Cubs drubbed by the Indians 13-5


Here's some quick impressions of today's game...Notes on radar readings from Quedub.  Thanks!

  • Not much went right for the Cubs today.  The good news is that Alberto Cabrera only walked one batter.  The bad news is it didn't mean he had great command.  The Indians teed off on the Cubs SP prospect, getting 7 hits in 2.2 innings, most of which were hit pretty hard -- including 2 long HRs by Lonnie Chisenhall and Mark Reynolds.  He gave up 5 runs in all.  The Cubs don't have much to gain by returning him to the bullpen, as it's a transition that needs no real prep time.  They could do it at any point. They may as well give it some time and see if Cabrera can make the adjustment. ** Cabrera was 94-95 mph up until the 2nd inning and then dropped down in the 91-93 range.  Slider was at 80-81***
  • Brooks Raley didn't fare too much better, going 2.1 innings and allowing 5 runs himself, 4 earned.  Raley has pitched himself into a hole as far as getting the open bullpen spot created by Carlos Villanueva's move to the rotation.  Chris Rusin is well out in front as far as roster lefties.  Non-roster lefty Hisanori Takahashi also has pitched well, and he'll get the start tomorrow.**Raley was 90
  • Don't forget about Casey Coleman.  He impressed Dale Sveum with a good spring last year and he's off to another good start.  He pitched 2 scoreless innings and did not walk a batter.  He has not allowed a run in 4 innings so far.  Coleman was at 91-92 mph.  By comparison Trevor Bauer was 92-93.
  • Scott Hairston continued his rough spring by going 0-3 and misplaying a ball in RF.  Good thing it's just spring training.
  • Alfonso Soriano had a long HR and a double today in his 2 ABs.  He's hitting .357 and with teams, notably the Yankees, suffering injuries early, he may start to draw some interest if he continues to swing the bat well.
  • Jorge Soler had a single, a walk, and a stolen base as he continues to hold his own this spring.  Soler has struck out in 41% of his PAs, but lets not forget he was off for over a year, played a total of 34 games -- and only 20 in full season ball, then had the winter off again.  All things considered, hitting .250 with a .353 OBP is as well as we could have expected.
  • Johermyn Chavez continues to impress.  He hit his 1st HR of the spring and is hitting .333.
  • Logan Watkins is going to AAA but he's making sure Sveum remembers his name.  He has played solid defense and is hitting .313 with 3 extra base hits in 16 ABs.

Here's your box score...


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  • Brutal....

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    I've heard that Soriano has now taken Soler under his wing (much like he did Castro). I can't even believe I'm saying this, but I'm not sure I move him at this point -- unless the offer is just too good. He does far too many things that really help stabilize a young team.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I really like that he bring that. Have been stories this spring how he goes out of his way to make young players comfortable.

  • I always take stock for the final two weeks of ST of how hitters are attacking the ball.....

    but if you are a pitcher, and have an ERA over 20.00 in the first two weeks of Spring Training, that is not good.....pitchers should have the advantage in the early going.....

    Cespedes had a high K ratio when he started with the A' is all about plate discipline....and Soler will master his pitch selection.....can't wait for 2015 for this guy....

    Barney cannot afford a slow start with the bat....Watkins is on his heels....

    I cannot see a roster spot for Coleman, unless we have more pitchers who go down with injuries like sprained pinkies, violent sneezes, QE 2 stomach ailments or in grown toe nail infections.....

    Takahashi and Fujikawa would be a great story for baseball and the Cubs if they are on the team together.....they could communicate with each other and be more relax before entering the game.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Actually, you have it backwards. Hitters have a major advantage early in spring, not the pitchers. Most pitchers are working on new pitches, looking at location and in some cases are just throwing fastballs.

    In the coming weeks, you will see ERA's drop and performances from the likes of Soler and Baez drop as well.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    correct most guys are just throwing fastballs and mixing a curve from time to time.

    Way to early to take any stands on anything. If you are struggling and young/inexperienced right now, it is going to get ugly in a week or 2

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Cespedes also was more experienced and played at the highest league in Cuba. So he had that advantage as well. We need to give Soler a little time, like you say.

    Coleman was at 91-92 today. Throws better out of the bullpen.

  • Mike I agree with you , Soriano can help our youngsters alot! I think the FO feels the same way! Thanks for the up dates John, Tom and Felz as usual. I'll be going back down the hill on the 19th
    against Texas. Hope some of the youngsters are still there.

  • In reply to Cubs26:

    You're welcome. Give us an update when you're there!

  • I got my first glimpse of Johermyn Chavez watching the Cubs/Angels game on MLBN. Between, Soler, Lake and Chavez(all 6'3" plus despite what Lake's listing is)-these three guys look like Calvin Johnson clones ready to drive defensive secondaries nuts. Looks like Chavez showed quite a bit of promise a few years ago-is he being targeted for AAA currently?

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    I think Chavez has played well enough to go to AAA. He had some great numbers a few years ago and was a top 10 prospect of the Mariners.

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    John, what do you think about the idea of trading Castro to the Cards?

    I was thinking about it last week but quickly dismissed it. But Buster Olney brought the idea up in an article yesterday which made me feel slightly less crazy.

    To be clear, Castro is my favorite Cub. He's among the best hitters in the league and his defensive liabilities are greatly exaggerated...

    But the Cards had a bad SS situation when Furcal was HEALTHY. He's hurt now and they have a bad 2B situation as well.
    I realize the Cards like homegrown prospects, but a guy like Castro, in a team that hits that well already would have to tempt them.
    We would certainly obtain Oscar Tavares (who at the moment is blocked), and while even his bat doesn't make up for the position value of a SS.... We have SS depth and the Cards have the young pitching we DEFINITELY need.

    I mean, Miller, Rosenthal, Martinez, Wacha. Arguably all more promising that any pitcher in our minors.


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    In reply to Giffmo:

    I can't overstate how much it pains me to suggest it, but with their IF situation... there's SO much to gain.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Your plan is to trade an establiahed major leaguer -- where the question is will he be an annual All-Star or a Hall if Famer -- for a pitching prospect. Pitching prospects are notorious for failing to live up to their hype. (Ask the Royals.) This has about a million ways of going terribly wrong and only one way of going right.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    "A" pitching prospect?

    The plan would be to trade a top ranked SS for the #2 overall prospect in all of the major leagues PLUS two, maybe three top 100 ranked pitchers.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Missed that. I literally can't remember the last time the Cardinals traded a guy like Taveras. That team does not panic, ever.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Fair, but one could argue that dealing for young all-star SS that can hit isn't panicking as much as it is improving.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Ernie Broglio is available.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think it's almost impossible to get value for Castro because of the fact he's a 22 year old SS, under team control for 8 years on a friendly contract and playing the most premium position in baseball -- and unlike any of the prospects, he's already had sustained success in the majors. Because of that you have to pay a premium for him if you want him. It's almost cost prohibitive. But if the Cardinals want to let us clean out their system, I'd listen...I just don't think it can get done.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly what I'm suggesting.

    I realize such trades are rare, but it's such a unique scenario.

    A very good roster with a good rotation that has a massive, glaring hole at SS.

    And for all the reasons you listed about Castro, it seems like something they'd have to seriously consider.
    This isn't a Theriot or a Scutaro.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I have doubts the Cardinals would want to do it either, though. If they do, great - I'm sure the Cubs would listen as they'd listen on anyone. But they have always won with scrappy little shortstops. Would they really gut their farm for Castro? It just seems uncharacteristic of the Cards or the Cubs FO -- an extreme long shot from either side.

    I'm just not buying this one. Sounds like pure speculation on Olney's part. I doubt there's any basis to it and if the rumor mill gets out of hand, I bet we'll hear from one or both GMs that say there has never been any discussion.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Olney said it wasn't a rumor,just speculation on his own part. I just thought it made for interesting discussion.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Ahhh. Thanks...haven't read Olney in a couple of days. I do agree it does make for an interesting philosophical discussion. That type of trade, as you say, is rare -- but do you do it if it improves your team in the long run?

    Of course, you do, but whether it does improve your team is a real tough question to answer. It would have to start with Tavares and Miller and I'd want at least one more of those great arms and then one more good young player. It's a scary deal though because there's only one player guaranteed to be an all-star level player, and that's Starlin Castro.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Sure, I'd deal him for the right package. But unless that package starts with Shelby Miller and Oscar Taveras, I'm not interested in hearing another word.

    But yeah, if they offered Miller, Taveras, Rosenthal, Martinez and Wacha, he's all yours, St. Louis.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Trading a player like Castro with 8yrs of control left you don't ask for prospects in return. Your trying to get the other teams best ML young players and then go for top prospects. Taveras and Miller would be the deal-sweeteners in this scenario. Even that last deal. All those prospects could flop and it'll be the worst deal ever. Add David Freese to that package and we'll talk.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Meh. As long as you get some major league ready guys, I think you're fine.

    You're saying you'd turn down the package above that I talked about? Because I certainly don't think TheoJed would. All 5 of those guys would be up this year or next.

    And I don't really think Freese is the type of guy they'd want anyway. He's a FA after 2015, which is right when (I think) the Cubs are hoping to start their contending teams. And that deal just opens up another hole for the Cards, so as unrealistic as this discussion is in the first place, that makes it even more so.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Honestly there's not a package i'd accept from the Cards. If i'm going to trade Castro I need at least 3 young, impact ml-ready guys to start with(similar to what Miami was rumored to ask for if Stanton was available). The only player who qualifies as such in that deal is Taveras and maybe Miller. That's not enough for me. Then again I don't know St. Louis' system in and out so a few of those guys might be impact-types and I just don't know it.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Rosenthal has almost as much potential as Miller and is close to ready.

    Martinez has a lot of upside. Maybe more than Miller, but less certainty.

    Wacha is pitching Really really well in ST. He's younger. Has a couple seasons in the minors yet, but projectible.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    No offense, but how can you say there's not a package you'd accept from the Cards and then later claim you don't know much about their system?

    Taveras is a stud and Miller is ranked a top 25 prospect in baseball by pretty much everyone. Rodriguez and Rosenthal have been rated top 50 prospects by pretty much everyone as well. Wacha is on most top 100 lists and is as high as #58. All of them have ETAs this year or next.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Don't buy into all the hype about John Mozeliaks faberge eggs. Taveras has a shot, but he is trying to become what Castro is, an elite player in his early 20's. And not at a premium position. He got kicked off his winter league team for a bad attitude, his ex major league playing manager said he needs to quit hanging around with a bunch of derelicts. Give me Soler, Baez, and Almora instead.
    What do the Cardinals know about producing quality major league starters? Their track record over 40 years is the worst in baseball.
    Rosenthal will be a relief pitcher, he can throw 100, but obviously not as a starter over 5 innings, and his secondary pitches are average at best. Miller I predict will be a bust, probably due to injury. Already having shoulder problems this spring. Martinez weighs 160 pounds, and hasn't even reported to spring training yet. Wacha has pitched 21 pro innings, they already have him half way to Cooperstown.
    I will take the Cubs prospects over the Cardinals at this point. Can't believe all the love the media gives them, this is a franchise with aging players at most positions, and on the decline. And now they are jerking Wainwright around on a new contract.

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    The worst in baseball? They lost Pujols and still had the 4th best batting average and #1 OBP in the majors.

    I'm not following.

    Not to mention, you said "give me solver, Baez, and almora instead."
    That doesn't make sense. No one is suggesting trading our prospects for theirs. We would still have Solver, Baez, and Almora.

  • Starters, as in starting pitchers. You can count on one hand the quality starting pitchers they have developed over the last 40 years.
    And I meant I like our 20 year old prospects as much or better than Taveras. Soler looks spectacular if he can hit the breaking stuff.

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    You know who else likes our 20 year olds more than Ta cares?

    No one.

    Ta cares is in the top 3 of pretty much every single top 100 list. Profar and Bundy are pretty much the only guys consistently rated higher than Ta cares.

    Look, I'm all for being a die-hard fan, but if you're just going to blindly pretend that our prospects are awesome and everyone else sucks, its kind of silly.

    You want to doubt Martinez and Wacha? Cool. Doubt Rosenthal? No one is perfect. Doubt Miller? Crazier things have happened. Doubt Tavares? You don't have a lot of company.

    Do all that while speculating that Wood will become a stud?

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    Don't get *too* caught up in the rankings. As recently as 2010, BA had Jason Heyward ranked #1, ahead of Steven Strasburg (2), Giancarlo Stanton(3), Buster Posey (7), and Starlin Castro (16). And don't forget that Ian Stewart was once considered in Oscar Taveras land.

    His raw numbers have been nothing short of incredible. But if cubbieron is right about his head, it's entirely possible that he doesn't live up to his massive promise.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    St. Louis has the system and if they want Castro, they have plenty to come get him with. The real question is would you trade a guy you know will help your rival?

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Yeah, like Tulane said, if it opens holes for them, its a non-starter anyway. That why MLB players get traded for prospects and vuce-versa 90% of the time.

    Not to mention, for a rebuilding team like the Cubs, prospects is exactly what you want.

    And even if you do still want MLB players, many analysts were surprised that Miller wasn't in the rotation LAST season. He's ready.

  • Mike I agree again, prospects are that prospects! I hope the 2nd pick is a position player, and pitchers later. Would like a catcher somewhere in the first few rounds.

  • Hey everyone. Quedub was at the game and gave us some radar readings. I listed them above.

    Cabrera at 94-95 early, then dropped to 91-93.
    Coleman at 91-92.

    Huge h/t to Quedub!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wish they made a radar app for my iPhone.....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That would be awesome.

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    I like the velo on Cabrera for his first start. I know he played winter ball but that still tells me he should add a few extra ticks on that by the end of ST. Not worried about him getting hit. He kept the walks minimal. That's what I look for in a guy's first couple spring starts "was he walking guys?"

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    He does have to hold that velo better. Hopefully that comes with some time as he works up his stamina. Slider velo seemed a bit down too.

  • If the Cardinals have a "huge hole" at shortstop, I say leave it that way.

  • I didn't even realize Coleman was still in the organization.

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