edwin jackson cubs press conferenceWell, it seems I was overly optimistic in my proclamation yesterday that everything was groovy in the Taylor household. Not only did the ladies deal with some resurgent symptoms yesterday, I, myself, have started to feel the icy specter of sickness creeping up next to me. So far I’ve been able to fight it off, but we’ll see what the day holds. (Update, as this (and a soon to be completed Michael Bourn piece) is taking me forever to write: I feel awful.)

  • Vine Line looks back at Edwin Jackson’s crazy 2010 no-hitter, which saw him walk seven and throw 72 pitches … through the first three innings. He ended up throwing 149 pitches for the game, which is something I hope Dale Sveum never, ever, ever lets him do. He’s already got a no-hitter, after all.
  • Vine Line adds a wrap of Luis Valbuena’s impressive season in Venezuela.
  • Keith Law chatted yesterday, and offered a few prospect-related thoughts: (1) talking about a Javier Baez plus other prospects not named Albert Almora or Jorge Soler (because they can’t be dealt until mid-season) trade for David Price is “silly”; (2) on the possibility that Brett Jackson’s swing changes will make him at least a 4th outfielder caliber player: “It’s not impossible, but it is unlikely that these swing changes – which haven’t appeared in a game yet – will help him boost his contact rate to a playable level” (utterly absurd – even at his insane 41.5% strikeout rate of last year, I can make a pretty good argument that he’s already a plausible 4th/5th outfielder when you factor in the rest of his skills); and (3) Anyone who thinks Dan Vogelbach can someday play left field is “living in an alternate reality.” Law doesn’t even think he’ll ever be able to play first base.
  • Law did have some kind things to say on his most recent podcast with Eric Karabell, pointing out that the Cubs going after Edwin Jackson is a reflection of their belief that they need pitching for 2014 as much as for 2013, and there might not be as good of an option available next year. Pretty much what I’ve been saying for the past month now: the Cubs have an eye toward being competitive in 2014, and they’re starting to accumulate pieces to that end.
  • Don’t find yourself showing up in a Baseball Prospectus piece like this one, which looks at ridiculous trade proposals involving Giancarlo Stanton.
  • And don’t find yourself acting too raucously after a Cubs win next year, especially if you plan on meandering through neighborhood streets in Wrigleyville.
  • Details on the DeJesus Family’s upcoming charity event.
  • jayrig5

    The thing to remember with Law’s BJax comments is that he was never that high on him anyway. So coming from a fairly pessimistic original view, I can see how the K rate would be enough to knock his opinion down even further. (Not sure I agree with him or not, but I will say that Law’s original critique of Jackson as a prospect, going.back a few years, even (hit tool not enough to carry other tools) doesn’t necessarily look wrong considering the Cuba had gin rebuild his entire swing after a couple months in the majors.)

    • jayrig5

      Edit: “to”, not “gin”. Won’t even pretend to guess how my phone got that wrong.

    • hansman1982

      Even last year he was worth .1 bWAR which was 1.9 wins better than Mather. You could do MUCH worse as a 4th or 5th outfielder.

      Interesting that our 2014 backup outfielders may be set already with Jackson and Sappelt.

      • Voice of reason

        If Jackson and sap pelt were to back up dejesus and schierholtz it would prove that this current group of management will fail.

        First of all, Jackson andnsappelt should be starting ahead of dejesus and schierholtz. this team is going to lose at least 90 games. This year is about seeing what prospects have a future, not showing us that dejesus and schierholtz are average to below average starters.

        Second, if management doesn’t feel they are ready to start them Jackson and sap pelt need to be in the minors where they can play everyday.

        Here’s hoping management is much smarter than putting Jackson and suppelt behindmdejesus andnschierholtz.

        • hansman1982

          1. Sappelt is a 4th outfielder.
          2. Benching DeJesus for Sappelt or Jackson would be a giant mistake and a waste of $6M. You start him because he gives you the best chance to win and so that he has something called trade value. Starting Sappelt or Jackson ahead of DeJesus would do a great disservice to the organization.

          • Cubbie Blues

            and Jackson will start out in AAA.

          • terencem

            You’d do a dis-service to Jackson to start him at the major league level after how badly he struggled last year. He’s the type of player who needs time to work on his swing against a lower tier of competition.

  • Randy

    Keith Law has been wrong about a lot of things. Saying Vogelbach can’t play first is just crazy. Has he looked at the history of 1st Base? If Adam Dunn can make the switch, I am sure Vogelbach (who has played first for 2 seasons) could be ok defensively. Not saying he will be great, but he is only 19. They said he slimmed down this year and even he admitted in an article after this season that he needs to continue to improve his fitness. The kid seems to have a great attitude and work ethic. I hate people like Law saying people can’t do things because anything can happen if someone works hard enough.

  • ssckelley

    There were a couple of funny Cub trades in that Baseball Prospectus piece. If the Cubs ever hoped to get involved in a trade for Stanton the talks would begin with Baez.

    Hey BP (if you’re reading) how about Rizzo straight up for Stanton? 😀

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    “utterly absurd – even at his insane 41.5% strikeout rate of last year, I can make a pretty good argument that he’s already a plausible 4th/5th outfielder when you factor in the rest of his skills”

    Can’t agree with you there Brett. I think he’ll struggle to hit .200 and his other tools are just average across the board. Especially with the “Utterly absurd” part.

    • terencem

      He could hit .200 and be a .700 OPS center fielder with slightly above average defense. That would certainly make him a viable backup.

  • Gretchen

    You jinxed us.

    As a result, I’m now suffering through Cinderella round #5.

    Germy smooches,

    The Wife

    • ISU Birds

      Is this really Brett’s Wife?? If so how do you feel about the Stanton situation…..

      • Gretchen

        It really is Brett’s Wife … who’s a total Cubs poser and has nothing to say about the Stanton situation. :)

        (Though a real poser would just fake it, no?)

        • Tommy

          This is like a visit by the Queen.

          • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

            He’s a lucky man.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sorry dear. I mostly feel bad for you and The Little Girl, but I certainly paid for it today.

      (And how about that – The Wife’s first comments on the site (ever) are about us all being sick. Yay for sharing!)

      • TWC

        First comments? Hardly. Gretchen “BetterNews” Taylor is more like it…

        • Tommy

          ROFL! TOMBO! Where have you been man? Short hiatus for you? Your last 2 comments made me laugh out loud, literally.

          You’re a nut!

          Gretchen “Better News” Taylor. ROFL!

      • Internet Random

        “And how about that – The Wife’s first comments on the site (ever) are about us all being sick. Yay for sharing!”

        For once, I’m glad I read the comments.

  • Jacob

    I read that BP article earlier today and seriously died laughing. Lets trade all our broken spare parts for a monster at the plate.

    My favorite was the picture of him being blocked by Nate McClouth haha

    • WGNstatic

      “seriously died laughing”


  • Jim

    An ordinance regulating pub crawls in wrigley? Good. Luck.

  • Xavier
  • terencem

    What Law is saying about Vogelbach never being a competent fielder could be true. Billy Butler is in much better shape than Vogelbach (on appearance, anyway) and he’s pretty awful at the position.

    • ssckelley

      It could be true and I doubt any of us have ever seen him play the position. A lot of people think a bad defensive player can be put out in left field but the problem is you actually need to be able to catch the ball. I have watched plenty of baseball and played softball back in the day and I cannot tell you how many times I have watched someone who could not judge the flight of a ball take a step in on a easy fly ball only to have it land way over their heads because they misjudged it. This has happened even on the major league level. Even though someone like Soriano made the switch it does not mean you can take someone who may have been a first baseman his whole life and just stick him in the outfield. There are some people who cannot judge the flight of a batted ball.

  • ETS

    despite all my DH hate – if we could keep clinching to the slim hope of vogelbach in a cubs uniform, well, then that’s some consolation for bastardizing the game.

    • terencem

      I think the DH makes life a little easier on teams who are struggling to get back into competition since it opens up the free agent pool a lot and allows the team to get more creative with how they use their players to maximize their value. Playing in an AL park is pretty awful for a team like the Cubs who barely have 8 major league hitters on the roster to begin with.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    I think the new schedule is the last nail in the NL’s non DH coffin. Every level from high school through the minors uses the DH. The NL is the only holdout.

    I’m guessing by 2014 the NL will use the DH.

  • Chris

    I’m sick as hell, too….