  You have his problems backwards: His approach is great, and is the reason his OBP and Slugging remain above average. This is the main reason I’m such a big fan of his – he seems to be the perfect example of using a “selectively-aggressive” approach: He waits for the pitch he wants and mashes it (or misses it).

                  The problem, as Kyle points out IS his inability to make contact, and the reason he K’s at a high rate.

                • Kyle

                  Homework assignment: Find a list of guys who strike out 30% of the time in AAA, and see how many of them go on to be productive major leagues.

                  • ETS

                    No one is saying anything good about the k rate. I’m sure his BA ranking has dropped if they republished them but I it’s something that can be overcame. Really defensively, base running, hitting for power, taking walks, leadership/teammate qualities – all these things he are a plus for him. I don’t ever expect him to be a super low strike out guy, but hopefully it can improve – his other tools are too good; it would be a waste if he can’t figure it out.

                  • Chris

                    Jose Hernandez, Glenallen Hill & Carlos Pena were all pretty close. Just a few former Cubs for ya. I’d be stoked if Jackson hit like any of those guys!

                    • Toby

                      Not too shabby of a list. I’ve commented about my admiration for Glenallen Hill. How about George Bell? Sorry, I have a soft spot for Bell who along with Hill and Alfredo Griffen are my favorite Blue Jays of all time. I bleed Cub blue, but those three I loved watching them play.

                    • Jimmy james

                      Yuck…

                  • GoldFinch

                    One hell of a homework assignment! I have trouble keeping the % of the time my wife yells at me for not cutting the grass!(LOL)

                  • GoldFinch

                    And Kyle, what do you mean by “productive?” AVG. OBP, RBI’S, HR’S, ETC. I think I would take the person with the best RISP AVG. in the regular season and post-season if we are talking the Majors.

                    Didn’t Tony Gwynn have a problem with strikeouts coming up?(although he did have a wrist injury, he did have to go to a smaller bat) I’m not sure if he struck out 30% of the time though. Scratch that. I’m thinking about someone else, sorry.(LOL)

                    Yes, it is a fact that a minor league player with a high strike out rate will most likely be a bust in the Majors.

        • Dave

          I think if what you are saying is true then the Cubs would have one of the highest rated farm systems in baseball if not the highest.
          The only one on that list we can say will be a solid major leaguer is Castro.
          If and when the Cubs turn the corner their lienup will also consist of players aquired thru trade and free agency.

          • Jack Weiland

            It’s funny, because the two WS teams Theo had in Boston were made up very differently. The first one was a lot of talent acquired via trade, FA, etc, and the second one was really home grown.

            I think *when* the Cubs contend, it’ll be a mix of both. Leaning too heavily in one pot or the other doesn’t lend itself to sustained success, in my opinion.

            *Being optimistic here. Or trying to.

            • jr5

              I agree. A mix is best. To be honest, totally eschewing the free agent route would be a mistake because it eliminates the one huge advantage the Cubs have over the rest of the division: the ability to spend money. Now that the draft/international signings have been restricted, hopefully that money gets shifted to another part of the payroll.

              • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                to think that the Cubs won’t be players in free agency moving forward is a mistake. People like to think that Theo is gun shy about big time signings really don’t have much to point to. Crawford’s signing was only 2 offseasons ago and Theo poured a LOT of money and talent into acquiring AGon

      • ETS

        even if horribly unlikely still fun to look at.

  • Jack Weiland

    To me, the rival scout is just injecting some reality. We’re all excited about Rizzo, but it seems as though many Cub fans aren’t accounting very much for how big of a jump it is from AAA to the Majors. Crushing AAA doesn’t guarantee anything at the ML level.

    I like Rizzo an awful lot, but to me “I’m not totally convinced yet, he might JUST be an AVERAGE hitting first baseman” isn’t that crazy of a statement. (Emphasis mine, obviously). He’s a prospect, and one who is absolutely raking in the PCL right now, and his ceiling is pretty high, but there’s a floor in there somewhere as well. If the floor is “average” that’s actually pretty solid.

    In closing, let’s not try to get all butthurt when someone says something that isn’t even that unflattering to one of our shiny things. Fair?

    • Kyle

      Agreed. A 22-year-old with a *floor* of being an average hitting first baseman (with positive defence)? Sign me up.

      It relates to what Epstein said about Rizzo: He’s not a natural hitter with a pure bat-speed swing. He’s got to work to keep his timing right, and MLB pitchers are going to be challenging him to maintain that timing. He’s going to be a mistake hitter, and MLB pitchers just aren’t going to make as many mistakes as AAA pitchers are.

      It kind of reminds me of a more advanced, left-handed Derrek Lee. Lee had a swing that looked kind of stiff and made me wonder how he ever hit a good pitch. Then the pitcher would miss his location by just a little bit, and Lee would crush it. I expect Rizzo to be a slightly better version of the same, with the chance to be a much better version.

      • Andrew

        Are we talking average for the league or average for a first baseman. If it’s the latter i totally am still psyched since hes left handed and almost assuredly gonna be a great defender and overall positive guy in the clubhouse.

        • Jack Weiland

          The quote in question was “average first baseman” …

  • Leroy K

    the “near future” is in one week. We will find out soon enough. I hope he is ready this time.

  • cubs217

    Micah Hoffpauir crushed AAA hitting and we know how that turned out… That being said, Rizzo is younger and likely (hopefully) more talented than Hoffpauir ever was

    • Drew7

      At 22, Hoffpauir was in Boise with 2/3 of the production Rizzo has in AAA this year, and didnt *crush* (I use that loosely) AAA until he was 27.

      I get you’re overall point, though.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Opinions are like, well you know the saying. HIs swing last year would struggle at the Majors and did. His swing this year isn’t as loopy. I think he is the type of player that needs protection in the lineup, but a lot of good hitters do. A lot of scouts thought worse of Castro.

    • Jack Weiland

      His eye doesn’t help him get on base at all. He makes up for it by making really good contact and hitting for a high average.

      • Jack Weiland

        Hey quit changing your thing!

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          I know right. I couldn’t think of what I wanted to say. I knew it was going to come out wrong. I settled.

      • Andrew

        His eye is what helps him get good contact and hit for high average so yes it does help him get on base.

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    An average hitting first baseman is generally a good hitter. I’m, at work and I can’t pull up the stats but I would think first baseman in baseball are among the better hitters of all positions. So the scout is really not going out on the limb.

    • Jack Weiland

      Exactly what I was saying. I did a quick search (by wOBA, because Fangraphs didn’t have OPS) and the 15th hitter last year was Freddie Freeman, who had an OPS just a tick under .800.

      That’s not bad by any stretch. If Rizzo came up now and did that I’d take it, for sure.

    • Drew7

      Correct: In 2011, the average ML player at 1B had an OPS of .797, tops of any position.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      That is why the WAR concept is so important.  1B (and LF) were DH positions before there were DHs.  A SS or catcher with worse raw numbers often will be doing much better relative to the opposing SS/C (and thus doing more to create a victory) than a firstbaseman with a gaudy line.

  • Dan

    Other then Albert Almora, Rizzo may be the most important thing Theo has brought to the Cubs. Will Rizzo be an everyday player? Will he be an All-Star? Will he be a Hall of Famer? There’s high expectations on this kid by the organization and the fans. What happens if this kid in the long run doesn’t live up to expectations? Well I guess it would be a setback for the Cubs.

    • Jack Weiland

      If he doesn’t live up to expectations it’s really not the end of the world. I’m really uncomfortable with how much every transaction gets tied to Theo and Jed’s “legacy” … the failure rate for prospects is VERY high. Is Rizzo an important part of what he’s done so far? Of course. But by no means is Rizzo, or Almora, or Soler alone a yardstick by which Theo and Jed’s entire job with the Cubs will be judged.

      They’re individual players. Nothing more, nothing less. They’re important, but by themselves they’re just individual assets. Some will pan out, some won’t. If the ledger in a few years has more hits than misses, the Cubs will have done well and we’ll see the results at the ML level.

      • hansman1982

        Agree, the past 6 months more have meant much more to their “legacy” than Rizzo, Soler, Almora, etc… individually. The fact that they put a plan in place and are following that plan to the T is very encouraging.

        Ultimately, their legacy will be determined how they leave the franchise when they leave. If we have won a WS then noone will care about 2012, or Rizzo, or Stewart. If we don’t win but we have a solid orgainzation that is going to the playoffs 4 times out of 5, noone will care about 2012, Rizzo, or Stewart. If they leave the organization in the same mess we were in 6 months ago…well, we will have the next Wunderkind to attach ourselves to.

        • Kyle

          I’m not talking about their overall legacy, but if Rizzo ends up busting for some horrible reason, 2012 kind of becomes a wasted year. What did they really accomplish in terms of organizational assets? We made a good pick with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft? Woop-de-do.

          • hansman1982

            Rizzo busting will not make or break 2012, I know that you are cursing Theo for “throwing 2012″, but I see this as about the best kind of “rebuidling” year this organization could have had considering where we actually were come Oct 1, 2011.

            We still have Dempster, Garza, Soto, DeJesus and Maholm to trade and acquire prospects. The picks in next year’s draft, the additional $$$ for IFA players, the possible emergence of LaHair, Clevenger, Barney, the “Romney-ification” of the Cubs organization(acquire, purge underperforming and short term assets and build a strong organization), and the general culture-shift of the entire organization.

            If it works, by 2015 you will have forgotten 2012. If it fails, well, it will be no different than 2006, 2004, a good chunk of the 90′s, 80′s, all of the 70′s, 60′s, 50′s, 40′s…

            • TWC

              Whoa: 2004 and 2006 were very, very different ‘failed’ seasons.  2004 was a maddening, frustrating disappointment.  2006 was just baaaaad.  Like 2012.

              • hansman1982

                Thank goodness I was in the Army for both of those seasons and had no clue what was going on. Hell, even the 2003 season I didn’t know the Cubs were in the playoffs until that game. First time I saw TV in 6 months and it had to be that game

        • Jack Weiland

          I agree with you, or at least that this is how his “legacy” OUGHT to be viewed. However, his legacy in Boston is kind of poor right now, and obviously last season stung a lot, but that’s a franchise which he helped guide to two titles in ten years.

          Are we like them? (Disclaimer: I live there now). Or are we more rational? I’d like to think we are, and his legacy will be viewed on the whole of how much he improved the organization BUT …

  • RoughRiider

    Rizzo has played in 153 games in AAA. I guess that means he will play 9 more games and then be called up. If he does half as well in his first full year in the majors I’ll be relatively happy. 24 + HRs, 79 + RBIs.

  • rbreeze

    LaHair leads NL first basemen in HR’s.  He tore up the PCL.  How does Rizzo compare to him?  We know LaHair isn’t perfect.  we know that Rizzo won’t be perfect.  Kerry Wood became a better pitcher when they brought him up from Iowa because they said the umpiring in the minors was poor.  Really??????????

    If these scouts and experts knew so much why aren’t they a GM or a President of a team.  Maybe they’ve made some mistakes down the road???

    We’ll find out soon enough what Rizzo is made of.  Kent Hrbek played 1B for the Twins for a long time and he came up from AA is I remember right.  I’ll take a Kent Hrbek career for Rizzo.  Hrbek was a leader and a clutch player.

    • jr5

      Well, he’s younger for one thing. In theory his prime is still, what, 4 or 5 years away? So that’s a fairly good reason to think he can still get better, and exceed what LaHair has done.

      The fact that he’s a plus-defender (or so I seem to remember) is also a reason to be excited. And of course, the off the charts makeup and work ethic, which as we talked about with Almora, means he’s more likely to reach whatever potential is there.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Jack Weiland nailed it. Why do Cub fans get all up in arms when someone isn’t as excited about a Cub prospect?
    My expectations have gone up this year, but I still think he’s a 290/360/500 type hitter. Votto ceiling? I don’t think so….I don’t think he gets all that close to a .400 OBP

    • Andrew

      If those are his averages, there will probably be years where he is contending for an MVP a la 2005 Derrek Lee

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Well, anybody can have a fluky year and compete for an MVP…

    • Jack Weiland

      Norm! Thank you. I’d love to get those numbers out of Rizzo, with plus defense and cost controlled for 6 years? Heck yeah.

      Being excited about Cubs prospects = GREAT. I’m as excited as anybody. But having unrealistic thoughts/expectations only leads to disappointment down the road. And I mean, for me personally … I live in Boston. I’ve seen exactly zero games Anthony Rizzo has played. And I’m not a professional baseball scout. If a professional baseball scout watches him play and thinks he might be merely average at the plate, I’m inclined to say “Hey, that guy may be right. May be wrong … but he may be right.” Instead of, you know, WHAT AN IDIOT OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

      The numbers are great, but you have to keep an open mind. Especially when it comes to prospecting, where the fail rate is absurdly high.

  • R.E.S

    I saw where Kyle Drabek left his start yesterday with an undisclosed injury. Morrow already on DL with a strained oblique. I would expect the Blue Jays rumors to heat up again.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      I’m thinking Toronto has been hit SO hard this week with injury, they might be thinking they can’t recover and won’t go after anyone…

      • Jack Weiland

        That would be disappointing. I covet their young pitchers in a way that the Bible would probably frown upon.

  • DowntownLBrown

    I think Rizzo will be an All star Caliber first baseman. Baez I think will turn out to be very good. I am less enthusiastic about Brett Jackson aalong with all of our current pitching prospects.

  • Steve

    After all the ” misses” the Cubs have had in the draft and free agency, I say it’s high time one of Solwr, Baez, or Almora becomes a superstr.
    Rizzo… I just hope he can become a quality everyday player. I need to ” connect” with a new Cub. My ” man crush” just retired :(

  • FromFenwayPahk

    “He really does a good job of hitting the weaker pitching.” So, Rizzo sounds like a future late-inning hero.

  • Jp

    I’m thinking the blue jays could use a couple starting pitchers! I’d gladly swap demp and garza to the same team if it will improve the package of prospects significantly. I onset if that’s ever happened at the trade deadline? 2 starting pitchers from the same team traded to another team?

    • Jack Weiland

      You mean trading them Dempster AND Garza? That would be really crazy. They’d probably get a sweet haul, but it’s unlikely any team would want to raid their farm that badly.

      • Babe Ruth

        Hendry did it all the time!! There has to be someone out there, that’s willing to deplete their system.

        • Edwin

          When did Hendry raid the system? I must have missed that somewhere.

          • Smackafilieyo

            Pirates?

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I like the Dempster to the Braves rumor. Braves system is loaded with pitching like always. If we can rake 3 good pitchers out of their system and then resign Dempster for a team friendly contract this off season I am down with that. The way I see it Dempster has at least 3 good seasons left in him as a decent ERA – Innings eating starter. My plan for him would be to slide him down the rotation each year so he is very competitive against back of the rotation opposing pitchers. He is a team player and I don’t want him to be gone from Chicago for more than half a season. We need him to be a bridge to our future. I think that is one of the very important things Theo needs to cover with him. We won’t win for a couple more years. But when we do, we need a couple of Dempsters who can help hold things together on and off the field.

    • ETS

      I like this. I was thinking that Demp wouldn’t haul very much because of the “true rental” aspect, but MLBTR chat made a good point yesterday that Beltran has a stipulation in his contract that nixed arbitration so he was a “true rental” and the giants still gave up Wheeler. I know it’s not a perfect analogy but there is precedent of giving up high level prospects for rentals.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I don’t think the scout who commented on Rizzo is being an ass or a jerk. He is looking at past performance with Padres last year and that his numbers are inflated. He is a scout so he is opinionated. Scouts who are looking at talent are very opinionated. Scouts who are putting together early reports on tendencies on hitting, fielding, pitching and base running are not doing the same job as the talent evaluators. I think Rizzo has great potential. But he has not proven anything at MLB level yet. I am pretty sure he will. Be he didn’t do it last year and put up good numbers in the PCL. I think enough people are saying he’s ready so he probably is. One thing I would do if I was Theo… I would bring him up and let him play for 2 or 3 weeks before I traded LaHair away. I’m holding onto my insurance policy until I know for certain things are solid with Rizzo at 1B and with his hitting.

    • ETS

      I also wonder if you read his entire report if it sounds a little better than that one blurp taken (possibly) out of context.

  • die hard

    ticks me off whenever Theo or his staff (who never played the game at this level) talk like they know what they are talking about…Theo breaking down Rizzo’s batting is like a grave digger critiquing laying the foundation for a new skyscraper….digger may think hes qualified because they may be close to something in common-dirt….but truly light years apart from understanding how diifficult it truly is….cant wait for Cubs ex batting coach to spill the beans on ESPN and you will know what I mean…

    • AB

      Looks like single-A superstar Ben Kcacazfdykso’s mom has internet access again

    • DocPeterWimsey

      My living will calls for me to be unplugged should that day ever come…..

    • Carew

      You just have to find a way to bash something that has ties to the cubs dont ya

    • BT

      Exactly. Theo didn’t play at a high enough level to know what he is talking about. That’s why we will all wait with baited breath for Jaramillo to spill the beans since he spent 3 years at AA ball in the 1970′s, which is clearly the demarcation line for being able to dig graves. Or something.

    • Stinky Pete

      And what level have you played the game?

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Someone brought up George Bell, what a great character. Remember him at the top of the dugout, yelling in broken english at the umpire, making the gesture he’d snap him like a twig. George was OK and very entertaining. Loved his passion, seems to me the game lacks a lot of lot of that.

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