A New Pitch for Dallas Beeler? And Other Bullets

dallas beeler tennesseeI’m looking forward to the Super Bowl like most folks, but I’ve got two unrelated gripes: (1) I really wish the Super Bowl was on a Friday or a Saturday, which would allow for a touch more late-night fun than on a Sunday night (that matters a little less for me these days, since I work at home seven days a week anyway, and having two small children doesn’t allow me to stay up too late on any night; but I’m griping for other folks and/or my future self); and (2) why are all the commercials being discussed/showing up online well in advance of the game? Part of the fun is being surprised by the commercials (good and bad). I know the brands want their spots to get as much exposure as possible, but can’t they have the online exposure after the game? You’re ruining the fun.

  • Writing for Vine Line, Sahadev Sharma takes a look at a number of Cubs prospects who are close to the big leagues (and he drops the word “waylaid,” which I’ll admit I had to look up). I found the write-up on pitching prospect Dallas Beeler particularly interesting, given his recent addition to the 40-man roster. A notable bit: “A finger injury cut short Beeler’s 2013 season, but he looked good when he was on the mound and built on that success in the AFL. With his velocity ticking up to 94 mph and a newly developed cutter—which helped him fend off lefties, previously his bugaboo—Beeler looked like a new man. He doesn’t miss a lot of bats, but rather relies on his defense, inducing ground balls by staying low in the zone with impressive sinking action on his pitches.”
  • Beeler’s ceiling was never, and won’t be, that of an ace. But one of the ways a pitching prospect can surprise to the upside (assuming he’s already got the necessary tools to succeed) is adding or fine-tuning a pitch that proves to be very effective. And Sahadev’s quite right about the R/L split thing: since 2011, righties are hitting just .249/.301/.340 off of him, whereas lefties are crushing him to the tune of .315/.371/.452. His K/BB against righties is nearly 3, whereas, against lefties, it’s just half that. I was already interested to see how Beeler bounces back in the rotation (likely at AAA) after the finger injury, but now I’m extremely interested.
  • A profile on Edwin Jackson from Tony Andracki. No real surprises: he wants to be better in 2014, and he’s eager to get back out there.
  • A fascinating FanGraphs piece on pulling the baseball. I hesitate to sum anything in it up, because it’s dense and nuanced, but it seems to be the case that the best hitters in baseball tend not to pull the ball quite as much as the league average hitter. That said, it’s easier to have power pulling the ball, so “lesser” hitters can have greater success pulling the ball by taking advantage of that power bump. In other words, the numbers tend to back up some things we’ve believed to be true.
  • At BP, Sam Miller takes on opt-out clauses, trying to convince himself that there’s a possible upside for the team (there is an argument out there that, even if a player dominates those first few years of a long-term deal (looking like a bargain) and then opts out, the team should still be happy, because that player is probably going to decline in the later years anyway – I am not persuaded by this argument). Miller points out the hypothetical possibility of situations where the player believes he can do better on the market (and maybe does) and the team no longer values him at his contract rate, hoping he opts out. In the history of opt outs, this hasn’t really happened yet, but I suppose it’s theoretically possible.
  • Jason Parks discusses some of the prospects who just missed BP’s top 101 list, and there are no Cubs. The Pirates (Alen Hanson) and Cardinals (Marco Gonzalez) each got one, though.
  • I’ve said it before, and Eno Sarris sums it up nicely: being a beat writer is a very, very difficult job. Read that, and then try to remember it the next time you find yourself being a little too hard on one of the Cubs beat writers.
  • Two miscellaneous reminders: for the football/Bears fans among you, make sure to check out Jay’s work over at Bears BN. It’s good and stuff. And for the Facebookers among you, make sure you “like” BN on Facebook. It is also good and stuff with pictures and stuff.

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

58 responses to “A New Pitch for Dallas Beeler? And Other Bullets”

  1. Edwin

    I thought the upside for the team in offering the opt out is being able to pay a lower AAV.

  2. Smitty

    Brett,

    Being an online guru, you should know better than anyone that you have the choice to read those articles discussing the commercials. I have not read a single thing and have no idea what the commercials will be about, keeping my excitement high.

    Of course the problem might be that I only read Bleachernation and do not watch the news, keeping myself in a “news cocoon.”

    1. Fishin Phil

      And some day Smitty will emerge from his news cocoon as a beautiful news butterfly.

  3. Fishin Phil

    I really hope one or two of these young pitchers in the system steps up this spring and forces their way into rotation discussions.

    1. blublud

      I think the Cubs are set up pretty well in the pitching department. I like Johnson very much as a TOR guy and Edwards, IMO, is just a slight step behind him. The key to pitching depth is not having a bunch of upcoming superstars(though that would be nice), but having guys that can step in when needed without a complete dropoff. I think the Cubs are well on their way to building this.

    2. D-Rock

      Maybe the Cubs brass are also planning on this to happen and that is why they have not made a move for another SP. Which young pitcher has the best chance to crack the rotation? Hendricks?

  4. mike

    If Beeler is going to be a SP, i dont think it will be in AAA (at least to start the year – unless there’s injuries). I think the AAA rotation is lining up to be Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm, Kyle Hendricks, Chris Rusin (assuming we sign one more guy – he will end up back in AAA), and then the 5th spot being either Eric Jokisch or Alberto Cabrera (and yes I know he’s out of options, but i bet he’ll clear waivers).

    1. Jason P

      If Liam Hendriks failed to clear waivers twice, I think it’s unlikely Cabrera would.

    2. Xruben31

      Doubt Cabrera stays if waived.

      1. On The Farm

        Nothing wrong with keeping him as a power arm in the pen. The bullpen is better than last years, but is that really saying much? The more help the better.

    3. blublud

      I think Justin Grimm and and Alberto Cabrera will be on the big league roster.

    4. cubzfan

      I see that Rusin has only been in the bigs part of two seasons, but are we sure, given how many years he’s been in the system, that he still has an option left?

    5. ssckelley

      That is one heck of a starting rotation for AAA. Iowa will be fun to watch this season.

  5. bobdawg78

    I agree on Cabrera, that he probably wouldn’t clear waivers. If Cabrera pitches well in ST, I hope he would get a spot in the BP. We have other guys that we could send to the minors, to keep Cabrera on our MLB squad. Now if Cabrera pitches poorly, I would take the risk of losing him on the waiver wire.

  6. NorthSideIrish

    Keith Law put out his top prospects by division today for the NL…we had already seen the Cubs top6 in his Top 100 prospects ranking, but most interesting to me is seeing Corey Black at #9.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10376884/national-league-central-top-10-prospects-team-2014-mlb

    1. ssckelley

      Wow, Corey Black as a top 10 in the organization?

    2. coondawg

      Denbrock named Offensive coordinator …. Go IRISH!!!

    3. CubChymyst

      The pitching in AAA this year for the cubs could be underrated. There is no stand out guy but there are a few guys who could be 3/4 types with upside. Between Hendricks, Jokish, Beeler, Loux, Ramirez, and a few other who I’m likely missing I think the Cubs could find a guy who could be a solid pitcher for a year or 2.

  7. Jim

    The FG article is fan-tastic. Really.

  8. Noah_I

    My sole issue with the beat writers is when they are clearly out of their element, which is generally when they try to opine on what the front office is doing. I get it, they have to write something nearly every day for six months, but they say some really crazy stuff sometimes regarding what they think are likely moves.

  9. MightyBear

    Hendricks developed a cutter that’s helping him as well. I wonder who’s teaching these young pitchers the cutter, he’s doing a good job. Beeler and Hendricks seem a lot more effective. Good to see.

    1. CubChymyst

      I wonder if it is Kerry Wood, he learned his from Rivera .

      1. Voice of Reason

        I wonder if Wood will also show Hendricks how easy it is to “bulk up”?

        I wonder who taught Wood how to “bulk up”?

    2. Edwin

      Didn’t Hendricks learn his cutter while in Texas? It seems like Texas likes the 2-seam, Cutter, Curveball combo (Scott Feldman and Brandon McCarthy, at least).

      Beeler get’s very few K’s, so he’s really going to need to get GB to turn into an MLB starter.

      1. MightyBear

        I’ll ask him on twitter and see if he responds.

        1. Edwin

          Here’s the article I was thinking of where he mentions learning the cutter:

          http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/kyle-hendricks/

          If that link doesn’t work, it’s from an article on 7/26/12, you can search the site for it.

          1. MightyBear

            You were right. Here it is, straight from the horses mouth.

            Tom Hiltabrand ‏@TomHiltabrand 51m
            @kyle_hendricks9 KH, a couple of us at BN were wondering if you learned your cutter with the Rangers or the Cubs? Cubs Nation is behind you.
            Expand Reply Delete Favorite More
            Kyle Hendricks ‏@kyle_hendricks9 3m
            @TomHiltabrand I learned it with the Rangers when I was in High-A with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans
            Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More
            Tom Hiltabrand ‏@TomHiltabrand 1m
            @kyle_hendricks9 Thanks Buddy. Good luck this year. We’re all rooting for you. Go Big Green!
            Expand

            1. Edwin

              Cool. I’m still not the most optimistic about him, but I really do wish him the best. He’s an easy guy to root for.

              1. MightyBear

                I’m very optimistic on him. I think people are putting way too much emphasis on his fastball instead of his pitches and his ability to get guys out. I am more on results than physical attributes, etc. Since he’s come to the Cubs, all he’s done is get hitters out on every level. I also like guys who are smart and he definitely fits the bill there.

      2. CubChymyst

        That is a strong possibility.

  10. Rhino Sauris

    Cutting slack to beat writers maybe,but some writers such as Steve Rosenbloom need to be cut to the quick.

  11. Brocktoon

    What a bunch of overly entitled self-important whining that best writer article was

    1. Brocktoon

      Beat writer obviously

  12. Brocktoon

    I can think of 4 instances off the top of my head where a player opted out from a big FA contract

    -JD drew opted out from la and wound up in boson
    -Albert belle opted out from white sox signed a 5 yeR deal with Baltimore and wound up collecting money for nothing theadt 3 years of the deal
    -sabathia ready to opt out was given an extra year and 30m to keep him in the food
    Arod opted out and was re-signed to one of the worst contracts in mlb history

    Just because the Yankees were too stupid to let their guys walk after they used up their prime doesn’t mean the opt out wasn’t beneficial to them. The opt out is smart, it’s the inability to think with a clear head afterwards that cost them.

    The biggest concern in EVERY long term deal is how the player will perform on he back end of it this is literally giving you an out if you get a bargain on the front end. Everyone keeps arguing “well yeah but if he gets hurt you’re stuck with him”…ok this differs how exactly from if you didn’t give him the opt out?

    1. Patrick W.

      Have you seen CC lately?

      ccsidebyside012014.jpg

      1. DarthHater

        Nope. ;-)

    2. hansman

      I wonder how many of those original contracts ran through the player’s good years but the extensions they were signed to were horrible because they opted out?

  13. Patrick W.

    ccsidebyside012014.jpg

    1. DarthHater

      Geez, he looks like he’s got a wasting disease…

    2. YourResidentJag

      I wonder if he thinks Snickers bars will give him that added energy boost, like the commercials say. ;)

    3. Brocktoon

      I’m not sure his contracting dysentery is going to help him bounce back as a pitcher.

      Haha just saw my autocorrect changed in the fold to in the food when talking about him well done iPhone

  14. YourResidentJag

    I support Sarris’ argument and have been a defender of journalists on here, maybe it’s because my undergraduate degree is in Communications. Except, that Sarris himself is head and shoulders above any beat the Cubs have. (maybe Mark Gonzales or Bruce Miles are closer to his caliber of writing). I wish that one of the other sports writers in the Chicago market, like KC Johnson, would have an interest in baseball and write for the Cubs.

  15. beerhelps

    Look, if the beat writers article is supposed to make me be nicer to Gordo you can forget it. ONE DAY, GORDO, ONE DAY!!!!

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