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kyle hendricks iowa cubsThis week has been the week of Brett’s Excellent Vacation; this weekend and into next week is my turn. Once we get off work this evening my wife and I will take off for the mountains of Eastern Tennessee. As it turns out, the Smokies play in that area. What an amazing coincidence!

Despite a sizable dose of live baseball and in person prospecting that will be taking place on Monday and Tuesday night at Smokies Park, this is also a real vacation for us.  I plan to still have all the usual columns ready to go at their usual times during this trip, but you’ll probably notice that they will be shorter and cover fewer individual players than I typically do.  On the other hand, I suspect the Dailys will have a few more first hand observations of the Smokeys and their loaded roster than normal.  There might even be a few pictures.

By the end of next week, though, all should be back to normal. Then we will be down to the final few weeks of the season, the excitement of the stretch run, and the promise of the playoffs just over the horizon.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Back home in Iowa the Cubs began their attempt at a season saving homestand with a 2-1 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies had to score five times in the late innings, but they walked away with a 9-8 win.
Daytona – The Cubs scored eleven times on eight hits in this 11-0 win.
Kane County – Kane County pitched a shutout of their own in this 7-0 win.
Boise – Boise needed the three they scored in the eighth to preserve this 7-5 win.
Arizona – Arizona had the day off.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Not only did Kyle Hendricks allow just a run on 4 hits in his Triple A debut, he did it in a game in which the wind was (gently) blowing out. And he struck out 5 over those 7 innings and allowed a single walk. This was exactly the sort of start we have been seeing in Tennessee all season.
  • [Iowa] Once and current teammates of Hendricks were there to finish up the game in relief. Alberto Cabrera walked a batter in a scoreless eighth, and Brian Schlitter struck out two in the ninth for his 14th save.
  • [Iowa] It isn’t often that I call out an 0 for 3 performances as a good thing in this space, but I have to make an exception for Mike Olt. With Olt, the only real question is whether or not he can make enough consistent contact to take advantage of his power and patience. Even though he went hitless in this game, he did not strike out at all. All of his outs were on balls in play. In fact, since the Cubs arrived in Tacoma on August 3 the third baseman has exactly two strikeouts. He only had three hits in that span, true, but I think the key stat here is the lack of strikeouts. That means he is making contact – perhaps inducing weak grounders and lazy pop-ups instead of lining drives to all fields, but making contact all the same. That is a positive sign.
  • [Tennessee] Matt Szczur homered (his 3rd), doubled, stole his 21st base, and finished 4 for 5.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva doubled twice and stole his 13th base. Arismendy Alcantara stole number 26 during his 2 hit game.
  • [Tennessee] Tony Zych recorded 5 outs while walking a single batter and striking out one.
  • [Daytona] Dustin Geiger homered twice (he now has 13) and drove in 5. He finished 3 for 4 with a walk.
  • [Daytona] Anthony Giansanti tripled (his first for Daytona) and walked 4 times.
  • [Daytona] The shutout was a combination effort from Pierce Johnson (5 IP, 2 H, 6 K), Kyler Burke (3 IP, 1 H, 1 K), and Armando Rivero (1 IP, 2 K).
  • [Kane County] Starling Peralta allowed a single hit in 5 innings of work, but he also walked 5. Striking out 5 helped keep him out of trouble.
  • [Kane County] The bullpen efforts of Justin Amlung (2.1 IP) and Nathan Dorris (1 IP) finished the game off without giving more than a single hit.
  • [Kane County] Reggie Golden stole a base in this game, and I was surprised to see it was his first of the year. I suspect that will become a bigger part of his game as gains some baseball experience.
  • [Boise] Yasiel Balaguert doubled and homered (his 6th) as part of his 2 for 4 game.
  • [Boise] Kris Bryant homered (his 4th) and walked. He is over 50 plate appearances now and is hitting .292/.352/.583. I can easily imagine him being promoted out of Boise for the final few weeks.
  • [Boise] Duane Underwood struck out 2 in his 3 innings of work and yielded nothing but a walk.

Other News

  • In a not terribly surprising move, Danny Lockhart has been assigned back to Boise from Iowa. As we suspect his call up was a case of Iowa needing some help on their western journey. Interestingly, thanks to a rash of catcher injuries in Iowa and Chicago lately, Cael Brockmeyer has not yet been returned to the Northwest League. In fact, he is now the backup catcher for the Triple A team. Chad Noble was called up from Tennessee to handle the primary responsibilities while Luis Flores is on the disabled list and J.C. Boscan is in the majors.
  • Not only did baseball photographer Dylan Heuer bring us some more excellent pictures of the Iowa Cubs in action (including that there shot of Kyle Hendricks), he also picked up some quality  (if a little shaky) video of Kyle Hendricks on the mound.  Hendricks has some of the best mound presence I’ve seen out of a pitching prospect in some time.  He looks completely calm, completely relaxed.  He does a nice job hiding the ball until the last second as well.
  • CubsNation

    The Smokey Mountains are a great place to vacation!

  • Blublud

    I’m looking foward to seeing the Smokies play this weekend. I will also make sure to take some pictures and video and get them to either Brett or Luke. I dont know why, but I have not been this excited to even go to an actual Cubs game.

    • willis

      Haha, it’s because the smokies lineup >>>>>>cubs lineup.

      Trust me, it’s a fun watch. Enjoy it.

  • cubbiesOHcubbies

    Hey Luke, where the heck has Stephen Bruno gone? I assume he’s injured?

    • Andrew

      I believe he had Tommy john surgery

  • Blublud

    Also Luke, what part of the Area are you staying. The wife and I vacationed there in February on a couples retreat. We stayed in sevierville and went skiing at Ober Gatlingburg. The entire area is beautiful.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, the eastern side of Tennessee is a great place to take a vacation. There is so much to do with the smokey mountains and Pigeon Forge close by.

      Have a great time Luke!

      • Nick

        Enjoy your vacation, I love in East TN, and it is pretty awesome. Who k ows maybe ill see you at the smokies game

        • ssckelley

          No way! You live on the eastern side of Tennessee with internet AND know how to use it?

          :D

          • willis

            I’m taking a vaca this coming week too. And heading to western, way western North Carolina. Highlands area, kind of similar to eastern TN. Where we stay is over 5000 feet above sea level and just beautiful. Whether there or eastern TN in the mountains, its extremely peaceful. Have a blast.

            • CubsFaninMS

              Are you travelling close to Boone, NC? I have a friend that used to live there so I’ve been to that area a few times. Very impressive, although purchasing ski and hiking equipment will hit your pocketbook hard if you buy in Boone.

  • JM

    Whew! It’s about time you posted. I was jonesin’ for a recap.

    Could Kris Bryant see big league action as early as next year? I like the progression.

    • MichiganGoat

      Yes that is ver possible if he doesn’t start to struggle and/or gets injured. Next year we could see Baez, Bryant, and Solar with the Cubs.

      • bbmoney

        I doubt we’d see any of them before September. But you never know.

        • hansman1982

          Baez has a legit shot at being called up in June.

          • Cubbie Blues

            It’s already August, Duh. :lol:

          • Danny Ballgame

            I think Baez is by far the most likely to get a call up. Then Bryant. Then Soler. I would imagine that Soler will start at Daytona, get an early season call up to Tennesee and finish in Iowa if he is mashing. Bryant will have to make some strides, but he has been injury free and should be ready to make a could of jumps to AA and AAA next year as well.

            • ssckelley

              I would not be surprised to see Baez next year as well. But Alcantara may also be in the mix of prospects who reach the majors. I think Soler starts in Tennessee next year, I think he was close to a promotion before his injury put him on the DL. Both Soler and Bryant could get a September look next year with a chance to make the team in spring training of 2015. Of course all this is assuming they stay in the Cubs organization until then (you never know).

            • DavidC

              Seriously doubt Soler starts at Daytona. He was doing fine before the injury and there is probably more urgency with him (and Paniagua) than other prospects because he’s on the 40 man. I think it’s almost guaranteed he starts next year with the Smokies.

          • wvcubsfan

            2015? I agree.

          • Ivy Walls

            All the experts here can’t predict how the stock market will go or when or if a player is called up. Progression is not linear.

            But I could see the following circumstances.

            Baez, Alcantara, Soler, Bryant all go to AZ Fall League along with a few pitchers. I am not sure how many Cubs can go?

            Depending on their production and development, Things could move rather quickly. All of them could be in Iowa or Tenn at the start of the year.

            Simultaneously Cubs might want to field trade calls for Castro, his value might not be higher with a reasonable long term contract and a 24 year old next year. A number of teams would be interested in him and Cubs could get a return they need, (more LH starting pitching and a top catching prospect).

            They then move Barney over to SS and and fill in at 2B/3B as best they can until they start bringing up the crew. Remember they have Lake who can play 3B or 2B as well as the OF.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I would think, deep down, the FO hopes Bryant could debut next year (even though they may say otherwise), but that determination won’t be made after 50 PA’s at Boise. Watch how he does in the AFL to get a good indication of how fast he progresses.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        I don’t think can send him to the AFL because they plan to send Soler and you can only send one player from leagues lower than AA.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          There is a foreign player exception to the under AA rule, which Soler is eligible for.
          I thought the limit was three per team, but I am not sure. My hopes, in this order:

          1-Bryant, 2-Soler (if healthy), 3-Baez

        • ssckelley

          Soler would not be eligible for the AFL unless they changed this rule: “To be eligible, players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.”

          Also each team is required to send 6 from their AA/AAA teams, they can send 1 player from below AA. I think Almora (not sure if DL rule applies here), Vogelbach, or Johnson would make good candidates to be sent to the AFL.

          • Mr. B. Patient

            Thank You. I had not read that. makes sense though.

            So would you want Almora, Vogs, or Johnson before Bryant? I think Bryant and Johnson are still the closest to the majors. They can use the advanced competition.
            Of the two, I’d rather have Bryant. The Cubs have been spacing out Johnson’s starts (even before the famous Florida rain) and have really been limiting his innings. I think he is close to being shutdown for the year.

            • ssckelley

              Maybe, but I don’t know where Bryant is development wise. I question jumping from Boise to a league with AA/AAA pitchers is good for his development. But if Bryant gets promoted to Daytona before the end of the year and has some success then perhaps sending him ahead of Almora/Vogelbach/Johnson would be good for him.

      • JoeCub

        I’ve watched Bryant play in all of the Boise home games and one road series and IMO he’s not ready for a huge jump. He has difficulty fielding ground balls in the hole that I think most third baseman would handle. Also, whe he behind in the count, he is toast. Outside sliders he has great difficulty with. All of his homers have come on 3-1, 3-0 or 2-1 counts. I understand that’s case with most hitters. However, he looks totaly lost on outside breaking stuff.

  • ssckelley

    It will be interesting to see how Brockmeyer handles AAA pitching. It is not very often you go from playing in college to AAA in the same season.

    • On The Farm

      I would love it if he just mashes

      • X the Cubs Fan

        Wouldn’t everyone?

        • On The Farm

          Well yeah I suppose, but I was more or less thinking how he didn’t make the Bosie All-Star game so it would be awesome that instead of getting that expierence he could get something maybe even better.

  • Stevie B

    Everyone is so jazzed about velocity, which, isnt altogether a bad thing. Yet it seems like when a kid comes around that has excellent control of multiple pitches, and has a good head on his shoulders, it really causes problems for big league hitters.
    This kid looks really really good. I think we may have a winner on our hands.

    • Edwin

      What pitchers do you think that Hendricks compares to?

  • cub2014

    Luke doesnt OBP include everytime you reach whether
    its an error or wild pitch strikeout?

    • Andrew

      no an error still doesnt count, not sure about dropped 3rd strike though

      • cub2014

        Thanks Andrew,
        A bloop single counts same as a home run. Certainly
        speed factors into errors, seems stupid that errors or
        anytime you reach wouldnt be included in your ON
        BASE PERCENTAGE oh well their is my rant!

        • Jono

          That’s a good point. A fast runner is going to make infielders rush, forcing errors to happen.

      • Edwin

        What about hit by pitch?

        • wvcubsfan

          how about putting OBP calculation into the google machine and see what happens.

    • chirogerg

      OBP is (hits+walks+hit by pitch)/(at bats+walks+hit by pitch+sac flies)

  • Jonathn

    I hope they call up Srczur instead of Sappelt. It would be fun to see him in action in the bigs

    • ssckelley

      I doubt he will be up before September. Tennessee is in a playoff push and that experience along with playing everyday is good for him. But after their season is over it would not surprise me to see Szczur as he is on the 40 man roster.

  • Kevin F.

    On the Kaplan show last night, Hoyer all but said that Olt will spend more time at Iowa in ’14. At least to start. Check the podcast on wgnradio.tv, very good, upfront interview.

  • MichiganGoat

    Just saw that Alex Rios was claimed by the Rangers, so how will the White Sux screw this up?

  • Kevin F.

    … er, wgnradio.com.

  • cub2014

    I was looking at the Cubs minor league starters from
    high A to AAA and it is amazing the improvement just
    from last year. Thanks to FO because 4 of the top 7 werent
    in our system at the start of last year. Arietta-Hendricks
    -Edwards-Pinyero then Cabrera-Johnson-Jokisch

  • Ron

    Was that video edited or were those warm up pitches? He seems to be working really fast.

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m think the first part might be his warm ups but be doesn’t waste anytime between pitches.

      • miggy80

        Game went fast! Hendricks retired the first 12 was working at a good clip I could barely finish my first beer before the sencond inning. I was home and in bed by 10pm game time was 2hr 4min

  • ssckelley

    Bryant numbers are starting to look good. I still have that habit of taking away that first 5 SO game (I know it counts). He is only 2 homers behind for the team lead in 1/3rd of the at bats (Rogers and Balaquert each have 6). But the best number for me is the fact he only has 1 error so far at 3rd base (in 41 chances). It would be amazing if he could stick at 3rd, to be able to have that kind of power playing the infield and leave the outfield for Soler, Almora, free agents, ect ect would be nice. The possibilities of having an offensive infield featuring Bryant at 3rd, Baez/Castro at short, Alcantara/Baez at 2nd, with Rizzo at first blow my mind.

  • MichiganGoat

    Hey look at this Mark Reynolds has been DFA – PICK UP ALL THE SCRAP HEAP PLAYERS!

    But seriously the first person who seriously asks if we should pick him up should be immediately shunned.

    • ssckelley

      Damn, I thought he was having a pretty good season at Cleveland. Then I looked and he has not had a homer since June 28th. If Reynolds is not hitting for power then he is worthless as his glove is horrible at 3rd.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      But, but, but what if that person is Theo?

    • cub2014

      Our 3B numbers are crazy combined:
      BA-.227 OBP-.318 HR-21 RBI-58
      not that bad. Even though Ransom
      and Valbuena are seriously slumping.

  • miggy80

    I was at the Iowa game last night Hendricks looked pretty smooth. He retired the first 12 he faced. Got two on (hit and error(Olt(tough play up the line))) and no outs when he promptly got the next guy to ground into a double play. He did give up a hit to the next guy who drove in the only run. He then followed that with a strike out. Brad Nelson’s Homerun was a moon shot! I was about 360ft, but that thing had NFL kick off hang time. Was a fun one to watch.

  • Jono

    Luke- Are you a rock climber? You’re gonna be around some of the best climbing in the country

    • Jono

      oh wait, I’m thinking kentucky. The Red River Gorge. Nevermind. Sorry.

      • wvcubsfan

        I can see how you get those confused. I mean the names are almost identical, and one’s shaped like a chicken leg and the other like a rectangle. Totally see the confusion ;)

        • Jono

          both have a T, an E, an N. :(

  • Josh t

    I really can’t stand when ppl give stat lines over a less then 7 day period. Olt having only 2 k’s since aug 3rd is pretty meaningless. Saying he may have turned a corner in 7 days is silly. That’s like saying Donnie Murphy is a power hitter since he’s hit 3homers over the course of week.

    Yes it is encouraging I guess but I just am tired of reading ppl giving little snap shot stats and saying players have changed for the better. Not getting down on Luke for giving that stat line about Olt but its more of an observation as whole with regards to ppl in the media and ppl trying to make a point on the message board. It’s like when ppl were saying Junior Lake going to be a star bc he had a great start when he first came up. Ppl would Lakes going to be a star bc he was hitting around .500 his first couple games while completely ignoring what his track record was in the minors. Yeah it’s was encouraging but it was ridiculous that ppl proclaimed him the next young Soriano.

    • ssckelley

      Yes, a 7 day trend should NEVER be mentioned in anyones blog or comments. Luke should be ashamed of himself for bringing it up, he needs to go back to pointing out how bad this season has been for Olt.

      • Josh t

        I’m bashing on Luke or even Olt. It wasn’t bad that he gave the 7 day stat but I was trying to make a point of how often ppl in the media, commenters, and sports talk radio will give all these little snap shot stat lines and proclaim players have turned a corner and that players are super stars. Yeah the 7 day stats are great if you want to mention whose hot and whose not but it just annoys me when ppl base a whole argument of how great a player is or how bad a player is over the course of a small amount of time.

        Didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers or anything. Not specifically saying Luke never should have mentioned a 7 day stat line but I was more talking about how it is annoying how ppl over generalize about players over such a small sample size

        • Josh t

          Not bashing*

        • jt

          In the daily updates Luke gives a snapshot of what the player is doing currently. A snapshot is one frame from a long reel. Sometimes he melds several frames into a collage of frames in order to what MIGHT be developing into a trend. It is just a tool to make the reader aware of the game being played within the game. IMO, he is not evaluating the player’s overall production. He does a good job of that in items that are clearly labeled as such several times a year. Rather, he is just providing a bit of insight into what the player may be working on and the degree of success the guy seems to be having.
          I really like when he does that.

        • CubsFaninMS

          Josh:

          Your concern may be a little misplaced here. I believe a savvy sports fan will read a very small sample size and take it as just that… a small sample size. I do generally agree with you that people take a “small sample size” of information in the media these days and blow it up into something much larger. Specifically on this site, we are all pretty heavy Cubs fans and, as a whole, tend to be very adept at toning down our expecations… sometimes to a fault.

        • Kyle

          I completely agree that the arbitrary endpoints game is overplayed.

          But in Olt’s case, there’s a specific reason to wonder if he’s recovering from a weird injury and when he might start to show that recovery, so looking for turnarounds is valid.

          • jt

            Prince Fielder is a 0.917 OPS guy.
            In the past 52 games and 229 PA’s he has earned an OPS of 0.660 and a BAbip of 0.255. That is 1/3 of a season.
            So in the past 52 games he has his like Barney.
            The possible reasons for the dip are many and varied.
            Over the period he has maintained a 10% BB rate so he is taking pitches outside the K zone.
            He has only K’d 36 times so he is making contact.
            I doubt that this is part of his natural cycle of hitting. I doubt that he is “just having bad luck”.
            It is not a set of arbitrary end points. It starts at a point of inflection of his seasons OPS and shows a steady decline that covers over half the season he has played. His current OPS of 0.790 does not at all reflect as to how he played in the 55 to 60 games of the season nor does it reflect as to how he has played the most recent 55 or 60 games of this season.
            The 0.790 OPS seems a pretty decent number but the segmentation of his past 229 PA’s is a pretty good indication the either he or management is going to have to make so sort of adjustment.

            • hansman1982

              If it isn’t due to luck and natural variation within the game, did he suddenly forget how to hit for power?

              • jt

                Does the batter, pitching and defense have a homogeneous approach though out the season or even through out a career?
                Maddux would study bp looking for tendencies of batters. Scouts would study Maddux to see how he was applying what he learned so they could pass it along.
                Players get hurt, tired and develop bad habits.
                Schierholz had a dip in OPS, I think, in late May. It didn’t last long and he brought himself out of it. Yeah, there is luck and performance variation. He got banged up before the AS break and had a more serious dip in OPS. He got a day off before the break a couple after and has had a 0.900+ in this the 2nd half. Playing hurt is not part of natural variation or luck
                Dempster had a bad April of 2011. He started throwing more sliders and was good at least until he was traded. That is not luck or natural variation. That is making the proper adjustment when able.

            • bbmoney

              Darwin Barney wishes he was a .660 OPS guy.

          • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

            Kyle makes a lot of sense here Cubs may wait it out until OLT has recovered from his head injury! He may be the type of prospect that goes up and down a few times before he find his niche (3rd,1st, corner OF spots) 25% chance he makes it as an everyday 3rd.

    • hansman1982

      A good week for Olt is encouraging because he was really good previously, so to see a glimpse of that returning is positive. The reason you can’t say Donnie Murphy is a power hitter after those three games is because he never was one to begin with. Do you see the difference between these SSS analyses?

      Luke isn’t saying “Hey, look at these 7 games! Olt is AMAZING!” He’s just pointing out that Olt has started to do well again and it’s something to keep your eye on.

      • ssckelley

        Just think, Murphy projects to 120 homers in a 160 games.

      • wvcubsfan

        Why would you waste a logical argument on a comment that was not based in logic to begin with?

    • BT

      And no one said Lake was going to be a star because he had one good week. They said Lake had one good week. and they were excited.

      Relax.

      • Josh t

        Yes there were a ton of ppl who said Lake was going to be a star right when he came up. Tons of ppl overreacted. Seriously if you don’t believe me go look at the comments

        • ssckelley

          Then you need to stay off blogs and forums like this, those types of reactions are knee jerk reactions of fans enjoying something positive in a season that has been dismal. I do not recall many of the knowledgeable fans that comment here on a regular basis proclaim Lake to be a star over his hot start. Lake has incredible tools and is an amazing athlete, whether or not he can apply it all at the MLB level remains to be seen.

          • cub2014

            Lake has to learn to foul off good
            pitches IF he can do that who knows?
            He can certainly hit mistakes.

          • Josh t

            I’m not saying regulars like yourself said that but many ppl who just started following site were brought in bc the craze over trade deadline rumors were commenting on how the kid is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

            I didn’t really mean to get in an argument or anything bc Luke does great work but I more or less meant commenters who give the little snap shot stats over react and how I just get annoyed when ppl use them to justify an argument. I know Luke was commenting that it was encouraging to see.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Best thing since 1928? That’s a bit much wouldn’t you say?

          • Mr. B. Patient

            As a matter of fact, MORE fans should get excited when a player on their team does well. Enjoy the moment, because they are few and far between.

        • wvcubsfan

          You might need to adjust your sarcasm meter a little bit as well.

  • cub2014

    I think when Sweeney comes back at end of
    august (if Lake is still hitting) I would put Lake at
    3B and by Sept 1st would be nice to see Watkins
    or Alcantera at 2nd. Vitters will get his second
    chance once he is healthy to play some OF.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I think Vitters is done for the year. Can’t see him coming back and getting in shape to play with the Cubs. I would like to see Olt show enough in AAA to warrant a Sept call-up. It would help next years team significantly if Olt comes out of spring training as the starter at third. We need another power source.

      • cub2014

        I was hoping to see Olt now. But he is
        still doing poorly and sounds like FO
        isnt expecting him until sometime
        in 2014. I thought Vitters had a pulled
        muscle? I would think he would be due
        back in next couple of weeks.

        • willis

          Yeah, I think if we ever see him it’ll be at least into next season. There’s nothing to show that he is anywhere near ready. This trend of contact is I guess encouraging, but he still just isn’t good. If he can somewhat find what he had, it’ll be a hell of a good thing and nice surprise.

  • COW142

    The Kyle Hendricks video… his delivery reminds me of former Cub Scott Sanderson. Anyone else see notice this?

  • Kyle

    Really intrigued by Rivero’s hot streak. 10.2 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 0 R, 20 K.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Didn’t you just say?

      “I completely agree that the arbitrary endpoints game is overplayed.”

      Just admit it. When analyzing a prospect, watching how he progresses through the year is important, as long as it is taken in context with other things.

    • another JP

      Yep, this Rivero guy had a tough adjustment period at first but is looking awesome now. TN might have an incredible pitching staff next season with Rivero, Edwards, Pineyro, Rosscup, Johnson, Zastrysny all there at the same time. Who says the Cubs don’t have any pitching prospects?

  • kluv

    Is Hendricks a LEGIT pitching prospect? His numbers have been great all year. Does he have a future as a potential starter? I know he doesn’t have #1 stuff but Maddux never did either. (Not saying he’s going to be Maddux)

    • wvcubsfan

      Why wouldn’t he project as a starter? We’ve got an entire rotation right now without #1 stuff.

      • DavidC

        Shark has number one stuff. If you could morph his stuff with Hendricks’ pitchability and command you’d have a monster ace.

    • Edwin

      I’d say Maddux had #1 stuff. 88-92 MPH sinker with incredible movement that he could spot on a dime, and a crazy good changeup.

      • ssckelley

        But he only had #1 stuff because he had crazy control. I have never been able to see someone paint the outside corner with all his pitches like Maddux. Maddux pitched to his defense and allowed batters to get them self out.

    • chirogerg

      Out of high school, the Cubs thought would Maddux have an 80 fastball, 70 curve, 50 change, 60 control. I’d say that’s pretty close to #1 stuff

  • http://. Sven-Erik312

    Eastern Tennesee, well we all know that the mountains are prettier in Western North Carolina (spoken like a true Tarheel)

    • DavidC

      Amen to that. I live in Boone, and you have to love the Asheville area. Call me biased but I think it’s miles ahead of the Pigeon Forge area.

      • willis

        That are is indeed beautiful. No doubt about it.

      • CubsFaninMS

        David:

        I have a couple of friends that were pharmacists at the Walgreen’s in Boone for several years. It’s a beautiful little town.

  • http://. Sven-Erik312

    Actually, I hope not to have insulted anyone from the great Volunteer State with a little cross state humor. I lived in NC before I moved to Chicago, I just love that whole region in there!

  • Rebuilding

    I’m a little confused as to what the FO is doing with Cabrera. They stretched him out into a starter and he looked good at Tennessee, but now they have him pitching out of the bullpen at Iowa. May be they just wanted to give him more innings and have him ticketed for the bullpen eventually. But it seems strange to change while he’s having success

    • On The Farm

      I think it was since they just stretched him out to be a SP they want a limit on his innings this year, and they might be looking for him to make some spot starts in September (since he is out of options I think)

      • Rebuilding

        Actually, that makes sense

  • chirogerg

    Anyone else notice that Olt has “Beltre” stitched into his glove. I found it amusing.

    • DarthHater

      And what were you doing inside Olt’s glove, hmmmmmmm?

  • Tim

    No SOs for Baez that game. I love it

    • Cubbie Blues

      Don’t hold off on the SOS just yet, he still need to keep a watch on that K rate.

  • BleedingCubbieBlue

    Luke
    Do you think Almora will be coming back to Kane County the year. I have been waiting for Bryant to get promoted and hoping Almora will come back soon before I make the trip.

    • X the Cubs fan

      He shouldn’t be out long and I also think Bryant will be there soon (if he doesn’t make it to Daytona first).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Yes to Almora, but I would not wait for Bryant before heading to a game. He might not stop there this season, and Candelario is well worth watching.

  • http://bleachernation DL Huyck

    Heading to the Smokies game tonite, would like to meet the famous Mr Taylor.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I don’t think Brett is on his way to Tennessee, but I’ll be there Monday and Tuesday night.

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