carlos villanueva blue jaysAs I watched the Redskins and Seahawks yesterday, I wondered how I would feel as a fan if, for example, the Cubs were in the playoffs and Jeff Samardzija was on the mound (but, like, a version of Jeff Samardzija who was so important that he started every single game for the Cubs) after suffering a serious shoulder injury mid-season. I imagine that he came back and pitched in the final month, but he was clearly not 100%. And, then, in that playoff game, his shoulder exploded. Am I upset because he suffered the very injury that he was at risk for suffering? Or do I accept that the risk was necessary because it was the playoffs? There’s a Strasburg conversation in here, too, I suppose. Interesting theoretical stuff.

  • The Cubs are yet to officially add Carlos Villanueva, with whom they agreed to terms on a two-year, $10 million deal last month. The hold-up is probably equal parts the holidays delaying a physical and the currently-full 40-man roster, but I’d think we’d see something official pretty soon. That means it’s time for another round of 40-man roster watching – a quick look shows that Lendy Castillo, Steve Clevenger, and Tony Campana (maybe Brooks Raley or Chris Rusin) are probably the leading candidates for bouncing, though Castillo might be the only one the Cubs wouldn’t lose if they waived. As I’ve said in this situation before, I’m sure the Cubs would prefer to make a trade that consolidates some of their 40-man rather than risk losing guys for nothing, but the problem is always “other peoples’ rosters.” Most teams are facing difficult roster decisions right now as well, and it’s not like they’re salivating at the idea of putting two or three of the Cubs’ fringe roster guys on their 40-man at the expense of their own fringe guys.
  • Speaking of the roster dance, it won’t be only Villanueva – the Cubs still would like to add another outfielder, a utility infielder, and possibly another reliever. There’s still quite a bit of movement that could be on the horizon.
  • Baseball Prospectus’s Russell Carleton, using Cubs prospect Albert Almora as his seeming muse, discusses the neurological development of 18-year-old kids, and the impact it could have on their baseball development – sort of the unseen side of prospecting, and flaming out. It’s too easy to forget that, in addition to playing baseball, these kids are developing into adults. And it’s a long, long process.
  • An MLB.com piece on the Cubs’ rebuild, walking the line between focusing on the future and not being terrible in 2013. In essence, the Cubs are building toward 2014 and beyond, while preserving the possibility of a “lightning in a bottle” season in 2013, according to Jed Hoyer. That’s my take from this quote, anyway: “It’s a line we’re committed to walking,” said Hoyer. “Our goal here is to build a consistently good team … and hopefully a team that wins a championship. In order to do that, we’re not going to sacrifice the future now for wins. But at the same time, every season is precious, and you never know when that team might catch lightning in a bottle. You never want to sacrifice that season entirely.”
  • Each year, the Hardball Times’ Chris Jaffe takes a stab at projecting the Hall of Fame vote, but even he confesses that doing so this year is far more difficult than in the past thanks to the unique ballot and the unique issues. For now, he’s got Craig Biggio just barely making the cut at 76% (75% is needed for election), and no one else. Jack Morris and Mike Piazza are closest at 69% and 61%, respectively. Sammy Sosa gets just 13%.
  • Speaking of the vote, and of the Hardball Times, Dave Studeman says it’s time to press the reset button on the entire way that we do the Hall of Fame thing.
  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I hope it’s Raley or Rusin…they seem to be the definition of “replacement pitcher.” Castillo has a bit more swing and miss stuff.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’d rather see how Raley’s curve works out of the pen before I dump him entirely. And I still like Rusin.

      I’d cut Campana. Bad defenders with no OBP ability are tough to keep on a roster.

      • MichiganGoat

        But Luke he’s too scrappy to cut and really really fast 😉

      • Ben

        Agree. Speed doesn’t matter if you can’t get on base. .306 OBP Career/.308 in 2012

        I like him, but the upside just isn’t there.

        • Blublud

          The guy everybody is replacing him with has a slightly lower career BA, a slightly higher career OBP, slighty more power(not saying much when compared to Campana) and not nearly the speed(thought he’s not slow and has some speed) and a lower WAR.

          Also, if the Cubs cut someone, it will be someone they hope can get through waivers. There is no way Campana clears waivers. Even if the sign another OF, they’ll want to keep Campana in AAA so he can be a injury replacement. If we sign an OF and one gets hurt, the Cubs would be forced to call up Jackson, which is not something you want to do to a young player in the middle of working on a swing change. The other options after that is Szczur and Soler which is not happening. So we need the depth, even if his talent is lacking.

          • Good Captain

            You may be right Blu, but I think a more convincing case can and has been made that he will clear waiver. As Brett says, “Most teams are facing difficult roster decisions as well…”. Now is the time IMO to test that theory.

            • MichiganGoat

              True few teams have the roster spot for a bad defender that can’t hit or get on base but is really really really fast.

          • Ben

            I’m not saying I disagree, but let’s not use only major league numbers to compare.

            Jackson made his debut last season, and only has 120 ABs at the major league level. Campana has over 300 ABs.

            Jackson is 24, Campana is 26.

            Again, I think they need more depth as well. But that depth can be added at a later time. I would rather remove the player off the 40 man that has the least upside to the 2013 and beyond Cubs team.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        I just can’t get all that excited about relievers who can only K about 6 per 9 IP in the minors.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Against lefties?

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            eh…can’t get excited about LOOGY’s either. They lose one of them, o’well. Pick up another. There will be plenty. There always is.

            Although, them vs. Campana and/or Clevenger isn’t a big deal either. Losing Lendy Castillo would probably be biggest loss. Any of the other 4 are easily replaced.

        • Roughrider

          I don’t think it’s that simple. You have to look at ground outs, double plays and other things that make a good pitcher. Unless a runner is in scoring position with nobody or 1 out It’s not just about strikeouts. I’d rather see a relief pitcher get an out on a ground ball with less pitches. As far as starters, I’d rather have a starter that throws 7 or more good innings on 80 – 100 pitches than someone stricking out 14 batters with 130 pitches every game. He won’t hold up. We’ve already seen that.

      • Blublud

        Once again, there is no way Campana is cut until the Cubs add another OF. They will not Cut Campana to add a pitcher. Our OF depth is already a weakness. Rusin or Raley will be cut first(one or the other) and then the list goes to Valbeuna, Cabrera and Dolis in no set order.

        If Campana is cut, look for them to annouce pretty soon after that Bourn is headed to Chicago.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          They already have a replacement for Campana on a minor league deal. They signed Bogusevic a few weeks ago.

          • MichiganGoat

            But what is his “Scrap Factor” can he run really really fast?

          • Blublud

            Correct, but he is not on the 40 man. If we waive Campana, sign a non OF, and need an injury replacement in say May, were right back where we started. Meaning we would end up having to cut someone to call up Bogusevic. We would then be running in circles. DLing a player allows you to replace a player on the 25, but I dont believe on the 40.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              Any injury replace in May would probably be Brett Jackson.

              From a purely defensive standpoint, Jae-Hoon Ha could come up now. Rohan may be an option later in the season on the corners as well.

              I think the 60 day DL opens up a slot on the 40, but I’ll defer to Brett on that one.

            • JoeyCollins

              If there’s an injury someone will be on the DL.

            • hansman1982

              Campana’s replacement is already on the 40 man. Brett Jackson.

              Better defense and the potential for better offense.

              Knock the 40% K rate all you want but even in his crap-tacular callup last year he was a whopping .013 wOBA points behind Campana (when factoring SB (leads by .027 when removing SB (at least based on my spreadsheet using FanGraphs formula))).

              Other interesting points – Bourn is all of .004 wOBA points (including SB) than DeJesus (using Bourn’s 2012 season, using career averages and he is .006 wOBA points behind him)

              Schierholtz’s 2012 season was league average but .018 points behind RF average.

              • blublud

                I definitely think Jackson will eventually replace him on the roster. I don’t see Shierholtz or Campana here in a couple years. When I argue for Campana, it’s against what we have on the roster, not against every player in MLB. As the roster currently sits, we can not cut Campana right now because we only have 5 OF slated to be on the 25 man roster come the start of the season and he’s one of them. Jackson will not be on the 25 man, neither will Soler or Szczur. That is why I stated he won’t be cut unless we sign another OF. I don’t think Shierholtz is slated to be the starting RF as much as I think he was told he could have a chance IF WE DON’T ADD A BETTER OPTION. If the Cubs sign a another OF, Campana will probably be cut. Until then, I pretty sure he is safe.

            • AB

              Sappelt?? Jackson??

              If Campana is the best choice as a fulltime starter for an injury replacement, Theo should be fired..

              • blublud

                Interesting. If Sappelt, Sori and Shierholtz hangs around and Szczur and Soler make the bigs by next year, all our OF will have names that start with a S. What kind of nickname will we make for them. The Astros had the Killer B’s(Bell, Biggio, Berkman, Bagwell and i feel there was one more I’m forgetting). Maybe the Sassy S’s

  • MichiganGoat

    If Campana is cut two things are going to happen 1-another OF a better OF which is not that hard and 2-the cries and screams will be as great as if we DFA Rizzo or Castro.

    • Beer Baron

      Tough time for Campana to be in the unemployment lines with all of the other elves recently laid off after Christmas. Perhaps he can revive his acting career – has he been in anything since he starred in “Rookie of the Year”?

  • Ben

    Needs to be Campana. Raley/Rusin are 2 of the 4 LHP on the roster. Until we find a replacement for them directly, they need to stay on. Clevenger will probably stick due to only 3 C being on the 40 man currently. He would get my 2nd vote to be sent away.

  • Cedlandrum

    I think Rusin is a good bet to get through, but you just never know.

  • JR

    Campana has to go. The Cubs can’t risk losing anymore young pitching. Actually, I am surprised Campana is still on the roster at this point anyways, he is pretty crappy.

  • Jacob

    RGIII should have been pulled. They paid a ton to get him, and risked his career in his first playoff game? That’s dumb. Especially because if they were being real with themselves they would have realized this wasn’t the year. Football isn’t like other sports.. the better team generally wins.. (by that I mean, the better team on paper normally comes out on top) Maybe there will be an upset once in awhile, but underdogs don’t win it all.

    • Rich H

      When you throw in the Shannahan has been on the hot seat all year. You understand why he was in there. Now the question is was getting in the playoffs enough to save his job.

      I am not saying i agree with the decision (or the play calling) but I do understand it.

  • Roughrider

    “Speaking of the vote, and of the Hardball Times, Dave Studeman says it’s time to press the reset button on the entire way that we do the Hall of Fame thing.”

    There is no way a player such as Santo should have had to wait until after he was gone to get into the HOF. I’m still saddened by it. Anyone who thinks he didn’t belong probably didn’t see him play the game and didn’t know what he meant to the Cubs.

  • CubFan Paul

    “But at the same time, every season is precious, and you never know when that team might catch lightning in a bottle. You never want to sacrifice that season entirely”

    Justin Germano & Jason Berken (amongst a shit ton of 2012 others) have something to say about that lie.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. The lighting in a bottle ship had looooooong since sailed by the time the Cubs turned to REPLACEMENT parts like those guys. They’d already sold off. You hope for lighting in the first half – if it doesn’t come, you sell off.

      • Blublud

        ok, well what about Joe Mather and Chris Volstad?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Volstad was a reasonable bet with low odds, and it didn’t pay off. That’s, like, the very definition of hoping for lightning in a bottle. Mather was a bench guy whose presence was never going to make or break a season.

          • Blublud

            I told pretty much everyone here Volstad wouldn’t work out. I knew how bad of a pitcher he was. Joe Mather on the other hand, I had honestly never heard of before last season. I was actually joking with this post though.

            • Chad

              Congrats. I don’t think anyone on here thought he was a future ace. However, the best attribute he gave the cubs was they could get rid of Zambrano. That was well worth it IMO. Also, you take the chance that a change of scenery helps and if he could have ever figured out that “one inning” he could have been a good #5 starter. However, that one inning was always his downfall.

          • @cubsfantroy

            I still remember early in the season everyone wanted Mather out on the field because he had some good hits in a limited role.

            Funny how some of those same people turned on him when he stopped being Super Joe.

            • Blublud

              I was pissed the moment they annouced that Joe Mather was making the roster, so I’m definitely not one of those guys. I wasn’t as upset about Mather making as much as I was upset Campana didn’t make it. I guess I hate how people dislike Campana abilities, but as soon as we sign someone just as “bad” as he is, we want to replace him with them. I not saying Campana is all word, but if have to “bad” players, you might as well stick with the guy who been with you all along. Thats my beef with the Shierholtz vs Campana situation. Neither have great numbers, so you might as well stick with Campana.

              • MichiganGoat

                Mather had more possibility than Campana will ever have.

                • Blublud

                  I’m not so sure about that. If that was the case, wouldn’t Mather still be here amd Campana cut.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    That because Mather proved he would live up to the potential while there was some value to Campana as a trade piece because of his speed, but nobody will trade for a base stealer (and that is all he is) and realize that he will be cut before the season begins. I know you think he is the epitome of a quality player that plays the game the right way (aka Scrappy) but he really has no value on this team.

                • Blublud

                  I actually think the replacing Campana in the lineup with mather thing was all about building up Mathers trade value, whick like umm, totally didn’t work. I guess it was worth a try. Campana actually added a spark to the lineup when he first came up, which might have also been a problem. Winning wasn’t exactly our goal last year.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Mather was better defensively had the potential for a better bat (as do any other player) and yes they hoped he would have value if he figured it out. Compared to Campana that everyone knows cannot hit or play defense- he can only steal bases. Btw what stat measures “spark”?

                  • hansman1982

                    The decision to keep Mather was possibly based on the fact that he “can play” all 3 OF positions + 1B and 3B (and P). When you are talking about a bench player that has value…especially considering who we had at 1st and 3rd.

        • MichiganGoat

          Those two among others are those lightening in a bottle low risk player you hope succeed so you can sell them for a quality return or somehow figure it out. It didn’t happen with those two but there was no risk in trying. The whole every season is precious does not equal “sign all the players,” hope you win that year, mortgage the future, abandons a plan just to have a shot at winning 80 games. It means to build a team that is built for the future and if everything becomes best case senario you have a chance to win. Of all the Thed quotes this one has caused more confusion and bile from the fan base. Never was it intended to mean that every year we would spend 200M on FA and hope to win- it means we wi continue to build toward a sustainable winner and if we get lucky with the fringe players so be it.

  • hansman1982

    Shannahan was an idiot just like McCarthy was a complete moron for trotting Rodgers out there for the final 3 minutes of the game.

    • Jacob

      I agree. The Redskins needed to be realistic about their chances. That team will only go as far as RGIII takes them, and if he blows up his knee his entire career can be screwed, along with the Redskins future.

      • Blublud

        I think Shannahan should be fired for the way he handled that situation. Kirk cousin is actually a pretty good backup and has proven he can win games for the DeadSkins. RG III is definitely better, but in that situation you have to sit him and play cousins.

        • JoeyCollins

          Can’t see him getting fired but I was thinking the same thing in the third when i read the article with the James Andrews quotes. Then for the worse case scenierio to happen… That was just reckless and unnecessary.

  • Beer Baron

    Here’s a Cub parallel to the RGIII… 1998 – Kerry Wood was the rookie of the year and appeared to be the future anchor of the franchise. He had a sore elbow toward the end of the year and was used sparingly down the stretch, but then given the go ahead to start game 3 of the playoffs. He pitched well but then needed Tommy John during the off season – hard to say if it was caused by pitching that game (realistically you can say the injury was inevitable), but obviously that didn’t help.

    PS – why is RGIII called a “hero” but same scenario and Cutler was a wimp who let his team down?

    • @cubsfantroy

      Because RG3 stayed in until he couldn’t go any longer, Cutler came out right away and wasn’t even limping.

      I wasn’t on the Cutler is a wimp bandwagon either. If your knee is fucked, its best to not push it. RG3 was stupid for wanting to stay in and Shanahan should have put his foot down and said no.

      • Beer Baron

        Actually Cutler got hurt early in the 1st half and stayed in the game until the 3rd quarter. Pretty similar scenario. And Lovie was stupid for leaving him in there then, just like Shanahan was yesterday. And bringing it back tot he Cubs, just like Don Baylor was to start Kerry Wood in 98.

        • Andrew

          Probably because everyone saw RG3s knee explode whereas there was no singular point we saw cutlers get messed up. I believe both leaving RG3 in and taking Cutty out were coaches decisions as both players wanted to stay in. Lovie made what was probably the right call and Shanahan definitely made the very wrong call.

    • hansman1982

      Wood may have injured his arm in the 20K game – said that he felt something in it towards the end of that game.

  • Tom

    Remember 1998? Kerry Wood – Rookie of the year- had elbow issues – but came back to pitch the 3rd game of the series against Atlanta – only to be pulled in the 4th because of pain (and sucking) – I was there for that game – and I still would have rather had Wood on the mound against Maddux than any other pitcher we had.

    • SirCub

      It’s definitely analogous, but it’s not the same. I’d say that in any given baseball game, the starting pitcher probably has about the same impact on the outcome as the QB does on any given football game. But because of him being a part of a rotation, the pitcher is less important to his team’s playoff chances in a series, and their long term prospects, as compared to a franchise QB.

  • The Dude Abides

    You can release any of these guys and not miss a beat. There will be several high end players available as spring training ends and final cuts are made by much deeper teams than the Cubs. We definitely value these guys much more than we should. Clevenger being our third catcher and with not any other catchers listed on our top prospect list may be the only exception.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In principle, this is an excellent point. One thought, though: roster-wise, the Cubs are actually much deeper than you might think (see, for example, the fact that they lost more players on Rule 5 day than any other org, and also see how rapidly they’ve lost a couple players on waivers recently). “Depth” does not equal “quality,” though, obviously. The Cubs are deep in fringe roster guys that, when offered to 29 other teams, one or two might find a home.

  • Webb

    That piece on the neurological development of teens screamed Casro-Soriano to me. Fascinating and fantastic article, thanks for sharing Brett.

    • JoeyCollins

      had the same thought. I wondered this year how much the cubs precieved value of soriano is tied to this very idea. Probably makes it a little easier to stick to an asking price. Also reminded me of how glad i was to see Aramis leave.

  • Curt

    def time to scrap the hof voting the way it’s done now, when s guy like santo has to wait till he dies to get in but a guy like biggio, while I think biggio was a very good player a hall of famer, no way he got 3000 hits bc of longevity , was a good fielder but not great, he deserves votes but shouldn’t get in.

    • Rich H

      Wow what guy were you watching? Biggio was one of the best players of his generation but because he was not a power hitter in the “Steriods Era” he gets seriously downgraded. In this SABR time where advanced stats make the man. Biggio stands out as a good to great player. He had 5 years that would match with anyone in history. During his peak he had a WARS of 4.4, 6.2, 5.2, 9.3, 6.4, and 4.9.

  • North Side Irish
    • North Side Irish

      Sorry…that should have said BA’s Top 10 Cubs Prospect list.

      Fujikawa at #9 is disappointing to me…just because I would have rather gotten a write up about another young player. I liked Alcantara at #10 and I feel like he gets overlooked sometimes.

    • gocatsgo2003

      This list doesn’t really have any “surprises,” but the most interesting element to me is just how many of these guys have been added since Theo and Company took over: Almora, Soler, Vizcaino, Johnson, Fujikawa, and Paniagua. Hopefully we can continue this trajectory and have the results carry over onto the Big Team sooner rather than later.

  • North Side Irish

    Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA
    Tremendous instincts, better than expected. Probably winds up at 3B. @moorhouse_scott: Best Def Inf: Javier Baez. Just blew my mind. #Cubs

    • hansman1982

      Look at their “Projected 2016 Lineup”.

      Second Base: Starlin Castro
      SS: Javier Baez

      • Cubbie Blues

        Yeah, I saw that too. Didn’t see that one coming at all.

      • Rcleven

        Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA

        Tremendous instincts, better than expected. Probably winds up at 3B. @moorhouse_scott: Best Def Inf: Javier Baez. Just blew my mind. #Cubs

        Kind of blows that out of the water.

        • North Side Irish

          Weird thing is, Callis is the one who put together the 2016 lineup with Baez at SS.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            Those are more of a “if everyone hits their ceiling, this would be where they’d position” rather than an actual prediction of what’s going to happen.

  • ISU Birds

    The idea of Shark’s shoulder exploding is terrifying. I imagined a loud bang and his arm falling to the ground.

  • blublud

    Blublud 2013 top Cubs Prospect List

    1. Baez
    2. Vogelbach(Will eventually be #1 in my opinion)
    3. Vizcaino
    4. Soler
    5. Johnson
    6. Almora
    7. Candelario
    8. Lake
    9. Loux
    10. Jackson

    Loux is better then most people think, though not a star. I think he is considerably better then Jake Brigham. I place his ETA as 2013 though, giving him a bump.
    Lake is putting up good Winter league numbers, and I feel he will force his way to the bigs before the end of the year. I have nothing to back this up, just a gut feeling.
    By the end of the year, Lake, Loux, Vizcaino and Jackson could be on the 25 man roster or Sept. Call ups.

  • Jack Weiland

    Meaning Vogelbach will surpass Baez? Or that Baez will graduate and Vogelbach will be #1 at some point? Seems highly unlikely given that no matter how well Vogelbach hits his defensive value will almost certainly be zilch. The Cubs’ other top prospects can also hit very well, if slightly worse, AND provide considerable defensive value. They’d all have to fall flat on their face and Vogelbach would have to be a monster hitter to end up as a better player at this point.

    • blublud

      I think Vogelbach is as good a hitter or better then anyone on this list. He provides more power then anyone in Minor League baseball possibly. I see him as having a Ceiling of a Pujols. Now that is potential and not guaranteed, but Baez is no guarantee either. Vogelbach has patience, hits for power, takes plenty of walks, scores run(sbjective to lineup), drives in runs, shoots the gap, sluggs, and has a high OPS. He does all the things at a high leverl. He is also more athletic then given credit for. He actually had 3 triples in 62 games, which is pretty good for someone his size.

      Oh, He stole a base last year, which means he could probably hit leadoff.(J/k)

      • Jack Weiland

        Right, that’s all true, but baseball isn’t scored during batting practice, and defense is a thing. For which even the most optimistic observers give him very poor marks. I like the kid, a lot, but the fact is he’s going to have to mash like crazy to offset his defensive shortcomings, and it would take a pretty crazy turn of events for him to jump ahead of Baez, Almora, Soler, etc.

      • brickhouse

        Vogelbach may not even be able to stay at 1b and end up as a DH prospect. He has a high power ranking but has no speed, poor defense and lack of other tools that make it very unlikey he ranks as high as you think he will.

        • Jack Weiland

          Exactly. And even IF he plays passable 1B defense, it’s probably going to subtract from his value as a hitter. Whereas Baez, Soler, Almora all have very real chances of being plus defensively where they end up, adding to their offensive value.

          For Vogelbach to pass them they basically all have to flop, and he needs to improve his D to the point he can useful to an NL team. Otherwise he’s tradebait for an AL team.

          • blublud

            Considering he was top 50 prospect in all of baseball at the halfway point of the season, and he has done nothing to make that value drop, it’s not out of the question he ends up the better player. If he turns into a non steroid version of Big Papi, it’s not out of the question he ends up better then Baez or Almora.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              I believe it was Top 50 *hitting* prospect, not Top 50 prospects.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        Vogelbach with a Pujols ceiling is an early but very strong candidate for BN Crazybuckets Assertion of 2013.

        • DarthHater


        • Blublud

          That was supposed to be a poor mans Pujols ceiling.

        • mjhurdle

          Projecting anyone to have a ceiling of a Pujols is a stretch.
          I do however think it is interesting the similarities between Pujols and Vogelbach.

          Scouting report for Pujols in his 2000 minor league year spent mostly in A ball:
          “Pujols was drafted by the Cardinals in the 13th round in 1999, out of Maple Woods Community College in Missouri. He was considered to be a promising bat, but there were questions about his defense, and many scouts thought he was too fat. Some scouts also questioned his listed birthday of January 16, 1980. He was born in the Dominican Republic.” *from http://www.minorleagueball.com/2005/9/27/115211/342

          Vogelbach is considered a very good hitter with serious questions about his weight and defense.

          Also, Pujols and Vogelbach had similar numbers in A ball as far as BA/OBP/SLG.

          Again, i am not trying to say that Vogelbach is the next Pujols. It is still unknown if he will even make the Bigs. But there is a possibility, however slim, that Vogelbach has the ability to become a very good hitter.

          • Edwin

            Doesn’t almost any prospect have a possibility, however slim, to become a very good hitter?

            • mjhurdle

              true, a better choice of words might have been ‘elite hitter’.

          • Kyle

            I may be wrong, but I think Pujols was viewed as too fat to play shortstop (his original position), not too fat to play 1st base. They were right.

  • Rizzo 44

    Hope the Cubs try and trade for Olt or Upton or both. I think Garza is as good as gone if healthy in SPT. I would try and trade Garza, Marmol and Vitters for Olt and Perez. The DBacks would be harder to make a deal with for Upton I think the Cubs would have to give up a little more in that deal to get Upton. Any ideas as to who we could give up to get Upton? I really feel Soriano will be traded to Philly within the next month. Who can we get back in a deal for him other than D Brown?

  • http://www.obstructedview.net Aisle 424

    “I imagine that he came back and pitched in the final month, but he was clearly not 100%. And, then, in that playoff game, his shoulder exploded.”

    Like when Kerry Wood came back to pitch in a basically meaningless Game 3 of the 1998 NLDS vs. Greg Maddux and then blew his elbow out on like the 3rd pitch of Spring Training in 1999?

  • cubsin

    The only way Tony Campana adds value to a MLB roster is if they adopt football’s unlimited substitution rule.

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