Cubs Notes: Castillo out for the year, looking ahead to the MLB Draft, and a clarification on Sveum

Cubs Notes: Castillo out for the year, looking ahead to the MLB Draft, and a clarification on Sveum
Trea Turner

No recap today as the Cubs lost 9-5, but there is plenty of news that came from the game regarding the closer situation.

There are sometimes in life where you can rely on what you hear or read and we certainly do that hear.  Then there are times when you have to infer from context.

Then less frequently when it comes to the world of baseball, you have some related experience.  Today is one of those days for me.

Welington Castillo will miss the rest of the season

  • Welington Castillo will have surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus his knee.  My first feeling was..phew!  Not that I'm an orthopedic surgeon or anything, but I did the same thing about 10 years ago playing basketball.  It hurt...a lot.  But an MRI later I was told it was a partially torn meniscus in my left knee and I was given the option of surgery or rehab.  I chose rehab and I was already feeling better in just a couple of weeks.  Of course, I didn't have to catch everyday.  On the other hand,  I'm also not a giant ball of muscle like Beef Welington. The recovery time is 4-6 weeks and I presume surgery is the better route for Castillo but then he will rehab and build strength around the knee to stabilize it.  He should be back well before the spring if his experience is anything like mine.

On the Dale Sveum situation

  • I think sometimes when you don't flow with the narrative, people assume you are on the extreme other end of things.  Am I a Dale Sveum supporter? Not necessarily.  Do I think there are concerns about Sveum this season?  Absolutely, I do.  We've talked about concerns about the development of the core players.  I think that's tough to ask of an MLB manager, but it's fair and it's part of his job.  Sveum knew that going in.  Here is where I don't agree with the narrative:  Just because Theo Epstein didn't give a vote of confidence or refused to comment on Sveum's future, it doesn't mean he's "on the hot seat" or "a lame duck".  I think that's a tremendous leap.  As someone who used to work in the training, development, and evaluation of employees I can say that I believe Theo when he says they are in a process of evaluating -- not just Sveum, but every staff member.  I can tell you from personal experience that the number of times we talked about an employee's future publicly before finishing the evaluating process was...ZERO.  There simply is no good reason to do that.  So while there is some concern about Sveum and I don't necessarily think he's the long term manager, I do believe that they are simply in the process of making that decision and will not comment until that process is finished.  Reading into a non-answer in not something I would do because I would have given a similar non-answer if I were in Theo's position.  Why can't we just assume he is being honest here?  And, by the way, yes, I still believe Sveum is coming back for 2014.

On the MLB Draft

  • Did some chatting on the draft today as it looks like the Cubs are now locked into a top 4 pick barring the corpse of what was once a good White Sox team suddenly springing to life in the last 8 games.  Here's a few thoughts: 1) Carlos Rodon is the consensus #1.  He is not falling to #4.  Let's cross him off the list.  2) Alex Jackson probably isn't going to stick at catcher, and if he doesn't he's not a top 5 pick.  He may not even be a top 5 pick even if he does.  3) The early guys you should keep your eye on are Jeff Hoffman, RHP and SS Trea Turner.  Both fit the Cubs profile.  They are college players, which is what the Cubs prefer when they are picking this high.  Hoffman is an athletic pitcher with a power arm and the potential to develop good command.  Turner is an athletic, up the middle player who has enough bat to move to a different position if necessary. 4) One college arm to watch is Luke Weaver, who got some buzz as a member of Team USA.  Cubs Den contributor and Big League Futures scout Kevin Gallo thinks he'll surprise this year. There's also Tyler Beede, who looked like a top 3 pick until command problems derailed him.  He's still considered a top 10 guy but f he turns it around, he's worthy of a top 5 pick.

 Kevin Gregg out as closer

If you heard Gregg today, he was pretty upset at losing the closer job for the rest of the season to Pedro Strop.  And there are unconfirmed reports that he was told he wouldn't be back next year.  I understand why he'd be upset.  He's a competitive athlete and he's trying to prolong his career -- he's not looking at the Cubs long term rebuilding project.  But he didn't handle it the right way.  He's a short term solution and the Cubs gave him an opportunity to resurrect his career.  He was waived by the Orioles earlier this year and now he goes into the offseason off of a good season and a chance to cash in.  And not just that, Patrick Mooney reports the Cubs kept and used Gregg long enough for him to finish his 50th game, which earned him an extra $500K in performance bonuses.  I'd say they treated him quite well.

His reaction didn't get by Epstein and the two met.  Gregg apologized to both Dale Sveum and Epstein, but it's still possible he'll be released before the season ends.

UPDATE: Gregg misunderstood and assumed he wasn't part of next year's plans.  That isn't true, but it doesn't look like he did himself any favors with that outburst.  The Cubs will still decide on his possible release tomorrow morning.

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  • I missed the part where it was stated that Gregg is not in the Cubs plan for 2014. Is that official?

    I am really beginning to think that Theo handled the Dale thing poorly in his comments. He should know by know that the media will overreact to stuff like this. He should have simply said the FO will evaluate everyone after the season and left it at that.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I actually heard it on Kap's show but I think it may have been part of the original misinterpretation.

    I don't know if you saw it today but Theo looked pretty annoyed at the questions. I think he tried to be honest and everyone wrote what they wanted to write anyway.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    "The media will overreact to stuff like this." Yes, they'll over-react if you give the "dreaded vote of confidence." it will over-react if he doesn't. It's no-win if you are trying to score it from a media perspective. Which one shouldn't if you're Jed/Theo. Sounds like Sveum took the media scrum in stride, which means the right amount of communication is going on in the background. Like John, I'd bet Sveum's coming back for another year, which is good for his development as a manager, and good for the Cubs to continue evaluating his full talents as a leader and developer of talent. Unless Sveum pulls a hissy-fit like some of the players recently, but if he does then Jed/Theo definitely know they don't have the right man moving forward. That would be unfortunate as it would force them to make a decision outside their preferred time line.

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    john I think the reason people are jumping to conclusions and reading into Theo's comments about Sveum is simple - he has a year left on his contract, if he's not on a hot seat it would have been the easiest thing in the world for Theo to fall back on that and simply say something like, we hired Dale for a 3 year gig and that's what we expect to complete right now. Remember Sean Marshall was "a guy you build around" 3 weeks before he was traded. If he can't even muster up that kind of platitude for Dale, I'd say there certainly MIGHT be some smoke. To say you're "evaluating" someone after year 2 of a 3 year contract is clearly and justifiably inviting speculation that year 3 is not a fait accompli. Add to that the wild cards out there - namely Girardi who fits well in many ways, I don't think the speculation is too outrageous. That said, I don't think it warrants much more than a raised eyebrow, for now.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    That's just not how it's done -- at least not by an honest, professional organization. You don't make any promises until you have to. They have an evaluation process to complete (and yes, everyone is evaluated every year) and it'd be unprofessional to promise anything one way or the other until it's done.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    But that's my point. He's already made a promise to dale, it's called a three year contract. If now he's saying, we'll, we have to think about that 3rd year, then theo's the one opening the door to speculation.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Contract doesn't mean he's not evaluated each year. He evaluated him last year too, it just wasn't an issue last year so nobody asked him about it.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Ok, I think that's where I disagree with you. I think firing a coach in the middle of a contract is kind of a big deal, and letting the media know that it's even on the table is a legit red flag. If sveum was a lock to come back next year, it would have been the easiest answer to any question theo got. The fact that theo didn't fall back on continuing the promised status quo raises perfectly legitimate speculation about how they value dale sveum.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    They never said that firing him was on the table, that's the conclusion some of the media drew from that. They only said they were in the evaluation process, which is what they do with all staff members every year -- including themselves.

    And any honest, professional organization wouldn't comment on their employees future until they had to -- and certainly not until the evaluation process was finished. You're reading things into this that just aren't there.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This isn't Theo's first dance. He's well aware that when he mentions evaluation of a manager, the media is actually going to ask if he'll be back. By specifically mentioning Dale, he's put a target on his back.

  • In reply to tharr:

    He's simply being honest. He's in the process of evaluating a manager, which he does every season (including last year when he didn't fire Sveum), and he's not finished yet with that process. Is he supposed to give an answer that isn't there yet? Should he make something up to appease the media? What does he have to gain from that? He was just honest and the media and some fans drew conclusions by reading something into his staements that wasn't ever there.

  • In reply to tharr:

    The other thing with these valuations it keeps the guys on their toes and helps to see how they react when under more pressure / media speculation.

    I'm all for it.

    For a year and a half Sveum has had an armchair ride from the media... I have yet to see him / hear him own up to his mistakes on a regular basis.

    No manager in whatever business is infallible... it is learning from your mistakes that makes you and your organisation better. Sveum has yet to shoew aptitude for this...

  • Unless Epstoyer feels Dale is detrimental to the development of the core or incapable of teaching "The Cubs Way" consistently, he'll be back next year. If they had reason to seriously think we would be contenders next year and he wasn't the guy, then maybe. But we aren't in that position so all that matters is if he can execute their plan next year.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    This is an excellent read on the situation. Very much agree.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It's a marathon. The fact that we're in rebuilding mode isn't an excuse for failure to meet expectations. If the team was scheduled to be at the 16 mile marker and was well short of that, changes should be made. Was this team expected to lose almost 200 games the past 2 years?

    Personally I feel the ML club shouldn't be this bad. If the FO believes we're on schedule, then Dale should return. What I expect from Theo is a fair evaluation of the staff based upon performance under their control.

  • Adios, Groggles. Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Just for the record, Ace, that is a completely bullshit comment.

  • I'm a little surprised Gregg aired it out like that after pitching so poorly today. He's done. He could have just waited a week or so since it doesn't look like there will be all that many more save chances anyway!

    I'm really excited about Strop and the pen overall next season! If he were to "come out of nowhere" onto the closer scene a la Rodney, Balfour, and Benoit he has a chance to prove to be the biggest acquisition of the summer! He's poised for a really nice little three year run!

  • John: That's a big mistake by Gregg! He could be out of MLB next year. I don't want him with us in the future. As for Sveum it will be done correctly by the FO. Gregg was the worst pitcher in MLB the first round GOOD-BYE.

  • In reply to Cubs26:

    It really was. Can't tick off the PBO that gave you that opportunity and helped you earn and extra 500K.

  • You mention clarity regarding Sveum. I think it is what is needed. Let's get clear of him.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    If you want to be clear of Sveum, you will probably have to root for a different team. I think he's staying. I know I'm in the minority there, but I think he'll be back for 2014.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't think you are in the minority. There is little reason to replace Sveum unless, as mentioned above, you feel he is endangering the development of young prospects, or unless you feel that there is a manager available this winter who is far better than those that are likely to be available when or if they want to replace him in the future.

    I doubt that there are too many baseball people that feel that Sveum is damaging young prospects, and Girardi and Maddux are not likely to be considered to be that much better than Sveum.

    The most likely happening is that Sveum will complete his contract and the Cubs will do another reevaluation of him next year.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Agreed with your thoughts here -- and who knows? Maybe the opinion that Sveum is not the minority so much that the "fire Sveum" contingent is more vocal. At any rate, this is probably my last piece on the subject until something actually happens.

  • Okay, so Gregg could have handled this with a little more tact. He's competitive and was probably disappointed at the news and the way he learned of it. For we paid him, he was a real find, especially earlier in the year when we had nothing else in the BP except everyday Jimmy.

    He gets a free pass from me. He's not part of the LT here, and if we could have gotten anything for him we would have flipped him. He'll get a contract with a chance to play for somebody next year. No biggie for me...

  • HD I agree with your point also. He I would think knows the situation here and chill out! We are all frustrated CUB FANS.

  • John I also think he will be back and be told about how the instruction needs taken care of A1

  • In reply to Cubs26:

    Yes. And fair or not, I think his job hinges on guys like Castro and Rizzo bouncing back.

  • So far as Beef's knee. That is a 4-6 week post surgery recovery. Then he's got months of therapy and rehab. He should be ready by ST, but any rehab set back and him breaking camp with the team is at risk. Because of his position, I can see this affecting him somewhat next year. It may not effect his performance much, but he will spend more time with trainers/ice, could wear down sooner, etc.

    re-signing Navarro, or another adequate platoon partner just became a bigger priority.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Quite possibly -- if it's still possible. Navarro may well get a starting offer somewhere else. Welly will be back, though. He's young, strong, and a meniscus injury is not nearly as serious as ligaments or tendons. Getting a veteran backup will likely be a priority though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He's going to need a few more days off than normal. We definitely will need a serviceable b/u. It'd be nice if they could get another veteran b/u for Iowa too. Just in case the injury bug bites. I like Lopez, but I think he needs to be playing most everyday in Iowa.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I like Lopez. I think he has a shot as a backup and he's a nice asset for AAA next year. But another JC Boscan type for AAA would make sense too. Would rather they didn't use up a roster spot.

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    Hoffman or Turner would make me very happy. If Castro's struggles continue and Turner is still there at #4, it would be hard to pass him up, but Hoffman might be hard to pass up as well.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Agreed on those two. They're my favorites outside Rodon. I think they'll take Turner even if Castro doesn't struggle if that's who they like. That kid is a heckuva athlete. I'm sure he can play 2B, SS, and all 3 OF positions. Remember that the draft is about accumulating assets, need doesn't come into play.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If Rodon, Turner and Hoffman are gone for the 4th pick, would you consider the HS pithcher Kolek? Sounds very intriguing to me but I would imagine he would be raw.

  • In reply to John57:

    I think it gets to be a tough call. The stuff is great and the arm may be the best pure arm in the draft. I think you have to consider it. There are a couple of college arms that may step up as well. It's a tough spot, would have loved the #3 pick, but the Sox seemed to just quit a couple of months ago.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That is funny, I have a friend who is a white sox fan and he said the same thing about the Cubs quitting the last 2 years.

    I think Kolek and the two 18 year old international free agent signings Tseng and Mejia would create a nice wave of pitchers around the same age.

  • In reply to John57:

    Cubs gave away a lot of talent the last two months. I guess the Sox did too this year with Rios and Peavy, but no doubt they were following the Theo plan after it became obvious they weren't going to compete.

  • In reply to John57:

    As for Kolek, I'd consider it because of that fastball, but I'm hoping one of the top 3 takes him.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I've been screaming for pitching for like 3 years now, but I must admit that if Trea Turner is there and improves for yet another year, passing on him would be insanity.

    And as you mentioned, he fits Theo & Jed's recent drafting trend perfectly.

    The only downside is that the chorus if fans demanding Castro's trade would grow unbearably loud.

    But that's a problem I'd LOVE to have.

  • HD I'm also worried about knee. Being catcher maybe some of this happened eariler in the year, and it happened to put him out now. I 'm hopeful it is not going to cause more problems down the line. He's improved so much!!!!!!

  • I'm beginning to get excited about some of the "2nd tier" guys in the system -namely Olt, Hendricks.

    I think we can conservatively guess that 3 of the 4 top guys will be at least viable, everyday players with a certain modicum of success. If the likes of Olt & Hendricks surprise to the upside, that could really accelerate the timeline & free up $ resources.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I'm strangely excited about those two as well. I don't know why but I have a feeling Olt will bounce back and Hendricks has won me over. Breaking ball might need to get just a bit sharper, but I think otherwise he has all the tools except for big time velo.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Olt could flame out, don't get me wrong . Thing is, if he does .250/.350/.450-460 with his glove, that's a huge asset. As I said before , he's their kind of guy. In terms of character & makeup , he's the type of guy they want in the core. As far as Hendricks, the thing that encourages me most is the solid K rates , despite supposedly so-so stuff. I believe both guys possess coveted #the will to win.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Can't go wrong with TWTW.

  • Castillo will be OK, but he's going to have a little adjustment period gaining confidence in that knee. I squished my meniscus long-jumping in HS and run marathons now even though I never had it operated on, so it's not as bad as some injuries go. Being a catcher, the additional strain on the knee might cause longer term issues for Beef. And I think Theo, Sveum, Shark, EJax, and Gregg all will be in a better mood when this season is done. It's been a long two years, and after all the losing, roster changes, etc. nerves are a bit frayed right now. I still say Gregg has a chance to be back with this team next year.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    A catcher at Castillo's age having any knee issues is bad. Yes, it's not a serious condition for most pros, but at catcher your knees need to be super tough.

    As for Gregg, the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. I'm surprised Theo even bother to wade into it, unless he's gong to use it as leverage to offer Gregg less to stay next year.

  • Watching the CIN vs PIT game, they said CIN plans to be Choo's biggest pursuer this off season and that they have been trying to sign mid season and again recently. So... crazy o/t idea, would that make Hamilton available? What would it take to get him?

    That's game changing speed right there.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I would think they'd want to keep him, but I don't know on that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm sure they would. Just wondering if they would make him available and what it would cost. Does he hit/obp enough to land on Epstoyers radar?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Speaking of Hamilton, he just scored from 2B on an infield hit to tie the game in the top of the 9th... Like I said, that's game changing speed right there.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:


  • John, do you think Theo is partially annoyed at how Sveum gave the news to Gregg? Management is communication and the team flare-ups can't help in Theo`s evaluation process.

  • In reply to Deacon:

    No, I think he was annoyed with Gregg. At least that's what's being reported. Not only did he misinterpret, he went public with it and made the situation worse.

  • As excited as we all are by the Big 4 and collective RH power of the group , at some time, they're going to have to add some speed & LH hitters to the mix. Still hard to imagine that there won't be a significant trade in next 12 months, involving one of the big names.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Drafting Turner would add some speed. Alcantara has it as well. I think this FO likes speed but I don't think they'd sacrifice other skills for it, so that's going to be a tough player to find.

    At least future teams look like they'll be better on the bases. EVen if guys like Bryant, Baez, and Almora aren't burners, they have decent speed and great instincts on the basees.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Baez could be a perennial base stealing threat, if they wanted him to run. As it is, I'd be shocked if he wasn't always around the 20-25 SB mark every year and a few @ 30+.

    "He was 20-for-23 in steals in a month and a half (in Peoria)," Wilken said. "If you prorate that for a whole season, he'd probably be fourth in all of minor league baseball in stolen bases and no one says anything about it. We're always talking about these prodigious blasts and no one talks about his base-running ability."

    FWIW, he was 20 for 24 in SB's this year. he's no burner for sure, but this is an area where his instincts really stand out.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think most of all if someone is traded, it will be with positional assurances among the remaining prospects. And I think this office will trade high, meaning it will not be a potentially great player at High A ball. And Baez isn't going anywhere! I think a trade will be from abundance, like at 3B, or slightly less at 2B. One guy I believe will be traded unless his defense is somehow stellar in the future is Vogelbach. He is a big talent in the ilk of Ortiz perhaps; all bat, little defense or running. Perhaps he will be packaged with a couple of other prospects for an Archy Bradley type pitcher. But I trust John and Felzz's ideas more on this issue. I can hear the games on the internet in Europe, but I can't see them, so I don't see many games unless I come home. So my knowledge base is the least!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    We should meet up and watch the games on my brother's MLB-TV account.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Very interesting! The problem for me isn't the MLB-TV, it is the bandwidth on the internet where I am staying, and like the last time in Hungary, I stayed at their training facility without ANY internet. In Denmark I was at their Olympic Training Center outside Copenhagen, and they had internet only in the lobby. So much of the time I have NO internet. Norway has a National program and team, but I have never seen them in European competitions. I should offer some free training I guess! Sweden has a good team, probably about 8 out of 30.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Crazily perhaps, but I have an inkling that Vogelbach is going to go all the way to the majors with the Cubs.

    His change in conditioning from Boise last year, through Spring Training and at Kane County through to Daytona gave hope that he is serious about making it.

    He is never going to be lean and lithe but neither is he going to be Fielder/Panda-esque.

    Also his glove and mobility continued to improve over the last 12 months. As did his OBP.

    I'd rather have a player with Vogelbach's WTW than a player with Vitters' talent but apparent lack of commitment to making it.

  • Dale is pathetic. He is a low class Philistine with no managerial
    talent whatsoever. He needs to terminated and replaced with
    a classy, knowledgeabe, professional, experienced manager. I think Joe Girardi would be fabulous.

  • I would like for the Cubs to add some speed as well, but I would like to see the Cubs add some arms as well. Although the Cubs are getting better pitching wise in the farm system, I see the Cubs going in that direction in the next draft.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I think other than Turner, the best players in the draft are pitchers. Either way, it seems you'll get your wish.

  • Agreed on our existing farm crew's baserunning skills. We just need to get from 1st to 3rd more and have that portion of the game be additive to performance, where it hasn't been for yrs. I'm not calling for Willy Taveres or anything. I keep coming back to Grandy on a 2yr/24mil type deal.

    Unrelated, John, what do your scouting contacts say about Bogusevic ?

  • I actually liked Kevin Gregg, regardless of his reaction today, but that's only because he technically replaced "The Carlos Marmol Experience." Finding someone off the street that can come in, settle down the closer role and put up +30 saves under these circumstances is like found money. So, I'm glad he picked up a few extra bucks to boot.

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    I don't know what people think of Phil Rodgers. But today he wrote that he thinks the FO will actively pursue Girardi. I don't know if he has inside info or is just speculating. I gave the chance of Girardi coming like 2 percent chance after Rodgers weighed in I'll bump it up to 10 percent chance.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    It has to be speculation because the Cubs aren't allowed to comment even if they were interested in Girardi, since he is still employed by the Yankees. It's doubtful anyone told him this from the Cubs side.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I figured it wasn't from the Cubs side. I bet Girardi won't stay in New York. The Yankees are gonna be bad next year. Their pitching fell apart at the end of the year. Rivera is gone. Th minors are a mess. The question is will the Cubs go for him?

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Personally, I lean toward Sveum being the Cubs manager regardless of what happens with Girardi. That's not saying that I support Sveum necessarily. It's just what I think the Cubs will do.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with you. I don't think the Cubs will drop Dale either. They knew these teams would be bad. Theo doesn't seem like one to make rash or emotional decisions. Of course I say that during the Gregg thing. Now when the young core comes up and doesn't make progress things may change.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Yes, I do think there needs to be some progress this year with that core.

  • My biggest issues are two fold. One is his handling of the bullpen such as Russell who was over-pitched by August 1. And secondly the handling of the young core players. I read where Sveum and Rawson changed Rizzo's hand position, lower, so when raising them, it slowed his load. That slow load can also allow a slow coil, which I have seen at times even extend into his stretch (stride) phase. It seems he isn't getting his front foot down in time in MHO. There is another way to cure this that can be far less caustic in results. He already does a "knee-knock" load (front knee comes back almost touching the back knee). Instead of messing with the hands, you have him do a toe-touch during the knee-knock to slow his rhythm down. It allows less crap to enter the swing process, and is far more innocuous. That judgement hit me immediately when I read about this. I think the first oath should be, "do no harm!"

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    That bit about Sveum changing Rizzo's hand position was purely Keith Law's speculation, not to say he's wrong, but there's nothing concrete to back it up. In fact, not everyone sees that change at all. And even if there is a change than Law would have no real way of knowing if it came from Sveum, Rowson, or Deer.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I see. I saw a video on youtube with the comparison of before and after. But I thought that was something concrete, and now you tell me differently. You are in the know more than me. I probably just heard it repeated. But whatever he is doing, it sure hasn't worked this year. If you ever get wind of what happened, I am sure you will let us know. I don't have the luxury of TV in Europe, but I watch on Gameday and try to catch clips.

  • That is a bad deal on Wellington. He has been a bright spot on a dark season. I just hope he can bounce back. Worries me any time a catcher has knee surgery. Maybe they will take a look at my consideration of mccan. Had a big hit today.

    To hear Theo say that Wellington had a fantastic year troubles me. Since when is .271, 8 hrs, and 32 RBIs considered a fantastic year? Was the cubs season that bad that this is considered a career year? I know his blocking skills got better and his WAR stat is high, but lost errors by a catcher and ranked 98th in fielding percentage out of anyone who caught this season is troublesome to me. I can think of a lot of catchers I would rather have. You could argue he isn't even the best catcher on our team. Dioner had a better year offensively.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Where Beef really developed, more so than any other area, was his game calling and management. He has absolute confidence from his staff. Dale, Bosio, Epstoyer, etc have all commended him in his development of calling the right pitches at the right time. As a former catcher, I can assure you this skill is only acquired by spending hours and hours watching film, reading scouting reports, knowing your pitchers strengths, etc and having that intangible "feel" for how it's all flowing that day. And oh yeah, they pretty much run at will on Navarro, but they fear and respect Beef's cannon.

    This position, more so than any other, you will gladly sacrifice offense for that kind of game management/defense. The reality is his offensive numbers are very respectable, especially for a catcher.

    I like Navarro, and he is exactly what we need in a b/u platoon mate fir Beef. But in all likelihood, he will never repeat this offensive production. No way is he better than Beef. I can think of "several" that I'd rather have. maybe a few ala "Molina" or "Posey".

  • hey the media is trying to make a story out of nothing again. how surprising

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    It boils down to to me to an assumption that he's being dishonest or hiding something from them. Not much of a story if you believe he really is in the middle of this evaluation process like he said. I trust that's where he's at right now and if he's not finished with it, then he shouldn't say anything -- it doesn't mean he's trying to hide anything. He's just being professional about it. Maybe we're not used to that here.

  • I am from Montana, but coached DI softball in Utah, CubfanInUT. I can honestly say John, that in my opinion, sports commentators in Chicago really try to stir things up and create tension. I also think Cubs fans in Chicago are very impatient people. I envision them all sitting in Wrigleyville banking their beer mugs on the bar! It is just an outsider's impression. Perhaps Theo should be given a break, because I think though he has made a couple of mistakes (Jackson among them) he is doing a fantastic job of building a juggernaut.

    I heard the Cincinnati commentators say the other day that Houston was building toward a greatly improved future with their minor league prospects. They were going to be very competitive. Then about 3 innings later, they said that the Cubs had all kinds of prospects, but prospects don't mean anything! A prospect is just that, a prospect. Who knows if any of them will even make it to Wrigley Field? Talk about hypocrisy!

  • 4 of my 5 aunts and uncles as well as my mother had nearly complete meniscus tears, so I probably have one coming as well. All of them made complete recoveries within 6 months, and all continue to run competitively. The meniscus is not troublesome like a tendon or ligament which often become inflamed or develop nagging characteristics. It is, to put it simply, a sort of cushion in the knee. It is a layer composed of cartilage which helps the joint resist tension and twisting. I am not worried about Weli longterm. I would be if it were anything in the knee except the meniscus. The only thing that this will hold him back from is shooting par this offseason (takes a lot of torsion out of your golf swing in late recovery, won quite a bit of money from my uncle that summer).

  • Just needed to share this. For those who chuckle at over-the-top sports speculation and tea-leaf reading on those slow Cubs news days:

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Thanks for the laughs Jeff

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