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leg_lamp awardWe all knew that Chicago Cubs pitching prospect C.J. Edwards had a great year. He came to the Cubs midseason in the Matt Garza trade, in the midst of a dominant year at Low-A. On arrival, he was immediately promoted to High-A, where his dominance was documented by Cubs fans on a game-by-game, nay, a strikeout-by-strikeout basis.

But best of the best? I don’t know that I saw that coming.

That’s the word today from MiLB.com, which has named Edwards its Pitcher of the Year for 2013. Edwards, as you may or may not know, comes complete with a great backstory, about which you can read in the MiLB.com piece announcing the award.

Edwards’ final line on the year, between Low-A and High-A: 1.86 ERA, 1.006 WHIP, 1 HR, 116.1 IP, 41 BB, 155 K. Utter dominance.

As for his future, scouts remain mixed on whether Edwards is a high-upside, high-impact reliever (primarily because of his lean frame – although he’s well over 6′ tall, he isn’t even 160lbs), a mid-rotation starter, or a front-of-the-rotation type.

His jump to AA next year, to start the year or perhaps midseason, might tell us what kind of future he has. In any case, adding this major award to his trophy case is another of many signals that he’s got a bright future.

  • Kyle

    *Now* is he the centerpiece of that deal?

    #seriouslyneverlettingthatgo

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Four centerpieces.

      • gocatsgo2003

        Squarepieces? Rectanglepieces? Rhombuspieces? Trapezoidpieces? Parallelogrampieces? Quadrilateralpieces?

      • hansman

        ALL THE CENTERPIECES!!!!!

    • CubFan Paul

      Relievers are centerpieces of crappy deals. Edwards won’t be a starter.

      • TonyP

        buzzkill

      • Eternal Pessimist

        You could be right, but I’m not NEARLY ready to write him off as a reliever.

      • Funn Dave

        You’d rather we just kept Garza until the end of the season, getting nothing in return? Starter or not, I’ll take a promising pitcher like Edwards any day.

        • CubFan Paul

          “getting nothing in return?”

          Justin Grimm & Mike Olt. Theres your centerpieces with more viable MLB futures.

          • On The Farm

            When did you become a scout? Just seems funny to me that their seem to be a lot of professional scouts that seem to have a different take on this trade than you do.

            • CubFan Paul

              I’m not a scout but I do read their work, especially the Texas scouts that have seen these guys repeatedly.

              The only people clinging to Edwards starting is misinformed Cubs fans.

              • On The Farm

                So when someone say Jason Parks or John Sickels ranks CJ Edwards ahead of Mike Olt on their prospect rankings is it because Mike Olt is actually better, but they just decided to put the one who is worst higher on the list? Do they do it on purpose to keep Cub fans delusional or misinformed? Also, Parks has never come out and said Edwards is a lock for the bullpen. Actually of our top 4 in Daytona the only one I heard was pretty much a bullpen arm was Corey Black. Edwards is still considered a back of the rotation guy. But yeah I guess if I listen to John Sickels or one of BP’s writers I am a misinformed fan. Shucks.

                • CubFan Paul

                  “ranks CJ Edwards ahead of Mike Olt on their prospect rankings is it because Mike Olt is actually better, but they just decided to put the one who is worst higher on the list?”

                  Ceilings.

                  • On The Farm

                    Right so.. Edwards has a better ceiling, directly contradicting your statement:

                    “CubFan Paul
                    October 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    “getting nothing in return?”

                    Justin Grimm & Mike Olt. Theres your centerpieces with more viable MLB futures.”

                    • CubFan Paul

                      …I wasn’t talking about hypothetical ceilings earlier. Of course if Edwards turns into a Pedro-type he’d be the better player.

                    • On The Farm

                      I directly quoted you saying that Grimm and Olt have more viable MLB futures, and then you turn around and admit that Edwards has a higher ceiling. So which is it. Also, these ceiling scouts are providing aren’t hypothetical. If scouts truly thought Edwards had a ceiling as Pedro he would be a top ten prospect right now.

                      When you figure out what your argument is let me know. Because so far you have said OIt and Grimm have better futures, yet Edwards has a higher ceiling. You also said scouts say Edwards is going to end up in the pen and anyone who says else wise is misinformed, yet I named two scouts who seem to think Edwards can stick as a mid to back rotation guy.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      A more **viable** MLB future is a completely different conversation than ceilings talk.

                    • On The Farm

                      I should clarify that the scouts ceilings are not hypothetical that they don’t set a *reasonable* ceiling. Obviously (as Kyle, ssckelly, and I debated the other day) a player’s ceiling is best player in baseball and never reaching the majors. But if Edward’s ceiling was Pedro’s he would be a lot higher on everyone’s lists.

                    • On The Farm

                      “A more **viable** MLB future is a completely different conversation than ceilings talk.”

                      Fair enough. Care to enlighten me on all these scouts that seem to contradict the well respected folks at Baseball Prospectus or minor league baseball’s John Sickels that Edwards will never end up in the rotation?

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Edwards will never end up in the rotation”

                      You’ll never quit when it comes to putting words in my mouth.

                      It’s beer thirty, take a break from the internet.

                    • On The Farm

                      “CubFan Paul
                      October 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

                      I’m not a scout but I do read their work, especially the Texas scouts that have seen these guys repeatedly.

                      The only people clinging to Edwards starting is misinformed Cubs fans.”

                      I conceded that I misinterpreted what you meant with viable MLB career. But here is a post from you saying that the only people clinging to Edwards starting is misinformed Cub fans. Your reasoning for this “Texas scouts”. Kind of sounds like you don’t think Edwards will be in the rotation no? I am not putting words in your mouth because that would mean I would have enough time to post under two different names. Something I assure you I do not.

                      Have a good day Paul.

                    • mjhurdle

                      CubFan Paul
                      October 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm
                      “Relievers are centerpieces of crappy deals. Edwards won’t be a starter.”

                      Kind of hard to be in the rotation if you aren’t a starter :)

                    • Scotti

                      “But if Edward’s ceiling was Pedro’s he would be a lot higher on everyone’s lists.”

                      Not to interject too much here, but, Pedro’s “ceiling” was considerably lower than what he eventually became (same with Maddux). For all of the same reasons, you won’t get folks going out on that limb for CJE. When a guy has an obvious hickey, it’s up to him to prove everyone else wrong.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Kind of sounds like you don’t think Edwards will be in the rotation no?”

                      Correct. But I did not say “NEVER”. It’s possible, but it’s a long-shot. He’s a totally different pitcher after 4 innings.

              • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                Meh, the only guy I see beating that drum isn’t a scout it is Jim Callis. I don’t know too many “true scouts” who have time for message boards. They are usually too busy travelling and watching baseball. He may or may not be a starter and is really the worst thing if you get a dominant reliever for half of a season of Garza with 3 other pieces? Please, can you let me know where I can find Texas scouts message board? I would love to know how they feel they have done the last few years in trades after Teixera. Since they seem to be right a lot.

          • ssckelley

            Much higher MLB futures than what Garza has right now on the FA market. Garza even pitched like shit after the trade (a negative WAR I think). So far that deal is far from “crappy”.

            • CubFan Paul

              I didn’t call the deal crappy at all. I love the deal for Cubs and not cause of the two relievers (ramirez&edwards)

              • ssckelley

                Jeez, second time I have read someones comment wrong.

          • Funn Dave

            I think a quality reliever is a lot more valuable than Mike Olt, unless Olt somehow puts this season behind him and reaches his ceiling. Grimm is a little more interesting, but I really think you’re understimating the value of relief pitching. And I still haven’t entirely written off Edwards as a starter, either.

            • CubFan Paul

              Olt doesn’t have to reach his ceiling to be more valuable a relief prospect…

              • Funn Dave

                No, but he does need to stick in the majors and be productive. If you look at the current Cubbies, solid releivers are much more valuable than bench players and the like.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            Grimm is a reliever…He hasn’t a 3rd pitch he is close to confident on.
            Olt is still 3 blind mice bad until he proves he’s got that solved.

            CJ: Seems interesting to be named MILB pitcher of the year, and be critiqued here as only a “reliever” or not having the ceiling of “name your comparable pitcher’.

            The guy was DRAFTED in the 48th round…in 2011. 2013, MILB dominate to get an award…

            If we get a top reliever, or dare say, a closer from this that does it for 5-6 years…THAT’S AWESOME!

            Would Matt Garza have taken the Cubs to the playoffs in 2013? No.

            Branch Rickey traded Ralph Kiner to the ever gullible Cubs in 1953 over a contract dispute (seem to remember Garza being at the center of a contract extension debate), telling Kiner, “We finished last with you, we can finish last without you.” Rickey acquired “garbage” players and $150K…still worth something in 1953.

            But he did better than those Cubs, because:

            Rickey did finish bad in 1953, and 1954. Bad enough to acquire Roberto Clemente in the Nov 1954 Rule 5 rookie draft from the Dodgers, selecting 1st.

            If only those Cubs could have been more terrible – in 1954. But getting Kiner, got them a few more wins than Pittsburgh.
            (It is unlikely their dumb scouts under John Holland/PK Wrigley could have even known Clemente was good.)

            Sometimes, it pays to be bad. 1960: Pittsburgh wins the WS. Clemente, HOF. Seems Rickey was playing chess and Wrigley & Co. were scratching their butts.

            They paid 150K to Rickey to acquire a over 30 past his prime once awesome hitter. And Rickey took the cash, had draft position, and suffered for a few years. Then the benefits came…

            THAT’S how you do it.

            • CubFan Paul

              Grimm: I expect him to go back to starting next year. Texas threw him into the fire before he was ready because of injuries to others. Easily he’s the 5th/6th starter right now.

              Olt: The Cubs will have him (his eyes) ready for Spring Training

              Edwards: He won the MiLBy award for stats, not for future projection.

              As far as the other stuff, you lost me.

              • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

                We disagree. Surprise.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  Yes…blame the meaningless stats.

            • BWA

              I could see Grimm as the next Travis Wood. He’ll maybe get some starts next year as a 6th starter, pitch ok, then really shine the next season.

        • cub2014

          i love the cockyness and he backs it up.
          dont ever sell this kid short, seems people
          have been making that mistake. A team
          leader exuding confidence, get him to
          Chicago. By 2015 maybe?

      • YourResidentJag

        I’ve have my concerns as well.

      • CubsFaninMS

        Thank you, Paulstradamus.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Meh, if he keeps yelling it at the top of his lungs and it comes true he will keep yelling it. If not, he will back away quietly. That is how this goes.

        • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

          HA HA! ;)

  • ssckelley

    Second coming of Pedro Martinez!!!!!

    • InTheoWeTrust

      Yup

  • C. Steadman

    Cubs 1 Rangers 0

    • CubChymyst

      Cubs 2 Rangers 0, lets not forget the Dempster Trade

    • Gopher Cub

      Cubs 2 Rangers 0 is more like it.

      • C. Steadman

        you guys are correct! 2-0

    • ssckelley

      With the bases loaded, no outs, with Hendricks, Villanueva, Olt, Grimm, Ramirez, and Loux yet to hit (did I miss anybody?). I wonder who the Cubs will fleece the Rangers for next year?

      • C. Steadman

        i wanted Rougned Odor but I understand getting him and CJ would be too much for a Garza rental…obviously rather have CJ and the infield already projects to be crowded in the future

      • http://vdcinc.biz 70′scub

        Next year 2014 Cubs get a package from Texas that includes Profar! Cubs trade Texas a free agent flipper coming off TJ surgery (Baker).

  • DReese

    I mean Chris Sale is listed as 6’6″ and 180 lbs. That’s pretty skinny.

  • Edwin

    Former winners include Justin Verlander, Matt Garza, Ian Kennedy, and Dan Hudson.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And Jose Fernandez last year.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I own that exact same lamp on your post…and I thought it was one of a kind.

    • mjhurdle

      i think it is Italian…Fra-gil-le’

      • Funn Dave

        Best Christmas movie.

  • Eric

    Fra—-geee—lee—– Must be French!

  • Aaron

    Let’s trade Jeff Samardzija to the Rangers this off-season for 3 of their top remaining prospects…our choice of course!

  • Coldneck

    Tim Lincecum – 165 lbs
    Mariano Rivera – 185 lbs
    Pedro Martinez – 170 lbs

    Just three than made it with a slight build.

    • Coldneck
      • Cubbie Blues

        With a 23″ waist. I agree that he shouldn’t be written off as a starter, but it is something to be aware of as he advances (kind of like Baez’s K%).

        • Funn Dave

          This.

    • Coldneck

      And just to clarify, I’m not saying CJ Edwards is a Pedro comp, just that it’s not impossible to be dominant and small. Unlikely, but not impossible.

      • ssckelley

        They were saying the same thing about Pedro back then.

      • Funn Dave

        And guys like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees show that even though size can be a detriment in sports, it can also be overcome.

      • Mrs. Howell

        Showing my age but Ron Guidry was 5′ 9″ and won 27 one year. He was dominant for years. Why does everyone feel the need to declare a player will never be something or other so early in a career?

    • The Logos

      One of those did not hold up well as a front-line starter (Lincecum) and one is a career reliever (Rivera). I think that is the fear, as I am interpreting it: that Edwards will either not hold up as a front-line starter or end up being a reliever.

      RIght?

      • Coldneck

        I’d take Lincecum’s career out of CJ Edwards in a heartbeat.

        • D-Rock

          And Mariano Rivera for that matter!

        • The Logos

          I may not be articulating as well as I would like.

          As a general statement about players with small frames, comparing to Lincecum can only hurt an argument. 2 really good seasons and 2 okay seasons, then his body starts breaking down. That’s the exact concern for a guy like Edwards.

          If he turns into a good reliever … okay, but he adds a lot less value to the team in that role. Rivera average 3 WAR a year for his career. Decent for a reliever, but less than I’d probably like from Edwards.

          • ssckelley

            Cubs could win a world series if they get 2 seasons like that out of anybody. If all Edwards does is produce Lincecum like results I would take that all day.

    • jt

      Warren Spahn 6’0″ 172 lbs

      • DarthHater

        Herb Pennock: 6-0, 160 lbs.

    • Kyle
      • DarthHater
      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Pretty much a spot-on example of survivorship bias, actually.

        • Funn Dave

          Ah Brett, don’t encourage the linking-to-logical-fallacy-articles approach….It’s so unproductive….

          • Kyle

            Besides, that article is freakin’ fascinating. The story about war math is amazing.

            • MichiganGoat

              That was a great read thank you Kyle

            • YourResidentJag

              Yeah, good read.

      • OCCubFan

        Kyle, thanks for sharing that article. It brought back memories. I’m a physics PhD who worked as a military operations analyst bringing the methods of physical science to the military, primarily the Navy in my case. During WWII, the Operations Evaluation Group determined that it was necessary for the scientists to observe operations first-hand and not just rely on the military officers to tell them what the problems were. The first key to improving operations is to determine what the question is. That can only be done by immersing oneself in the operations and the world of the operators. I’ve written a couple of books on the subject.

        • Ron

          Thanks Kyle, that article was awesome. Those sort of statistics are what totally changed battlefield medicine in early 2000 and are the basis of what we teach today. They focused on why people die in combat and then narrowed the focus to preventable deaths. It completly changed the focus and has saved many lives.

          OCCubFan, i would be interested in reading some of your books if you care to share the titles. Just another reason why this community is awesome!

          • OCCubFan

            Ron– Two books are available on Amazon, but outrageously expensive: Desert Shield at Sea: What the Navy Really Did & Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did. I edited a book that probably is closest to the tone of the article: The Spirit of OEG [Operations Evaluation Group]: Naval Operations Analyst Reminisce. It is not generally available, but if you let me know how to contact you, I’ll send you a copy gratis. Finally, my memoir, Journey to Serendip: Accidental Adventures of a Naval Operations Analyst, is sometimes available on Amazon.

    • Sahadev Sharma

      All this listing of names reminds me of when people tried to think of players who succeeded at such an advanced age while trying to convince themselves and others that Bryan LaHair would be the next great player. Ryan Ludwick! Maury Wills! Some other example I can’t remember because there were only like three or four others and even those were a stretch to compare LaHair to!

      Anyway, most of the guys that have been listed are shorter and weigh the same or more than Edwards. That means they’re actually built solidly for their size. People have called Edwards frail or built like a marathon runner, both of which I’ve written in the past. More apt comparisons would be Oil Can Boyd or Ramon Martinez (I’ve heard Satchel Paige, as well).

      And while anyone would take a Lincecum or Rivera-like career out of Edwards, those two career-scenarios have to be the absolute best case for him if what the detractors are saying (he’s a reliever – Rivera, or will break down under the load of a starter – Lincecum) is accurate. I mean, if you were to tell me one of those issues was definitely going to pop up in his career, I’d say, fine, I’ll take it if my result would be Lincecum or Rivera. But in reality, not only is that unlikely, it’s just not going to happen.

      As Kyle pointed out, you’re focusing on the success stories, when the failures are much more frequent. Nobody is saying it’s impossible that Edwards will become a starter, and possibly a very good one, what most are saying is that it’s unlikely. He has the tools to be the exception to this rule, though, so if you want to be optimistic, fine. But the evidence states that in all likelihood, he won’t be TOR starter.

      That said, I really like him and even if he never becomes a stud pitcher, his value is sky high right now. Just that alone makes him a great get. Right now (as of this moment and until the start of the season) he has the most value of any player they received for Garza.

      • DarthHater

        People are goofing around trying to find skinny pitchers who had good careers. Nobody suggested that naming a handful of good skinny pitchers means that skinny pitchers aren’t less likely to succeed than massive pitchers. Lighten up.

        • Sahadev Sharma

          Cool, I am lightened. I was just pointing out that those examples were sucky because they’re nothing like Edwards.

          • YourResidentJag

            So, we shouldn’t expect him to be like Lincecum early in his career, then?

          • DarthHater

            I actually was impressed at how hard it was for me to find a hall of fame pitcher who was 160.

        • Funn Dave

          I mean, ssckelly’s post was jokey, but most of them were not. People were pointing to other smaller-build success stories to fend off doubts about Edwards’ potential based on his size. And while they do have a point, Sahadev is right that these players tend to be the exception rather than the norm. I also agree with him that that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be excited about Edwards. I think it’s a justified post that balances the conflicting viewpoints being presented, which are–as usual–as divergent and lacking middle ground as possible.

          • ssckelley

            He is right, it is not much different than when LaHair was with the Cubs. But the examples being used to compare players to Edwards and LaHair are only to prove that is has been done before. Personally I am not convinced he can hold up an entire season because he has yet to do it. Hopefully 10-15 years from now the next skinny kid comes along we will all be saying “the next CJ Edwards!”.

      • mjhurdle

        im interested to know if there are any comparisons to Edwards body type that also had his dominant stuff.
        One without the other is an imperfect comparison. To simply look back at skinny pitchers and say none/some/most/all of them failed doesn’t really help either.
        I have done no research so i don’t have the answer, but it would be interesting to see if any other pitchers with a similar build also dominated to his degree in the low minors, only to be derailed later on due to size.

        • Andrew

          The problem with your approach is that that data will always get lost. There are likely tons of people that were just like CJ Edwards that fizzled out in the minors, or in college or highschool or early in their major league careers, but those players are lost in a sea of failure.

          • mjhurdle

            i agree that it would be hard (which is why i haven’t done it :) ), but i don’t think there would be that many players similar to Edwards that had seasons good enough to be Pitcher of the Year, or even in contention for that.
            Maybe that makes the number manageable enough, but i dont know

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    I don’t always understand why everyone puts such an emphasis on size in baseball. I get that a bigger build typically yields more eaten innings, but plenty of smaller guys can have success in baseball–especially if smaller guys can have success in sports where size really does matter (i.e., basketball, football).

    As a skinny guy myself (6’2, 155), I’ve heard that kind of stuff my whole life in regard to sports. It just made me play harder… I’m betting it has the same affect on a guy like Edwards.

    • jt

      In my prime I was 5’8″ 145 lbs and could do an iron cross on the rings. I could and did make a lot of big guys look silly.
      However, big guys with my ability were better. That is just a fact.
      At 6’2″ you can apply leverage not available to me.

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        Yes, because, like you said, they had leverage–they had bodies that allowed them to enhance the skills they had in a sport that requires a lot of finesse and body strength.

        Baseball doesn’t necessarily require those physical aspects. A lanky guy can be much better than a bulldozer, especially in baseball and especially on the mound. Being muscular and big doesn’t mean you’re in better shape. I’d rather have a lanky guy who can whip his body around quickly that’s in shape and can go through more innings without tiring himself than a big guy who eats 7 tacos before every game.

        • Funn Dave

          And, of course, there’s no middle ground here, whatsoever. I think the point here is that if you take two pitchers with the exact same abilities and one of them is CJ Edwards’ height while the other one is a more standard pitcher’s build, the bigger pitcher will perform better, based on his body’s physical characteristics. Being small doesn’t necessarily preclude greatness, but it does make it more difficult.

          • dumbledoresacubsfan

            Yea, I know what jt was getting at. And I’m not disagreeing with him or you. All I’m saying is that success isn’t determined strictly due to size.

            I’m sure that if you look at the numbers, the bigger, better built guys succeed more than the lanky guys by a large margin.

            My original point was just to not discount him based on his build and that he may be able to use all the criticism to his advantage.

            Saying a bigger pitcher with the same abilities will always perform better is false. Most of the time, probably. But not always.

          • hansman
            • Edwin

              That’s for pitcher height. Height isn’t Edward’s problem, weight is. And there is at least one study that showed weight can be an issue:

              http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/does-size-matter-part-5/

            • jt

              thanks
              Both good but found the sabr more interesting
              He gives the caveat of:
              “It is possible, regardless of the findings of this article, that there is a correlation between height and a player’s effectiveness or durability at lower levels, but I do not address the issue here, because of insufficient data and confounding variables, such as social pressures that convince shorter people to play positions other than pitcher. ”
              But
              doesn’t address the % of taller players drafted.
              *
              still an informative read
              thanks again

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        Also, I don’t think we were really disagreeing… lol

    • Scotti

      “It just made me play harder… I’m betting it has the same affect on a guy like Edwards.”

      That’s part of the issue for a “slight” guy. Will he try “harder” once his energy stores have been used up? That type of trying harder can lead to blowing out an arm (pitching while fatigued).

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        I suppose that’s always a possibility, but that’s a possibility for anyone. Shark does that kind of stuff. I think he’s the kind of guy that could throw 300 innings and keep trying to throw harder by inning 301. But that’s not due to size–that’s mindset.

        What I was really getting at was trying harder in practice to prepare for the game. Get in better shape than the others and prepare your body that way. Being in really good shape gets you really far regardless of your body type. If he’s flexible, mobile, quick, and in good shape–he’ll be able to last when he gets fatigued.

        Granted, he’s not a marathon runner (do any of those guys weigh more than 100 lbs?), but I think being in good shape will help him make his energy last. He won’t have to worry about carrying a large amount of weight through the wind up repeatedly. It could work to his advantage.

      • jt

        I was small skinny with bulky muscles and poor circulation to supply those muscles. “Energy store” was a problem for me.
        A friend with a similar build is a world class athlete. He does not have the same energy store problem as he was able to work harder to establish a better circulation.
        *
        Seaver was drive from the legs.
        Pedro was torque from the body with his leg more of a fulcrum.
        Seaver’s deliver looks simple and easily reproducible but seems to be developed from a lot of effort.
        Pedro’s deliver looks much more effortless but if you look closely you have to wonder how the heck does consistently find his release point?
        Each found something that worked for them.
        All I can do is tip my cap to them and admire.

  • CeeDeeVee

    I’m not buying this too skinny thing. Chris Volstad has a pitcher’s body and ummm he’s kind of terrible. If this kid hits the weight room, drinks some protein shakes and gains 15lbs, he’ll be set.

    • ssckelley

      He has been doing all of this and is unable to gain a pound.

      • CeeDeeVee

        Really? I didn’t know that. That’s weird that he hasn’t been able to gain lbs.

    • Funn Dave

      I have a pitcher’s body. Doesn’t mean I can pitch.

      (Pitchers do have beer bellies, right?)

      • CubChymyst

        Yep; it worked for Babe Ruth.

      • ssckelley

        David Wells and Bartolo Colon

        • MoneyBoy

          Both Reuschels… Sabbathia

    • SalukiHawk

      That’s really a logical fallacy though. It isn’t a counterpoint to the argument that skinny guys are less likely to be dominant starters to say that fat guys aren’t either. The truth is there are a lot of fat guys who have been very successful (Colon, Valenzuela, David Wells). I think the whole point here is that skinny guys are less durable, likely because they have to rely on their arm more for speed than being able to use their body to generate velocity.

  • itzscott

    If Edwards, Ramirez, Grimm and Olt live up to their potentials (hype?), in addition to Almora, Bryant, Baez & Soler, this could be the icing on the cake deal that puts the Cubs well over the top and into Cardinal territory.

    Can’t believe fans still pound on Epstein/Hoyer after what they’ve brought into the organization in the past couple of years.

    • Professor Snarks

      I think it’s way to early to coronate , or execute, Theo. With all his wheeling and dealing, what have we gotten on the major league level? About 50 innings pitched. A long way to go to see if any of these guys have any impact on the big league team.

      • Coldneck

        I believe Travis Wood was a product of an Epstein/Hoyer trade. He’s provided much more than 50 innings on his own.

  • AdamAE24

    I don’t believe he is still under 160 pounds. The fact is, a Professional sports franchise should have the proper nutritionist and work out experts to put at least 5 to 10 pounds of muscle on a guy in a 6 month time frame. Unless he has a disorder that precludes him from gaining weight, I see no reason why within a 2 year time frame he can’t reasonably get his weight to 175.

    • Funn Dave

      Some people just can’t gain weight easily. I have a friend who saw a nutritionist in high school to help gain weight. He would drink a ridiculous amount of protein shakes, consume a BJ Raji level of calories, and he didn’t gain a pound.

  • Stevie B

    Every human is different, saying it can’t happen is like…..
    Spud Webb won the dunk contest ( and wasn’t that amazing ???)
    William Perry scored a RUSHING touchdown(s)….(that’s plain delicious)
    The 1980 Hockey team won the Gold…

    In sports, anything can happen….ask Kirk Gibson….

    Can Edwards be the best pitcher in all of baseball ? Of course he can!
    Lets just sit back and watch….maybe a miracle can happen at Clark and Addison one day…

  • Funn Dave

    So for the people who point to the Garza trade as proof that the FO isn’t interested in signing good players to long contracts just yet, here’s yet another reason for the Garza trade: we got a great return for a rental.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      I think this trade is the biggest trade in the Theo era. If it all works out perfect we get a cornerstone 3B, a potential ace in Edwards, a good reliever in Grimm and another good reliever/ mid rotation starter in Ramirez.

      • Funn Dave

        Absolutely. That the FO was able to get such a big haul for a rently really ups my confidence in them.

  • Blublud

    The FO has so far won the Dempster, Garza, Feldman trades. The Sori trade is a push. Even though he dominated for the yanks, they still missed the playoffs and Black is still a good player to have moving foward. They lost the Maholm trade so far, though it could turn around soon. Overall, very good for the FO. I might have missed a couple.

    • Funn Dave

      Accurate. What do you mean that it’s a push?

      • Blublud

        I personnally wouldn’t have traded Sori for Black. But Black will be a good relief prospect moving foward. Sori still had value, but they obviously felt they didn’t need him moving foward.

        • X The Cubs Fan

          They saved some money and Black has #3 upside.

        • Funn Dave

          Ok then I’m with ya there, too. Black for Sori is pretty lopsided, but if the FO thought the minor salary relief made it worthwhile, I’ll take their word for it. Mostly.

    • MightyBear

      They lost the Maholm trade? You’re a little quick to judge. When Arodys Vizcaino is a dominant closer, you’ll be whistling a different tune.

      • Voice of Reason

        Quick to judge? Vizcaino has had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and microscopic arm surgery this year.

        Sure, he could become a dominant closer. And, Mark Prior could come back and become a dominant starter.

      • Funn Dave

        IF he heals up and becomes a dominant closer, then yes, that trade will look much better. I was as high on Vizcaino as anybody when we first got him, but after all the setbacks in his recovery, he’s a little bit harder to get excited about.

      • On The Farm

        Well as it stands we are beginning to wonder if that will ever happen. He was supposed to be back this season… Then injury set back. He was supposed to pitch some AFL action… Another set back. If I am BluBlud I am not to worried Vizcaino is going to come out and make me look by a fool. At this point I would be happy if he makes it back at a RP at any level of performance.

        • CA CUB FAN

          I don’t believe there was any set back with Vizcaino for AFL. The Cubs simply decided he would be better served pitching at instructs under their control and supervision. Although we as fans did not like it as much it was probably the right decision since he had not pitched competitively for nearly two years. He was throwing 92-94 at instructs so I doubt there was a “setback”.

          • ssckelley

            Yeah right, just like 20 year old Baez needed “rest”. Don’t believe all the excuses you hear.

      • Professor Snarks

        He said so far. And yes, Vizciano hasn’t pitched one competitive inning for the Cubs, so at this point, it’s a loss.

        • MightyBear

          With that logic, then we lost the Texas trades and every other trade where we traded a major leaguer for a prospect because none of them has played an inning for the Cubs either.

          • ssckelley

            Not really, because at least the other players have played in some capacity (majors or minors). Vizcaino has yet to pitch competitively for the Cubs in any capacity.

          • blublud

            Or you can look at this way. Just about every player we have traded for has maintained or increased their value. Vizcaino’s value has decreased. He and Olt may have been the only 2 to decrease their value, and Olt still has a decent amount and had other players in his trade to support the value gained. So until Vizcaino plays again, then it’s a loss. But it can become a push or win.

            • Mrs. Howell

              It was Paul Maholm guys. It was well worth the risk.

      • ssckelley

        So far Vizcaino reminds me of Angel Guzman. A damn good arm that cannot get healthy.

        • willis

          I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever see him pitch in a cubs uniform. He’s got so much talent but is a china doll. Our best hope is a set up man or maybe a closer down the road, but that is still a long way off.

          • MightyBear

            You people are all idiots. Vizcaino is 23 years old. He’s a has been. (Sarcasm)

          • cub2014

            willis, we will know this year, Vizcaino
            (if healthy) will be in Chicago sometime
            in 2014.

            • caryatid62

              He hasn’t been healthy in over two years, and his injuries haven’t been traumatic-they’ve been chronic. I think it’s reasonable to think, at this point, it’s unlikely that he will be able to stay healthy enough to be a solid major league contributor.

    • BWA

      Heres a few that you forgot.

      -Won the Marshall Trade.
      -Lost the Colvin/Stewart Trade (though not by a ton because they all suck)
      -Rizzo/Cashner trade is a wash until we see more of each.
      -Won the Scott Hairston Trade.

      • On The Farm

        “Lost the Colvin/Stewart Trade (though not by a ton because they all suck)”

        That’s called a draw. Its not like we need another LH hitting 4th/5th OFer type or LaMaheiu’s weak OBP.

        • blublud

          I would consider that a lost simply because we got nothing from Stewart.

      • Voice of Reason

        Colvin hit 20 home runs in 395 at bats in 2010 for the Cubs. He was just 24 at the time and left handed.

        I always wondered why he never got a chance to play every day for the Cubs.

        • ssckelley

          He did, the Cubs started 2011 with Colvin in right field but he sucked so bad they had to send him to Iowa. I think his average was ~.100 when they sent him down.

        • Funn Dave

          If memory serves me correctly, it was the gruesome broken bat injury that derailed Colvin as an everyday starter. Once he got back from that injury, he just didn’t quite look the same.

          • Voice of Reason

            You’re exactly right with Colvin. That’s what happened!

      • ssckelley

        I keep forgetting about that Hairston trade. I still cannot believe the Cubs got Pineyro for him. There was a PTBNL included on the deal as well, not sure what that turned out to be.

      • http://vdcinc.biz 70′scub

        W all the Texas trades, Baltimore, Sori, and two from the Braves Dempster puked us on the first deal and the FO still managed to get a nice potential starter/closer for a free agent flip. Can we agree to not mention the AAAA players our FO gave the Rocky for their trash?

      • blublud

        Marshall trade-Win

        Colvin trade-Loss

        Rizzo Trade-Win(I would rather have Rizzo, an everyday player vs a pitcher. The pitcher would need to be much better to win that trade.)

        Hairston-Robbery. Theo should be on probation for Grand Theft.

  • Jono

    Nice article about Sale, I mean Edwards (I know people, I know)

    • Jono

      Commas can make a big difference. It’s supposed to be, “I know, people, I know”

      • Funn Dave

        Technically, it’s supposed to be two sentences.

        -BN Grammar Douche

        • Jono

          F-ck periods

          • willis

            I don’t know, as long as you don’t look down they are kinda fun.

            • Jono

              duuuuuuuuuuude

              • willis

                Heehee…

            • ssckelley

              ohhhhhhhhhh boy

              [img]https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSOhQ8e2K0_rYDsa94h94Lh-pbWHHsDp0SwqFrBnlMIjb_NBY22zg[/img]

              • willis

                Hahaha, that made me laugh loudly in my office, in a job I just started about two weeks ago. New boss wasn’t too thrilled with my uncontrollable cackling. Good stuff.

  • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

    Make CJ Edwards live in Mississippi for a month. That should put 20 pounds on him.

    • Voice of Reason

      racist comment

      • Coldneck

        Disagree, unless you’re saying people in Mississippi are their own race. It’s the fattest state in America. Doesn’t have anything to do with race.

        http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/photos/top-10-fat-states-where-obesity-rates-are-highest

        • ssckelley

          Funny, 8 of the 11 states mentioned were southern states. It must be all that southern style fried chicken they eat. :D

          • willis

            Actually, some would say that Louisiana has recently taken over God’s Country as the fattest state.

            The food in Mississippi is outstanding. Add that with everyone being an alcoholic, definitely can gain some weight (I know I have).

            • ssckelley

              mmmm, love me some chicken fried steak with extra gravy. The south also has the best catfish fry’s with fried hush puppies on the side. My wife is from Tennessee and I can pack on 10 lbs in 2 weeks down there.

              • willis

                What part of TN? And you’re right, going to a catfish fry or a croppi fry with hush puppies is a tremendous meal. Add some crinkle fries in there to fry up and everything is lovely.

                • ssckelley

                  Savannah

            • Headscratchin

              But you haven’t lived until you’ve had fried chicken between two waffles smothered in syrup – from many, many places in the South. Tell your cardiologist to go (_ _ _ _ ) and give that breakfast a try one time.

              • ssckelley

                Oh yeah, and speaking of waffles you are always within walking distance of a Waffle House in the south. I love walking into those places where you have to peel your shoes off the floor just to take a step.

                • blublud

                  Yep. That is definitely a Waffle House you were at.

                • Funn Dave

                  You guys are making me so hungry….

                • Mr. Brent Kennedy

                  Speaking of walking distance, there was a waffle food truck outside my office in downtown Chicago this morning. Amazing.

                  • Myles

                    You’ve gotta share where that’s at. I’m going tomorrow.

                    • ssckelley

                      Just follow the trail of ants.

      • Andrew

        Can’t tell if this is a stupid joke or just plain stupid..

      • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

        Mississippi is the most obese state in the country. The statistics don’t go by race and race was not implied. I simply meant if he went down there, he would gain 20 pounds in a months.

    • Coldneck

      This made me laugh. A little.

  • Raveon1958

    Even if Edwards is just a reliever, that may be just as important to this team, considering just how bad the bullpen can be. A dominant reliever can really push a team forward.

  • CUBS

    Does anyone here feel like Samardzija should or will be locked up long term? If not what trade scenarios could be seen?

    • ssckelley

      I don’t know the answer to the first question, but if you want to know what the return would be in a trade just look at the Rangers top 10 list and pick out about 3 of them.

      • Professor Snarks

        It makes you wonder if Theo and Co. are in charge of the Rangers draft too. :-)

    • Coldneck

      I’m really not sold on Shark to the point I’d want to make a major investment in him. At this point I think he’s an Edwin Jackson comp.

    • Funn Dave

      I think that if Jeff realizes that his stock has fallen off just a bit & doesn’t ask for an insane amount of money, he is very much worth extending.

  • MightyBear

    Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Cubs will be in on Ellsbury. So will 100 other teams but it’s still good to see the Cubs in play. He speculates that Ells will get 6 years at 21 mil per year. I still think that’s high and it will be closer to 5 and the 90′s.

    • ssckelley

      Sounds like this years version of Michael Bourne to me. Wasn’t that about Bourne’s original asking price? He ended up signing with Cleveland for 4/$48 million.

    • AdamAE24

      I’d bite at 5 for 90.

    • Voice of Reason

      Heyman has the Cubs in on everyone.

      The Cubs WILL NOT sign Ellsbury. They will give Lake and perhaps Sczczur every chance in the book to make it before they spend that kind of money on a lead off hitter.

      Ellsbury is 29 years old and doesn’t have that great of a track record. I just don’t get the Ellsbury love when you’re talking that kind of money!

      • Randy

        because obviously you sit with Theo everyday.

      • Blackhawks1963

        No chance the Cubs are in on Ellsbury. He’s going to get $125 M on the open market. The Seattle Mariners really, really want the Washington state native too. And I’ll bet the Yankees drive the price up just to get under the skin of Boston.

        Ellsbury will sign a jaw dropping contract.

    • Brains

      I know I’m the guy always beating the drum to get some veterans, but Ellsbury is worth at most 14m a year in a bull market year. This guy has 1.5 great seasons behind him, 2 terrible seasons, and a couple ok seasons. Let’s be real here, he’s the next JD Drew at that money. But if we can get him at a reasonable rate, he’s worth it.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        2 terrible seasons?
        He has one terrible season ended by injury: 2010. 5 broken ribs crashing into Adran Beltre, essentially a hustle play. http://wapc.mlb.com/bos/play/?c_id=bos&content_id=7397337

        He has 3 respectable (1-2 WAR) seasons
        2 very good seasons (4+ WAR) season
        1 MVP season (8+ WAR).

        The qualifying offer is around 14.1M. So he’ll top that Avg salary since:
        1) His a top 5 CF by OBP & WAR- Trout, McCutcheon, Ethier, Choo, Ellsbury, Gomez
        2) Of those, Ethier and Choo are not CFers. Trout and McCutcheon are not available unless you want to give up 4 top 75-100 prospects to land them.
        3) The market is really thin; NY teams have cash to spend. Expect a bidding war.
        4) He maybe only worth 14M to you; But if say 1WAR=3M, then Ellsbury should be worth closer to 18M than 14M. But he will get more since his position is not loaded with tons of Top WAR performers.

        • MightyBear

          I thought 1 WAR was 4.5 mil?

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            http://baseballmusings.com/?p=81160
            I didn’t bother to find what someone else says it is worth. But there you go…a link.

            It was a hypo “if say 1WAR=3M”; so, given your 4.5M then you get a MUCH higher contract valuation than what fans seemingly think FO people will pay.

            4.5x5WAR=22.5M.

            Ellsbury is “worth” more than we will pay for it.

            Maybe Theo values 1WAR at 3.5M? Or has a propriety model different from what Fangraphs has….

            • ssckelley

              Omg, good thing Darwin Barney was not a free agent after last season.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      I think the injury concern is a touch overblown….2012 Injury was freakish: SS Reid Brignac fell on him, separating his shoulder. Ells came back, probably too early, still did better than the Cubs options did in 2013 hitting wise.

      Hunter Pence just go 5/90M. Very doubtful Ellsbury with Boras as his rep is gonna take an under contract to that number given he’s CF, just led the AL in steals (52 of 56) and is in WS. He is a lifetime .297 hitter/.350 OBP. He doesn’t bunt much; just a very complete player. 5.8 WAR in 2013….2014 projection is 5.2 WAR. http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4727&position=OF

      Is he destine to decline? Sure…AT what rate??? Speed is a part of his game; not the solely the only part. So will see..

      With both NY teams looking for OF and offense, Ellsbury is gonna find a very nice home for over 100M guaranteed (or with a team option pushing it to 120M.)

      Chicago won’t be it because they won’t pay top dollar for anyone at this point.

      No new revenue streams…and they have been tighting that belt, trading their assets for potential (and future outcomes), and servicing that debt. We are getting a front row seat to what a baseball LBO operates like.

      • Scotti

        “He doesn’t bunt much…”

        With a guy with his speed it would be nice if he DID bunt more often. His first two full seasons he attempted 38 bunt hits and was successful 20 times (.530). That’s about par for what the good bunters do (but not elite). He’s been just 2 for 9 in the last four seasons total.

        • Blackhawks1963

          Here is a point worth noting…the Baseball Bible According to Theo abhors bunting. ANd the stolen base unless a guy has a demonstrated track record of stealing at a 90% plus success rate. Bunts are outs in the world of Theo and Billy Beane. Bunts are bad in the world of Theo and Billy Beane.

          • Scotti

            Not true. As discussed before, BOS, OAK and CHC all bunt. Even bunts to advance runners. Even bunts to advance a runner to third. They may do it less but they do it.

            • Kyle

              The whole “statheads say bunting is awful” thing has become way overblown. Depending on a whole lot of variables, the stats say bunting is either a *very* slightly negative or a very very slight positive. Even at it’s worst, whether a team bunts 20 times or 70 times in a season isn’t really a meaningful difference.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            Ellsbury is close/over above 90%. So, that’s something others don’t do well.

            Oh well, no sense pining or tearing down a guy the Cubs will not land…Money is the bottleneck.

        • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

          Good to see I stirred a conversation.

          Bunting…it has a place.
          Could Ellsbury do it more…likely.
          Theo & Co. will direct or encourage whatever their current analysis is on that tactic through whomever we seat in the field manager position. Basically, I can agree if a guy has THAT skill set down pat. Looks like Ellsbury had about 6 bunts (or swinging ones) for hits, based on the spray chart.

          [img]http://www.brooksbaseball.net/plot_hc_spray.php?s_type=15&gFilt=&time=month&player=453056&startDate=03/01/2013&endDate=10/23/2013&minmax=ci&var=count&balls=-1&strikes=-1&b_hand=-1[/img]

  • D-Rock

    Greg Maddux 6’0 170 lbs.

  • jj

    Rather than naming “skinny” pitchers, does anyone have data that shows “skinny” pitchers reach the majors with less frequency than non-skinny pitchers? I doubt the scouts do – these are the same poeple that believe redheads cannot play baseball. Note, the historical bias against thin pitchers may skew the data anyway (thin pitchers get fewer opportunities because of assumption they cannot hold up).

    • Edwin

      I linked to it above, but here’s a study that sort of mentions “skinny” pitchers vs “fat” pitchers.

      http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/does-size-matter-part-5/

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        I’d have to see his significance levels; it’s interesting, but not definitive.

        It would very nice if the Cubs decide on CJ Edwards to:
        1) Take a chance, push him deeper in games (consistently 6IP, 7IP about 30%)
        2) If he’s skinny, and eating right, and strong, and conditioned, that’s his body type, God love him!
        3) If he runs out of gas consistently, no second wind, bump him to the BP as a closer in late 2014. 2015 bring him up to the MLB – depending on those “stats” we gathered in 2014.

        Assuming Strop et. al. are not cemented through their work.

        PITCHING is a scarce commodity. (SEE TIM LINCECUM)

  • Jon

    Let’s let CJ Edwards do something at the big league level before we start the hall of fame comparisons.

  • ssckelley

    The concern I have with Edwards is since being drafted in 2011 he has only pitched in 38 games for a total of 183 innings. I know we all want him to be the next Lincecum or Martinez but he is going to have to prove he can be durable. The innings he has pitched are impressive, but can he do it 30-35 games and 180-200 innings per season?

    • AB

      “since being drafted in 2011 he has only pitched in 38 games for a total of 183 innings”

      That’s somewhat decieving statement considering he was a high school arm and didn’t pitch outside of instructs in 2011. 180 IP for a high school arm in his first two years of pro ball is nothing out of the ordinary.

      There only reason there is so much scrutiny is that he’s doing it at a high level for his age is why there is so much scrutiny. Clayton Kershaw only threw 160 innings over 33 starts his first two years.

      • ssckelley

        But I think whether or not he can hold up 30-35 games per year is a fair question

  • Curt

    World Series is on and I can’t stand either team especially the cardinals to bad someone has to win.

  • DarthHater

    I must say, Matheny making a complete jackass of himself arguing the wrong side of the most obvious play in the history of sports is just a wonderful example of how the Cardinals do everything the right way.

    • Jono

      Seriously. What’s he saying? “It doesn’t matter that he dropped the ball! We’re the cardinals! We should get the call, anyways!” I bet he used the phrase, “best fans in baseball” at some point

    • Jono

      And you’d think the “best fans in baseball” who “know the game” would prefer the right call being made, or at least not fault the umps for getting it right.

      • DarthHater

        They’re too busy sniffing the perfumed rainbows coming out of each others’ butts to see the play, anyway.

    • YourResidentJag

      I think we’re seeing here that ppl who say that Methany is a solid mgr should think twice about that.

      • Turn Two

        Hes in the world series with a team that at the start of the season did not look this good. I’ll take him.

        • YourResidentJag

          I could give you many reasons why it’s the team more than him…or at least I believe in Joe Sheehan who says it’s more the team than Methany’s decisions.

          • Turn Two

            Of course it is the team not the manager, but i know many managers who would not be in the world series with that team as well.

            • Turn Two

              Oh and in case you respond again, his name is Matheny, helps the argument if you show you know the guys name you’re debating.

              • DarthHater

                I prefer Methany. It evokes the odor of the franchise.

              • YourResidentJag

                I prefer Methany as well. :)

            • YourResidentJag

              Really, you know them….personally?

              • DarthHater

                No,you were debating Turn Two. So, I think Turn Two must BE Matheny!

              • Turn Two

                And that’s why your our…resident jag

                • YourResidentJag

                  Correct.

  • Ryan

    Cards are so used to getting all those shitty calls that they felt like they needed to arguing when it didn’t go their way

  • YourResidentJag

    Wayne Drehs ‏@espnWD 1m
    There’s one way to truly irritate a Cardinals fan. Tell them the beginning of this game is awfully Cubs-like. :)

    • ssckelley

      So don’t say that to Myles!

      I kid, I kid! :D

      • YourResidentJag

        THIS. :)

  • YourResidentJag

    Well, Beltran hospitalized. Possibly lost for the rest of the WS?

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