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daytona cubs logoThe Smokies have won two in a row in Birmingham, home of the Barons. For much of the season those Barons have been the best team in the Southern League, and they are still the only team with a better overall record than Tennessee. For now. There are still three games left to play in this series, and if the Cubs’ affiliate sweeps them the Smokies will take over first place in the overall league standings.

And they are not alone in making such a push. The Daytona Cubs of the High A Florida State League hold the overall season lead in their division and are within striking distance of Fort Myers for the league lead. The road to that milestone is a little rougher for the Cubs than it is for the Smokies, but it is still quite doable.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Iowa committed two errors on their way to this 3-2 loss.
Tennessee - The Smokies piled on seventeen hits in this 9-2 win.
Daytona - Daytone had the day off. This one was scheduled, too. It wasn’t a rain out.
Kane County - Kane County fell behind early and never caught back up. They lost 9-2.
Boise - The game got away from the Hawks late as they lost 6-3.
Arizona - Arizona took the lead in the top of the ninth, but gave it up in the bottom. They lost 5-4.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Mike Olt finished 1 for 3 with a walk in this game, and he walked twice in 3 trips to plate the day before. That’s to the good. On the other hand, this hit was his first since August 13.
  • [Iowa] Casey Coleman had another pretty good game. Over 6 innings he allowed 1 run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 3. He could be a candidate to break camp with the Cubs bullpen in the spring.
  • [Tennessee] The best day at the plate for the Smokies came from Rubi Silva. The outfielder finished 3 for 3 with a double, a triple, and two walks. Given that he entered the game with just a pair of walks this month that last stat might be the most significant of the bunch. If Silva could just take a few more free passes his .283/.304/.471 line would become notable enough that we might be talking about him breaking out in the same terms as Alcantara.
  • [Tennessee] Speaking of Arismendy Alcantara, he hit his 14th home run and doubled in this game. His double play partner Javier Baez doubled twice and finished 3 for 4 with a walk (and no strikeouts).
  • [Tennessee] Dae-Eun Rhee pitched a very nice game. Over 7 innings he allowed just 3 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 3. Two runs scored off him, including a home run, but all in all it was a very impressive outing.
  • [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario had the only extra base hit (a double) and the only multi-hit game for the Cougars as he finished 2 for 4.
  • [Kane County] Justin Amlung and Al Yevoli both pitched well in relief. Amlung, in particular, allowed nothing but a walk in his 2.2 innings of work.
  • [Boise] Zach Godley struck out 3 and walked 2 in his 2.2 innings of hitless relief.
  • [Boise] The Hawks managed to score their 3 runs on just 5 hits despite none of those hits going for extra bases.
  • [Arizona] Trevor Clifton allowed a hit and struck out twice that in his 2 innings of work.
  • [Arizona] Charcer Burks and Jeffrey Baez both doubled and finished 2 for 4. Baez also stole two bases, bringing him to 24 with Arizona this season.

Other News

  • The entire Smokies lineup had a hit in this game, and six of the nine enjoyed multi-hit games. It was a very impressive performance, all the more so in that came on the road.
  • Aaron

    Baez is really tearing up AA, does he begin next year in Iowa?

    • cubchymyst

      I originally thought no way, but the chances are improving. I think it be good for him to start next year at AA with a chance for a quick promotion. I’d like to see if he could apply the same approach he has used towards the end of this year at the start of next at the same level instead of challenging him again in AAA. I think challenge Baez again he might cause him to start the year off with a high K% again then we watch it slowly dwindles as the season continues (which has been his pattern at every level).

      • JB88

        I’m becoming more firmly convinced if the Cubs’ plan is to begin competing in 2015, Baez will need to be in the majors by next season. And I think that as a byproduct of that you will see him starting at AAA next season. Plus, given his current number of plate appearances plus remaining schedule, he’ll likely end up with 250 ABs at TN before the playoffs. Certainly not a full season, but probably enough to merit AAA considering the numbers he’s putting up.

      • On The Farm

        I tend to lean the other way. I think once he has proved all he needs to do at a certain level this FO is going to push him to the next level. I think Baez is the special kind of prospect that needs that push to be great. I think if he starts at Iowa it will be good for his momentum(or confidence).

        • cubchymyst

          If he starts in AA next year I don’t think he will be there very long, probably a month. But I’d like to see him break the habit of starting of with a +30% K rate when he starts a new level. He will probably play in the AFL this off season and how he does there will likely play a roll in where he starts next year.

          • On The Farm

            I don’t think a month is a reasonable time for him to be in AA if he does return there. I think he is either going to be in AA half a season or in AAA for half a season. I think Mike Olt will get his chance to stick with the club out of Spring Training and if he doesn’t he will most likely be going to Iowa to work on his LF skills. and Baez will be added sometime in July so he is seasoned for 2015. As for the K%s, that is something we are all going to have to live with Baez, but he at least seems detirmined to cut down on the volume of them he commits.

            • RizzoCastro

              Where will the Cubs play him if he comes up? If he starts at SS at AAA next year then that all but says when he comes up to the Bigs he will play SS IMO. I think if that happens which I feel it will then Castro will either be traded or moved to 2B or CF.

              • cub2014

                Hoyer said just a couple weeks ago that
                Baez will probably be making a position
                change this winter. I would assume that will be
                3B

                • RizzoCastro

                  Thanks for that info. I guess we will all see next spring.

                  • cub2014

                    Yes, it will be one of the most interesting
                    springs in quite awhile. Baez-Bryant-Olt-
                    Alcantera-Vitters-Hendricks-Vizcaino-
                    Cabrerra-Rosscup. Of course Soler-
                    Vogelbach and Almora

                    • RizzoCastro

                      I agree

                • Mike W

                  Id rather see Baez play 2B and have Olt play 3B next year in AAA to start the season. Barney is not the future 2nd Basemen he is horrid at the plate the last couple seasons, yes he added body mass but that hasnt helped him at all. 2015 Infield if everything goes right is Bryant 3B, Castro SS, Baez 2B and Rizzo 1B. Move Olt to the outifeld in 2014 when Bryant moves to the AAA team. That gives Olt a half a season or so to work on his game in the outfield and lets Bryant play his natural position. It is stupid to play Baez at 3B when you have Bryant right around the corner. Bryant is older and already looking like a stud so i dont see him lasting long in AA next season. So he should end his 2014 Season in AAA or a September call up next year. (Doubtful)

                  • willis

                    I think I can get down with that. Either Baez or Castro can slide to 2nd with what I think would be no problems. Keeping Olt at 3B in Iowa is smart because you need to give him a little more time before he’s completely given up on and flushed out. I’m of the opinion he is toast and will never amount to an everyday even decent 3B, but his ceiling is there to let him keep at it a little while longer.

                    More importantly is whether they think that Bryant can stick at 3B for the long haul. If he can, then this is exactly how you play it, let Olt keep it warm at AAA and Murphy/Valbuena at the major league level until Bryant is ready.

                  • Chad

                    What about Alcantra? What if Baez is a better 3B option than Bryant (are you sure his glove will play at 3B?), What about moving Castro to 2nd? What if Olt turns it around and can play 3B the best and can also hit. Bryant to LF? Lot’s of possibilities. Too soon to lock any of the young guys in permanently.

                    • willis

                      Oh definitely. But I think the most important thing about all of this and where to go from there position wise is Bryant’s potential at 3B. We know he’ll hit. Much like we know Baez will hit. The position plan with Bryant the rest of the way will determine how much else plays out.

                    • Mike W

                      Yes I agree alot of options and questions that only time will tell. But to throw Baez to 3B when we already have 4 solid 3B prospects in the system is crazy. Especially when the only 2B we have is Alcantra. I like that guy alot and i can see him as a Utility guy and a backup like Barney will be. Baez makes more errors then Castro does in less attempts. Moving Baez to the “hot corner” sounds like destruction. 2B is the easiest position in the game and I think he could excel their and just worry on hitting. Olt on the other hand seems lost and confused in AAA he will be there all of this year and most of next year if not all of next year too. Moving him to LF could be a good option if he can hit again but then again Josh Vitters is in LF in AAA when hes healthy.

                      Time will tell where these Top Prospects will go in their careers.

    • cms0101

      It seems possible he could start in Iowa the way he’s been going, but if I had to guess right now, he’ll start in Tennessee and then move quickly if he shows the same domination at the beginning of next season. They won’t rush him. He’s too young and important to do that.

    • ssckelley

      Unless he completely falls apart he should start at Iowa next season unless he makes the MLB team next spring. I think there is a chance he will be given the opportunity to make the team next year. Unless the Cubs priority is to save a year of arbitration. My prediction is he starts at Iowa and if he dominates then we should see him after the all star break.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I could definitely see them giving him the Rizzo treatment and let him completely dominate AAA for a while before bringing him up. There is nothing to be gained by losing a year of control. He can get plenty of face time in the majors next year without hurting his clock.

        • ssckelley

          I still hold out hope (small one) that the Cubs will attempt a playoff run in 2014, this is why I still give Baez a small chance at being given the opportunity to make the team. If the Cubs are serious about 2014 then Baez will make the team if he dominates spring training, if he dominates spring training and they still send him to Iowa then we know 2014 is another waste.

          • BT

            The Cubs will attempt a playoff run in 2014. Not a “damn the future we’re going for it now” playoff run, but they will put together a team they think can compete for the division. They will have a plan for Baez that will be completely unaffected by how he does in 60 at bats against assorted minor leaguers in spring training.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Totally agree with this. It’s just that we will probably have a .500 team than a division winner.

            • ssckelley

              If someone comes out of no where and has a huge spring then I would agree with you, but Baez has dominated every step of the way. IMO, it will say a lot if Baez continues his domination through spring training and they still send him down to Iowa. That means they are putting a higher priority on finances than putting the best team on the field to win games.

              I have understood, and agreed with, most moves the Cubs have made up to this point. Many of the moves the FO have made are similar to ones made my small-mid market teams, save money now while making long term investments. But at some point they need to stop acting like a small/mid market team. If Baez is ready for the big leagues then I don’t give a rats ass about player control. If it means the Cubs end up spending more money down the road because he made the team early then that also means he had success and he will be worth every damn penny. With the stadium improvements to drive additional revenue, an impending new TV contract, the Cubs should have plenty of money. This is not a team in Tampa or Kansas City, this is Chicago the countries 3rd largest market.

              • Chad

                I don’t know. How much do they need to add to have a successful team? A lot is the answer. Bringing Baez up to start the year may not be as beneficial as having him one more year 5 years from now. If the cubs waited until May to bring him they get 1 more year of control. Wait until July and it only affects arbitration. Now, if they truly will push for a playoff spot then yeah he needs to be up, but I honestly don’t know how many moves the FO would need to make for that to be a feasible option.

                *Disclaimer, they obviously should feel like every move they make makes them contenders, but I think the cubs are still 2015 at the earliest from competing.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  Would like to bring Baez up in May, like you said, and hopefully another young stud (Bryant) to bring some excitement back to Wrigley (sell tickets, generate revenue for additional player signings).

                  This will also give them some adjustment time to the majors so they aren’t doing it on the fly in 2015 during our ‘anticipated’ playoff chase.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    You never accelerate a players development for a little flair in the Bigs.

                    • ssckelley

                      I am not suggesting rushing him.

              • JB88

                I don’t think Baez will be ready for the ML by Opening Day. But, given his progress at AA, I do expect him to be ready by July. And, if he is ready, I hope that he is up here then.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I am in the middle ground on 2014, just want to see .500 ball.

          • On The Farm

            I think they will feel out 2014 before they call up Baez, I think July, but if they prove they are having a good year he could be up by May/June. There are a lot of factors in play (how is Olt doing? how is handling AAA pitching?), but I don’t think him not starting with the club is the waving of the white flag.

          • JB88

            One thing is certain, they need to start adding some more pieces they expect to be here longterm. I am very hopeful that we aren’t going to see mass sell-offs at the trade deadline and start progressing to the point where Augusts and September are about winning games and not playing for draft position.

      • Kyle

        There’s two different service-time issues to be worried about.

        If he comes up before late April, he becomes a free-agent a year earlier. There’s pretty much zero chance the Cubs would do that. You don’t take 4 weeks of 21-year-old Baez at the expense of a full year of 27-year-old Baez.

        If he comes up before early July, then after 2016, he would be able to go to arbitration instead of getting his contract renewed, which would cost the Cubs a few million bucks. They could easily decide that’s not as big of a deal if they think Baez can help in the majors and/or it’s best for his development.

        • ssckelley

          If the Cubs have zero shot at making the playoffs in 2014 then I completely agree with you. But if they hold out any hope of making the playoffs next year then they should put the best team on the field to help them win. Like I said in my comment above this is not a small market team, if a 27 year old Baez ends up costing the Cubs more money because he made the team in April of 2014 then he will be worth every damn dime and the Cubs should be able to afford it. In 2020 the Cubs should be making money hand over fist with everything they have going for them.

          • Cubbie Blues

            It’s not a matter of costing more if we bring him up in April. It could mean not having him at all for a whole year. Nothing says that he will have to sign with us once he becomes a FA. It’s all about control. If saving money goes along with it so be it, but that extra year of control is huge.

            • hansman1982

              and that extra year of control is during his prime AND then when you extend him it’s easier to get to age 31.

              Service time considerations are a big deal.

            • ssckelley

              So if in 2021 Baez is no longer a Cub then he either flamed out, they were to cheap to pay what the market could afford, or the Cubs are still making money ball moves and they traded him for a crap load of prospects. Another scenario is he is used as a trade chip now for a proven player, but then this “player control” issue becomes another teams problem.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Or, somebody plain out bid them. If you are willing to pay market, but someone else will pay market plus then you aren’t really being cheap. Look at the Angels with Pujols and Hamilton. They are paid way over what they are worth and left for a new home. I wouldn’t say what the Cardinals offered was being cheap at all.

              • JM

                But the extra year would still be the Cubs problem. Remember all the talk about how much more the Cubs could have gotten for Garza if they had more control over him. No team will just let you pawn their problems onto them.

          • hansman1982

            Bringing him up before the end of April could cost the Cubs $20M+. I don’t care if you are the Dodgers, $20M in any given season is a big deal.

            • ssckelley

              I am drooling over this possibility. If Baez ends up costing the Cubs an extra 20 million in 2021 because they tried to win in 2014 then he would have had some awesome seasons.

              Is a playoff run in 2014 worth 20 million?

              • Chad

                Does Baez turn this cub’s team into a playoff contender in 2014?

                • ssckelley

                  I don’t know, I sure hope so. If there is no chance of making the playoffs in 2014 then there is no reason to bring him up early for all the reasons others have mentioned.

                  • On The Farm

                    Looking at last night’s lineup, do you think adding Baez, Rizzo not sick, and adding even a Jacoby Ellsbury will get us to the playoffs? We will still have a offensive hole at 2nd, need our starters to go at least 7 IP even then Russell is no longer our “sure thing” at the end of the game. I think we can take a leap forward next season, but I don’t see the two of the Pirates, Cardinals, or Reds getting that much worse for us to try and steal one of their spots. at the top of the divison.

                    • ssckelley

                      You are starting a different debate than what I am presenting. I have no idea what moves the Cubs make this off season and if last nights lineup is an indicator of what 2014 is going to be then you leave Baez in the minors for all the reasons everyone else mentioned.

                    • hansman1982

                      Not really. If the Cubs have last night’s lineup as the OD lineup (won’t happen), then, yes, not having Baez in the lineup is a giant white flag.

                      After the Cubs build a competent lineup this winter and some normal regression of Barney and Rizzo’s singles rate next year, it isn’t the white flag you are saying it is.

                      At the bare minimum, you want to hold Baez back until April 29.

                    • Kyle

                      We will have an entirely different bullpen in 2014, for starters.

                • hansman1982

                  Does 1 month of Baez turn the Cubs into a contender next year?

                • JB88

                  Depends. But maybe. Of course, a lot of that is also dependent on the other pieces they add, what Junior Lake do we get, what Rizzo we get, and what Castro we get. If we add an everyday 2B or 3B in Baez who can rake, that could stabilize the line up a lot more. In my estimation though, outside of Castillo, Castro, Rizzo, and Schierholtz, the rest of the Cubs position players are completely up for grabs and huge question marks.

                • ari gold

                  No Baez alone wouldn’t make the Cubs a contender in 2014. If they’re going to become a contender, they need to get Castro back to 2011 level, Rizzo and Shark to take the next step forward, and a stable bullpen. Those really are the keys to 2014.

              • hansman1982

                Well the choice isn’t PLAYOFFS!!!! or $20M, it’s:

                Is a month of what Baez brings to the table as a 21 year old worth $20M? WIll the additional runs he provides in April 2014 be worth it?

                • Chad

                  If you want to avoid super 2, I think it is late July before he can be called up though, so it’s more than a month of Baez, like half a season.

                  • hansman1982

                    Super-two cutoff is mid-Juneish

                    • Chad

                      Ok, so 2.5 months

                  • hansman1982

                    $20M in savings is what that extra year of control would mean. Tack on Brett’s $15M and suddenly you have the combined payrolls of the Astros and Marlins in savings.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Let me help. The answer is no. Trout isn’t worth that to a non-contending team.

                  • ssckelley

                    “non contending” is the key word in your comment. In my dreams the Cubs are contending, year in and year out.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      They are in my dreams as well, but unfortunately until we graduate some of our prospects that is not the reality.

                    • ssckelley

                      So the FO is snowing us? I thought the goal of this FO was to build a sustainable winner?

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      It is, but you have to get there first and we still aren’t there yet. I see us as .500 next year and competing after that.

                    • ssckelley

                      I doubt .500 is on the FO’s minds, this years team could have been a .500 team had they not torn it apart. The FO has shown if they are not a playoff contending team then they will sell off anything of value that cannot help them win the following season. Players like Schierholtz will be on the chopping block by the next trade deadline if they are not contending.

                • ssckelley

                  To me it is, I started this debate off by mentioning if the Cubs were serious about a 2014 playoff run then they will put the best team on the field. If 2014 is just another hope and a prayer then off to AAA Baez goes for all the reasons you, Kyle, and others have mentioned.

                  • On The Farm

                    I think the opprotunity cost of having Baez up early is too great for the Cubs, even if they are one of the largest market teams, and having him up gives the “illusion” of a playoff run. I still firmly believe not starting Baez from the get-go is waving the white flag. Its not insane to think Baez and Bryant could be mid-season callups next season. Even if they are offensively ready we need to remember that they need defensive polish. We don’t need more Castros out on the field. I don’t say that as a Castro I say that as someone who is tired of seeing one of our best players get beat up all the time for his defensive lapses. We want to call up our prospects, when their entire game is not ready, not just part of their game being MLB ready.

                    • ssckelley

                      I agree with that, I am not suggesting rushing Baez to the majors. My argument is the decision to send Baez to AAA should not be about money. If there are parts of his game that needs to be worked out in the minors then there is no need to rush him.

                    • On The Farm

                      Then I guess I would say you have been ignoring how the game is being played now a-days. If Baez is 100% ready, the FO will still leave him down at least long enough to not lose a year of control. Being a big market ball club allows the Cubs to ignore Super Two implications with Baez type players, but no team can ignore the implications of losing a player to FA a year sooner.

                    • ssckelley

                      I have not been ignoring how the game is played. If this FO is all about holding players back strictly because of money then I guess the Cubs are a small/mid market team then and we will not see Baez until next September. Heck even the small/mid market Nats brought up Harper because they felt he could help the team win.

                    • On The Farm

                      “Heck even the small/mid market Nats brought up Harper because they felt he could help the team win”

                      So glad you brought him up since the Nationals waited until the end of April to bring him up. So its not like they weren’t thinking about it too.

                    • ssckelley

                      They called him up because of injuries to Morse, April 28th is when he made his debut. Many thought they were rushing him.

                    • On The Farm

                      I don’t get what argument you are making with Bryce Harper then? You brought him up so either he is a comprable situation to Baez (in which the Nationals waited until they secured an extra year of control regardless of injuries). Or he isn’t a comparble situation to Baez because some viewed him as being rushed. Just let me know when you make up your mind.

                    • ssckelley

                      It is obvious why I mentioned him. Even a small/mid market team like the Nationals did not let money stand in the way of calling him up when they felt like they needed him.

                    • hansman1982

                      According to B-Ref he had 159 days of service time last year so either they were concerned about getting that extra year of control or so unconcerned about the money they called him up a couple days short of getting that extra year.

                    • On The Farm

                      Actually you are still a little off on your facts. Morse started the season on the DL and wasn’t activiated until June I believe. He was called up when Zimmerman went on the DL. They waited until the almost the end of April, which is typically the cut off for securing the extra year of control. If the Nationals didn’t care about money they would have let Harper start the year with the club in place of Morse’s spot, but instead they called him up at the end of April. Convienent no?

                  • hansman1982

                    I’m saying that, even if the Cubs are “serious” about contention next year, there is nothing wrong with having Baez open the season in Iowa.

                    • Northside Neuman

                      Washington D.C is a small to mid-sized market?

                      Uh, no it isn’t.

                      It’s actually one of the largest television markets in the country. Case in point, the Washington Redskins.

                      The Washington/Baltimore television market is enormous.

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                ss, you’re leaving out one option, and that is that Baez doesn’t WANT to sign an extension with the Cubs and wants to test the market.

                If that’s the case, do you think the Cubs will let him go for free, or do you think they’d trade him?

                • ssckelley

                  Even if he wants to test the market the Cubs should not be sellers unless 5/6 years down the road the FO is still playing money ball. Hopefully between having a strong minor league system couple with a big payroll if Baez refuses to resign with the Cubs they will have other options.

          • cms0101

            It’s not solely about the money though. Sure, they want to control Baez as long as possible. But they also don’t want to rush him. I know he’s killing it in AA right now, but think back to last season with Rizzo. He had ridiculous numbers in Iowa and they left him there to get the prescribed number of at bats they want guys to have in AAA. Again, that was partially money-related too, as they didn’t want to lose control of him too early either. But then they rushed to lock him up to a long-term deal that cost them more money immediately but less overall. If Baez proves he doesn’t have anything to work on in AAA, he’ll be in the majors, but now that he’s in AA and climbing they won’t push him faster to challenge him. It will all be about progress and production.

            • ssckelley

              I am not suggesting they “rush him” but if he continues to dominate every step of the way then money is no reason to hold him back.

              • Cubbie Blues

                He isn’t even going to make it to AAA this year. The Cubs don’t need him up to make a run so why skip AAA? If he is forcing the issue why not wait like they did with Rizzo? There is nothing to be gained by bringing him up except a little extra excitement that could have been had later on anyway.

                • ssckelley

                  Baez is not going to AAA this year because Iowa sucks and they have no shot at making the playoffs. Playing for Tennessee is doing Baez more good than playing in AAA. The talent gap between AA and AAA is quite small.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I guess, long story short, there are several reasons that point to why staying down for a bit is a good idea.

          • Kyle

            It’s a difference of $20m-$30m in the long run if he becomes the star we hope so.

            One month of Baez is not going to be worth that, regardless.

            I’m all about blowing off the Super 2 deadline, though.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Just a note: if the Cubs believe Baez will be a star, the Super Two thing is a slightly bigger deal than a few million bucks.

          Hypothetical tracks:

          No Super Two – 2014: <$1M, 2015: <$1M, 2016: <$1M, 2017: <$1M, 2018 (first year of arb): $3M, 2019 (second year of arb): $7M, 2020 (final year of arb): $11M

          Super Two – 2014: <$1M, 2015: <$1M, 2016: <$1M, 2017 (first year of arb): $2.5M, 2018 (second year of arb): $6.5M, 2019 (third year of arb): $11M, 2020 (final year of arb): $15M

          Total difference (again, this is all hypothetical, assumes stardom, and is just for the purposes of illustrating the potential impact of Super Two long term): $14 million extra paid over the arbitration years.

          It’s not just one year or a few million bucks to the right player. It can be huge.

          • hansman1982

            Plus the additional cost of a super-two’s buyout of the first two years of FA.

            • JB88

              Or the extra cost of signing him to an extension if he gets to his final year of arbitration.

              In a year they aren’t expecting compete, why tie up resources down the line for an extra month or three of a rookie Baez?

              Of course, if they think there is any chance Baez would sign a Rizzo/Castro like extension, then you say F’ it and bring him up the minute you think he is ready. That’s the gamble.

              • Kyle

                They are trying to compete in 2014.

          • Kyle

            I wasn’t under the impression Super 2s made more per year in their 4th-6th year of service time just because of the previous arbitration year, but I could be wrong on that point.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              They tend to get less in that first year, because they have less service time. Thereafter, the rates tend to build on themselves (but you’ll note that the examples I used generally are the same in either case (second versus second, third versus third). By the end, the real “extra” year of arbitration you’re paying for is the last year, not the first.

              • hansman1982

                The player trades about 45 days of service time at league minimum for a full year of arbitration at near market rate.

    • Kyle

      *At least* Iowa. Presuming he keeps hitting anywhere near this level and his approach doesn’t fall apart, there’s little reason for him to be in the minors in 2014 beyond the appropriate service time dates.

      • jt

        Kyle’s Baez posts…sounds about right.

    • Blublud

      I doubt this happens, but I wouldn’t be suprised if Baez sees the bigs in Sept. It depends on the 40 man situation. I don’t think the Cubs have a 40 man problem, so its possible. It depends on how fast the playoffs last in AA, but a couple at-bats in sept, an Iowa stint for a month and a half or 2 to start the season, then Baez should be permanently Chicago bound. Either way, he’ll be Chicago bound by the end of next May or early june.

      • cms0101

        I would be utterly shocked and surprised to see him in September. He won’t even make it to Iowa. The Smokies are in the playoffs. They’d rather see him get post season experience than send him to Iowa for a month or less of meaningless baseball.

        • Blublud

          Iowa is not an option this year. The playoffs in minors last barely over a week. If Baez crushes the rest of the year, and the Cubs lose the first series in the playoffs, It wouldn’t suprise me to see someone like McDonald DFA’d and Baez added to get some at-bats vs big league competition.

          • Jon

            I will wager eleventy billion dollars this doesn’t happen.

            • Blublud

              Jon, thanks for your non-informed, ignorant response. I wouldn’t bet on it either, but I can at least show precedence where it has happened.

              • Jon

                To further expound on why this isn’t happening, is that McCloud basically said Baez’ position(being blocked by Castro) will be addressed during spring training of 2014. They aren’t blowing service time to call up Baez in a utility role for one month of a lost season. They aren’t benching Castro in favor of Baez either. They also aren’t going to try to transition Baez to another position at the big league level. There is no where for him to play every day. These aren’t assumptions, the front office have told you what is going to happen. Stop typing sensationalist crap like “I WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED IF IT HAPPENS” just to get attention. It’s not happening. Using basic facts and logic a rational person can deduce this.

                • Blublud

                  Like I said, I doubt it happens but wouldn’t be suprised. I think it would be a mistake to not call him up. Any chance to get the kids big league at-bats that passes witjoit being taken advantage of is a mistake.

                  • Jon

                    And where is he going to get his every day at bats?

                    • Blublud

                      His season would already be over at that point, so him not playing everyday would not be hurting his development because he would not be losing any at-bats, only gaining. I think if there is a way you can get him 3 or 4 starts, and 5-7 pinch hit chances(20-25 PA), it can only help his development for the offseason. Like I said, I doubt it happens, but since I think it would be the right thing to do, I wouldn’t be suprised.

                    • Blublud

                      And not just Baez. I have no clue why Ha, Szczur and a few others are not up and playing. I know Murphey is playing very well so far, but at this point in the season, I could really careless about his performance. This FO needs to learn to let the kids play.

      • Jon

        “I doubt this happens, but I wouldn’t be suprised ”

        ?????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • JB88

    With the numbers that Baez and Bryant are currently putting up, it is exciting. But there is a part of me that would feel a whole lot better if Soler, Almora, and Vizcaino would get healthy and also start producing.

    • On The Farm

      I will say this though. If Soler was as good as he hit in A+ while he was already injured, I am really looking forward to next season. I am kind of disappointed with Almora and his injury mainly because I am not sure if he can still be added to the Daytona roster for the playoffs. He won’t be on such an agressive plan that Baez is, but it would have been nice to get a decent amount of A+ PA this season. As for Vizcaino, I just hope he can return on a RP basis at this point.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I am very bullish on Soler. He put up great numbers for someone with a fractured leg. On Vizcaino, I still have hopes of a good SP.

        • JeffR

          If Vizcaino can turn into an ace, I feel good about our future starting rotation. If not, we need to find a top of the rotation arm somewhere along the line to put in front of shark, Johnson, Jackson, wood and whoever else is in the mix.

          • Cubbie Blues

            You don’t have to have an Ace to have a good rotation. If you have a couple of 2s and a couple of 3s that is good enough. An Ace would be the cherry on top of all the goodness underneath. Not necessary, but definitely a plus.

            • JB88

              For my money, I’d love to see the Cubs make a run at Lincecum. He strikes me as a pretty decent buy-low candidate, if he leaves SF.

              If you had a lineup of Shark, Jackson, Lincecum, and Wood, plus possibly Arrieta, that’s a pretty decent lineup, with some serious power at the ends.

              And, it also leaves you some real flexibility to not NEED to add a TOR through a trade, but still some ability to trade a Wood as a piece to add that TOR starter.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Eh, I see Lincecum as more of a RP now. His decline is velocity scares the crap out of me.

            • willis

              Do you guys really think Vizcaino will be a starting pitcher in the bigs when he has proven he can’t stay healthy for shit? If he can stay healthy he’ll be an amazing reliever. Thinking/hoping he can be an effective starter at this level is just setting yourselves up for disappointment. Don’t do it.

              • Cubbie Blues

                As I said, I have hopes for him as a good SP. I, however, am not banking on it. There is a big difference. He should be given a shot to show if he can do it or not. The worst thing to come from it would be a little more innings to hone his control which is needed anyway coming off of two arm surgeries.

      • Justin

        How long was Soler playing inured before they found out it was broken? I was under the assumption he didn’t play much after he hurt it. If he was playing for a while before they diagnosed it I would feel a lot better about Soler’s production in Daytona.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Some have said the original injury occurred in Spring Training, and then it flared up too badly to play after he took another foul ball off the shin mid-season.

        • Chad

          Pretty sure he hurt it during spring training but don’t quote me on that. Then he reaggrivated it during the season and then kept playing and then finally it ended his year. That’s how I THINK it went down.

          • Justin

            Wow, if Soler hurt it during spring training I have a new found respect for what he did. That’s pretty amazing..

    • cub2014

      If Bryant or Baez go crazy next spring and
      all we have is Valbuena one of those guys will
      break with the club.

      • On The Farm

        Bryant will not break with the Club, it makes so much more sense to let him start in AA, and see from there. Bryant would be facing the same FA a year early implication Baez would be.

        • JB88

          I think the Cubs need to see two of the Big 4 make the majors next season for a 2015 timetable to be in place. Any more than 2 in one season is going to be too big of an adjustment and, in all reality, my hope would be that you see the following: Baez & Bryant in 2014, Soler in 2015, and Almora in 2016.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I could see that, but not the first half of next year. It would be later in the season and Bryant would have to be promoted very quickly with no hick-ups along the way.

            • On The Farm

              I agree, Baez could spend half a season-ish in AAA, get called up to play 2B or 3B. As for Bryant I think if he continues to hit as well as he has this season, by June next season he could be ready for AAA, then if he continues that for June and July, he could be an August call up. That would give Baez half a season and Bryant two months. Plenty of expirence for 2015.

              • Blublud

                I don’t see Baez going much past the first of June before reaching the bigs. I think Bryant spends 2 months in Tennessee, and at that point, he could go to Iowa or Chicago. Bryant doesn’t seem to be a guy who needs many if any at-bats in AAA.

                • On The Farm

                  I definitley think that is a high possibility RE: Bryant, but I am still of the opinion that the FO will want him to get some AAA PA. I think him (and Baez for that matter) are the guys that are exceptions to the year’s worth of ABs at AAA. I think by giving him some more seasoning at AAA they can avoid Super 2 and still follow “the Cubs way”. But, I still wouldn’t say your opinion is totally wrong, because a large part of me hopes you are right.

                  • Blublud

                    It all depends on who is called up by what team, but if a team can get into June before a call up, they can usually avoid super 2. Unless the Cubs are sure they are World Series competitors, then that will take priority. I don’t see us as WS competitors next season, so both will at least avoid Super 2.

                  • JB88

                    Bryant starting at AA would make that a real possibility, with a promotion to AAA by June 1 and two months there, you could bring him up by August 1ish. That’s hyper-aggressive, but if he continues to rake at A+, there is no real reason to start him there again.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Agreed. (I think that is basically what I said)

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I was agreeing you On the Farm.

                • On The Farm

                  Yeah I guess I just wanted to expound upon your point haha

              • JB88

                That’s sort of what I am envisioning.

                Also, if the Cubs decide to move Baez to second, they are only moving one player between Castro, Baez, and Bryant. Baez probably makes a ton of sense at 3B and maybe they move him there and plan on moving Bryant to RF or LF, but the added benefit of moving Baez to 2B is that you maintain a spot if Olt ever gets himself straightened out. And I don’t know that there is any question that Olt is the better defensive 3B than Bryant.

                • On The Farm

                  That’s what I was thinking as well. Baez has a bat that plays well at either position and 2B is better for the organization anyways. (except for Alacantra….)

                  • JB88

                    Yeah, that’s the monkey wrench. If position adjustment wasn’t an issue, I’d like Alcantara at 2B, Baez at 3B, Bryant in LF, and Soler, eventually, in RF.

                    • On The Farm

                      Yeah just about the only other possibility running through my mind is Baez at 3B, and then if you have Olt return to form and Bryant forcing the issue, you can trade Alacantra and move Baez to 2B, Bryant LF, Olt 3B. Too many hypotheticals going on.

                      ::head explodes::

                • cub2014

                  It depends on Alcantera if he is ready I think
                  Baez moves to 3rd and Bryant moves to the
                  outfield. If Almora could stay healthy he could
                  be up in 2015

                  • Blublud

                    There is no way Almora reaches the major in 2015. Hell spend almost the whole season in Daytona, if he even starts there, next year. He is not the kind of talent you fast pace. He might just be the 600 at-bats at AAA kind of player. I see a September 2016 call-up. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt I am.

                    • On The Farm

                      I think that is exactly who he is. I think the FO drafted him because he fits their mold entirely. Maybe he proves us wrong (doubtful), but I am thinking best case he gets called up in August once he starts his year long AAA stint.

                • CubsFaninMS

                  Uggh. I’m just gonna say what’s in the back of mostly everyone’s mind about Olt:

                  He is a 2013 Porsche 911 with a wrecked front end.

                  His potential appears to be great, but severely hampered by factors either within his control (concentration/pressure) or outside his control (visions problem). He is a garage project that will be a major success for the front office if he becomes a Major League regular or more.

  • On The Farm

    How am I the first person to post about how awesome Charcer Burks was? I also will say it is good to see Coleman having success. I hope he can start with the club next year and be a solid bullpen chip for 2014.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      How awesome is Charcer Burks??
      Looks pretty blah to me. The only silver lining so far is a 9% BB rate.

      • On The Farm

        I don’t think you understand that his name is Charcer..

        I would agree his stat line doesn’t really give you much to get excited about, but his name does.

      • ssckelley

        The fact that he is a young 18 year old (March b’day) and he is hitting proves he is worth following.

  • ssckelley

    I wonder when this homerless streak will come to an end down in Arizona. I am shocked that Kelvin Freeman has yet to hit one.

  • Bails17

    Start Baez/Bryant out in AA so I have a reason to head south early in the spring!!!

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Olt 3 walks in two days…how does the pitcher justify that when pitching to a blind man?

    • Jon

      The pitcher was trying to pad his “Mike Olts”. Man i hope Edwards pans out otherwise that trade sucked.

      • JB88

        I think it is a bit early to write off Olt or Grimm, particularly Olt. Let’s talk at this point next year.

  • FastBall

    I am not worried about these guys hitting FA early. If they are good at the MLB level Theo/Jed will sign them to longterm contracts anyway so then it won’t really matter. The Rizzo/Castro Plan will be commonplace once these guys show they can produce in 2015. If Soler, Baez, Bryant and Alcantera all show up at the same time or thereabouts the Cubs will have to hire another contract writer or two.

    • Cubbie Blues

      So, with that logic, Samardzija should already be signed.

  • FastBall

    Yee Ha. I was able to reschedule my afternoon meetings. Got a tee-time at 11:50. No more worky today for me.

  • RoughRiider

    I don’t see the Cubs being competitive in 2014, as it relates to being a playoff caliber team. Right now there are only 2 “core” position players, 3 if you count Castillo. Two of them have slumped this year. Hitting with men on has been abysmal. The starting pitching is a Jekyll & Hyde staff. There are some shinning moments but the consistency is missing. The same with the relief pitchers, they just haven’t been consistent as a whole. The Cubs would have to add some quality position players and pitching to even have a chance. I don’t see this FO doing that, at least for now. There is no reason to bring Baez up until he is no longer challenged at the minor league level.

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