Kris Bryant Laughs at Your Mortal AFL and Other Bullets

Kris BryantThe Cardinals beat the Dodgers (and Clayton Kershaw) in a laugher yesterday, which propels them to the World Series. Maybe being so good and so successful for so long will breed so much pressure going forward that the Cardinals will collapse under the weight of expectation, spiraling into a nightmarish descent over the next decade. Yeah, yeah. Pigs flying, monkey butts and all that.

  • Kris Bryant just won the Arizona Fall League’s player of the week award for the first week of the season. But that was nothing. Yesterday, all he did was hit some 800 feet’s worth of homers (that’d be two bombs) and a double. It’s barely worth discussing Bryant’s hilarious AFL line, given the tiny sample and skewed offensive numbers … but it’s fun: .423/.448/.962. I’d take that. And, yes, he’s got the top OPS in the league.
  • The rest of the Cubs were a mixed bag yesterday for the Mesa Solar Sox, who lost for the first time. Albert Almora was 1-6 with a double, Jorge Soler was 2-5 with a couple strikeouts, and Dallas Beeler gave up three earned runs on six hits and two walks over three innings. Armando Rivero also gave up an earned run in his inning of work, with two hits and a walk.
  • Carrie Muskat offers a long write-up on Mike Olt, the third base prospect the Cubs received in the Matt Garza trade. At last check, Olt, who struggled through an extremely down 2013 season due to vision problems, was trying to get the latest vision issues under control. After having some success with eye drops mid-season, Olt had to stop using them for a time, and issues cropped up again. Muskat’s piece, and Olt’s quotes, suggest that the latest round of doctor visits and treatment plans may have been successful in finally getting this thing to a better place. If Olt’s issues in 2013 were truly limited to the vision problems, and if those problems are truly fixed before the 2014 season (I’d still preach caution there, because there’s a lot we don’t know), we all might be in for a very pleasant surprise at third base to start the season. Olt will presumably be competing for the job there in Spring Training, and, at his true talent level, he could easily be a quality starter there going forward. Of course, where that would leave fast-charging Kris Bryant (and Javier Baez) … well, that’s a discussion for another day.
  • By the way, Cardinals: when Vin freaking Scully intimates that you’re being whiny, petty douches with your complaints about how the Dodgers are playing, you’ve clearly crossed the line.
  • Also: both teams do embarrassing things. Sometimes simultaneously.
  • Video of Cubs draftees Tyler Skulina and Rob Zastryzny, as well as bonus baby Eloy Jimenez? Yes, please, and thank you, Baseball America. The best reactions I can give from a minute of video during practice sessions? Skulina is a big kid and it looks like he throws hard. Zastryzny has a little bit of deception in his delivery, which is probably part of why he’s been so effective despite not having huge heat (though he was reported to be able to touch the mid-90s later in the year at Missouri). Jimenez does not look like a 16-year-old kid.
  • Jon Heyman reported that the bonus Dalier Hinojosa is getting from the Red Sox is $4 million, making him only slightly more expensive than Cubs relief prospect Armando Rivero ($3.1 million). A top international arm Hinojosa was not.
  • As expected, vets JC Boscan and Darnell McDonald elected free agency after being outrighted off of the 40-man roster last week.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

155 responses to “Kris Bryant Laughs at Your Mortal AFL and Other Bullets”

  1. Werner

    Today I am going to compose a folk ballad in your honor Kris Bryant, you slayer of beasts and wooer of women who would otherwise seem impossible to woo.

    1. cubmig

      Make sure there’s a linein that ballad that rhymes with: “cuz Chicks like the lonngggg ball…”

  2. Professor Snarks

    It appears that speed will NOT be a part of Eloy’s game.

  3. cavemencubbie

    Puig screwed the ‘pooch’ last night, in right field for the LA Bums. Junior for Rookie of the Year?

    1. hansman1982

      Oh god, if that were him on the Cubs last night, this board would be demanding his immediate release.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      It was Kershaw giving up all of those well-hit balls, not Puig. (Kershaw also got burned by a lot of seeing-eye grounders, about which there is not much he or Puig could do.) And it was Wacha who shut down the Dodgers, not Puig.

      1. cavemencubbie

        Your are right Doc but two errors are errors. Particularly in a big game and and outfield position, no less. Puig threw the ball over the catcher’s head just as Junior did in one of his first games as a center fielder, and look at all the grief he received from his Cub? ‘fans’.

        1. DarthHater

          The only person at this site who I have heard make a significant issue of that throw by Lake is you – just now.

          1. cavemencubbie

            Really???

  4. mudge

    It wasn’t whining, it was effective gamesmanship.

  5. Jay

    I’m really tired of hearing about Olt and his vision problems. The guy’s been to every doctor in the land and no one can figure it out? I mean, I feel bad for the guy but to even mention him as a candidate for next year until he shows up at camp and starts mashing is idiotic.

    1. Bwa

      Brett is just doing his job and following the cubs. If you don’t wanna read about olt, skip those parts. Also have some compassion for the guy.

    2. CubFan Paul

      Someone didn’t read the link or bullet.

  6. MichiganGoat

    Oh my THE HORROR THE HORROR is back.

  7. papad1945

    WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE NEW MANAGER SEARCH. ANYONE HAVE ANY INFO ON THURSDAY INTERVIEW WITH DM.

    1. Frank

      Mike Quade will be interviewed next week.

      1. Professor Snarks

        Well, it is being reported elsewhere the Cubs are expanding their search. Does that mean no one impressed?

        1. CubFan Paul

          Leverage on negotiations maybe.

        2. X The Cubs Fan

          It probably means they have someone picked but want to evaluate others so they make sure they make the right choice.

    2. cubmig

      “Paging Brett……….Paging Brett Taylor….”

    3. CubsFaninMS

      (((((((aftter echo dissipates))))))

      You can Google “Cubs managerial search”. Or, you can read several articles on this website and the Cub’s Den website. Both good sources of information.

  8. Brains

    I wish we had enough team pride to even attempt to compete with the Cards. But we need that jumbotron first. Jumbotrons first.

    1. cubmig

      OUCH !

    2. Tony_S

      LOL

  9. Die hard

    Cubs should investigate whether vision issues predates trade

    1. Rich H

      It was widely reported since the concussion happened. The reason the Cubs got so many prospects for Garza was because of 2 of the guys having questionable medicals. If Olt and Ramirez get healthy then it is a huge win on a trade for a rental.

      But please remember Olt’s ceiling is a .250 to .280 hitter with 25 plus HR power and a plus glove. We are not talking about a middle of the lineup bat on a good team but he definitly fill some space until Bryant or Baez takes over at 3rd.

      1. jt

        “remember Olt’s ceiling is a .250 to .280 hitter with 25 plus HR power and a plus glove”
        –Rich H
        you don’t think The 2013 Red Sox are a good club?

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          Indeed, the Sox are filled with this sort of player: because they draw lots of walks, too. Olt walks a “mere” 13-14% of the time: which means that if he hits 0.240, then he’s going to get on base 35% of the time. Combine that with slugging, and you’ve done a lot to improve the Cubs run differential.

          1. jt

            “Indeed, the Sox are filled with this sort of player”
            –Doc
            Both A+ and AA K rates for Baez decreased as he adapted to the given level. This is one reason I am much higher in my hopes for his future than you seem to be. However, I get what you are saying here. It now looks like he will have BA driven OBP and a SLG driven OPS. Hey, I watch the Sox. I like the balanced approach of their hitters. 49% of my thinking hopes they keep Baez because there as a tangible chance he may develop into “something else. OTH, for the reasons you have stated, 51% believes it best to use him to help obtain a future TOR stud.
            It’s a “Lady and the Tiger” thing. One door has to be chosen.

  10. Clark Addison

    Vision issues predates the trade. Cubs knew about it and took the chance.

    1. Die hard

      Unfrickinbelievable– no wait wait– given Theos history of dumpster diving its no surprise

      1. Tony_S

        I was frankly impressed with what the Cubs got from the Rangers in that trade. I don’t think it was “dumpster diving” at all, regardless of what you think of TheJed’s track record

      2. Cedlandrum

        heavy trolling. Good stuff die hard. You never disappoint.

      3. DarthHater

        Thanks for once again illustrating how truly utterly uninformed you are.

    2. Jed Jam Band

      die hard, i want to put together a greatest hits collection for you, but I just don’t know where to start

      1. DarthHater
  11. Hack Wilson

    I agree with you, Jay, on Olt. According to his write up in the Cubs Prospect List, Olt got his power stroke back before his trade to the Cubs. Then it took a severe beating. I wonder if the Cubs’s hitting brain trust tried to “fix” his batting eye? I’ve never read anything about Olt as a Cub, but his drastic turn after putting on a Cub uniform seemed to parallel that of Starlin Castro this season. Just a theory.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      No, they would not have done that as Olt has (?had) a great batting eye: you don’t get a 14% walk rate with a bad one.

      The real issue has been fixing Olt’s eyes, period. Hopefully for his sake, that can happen: he’ll be a 3 true outcome player, but those guys can create a lot of runs.

  12. CubFan Paul

    “Jimenez does not look like a 16-year-old kid”

    Chances are he’s 19 years old.

  13. cavemencubbie

    Does anyone know if Puig is a converted outfielder?

  14. Chris

    Important to note about the performances by both Almora and Bryant yesterday in the AFL:

    Bryant’s double was a ground-rule double that was controversial in that, I believe, some think it hit the foul-line pole, and thus should have been called a home run.

    And at least three of Almora’s outs were designated as line outs (two to the corner outfielders and one to shortstop). So even though he went 1-6 and had five outs, he hit the ball quite well in at least three of those outs.

    1. Spriggs

      The controversy with Bryant’s “double”: it was hit to left center, above the 390 foot sign. The ball hit the very top of the wall (green padding at the top), and bounced over the fence and onto to the berm (grass). There must be some crazy ground rule at Hohokam, because the ball went over. There is no yellow line or anything. I have never seen that call a double before. After the umps conferenced, they upheld the call. So they either didn’t see it (no way – it went over the fence), or there is a ground rule of some sort.

      The umps took heat for the rest of the day from the crowd. I didn’t and still don’t understand why it wasn’t a homer.

  15. Dumpgobbler

    I really like Skulina. Throws hard with what looked like a tail in it too. Why was this guy available in the 4th?

    1. #1lahairfan

      He was very inconsistent that year. He also needs a lot of work on his changeup. We definitely still got a steal in him though.(I’m pretty sure Baseball America had him ranked in the high 70s on their board.)

      1. #1lahairfan

        Just checked and they actually had him ranked #72 overall.

  16. Canadian Cubs Fan

    I LOVE Vin Scully, but chances are he’s not exactly unbiased when it comes to the Dodgers. Yes, the Cardinals, and pretty much every team, has it’s share of whiners.

    To me, the Dodgers look like total idiots with their exploding hands bullshit and the over-celebrating an RBI double. Look how the Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals conduct themselves when getting a big hit or a big out. It’s cool to pump your fist a bit, and get fired up for a big play in a big moment, but c’mon.

    Don Mattingly was a guy that always respected the game, and you would never see him acting the way the children on his team acted. I totally get it from Puig, but Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez should know better.

    As far as I’m concerned, their bullshit got them a swift karma kick in the ass.

    And now it’s time to cheer for whoever comes out of the ALCS. I hope it’s the Tigers.

    1. Professor Snarks

      New Rule: (all sports).

      Act like you’ve been there before.

      My favorite thing in all of sports is the receiver, whose team is down 40 points in the fourth quarter, who catches a ball and signals a first down. If I was his coach, he’d sit the rest of the game.

      1. mjhurdle

        New Fan Rule (all sports):

        Stop pretending that somehow there is some sort of unwritten rules in sports.

    2. Automator

      I guess you missed Scherzer pitching in relief against the Rays.

    3. cubfanincardinalland

      The Cardinals conduct themselves like the douche bags they are. Always have(see Al Hrbosky, Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright for starters). The biggest crybabies in sports when they lose, this series just reaffirmed it. That is the real Cardinal Way.

  17. TheRiot2

    Regarding Carrie Muskrats ramble,I’ll believe Olt’s vision problems are gone when it shows in positive results on the field. Olt doesn’t need to be a star to beat out the likes of Valbuena and Murphy, and would be a nice headache to have when Baez and Bryant arrive in the bigs.

  18. TheRiot2

    Always been a NL rooter but with the Cards in the WS it’s a slam dunk I cheer the Red Sox on to whip the snot out of the retards.Did I mention I hate the Cards more than any team in baseball,even the White Sox.

    1. cubmig

      mmmm?……..Did you mention you hate the deadbirds? Or did I miss that? [lol]

  19. someday...2015?

    Bryant’s oppo HR yesterday…

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc_CweJJ5jE

    1. jeff1969

      Holy Crap! That’s really exciting. Bryant is a giant.

      1. cubmig

        what a wide stance too………shows total upper body power with legs anchoring swing twist. Nice.

  20. cubzforlife

    Dave Martinez was met at Ohare and stopped at White Castle for a sack and onion rings. Washed it down with a cherry coke(diet). Then stopped at Walgreens for some mouthwash before his meet with the boys. After impressing Theo with some maddon magic Dave drove by the motel six on Lincoln ave to relive his date with Mrs S. Then headed back to florida with a full tummy and a smile.

  21. Jed Jam Band

    Look, I hate this stuff about people saying “respect the game” and other similarly vague concepts. If you get a great hit, a home run, make a spectacular play…yes, the game has to go on, but why is it so wrong to celebrate, to have fun? Why must baseball players all be stoic-faced and boring? I have always loved baseball for its unique cast of characters and the fact that so many have undeniable amounts of personality. No, there’s not necessarily a need to taunt the other team, but if someone does something cool or good or spectacular…well, let them have their moment.

    1. mjhurdle

      agree 100%

    2. cubfanincardinalland

      100%. The Dodgers did nothing to show up the Cardinals. The whole controversy was about the Cardinals getting beat, and Wainwright whining about it. That is what the Cardinals do when they get beat.

    3. Professor Snarks

      Absolutely. Game winning plays, amazing plays, teammates reaching a milestone…go for it. If it’s an in the moment natural reaction, fine.

      I just don’t like the rehearsed crap. never did, never will. (but it doesn’t stop me from watching the games).

      1. Jed Jam Band

        The rehearsed stuff rarely ends up being as much fun as spontaneous stuff anyways.

  22. ColoCubFan

    After all these years of waiting for a good long term replacement at 3rd base for Ron Santo, it would be pure pleasure to have a surplus of 3rd sackers. It’s one of the weakest positions in baseball, so having extra would be easy to flip for pitching or another needed position.

    1. Automator

      That Aramis Ramirez wasn’t too bad.

      1. jeff1969

        I think Ramirez ended all that Santo’s replacement talk didn’t he? Bill Madlock should have been the answer but that idiot Wrigley creep put the kibosh on paying him like an actual major leaguer.

    2. Joe

      Ramirez was and still is an amazing third baseman. It’s amazing when a player is wrongly accused of being lazy how many fans turn on him and then forget entirely.

      1. Professor Snarks

        Second best 3rd baseman the Cubs ever had. If his defense was a touch better, and he finished his career here,you could make an argument he was the best. (sorry Ron).

      2. jeff1969

        I thought Ramirez was a good 3B, improved his fielding ability from when he first came here from Pittsburgh, and became a solid dangerous hitter. I just didn’t care for what seemed like his rising level of arrogance & self absorption, but that was only my perception as a fan from the outside.

  23. jeff1969

    My Cubs hope is that the Cardinals stay great & continue to be one the best organizations, producing like they have been, winning a lot, etc., but that the Cubs just beat them, play better, dominate them, make St. Louis baseball historians write about those great Cardinals teams of the 10′s & 20′s that could never get past the re-born Cubs.

    1. cubfanincardinalland

      I think I would prefer they go back to sucking like they did in the 90′s. This voodoo shit has to wear off sometime? Did you know they are hitting .210 as a team in the playoffs? Freak show as always.

      1. Jed Jam Band

        Well, we’re going to be going in to their third year w/o Lunhow next year, so over the next few years, watch the farm system and see if the loss of their developmental genius hurts them at all. With their luck, probably not, but…hey, something’s gotta give, right?

  24. Terencemann

    If Olt’s defense is as good as advertised and he can beat Valbueana’s anemic hitting line, I will be pretty happy.

    1. Jed Jam Band

      Not to mention that Villanueva, Baez, and Bryant are all lining up behind him quite nicely.

  25. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Move over Mike Olt there’s a new kid in town,
    his name is Kris Bryant and he hit’s nothing but bomb’s.
    You may have been blinded and it’s in the past,
    But Bryant’s no fluke and he’s moving up fast,
    Do what it takes to fix your eye sight,
    Because Kris Bryant is here and ready to fight,
    So you better get moving or his dust you will see,
    As he moves out from Right and over to 3

  26. Jono

    Olt might make a really nice trade piece for a pitcher. Hopefully.

  27. Die hard

    Bryant makes final 25 and leaves camp next spring with team is good bet and then he avoids learning bad habits in minors

    1. Blublud

      I doubt this happens, but not as far fetched as some of your other ideas.

      1. Die hard

        He’s ready as college career gave him equal to AA seasoning and not unusual for exceptional player to jump

        1. Jon

          Can you cite some recent examples of college position players that have jumped right to the 25 man roster without a single game in the minors ?

          1. ssckelley

            Pete Incaviglia, Bob Horner, and John Olerud

            But Bryant has played in the minors.

            1. Blublud

              I believe Bryant could be an above average hitter right now against MLB pitching, IMO, but I just don’t see him breaking camp on the Roster. But hey, I believe Pujols forced his way in 2001 as well as Jason Heyward in 2010. We’ll see, but I would bet the farm he never plays before at least the first deadline date for the extra year of control.

    2. DarthHater

      “Die hard
      July 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink | Reply
      Told you yesterday that Bryant balking .. It’s not the money.. He wants guarantees to play in Wrigley next yr…. Getting rid of Stewart not enuf… May take ridding club of all possible competition in majors and minors… This kid is a head case”

      You see, the problem is that there is actually a written record of all the inane twaddle you post here.

      1. Blublud

        Darth, I think this proves you are more insain than anyone. How do you remember shit like this, remember when it was said or have enough time to go back and find it. I could see if it was last week, but 3 1/2 months ago. Psycho!!!

        1. DarthHater

          It’s called Google, man. Try it some time. Takes about ten seconds.

        2. TOOT

          It’s a computer generated response, like playing a game online. Darth is not a person.

    3. BWA

      Service Time… Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him and Baez jump to the pros together in early June.

      1. Tony_S

        +1
        Also, am I the only one who thinks moving Castro to 2B (vs Baez, or Baez to 3B) might be a better plan?

        I haven’t seen enough of Baez’ D to speak intelligently, but IMO Castro has done exactly jack and squat to show he should be the one to stay at SS…

        1. Blublud

          Absolutely not. Castro is a very good defensive SS, despite what the numbers say. He is also twice the SS Baez is. Also, Castro becomes less valuable if he is not playing SS because of his offensive numbers, and Baez has a bat that plays anywhere. Baez to 2nd or 3rd unless Castro is traded.

          1. TOOT

            Can’t see Baez going to third at all. Bryant has that locked up. If Casrto sticks at SS, which I think he will(had a bad year, and I don’t think it was all his fault), I don’t know what happens. Really can’t see Baez at second. But there are bigger concerns so let’s move on.

          2. hansman1982

            “becomes less valuable if he is not playing SS because of his offensive numbers…”

            Well this is true of anyone, which is why Vogelbach isn’t highly regarded as a prospect.

            Also, if you have two players who are going to be on your team come hell or high water, you don’t care about their offensive production when it comes to determine defensive positioning.

            1. TOOT

              That could argued, probably loudly.

            2. Blublud

              “Also, if you have two players who are going to be on your team come hell or high water, you don’t care about their offensive production when it comes to determine defensive positioning.”

              Which is why I said “twice the SS Baez is”(incase he stays) with value (if he is traded), and tied it together with the last line, “Baez to 2nd or 3rd unless Castro is traded”

              1. TOOT

                Again. He can’t have 3rd or SS. To my knowledge he has never played 2nd base.(maybe practiced)

                1. Rebuilding

                  SS become 2b all of the time. Baez’s future is tied to Bryant. If Bryant can stick at 3rd then he’s a 2b…if Bryant is in the OF he’s a 2nd baseman. Baez would set an all-time record for errors at SS

                  1. Rebuilding

                    Meant…if Bryant goes to the OF then Baez is a 3b

                  2. Scotti

                    Baez is like a thousand other young SS prospects before him. It takes practice and game play to develop the neural pathways to play a complicated position like shortstop. His errors this year have been rather ho-hum given his experience at the position.

                    Ozzie Smith, with much more experience (3 years of college) than Baez, had a .943 fielding percentage in his one season in the minors at 22-y/o. Baez has a career MiLB fielding percentage of .934 and that covers ages 18, 19 & 20. It was .948 at AA this year. There’s no there there when it comes to Baez’ error rate.

                2. Scotti

                  The Cubs have discussed this. They, as well as every other MLB organisation, believe that it would take a decent SS a couple months to learn either 3B or 2B and will move him accordingly.

                  1. TOOT

                    How does that compare with a “true” second baseman. Can’t.(Sanberg ring a bell)

                    1. Rebuilding

                      You mean Ryne Sandberg? Who was a SS all of his life…made his MLB debut as a 3b…and then ended up a 2b?

                    2. Scotti

                      Sandberg apparently forgot to ring your bell since he proves my point. He was a career SS in the minors and played all of 4 games in the minors at 3rd before he shifted there for the Cubs during his rookie season and all of 17 games in the minors at 2B before he shifted to 2B for the Cubs that very same rookie year.

                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=sandbe001ryn

                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/sandbry01.shtml

                    3. turn two

                      For the record, Sandbergs debut came as a ss. In any case, he is a terrible reference point for this debate, very different kind of player.

                    4. Mrs. Howell

                      Sandberg was a SS in the Philly organization, played 3B his first year with the Cubs, then moved to 2B. Hardly a “true” 2B, exploding your entire point and making the point others are making.

                    5. TOOT

                      Yes I had a typo. As I remember Ryne had very little experience at 3rd and SS.

                    6. Rebuilding

                      We are all arguing the same ting apparently. Baez can be shifted quickly if his bat says he needs to be in MLB

                3. Mike F

                  why not? What possible sense does it make to continue to make excuses for Castro and treat him like a prince. He’s not a HOF talent and he’s not ever going to be a perennial all star. And him hitting .245 is 95% on him, 5% on Theo for trying to do selectivity for dummies with him. If they have to rework him trade him.

                  1. Scotti

                    A) Castro was an All-Star in 2011 and 2012. He’s had ONE bad year. B) Since 2010, Castro leads all MLB SS in hits and doubles. That includes his 2013 stats. C) I happen to agree with Theo on this one. Castro doesn’t hold 95% of the blame when the org had numerous people in his ear. He tried to do what 4-5 people were telling him to do and it’s STUPID to have that many voices in a guy’s head. Absolutely stupid.

            3. Scotti

              “…which is why Vogelbach isn’t highly regarded as a prospect.”

              Actually he IS highly regarded as a prospect. He’s borderline top 100 for some. Callis said he was in the running for Cubs 5th best prospect near the end of the year (I’d put CJ Edwards 5th and Vogelbach 6th). For a system like the Cubs have, that I very highly regarded.

            4. Rebuilding

              Since when is Vogelbach not highly regarded as a prospect? To be in high A ball and be called a future DH…and yet be sniffing the Top 100? That’s a hell of a stick

              1. TOOT

                Don’t me going!

                1. Tony_S

                  L. O. L.

                  Figured that might fire up a few people, didn’t think quite to that extent…

                  I understand Castro’s bat “plays better” (holds more value) at SS. I also understand he was an all-star in ’11 and ’12 (although you can argue those merits based on being the best player on a not-good team, at least in ’12).
                  The heart of where I was going, and Mike F got pretty close, was this: I don’t like Castro, I don’t think he’s a fit for the team (or maybe any team) long-term, I think his head is too far in the clouds and I don’t see him making adjustments to either side of his game often enough or well enough to hang around, so I don’t think he’s the SS the next time the Cubs play in, say, the NLCS. (Could you imagine one of his errant throws, base running gaffes, forgetting how many outs there are or just staring into the clouds in one of the biggest games in literally a century for the team?!). So in that context, if Castro is still “learning” at SS (which tends to be the response), why the heck can’t we just let Baez learn there with a bigger bat? (And get whatever you still can for Castro). If Baez’ D is really THAT bad, then I guess it’s moot, but I find that answer highly suspect.

                  Starlin Castro does not, as I understand it, play baseball “The Cubs Way” (tm?)

                  1. turn two

                    All i will say is that due to the state of our team we have been asking him to be our everything at a young age. Once we get help around him and let him be what he is supposed to be, he will be fine. He can be a very good hitter, particularly for his position, a nice rbj guy late in a good lineup. I also think he will be a very good defensive shortstop. Anyhow whether you agree or not, your posts are a great reason to cite why we can’t rush bryant or baez, this city is too impatient and doesn’t understand mlb adjustments.

                  2. Blublud

                    You are crazy. Castro is a top SS in baseball. Look at it this way, Castro is 23 and a 4 year vet. There are good prospects older then him that are yet to even make their debut and are still learning the proper way to play the game.

                    Yes he did have a horrible year. Some of that is on him, some is on the FO. But there are tons of players who randomly have bad years. This happens in all sports. If Castro is traded, I would be very upset. He has been a Cubs his whole career and I hope it stays that way.

    4. ClevelandCubsFan

      I take exception to the not learning bad habits in the minors part.

  28. Rebuilding

    Cardinals vs. Red Sox. Does it really get any worse for a Cubs fan right now? I at least think after this WS we’ve hit complate bottom. I’ve said many times that we dodged a bullet and got Bryant, who should be the #1 prospect in baseball and luckily pushed the cheap Astros. So much better to have him knocking in the door than Appel

    1. TOOT

      Yes. Have another beer!

  29. The Show

    I bet the Cubs wishing they can have a do-over on that Infante trade, our problems at 2nd would be solved. He might not play as good D as Barney, but he sure can handle the stick. Never really understood that trade.

    1. Voice of Reason

      The cubs would still lose over 90 games with infante.

      I’m sure the front office hasn’t said, “if we only had infante at second!”

  30. James Smith

    I think this is a good projectable starting lineup not in any batting order just postions how the players came to mind… now pitching is a big question mark
    1. Starlin Castro SS
    2. Javey Baez 2b
    3. Wellington Castillo C
    4. Anthony Rizzo 1b
    5. Kris Bryant LF
    6. Albert Almora CF
    7. Jorge Solar RF
    8. Mike Olt 3b
    9. Future free agent stud ace

    1. cub2014

      how about:
      1. Choo CF
      2. Castro SS
      3. ? LF
      4. Bryant RF
      5. Rizzo 1B
      6. Baez 3B
      7. Akcantera 2B
      8. Castillo C

      1. Brains

        A solid last place team for the next 3 seasons, but a 3rd place team by 2018.

        1. BWA

          Not if Baez and Bryant both come up and impress like say Puig and Machado recently. Obviously not great odds that will happen.

      2. ClevelandCubsFan

        Why pencil in a mysterious LF at 3? It seems a bit more likely to me that we’ll see Bryant in LF and continue to see Schierholz in RF…

        If we got Choo, and it’s September 15… I wouldn’t mind seeing a line up like this

        1. Choo CF
        2. Castro SS
        3. Schierholz RF
        4. Bryant LF
        5. Baez 3B
        6. Rizzo 1B
        7. Castillo C
        8. Pitcher (yes, 8th)
        9. Alcantara 2B

        This ordering assumes rebounding for Castro and Rizzo and that the 3 prospects are playing MLB-level ball. BUT I’m not sure we see all 3 of those guys up. In fact, those are all big IFS

        1. BWA

          You really can’t pencil one guy into a position. To have a good team year in year out we need to be 2-3 deep in potential players for a position and one can work out.

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