Quantcast

darwin barney gold gloveI’ll be hitting the links today, which is something I did a fair bit more in my pre-kids, pre-BN days. I was never particularly good, but it’s fun when you have the time to get away for a few hours. So, get away I will …

  • The Cubs lost an up and down one last night in Philadelphia. After taking an early lead on a three-run homer by Donnie Murphy, Edwin Jackson couldn’t hold it – he got hit, and hit, and hit. By the time the 9th rolled around, the Cubs were down 9-5. But a two-run single by Nate Schierholtz, and then a dropped fly ball by Domonic “Brant” Brown gave the Cubs another run. That’s where the teaser rally ended, though, as new Cub Thomas Neal flied out to end the game.
  • Jackson didn’t offer much on his first really bad start in over a month, saying that it was one of those games where, if you made a mistake, they were hitting it. He also noted that he was leaving the ball up a bit too much. (Per Cubs.com.)
  • The loss was the 5th in a row for the Cubs, who are now 0-fer August, and just a game and a half ahead of the Brewers for 4th in the NL Central.
  • To make room on the 25-man roster for Thomas Neal yesterday, the Cubs optioned reliever Eduardo Sanchez back to Iowa. The 24-year-old has pitched just three innings in the bigs this year for the Cubs, giving up one earned run, three hits, and striking out one.
  • Julio Borbon, DFA’d last week in what turned out to be a precursor to the addition of Neal, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Iowa.
  • More interesting thoughts from Cubs players on the PED issue and the Biogenesis suspensions, from Patrick Mooney. Carlos Villanueva, in particular, makes some interesting points in favor of much harsher penalties.
  • Also from Mooney, more from Ryne Sandberg on his time in the Cubs’ organization as a coach/manager, and on his departure a few years ago.
  • Albert Almora hit the DL yesterday, retroactive to August 5th, with a groin strain. The Cubs’ outfield prospect appeared to some to tweak something while taking swings on Monday, so he’ll be out for at least a week (the minor league DL is 7 days (less need to protect against DL abuse than in the Majors)). Hopefully it isn’t anything serious, and he’ll be back soon. The injury will mark the fourth time that Almora has missed action this year (hamate bone break/removal, hamstring, hemorrhoids, and now groin). You wouldn’t be able to tell that he’s dealt with a ton of injuries by his numbers, though, as he’s hitting .329/.376/.466 with a 30:17 K:BB ratio as a 19-year-old in low-A.
  • As Luke mentioned in the Daily, Smokies lefty Eric Jokisch threw a no-hitter last night. The 24-year-old’s numbers once again look good at AA this year, and he’s likely ticketed for a rotation spot at Iowa next year. He’s not likely to be more than a back-end guy in the big leagues, if that, but he’ll probably be somewhere on the 15-deep pitching depth chart next year for the Cubs’ rotation. (Which is not an insult, by the way – Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Villanueva, [Probable Addition(s)], Arrieta, Grimm, Rusin, Raley, Cabrera, Hendricks … I could keep going. Things are different than they were a couple years ago.)
  • A graphical look at the steroid era from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs. Very interesting.
  • A “snag” in the deal between the Phillies and Cuban Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez?
  • MLB managers were polled on the top tools in baseball, and only one Cub made any of the lists – Darwin Barney, as the second best defensive second baseman in the NL (yes, behind Brandon Phillips). Sounds like Barney won’t win his second straight Gold Glove, given that the managers are the guys who vote on the award.
  • On The Farm

    I really can’t wait to hear what Brett shot out on the course today. I have always been curious as to what his handicap is, considering he used to be a big time lawyer and all.

    • Jon

      Oh, Judge, I don’t keep score.

      • Jono

        Nice reference

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I had some nice shots, some nice holes. Overall score would have been well over 100, though (tough course). I’ve only played twice in the last three years coming into today.

      • MichiganGoat

        Uh the boss man is checking in everyone look busy…

  • David

    Is Zastryzny the 2nd round draft pick from last year?

    • Jon

      This year

    • Jono

      This year

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      This year 2013 2nd round pick

  • RizzoCastro

    McCann, Cruz, and Cano. Then go get price. Sign Shark and Wood to extensions and you have the makings of something great for 4-5 years. If all the talent in the minors become what they expect the Cubs will be great for many years. Draft a catcher and more pitching next year in the draft.

    • On The Farm

      If it were that easy I am pretty sure the FO would do it.

    • hansman1982

      Until Cano underperforms his contracts by year two.

      Cruz is only desirable if he takes a 1-year deal. Wood is a guy you ride through a year of Arb. If he is as good as this year possibly hints at, fine, you pay a little extra. Odds are, in 2 years you can find someone else to replace him for less.

      • Edwin

        I think Cano would be worth it the first 3-4 years. And the Cubs can afford to eat a bad contract every once in awhile, and they should have some young cheap talent coming up to help offset the cost as well. For that much immeadiate improvement to the team, I don’t think a Cano deal is so bad, unless bidding pushes it up into the 28-30 mil per year range. If they can get Cano for 25M per year, I think that’s ok.

        Would you do the move if adding Cano put the Cubs into contention for a wildcard spot next season?

        • Hansman1982

          If the option was cano = contention so no cano means no contention. Yes; however, I think the FO can put that $25M to better use.

  • Jon

    People need to put the Cano fantasies away. Jay Z has that lined up either to NY or LA.

    • On The Farm

      I hope he does have that lined up, because I really don’t want another albatross

    • David

      Agreed, don’t even talk about it. I wouldnt give him more than 5 years right now. He has Soriono written all over it. If this was 2016 and we’re good, it’d be a different story.

    • Jono

      Im not sure if Cano would be a good fit with either the knicks or lakers

      • On The Farm

        Jay Z made a Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee did. So Cano has nothing left to do in NY, he is heading to LA.

        • Jon

          If the Dodgers do sign him, that has to be the straw that broke the camels back in terms of getting more severe luxary tax penalties, (if a cap is never going to happen)

        • Jono

          Then alcantara can beat out Cano for an all star spot

          • On The Farm

            Two to three years from now, its highly possible. Once Cano’s productivity starts declining and Alacantra starts hitting his stride in the pros.

    • DocWimsey

      *deletes desktop picture of Cano in a Speedo*

      Done!

  • David

    Alcantara is the key to our success when he comes up. He’s really our only true lead off guy in the system. Almora maybe, but I like him batting 2nd.

    • cerambam

      Honestly, I think Olt and Alcantara play a larger role than many realize. If they emerge as MLB starters (we will find out relatively soon) then that relieves a lot of the pressure and importance of the big 4. Further, it opens them up to be more easily moved. This can be especially helpful considering more than half of them should flame out (statistically)

      • cerambam

        EDIT: Further it opens them [the big four] to be more easily moved.
        Half of them [ the big four] should flame out

    • Scotti

      Szczur is a legitimate prospect, legitimate lead off hitter and has a higher floor than Alcantara.

      • Kenster

        no he doesnt.. you must have not been paying close attention the last 2 years. this isn’t 2011

        • Scotti

          I’ve been “paying attention” to Cub prospects since 1982. I’ve been paying attention to Alcantara since he had a massive first half of his first professional season in 2009 in the DSL. I also paid attention when he had an awful second half but that didn’t bother me so much. I’m paying attention now while he struggles through another slump. But slumps are part of the game.

          And, just as Alcantara’s July/August slump (.225 BA) is part of the game, so was Szczur’s July slump (.220). Those things don’t really concern me. Vogelbach slumps, Baez slumps, Soler slumps, Bryant slumps. Babe Ruth slumped.

          “Paying attention” to Szczur the past few seasons, I see his .314/.366/.431/.796 slashline in Peoria followed by a promotion and his .295/.394/.407/.801 in Daytona followed by a promotion. And he was hitting .298 in the first three months of this season. I’m paying attention. In July, he slumped. I paid attention. Baseball players slump.

          More to the actual point, Szczur’s FLOOR is higher than Alcantara’s. Why? Again, not because Alcantara is struggling in his last 30+ games. Players do that. But, rather, because 1) Szczur’s plus defense is a KNOWN item. Good jumps, range and arm (and some highlight reel catches to boot). 2) Szczur’s bat brings a career contact-friendly K% of 14.7. His BB% is a very healthy 8.6% of his PA. That’s really good for a speed guy who isn’t a HR guy (no reason to walk him). His BB/K ratio is 1:1.5 (very good). And his career slash line is .284/.352/.397/.748 despite being promoted in the middle of the season 3 of 4 years.

          Szczur’s floor is a 4th OF. He can play present plus defense at all three positions and, offensively, he makes contact, takes walks and has plus speed.

          Alcantara’s floor is MUCH lower even though his promise is higher. A promise is just that, promise. We still don’t know if he’ll settle down enough to play middle infield. Lake didn’t and Lake has MUCH better tools. Arismendy still has plenty of time to work it out but, obviously, no scout in the world can tell you if he will, or won’t, develop as hoped (that scout would be worth tens of millions per year). THAT means AA’s floor on defense is LOWER than Szczur’s.

          On offense there is also promise in Arismendy’s bat, however, he has a much lower career BB rate (7.0 but higher this year, by far, at 9.9–but that’s just 2/3’s of a season). He has a much lower BB:K ratio 1:2.8 for his career than Szczur, and his K rate of 25.9% is a big concern for a guy who likely is MLB average for power at best (he’s a small guy–his HR are linedrive pull shots and that limits what his power will be). His career slashline is .279/.330/.412/.742 and that’s actually very good for a middle infielder who skipped a level once he came stateside. His current .266/.342/.441/.783 is likely depressed from his recent struggles but, also, too dependent upon power that is, IMO, above well north of where he will play at if he makes it (which also props up his walk rate).

          Given the fact that his defense is still projection, and that his offense is too dependent upon power, his FLOOR is a bust–he MAY never see MLB. Again, I like him and I have for years. But the fact is that he has a lot of work to do to become serviceable at the MLB level. He doesn’t have the PRESENT defense to carry his offense, if it should fail, and his offense has several indicators that are still pointed the wrong way.

          • Edwin

            On the season, Sczur’s wRC+ is still only 107. His OPS is just .704. However you want to cut it, he’s just not having a good season at AA right now. Being barely above average in AA doesn’t cut it.

            It happens. Prospects bust all the time. I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with this one. Just let it go. He’s just a prospect.

            • Jon

              Not to mention, he’s pretty old for AA

              • Edwin

                I’m sure Scotti has some excuse for that too.

                • Scotti

                  “I’m sure Scotti has some excuse for that too.”

                  There’s a difference between reason and excuse.

              • Scotti

                First, the Cubs just drafted a 22-y/o CF in the 3rd round and paid him overslot. The Cubs don’t think he’s “old” for Boise or they wouldn’t have drafted him there. Nor will he be “old” next year at 23 in Kane County and then, if he progresses aggressively, 23 in Daytona and 24 (all season) in AA. Szczur just turned 24 and played the majority of the season at 23. So, if he skips a full level, he’d still be older than Szczur.

                Second, what matters isn’t age, it’s EXPERIENCE. And both Hannemann’s and Szczur’s experience isn’t that of the typical prospect their age. Hannemann has been on a two-year Mormon mission whereas Szczur was running around with a football in his hands when other baseball prospects were playing summer and fall leagues. Neither guy has had the experience of guys their age.

                If you were talking about a 24-y/o prospect in AA who had to repeat leagues to get there, then that is an issue. That didn’t happen with Szczur. He’s progressed a league per year. Boise-draft year @ 20/21, Peoria-21/22, Daytona-22/23, Tennessee-23/24. Nothing wrong with that.

                • Kyle

                  He’s a third-rounder. If he makes it to AA, good for him.

                  Both age and experience matter.

                  • Scotti

                    First, he wasn’t a third-rounder. He was a FIFTH-rounder. That, however, is immaterial. He was paid, ultimately, lower first round money. Even that is immaterial. It’s his present skills that matter in determining his floor. THAT is material.

                    His speed has always been overblown by Baseball America (he’s got plus speed but not the plus, plus speed they said he has). But that doesn’t take away from his real skills and talents. He has a good floor.

                    • Kyle

                      I was referring, as you did, to Hannemann.

                      Szczur’s floor is hitting for a .500 OPS in the majors, if he ever gets there.

                    • Scotti

                      Again, same with Szczur. He was overslot. He got $1 million. They liked him better than the round he was selected.

                      Most draftees fail. Most prospects fail. None of that demonstrates that either Szczur or Hannemann is seen as a lessor prospect due to age.

                      Age matters? Unless you’re talking about a VERIFIABLE 16, 17-y/o really smacking the crap out of the ball (or flinging it at obscene MPH), I personally don’t believe that it does. And, even in that case, it is the buscones, who feed and workout the kids, but don’t really extend ceilings. Rather, they bring those tools closer to the prospect’s real ceiling. That has some value but it has nothing to do with age, per se (it’s eating and working out).

                      A 24-y/o doesn’t have more physical abilities to hit a FB (or curve or whatever) than he did when he was 22-y/o. What improves during that timeframe is neural pathways developed over repetition at game speed (casually riding a bike does not prepare you for le Tour de France). That improvement comes from experience, not age.

                      For instance. Since Hannemann was on a Mormon Mission and not playing baseball at full speed (he likely did some workouts that included throwing, running and maybe BP to maintain conditioning (he was a football prospect as well)) he gained zero on the 2-year younger version.

                      In short, Hannemann didn’t become a better baseball player just by aging two years. Getting older doesn’t create stronger neural pathways, experience does.

                • mjhurdle

                  FWIW, you have done a great job defending your position.
                  I was actually in the camp that maybe the ship had sailed on Szczur, but after reading your posts and looking into some stuff on Baseball Reference, i am coming back to the idea that he can be a productive player at the MLB level.
                  But you aren’t going to change the minds of people who have been on the Alcantara bandwagon since the HR in the future’s game.

                  • Scotti

                    Thanks, funny thing is I’ve been on Alcantara way longer than probably anyone on the board (again, early DSL–first couple of games). I’ve never been off that bandwagon, as it were, but he isn’t a high floor guy. Szczur is a high floor guy. Not a difficult comparison to make but difficult for some who get geeked about certain guys and/or stuck on things like “age.”

                  • Joepoe321

                    Sczuzur was signed overslot yes but that doesn’t mean he is a higher talent. Szczuzur was signed overslot because he was committed for college and was also considering a football career so the only way he would sign with the cubs is if they payed him extra

                    • Scotti

                      Joepoe321, the Cubs paid what they think he was worth to get him/keep him. They felt he was worth that money in a time when they could have just taken that money and applied it to high skilled guys drafted in the lower rounds (the new rules don’t allow for that any more). Just because a guy has “leverage” doesn’t mean he can play that leverage without talent. If the Cubs felt Szczur was a fifth round talent then they would not have paid him first round money.

                      “Oh, you’re a fifth round talent who plays football? Here’s $1.5 million.” That conversation just never happens. He (and Samardzija and Hannemann) has/have the talent to back it up).

                • AB

                  I don’t think Szczur is very high-level prospect, but it has nothing to do with his age.

                  That Jon guy is constantly obsessed with prospect age at certain levels, though. It’s like kids learning at differents speeds in school, age/development curve is not a one-size fits all solution nor linear relationship.

                  • Scotti

                    No one’s arguing high level here. Just a higher FLOOR than a guy with a low floor and high ceiling (Alcantara). High floor (especially up the middle) does have value, though.

                • cms0101

                  Alcantara is two years younger than Szczur and at the same level has surpassed him in almost every single statistical category. People have hopped onto the Alcantara “bandwagon” because he’s simply a better prospect. That’s not to say they’ve completely given up on Szczur, but he’s going to have to force them to call him up. He’s not doing that. He’ll graduate to Iowa next season and maybe from there he can force them to consider him as one of the ML outfielders. Both players will be moving to Iowa next season, so trying to make floor arguments seems a little silly. Once they get close enough to the majors, performance should be more important than floor/ceiling projections.

                  • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

                    I think people’s impatience with Szczur is that we have to carry him on the 40 man and he’s still a year away. Also having to stop every GD time to try and spell his name!
                    And while Szczur does have speed, his lifetime 66% success rate in SBs (and this season) doesn’t appear to be elite. Couple that with 4 HR power over 600PAs in AA. 680 OPS?! I can understand while people don’t get too excited.
                    Also I don’t think his floor is MLB 4th OF. AAA lifer/org guy seems more in line with floor. Right now his ceiling appears to be a faster Dejesus – though Dejesus had far superior minor league stats.

                    • Scotti

                      Hookers or Cake (I choose cake as long as it doesn’t have frosting–can’t stand frosting), Szczur (Arismendy Alcantara is no picnic to spell) isn’t a power guy but he has plus defense and speed. Doesn’t strike out. Takes walks. Has more power than other “fast guys”

                      “…his lifetime 66% success rate in SBs (and this season) doesn’t appear to be elite. ”

                      Szczur’s career SB% is actually 75% and that includes this season. He isn’t an elite runner. He is plus.

                  • Scotti

                    cms0101, if you’ve been following, it’s floor projections based on performance. BB:K, B%, K%, slashlines, fielding, etc. are all performance. Szczur is on the right side of those numbers. Alcantara can still put it together, but he isn’t going to be a power guy and he has issues with his underlying performance.

                  • Scotti

                    “Alcantara is two years younger than Szczur…”

                    And, again, age doesn’t magically transfer baseball skills. It’s experience at game speed. Szczur played football/baseball growing up and he missed the vast majority of summer/fall ball (as the majority of other Stateside prospects get). He then had two collegiate years without summer/fall ball (as the majority of other Stateside prospects get). He was then signed by the Cubs in 2010 and has played a total of 353 games since.

                    Even with injuries, Arismendy signed in 2008 and has 418 professional games since. That doesn’t count instructs, Mesa prior to Boise, two years of spring training, etc. all of which are game speed.

                    Again, there is a lot to like about AA and I have since his first couple of games in pro ball. I’m not worried about his recent slump but neither am I worried about Szczur’s July slump which affects both their current season’s #’s. Those things resolve themselves–they’re just slumps. But, clearly, you aren’t going to have to worry about Szczur striking out left and right–he’s a contact guy–and that is a concern with Arismendy. Arismendy has a good BB rate but, prior to this 2/3rds of a year, he was pretty shaky.

                    Regardless, age doesn’t transfer baseball skills. If it did, I’d still be playing.

            • Scotti

              “On the season, Sczur’s wRC+ is still only 107. His OPS is just .704. However you want to cut it, he’s just not having a good season at AA right now. Being barely above average in AA doesn’t cut it.”

              Ah, so you think that a player is only worth what he is performing at in a given point in time. I see. Novel idea. So, when Szczur’s OPS was .780ish a month, or so, ago Szczur DID cut it, but he slumped and now, he doesn’t cut it. Novel, very novel.

              In reality, a prospect could be sucking holy ass offensively (like Alcantara did in Peoria – .271/.303/.352/.655) and still be considered a good prospect based on other factors (defense, tools, experience, character, etc.). The prospect world doesn’t work the way that you suggest it does.

              “It happens. Prospects bust all the time. I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with this one. Just let it go. He’s just a prospect.”

              First, I’m not “obsessed with this one.” I follow all Cub prospects and the league’s in general. Second, if he had busted the Cubs would have released him. That’s what they do. The fact is that he hasn’t busted. He has present and very serviceable MLB skills. He has a high floor (for all of the reasons that I mentioned). Third, my guess as to why you fail to see this is that you don’t comprehend what floor is. I’m sorry, but I really can’t help you any more than I already have.

              • Kyle

                I didn’t think Szczur was a particularly interesting prospect when he had a .780 OPS, either.

                • Scotti

                  He has little to say of you, as well. As a prospect watcher he just doesn’t feel that you are MiLB ready.

      • Edwin

        Szczur has a an OPS of .704 and a wOBA of .329, good for a wRC+ of 107. It’s also his second year at AA..

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Second half year. He arrived in Tennessee halfway through last season. By games played, he’s right around the one season mark in Double A.

          • Edwin

            Sure. Doesn’t change the fact that at this point, he’s a very fringe prospect.

            • Scotti

              Very? No. Plus defense in CF, plus speed, very good contact and BB rates. And, FWIW, 16 career HR so far more power than the cats like Campana and Pierre that he gets erroneously compared to. That isn’t a very fringe guy. That’s a guy with a decent floor (we were talking floor). And, as I showed above, as much as I like him as a prospect (and have for some time), Alcantara’s floor is bust.

              • Edwin

                Szcur’s defense is probably not “plus defense in CF”. Even if it was, he’s still pretty damn awful at the plate. Szcur’s floor is a bust who never see’s an MLB field unless he buys a ticket.

                • Scotti

                  Szczur’s defense is plus. Present plus. He gets good jumps, has good range and a good arm. He’s also made some GOOFY ass highlight reel plays this season. I see that you haven’t been “paying attention.”

                  • On The Farm

                    I hate it when “highlight reel plays” are used in an argument for he plays good defense. I realize you said he has good range/arm, but the whole highlight reel gets over used, even I had a highlight reel catch when I played RF back when I played for my school and I was GOD AWFUL as a baseball player.

                    • Edwin

                      Anybody can say anything about any prospect. It’s why I never pay much attention to things people claim about prospects that can’t be at least somewhat verified.

                    • Scotti

                      Farm, as you noted, I mentioned his other skills first and foremost (range, reads well and strong arm). However, making outlandishly good catches is a huge part of being a plus defender. And Szczur does that. He can lay out and that A ) extends his range, B ) is a huge part of that individual game and C ) is a huge part of what is going on in the pitcher’s mind.

                      As a catcher I would go out to the mound and tell the pitcher to throw strikes. When I had defensive guys out there who had wowed the pitchers previously it helped immensely to be able to say, “You’ve got Mark out there, throw strikes!” They listened because Mark made outlandish plays that stuck in their minds.

                      Highlight reel plays are a big PART of being a plus defender.

                    • Scotti

                      “Yeah… because defense doesn’t matter! EVER!”

                      :-) certainly not up the middle, eh? Some would just have us put Baez at catcher and Bryant at SS…

                  • Edwin

                    I don’t care about his defense.

                    • gocatsgo2003

                      Yeah… because defense doesn’t matter! EVER!

      • Kyle

        Yeah. That’s pretty crazybuckets.

        • Scotti

          No, not in the least.

          • Kyle

            He can’t hit by MLB standards, and he doesn’t look likely to develop that ability.

            • Scotti

              And what standard would those be?

  • Ben

    Carrie Muskrat has todays lineup. Four guys who should not even be in mlb in my humble opinion.

    • deej34

      gonna be a rough one tonight

      Lake CF
      Barney 2B
      Castro SS
      Navarro C
      Neal LF
      Ransom 1B
      Gillespie RF
      Murphy 3B
      T. Wood P

      • wvcubsfan

        Lefty on the mound I’m guessing? Well I guess if your going to give your starters a day off why not give most of them the same day off.

    • cms0101

      The sad thing is, it’s not completely obvious which 4 you’re referring to.

      • Ben

        Velly velly funny!

  • Rizzofanclub

    I love Cano but he is going to get an 8+ year deal. The Cubs will be very active in the free agent market and they have quite a bit of money to spend but I hope they accomplish 4 things in the offseason: Sign shark to an extension, sign an outfielder (Morse, Granderson, Cruz, not a big fan of Jacoby but hey if they sign him i’ll jump on board,) sign a back up catcher Navarro at 2 yrs 8 million or Salty at 3 yr 26 million, and sign a starting pitcher. If they do all of that I think the Cubs have a shot at the playoffs. Let Valbuena play 2nd until Alcantara or Baez force the Cubs to let them take it over. I’m so excited for next year!!!

    • Kenster

      Thats a lot of money for a back up catcher…
      and I don’t think i want Morse.. he was a one year wonder

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

      Why sign Shark? Cubs have two more years of control might be better to move him next July. To me he is a line three starter at best, he does not have consistent command. If the FO signs him to line 3 money, 4 years, that to me would be fair value for the Cubs.

      • Drew7

        Shark is, without a doubt, better than a, “line three starter at best”.

  • DarthHater
    • willis

      Just read that. Good stuff from McLeod. It’s what many of us figured, sometime this winter and in Spring he’ll be moved around to see what he can do at other positions.

    • Rebuilding

      That’s pretty off script stuff from McLeod. Or at least it’s not how Hoyer and Epstein talk (lots of generalities). Baez is going to be an x-factor next year for sure as it seems increasingly likely he’ll be up by next June. As for position, his numbers say he’s got more range than Castro, but makes way too many errors to play MLB SS at this point. We just traded for Olt and we have Alcantara ready soon. It will be interesting to see where he goes – my guess is 3b, but if Olt starts to hit then 2b is a possibility

      • willis

        I think it’s becoming impossible for the FO to use their usual drab bullcrap when it comes to Baez. He just ripping new ass holes everywhere he goes and has just been on an insane tear at AA. At some point, you got to put the politics in the back pocket and call a spade a spade.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I have NO idea what McLeod is talking about. Just last night, on this very website, a few guys said it doesn’t matter if he gets experience at other positions. Doesn’t he know who he reports to?
      @BleacherNation.com.

  • Die hard

    Listened to Gary Mathews last night and he said Cubs DeJesus is bad fielder and Lake has huge hole in swing … The Sarge is never wrong🎓

    • William

      Maybe he should worry about the ginormous whole in Ryan Howard’s swing.

  • DocWimsey

    The Fangraphs article is interesting, but it should be using HR:FB ratios, not HR:BiP ratios. After all, one of the reasons why slugging is down is that GB:FB ratios (probably) have increased in recent years: people have caught on that grounders that get past fielders are only singles, whereas flyballs that get past fielders are doubles, triples or homers.

    Also, it should exclude foul ball outs: those were much more prevalent prior to the 1980’s when there were a lot of parks with a lot of foul ground. (The foul ball outs actually made games dull: there is much less “suspense” to an out where the guy isn’t going to reach base if the ball is dropped!)

    Finally, the author notes the change in baseball companies in 1977. However, the huge surge in HR in 1987 was attributed to a different ball company, and several people demonstrated that the rubber core of those baseballs were bouncier than the ones from the old company. They switched back to that type of ball again in 1994, too.

    • TWC

      That happened in ’87? Aw, that hurts my memories of Andre Dawson’s amazing year… *sniff*.

  • Jon

    Another 20 million a year to Utley? Amaro you dumb bastard, lol

  • Jon

    This ump sucks, squeezing Wood big time

  • Die hard

    Don’t see Cubs hitting 75 hrs next yr and couple that with below avg speed and below avg pitching and defense how will this team win 50 games next yr? Suggest that Theo sign best hitting and best pitching FA to play next yr as they have lots of revenue coming as to advanced advertising sales for Jumbotron

    • TWC

      Public Service Announcement: Last off season Die hard said the Cubs won’t win 50 *this* year. He was wrong then, just as he’s full of shit now.

      Oh, and Struck will stick.

      • MichiganGoat

        Don’t forget Castro to start playing CF

        • Die hard

          Lake is Castro redux

      • Die hard

        My estimate is closer than those saying would be .500 … I had no faith in Castro or pitching

        • Carew

          you seem to have no faith in general

          • Die hard

            Where do you see more than 50 wins next yr? No Garza or Soriano to produce 25 wins together

            • Jimmy James

              Garza and sori are worth 25 wins….dang!

            • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

              Yes because there will be absolutely no transactions in the offseason. The Cubs will remain as inactive as they have the past two years, right? There’s not even a shred of hope they’ll end up doing a single trade in the offseason in order to produce a stronger line up for 2014. They haven’t picked up a single guy on the waiver wire this year to see if they’re worth holding onto. I think that’s enough sarcasm for now. Don’t you see what a drastic improvement we’ve made in our bullpen? The only guy I have worried about is Guerrier. We don’t have Joe Mather this year pitching an inning for us. We’re making moves constantly to try and find better guys, even if they’re just bench pieces. There will likely be a lot of shuffling done this year in the 40 man roster, and likely quite a few pieces added, as well as quite a few guys in AAA traded. Remember when we traded Gonzalez and Lillibridge to the Yankees? Yeah well we signed those guys in order to trade them for prospects. Even if they aren’t big name prospects, it still helps with the lower levels of our farm system, which is maturing each year. I’m not sure if you’re trolling, or a complete idiot, but to say that a team won’t reach 75 home runs is ridiculous. If you take the 25 man roster, each player would have to average 3 home runs, including pitchers. If you figure that players will be called up from the minors and sent down, as well as players dropped and added to the team, it will be damn near impossible to imagine a team with less than 75 home runs. Subtracting the home runs from players who are no longer on the Cubs, the Cubs as a team have 95 home runs so far this year. That excludes the home runs made by Soriano, who played almost everyday in left, but doesn’t include the home runs that someone who filled that position would have hit, as well as other players who would have played for those who are no longer on the team. If Olt ends up getting his act together, a few players are signed/traded for, and some prospects end up panning out, we should see quite a few more home runs than this year.

              • Carew

                Damn, man. You were just waiting to say something haha. I dig it.

                • MichiganGoat

                  To bad it’s wasted on the resident troll.

              • MichiganGoat

                Guys it’s best not to waste you words or thoughts on anything die hard says. He’s fishing and using horrible bait… just enjoy the insanity, read it as satire, and walk away.

                • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

                  It’s wrong as a sports fan to be that ignorant towards your own team. We have more pitching depth as an organization, and a lot of that depth is in AA and AAA. That’s something to be optimistic about. Even if 1-2 of those starters pans out, that’s still another 1-2 starting pitchers for our rotation. We had next to no depth in the upper levels until this year. Brook Raley was being used as a starter last year and ended up with an ERA above 8 in the majors. With all the newly acquired talent, he isn’t someone we’re looking to as a spot starter. I would say he might be called up if we had about 10 injured pitchers above him, which isn’t very likely, unless there’s some sort of tragic accident. We have plenty of position players who are becoming closer and closer to MLB ready, whether they’re in A, AA or AAA. These guys will continue to progress and I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of them end up on the 2014 roster, whether it’s at the beginning or the end of the season. Do you really see Barney making it through all of 2014 as the starting 2nd basemen or Ransom/Valbuena taking up 3rd base? I don’t. I see Villanueva and Olt, as well as the rest of our 3rd base depth stepping up. We’ve been filling holes through trades and waiver wire claims, instead of buying empty holes. Our bullpen doesn’t include Marmol and Camp, nor does Joe Mather pitch since our bullpen has been run dry. We have pieces to fill the holes, and we’ll find even more pieces this offseason, as well as next year. As a Cubs fan, I’m excited for every season, every game, every at bat. Whether it’s to watch a team win, or watch someone grow as a player, I’m always paying close attention. With all the guys in AA and AAA who are likely to be a part of the 2014 team, I’m excited. We’ll likely see less consistency from them, but it will be revitalizing to see what these players are capable of, instead of setting up platoons consisting of mediocre to sub par players. This year reeks of a little less desperation than last, and next year will reek a little less of desperation than this year. I probably shouldn’t have wasted all this energy on Die Hard, but I admit it felt good. Almost reaffirmed some of the reasons I’m a Cubs fan, even during a losing season.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Dude I completely agree with you but it’s a waste of words to discuss anything with die hard… he’s baiting you into getting agitated.

                    • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

                      I know you are, it just felt good to vent once in a while. I’m curious who they’ll call up for Neal and Navarro. I wish Clevenger was still an option, I actually really liked him.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Not to mention by giving him attention you’re just feeding the troll.

  • scott

    Shelby Miller got hit on the elbow and has been removed from the game.

    • scott

      Hit by a line drive and only threw two pitches.

    • Jon

      Just rub some pixie dust on it

  • Rich

    Wow Len Kaspers calls are the worst ever
    Love him and his voice but get excited geez

    Sorry off topic

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Yeah, I definitely agree. I haven’t really enjoyed any cubs commentators since the Harry Carey/Steve Stone combo. I understand it is a very hard job to be able to entertain daily for hours, and so many games a year, but there is very little life to the TV broadcast.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Early schedule for next year shows Cubs visit Fenway June 29 to July 2nd per Gordon Eddes.

  • spearman

    Yeah, reminds me of my math teacher.

  • Dustin S

    Rough night, Neal out earlier with an arm or shoulder injury, and now Navarro hit hard at the plate. Made the play but was a huge hit. His knee took the brunt of it but too early to say. He’s coming out too.

    • Dustin S

      Ugh, Navarro’s going to be taken off on a cart. Not looking good at all.

  • Vulcan

    Navarro leaving on a cart. Not good.

  • Soler Power

    At least Neal is an easy stash now if they put him on the 60-day DL.

  • Dustin S

    Gordon Wittenmyer ‏@GDubCub
    Neal dislocated his right shoulder on the throw in the seventh; Navarro sent for x-rays on right leg.

    • MichiganGoat

      Well the 25 man roster just got less crowded.

  • http://bleachernation.com Dean

    Navarro carted off.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Best catcher closest to majors in Cub system is Lopez in AA Tenn. He is a switch hitting kid with a good eye who played at Forida State. Sappelt probably called up for Neal.

  • deej34

    Never really had anything against Utley, and I understand it was a “hard” play and not intentional, but anyone else hoping he takes a fastball in the back his next at-bat?

    • MoneyBoy

      No, not particularly. A clean baseball play should not result in any form of retaliation.

      Utley plays second base. Somebody goes in a whole lot hard and little too high – completely different song !!!!

    • Jono

      Not me

      • deej34

        Not trying to be malicious or wanting to see someone get hurt. just legitimately wondering how many people think that kind of action is appropriate.

  • Dustin S

    When it happened, Navarro did a great job of blocking the plate and saved the go-ahead run. He was kneeled with his leg a couple feet in front of home. But the knee took a direct hit on the slide, and his leg went straight and then inverted a bit in a way you usually only see in football injuries. No idea how he held on, but he was in major pain on the ground after it. Just speculating, but the way it looked he and we will be lucky if that doesn’t end his season.

    • MoneyBoy

      Didn’t see it but if you’re description is accurate, that sounds like what happened to McGhee (sp?) which was one of the more gruesome injuries I’ve seen.

      I’ll have to look for the replay later.

    • cub2014

      looks like sappelt again blah! and probably
      lopez catcher at AA, will be fun to see what
      he can do.

      • MichiganGoat

        It wouldn’t surprise me if we find a catcher on the wavier wire or pull one from retirement.

        • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

          Please no Koyie Hill. Anything but Koyie Hill…

        • college_of_coaches

          I can just imagine the scene.

          A black-tie cocktail reception; it’s evening and the ballroom is crowded. A debonair Koy Hill is discussing policy over cognac with the ambassador’s wife. He get’s the signal, though know else can hear it. Quickly, he excuses himself, and slips out of sight. Alone on the embassy’s balcony he checks the digital transponder implanted in his bionic finger. It’s from Theo. The message is short, but Koy’s been waiting for it. He knows exactly what to do. “The free world can wait.” He mutters under his breath as rips off his tux revealing a Cubs uniform. WIth panther-like reflexes, he jumps from the balcony to a limo below where Theo sits, waiting to give him further instructions.

          • Carew

            If that were the case, I say welcome back.

          • Mr. Brent Kennedy

            Standing and slow clapping.

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

    Ransom should be DFA’d after that play. Inexcusable

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    C John Baker released by Dodgers might be available. LH hitter with 6 years experience.

    • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

      32 years old and hitting .189 in AAA this year. Hopefully we can find a better option, but we’ll see.

  • Soler Power

    I know Donnie Murphy is a bad player (4A at best)……….but dude seriously!

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Let Murphy play 3rd till Baez/Olt/Bryant are ready. Has more versatility than Ransom and Valbuena can platoon with Barney till Alcantara is ready.

    • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

      I’m on board with this idea. Worst case scenario we end up starting a guy who’s overall a better player than Ransom, and is young enough to potentially grow as a player. I have a bit of a soft spot for Ransom, but I think it’s time.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Does anyone know what happened to C.J.Edwards tonight? He started and only went an inning. He didn’t give any runs up, but they apparently apparently pulled him after 1 inning….

    • Jp3

      Damn you beat me to that question by seconds

      • deej34

        extended rain delay. someone reported it early

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+