Keep Your Hand Off the Javier Baez Panic Button and Other Bullets
We’ll be thinking about the folks in Oklahoma today (and tomorrow and next week … ), and hoping that things come out as well as possible in a situation like this.
- Sahadev Sharma yesterday wrote about a variety of Chicago Cubs prospects in a piece that’s well worth a read. Of particular note, Sahadev shares his thoughts – derived in part from talking to folks around baseball – on why we shouldn’t yet be panicking about Javier Baez’s slow start at High-A Daytona this year (complete with a million strikeouts and a million errors). The money paragraph: “The fact that Baez’s early struggles were not unexpected, at 20 he’s still young for the league and the Florida State League is known to be pitcher-friendly all make Baez’s problems at the plate a little easier to swallow. As one AL scouting director said prior to the season, ‘It’s OK if we see him putting up bad numbers at Daytona — it’s all part of the process.’ Baez’s disappointing start isn’t something to get riled up about, but how he reacts and adjusts to these issues in the coming months will tell us a lot about his future.” For whatever it’s worth, over his last 35 plate appearances, Baez has just four strikeouts. (Just two walks, though.) Of course, he’s got just one homer in his last 16 games, so it seems likely that there’s some instruction and tinkering going on. Also small sample sizes, and all that. But these are the kinds of micro-adjustments Baez will have to make as he progresses. What you’re looking for is a strong second half from Baez, with a slightly reduced K rate, a slightly increased BB rate, and a stabilization of his power. We’re not even to midseason yet, so there’s plenty of time.
- Sahadev mentioned to me yesterday while we were recording the podcast – fresh episode coming later today – that Dale Sveum said Matt Garza will be on an 85-90 pitch limit in his return against the Pirates today. That sounds about right, given how long its been since he pitched in the bigs, and the need to temper some of his natural excitement. These first few starts are about staying healthy and continuing to get strong. Nothing wrong with that.
- Tony Andracki looks at the Sean Marshall trade, and figures that the Cubs are looking pretty shiny on that one, given how well Travis Wood is pitching.
- The Cubs have another Player of the Week in the Florida State League in the form of Dustin Geiger, whom you might recall had the doubleheader of a lifetime last week. The former third baseman has mostly played first for Daytona, and is hitting a robust .327/.398/.513. Geiger is 21, and his peripherals look good (even if/when the lofty .364 BABIP comes down, that slash line could still look quite good), so there’s plenty to like about the performance thus far. If he’s permanently moved to first, though, the bat is going to have to carry him all the way up the chain, and, even then, some positional versatility is going to be required if he’s going to find a spot on the Cubs’ roster. That’s all a long ways off, though. The best we can say right now: Geiger is definitely relevant.
- Thanks for a good time yesterday during the first BN Off-Day Q&A on Facebook and Twitter. I couldn’t possibly get to all of the questions, and I learned just how tiring it can be to do an hour of that, frantically scanning questions, flipping back and forth between the two sites, thinking of useful/clever answers on the fly. Hopefully you enjoyed, and for those who missed it, you can see the entire chats by looking here on Facebook, and looking at the #BNQA hash tag on Twitter.
- I was on the Midway Baseball Today Podcast yesterday, talking about various Cubs things. You can listen here.
- Don’t forget to sign up for this week’s one-day fantasy contest. It takes 5 minutes, is free, and gives you the chance to win a share of $300. It also helps support BN, so sign up. Full details here.
But What About a Happ Extension, Suzuki Defense, Busy Day, Rucker, Replay Timing, and Other Cubs Bullets
FOLKS! The Cubs Are in “Advanced Discussions” on a Nico Hoerner Extension!!! (UPDATE: It’s Happening!)