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Cubs Game Notes and Thread: Scotch, thoughts on the MLB Draft, and a hypnotic GIF

Cubs Game Notes and Thread: Scotch, thoughts on the MLB Draft, and a hypnotic GIF

The Cubs take on the Marlins tonight so we cannot say they lack the talent to win this time.  If the Cubs play mistake free baseball, we should see a couple of wins.  If the Cubs lose to the Marlins, well, then I'll be as frustrated as many fans are right now.

I will have to say that I was encouraged by the Cubs better play against the Reds, even though the bullpen and offense are still unreliable.

There was no minor league recap last night because only one team played, and that was the Tennessee Smokies.  The player who stood out again was Arismendy Alcantara, so instead I wrote up a profile on the little infielder with electric skills.

And it's my birthday today.  Is a win over the Marlins too much to ask?

If the answer is yes, then plan B is a little scotch.  Come to think of it, that's probably plan A.

In the news...

  • Since the NFL draft is tonight, I'm going to chime in with some MLB draft thoughts...Kris Bryant is really raking again and is up to 21 HRs on the year -- 5 more than any other college hitter.  He continues to get on base and draw walks.  His line is currently at .353/.523/.883 and there's a growing consensus he could stick at 3rd.  We all know that Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray are the consensus 1-2 -- but it doesn't mean they rank that way for the Cubs.
  • I've referred to this before, but according to a study done by Puckett's Pond on first round picks from 1995-2008, the odds are better for a college hitter to make it to the bigs than a college pitcher (83% to 72%).  College hitters make it to the majors faster (approximately 2/3 of college hitters make it to the bigs in 3 years or less as compared  to just over half, 55%, of college pitchers).  College hitters are also more likely to make an impact once they get there.  20% of college hitters become all-stars as compared to 12% of college pitchers and 12.22% of college hitters have 20 career WAR as compared to just 3.79% of pitchers.  So if the Cubs aren't absolutely in love with Appel and/or Gray (whomever is available to them), then perhaps they will consider the best college hitter -- and right now that appears to be Kris Bryant.  Of course, when we're talking about Mark Appel, most scouts think he's pretty much ready to pitch in the big leagues now, so the odds that he'll be a big leaguer are pretty close to 100%, as are the odds he'll be there within 3 years.  The question then boils down to long term impact.  i still believe they'll take Appel if he's there because of the combo of floor and ceiling.   However, I'm not so sure they won't consider Bryant if the Astros go with Appel.
  • Umpires are now admitting that Jean Segura should have been out in that bizarre baserunning play in which he "stole" first base.
  • Not Cubs related but still cool to watch...  Check out this GIF of Yu Darvish's 5 pitches -- at the same time.  Kind of hypnotic.

Today's Lineup:

  1. DeJesus CF
  2. Castro SS
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Soriano LF
  5. Schierholtz RF
  6. Castillo C
  7. Valbuena 3B
  8. Barney 2B
  9. E. Jackson SP

What to Watch For:

  • FelzzNate Schierholtz. I expect a lefty to get it cranking against Kevin Slowey. So let's go with #19.  Plus in that spacious outfield Schierholtz legs might save a base or two and keep possible doubles to singles and all.
  • John:  I'm looking for the Cubs to jump on the Marlins early and the key will be David DeJesus. He has handled Marlins starter Kevin Slowey pretty well when he's had the chance to face him.
  • Tom: Darwin Barney needs to contribute some more consistent offense.  Nobody expects a lot, but so far, except for the HR, he's been a void in the lineup.  Cubs can't afford that.

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    John, I haven't watched him at all but I have to ask, because it's on my mind as the Cubs might consider drafting him, is Kris Bryant in any way going to be Pat Burrell part 2? 3B who might move to LF or 1B but more importantly will put up pretty decent offensive numbers but never quite live up to the hype of being a top pick. Or does he appear to be a true stud prospect? I didn't hear his name at all until the last month or so on this site, so I wonder, what type of prospect was he considered before this current season? We so desperately need a young stud SP at/near the top of our rotation, passing on Appel or Gray would seem risky, but at the same time the "sure bet" of someone like Bryant or a high school hitter isn't always a sure thing. Look at how many high school hitters the Cubs have drafted number 1 that never made it to AAA.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Not comparing them as players but I think it's more like Pat Burrell. I don't consider him a true stud and in a good draft he probably doesn't go top 5. But that doesn't mean he isn't the best bet to make it outside of Appel. The question becomes whether you think Gray is also a front of the rotation prospect. If you think he is, then you take him.

    At this point, though, I may rank Bryant as 3rd on my list of guys I'd draft this year (behind Appel and Gray).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks. You'd pick Bryant over one of the other pitchers like Manaea? Interesting. As much as it would be nice to add another top young hitter to build around, I just think that our organization is so devoid of good young SP's that it's crazy to pass up whomever their top 1 or 2 rated SP is, risks and all. At some point if we truly are ever going to contend we need to add some top pitching and here is a chance to do that and not cost $147 million in free agency. At worst they pay out $6 mil and whoever is a bust. That's easier to swallow than paying a 30 year old free agent who isn't really an ace and has 1500 ip on his arm $100 mil +.

  • fb_avatar

    Drink enough Scotch and the Cubs offense may look passable.

    Happy birthday!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks. And if an extra scotch is what it takes to make them look good on my birthday, then I'm doing it ;)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Happy birthday John, you are probably going to need to pour another as it is 3-1 Marlins in the 4th. Oh we'll, enjoy anyway.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    Haha. I did wind up having a second -- but it all worked out in the end.

  • fb_avatar

    Wow, I'd missed this in the chaos. Dylan Bundy has a sore arm and is going to visit James Andrews for a second opinion.

    This is yet another reason why Bryant may be a reasonable pick -- there's no such thing as a lock pitching prospect.

    http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2013/04/bundy-getting-second-opinion-from-dr-andrews.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+masnroch+%28School+of+Roch%29

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yes, that is also a consideration. I don't know who pointed that out before. Maybe emartinez?

    Heard the Cubs absolutely loved Bundy, by the way, and early on it looked like was going to be there for them, but late momentum dashed those hopes as it got closer to the draft.

    Would have been the Cubs luck had they had the chance to draft him, wouldn't it??

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    No kidding. Can you imagine how what the boards would look like right now if Bundy instead of Baez had been the pick? You'd be calling in trauma specialists to guest post. Looking back on it, the two prospects from that draft who -- right now -- I'd rather have than Baez are Francisco Lindor and Jose Fernandez. They're looking pretty special. But so is Baez. (And Fernandez has the risk that the massive push they've given him requires his own visit to Dr. Andrews soon.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Haha! I probably would need trauma specialists.

    I think it's fair to say Baez was a good pick in that spot -- better, in fact, than the pick after it by Hoyer/McLeod who I think would have picked Spangenberg even if they had Baez available. They fell in love with the guy.

  • fb_avatar

    Happy birthday, John!

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Thank you Joao!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to João Lucas:

    Yeah, Happy Birthday John!

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Thanks JW!

  • happy birthday John.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Thanks Toby!

  • Happy birthday!

    What brand of scotch?

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Thank you. Don't know yet on the scotch. Waiting for wife to get home with it! I'll let you know :)

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Friend just came by and got me a bottle of 16 year old Aberlour double cask.

    And it is yummy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's one to add to my "must try" list...

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Highly recommend!

  • Happy Birthday John.

    Question on Bryant. If the Cubs did draft him and he signed relatively quickly, where do you think they would send him to start?

    A+ - Too low for Bryant?
    AA - We have a prospect there
    AAA - opening there at least at this point

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Thanks Irwin. I'd start him at A+ in his first full season.

  • fb_avatar

    Oh, and I will be skipping the Cubs game tonight to get my first look at future Cub Killer Oscar Taveras tonight. The Sounds are pretty awful, so he should get his chances.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's so bad when you know it's coming and there's nothing you can do about it.

  • Hippo birdie two ewes
    Hippo birdie two ewes
    Hippo birdie Dear Johnnie
    Hippo birdie two ewes

    And thanks for all you do!!

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Haha! Thanks Hubbs!

  • Does Theo go for a pitcher who is really needed or a safer?
    pick in a hitter (talent being equal) What about all the 3rd
    base prospects we have? Can any play 2nd or the OF

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think they won't pick on need. They'll take the BPA, which for them means the best combo of floor and ceiling.

    As far as prospects, only Lake can probably play the OF well. Don't see it with Candelario, Villanueva, Vitters, etc -- but you can't count on those guys making it either. You have to take the guy you think is best.

  • I've been hoping that the Cubs would get a solid 3b prospect either from the draft or via a trade since Ramirez was still in uniform. Now they have that chance...I want them to draft a front-of-rotation starter instead. Oh well.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    haha! Judging by the Cubs efforts to pursue a young 3B this off season (Olt, Chisenhall), I have to think Bryant will get strong consideration ., There is another 3B in Moran, but not sure he's worth a #2 pick. Better pure hitter but less power.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Might Moran be available in the 2nd round?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    No. I think he'll go top 10 and definitely top 20.

  • This just in from the "where are they now" file (actually, from the Iowa Cubs site):

    3B Josh Vitters was placed on the disabled list on April 9 due to muscle spasms in his back. He is currently in Arizona to play in extended spring training games with hopes of a possible activation next week.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Cool. Thanks. I knew he was injured, but that appears to be a new one.

  • Happy bday! Thanks for all the work you guys do. Love the minor league recaps. Missed it today but with only one game? I'm already drinking a lil scotch for you tonight. I live in Ohio and the MLB package is not showing the cubs game and my cable doesn't have the NBA network so no Bulls either. Might as well drink then . . . ?

  • In reply to ddbennett34:

    Cheers! Thanks for the B-Day wishes. I didn't do a recap, but promise I'll do one tonight or early tomorrow morning. I decided to do a profile on Alcantara for a change of pace.

    What scotch are you drinking?

  • I think are best hope for a third baseman is still Baez. He's got the glove and bat to carry the position. We just have to accept a little inconsistency from Castro as our SS. With Alcantara as a potential second baseman, good infield.

  • In reply to ddbennett34:

    I'll take it if they all pan out.

  • fb_avatar

    Happy Birthday John, and great name by the way! I’ve been following Cubs Den for about 2 years, and after silently enjoying all of the great content you guys provide, I wanted to echo other readers and express my appreciation for all of your hard work. With all of the cynicism that usually surrounds the Cubs, it’s been great to find a community of intelligent, passionate and hopelessly optimistic Cubs fans who think the way I do. I often think some members of the local (and national) media could benefit from reading this blog, since you provide such a coherent picture of the team’s rebuilding plan. I know it’s been said before, but Cubs Den is a terrific way to get through these lean years! Keep up the good work!

  • In reply to John Winter:

    I'm glad you decided to comment, John! Thanks for the birthday wishes and the kind words.

  • fb_avatar

    Our greatest organizational need, aside from pitching, is catcher right now.

    If Mike Zunino was in this year's draft, the Cubs might be seriously tempted over Appel/Gray

    But probably we'll take one of them, whomever is left

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree in part. Don't think the Cubs would draft on need. But they'd like a patient college hitter with power at a premium position -- which is what Zunino is.

  • fb_avatar

    When it comes to free agent pitchers, there's Anibal Sanchez and there's not exactly.

  • I think Sveum has to think about moving rizzo down the order.

  • In reply to seankl:

    I think he has to think about sitting Rizzo for about a week.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Hawks12:

    I think sitting him will kill his confidence and throw his timing way off. The only way to break a player out of a slump(especially a young one) is to keep runnin 'em out there.

  • fb_avatar

    Happy birthday John! Thanks for all the work.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Thanks Zachary!

  • fb_avatar

    *great work

  • C'mon Marmol. This was looking good. Good thing I'm having another scotch. it's a 2 scotch night.

  • Woohoo! Cubs win!!

  • fb_avatar

    nice article in Fangraphs about Soriano's pinch at-bat in
    Cincy wednesday:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/alfonso-soriano-and-the-antithesis-of-situational-hitting/#comment-4037802

    Also fairly damning subtext about Sveum

  • fb_avatar

    Nice article on Fangraphs about soriano's at-bat in Cincy on wednesday:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/alfonso-soriano-and-the-antithesis-of-situational-hitting/#comment-4037802

    Also fairly damning subtext about Sveum

  • fb_avatar

    sorry about the dupe

  • Got to say, loved those last two pitches. 93 mph FB with some arm side run and then gets him to chase a slider away on the next pitch. Not sure if Marmol did it it on purpose, but it was textbook.

  • John
    Just wanted to say Happy Birthday! Thanks for all you do. I'll have a scotch in your honor.

  • John, I'm just drinking a little (or a lot) depending on your perspective of Glen Livet, 12 yr. cause that's what I had available? Glad we pulled one out. Looking forward to your minor league recap and felz's game summary tomorrow. Thanks for all your work!

  • I think Bryant definitely deserves consideration. He has Beast written all over him. Three super solid college impact guys to choose from!

  • I am a little late but Happy Birthday John.

  • fb_avatar

    A little late to the party but happy birthday, John! And thanks for all you do!

  • I only have time to read the blog early a.m. and didn't know it was your b-day, John. So happy belated birthday and let's hope your birthday started a winning streak.

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