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albert almora cubsThe Race to the Walk is over, but I’m not entirely sure who won.

On Sunday, for the first time this season, Albert Almora drew a walk. Going into Sunday’s games, Almora and Kansas City prospect Humberto Arteaga were the last two regular players in the Florida State League to have walked. And since on Sunday Almora walked, that means Arteaga is the Last of the Walkless, right?

Not so fast.

Arteaga also walked on Sunday. In fact, he walked twice. And seeing as his first walk came in the second inning whereas Almora’s walk came in the fourth inning, I suspect that we have to give the tie to Arteaga and declare Almora the Walkless Wonder, if only for a short time.

But that is really a side show at this stage. The important part is that Almora now has a non-zero walk percentage. Given that he has been struggling at the plate lately, I hope this is an indication that he is starting to take his time and look for pitches he can drive rather than just swinging at the first hittable pitch he gets. Over the long haul I suspect that sort of selective aggressiveness will be very good not only for his own stats, but for the Cubs as well.

Scores From The Weekend

Iowa
Friday – A ninth inning rally came just short as Iowa lost 4-3.
Saturday – The Cubs suffered a general lack of offense in this 3-1 loss.
Sunday – The road skid continued as Iowa lost again, 5-1.

Tennessee
Friday – A big sixth inning powered the Smokies to an 8-7 win.
Saturday – The winning streak reached six with this 8-4 win.
Sunday – Tennessee rallied late, but it wasn’t enough. The Smokies lost 6-4.

Daytona
Friday – Friday’s games were rained out.
Saturday – Saturday’s games were also rained out.
Sunday – They did play on Sunday, though, and and Cubs scored first and last for a 2-1 twelve inning win.

Kane County
Friday – It took eleven innings, but Kane County won it 3-2.
Saturday – The Cougars picked up their twentieth win of the season with this 4-2 triumph.
Sunday – A huge, seven run first inning carried Kane County to this 13-3 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Kyle Hendricks struck out 8 more and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks over 5.1 innings on Saturday. He threw 93 pitches.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters has been in a prolonged slump, but with any luck that started to turn on Sunday. He walked and hit his 3rd home run while striking out once.
  • [Iowa] Christian Villanueva finished the weekend with 4 hits, including 2 doubles.
  • [Iowa] Not that the Cubs need any more good bullpen options right now, but don’t forget about Alberto Cabrera. After his flawless inning on Saturday, his season ERA now sits at 1.32 with 12 strikeouts and just one walk over 13.2 innings.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies did not have great starting pitching generally speaking this weekend, but Pierce Johnson did turn in a good performance. He went 6 innings, struck out 5, and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and a home run.
  • [Tennessee] The bullpen, on the other hand, had a couple notable performances. Austin Kirk faced 2 and struck out one on Friday, and then came back back on Sunday to pitch 2 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Armando Rivero and Tony Zych also turned in good outings.
  • [Tennessee] Kris Bryant had a huge game on Saturday (4 hits and his 6th homer) and finished the weekend in with 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
  • [Tennessee] John Andreoli also finished the weekend with 4 hits and extended his hitting streak to 6 games. He also walked twice and stole 2 bases. He now has 14 steals this season.
  • [Tennessee] Stephen Bruno likewise had 4 hits this weekend, and 3 of them were doubles.
  • [Daytona] Jeimer Candelario won the game with his one hit in the 12th inning, his 3rd home run of the season.
  • [Daytona] Almora drew a walk with his second at bat, but in his first he drove in the Cubs other run with a sac fly.
  • [Daytona] Felix Pena pitched a 6 inning shutout to start Sunday’s game, striking out 3 in the process. Arodys Vizcaino and Stephen Perakslis pitched particularly well in relief.
  • [Kane County] Paul Blackburn struck out 6 in his 6 inning start on Sunday, matching the 6 strikeouts in 6 innings put up by Jen-Ho Tseng on Saturday.
  • [Kane County] Shawon Dunston is starting to warm up, I think. He had two hits in Saturday’s game, and walked twice on Sunday. For the season he has 5 walks against just 3 strikeouts in over 60 trips to the plate.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann homered, his second, and walked twice this weekend. Over his last 10 games his line now reads .308/.400/.462.
  • [Kane County] There were plenty of other Cougars with notable offensive performances weekend. Will Remillard, for example, stayed hot with 2 hits on Sunday. Daniel Lockhart had 4 hits on Sunday, and Carlos Penalver added 3 of his own. Cael Brockmeyer hit his first double of the season on Saturday.

Other News

  • Brett Jackson returned to action on Saturday and reached base on both Saturday (walk) and Sunday (hit). He also struck out once on both days. He had last appeared in a game on April 13.
  • If you haven’t thought about Gerardo Concepcion lately, you might want to rethink that. Through 17.1 innings Concepcion has now allowed 17 hits and 4 walks while striking out 15. Most of the damage against him has come from right handers (who are hitting .304 off him). Against lefties his ERA is just 1.69.
  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Wouldn’t that be something if Concepcion were to actually make it to the big leagues. If you add his contract to Jacksons and Solers then you have about $90,000.000 that I bet Theo wishes he could take back right now. Soler may amount to something yet but all three of those guys may fit the bust label. 90 million is a lot of dough for what we are currently getting in return. Jackson is performing like five million dollar a year pitcher and the other two are sitting in the minors.

    • roz

      I’m pretty sure Theo doesn’t wish he could take back Soler’s contract at this point.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        You are entitled to your opinion, but Soler is making nearly four million a year and it currently looks as if he may spend his second complete year in the minors. Yeah I know it’s an injury thing and he may yet prove to be worth his contract, but as things now stand he is far from being a sure thing.

        • BT

          I know, it’s completely absurd. What kind of world do we live in when an injured 22 year old is STILL toiling away in the minors? I mean he should be in his 3rd or 4th major league season by now, at the least.

        • ssckelley

          Soler does not start making $4 million per year until 2018. This season he is costing $2 million. Honestly with the lack of money they are spending on payroll right now I see no reason to cry over $2 million per year being spent on a top 100 prospect. When Soler has been healthy he has hit, I am sure he will be assigned to a minor league team soon as he has been playing in extended spring training.

          • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

            There are 3 reasons to “cry” about Soler.

            #1. His splits suggest he’ll be a lefty-masher when he reaches MLB. Career:
            vs. LHP
            48 G, 102 PA, .280 ISO, .387 BABIP, 6.9/13.7 BB/K%, .376/.412/.656
            vs RHP
            83 G, 284 PA, .143 ISO, .284 BABIP, 9.2/15.1 BB/K%, .259/.335/.402

            #2. His contract lets him opt-in to arbitration (to make more money).

            #3. He’s often injured.

            • Karl Groucho

              2 and 3 are great points.

              First one is harder — flip the BABIPs and suddenly he looks like a righty-masher! The K/BB rates might go more to the point, but we’re still talking about just his first 130 games of American ball.

              Which goes back to number 3, of course. I hope he’s just had bad luck and not that he’s “injury prone” a la Matt Kemp; but only time will tell.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Re: #2, he still has 4 more years in his deal before he has that option. By that time, unless he’s a superstar, he’s not going to be primed for that much of a raise over the current value of the deal, at least in the first year. So to opt into arbitration, that means that Soler will have to become an very valuable player, which I guarantee the Cubs won’t mind if his price goes up in the last 2 years of the deal (which they’ll probably try to extend him at that point anyway)

    • Spoda17

      Way too early to come to that conclusion. Ya know, that whole throw the baby out with the bathwater thing…

    • Rebuilding

      You said $90,000, but I think you meant $9,000,000? In either case the money to Soler and Concepcion is a relative drop in the bucket and exactly the kind of chances this team should be taking. While he hasn’t been healthy, Soler is still a consensus Top 30-40 prospect

      • Thiscantbegood

        I think he meant $90,000,000. It was just a period instead of a comma.

      • BT

        He meant 90 million. He was throwing in Edwin Jackson as well.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        I was pointing out that the value of those three contracts combined amounts to nearly a ninety million dollar commitment over the span of those contracts or if you wanted to do a yearly thing it would be about 19 million per year as is currently. Currently Jackson pitches like a five million a year pitcher and the other two guys are not even with the club. So if you look at it from that perspective then it’s not so good. There are far too many people on this board that want to put value on things that have not yet occured and indeed may never occur. A perfect example is the constant projections about who is going to be a future hall of famer or an allstar etc. May I remind them that we are not the only team with hot prospects. Just go to the Southern league website and clic on the individual stats and you will see quite a few guys performing at Bryants level or above. What I’m looking at is contracts that are performing at the MLB level and what value they provide in terms of production. Probably Soler and Concepcion’s contracts don’t even show up on the MLB payroll, but in terms of what we are currently getting for 18 or 19 million a year it’s a lousy return so far.

        • ssckelley

          “Probably Soler and Concepcion’s contracts don’t even show up on the MLB payroll”

          Actually they do show up on the MLB payroll. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2014-payroll-salaries.shtml

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Which is an awful way of looking at things. You pay for what you project the future performance to be and because of this there will be hits and misses. Soler is barely 3 years into a 9 year deal. If he turns into the player they project he will, then he will easily be worth that 30 million. You have to take risks to get returns and you can’t just build an organization for the next year or two.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          If you’re going to evaluate primarily on dollars spent versus major league benefit, then you should probably look at the signing bonuses given to draft picks as well. I suspect you could find another $10 million that you could wonder if the front office would be regretting.

          It’s a novel way to look at talent acquisition, but I’m not sure it is a very useful one.

  • ssckelley

    No love for Rafael Lopez? After yesterdays hit and 2 walks he is up to .977 OPS and he drove in 2 of the runs. He has been on fire.

    • another JP

      As far as I’m concerned Lopez and Andreoli should be the first players promoted and I’d like to see Lopez in Chicago by the end of the year. He sure can’t do any worse than Baker.

      • CubsFaninMS

        *agreed

    • CubsFaninMS

      Lots of love in this corner from Rafael Lopez! I mentioned him in a thread last week. This guy deserves a shot at AAA. If he performs well in AAA, we might be in a bit of a quandary. I’d love to see him as Castillo’s backup, but Baker’s veteran backup presence may be a potential roadblock for him. Maybe Baker and Lopez can both be backups when the roster expands in September, performance being considered of course.

      • ssckelley

        Honestly I think he gets the promotion before Bryant does. It was surprising he even got assigned to Tennessee in the first place as he did well there last year. Someone suggested it was they wanted an experienced catcher handling the pitching prospects in AA.

        • ced landrum

          He isn’t good with the glove, that is what is holding Lopez back.

          • ssckelley

            Ok, I have not heard that but I can see that being a good reason. He has thrown out a good percentage of base stealers, he as at 50% the last time I looked. Must be that whole pitch framing thing.

            • ced landrum

              He has a very strong arm that isn’t the problem. He is a bit like Castillo was behind the plate.

  • Zoolander

    The question is what other assets could have been purchased instead with the same $90 million during that spending spree timeline.

    • ssckelley

      Still have not been able to find that “Reply” button yet so we know who you are replying to?

      • Head and Heart

        Well to be fair he only recently started a center for kids who can’t read good (and who wanna learn to do other stuff good too). He was never able to go that center himself. Such a facility just didn’t exist.

  • David

    LUKE: off subject a bit, I meant to ask you in your write up yesterday. Where would you rank the top 4 pitching prospects in this years upcoming draft in the cubs minor leagues, as it stands right now? Aiken #5?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Hard to say. Probably no lower than three would be my guess right now.

  • Spoda17

    Bryant is raking (I know you all know that)… interesting to see how the FO approaches this.

    • Thiscantbegood

      Most likely will finish the season in AAA. They probably don’t rush their #1 pick just yet. If he doesn’t become the Cubs 3rd basemen then he needs to find some playing time in LF or RF.

      • clyder

        I believe that Bryant will be up sometime late this year, however where will he play, is the question. Rightfield is probably a good bet. Soler will eventually go to left field, to save wear & tear on his legs. Problem is, until Olt, Villanueva or Candelario put up good numbers, Bryant may have to say at third.

        • ssckelley

          I think Villanueva will be fine, his SO rate is up just a little but he is also learning a new level. He already has 10 doubles on the season, a few more of those go out of the park and his power numbers look much better.

          Jeimer has been on a nice streak lately and is one of the better hitters at Daytona. Almora is the only player younger than Jeimer on Daytona by about 5 months.

          Olt is still adjusting to major league pitching, to early to throw in the towel on him. I think he can use more seasoning at AAA, just not sure who they replace him on the roster with.

    • CubsFaninMS

      I agree with Thiscantbegood below. All of this talk about Bryant coming up this season I believe may be a little premature. He better be kicking names and taking ass in AA and AAA in order to get a September call-up (as in what Rizzo was doing a couple of years back). This means a signficant improvement in his K-rate as he is already doing both in virtually all other categories. If Bryant and Baez both become major league sluggers, at LEAST one of them needs to have a favorable BB/K ratio. From what we’ve seen so far, Baez is not likely to be the one to do that. Bryant appears to have a better hit tool and patience at the plate. Baez looks to be like he’s heading in the route of being a second base version of Richie Sexson or possibly a less speedy Bobby Bonds. I would compare Bryant’s model as close to being a right-handed Jim Thome, although NO one should expect a prospect to have Thome’s overall body of work. Way too soon to be that ambitious.

      • Thiscantbegood

        It may just be me but I see Baez being a Dan Uggla type player. Dan Uggla in his career strikes out 28% of the time which Baez may end up doing. Uggla also could get into the 30’s on home runs and has a career batting average of .245. I feel like this is the guy Baez will become in the Majors.

        • CubsFaninMS

          Yeah, I think Uggla is a good comparison as well. From the indcations we’ve seen, Baez has the work ethic to make some good adjustments (much better than most). I think he will be a successful Major Leaguer, but at this point it is hard to believe his K-rate will ever be below 25% in the MLB.

          • http://bleachernation.com woody

            I think it’s probably a good thing that Baez is struggling now instead of doing something similar to what Castro went through last year. I think he is a very competative guy so a little humility and hardship will do him good in the long run.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Uggla is a poor comparison for Baez. Yes, both are K-machines. However, Uggla is a walk machine, too: more than once, Uggla has managed to post above-average OBP while having batting averages under 0.250.

          This is another reason why we really have to ignore BA in favor of OBP: BA would mistakenly imply a similarity that isn’t there.

          • Thiscantbegood

            So the only thing different really is the OBP between the players? I can see Baez putting up the same numbers as Dan Uggla has in his career with K rate, HR’s, RBI’s and BA.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              That difference in OBP will be a big difference in run production: it is far from an “only!” How many more walks a team draws than it allows is the 2nd biggest correlate with winning, after all.

      • ssckelley

        You know I would take a Ritchie Sexson type hitter at 2nd base. Heck if Olt played 2nd base I would be screaming for him to play every day even with his SO issues. Just the thought of having someone at 2nd capable of hitting more than pop ups gets me giddy.

        Bryant looks like the next Adam Dunn right now, when he hits he will do 1 of 3 things walk, strike out, or hit a home run. I would take that in the cleanup spot right now in the Cubs lineup. I did enjoy diehards comparison yesterday of Bryant to Mike Schmidt, the SO and walk rate are good comparisons but I am not sure he has the glove to be a gold glover.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I don’t believe Bryant is a true 3 outcome player, his hit tool is much too good to become that kind of guy

          • Norm

            If his hit tool were that good, he wouldn’t strike out 27% of the time In AA.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Those two things aren’t directly correlated. You can have some swing and miss in your game and still have a good hit tool. It is way too early in his career to declare Bryant a 3 outcome player.

              • CubFan Paul

                “You can have some swing and miss in your game and still have a good hit tool”

                Very true.

                • Norm

                  Yeah, but you can’t have A LOT of swing and miss and still have a good hit tool.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    He doesn’t have a lot (SSS) and he has a *plus* polished hit tool now..at least 6 on the scale

                    • Norm

                      a 6 “now”? That’s laughable.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “a 6 “now”?”

                      Yes, Bryant has an above average hit tool now.

                    • Kyle

                      No, he doesn’t. Not even close. He may never have a 6 hit tool.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Okay. Thanks.

                    • Kyle

                      Here’s a good, balanced scouting report on Bryant:

                      http://rotoscouting.com/kris-bryant-scouting-report-2014/

                      Hit tool: Present 45, future 50.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Here’s a good, balanced scouting report on Bryant: Hit tool: Present 45, future 50.”

                      That’s not a scouting report. Those are observations from *one game* by a prospect writer.

                      His hit tool is way more polished than below avg (45) & that future average grade (50).

                    • Kyle

                      1) It was more than one game. It was over a series.

                      2) What in the all holy hell does a “it’s not a scouting report, it’s observations…” mean? That’s what a scouting report *is*.

                      3) It really isn’t. Average MLB hit tools don’t strike out 27% of the time in AA. They just don’t. It’s not a thing that happens.

                      It’s too early in the morning to deal with this depth of stupidity.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      1) so observations from 3 games. Observations not from a scout.

                      2) I consider a scouting report: observations from one or more scouts, not some random internet writer who clearly didn’t get his info from scouts

                      3) Small sample size

                      And finally, I’m not stupid, you’re stupid, stupid. Stupid head.

              • Kyle

                Ability to not swing and miss is pretty much *exactly* what hit tool means.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  Not saying this applies to Bryant at all because it doesn’t, but you can have a good hit tool and poor pitch recognition which will still lead to a high K rate. It is very possible to have a low whiff rate in the zone but have a high whiff rate outside of the zone.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Contact ability plus squaring up the ball consistently, yes. That’s the hit tool to me.

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          That’s unfair to put him with Dunn as a comparison. Bryant gets his fair share of singles and gappers.

          • Norm

            So did Dunn, in the minors.

            • Thiscantbegood

              I remember when the Cubs first drafted Kris Bryant the analysts were comparing him to Troy Glaus, has that comparison disappeared? Because Troy had some big seasons, and I wouldn’t mind seeing that production from Bryant in the Majors.

              • ssckelley

                That would be swell!

                I just hopes he lasts longer in the big leagues than Glaus. Glaus was never the same after he got injured in St Louis and was retired by the age of 33.

              • Medicos

                Troy Glaus had some decent seasons, but I think Cubs fans are expecting a whole lot more from Kris Bryant.

                • Jon

                  I’d take Glaus like production in a heartbeat.(maybe just more longevity)

                • ssckelley

                  So what production are we expecting out of Bryant? Damn, Glaus or Dunn are not good enough? Heck put the 21 or 18 year old versions of Dunn or Glaus in this years draft and the Cubs take him at #4 without thinking twice about it.

                  • DarthHater

                    Personally, I won’t be satisfied with anything less than Mike Schmidt. ;-)

                    • ssckelley

                      To his credit he did find me ONE player who stuck out over 25% in the minors and had a successful career.

                • DarthHater

                  Glaus’s career wOBA was .365. That is outstanding. For comparison, Longoria’s is .369 and Beltre’s is .347, and Panda’s is .349. Equalling Glaus would be an excellent outcome for the Cubs.

          • ssckelley

            Hey I did not mean for the Dunn comparisons to be a bad thing. I would take Adam Dunn like production at 3rd or in left (if that is where he ends up) any day.

      • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

        Anthony Rizzo’s AAA numbers Padres and Cubs
        21.83 (age), 413 PA, .321 ISO, 26 HR, .369 BABIP, 10.4/21.5 BB/K%, .331/.404/.652, .408 wOBA
        22.83 (age), 284 PA, .351 ISO, 23 HR, .357 BABIP, 08.1/18.3 BB/K%, .342/.405/.693, .438 wOBA

        Kris Bryant’s 2013 (AZ,A-,A+,not including playoffs) and AA numbers
        21.42 (age), 146 PA, .352 ISO, 09 HR, .386 BABIP, 07.5/24.0 BB/K%, .336/.390/.688, .490 wOBA
        22.42 (age), 127 PA, .248 ISO, 06 HR, .391 BABIP, 14.2/27.6 BB/K%, .295/.417/.543, .459 wOBA

  • CubsFaninMS

    Now…just learn to Walk-mora!

  • 5412

    Hi Luke,

    Nice job once again. I have a couple of questions.

    1. You mentioned that Alcantara would likely be promoted sometime this year. The way Barney is not producing, do you think it might be sooner as opposed to later? Wonder what happens to Barney if that is the case.

    2. I told Brett in Mesa that it would not surprise me to see Bryant get to the major leagues ahead of Baez. They have made the point that you should do well at each level before coming to the majors. To me Bryant just seemed to be more polished than Baez. Do you think they might actually bring him up from AA?

    The two questions are linked as I think about it. If they bring up Bryant, then I would assume Valbuena moves to 2B. So in effect, it would look like Bryant jumped both Baez and Alcantara.

    Just wonder what you think about the idea.

    Thanks,
    5412

    • Chad

      Those are some good questions 5412 and as I see it (far from Luke’s knowledge here) but I hope they don’t move Alcantara up because Barney is playing poorly. I think your third thought (Boni and Valbuena at 2b) would be the better answer. Alcantara should only come up when he proves he is ready for it.

      As for Bryant I think we will see him at Iowa first. Look at how Baez killed AA last year and is struggling at Iowa this year. I think they will make Bryant take some ABs at Iowa no matter what.

    • CubFan Paul

      “If they bring up Bryant, then I would assume Valbuena moves to 2B”

      Bryant will go to the Outfield.

      • ced landrum

        Yes this could be right, because it something that isn’t being talked about a lot because he is hitting the crap out of the ball, but Bryant has 8 errors so far. I know errors aren’t the end all but for a third baseman in this few of games that is pretty bad.

        • Spriggs

          Yes, for some strange reason, his 5 or 6 steals have received more attention.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            I suspect he’ll head to the OF regardless of his performance with the glove at third this year, so it isn’t something I give much attention to in the daily write ups.

            • Chad

              So when do they start the conversion to the OF? Would they give him some reps at 3B in Iowa/Chicago just for a short stint, or is it strictly OF?

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                I doubt he would need much time to convert. Lake did it in the majors, and I suspect Bryant could as well in necessary.

                The Cubs might tip their hand if they send him to Iowa and have him play OF, but even if he plays 3B in Iowa I’ll still suspect his long term future is in the outfield.

              • http://bleachernation.com woody

                I still think at some point Baez gets the call at third base. A lot of that depends on Alcantara’s development and Olt’s performance.

            • ced landrum

              Here is my question. Why keep him at 3rd base to keep his “value” when no one sees him there long term and you see him as part of your future? Wouldn’t you prefer him to get his work in, in the position he will play long term?

      • Chad

        Maybe. I think he eventually ends up there, but if he makes it to Chicago this year (September?) he will probably get some reps at 3B just to see.

        • CubFan Paul

          “(September?) he will probably get some reps at 3B just to see.”

          I Doubt it. He’s not very good there because of his size. His rocket arm translates to the corner OF, so he has the chance to be a plus-defender out there, but definitely not at 3B.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Alcantara may need a little more time than we expect in Iowa because he is a switch hitter – that’s twice as many swings that need that final coat of minor league polish.

      If I had to guess, sometime after the trading deadline, assuming all these players play to expectations and are not dealt, I think we’ll see Alcantara up and playing outfield, Baez up and playing third, Valbuena the every day second baseman, and Bryant likely up and playing outfield.

      • CubFan Paul

        “assuming all these players play to expectations and are not dealt”

        Alcantara wil be a huge trade-chip this June/July if Theo&Co are serious about spending money/assets now to next year’s team (CarGo, Stanton, Tulo, Kemp).

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I want CarGo and Stanton as much as anyone, but with their teams in the hunt, these guys are FAR more likely to be dealt in the off-season than they are at the deadline. Trading those two guys greatly decreases their chances of making the postseason this year.

          • CubFan Paul

            I can’t see either team passing up a top prospect laden package. The Cubs have surplus, teams will listen.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              That makes no sense. If they fall out of the race, then sure, those deals work, but if they’re in the hunt, they would not make trades that significantly hurt their playoff chances.

              • CubFan Paul

                But what about the future and sustainable success?

                • DarthHater

                  Every chance to win is sacred. :-P

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    Exactly. Why throw away a chance at the playoffs this year when they can get the same deal for prospects from a team like the Cubs (different situation for a team like the Red Sox) in the off-season?

          • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

            Yeah, it would nice to have an off season move I can get behind. CarGo in LF would be amazing and signal to fans we’re out of the rebuilding phase (although, you continue to rebuild). He’s struggling this year (to his standards), but still producing better than what we have out there now. Schierholtz, Sweeney, and Kalish are in the negative WAR category. If Bonifacio is flipped, and Junior Lake is included in a package deal with Samardzija, a 2015 outfield of CarGo/Alcantara/Bryant would be sick.

            CF Alcantara (S)
            SS Castro
            1B Rizzo (L)
            RF Bryant
            LF Gonzalez (L)
            2B Baez
            3B Valbuena (L) / Olt
            C Castillo / Lopez (L)
            —————————
            OF Sweeney (L)
            OF Soler
            UT Mota or Vitters?

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          I think it would be stupid to deal Alcantara. A top of the order switch hitter with speed and pop in the bat is exactly what the Cubs need. I watched him crush a ball in one of those last two games in ST and it came from the left side. Bonafacio has better power and average from the right side and is little more than a slap hitter from the left side. Alcantara would be an upgrade over anybody currently on the club IMO.

          • CubFan Paul

            “I think it would be stupid to deal Alcantara”

            Not if value (pitching) is returned.

            • http://bleachernation.com woody

              I think at some point soon we need to upgrade the outfield. Preferably with a left handed power bat. Between the draft and a Shark trade we should be OK with pitching. I’d like to see Hammel and a prospect of two packaged to trade for a young left handed outfielder with power.

              • CubFan Paul

                CarGo.

          • Chad

            Depends what you get back and what else you have to give back to get a deal done. I like Alcantara, but I would deal him in the right situation. Same with Baez honestly. The only one that is untouchable in my mind is Bryant.

  • Jon

    May we restart the Hannemann-Elsbury comparisons?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Jon = Harold Reynolds?

    • CubChymyst

      I’m happy to see the K% coming down.

  • Napercal

    Has anyone seen reports as to why Baez is struggling? Does need to learn to cut down on his swing in certain situations? Just wondering. I know it’s a small sample size still, but hitting below the Mendoza line is concerning especially since he isn’t hitting for power either.

    • Kyle

      At the moment, he can’t lay off breaking balls out of the zone.

  • http://iawrestle.com On The Farm

    The question I want answered is when does Bryant move on to AAA. I wouldn’t mind driving to DSM and catching Bryant, Baez, and a hopeful Hendricks sighting. Though I wouldn’t mind watching Jokish on the bump either.

  • TommyK

    Did I misread a box score, or did Baez go 0 for 12 with 8 strikeouts this weekend? That doesn’t get mentioned in this post? Did anyone at any level of pro baseball have a worse weekend at the plate than Baez?

    • Sandberg

      And he’s not playing today.

    • Jon

      *Exceeding expectations

    • Karl Groucho

      Looks right to me. There are probably high enough odds that someone will bring/has brought this up in the comments that it need not be addressed in the dailies. But, it’s certainly relevant information about our most hotly-tipped prospect — as relevant to my interests as, say, Will Remillard getting 2 hits on Saturday.

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