The Instructional League is Over and Other Bullets

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The Instructional League is Over and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

cacti mesaWe’re two days away from the start of the World Series, which begins on Wednesday. Cardinals, Red Sox. Adjust your attitude accordingly.

  • The brief Instructional League in Mesa is over, with the Cubs having played just 12 games (it comes at the end of the regular season, and these are young/injured players, so a short league is required). As he does each year and with each league playing in Arizona, TCR’s Arizona Phil has compiled unofficial Instructional League stats. They’re fun to look at, and I’d encourage you to do so … as long as you don’t put any stock in them. The sample size is minuscule, the competition is thin, and the “games” are only barely games. Trey Martin, Shawon Dunston, Jr., and Gioskar Amaya were among the offensive stars, while 2013 draftees Tyler Skulina, Rob Zastryzny, and Trevor Clifton were among the top pitchers.
  • Some of the players in the Instructional League – hopefully Arodys Vizcaino, for example – will participate in international Winter Leagues next, but most will either head home for some rest, or continue to work in Mesa.
  • Next stop on CSN Chicago’s tour of the Cubs organization? Shortstop. That means Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. Among the many interesting quotes in the piece? This one, from VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod: “Do I think [Baez] can come up here and you’d want him to be the shortstop catching groundballs [at Wrigley Field right now]? I can’t sit here and [pound] the table today. [But] I think he will be that guy, [or] could be that guy, for sure.”
  • As folks digest the White Sox’s Jose Abreu signing (6 years, $68 million), a consensus reaction has pretty much been established (this Baseball Prospectus piece  and this FanGraphs piece sum it up well): kudos to the White Sox for going boldly after the one potential difference-maker at first base on the market this offseason, but there’s a whole lot of risk in spending that much money on a bat-only player who has never played in the States.
  • Best fans in baseball! Still! Credit to the Cardinals fans who recognize that this angle is not only wholly played out, but has become a vicious cycle of annoying.

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Author: Brett Taylor

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