Franchise Players, Different Archer, Tazawa Out, Cubs Develop Catchers, and Other Bullets

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Franchise Players, Different Archer, Tazawa Out, Cubs Develop Catchers, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have not won a series in over a month. Can you even remember what series it was without checking? Does it immediately come to mind? It sure as heck didn’t for me.

It was the series sweep at home against the Cardinals back on June 7 to June 9. Woof. Let’s go, Cubs. Get back on the horse.

  • A heads up for today’s game against Chris Archer: although he’s been terrible with the Pirates, he apparently just decided to scrap his sinker, which was the primary reason he kept getting blown up. So if he looks a lot better today than you were expecting, based on his numbers, don’t assume it’s solely the Cubs sucking. It might be that he worked some things out the last few weeks.
  • Yu Darvish on the other side of the bump. Man, this is quite a match-up of guys who used to be extremely awesome, and are currently going through a year and a half of being extremely disappointing.
  • FanGraphs is doing a draft where they pick “franchise players” – throwing out contracts, real life teams, etc., which guy would you most want to build your team around – and the highest apparent Cubs are all the way down at 21 (Javy Baez) and 24 (Kris Bryant). And, I mean, I guess I can understand kinda, but I have a hard time believing there are 23 players you’d want as your organizational centerpiece BEFORE Bryant. We don’t have the full list yet, and I know that age plays a part, but if you’re throwing out contracts, then you’re going to have, what, six years of elite offensive performance?
  • Eyeballing it, Baez seems to be in about the right spot – a quality shortstop who is only 26 and can give you high-level offensive performances? Yeah, I doubt there are many more than 15-20 players in all of baseball you’d build around before Javy.
  • A few second-half-kicking-off rundown articles worth your time:

  • Roster moves at AAA Iowa, with reliever Junichi Tazawa moving on (likely so that he can pursue an opportunity elsewhere):

  • As for Higgins, 26, you’re likely looking at next year’s internal depth catcher option. He’s a good athlete who is good behind the plate, and has been about average at it throughout his minor league development. His no-power, high-contact style won’t translate to much offense at the big league level, but it’s possible he wouldn’t kill you, and would be good enough defensively/receiving to be a useful third/fourth catcher for the next few years. A future big league back-up, even? It’s possible.
  • A note on that: one area the Cubs have killed it is in developing useable catching prospects. Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini, obviously, but also a guy like Taylor Davis, who went from undrafted signee to a big league back-up, back-up catcher. One of the top prospects in the system, Miguel Amaya, is a catcher. Jhonny Pereda is a possible future big leaguer at AA. It’s no surprise the Cubs added several notable catching prospects in IFA and the draft this year, too, since they clearly have a good system in place for developing catchers.
  • Amazon is doing its deals in advance of Prime Day, so check those out.
  • This is fantastic. Just watch and enjoy:

  • What’er you doin’, Robbie:

  • The NBA offseason is so nuts that even I had to write up a breaking transaction (it me fourth on the BN Bulls depth chart, first in your heart):

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.