Cubs News and Notes: Cubs among most improved? Platoons, Scouting spring training, top prospects, Peralta, MLB Draft Updates

Cubs News and Notes: Cubs among most improved? Platoons, Scouting spring training, top prospects, Peralta, MLB Draft Updates
Ryan Stanek

I haven't done a news and notes in a while so let's catch up on some interesting links...

  • The Wall Street Journal did an analysis on which teams improved themselves the most this offseason.  The first team, the Blue Jays, probably won't raise any eyebrows considering how they acquired the likes of R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and others.  The second team, however, may surprise you.  It's our own Chicago Cubs.  They calculated that the Cubs have added 8.2 wins with their offseason moves -- though it helps that the Cubs had no key losses.  Still, the WSJ only figures it will make this rebuilding year "somewhat less miserable".
  • Christina Kahrl of ESPN wrote a nice article on teams maximizing offense with platoon shifts.  It does not include the Cubs but when I asked her, she did say the Cubs are among teams employing this strategy this season.  As you well know, this is something I've been talking about all offseason.  The Cubs have made some calculated additions this season that have improved the pitching staff and perhaps the defense behind them -- but the offensive additions are less obvious.  Players like Nate Scheirholtz, Scott Hairson, plus holdovers David DeJesus and Dave Sappelt can be used in situations where their strengths are maximized and their weaknesses minimized through less exposure. I wrote about one possible arrangement for the outfield here.  The Cubs may still need a platoon partner for Ian Stewart or Luis Valbuena at 3B.
  • Bernie Pleskoff writes an interesting article on scouting, particularly during spring training.  He focuses on mechanics and not  performance. Good information for those who want to learn more about the scouting side of the game.
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks are very impressed with Starlin Peralta.  Manager Kirk Gibson said he had "electric" stuff and GM Kevin Towers said that Peralta is "the kind of arm you like to keep in your system."  The problem for AZ is that there is no room in either their rotation or their bullpen.  Unless a spot opens up through injury, the Diamondbacks may look to make a deal.  It's something they've done in the past with their rule 5 picks.
  • Baseball Prospectus came out with their top 101 prospect lists and there are two Cubs in the top 20--Albert Almora (18) and Javier Baez (20) -- and two more in the top 54 -- Jorge Soler (36) and Arodys Vizcaino (54)
  • A curious top 100 list of MLB Draft prospects by Matt Garrioch of SB Nation.  I say curious because it's different from many lists we've seen.  It starts at the top with Ryan Stanek at #1 and 3B Kris Bryant at #2 -- and you'll see quite a few more unusual names throughout the top of the list.  I have to say my philosophy toward the draft is different.  While I like Bryant's bat, for example, there is no way I can put a guy who has a good chance of winding up at 1B that high.  In fact, 3 of the top 6 players may end up at 1B.  The concerns about Stanek -- high effort delivery, command, and lack of a 3rd pitch -- make me think there's a reasonable chance he winds up a reliever and I'd be uncomfortable placing him at the top.  But I suppose that's what makes these things fun -- people look at players differently with different philosophies.
  • Keith Law reviews some draft eligible players who have disappointed thus far. Top 5 candidate RHP  Jonathan Crawford was at 89-92 and, coupled with his mechanical issues and the lack of a 3rd pitch, could drop all the way out of the top 20. RHP  Karsten Whitson is out for the year after undergoing shoulder surgery and Stanford OF Austin Wilson is also injured. Top rated SS Orlando Mercado turned in a poor performance in the early going.
  • As for players who have done well early on, RHP Mark Appel rebounded from a shaky opener to go 7 innings with just 3 hits allowed, one walk, and 11 strikeouts.  Sean Manaea also started strong with a 6 scoreless innings of one hit ball.  He struck out 10.  OF Clint Frazier has hit 3 HRs in his first 2 games.
  • We'll have our own draft piece coming up in the next couple of days.  We will also roll on with our minor league preview.  We left off with the Daytona hitters and we'll go with the pitchers next.

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  • Between now and the June draft, there are going to be many and
    many top lists coming out. It still depends on if you really want a
    pitcher or the best player (non-pitcher) Will there still be a good
    pitcher available with their 2nd (43?) pick?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Absolutely. In fact, that's the subject of our next draft article - which will be out tomorrow or Wednesday.

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    I really, really hope Manaea pitches himself out of the Astros price range.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I hope they try that same draft strategy because Manaea is a Boras client and he won't agree to a pre-arranged deal.

    I should also mention that Carlos Rodon had the best outing of all: 7 IP, 0 H, 0R, and 14K.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, but we aren't getting him. So we make do with what's available.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Are you just talking about this year, or are you saying we won't be drafting in the top of next years draft?

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    We will not have the #1 pick in the 2014 draft. The Astros and the Marlins are truly awful -- both will compete for 110 losses.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Houston will be awful, yes. But they won't pay for him.

    This thought that we can't be as bad as next last year, its just plain silly. 110 losses is possible for us. Completely. 95 losses is possible too, sure.

    WSJ can predict we pick up 8 wins, but that's without notable loss of personnel. Trades may still happen. And even if they don't, a little bad luck can go a VERY long way on a roster with a dearth if talent.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I guarantee you the Astros will pay for Rondon. Unless something weird happens and his stock drops, I'd be shocked if they didn't pick him and sign him. Hell, I think it's a cornerstone of their strategy right now.

    Pile up #1 picks. If there's no elite talent, get the top guy on the cheap and buy guys later. If there is elite talent, take it and sign it.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Astros dumped a lot of their best personnel mid-season as well and unlike the Cubs they've made no attempt to replace any of it.

    And have to say, rooting for bad luck -- which is essentially injuries and player regression -- is an odd way to be a fan of a team. You should consider being a fan of the Astros or Marlins if you want to see your team tank an entire season for draft picks.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    To be totally fair to the Astros, they aren't the Marlins. The Marlins are tanking now and forever in order to keep the revenue sharing money coming in and lining Jeffrey Loria's pockets. Giancarlo Stanton is on his way out next winter, and Jose Fernandez will follow suit in a few more if he reaches his potential. The goal there is be awful at all costs.

    The Astros really are trying to stockpile young talent in order to compete in the near-ish future. I'm on record as being a big fan of what Luhnow is doing and -- if I were king of the world -- the Cubs would be doing something similar. I think they're going to be world beaters in 5 years or so.

    Having said that, I respect the hell out of the rebuild on the fly Theo has done and am not sure that his way isn't better at the end of the day. His way gets us Arodys Vizcaino who, despite the Tommy John surgery, probably has fewer questions than anyone we take with the #2 pick we're obsessing over. We'll get fewer impact players the further in the draft we pick -- though picking in the teens hasn't stopped the Cardinals under the old rules -- but we can make up for that with clever trades, and Theo is proving quite adept at that. In a sense, he's building a team that plays to his strengths.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's probably true. The Astros are in a different situation. They don't have a single up and coming player other than Altuve and maybe a pitcher or two on their roster. Part of that was by design. They didn't pick up much in the way of MLB ready talent until their most recent trade. Not sure if they were unable to land a Rizzo/Vizcaino type or they intentionally looked for lower level prospects. It could be the former because they really didn't have great talent to trade. At any rate, unlike the Cubs it was apparent as early as mid season last year thata they didn't have a chance to compete based on what they had on their roster. If the Cubs were in that situation I might feel differently and approve a tank job.

    Marlins have less of an excuse. I agree there. It was just bad management. They made a desperate attempt to make a run and draw in fans, then gave up on it after one year.

    I really do believe you have to build your team up in phases -- bring in waves of talent rather than putting all your stock in prospects. We've talked often about how they don't always turn out and the Astros, who have a similar system to the Cubs -- perhaps even less so in terms of top tier impact talent -- are completely depending on that system to compete in 3-4 years. They're going to need a lot of those guys to pan out or they could become the next perpetually rebuilding team.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    unless something happens between now and then he is the obvious pick to go #1 in the 2014 draft (most people think he'd go #1 in this years draft as well), it is very possible that he will be the first player we see a team go into the penalty to sign and with the astros and marlins looking as bad as they look for the foreseeable future it is very unlikely the cubs will draft high enough to acquire him, even if were in the top 5.

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    In reply to jshmoran:

    We are potentially just as bad as the Marlins.

    And if Garza gets traded, he can totally hang with the Astros.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    we could potentially be bad, but not as bad as the marlins or astros. the cubs have a major league caliber player at all 8 starting positions and all 5 guys guys in the rotation. houston and miami are going to be trotting out some combination of a mlb, AAA, and AA players this year. and both teams play in way better divisions than the cubs, its not plausible to think that the cubs even with some bad luck will be nearly as bad.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I find it really hard that any team can be as bad as the Astros. The Astros are much further away from the Cubs than just Garza. They don't have anyone like a Rizzo or Castro or a veteran like Soriano. I'm not even sure they have a 2 WAR player other than maybe Altuve. They're almost a AAA team. If the Cubs are as bad as the Astros, then there is something seriously wrong with Theo's rebuilding process.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's an insult to a AAA team.

    Completely agree. The Cubs have made moves to get better this offseason. So far as I can tell, the Astros moves were, genuinely, to make themselves worse. Amazingly, the one piece that could have helped them short term has seen 1/3 of his season go up in smoke.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    There's all this talk about how awesome our roster is, but the roster was better last year and we have the #2 pick. Astros had SIX more losses.

    And it wasn't like everyone had a bad year.
    Soriano had his best year as a cub.
    Rizzo came up and played as advertised.
    Barney won a gold glove.
    Castro, even while taking a small step back didn't have a bad season in any way, shape, or form.
    Dejesus got on base like crazy.
    Dempster was amongst the best pitchers in baseball until the deadline.
    Shark played awesome.
    Malholm was outstanding.
    Garza was Garza.

    Even before Rizzo came up, we had a 30yr old 1st basemen no one knew mashing with the likes of Ryan Braun (for about 6 weeks until he fell of the face if the earth)

    Those are ALL pieces the Astros didn't have last year. And they lost 6 more games than us.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Nobody is saying the Cubs roster is great and I think your analysis is highly subjective. Descriptions are tailored more to fit your argument than anything. Proper statistical analysis have suggested the Cubs are a 73-77 win team, which is potentially 20 games better than the Astros in 2013.

    I don't you think you realize just how bad the Astros roster is. Even if you do just a simple analysis of the net gain in WAR, its a 9 game swing this offseason, putting them about 15 games ahead of the Astros. And then you have to consider the Astros will play in the toughest division in baseball.

    You can keep dreaming the Cubs can be the worst team in baseball if you think it's all worth Rodon...but it's not going to happen.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The Astros will lose 100-110 games this year, maybe even challenging the 62 Mets record for futility. Miami at least has Giancarlo and a few decent spare parts. And I wouldn't be surprised if they lost 100 this year. Miami almost reminds me of there 98 team after they won the WS and then traded everyone who helped them win.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Even if Garza gets traded, we are looking at a 77 - 80 win team. If he stays, we could be a few games above .500.

    This is a substantially different team from the one that played last September. Whoever plays CF is likely to much better offensively than Jackson was last year - even if it Jackson himself out there. And Schierholtz is starting to look like a steal for right field. And again, the combination of Castillo and Navarro is likely to be substantially better offensively than Soto/Clevenger was.

    In fact, the only black hole in the offense is likely to be third base, and there is still a good chance that whoever plays there will perform better offensively than Valbuena/Stewart did last year.

    And the pitching staff is substantially improved. The bullpen, especially, is light years above the group that lost a dozen games for them in the first half alone. And the starting staff is certainly better than the Germano/Lopez group that led us through much of last year.

    Disaster can happen, and if it happens early, the Cubs will probably go into fire-sale mode in July, as they did last year. But the odds are much more against that happening than they were last year at this time.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah, it's almost easier to catch the Giants this year than the Astros.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    And, you know... I know I sound crazy, but there's just something about this team. I can almost make out the pieces coming together.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think it's going to be one of those teams that is better than the sum of it's parts. I think they have a chance of getting above league average production from their OF platoons, Soriano, Castro, Rizzo, Barney, and Castillo -- not to mention several SPs. I don't think they'll contend, but I think they'll be better than a lot of people think.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    To contend, they need everything to break their way. Including someone putting up above average offensive numbers at third. That's the piece that's cloudiest at the moment.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It is important to improve each year in a rebuild. I like the way the FO put this team together without messing with developement. I get the feeling these guys know what they are doing.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed! I think there's value in not beating up your young players with losses and having a good veteran influence in the clubhouse.

    I'm watching the Astros with great interest. Will they be like the Rays/Nationals or will they be more like the Royals/Pirates?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I still see the Cubs as about a 75 win team. IF they get above average Offensive production from C and 3b and similar numbers from Rizzo/Castro/Sori as they did last year, maybe around .500 or just a little better. They would need virtually everything to go right to win 85-90 games, including key players on other division opponents getting hurt, to be a playoff team. I just don't see all those things happening, even though I seriously think the Reds are going to regret moving Chapman into the rotation.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    75 sounds like a good number to me too. We'll do a poll on that a little later in the spring.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I can see this team swinging either way,...

    They could hold to expected form and be about a 0.450 win percentage team before the All Star Break,... or they could just play way over their heads relative to what is expected.

    If the expected ~0.450 pct. team is what we see at the Break,... then I would expect a sell off of some of the more tradable contracts. If/When this happens,... the win Pct. could get quite a bit worse by the end as the youngsters get kinks worked out Playing time wise.

    If they are contending for one of the expanded Wild Card spots at the Break (I don't see a diviison title as realistic),... then it could get far more interesting at midseason if they stand pat with what they have.

    If I were really a betting man - I would say ~80% chance of the first scenario,.. maybe 20% for the second.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    That seems pretty fair. And I agree -- if they're competitive, they'll stand pat. No big prospects-for-vets moves at the deadline. And the howls will drown out the cheers.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    There is a SP out of Cal State San Diego named Michael Cederoth throwing in the upper 90s and gas said yo gave hit triple digits. He also as very good secondary stuff. I will go see him at some point this year. He is 2014 eligible.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    @ Kevin Gallo, John and I were having a discussion on Facebook the other day about Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton and the 2014 Draft. Any thoughts on him you might have would be much appreciated.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I've been hoping for Frazier but hopefully both continue to impress and we end up with one of them.

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    In reply to kylejo:

    I'm not completely sold on anyone -- other than Carlos Rodon -- but I just want the Cubs to have the option to take Manaea.

  • The positional tool priorities in Pleskoff's article are enlightening. I found myself wondering how Soriano wound up in left rather than right field. But then I've always found the difference between the tool priorities between right and left field to be a little mysterious.

  • In reply to BudMan:

    Soriano does seem like a better fit in RF. I remember they actually tried him in CF first. Maybe part of the reason is that RF is harder to play in Wrigley. Personally I always thought LF was easier than RF because most hitters were RH and it's easier to get a read on the ball.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm glad you posted the link to the Pleskoff article. It gives me a deeper appreciation of the nuances of evaluating players and positions.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    You're welcome. Got to give a hat tip to CubsML on that one.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wonder if statisticians can figure how many runs are saved with a strong armed RF who discourages the opponent from attempting the 1st to 3rd advance.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I seem to remember Soriano volunteered to play center when the starter got hurt, then Sori himself turned an ankle, was out about 2-3 weeks, came back and returned to LF. He was a disaster in CF, especially was poor in the routes he was taking. Up until McKay turned him around, Sori wasn't a very good defensive outfielder. Im wondering what wonders McKay could have done with him when he was younger.

  • In reply to BudMan:

    Actually, The problem with Soriano as a RF is that his throws tail, which hampers his accuracy to both 3rd(from RF) or to home, while it actually helps his throws from LF.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I know, he doesn't use the crow hop. Throws like an infielder and it actually helps in left when throwing to 3rd or 2nd and home if he is swallow.

  • I'm sure Arizona would like to trade for Peralta if he clears waivers. However, since he has upside, and would necessarily be off the 40 Man if it got that far, I'm not sure who the DBacks have that Team Theo would prefer to Peralta that GM Towers would trade.

  • In reply to tim815:

    Agreed. Might be tough to get a good match there.

  • In reply to tim815:

    With the drugs that Towers has been huffing down this offseason, might as well start by asking for Tyler Skaggs and work your way down.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    nice.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    haha agreed.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Our old buddy Randall Delgado might just be in play.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    If Towers wants a drug fix, Id suggest Archie Bradley.

  • Thank you for the updates on the amateurs, John... I totally agree with your philosophy about the draft and I'm almost sure Theo does as well... Theo or Jed even made a comment about how they like drafting SS' because they are usually good athletes and can move to any position... This said, I'm sure they didn't mean they are going to draft a SS in the first round, but they have considerations for the positional value.

    That said, I think the 1st round pick will just be the best talent available regardless of the position, but I also think that a guy that plays 3B but is projected to move to 1B in the future is probably not the best talent available in the 2nd pick.

    I see that Austin Wilson could be dropping with this injury... The good part of this, is that if he drops too much, the Cubs may have a shot at him in the 2nd round... Encouraged to hear about Clint Frazier and Sean Manaea, I'm thinking that if they stay healthy, they could go 1 and 2.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I'm hoping the cream rises to the top and that the most talented players have the most productive years. Want to see there be a situation where there is 3-4 players worthy of the top pick so that Theo, Jed, Jason get to choose from a few guys.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed, especially with a draft class considerably weak like this year's.

  • In reply to Caps:

    My nightmare scenario is that there's one player head and shoulders above the rest of the class. I suppose if that happens then you can always use the strategy the Astros used last year.

  • I just looked at the SB Nation prospect list. Other thing I was surprised with was how low Meadows was rated(17). But my personal favorites still are Manaea with pick (2) and Ciuffo with pick (43). They are rated 4 and 49 on the SB Nation list so according to that list they should be available when the Cubs pick. I have to admit though most of my information on prospects is based on what I read on Cubs Den.

  • In reply to John57:

    I'd be happy with that combo. And it sounds like you're getting draft info from the right place :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's the best there is.

  • personally im hoping that the cubs pick a pitcher and a catcher with their first two picks. my hope is that they fall in love with manaea or a catcher plays their way into the top 5, the cubs pick him, and then focus on pitching throughout the rest of the draft.

    im also hoping that the cubs get starling peralta back from arizona, the only way id be okay with him not coming back is if we worked out a deal for a starter who was of similar caliber and closer to major league ready than him.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I think Denney has the best chance to crack the top 5 because of his ideal size, defense, and power potential.

    Hoping we get Peralta back to but AZ going to pull out all stops to keep him. I'm not as confident as I was when they first picked him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We will have someone go see Denney in person when their regular season starts.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Looking forward to that. Only saw him in UA game and he played pretty well --but didn't stand out the way Frazier did.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Which reliever do they trade to make a spot? Their pen is really solid six deep. Then they have a few flex-starter types, and Skaggs, who will get optioned.

  • In reply to tim815:

    I'm not sure they trade one of their RPs. I think they'd like to make a deal with the Cubs to keep Peralta in the minors. If they fall in love with him than the Cubs should ask for a lot, we know that Towers will give up talent if he likes a player.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Maybe we can talk Towers into trading us Bradley..... sigh... one can only dream.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think that Arizona really likes Peralta, but at this point, so do the Cubs. It will be difficult for Arizona to convince the Cubs to trade his rights without giving up a player that Hoyer likes just as much.

    Either way, if they can't keep him on the 25 man roster and he clears waivers, the Cubs will end up with a decent prospect or prospects.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I agree Dave and I really hope it works out this way. I think the odds are they get him back -- or at least an equivalent arm, as you say. The worst case scenario for the Cubs is that the D'Backs make a trade to make room or wind up with a couple of injuries to the bullpen and decide to keep him on the roster.

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    That's really tough for Karsten Whitson. With all the talk about the draft, a lot could be decided by how these guys play this year leading up to the draft.

    And considering many experts thought Whitson was disappointing last year compared to his freshman year, he was still just a great year away from being in the #1 pick conversation.

    But with only 8 weeks to recover, he'll certainly be well rested for the 2014 season. He could make a next year's draft more interesting than just the Rod on sweepstakes.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Really tough luck for him. He has to regret not signing as the 9th pick a few years back -- and I do remember talk that he could be the #1 pick by his junior year.

    Maybe somebody gets a steal later in the drat.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    He and his father have already decided to redshirt this year. So 2014 hell technically be a junior still.

    I bet he'll play very well and be selected high. Should be fun to see.

  • The cubs will play the American League West this year in interleague play. We will get to see the Astros again. However, playing the Rangers, Angles, and Oakland will lead to mostly loses.

    The new owners of the tribune may want to sell WGN 720. Would it make sense for the Ricketts to buy it or at least co-own it with the Blackhawks?

  • http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2013/2/25/4008588/2013-mlb-draft-prep-week-two-starling-peralta

  • How much would the DBacks be willing to give up if there were to trade to keep Peralta? A top 20 prospect maybe? Because if Peralta comes back he probably starts at A+ and makes a top 20 list by the end of the season. I mean he currently sits at 26 for the DBacks now.

    Like that Appel rebounded, but I'd still rather have Manaea though the usual "it's still early" caveats apply.

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    In reply to Furiousjeff:

    The Snacks are a pretty good team. They should make the playoffs. There's questions on whether they can hold onto him, so if they WERE going to trade to keep him, it'd have to be someone on the roster. And that's not going to happen.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Dbacks* but that's the best autocorrect I've seen in awhile.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    That's the money question. Theo knows their system now, down to the DSL.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    The one thing that worries me about Manaea is he's been walking more hitters than Appel. I hope that improves.

  • Actually, Sean Manaea has pitched 11 IP so far with 16K's and 1 run. I am following Indiana State via twitter with the updates every time he pitches. He is a pretty good lefty.

  • In reply to IndyHaute:

    I just updated his last start. I'll probably give season updates when there are bigger samples.

  • Top Ten Trending items on Yahoo includes a rumor trade of Soriano to the Yankees.......only a Lindsey Lohan story topped this one.

    I like to predict right now that Wellington Castillo will be on the NL All Star team......

    Soriano DH today......I still say DeJesus has a better chance of getting traded before Soriano.....

    How good are the Blackhawks!!!!!

    .

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Well, they haven't lost a game in regulation this year. And every other team in history will similar starts has won the Stanley Cup. Lookin good so far. Have they even played anyone in the Eastern Conference yet?

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    A good point. When you're Theo Epstein last June and looking at a skeleton that includes Samardzija in his prime, a young Starlin Castro, and potentially Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson ready soon, that's a really nice foundation for a team, and it makes sense to cultivate that instead of dumping it and starting over.

  • Luhnlow is a very good talent evaluator. If he sees a potential star being draft-available at #1 , he will sign him. Im betting its not any of the pitchers. My guess is one of the 2 high school OFs.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I get the feeling they'll go with the best combo of signability/upside. That may well be someone like Frazier, who I think is like Almora in the sense that he's a baseball rat who just wants to go out there and play. I can't see him choosing college over starting his pro career.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Dean Smith used to have a philosophy on what he advised his players about entering the NBA before your college eligibility was up. It was simple-if you are a likely top 5 pick, leave college and go pro, since in his opinion you would never again likely have such an opportunity. It worked out very well for MJ, Perkins, Worthy, Daugherty, etc. The one guy who didn't follow his advice was Scott Mays son, drafted # 12 and never a factor in the NBA. Seems good advice for a HS kid going into pro baseball.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I'd agree to some degree. Seems like baseball has a wider range of possibiities, much more open than basketball. Hard to make an impact in basketball if you're not a top 5 pick. Baseball seems more variable in that respect.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    Sean May is who you speak of. Supreme bust when healthy and injuries sealed the deal for him.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    TY, I remembered he was Scott Mays son, but didn't remember his first name. Left college after his 2nd season(NC beat Illinios for the national title the year he left), but did so in spite of both Dean Smith and Etheridge advising him not to go pro.

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