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Matt Szczur and the 40-Man Roster and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News, Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects
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Matt Szczur, Photo by Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com

Rooting for Matt Holliday to take a fastball to the ribs today? I wouldn’t think you a beast.

  • Among the Cubs’ players in the Arizona Fall League, one guy who could stand to make a good impression is Matt Szczur. The supremely athletically gifted, but “baseball young” center fielder, has built a great deal of his prospect status on those athletic gifts, rather than huge numbers (particularly for his age and level). He’s already on the 40-man roster, which puts the Cubs in a bit of a bind going forward, because he’s taking a spot up, but isn’t particularly close to breaking through to the bigs. At least, to his credit, he’s hitting quite well as a lead-off guy in Arizona – hitting .304 with a .407 OBP (and 4 SB). But the power remains wholly absent – he has just one extra base hit (a double) in 23 at bats. Szczur, 23, hit well at High-A Daytona last year, but struggled after a late-season promotion to AA. He’ll likely start 2013 back at AA, and if the Cubs don’t see significant progress, they’re going to be faced with a difficult decision regarding his roster spot. How many years can they afford to keep waiting on Szczur (while using up his option years, I should add)? The question is made even more difficult by the presence of other youngsters on the 40-man – Jorge Soler, Gerardo Concepcion, Junior Lake – who also may not be close to contributing in the big leagues.
  • According to a report out of Omaha, the Nebraska Corn Huskers are hoping to making their 2014 visit to Northwestern a visit to Wrigley Field – in other words, they want to play Northwestern at Wrigley. With the approved wall change at Wrigley Field, we knew college football was coming back. I am very much all for it.

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  • Len Kasper wrote a guest article for Baseball Prospectus on bringing sabermetrics into the broadcaster’s booth. Len has always been progressive in this regard (for a mainstream broadcaster), and it’s a good read.
  • The 40-man roster situation – who gets bounced, who gets protected, how many spots need to be opened up for the offseason – is being discussed over at the Message Board.
  • Carrie Muskat answers questions, which touch on a variety of offseason topics.
  • Doug Padilla continues his look at the Cubs’ positions from 2012, with a stop at shortstop. Since Starlin Castro played every in single game there this season, I think he might show up. Similarly, Vine Line has another player profile, and looks at probable future starting catcher Welington Castillo.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look again at the Matt Holliday crap, and wonder whether he’s going to take one inside today.

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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