Winter Ball in Puerto Rico Coming for Javier Baez? And Other Bullets

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Winter Ball in Puerto Rico Coming for Javier Baez? And Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News, Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

javier baez featureThe Wife just mentioned a proposition from a friend of hers that they give up sweets until Thanksgiving. I’m sure there’s some health benefit there, but I really don’t know that I could do it. And what counts as a “sweet” anyway?

  • Another Spanish-language publication for Google Translate to mangle: it looks like Javier Baez is going to be playing winter ball in Puerto Rico this December. Unlike the Arismendy Alcantara winter ball situation, which appears to still be in the discussion stage, this article on Baez makes it sound like (I think) he’s definitely going to play, starting on December 11. At that point in the season, there would only be a couple weeks left, but the opportunity for him to try in-game the things he’s presumably been working on could be really great heading into next year. Call it workshopping his approach. I’ll wait for a little more confirmation on this before taking it as a fact that Baez will definitely be playing.
  • It was another mixed day in the AFL for Cubs prospects, with Dan Vogelbach and Bijan Rademacher having great days at the plate (but Rademacher had an error), Addison Russell having only one hit (but it scored two runs (but he also had an error)), and Ivan Pineyro striking out three and walking just one in 2.2 innings (but giving up three earned on a couple hits, including a homer).
  • A fun read on versatile Cubs prospect Anthony Giansanti, who can claim another tool in his tool belt: the ability to get roommates to the big leagues. Seven former roommates of Giansanti’s have made the big leagues at some point. I’m going to start scouring Craigslist for shared space postings from Giansanti. Might be the only way I ever make The Show.
  • The Cubs are paired up with some of the nicest ballparks in minor league baseball: Four Winds Field in South Bend shows up at number 62 on this ranking, although it’s about to get significant upgrades; Principal Park in Des Moines is 43rd; Smokies Park, home to the newly-adorned Tennessee Smokies, is 24th; and Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach is all the way up at number 4. I will definitely have to schedule some trips.
  • Over at Cubs Den, John took my (admittedly very limited) thoughts on the relative value of Kris Bryant playing left field or third base, and expanded on them massively, to including all kinds of possible defensive alignments and the overall value to the team. Keep in mind: the point there is not to be precise on valuations, because we have relatively limited information at this point and have to make a whole bunch of assumptions. Instead, the point is just to think about these issues.
  • Rob Manfred tells Eric Fisher that the pace-of-play initiatives in the Arizona Fall League have drawn “mixed reviews.” Hamburgers.
  • It has been brought to my attention that the guy who created wOBA – Tom Tango, noted sabermetrician and consultant for the Cubs – actually pronounces the term more like wubba, and not whoa-ba. (Halfway through this Sesame Street video, you can hear it pronounced correctly.) Alternatively, it can just be the letters, W-O-B-A. So, although the way I was saying it in my Saber Short on wOBA may have lent itself to a nice Joey-from-Blossom reference, it was not, you know, correct. My apologies for steering you wrong on that – all of the substantive info about wOBA’s awesomeness was accurate, however – and I will now try to go about the process of unlearning how I’ve been saying it, which will hopefully be more successful than my effort to properly pronounce “GIF,” which its creator says is “jiff.”


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.