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Jeff Samardzija is Inigo MontoyaSo, today is April Fools’ Day, which, in my personal life, I love quite a bit. I once convinced The Mother that I was leaving my law firm, in part, to clean the tarmac at the airport. (Joke’s on me, because a year later I left my law firm to become a blogger.) The Wife has asked me repeatedly to stop getting her. I’m pretty sure I’m about to announce on Facebook that we’re having quadruplets, and I could totally pull it off.

But when it comes to Cubs stuff and BN, I don’t much care for doing the April Fools joke thing. It has the propensity to spread too quickly, be misunderstood too readily, and annoy too easily. It’s not really worth the hurr hurr that follows. So, don’t worry: no April Fools joke coming today. There will be something humorous, but there will be no pranking.

  • I meant to share this yesterday for Opening Day, but a couple years ago I wrote a long take on the Cubs, fandom, and mortality, and I think it’s fair to share it each year for folks who’ve never seen it. It’s impossible to share something like that without sounding self-congratulatory, but I’m pretty pleased with how that piece turned out. I think it’s worth your time.
  • Judging on the standards set by a new approach, Jeff Samardzija was pretty much perfect yesterday. The idea for him this year is to work in the zone a bit more early, trying to create weak contact (and reduce walks and pitch count in the process). “That’s what we’re looking for,” Samardzija said of his start yesterday, per Cubs.com. “Obviously, we’re going to take a hit on [the number of] strikeouts, but that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is keeping your pitch count down and getting your offense back in the dugout. That’s what we’re going to go for this year, is attacking the zone and making smart pitches and go for the strikeout when we need it.” That last part is the real key, if you can pull it off. You never want to take away a strikeout pitcher’s ability to get strikeouts (Samardzija is among the elite in that regard). Balls in play, while nice in theory because they can result in quick outs, also often become hits. As we saw yesterday, there were a few very well-struck balls that turned into outs – that won’t always be the case. As long as Samardzija maintains the ability to wipe guys out when he needs to (his splitter wasn’t working yesterday, so it was a little more difficult), then this is the best of both worlds. He could be an absolute beast for the next three months. And then he could be gone. Happysad.
  • That Cubs.com piece has more on the game, and more thoughts from the other side on Samardzija’s performance.
  • Very glad to hear – not that I’m surprised – that Carlos Villanueva has the right perspective about the game-winning homer he gave up yesterday. “I was ready, and I felt fine,” Villanueva said after the game, per CSN. “I just threw a high changeup, and he took me out. You tip your hat. What else can I say?” Villanueva simply missed his spot – badly – and served up a meatball. You don’t always get punished for that mistake, but yesterday, he did. One bad pitch. The truth is, I was very glad to see Ricky Renteria willing to use Villanueva in that spot, even though he’s “the fifth starter.” He was going to have an extra day off today anyway, so you might as well put him in and let him go a few innings. That he lasted only one batter is just the breaks.
  • The CSN piece also has thoughts from Anthony Rizzo on his rough day. Like Villanueva, it sounds like he’s got the right perspective.
  • The Cubs were involved in the first two instant replays in baseball history yesterday, coming out on the short end each time. What matters, though, is that the umps got both calls right (and one would have been incorrect without replay). They didn’t take too long, and they didn’t disrupt the rhythm of the game too much. Early take: it’s gonna be OK.
  • Jorge Soler is dealing with a sore hamstring, so he’s going to start a little behind the eight-ball this year. Hopefully he’s ready to go in just a week or so, since he’s already playing intrasquad games in Mesa (he homered yesterday, going back-to-back with 17-year-old top Dominican signee Eloy Jimenez (how cool is that?)). He’ll start the year at AA Tennessee, and it’s going to be a big year for Soler, who’s missed so much time over the past few years with injuries and defection.
  • A profile on pleasant-surprise-Opening-Day-third-base-starter Mike Olt.
  • The Cubs set all kinds of Cactus League attendance records this year after opening new Cubs Park – single season record, per game record, single game record (Az Central). In fact, the 12 best-attended games in Cactus League history were all this year at Cubs Park. That’s obliterating the records, dude. That should add a little extra revenue to the Cubs’ coffers. (Obligatory link to large financial piece, if you haven’t read it.)
  • The Cubs remain the third priciest average ticket in baseball at $44.16 (ESPNChicago), though the price has remained flat since 2010, when the Ricketts Family took over the team. Given the relative competitiveness of the big league club during that stretch, flat prices are pretty understandable (and, contrary to what some might say, the Cubs don’t “owe” it to fans to drop prices – they “owe” it to fans to charge whatever amount will generate the most revenue to be put back into the organization. They study pricing curves to figure that stuff out).
  • The Cubs will be doing decades of food and drink at Wrigley this year, and you can see the full slate of offerings over at Vine Line. There’s also a widely expanded beer offering, with a bunch of Goose Island beers.
  • Apropos of nothing, a reminder: Alberto Cabrera was designated for assignment a few days ago, and that will have to be resolved within 10 days (so, by early next week). He will be traded, released, or waived (and it takes three days to clear waivers). Just keeping it on your radar.
  • At least someone was having fun on Opening Day for the Cubs. (And that picture there is a good reason why you should “like” BN on Facebook.)
  • Wow – I’d forgotten how massive the Bullets can get in the regular season. That is all.
  • Soda Popinski

    The April Fool’s disclaimer sounded like a man about to pull an April Fool’s joke.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Maybe your day-long anticipation IS the joke.

      • Soda Popinski

        [img]http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=bZngSh9Sfh_tnM&tbnid=1hhW9O3IH81z6M&ved=0CAgQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcosbygifs.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F7775811799%2Fuh-hmmm&ei=8L06U66uF-7QsQSOr4DgBg&psig=AFQjCNEcAAmAeICytNSKXXANEikCuS4pFA&ust=1396445040462792[/img]

        • Soda Popinski

          Awesome gif…

      • King Jeff

        Nope, Soda’s attempt at posting a picture is the joke.

      • mjhurdle

        [img]http://s16.postimg.org/uy1mqk4j9/output_y_S3m5a.gif[/img]

        • Soda Popinski

          There it is! The funny thing is I was actually reading your posts last night on how to resize a gif.

          • Picklenose

            [img]http://i.imgur.com/eJEjFIp.jpg?2[/img]

  • Karl Groucho

    “There will be something humorous, but there will be no pranking.”

    The perfect setup…

  • KSUCub

    First time poster, love the site Brett.

    Don’t know if anyone has pointed this out yet, but another bullet could be that I’m pretty sure the Cubs set a record for most LOB in a shutout yesterday with 20. Yikes.

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/left_on_base_records.shtml

    • King Jeff

      You must not have watched last year.

    • ari gold

      Welcome to the site! The LOB record is the LOB at the end of the inning. The 20 or so the cubs had yesterday is simply adding up the LOB of the individual players. So it’s not the same thing. But to your point, they sucked yesterday nonetheless.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Welcome and thanks, KSU. The reason that isn’t a record is that the 20 figure is the added-up LOB figure (as in, each individual player’s figure added up) as opposed to the total number of guys left on base by the team. What the Cubs did yesterday sucked, but isn’t all that uncommon.

      • KSUCub

        Ah thanks for clarifying guys.

  • CubFan Paul

    “they “owe” it to fans to charge whatever amount will generate the most revenue to be put back into the organization”

    What happened to the opening day announcement with the rooftops & tv deal?

    • King Jeff

      Home opener maybe?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The “hope” was to have deals in place by Opening Day. I can’t speak to the TV side, but, on the rooftops, I always took that to mean the home opener (this Friday). I’m kind of on pins and needles at this point.

      • brickhouse

        Didn’t Ricketts say the Budweiser sign would be up in right field by opening day

        • CubFan Paul

          He says a lot of things.

        • mjhurdle

          only quotes that I have ever seen have him saying that he “hopes” to have the Budweiser sign up by opening day, but that the situation was complicated.

          • King Jeff

            There are those that think the proposed Budweiser bottle is just a giant middle finger pointed at the rooftop owner(s) that are sponsored by Miller. At this point I wish they would just put it up so we could move on from this crap.

  • King Jeff

    I like Samardzija’s approach as the game wore on. Most of the well struck balls were early in the game. Slightly concerned about the splitter since he said he was having problems with it in Arizona as well, hopefully it works itself out as he pitches more.

  • Darth Ivy

    “…for the next three months. And then he could be gone.”

    Is this the expectation, that he’ll be traded?

  • Jon

    Paying Samardzija could also be an attractive option

    • CubFan Paul

      They tried, he said no.

      • Jon

        He said no to lower money

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          So they are supposed to just drop trou and pay him whatever he wants?

          • mjhurdle

            didn’t you see? Shark had a good outing so we are back on the “pay Shark whatever he wants’ bandwagon.

            Once he has a bad start we jump back to the “He is not an Ace but wants to be paid like one, so trade him!!”

            try to keep up with the schedule Hansman

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              Ahhh. So right now we are off the Castro/Rizzo/Olt bandwagon and full force on the Samardzija float.

              Man…this parade is getting tricky to navigate.

              • mjhurdle

                it can get a bit rough to track.
                here is a summery of where we are at right now:
                – Good outing = on the “Shark needs to get paid”
                – Couple good defensive plays = off the “castro doesn’t pay attention”
                – bad day at plate = on the “Rizzo should be platooned”
                – Bonifacio = on the ‘best thing since Campana”
                – Olt 0-fer = off the “Olt is amazing and will be exciting to watch all year”
                – Lots o’bunts = on the “Renteria doesn’t understand baseball”
                – shut out by one of te NLs best pitchers = on the “Cubs offense will be abysmal all year”

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  Man…that is too much to track. I need a Twix.

                  • Picklenose

                    Good thing we aren’t in Seattle or all these parades would be getting rained out.

          • Jon

            Never said that. If Shark puts together another dominant half of season, and you can’t find an absolute haul of a package for him, you can always reevaluate maybe upping the offer and keeping him. Which I’m sure they will

          • Edwin

            I would love for the Angels to drop Trout and the Cubs pay Trout whatever he wants.

    • ssckelley

      Yes, please pay Samardzija. The minors is stacked with prospects, let’s bring the major league team up to par now.

      • Soda Popinski

        I agree. We can get an ace prospect in this years draft between Beede, Rodon, Aiken, Kolek or Hoffman (to a lesser extent). Somebody will be there at 4. Please keep Shark.

    • Chad

      If Samardzija can figure out how to consistently use his new approach in collaboration with the strikeout when needed then I agree and he would be a good extension candidate. In my opinion his stuff has always been top notch, but his approach has been seriously lacking. I don’t expect him to be ultra efficient this season, but if he can show progress and show that he is beginning to execute more consistently then not only will his trade value go up but his value to the cubs would also go up. I would really like to keep Shark and sign one of Lester, Scherzer, or Shields. I think the cubs could then have some potential.

      • Blackhawks1963

        Lester is highly likely to re-sign with Boston. Shields is going to be 33 years old. Scherzer is going to approach $200 million to sign. Masterson is going to cost a ton as well. Most importantly Shields, Scherzer and Masterson will all be in extremely high demand if they actually hit free agency. The usual suspects will be in the bidding too (i.e., Dodgers, Yankees, Rangers). Therefore, Cubs can’t pin much hope on signing a big ticket free agent pitcher next winter. They really can’t. We need to develop our own pitching and we need to make good trades.

        • Soda Popinski

          Grow the bats! Buy the arms!

          • ssckelley

            Yes, look around the league at all the injuries to the young pitchers. Let the other teams take those risks, it is why I keep pining for the Cubs to draft another power bat at #4 even though this draft seems to be stocked with top arms.

            • Soda Popinski

              I tend to agree with this approach, but I think there’s just too many good arms this year. Nobody has really stepped up on the offensive side as a can’t miss prospect (have they?). The last I saw was Alex Jackson, Trea Turner, and Jacob Gatewood. They’re really good prospects, but I haven’t read anybody going absolutely bananas over them.

      • Edwin

        I like the idea of Shark being more efficeint, but I think it’s tough to pull off. If he’s trading K’s for lower his BB% and increase his K/BB ratio, then I’m for it. But if he’s trading K’s mostly for putting balls in play, I think that backfires. In the long run enough balls in play will fall for hits that he’ll end up facing more batters and drive his pitch count up regardless.

  • David

    Pay Shark. Pay him now.

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    I wonder how many folks that are going to freak out about Shark being amazing remember what he did last Opening Day.

    One game, folks. One game.

    • King Jeff

      Yep, you should only get paid on potential once. Now he has to go out on the field and prove that he’s the pitcher he thinks he is, and the money will work itself out. At this point, I think he’s only worth Edwin Jackson money, if he pitches more consistently this year he can start dreaming on Homer Bailey money.

    • ssckelley

      He was actually amazing pretty much the entire first half of the season. I would still prefer to sign him to an extension than trade him, the Cubs need good starting pitching.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        I wouldn’t mind keeping him around. In order to get the haul I would be ok with trading him for, the prospects are going to be a couple years out. We will need him in order to be able to contend next year.

        Even if we don’t get an extension worked out and don’t trade him, if he is a part of a playoff push next year, I’d be fine with just getting a comp pick.

      • Edwin

        At some point the Cubs need to start keeping the talent they have if they want the MLB to start getting better. Trading Samardzija, even for a good return, means one more pitcher they would need to replace for their 2015-2016 “competative” timeline. Unless the players they get back from the trade are ready to produce at Samardzija’s level by either 2015 or 2016, trading Jeff seems more like a move to make the 2017 Cubs better than 2015 or 2016. I’d rather they sign him to an extention as well.

        • ssckelley

          I look through the organization and I see loads of prospects coming up at almost every position. Heck the Cubs had to release their 2012 minor leage Pitcher of The Year as they had no place to put him. The minors are looking good, we don’t need anymore prospects and it is time to start adding pieces to the MLB team not trading them.

          IMO, if the Cubs are out of it by the TDL the best trade pieces are Schierholtz, Barney, and maybe Hammel and Villanueva players that are not projected to be part of the future. Like you say the toughest part about trading Samardzija would be finding an adequate replacement.

  • mjhurdle

    I will never understand the ‘You waited 5 months for baseball, and here it is!!! Now we need to take a day off on day FREAKING 2 of the year.”

    I want Cub baseball today!!!

    • King Jeff

      Yeah, the off-day-after-opening-day thing ticks me off every year. I understand the need for it, but I don’t like it.

    • Edwin

      I’ve heard they do it so that in case opening day gets rained out they can make up the game the next day, if possible. For most teams, opening day is the one gauranteed sellout, so they try to protect it.

      As for why they do it as On-Off-On instead of On-On-Off, I’m not sure.

      • King Jeff

        Yep, that’s it Edwin.

        • TWC

          Even though there is a “good” reason, it’s still blueballing. And I hate it.

          I suppose today I actually have to do this “work” thing.

    • Darth Ivy

      agreed. Major bummer, man.

      I noticed that the yankees and astros didn’t even play yesterday (maybe other teams, too, but those were the two I noticed). Imagine how their fans feel

  • Blackhawks1963

    Theo and Jed seem to be taking the approach with Samardzija of letting the next 4 months play out. If he performs well and there is strong trade demand before the deadline, then they likely pull off a trade that nets a king’s ransom of young talent. Or if TheoJed don’t like the trade return they see, then they either wait until next offseason to trade him or finally get a long-term contract completed.

    Odds?

    1. Traded by the deadline: 50%
    2. Traded next offseason: 25%
    3. Signed to a new deal next offseason: 25%

    The wildcard obviously is if Samardija sucks or gets hurt in 2014. Then Samardzija probably plays out the string with the Cubs in 2015 before hitting the free agency market the following offseason.

    • TWC

      So the odds are 100% that something will happen as you predicted?

      Way to cover the spread, gramps.

      ::rolls eyes::

      • mjhurdle

        Blackhawks really covers all the bases with this prediction.
        He will either get traded for tons of prospects, or he will get extended. Or if he is bad or gets hurt that might change things.
        So he will either get traded, resigned, or stick around next year then become a Free Agent. :)

    • ssckelley

      [img]http://plus4chan.org/b/co/src/137425375767.jpg[/img]

    • brickhouse

      The Cubs are asking for a return like Samardzija is a top of the rotation starter but when negotiating salary only want to pay him like a mid level starter.

      • Canadian Cubs Fan

        I think you just hit the nail on the head.

      • Edwin

        That’s partly because the Cubs have more leverage when it comes to Jeff’s salary. Since they have him under control for this season and the next, when it comes to an extention they don’t want to pay market price for something they already have the rights to under market price.

        Imagine you’re playing Monopoly, and due to funky new rules, you currently control a get out of jail free card for the next two jail stays at a cost of $30 per year. The only way to get a GOOJF card is to buy one on the open market from the banker, or trade with another player. The market rate for getting out of jail is $50 per jail stay. You would like to negotiate a deal with the Banker to extend your contract with the GOOJF card for the next 5 jail stays. Now, since you already have your next two Jail Stays at $30, you wouldn’t want to do a 5 jail stay contract for $250, because you’d be paying $40 more than you’d have to. You’d be better off finishing the contract with your current GOOJF card for $30 for the next two jail stays, and then buying them for $50 on the open market. So you’d probably offer something closer to $210, maybe a little bit more since buying GOOJF cards for $50 in bulk protects you in case market prices go up over the next few turns. In contract negotiations, you’re still going to value the remaining contract at $30 per jail stay.

        On the other hand, if you’re going to trade your GOOJF contract for this nice property prospect you have your eye on, you’re going to want something closer to what the actual market value is, so you’re going to want something closer to the $50 per jail stay to trade away your GOOJF contract.

        • Patrick W.

          Hey, I’ll handle the analogies around here!

      • Patrick W.

        You are missing a very important point. Samardzija is not a free agent. He’s under team control this season and next. Should the Angels have paid Mike Trout more than the $5.5MM he’s making this year or $15.5MM next year? He’s the best player in baseball, he should get best player money, no? Or, does the fact that his earning potential is completely out of his hands for the next few years naturally suppress that value? When making a trade like this you are giving up something special, an established Major League pitcher, why not ask for as much potential as you can get when giving that up? I mean after all, yourself could use an established pitcher, it’s very valuable, so if you’re going to give that up for a prospect you should ask for the surest thing.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        And?

  • DrReiCow

    I wish Wrigley had Smithwicks.

    Moo :(

  • Darth Ivy

    A couple of random thoughts from yesterday:

    Felix vs the Angels is one of the best matchups in sports.

    Abreu is fun to watch, especially with Eaton batting before him. But why is Gillespie batting 3rd and not Abreu?

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I’ll add one, I think my new favorite player is Jose Fernandez. He has the best stuff I’ve ever seen and man does that kid just love to play baseball

      • Darth Ivy

        totally. He’s nasty. And his reaction to Gonzalez’s homer was priceless, especially since I have CarGo on one of my teams. I was smiling right along with him.

        • Edwin

          Definitely. His Slurve/Curve thing is filthy.

          • Darth Ivy

            There should be reaction videos of people watching Jose Fernandez.

        • Diehardthefirst

          He disrespected him by laughing and there will be payback

          • Darth Ivy

            I hope not. That level of baseball etiquette is ridiculous. They’re big boys. They don’t need their feelings protected.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    I don’t think they should rush to trade or sign Shark. They are in complete control of the situation, and should wait it out. Sure, his value as a trade piece peaks at the deadline this year, but at some point you stop stockpiling prospects and start keeping talent at the MLB level.

    If he pitches like an ace this year, then I think they re-evaluate what he means to the organization, and improve their offer. I’d rather spend the money on a guy like that, and maybe one more big free agent arm, than bring in two new guys.

    Unfortunately, I see a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 losses in Jeff’s next 3 months, which might sour him a bit more.

    • Chad

      Money will make that all better, but I agree if Shark can improve to where he shows that he belongs as a #2 pitcher (I don’t think he will ever be a #1) and you can bring in just one guy like Scherzer instead of trying to sign Scherzer and Shields then I think that is a good thing. I also think if the cubs keep Shark and do sign Scherzer they could get a middle of the road (in the middle of what Shark wants and what the cubs want to give). They can’t spend it all on Shark. I know we all want prospects back, but if the cubs draft a SP at #4 then that could take a part of what the trade would net and then extending Shark wouldn’t seem as awful to those that think he needs to be traded for SP prospects right now.

  • another JP

    Everyone wants to pay Shark today, but if he has one of his episodes where he’s lit up then this site will be filled with the obligatory “he’s a #3 pitcher that wants ace money” posts.

    • ssckelley

      I don’t care if he is a #1, a #2, or even a #3 you resign him. If you trade him and get a haul of prospects in return you would be lucky to find a #3 starter and from what I have seen in free agency Shark is not demanding #1 money. It would take a heck of a lot more than 1 bad start for me to change my mind.

  • CubFan Paul

    “He said no to lower money…can always reevaluate maybe upping the offer…please pay Samardzija…Pay Shark Pay him now…Cubs need to start keeping the talent they have…only want to pay him like a mid level starter…you stop stockpiling prospects and start keeping talent at the MLB level…re-evaluate what he means to the organization, and improve their offer…”

    ::facepalm::

  • Blackhawks1963

    Cubs have all the leverage with Samardzija right now. There is zero urgency to get a new contract done because he is under contract for two more seasons. In fact, it’s to their big advantage to have him operate under his current attractive contract only as it further enhances his trade value. If the Cubs do decide to keep Samardzija, then obviously they need to be prepared to pony up a big contract that the pitcher will find agreeable. But might as well let this thing play out.

    • Chad

      I believe the cubs will be more willing to extend Shark after the season because a 5 year deal would capture 1 more FA season than this year would have. Let’s say that the cubs and Shark settle on a 5 year $70 million deal. If it is done before or during this season the contract looks like this:
      2014: 5 million
      2015: 8 million
      2016-2018: $19 million/year

      If they do the same years and dollars after this season then they get 4 FA years and it looks like this:
      2015: 8 million
      2016-2019: $15.5 million/ year

      If Shark performs I think the cubs will be willing to bring their offer up because they will get more bang for their buck.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Yea it’s just 1 game and me as of a Cub Fan have seen plenty of these: it’s just 1 game.
    Theo/Jed did absolutely nothing for our offense except Bonifacio and nobody could get him home 4x’s! Lake at least get’s down a bunt Castro looked like he had to much time off in ST, Rizzo holy.. he did see a righty, having my doubts about that guy. Olt Schierhotz made a little contact. Yeah middle of the order. Bunting with a lefty on the mound and a force at 3rd. Well, you would rather have him swing for the fence and hope he strikes out instead. Crying shame all of it as usual.

    • TWC

      That’s some glorious grammar right there.

      • http://BN Sacko

        Well thanks. Maybe you could share something glorious about yesterdays game.

        • TWC

          Well, it was Opening Day, which by itself is pretty awesome. Samardzija had a great start to his season, even though he wasn’t necessarily in peak form. The Cubs offense took an admirable number of pitches, and though those deep pitch counts didn’t turn into that many walks, it suggests to me that the offense might have a better approach this year.

          Of course, it’s only one game (one. game.), so it’s not really worth hyperventilating about, nor casting aside the rest of any player’s season.

          Thanks for asking.

          • http://BN Sacko

            Comments were made about the offense only. And took admirable number of pitches and a better approach resulting in 0 runs in 10 innings. Fantastic!
            Not. hyperventilating about,
            There you go since you like checking grammar.

            • TWC

              “… took admirable number of pitches and a better approach resulting in 0 runs in 10 innings. Fantastic!”

              Translation: “Forest?! All I see are trees.”

              • http://BN Sacko

                If you have the mentality of Forest Gump I can see why this has been so difficult for you. Sorry, have a good day and watch out for the trees.

      • ari gold

        Have you ever added anything of value to the comments? Didn’t think so.

        • http://BN Sacko

          I have added value to the comments you don’t comment about. But this seems to get your attention w/out saying anything about the game other then the Cubs sucked.

          • ari gold

            I meant that towards TWC, the site d-bag.

            • TWC

              ::hugs::

            • mjhurdle

              did this comment provide any value?
              or is it just other commentators that you expect to have brilliant posts?

            • http://BN Sacko

              Got ya ari gold

  • Diehardthefirst

    Sounds like Shark has been talking to Greg Maddux which indicates maturity and if successful warrants an extension

    • mjhurdle

      wait, so if you can successfully have a conversation with Greg Maddux you deserve an extension?
      I never knew it was that easy…

      • TWC

        Nick Struck missed that memo.

        • Diehardthefirst

          Struck will stick somewhere and come back to shut out the Cubs- and if they give up on Coleman same will happen- both have what it takes to pitch in the bigs

          • mjhurdle

            So they both conversed with Maddux successfully?
            The Front Office must not have known that, bet they are kicking themselves now.

          • TWC

            I’m pretty sure that Struck will never see the light of an MLB stadium unless he buys a ticket.

            Coleman? He might — possibly — see another half-season in middle relief somewhere. Roster filler.

          • dAn

            Struck was never much of a prospect, even with his good season in ’13. Guys like him are a dime a dozen. AAA and the waiver wire are littered with the Nick Strucks of the world.

            Coleman might have turned out okay if Hendry hadn’t rushed him back when the farm cupboard was completely bare. Think about it–he was a 15th round pick with very pedestrian stuff, who was not a 4 year college guy–and yet he practically skipped the low minors altogether. He was savvy enough to survive but never really learned how to use his stuff to maximum effect. He strikes me as the type of guy who could emerge somewhere as a legit MLB pitcher in his late twenties.

            • ssckelley

              There were a lot of questions if Struck was a legit prospect even after he won the award. Still I cannot ever remember an organization minor league pitcher of the year being cut ~18 months after winning the award.

              At least Logan Watkins is still in the organization.

              • TWC

                Watkins getting DFA’d might just break the BN comments section.

                That’ll be fun.

                • ssckelley

                  That very well could happen this season although I believe there are a few others on the 40 man who are lower on the pecking order to be cut.

    • Jon

      Or he’s signing with the Braves after next year.

  • dAn

    Biggest difference with Shark this year is that his arm slot is lower. Not sure if that’s on purpose or not (trying to get more movement on FB?).

  • C. Steadman

    Brett, maybe to add to the Soler bullet or even one of it’s own,(you’ve probably actually already seen this) but Cubs.com has an article about the Cubs Cuban players and the “brotherhood” that forms from being from Cuba. Nice little read.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/chc/cubs-cuban-prospects-work-to-acclimate?ymd=20140401&content_id=70602178&vkey=news_chc

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