Quantcast

wrigley field from right bleachersUnless they are relief Bro Hugs, we won’t be seeing any dugout affection tonight. The Trade Deadline has come and passed, and, subject to the waiver trade period, the Cubs can mostly relax now.

Darwin Barney is out again tonight, and I wonder if he’s a little banged up or something.

After 36 straight hours of blogging, I am going to hit the sack shortly. Expect an EBS whenever I wake up, which might be next Tuesday.

Game Info

Milwaukee Brewers (46-61) at Chicago Cubs (48-58), 7:05 CT on WGN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Wily Peralta (7-10, 4.54 ERA, 4.19 FIP)

versus

Edwin Jackson (6-11, 4.89 ERA, 3.55 FIP)

Milwaukee Brewers Lineup

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B

2. Norichika Aoki, RF

3. Jonathan Lucroy, C

4. Carlos Gomez, CF

5. Caleb Gindl, LF

6. Martin Maldonado, 1B

7. Jeff Bianchi, SS

8. Yuniesky Betancourt, 3B

9. Wily Peralta, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Julio Borbon, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Luis Valbuena, 2B

6. Starlin Castro, SS

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Cody Ransom, 3B

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • Patrick G

    Gerardo Conception starting for AZcubs tonight

    • augiepb

      He didn’t get tattooed either. It looks like 2 pretty uneventful innings. It would really be nice to see him put together a healthy month to end this year out.

  • DaveY

    Ah, Tom Skilling with the weather. Anyone know his younger brother? Former Enron CEO and stripey hole resident Jeffrey Skilling.

    • Ken

      Living in Houston when that went down. Good book written featuring brother Jeff.

      • Danny Ballgame

        Smartest evil bastards in the room?

    • macpete22

      Went to the same high school that the Skilling’s went to, not at the same time though

  • baldtaxguy

    Nice start by Ivan Pineyro in Fort Meyers – 7 ks in 6 ip Nice

    • augiepb

      He’s been awesome so far. Turning Hairston into anyone would have pleased me, but it looks like they might have found something with Pineyro.

  • macpete22

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs deal Barney to the Tigers this winter. Peralta and Infante are both free agents and they’ll just let Iglesias take over at SS. What would you expect in return from the Tigers for Barney though?

    • Rcleven

      Not too sure the Tigers will go after Barney. With Iglesias hitting .161 at AAA. Make a great D up the middle but a heck of a hit in the O.

      • macpete22

        With that lineup I’m not sure it’d be a big deal. Iglesias and Barney could just bat 8th and 9th with Jackson, Hunter, Cabrera, Fielder, Avila, etc…

    • hansman1982

      If they haven’t wanted Barney the last two years, they aren’t going to want him this year

      • macpete22

        I thought they wanted him last year? Either way I’m just spit balling here. Saw that Infante was a free agent at the end of the year, leaving them with a need at 2B

  • Rio

    What happened with Jeffrey skilling??

  • Joey

    Concepcion: 2 ip, 1 h, 1 k

  • Rio

    Barney needs to go, we need major league hitters at all 8 positions by 2015. I can see why we might want to play him and maybe he hits a little and we can move him. I’m still not sold on Castillo yet, it seems like all the top tier teams have stud catchers. Dejusus will be gone next July.

  • Rio

    When does Black make his first start with us or has he already?

    • baldtaxguy

      Tomorrow.

  • willis

    I like EJax wanting the ball after the hour plus delay. He knows that the pen has been taxed and he could go a little more.

    • Rcleven

      Or he has a four run lead and doesn’t trust the pen.

      • willis

        Whether he does or doesn’t, he showed something wanting to get back after it once the rain had passed. At least I think so. I like it.

  • Matt

    Jackson pitching after this long break could be bad. Not usually a good thing for pitchers.

    • Josh

      Matt are you messed up in the head? Jackson knows the bullpen is taxed so he needs to go all 9 innings

      • Matt

        Josh, it’s better to risk a tired bullpen than an injury to one of the best pitchers on the team.

        • Josh

          So you’re telling me if Jesus Christ was pitching you would pull him too

          • Matt

            Calm down, buddy. No n

            • Matt

              Need to bring religion into this

              • Josh

                So you’re telling me Jesus can’t pitch a complete game

              • willis

                Jesus had a wicked slurve and never had to have TJS. :)

                • Matt

                  His fastball makes Aroldis Chapman jealous

                  • Josh

                    So Matt are you an atheist

                • Jp3

                  You trying to tell me Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?

                  • jj

                    Of course he can, but he prefers to bunt runners over, hit behind runners, or hit deep fly balls to advance runners. That’s just the way he plays.

  • Kyle

    Javier Baez didn’t get promoted into the Southern League until its season was 85 games old, give or take.

    He’s now 14th in the league in HRs and two short of the top 10. I am utterly blown away by what he’s doing to a league that by all rights should be blowing him away.

    • Crockett

      He’s still Rob Deer though…

      • Ken

        Rob Deer, our hitting coach Is standing by for that final promotion of Javier,

    • hansman1982

      Mmm, ya, that 33% K rate and .217 BA is just sooooooooooooooooooooooooo dreamy.

      • willis

        Holy shit dude, he’s at AA at 20 and creaming the ball at times. Of course he’s going to struggle some because he is facing a huge uptick in competition. But he is showing huge power and upside. He’s never faced anything close to this high level of pitching before…odds are while he’s learning he will strike out plenty. He’s also launching bombs at an insane pace, which at his age is pretty fucking impressive. Give your Baez hate a rest.

        • hansman1982

          You wanna see someone destroy AA at the age of 20:

          .376/.421/.569 with a K% of 9%

          Now THAT is a line to get giddy about.

          It’s not that the power isn’t AWESOME, but there are significant red flags with Baez.

          • willis

            Of course it is, but it isn’t the norm. Baez is learning a hit tool right now and at the same time just obliterating balls. It’s going to take time with his approach to iron out everything but he hasn’t been up hardly a month yet. Not every 20 year old is the same. A 20 year old showing his power at that level is pretty goddamn awesome. He’ll get better at the rest. He has so much damn potential. Watching his power thus far though, it’s pretty ridiculous.

          • BlameHendry

            I tend to agree with this guy. At age 20 I’d rather see .376 with a 9% K rate than homers galore with a 35% K rate. I dont want Baez to end up being Adam Dunn Jr. I’d rather him focus on making much more consistent contact and letting the power naturally catch up on its own.

            • ssckelley

              A hitter like Adam Dunn playing shortstop would be awesome.

              • hansman1982

                Adam Dunn also had an 18% K rate in AA.

                • Kyle

                  Adam Dunn didn’t hit HRs at a 64/season pace in AA.

        • Ken

          Like Baez a ton–by the way he played the full 6 week season in Arizona Fall League with top pitching prospects and then games in Spring Training so Double A guys are not going to impress him too much. Confidence on loan from—-

      • Kyle

        I’d love to see the K-rate drop, but he’s a 20-year-old in AA. This is a level where he should be expected to be K-ing a lot. The first taste of AA is generally the toughest test for any prospect outside of the major leagues.

        As far as the BA goes, it’s attached to a .200 BABIP. If he had even a .275 BABIP (still pretty low), his BA would be .253.

        Meanwhile, even with the insanely low BABIP, his OPS would be No. 2 in the Southern League if he had enough PAs. As a middle infielder who can’t buy himself beer yet.

        I was leading the charge on the problems of his K rates when they were attached to good but not great performance in A+. But when they are attached to historic levels of power at AA? That’s a whole different story. Especially when it’s paired with a 9% BB rate.

        • hansman1982

          “I’d love to see the K-rate drop, but he’s a 20-year-old in AA.”

          Or he’s just a player who is going to K a lot, as evidenced by his 700 plus PA in the minors.

          “As far as the BA goes, it’s attached to a .200 BABIP. If he had even a .275 BABIP (still pretty low), his BA would be .253.”

          Artifact of his power. Shit, you could turn half of his homers into doubles and dramatically increase his BABIP.

          “Meanwhile, even with the insanely low BABIP, his OPS would be No. 2 in the Southern League if he had enough PAs. As a middle infielder who can’t buy himself beer yet.”

          And I bet I could find a myriad of guys who did just as, if not better than Baez at the age of 20 in AA. Shit, here’s one without much work: .304/.349/.554

          “I was leading the charge on the problems of his K rates when they were attached to good but not great performance in A+.”

          Leading the charge? Ummm, buddy, you might want to review the tape.

          “Especially when it’s paired with a 9% BB rate.”

          That is encouraging. What isn’t encouraging is his continued issues with making contact. He continues to have severe issues with his K-swinging rates.

          His power is impressive, but he has more K’s than Brett Jackson and is struggling with the mendoza line.

          • Kyle

            “Or he’s just a player who is going to K a lot, as evidenced by his 700 plus PA in the minors.”

            Yes. But you can K a lot and still be successful. The guys who usually do it best are the ones who have a ton of power and can draw a good amount of walks. Check and check.

            “Artifact of his power. Shit, you could turn half of his homers into doubles and dramatically increase his BABIP.”

            Does BABIP work that way? I’ve never heard that high power guys tend to have lower BABIPs.

            “And I bet I could find a myriad of guys who did just as, if not better than Baez at the age of 20 in AA. Shit, here’s one without much work: .304/.349/.554″

            No, a .250 ISO is not comparable to what he’s doing. And I bet you can’t find many doing it with a .200 BABIP.

            “Leading the charge? Ummm, buddy, you might want to review the tape.”

            Co-leading the parade?

            “That is encouraging. What isn’t encouraging is his continued issues with making contact. He continues to have severe issues with his K-swinging rates.”

            “His power is impressive, but he has more K’s than Brett Jackson and is struggling with the mendoza line.”

            If Brett Jackson had his power, Brett Jackson would be in the majors right now.

            • hansman1982

              “draw a good amount of walks”

              500 PA of terrible (as in historically bad BB rates) vs 200 PA of average BB rates. Typicall the guys who get away with high-K rates have BB rates in the 12% range.

              “Does BABIP work that way? I’ve never heard that high power guys tend to have lower BABIPs.”

              The fact that he has a 10% HR rate right now and half of his hits are HR would tend to suppress BABIP.

              “No, a .250 ISO is not comparable to what he’s doing. And I bet you can’t find many doing it with a .200 BABIP.”

              What I found was a guy with a higher OPS than Baez. Meanwhile, he was posting a better BB and K rate at the same age and he completely, totally, utterly busted out.

              “If Brett Jackson had his power, Brett Jackson would be in the majors right now.”

              Chris Davis, age 21 AA: .294 .371 .688 21% K rate, 10% BB rate in 124 PA. Not a perfect comparison but considering Baez’s flaws, there aren’t going to be many perfect comparisons.

              • Kyle

                Chris Davis has turned out to be pretty good. Now imagine him playing a non-1b infield position.

                • hansman1982

                  Chris Davis also had better all-around stats.

              • Kyle

                “500 PA of terrible (as in historically bad BB rates) vs 200 PA of average BB rates.”

                And now he’s making adjustments. That’s what the low minors are for. Making adjustments and improving.

                “The fact that he has a 10% HR rate right now and half of his hits are HR would tend to suppress BABIP.”

                Would it? Again, other than your musing, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I have no basis for judging whether it’s true or not.

                “What I found was a guy with a higher OPS than Baez.”

                And much like the point you are making: raw OPS doesn’t tell the whole story when talking about a prospect.

                “Chris Davis, age 21 AA: .294 .371 .688 21% K rate, 10% BB rate in 124 PA. Not a perfect comparison but considering Baez’s flaws, there aren’t going to be many perfect comparisons.”

                He turned out to be pretty good. Now imagine him playing the middle infield or 3b.

          • willis

            He’s hitting .221. Not great but not quite Mendoza. Your boy Olt is at the Mendoza, but I’m sure you like him because this front office acquired him?

            You curse Baez, who is mashing his first go around at this level, yet praise everything Sveum does, while he blows at his job. I just don’t get it.

            And go ahead, throw all the 20 year olds you want at us…the power and performance thus far on the fly is impressive.

            • Ken

              Speaking of Mendoza. I actually got to know him about 7 yrs ago when he managed a Double A team for the Giants. He was a daily jackass with everybody except his nephew whom he played every game-regardless. Nobody ever mentioned the Mendoza line around him though–tough guy.

            • hansman1982

              Since when is Olt “my boy”. I called him an IF version of Brett Jackson.

              “yet praise everything Sveum does”

              Strawman. I think Sveum has done a perfectly fine job with the roster he has been given. I have proven this time and time again.

              “the power and performance thus far on the fly is impressive”

              I don’t doubt his power. I do doubt his ability to make sufficient contact at the MLB level to succeed.

              • willis

                I don’t know what the stupid ass term “straw man” some of you use means, which I suppose either makes me an idiot or whatever. Sveum has made a ton of mistakes this year and last. Sure his rosters have been flawed some, but they should have a much better record than they do with some better bullpen/staff management. Yesterday and Monday are perfect examples of this.

                I threw the Olt comment in there just to piss you and others off, had no concrete reason to other than that. I just figured if I was going to argue about Baez, I’d throw Olt barbs for grins as well. :)

                • hansman1982

                  The strawman is that Sveum doesn’t really tie in to the Baez discussion. I hold a firm belief that in-game decisions, while they are all we have to judge a manager, are a tiny fraction of how they impact a team.

              • Drew7

                “I don’t doubt his power. I do doubt his ability to make sufficient contact at the MLB level to succeed.”

                This is what I don’t get. Knowing what type of player Baez is, would you not expect him to have trouble making contact in his 1st 100 PA’s in AA? Yet you almost completely dismiss the *insane* amount of power he’s showing.

                • hansman1982

                  “Knowing what type of player Baez is, would you not expect him to have trouble making contact in his 1st 100 PA’s in AA?”

                  This is precisely why I don’t put much stock in his HR hitting at AA. Impressive, sure but it also shows he didn’t learn much from his A+ stop. Either he is so freekin talented that even AA is presenting such a weak challenge that he is still show-boating or he is going to be a guy who will bat .150 but with 25 home runs over a full season.

                  At some point, he needs to show more than power. Shit, Adam Dunn had a decent BB and K rate in the minors.

                  • Kyle

                    “At some point, he needs to show more than power. ”

                    Not if he’s got a .400 ISO, he doesn’t.

                    • hansman1982

                      Yes, because a high K rate and a low BB rate in the minors translates well.

                      Adam Dunn is laughing at Baez’s BB and K rates.

                    • Kyle

                      You need to pick one.

                      If you want to use the 33% K rate, you need to give him credit for the 9% BB rate.

                      If you want to use career BB rate, you need to use his career MiLB K-rate of 23.8% K-rate, which is problematic but not in the complete red zone. It’s a similar minor league K-rate to players such as Derrek Lee and Larry Walker.

                    • hansman1982

                      And I have hammered this point multiple times. It’s not just the K rate or the BB rate, it’s the combo of the chronically low BB rate with a chronically high K rate with a chronically low BA.

                      If he had a low BB rate coupled with a high K-rate and AVG, it’d be much easier to dismiss as a kid just owning a level (see Almora) but when NOTHING (sans HR rate) is pointing in a good direction, I get worried.

                    • Drew7

                      “it’s the combo of the chronically low BB rate with a chronically high K rate with a chronically low BA.”

                      Again: are we discussing his AA stint or his entire professional career?

                      Answer: it has to be a little of both, because he hasn’t shown that sort of combination in either one.

                    • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

                      Baez doesn’t have a Low BB rate right now; it’s average.

                      If he’s still striking out over 30% of the time by the end of the year, then we can get concerned. But in his first 100 AA at bats, his wOBA is .383 and his wRC+ 141.

                      Yes, there are red flags. But we haven’t even really gotten into adjustment period for him yet. When he stops hitting for power, then we can worry about the K’s. He was striking out at a similarly torrid pace at High-A early in the year; when he struggled, he adjusted, and started striking out less.

                    • Kyle

                      You ignored the BB rate again.

            • Jp3

              False. Olt is under the Mendoza line after his 0-4 performance last night

      • Drew7

        Hans, you can’t use BA only when it supports your argument; you’ve consistently (and correctly) been one that dismisses the use of it as an evaluation tool.

        Second, he’s *way* young for AA, and the sample is too small to be worrying about rate stats like that; you’d expect those numbers to be a bit elevated in his first taste of such an advanced level. He *should* be over matched – he’s 20. The fact that he’s been able to punish AA pitching this much is crazy impressive.

        • hansman1982

          “Hans, you can’t use BA only when it supports your argument; you’ve consistently (and correctly) been one that dismisses the use of it as an evaluation tool.”

          I’ve consistently dismissed it as anything but 1 part of the story. Pairing it with a low BB rate and a high K rate (and a high swinging K rate) tells me he has contact issues.

          “He *should* be over matched – he’s 20.”

          and I can find two examples of 20 year olds not overmatched at AA at the age of 20 in the Cubs farm system out of 3 tries.

          I get it, when he gets the barrel of the bat on the ball, he can send it a long ways. Fantastic. My issue is that he isn’t getting the barrel of the bat on the ball all that often.

          • Drew7

            1) we are talking about his stint in AA: if you’re gonna cite his 33% K-rate, you can’t just gloss over the 9% BB-rate.

            2) have you found any examples of 20 year olds showing that kind of success in their 1st taste of AA? I’d like to see a name attached if you do.

            • hansman1982

              Felix Pie. Better OPS. Hanley Ramirez, better OPS. Terry Hughes (old school) age 19 AA: 328 .434 .531.

              And this is just a 5 minute look through the 1st round and 9th round draft picks.

              • Kyle

                Felix Pie: .352 BABIP
                Hanley Ramirez: actually a .006 lower OPS after tonight’s game for Baez, in a better hitter’s league, .307 BABIP

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  Honest question – adjust Pie’s and Ramirez’s BABIP on the assumption they have a home run rate equivalent to Baez now, and what is the BABIP?

                  I suspect the argument that Baez has a low BABIP in part because of his ultra high HR% has some merit, but I haven’t run the numbers yet.

                  • Kyle

                    Rob Deer had a .275 career BABIP. Adam Dunn, .286. I’m not flat-out rejecting the HRs=low BABIP theory, but I’m sure as heck not buying it yet.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      That’s pretty much where I’m at. I’d have to tinker with some numbers… sometime when I’m not working on a Daily… and see what pops up.

                    • Kyle

                      Just for funsies, here’s Baez’s line if he had four more BIP singles to bring his BABIP up to a still low-ish .275:

                      263/327/642

                  • hansman1982

                    Pie would have been at .295

      • The Dude

        Hansman, who’s line was that? It’s ridiculous

        • hansman1982

          Castro – caveat, it was his second trip through AA.

          • Kyle

            Second caveat: It came with a BABIP near .400.

            • waittilthisyear

              third caveat: it came with a BA near .400 (kidding)

            • Kyle

              Third caveat: Starlin Castro had one of the earliest-developing plus-plus hit tools in the history of the Chicago Cubs.

            • Kyle

              Fourth caveat: If Baez is still striking out at this pace after, say, 400 AA PAs, I’ll be very concerned. But he showed at A+ that he could adjust after K-ing too much for his first 150 PAs or so.

              I’m just imagining: if he can hit for this much power and draw this many walks while he’s still in his pre-adjustment flailing phase, what might he do when he’s gotten used to the level and turns it up a notch like he did in A+?

              • Drew7

                ^^^All of the above

              • hansman1982

                I’m excited for that. Seriously, I am. Right now, though, we have a kid who has hammered 10 pitches for home runs out of 20 hits. The K concerns are still there, the BB concerns are abating but he still hasn’t gotten good enough contact to get himself much else than nailing a few pitches a long ways.

                His flaws are precisely why I think there is still a slim chance we could see him as a Sept callup. I think he is going to have to fail HARD in order to truly unlock his talent. Once he does that, good fucking god, watch out.

                • Kyle

                  I don’t think you are being particularly accurate by hammering the hit total and glossing over the BABIP.

                  The scary/awesome part is: What if he gets that MLB call-up to try to scare him straight and he just keeps mashing?

                  • willis

                    I don’t think he’ll get (nor should he) a call up. He’s got a lot to learn. But damn is he talented and exciting.

                  • hansman1982

                    If everything else is the same and we continue to see a loss of .050 across the triple slash (I’ll just go ahead and ignore that it is a 2 level jump from AA to MLB):

                    .160/.220/.500

                    • Kyle

                      So now he’s got a .150 BABIP?

                    • hansman1982

                      I’m not sure where you got a .150 BABIP out of that. He’s lost more than .050 off his BA and OBP each time he jumped from A to A+ to AA.

                      Another .050 loss from AA to MLB shouldn’t be a shocker.

                    • Kyle

                      And he’s lost more than 50 points of his BABIP each time, too, oddly enough.

          • ssckelley

            Those were probably his best 26 games of his minor league career. The closest Castro came to that stat line was in rookie ball. I cannot believe you presented a small sample size to make your point.

            • hansman1982

              I was looking, specifically, for similar sample sizes to what Baez has presented in AA thus far, if we are only looking at his last 200 PA, it’s only fair to cherry pick other player’s performances that fit our needs.

              • ssckelley

                Wouldn’t it be better to compare Castros first 31 games in AA instead of his last?

                • hansman1982

                  You could, then the comparison isn’t apt (not that it was to begin with).

                  My point is, there are lots of folks who have put up a tremendous OPS at the age of 20. The successful ones seem to have 1 thing in common, BA and OBP that is respectable.

                  • Kyle

                    I’m not particularly certain that’s what the successful ones had in common. That’s what Felix Pie had.

                    • hansman1982

                      In looking at successful ones that I have seen tonight, it is (granted, SSS and all that).

                      Adam Dunn and Derrek Lee are the two guys I have open right now who had respectable AA BA/OBP

                    • Kyle

                      And if Baez’s BABIP was remotely normalized, he’d have a respectable BA/OBP too.

                    • hansman1982

                      And if we gave Pie Baez’s HR rate his BABIP would have been in the .290′s.

                    • Kyle

                      We have a good reason to normalize BABIP. Why would we normalize HR rate?

                    • hansman1982

                      Wait, haven’t there been numerous discussions about how you can’t play with a player’s stats? They are what they are? What Baez has shown me, thus far, is he can hit a ball a long ways, on the off chance he gets ahold of one.

                      Right now, given his stat profile, he’s toast in the majors after a 2-month scouting period.

                    • Kyle

                      I’m a big fan of playing with player’s peripherals.

                      I just don’t like arbitrary endpoints.

                    • hansman1982

                      “We have a good reason to normalize BABIP. Why would we normalize HR rate?”

                      For the same reason you normalize BABIP, when it is a severe outlier. Such as a 10% HR rate.

                    • Drew7

                      x-HIF: HR-rates normalized to league-average :)

                    • hansman1982

                      Well his peripherals say he is a low BB (5.5%) and a high K (23%) guy. Those kinds of guys have a really tough time making it in the bigs.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Kinda surprised by your stance on Baez at AA so far, Hans. I remember you were down on him after a month or so at Daytona before he turned it around and flourished in that league. Now, as one of the youngest players in AA, he has an increased BB rate, absolutely insane power, and playing very solid defense by a lot of reports. He won’t strike out 35% of the time there. I’ve been pretty pleased with his start so far. Remember, it’s pretty widely accepted that the jump to AA is the most difficult (other than AAA to MLB). I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. In fact, I think he’s knocking on the door of being a consensus top 10 prospect in the game.

                    • Kyle

                      True that. And if I were just scouting off his low minors stats, I’d be intrigued but overwhelmed.

                    • hansman1982

                      And the peripherals, typically, indicate a players true talent level. Baez is hitting lots of homers in AA, hooray! He still isn’t making contact worth a crap and has a terrible BB/K ratio.

                    • Kyle

                      In the low minors, the scouting reports indicate the player’s true talent. At AA and 20, we’re just starting to get to the point where the stats start to take on a significant portion of the value.

                      Fun fact: Baez is on pace for 68 home runs per full AA season (going by HR/G for a 142-game schedule). That would be one short of the all-time minor league record, set by Joe Houser in 153 games in 1933.

                    • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

                      What makes you so convinced the K numbers are going to hold up? He made the adjustment in High-A after he struggled and lowered the strikeouts to acceptable territory.

                      Right now, he’s homering in 10% of his AB’s with a .383 wOBA, so he hasn’t had to adjust. But I think he deserves much more than 100 AB’s in his first go-around at AA before we declare his 30% K rate is here to stay.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      One thing that I think get’s overlooked as well: if he stays at SS, he could still be a very good major leaguer with a 30% K-rate. That kind of positional value and power can overcome holes, even big ones, like that. I don’t think anyone would have a problem with a 0.265 AVG 0.315 OBP if he hits 30 HRs and plays adequate defense at SS.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Did I just put an apostrophe in “gets”??? Time for bed.

                    • Kyle

                      Oooh, that’s a fun exercise. Playing with numbers to get an MLB projection.

                      He’s got a 23.8% minor league K rate in the minors, with an average level of about A+. A good rule of thumb is that K-rate increases by about 2 percentage points for each level you advance, but it also drops a bit as you age. At Baez’s level and K-rate, it should drop about 1 percentage point a year. So If he’s K-ing at 23.8% in the minors as a 20-year-old A+-er, he should be K-ing about 27.8% of the time as a 22-year-old MLB-er.

                      His BB rate has increased every level up so far, but we’ll just go with 5% because I’m lazy (a bit below his MiLB average to date).

                      So let’s say he hits 30 HRs per 600 PAs, with those BB rates, a league average BABIP, and his minor league 3b:2b:1b ratios, I get a slash line of:

                      246/283/475 for a .758 OPS. and a .321 wOBA.

                      That would make him roughly a 3-win player with average 3b defense.

                      Ideally, his talent would allow him to improve beyond the normal curve and keep his K-rate closer to his MiLB total and get his BB rate up, but even if neither of those happen, his power and spot on the positional spectrum should make him a useful player.

    • VegasGoat

      I am utter blown as well by Baez homer rate and also his K rate. Hopefully he can figure out a good plate approach and learn not to swing at everything. Kid needs to learn how take pitches and wait for his pitch. He sometimes the most exciting player in the minor and yet he can be extremely frustrating if you get a chance watch some of his at bats. I will say he is so young for this league and has a mountain of talent so I’m crossing my finger he can at least be respectable with his walk rate

  • Bob Camp

    Breaking: Tigers announce they have changed their logo for the 2014 season

    http://imgur.com/rwRhOvA

  • VegasGoat

    FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers would consider dealing right-hander Matt Garza.

    • VegasGoat

      Anyone see this report?

    • BlameHendry

      buyer’s remorse?

    • DarthHater

      http://www.lonestarball.com/2013/7/31/4575354/rosenthal-matt-garza-among-rangers-in-play

      It’s a lot of nuthin. They were willing to consider dealing Garza only in the sense that they were willing to listen to any proposals coming in. The Cubs were willing to consider trading Samardzija. Does that mean they have remorse about having him on the team?

      • Vulcan

        Right on the money, Darth.

      • VegasGoat

        Just curious does anyone think it makes sense to resign Garza in the offseason? Only 29, great stuff but has the stigma of injury prone. I know it basically never happens when teams trade rental players but never resign them. He is the ideal guy that FO would target – the slight injury proness the last few years and he won’t have a qualify offer stuck to him that costs the team who signs him a draft pick.

        So would you guys be willing to shell out 5yrs $75M to sign him? Ideally I expect us to be competing again in 2 yrs

        • willis

          Doesn’t matter, this FO won’t spend to get him. Something about him they just don’t like. They wouldn’t extend him for fair market value, they sure aren’t going after him in FA.

        • Kyle

          Garza will go for more than 5/75.

  • VegasGoat

    Anyone know if Baez is hitting his at Tennessee off of breaking balls or are the majority of his homers off of fast balls? Reason I ask is because double A ball is what separates the men from the boys because it is the first time in many minor leaguers careers that they face good breaking balls.

  • Bill

    Wow, Jackson really has it under control today. Hope he can pitch like this rest of the season.

  • Cubswin

    People who write off players (like olt) after one down year even though they have had EXTREME success in previous years obviously know nothing about baseball. Castros having a down year so he must be done too right dumb

    • Kyle

      This post is practically word for word identical to a lot of posts made about Brett Jackson this time last year.

      • VegasGoat

        Kyle has a good point. I’m not high on Olt but I’m will to give a fresh start next season before I write the guy off. I think he’s definitely major leaguer but he may never live up to the hype of ever becoming an allstar but ill give him another season before I completely write him off

        • Kyle

          I’m pretty down on him, but it’s not like we’re going to release him or anything. He’ll get his chances to turn it around at AAA.

          • http://It'searly Mike F

            I agree completely. You don’t throw him away. But he’s not a 20 year old kid, and talk about red flags. I am down on him too, I don’t like his approach, mechanics and SO. That said, you don’t throw him out, but as with Ian Stewart, you must make him earn whichever way he goes. While he was regressing in AAA in Texas, he’s been very had in Iowa striking out in excess of 33% of the time and unlike Baez, he’s the only bomb he’s launching. I hope he finds himself, but the hitting instruction in the Cubs organization has to be corrected. And even though I like Sveum, if he isn’t a catalyst for that, his job should be in the crosshairs.

            • VegasGoat

              I didn’t mean throw Olt away. I meant write him off as anything better then an average major leaguer. Of course you don’t throw him away, especially in this 3rd baseman market

        • Cubswin

          I’m not saying he’s guaranteed to be the next all star at 3rd but I keep reading everyone writing him off because of one bad year… I think he definitely deserves a shot, if he doesn’t pan out then he doesn’t. Also it won’t matter what he’s doing at Triple A he will get his sept call up (possibly earlier) regardless of his Triple A stats

          • willis

            He’s hitting .199 at AAA in a hitter friendly league. What makes you (or anyone) think he deserves shit this year? Let him settle in, then see what he has next year at AAA. After that, we can all make a smart conclusion whether or not he’s going to anything at the major league level.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            It isn’t one bad year. It is a pattern of elevated strike out rates through his minor league career that correlates strongly with players who struggle mightily in the majors.

            Until he proves he can make consistent contact at Triple A I can’t see him as much more than a good-glove utility guy and power bat off the bench.

            And to be honest, right now I don’t think the Cubs should call him up in September. I see no benefit in letting him be exposed by major league pitching. I’d rather see him take a month off, work with the Cubs coaches in Arizona for awhile, and then head for the Winter Leagues.

            • willis

              Baaaaazingo. Well said Luke.

            • Cubswin

              Which is cause for concern obviously but not to say its over and done with. Baez also has that high strikeout rate but you and others still rank him as Cubs #1 prospect for a reason… Olts 25 lets see what he can do. Bjax apparently had his swing “fixed” over the offseason and it did him worse it seems. My main point is not to say how great Olt is but that I would rather see him at 3rd than Valbuena. We know how good Valbuena can be cause he’s currently doing it.. We have no idea what olt can do which is my point. He will be called up this year

              • willis

                Baez is 20, and sending ICBMs into outer space at AA. That’s why he’s ranked highly. In a year, or two years, if he is still struggling with the K rate like he is now, then yes, he’ll be criticized for it. Still learning much. Olt is 25 and getting peed on by AAA pitchers, that is concerning and why some of us don’t buy him.

                Hey look, God willing they both figure out the K rate and kick ass for the cubs. That’s my hope.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Baez is 20 and in Double A. He gets a lot of slack for that.

                Olt is 25. He doesn’t get any slack for that. If Baez is still in the minors and has Olt-like numbers five years from now, I doubt he’ll be on the Top 40 at all… because he won’t be in the farm system.

                If the Cubs wanted to move Valbuea off third, I’d rather see Vitters there (solid Triple A numbers) than Olt. There is just no reason to rush Olt to the majors until he proves he can make consistent contact. He hasn’t done that.

                • willis

                  I like my pee reference better than your eloquently stated sentence.

                  • ssckelley

                    I do not completely agree with Luke either on Olt but there is no need to be a dick about it.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Actually… willis is agreeing with me in this case. Context is all kinds of confusing on this one, though.

                    • ssckelley

                      Ok, I read that wrong…..my apologies.

                    • willis

                      Yes, agreeing with Luke and giving him props for stating it better than my immature reference. Was making a slight at myself in this case. Sarcasm and immaturity. No harm intended.

                • Cubswin

                  I agree Baez gets plenty of slack for being 20. But everything I have seen says Olt is still top ten in the cubs prospects and even as high as 4-5 range. So not sure why you would say Baez wouldn’t be in top 40 at Olts age when Olt is obviously in the top 40. I would have liked to see Vitters too really liked him out of college but the man just can’t stay healthy… Didn’t he just get hurt again within last week or two after coming back from injury? One moment Olt is too old give up on him now be patient? Olt>Valbuena

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    The Cubs won’t keep Baez around for five years if he is struggling at Triple A like Olt has been. That’s why he won’t be in the Top 40.

                    I’m not saying we should give up on Olt, either. I’m saying he needs to show he can make consistent contact at Triple A before I chuck him into the meat grinder that is major league pitching. There is no benefit in setting a guy who is already struggling up for that kind of failure.

                    Maybe I’m too much of a humanitarian, but I don’t get the point in taking a guy who is striking out 30%+ in Triple A and sending him to Chicago where in all likelihood he’ll strike out at a 40%+ rate. Where’s the upside?

                    Sure, we can hope he turns a corner on the plane to Chicago, but that sort of thing really doesn’t happen very often.

                    One he has a sustained stretch of solid contact … K% in the mid to low 20%s over 150 PA or so… then I’d be on board with calling him up.

                    But not yet. Right now it would be pointless.

                  • trolls

                    You must have had an extremely advanced scouting report or a time machine because Vitters was drafted out of high school

                    • willis

                      I didn’t have the heart to hit that, but I’m laughing hard at your comment. Well done.

                    • Cubswin

                      Meant All American game my apologies!

                  • Drew7

                    1) those lists you’re seeing with Olt in the 4-5 range are either A) just slotting him in post-trade using his preseason ranking, or B) not credible.

                    2) Vitters didn’t go to college.

                    • Cubswin

                      CSN Chicago has him at #5 after the trade and bleacher report has him at #6 those are a couple credible sources and I believe Brett had him at after the big 4?

                    • Kyle

                      Neither of those are particularly credible sources.

                      Brett? I’ll go easy on him because he’s in a blogathon-induced coma and can’t defend himself.

                    • trolls

                      JT ranks him as #41, pretty credible source and just outside the top 40. Looks like Lukewins……see what I did there

                    • Cubswin

                      He meant Cubs not all of baseball. Also MLB.com had him at 5 and Law had top 6

                    • trolls

                      I meant Cubs too. #41 on the Cubs system. He is behind Gary Gaetti Jr. Micky Morandini and Royce Clayton

                    • hansman1982

                      You could possibly, maybe justify him at #5, it’d be a really shaky #5 but it’s possible.

                    • trolls

                      I should have checked my sources better, apparently JT is me and I just made it all up. Ugh I can’t keep up with all the personas in my head

                    • JulioZuleta

                      He’s hard to rank, and will be ranked very differently by everyone. I think #6 is the absolute highest you can go with him. Right now, I think Alcantara is ahead of him. He falls into a big group between 6-12 with a bunch of other guys like Johnson and Edwards.

                • Cubswin

                  Luke not accusing you of saying give up on him either. Just what some people no the board seem to be implying/saying

    • BlameHendry

      Castro is done. I dont think he’ll ever bat .300 again. I do consider last year a step down from his 2011 season.

      • trolls

        Neither will Micky Morandini

        • X the Cubs Fan

          Do you guys even think it’s possible that the FOs fault he’s struggling so bad? I mean he was great before they came, but they want to change everything.

  • Dustin S

    Olt just missed an opposite field homer by a couple feet, caught at the top of the wall.

  • Austin

    It’d be nice if Eduardo Sanchez was actually given a chance. If he isn’t going to be used why the hell do they keep on the roster?

  • Njriv

    Random thought, what happened to Cubs1967? Did Travis Wood’s all-star performance this year send him into an epitome of darkness when realizing the Sean Marshall deal actually worked out for the Cubs?

    • Drew7

      Umm…

      Ban. Hammer.

      • Njriv

        Seriously? Had no idea.

    • Vulcan

      We do not speak of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named here.

  • mudge

    Paul Sullivan is a disgrace to journalism. Spiteful, small-minded and generally a vast bowl of pus.

    • Ken

      Is this Carrie Muskrat?

      • Cubswin

        Lmao

  • VegasGoat

    Jed Boyer was on Kaplans show on csn STL and he said he could see Olt being up later this season. I really he doesn’t get called if he’s still scuffling as bad as he has been

    • VegasGoat

      Hoyer*

      • mudge

        Hoyeur

  • Vulcan

    I’m ready for Blogathon part 2. Who’s with me?

    No one? You’re all asleep? …Ok fine, I’ll wait until next year.

  • Rich

    look everyone it’s funny’s little brother, NOT FUNNY

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+