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Game Notes: Baez, Edwards, a 6 man rotation, MLB Draft and AFL prospect poems

Game Notes: Baez, Edwards, a 6 man rotation, MLB Draft and AFL prospect poems
Kris Bryant (photo by Matt McNear)

Early game today (11:35 CT), so let's get a few links in for now and we'll get to the Cubs OF depth chart later tonight.

News and Notes

  • Patrick Mooney writes that ex-Cub Sean Marshall thinks the Cubs are headed in the right direction and he believes the front office will build a winner someday.  He was impressed with some of the skills of the new Cubs players.
  • Mooney also talked to Jed Hoyer about Javier Baez and as we already know, the plan is for Baez to go to AAA.  “Listen, he’s really talented,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I still think he has development left. We’re going to go into spring training with that mindset... It’s as good a minor-league season as I’ve seen. He’s got some things he needs to work on (and) there’s going to be guys that miss and maturity is a big part of it. But there’s no reason to believe (it’s a fluke). Guys that do that at his age normally go on to have really good careers. He’s not ready yet either. But what he did was pretty special.”  Hoyer was referring to Baez's slugging numbers at that age (20) and level (AA).  It's rare and the list of players who have done that is pretty impressive.  Their are also cost-control reasons to wait on Baez but I honestly believe they do think Baez needs some more development.  I'd like to see him gets some ABs in AAA where there are more veteran pitchers who know how to set up hitters.
  • Speaking of Baez, Professor Parks was waxing poetic about him and other prospects going to the AFL this October.  He writes about all 4 Cubs top prospects (Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant) headed to AZ and though it's just for fun, it's pretty easy to see he's excited about all 4 of them.
  • Gordon Wittenmeyer has a nice article on C.J. Edwards and how the Cubs brass has been very impressed.  Jed Hoyer and Kerry Wood, who went to see an Edwards start, described his velocity as "easy".   Cubs scouting executive opines that Edwards would have had a chance to go in the first round had he not had such a late start and had been seen more by scouts.  As far as Edwards goes, he was shocked he went in the 48th round but says, “I just wanted an opportunity, man. If I can get the opportunity, I can make things happen.”  He's very driven according to his manager Dave Keller, "“He is extremely driven. You can tell he doesn’t just want to be a pitcher in the big leagues. He wants to be somebody who makes a difference.
  • The Cubs will go with a 6 man rotation in order to get Scott Baker a couple of more starts.  Baker looked promising and even hit 90 mph several times, so concerns about his velocity were abated a bit and it appears the Cubs are going to give themselves a long look.  It's just temporary, however, and Baker will get 2 more starts, the last one being on September 20th, before the Cubs return to their regular rotation.
  • Our friends at Big League Futures have an early look at their top 50 players for next years draft. 4 of their top 5 are pitchers including consensus top pick LHP Carlos Rodon at the top, followed fast rising RHP Jeff Hoffman, prep flame-thrower Tyler Kokek, and FSU righty Luke Weaver. NC State SS  Trea Turner is the only non pitcher in the top 5.

Today's Lineup:

  1. Castro SS
  2. Valbuena 3B
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Schierholtz RF
  5. Bogusevic LF
  6. Lake CF
  7. Castillo C
  8. Barney 2B
  9. Samardzija P

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Comments

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  • Baez should not be rushed. Let him fully develop his game.
    Maybe Sept. 2014

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    If we are around .500 in July I think they will call him up and put him at 2nd. Barney has proven to me that he can't hit enough every day.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    I can see that.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I agree. Bring him up when he's ready. There's no rush.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed. I don't really care what he is doing at AAA. Hitting .300? Great. OBP of .350. Sure. Slugging .600. Awesome. Cutting down errors? Great.

    I'm not so much focused on cost control - as wanting as close a finished product as possible. Cutting down his K's, taking more pitches, accepting that a pitcher would rather walk him than throw him a strike -- are all key for Javy.

    I know he will probably struggle when he finally arrives - but I don't really want him to say 'Gee, I was really surprised to learn that pros aren't necessary going to throw me a fastball in a 2-0 / 3-0 / 3-1 count. I used to get FB in those counts all the time..' To John's point, these are the types of things he will see in AAA.

    He won't be completely polished even if he spends 2 years at AAA since he is so young - but the Cubs should make every effort to get him as ready as possible.

    As I've said before, they can't afford for him to fail due to lack of preparation / experience. Given the payroll limitations, multiple losing seasons, fan frustration, FO harping on building from within, the pre-game Javy updates and video promotions, etc. the Cubs NEED him to succeed - probably more than any player I can remember (Prior maybe?)

  • In reply to Roscoe Village:

    Agreed. Let's be sure he has a much development time he needs - and let him be so good that the FO HAS to find him playing time in Chicago.

    If that's sometime next year - cool. If that's not until sometime in 2015 - that's cool too.

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    In reply to Roscoe Village:

    I agree that he needs to answer all of these questions before being brought up. I don't agree, however, that the Cubs NEED him to succeed. Obviously, he is a very important and exciting piece to the puzzle, and the closest impact talent we have in proximity to the majors, but only in a fans eyes can the weight of a franchise rest on a AA shortstop. The season he's had has been nothing short of amazing, but this front office has built enough depth that one prospect failing (more than one will, mind) will not stop the train, so to speak!

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    In reply to Matt McNear:

    I get what you're saying, but we can all think of all the prospects over the years who were supposed to be savior's, but amounted to nothing. For your average, ordinary Cubs fan who is not really buying the rebuild to begin with, if the first big prospect comes up and fails, they will all start chanting (even louder) to end it and start signing FA's.

    I don't agree with that mindset, but it sure would be nice to have a big time prospect come up and make a huge impact. I think Baez can be that guy, and he'll be followed closely by a couple others.

  • John, this is off topic but the more I watch Rizzo the more I am starting to worry. Do you have any thoughts about his season?

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    In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    I had to listen to the Reds broadcast last night, and the announcers were not at all complimentary of his mechanics at the plate.

    Of course, they also declared that the Cubs only long term pieces are Castro and Rizzo two innings after Castillo almost hit one into Kentucky.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm really hoping that this is just a lost year for him. His mechanics have gone to pot. He is drifting so often against offspeed stuff that I have to admit I am beginning to worry just a little.

    Castillo is definitely a long term piece. I still think Rizzo is too, but he may top out as a 5th or 6th hitter as opposed to a clean up guy I hoped for, especially if he can't learn to hit lefties better.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thank God for MLB.tv where you can select which feed you want to watch. If it was Brenneman and Brantley I hate it for you! Those two need to have an accident.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    I'm always a little concerned with him as I am with Rizzo, but I'm leaning toward thinking this is just a bad year and both will come back strong next season.

  • Good stuff!

    Now I know a sweep of Cinnci is too much ask for, but please...

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Thanks! I've got a hunch the Cubs win again today.

  • Baez is going to hit some moonshots in the PCL. His slugging numbers are going to be absurd next year.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Much more hitter friendly over there -- but it did eat up Brett Jackson. I'm worried about the more experienced pitchers there. They might make him look silly for a while -- but Baez has shown he can adjust pretty quickly.

  • I'm a little confused. I know AFL starts the first week or so of October, but isn't there some sort of informal exhibition games that take place in Arizona before the AFL?

  • In reply to cubman:

    There is the instructional league, which runs along the same time as the Fall League. It's more informal and for younger prospects -- and as the name implies, there's a lot instruction (drills, coaching, BP, etc.)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks, John. All of this is relativly new to me and thanks to your outstanding website and informative articles, I am now highly interested in all things prospects.

  • In reply to cubman:

    Thanks cubman. it'll be even more fun when these prospects are producing in the majors!

  • Any word on how Soler and Almora are doing? Are they in AZ right now working out or are they still rehabbing?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I think Almora is fine and probably could have played if they needed him to, but they were going to err on the side of caution. Soler was pretty close as of a couple weeks ago, so I'm assuming he's about ready to go by now. Both will be ready by the fall league.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Theo told me (I love saying that) that Soler had just arrived in AZ and had a couple of scans to undergo, but all signs were positive!

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Thanks Matt!

  • Based off the extremely small sample size from the UA game (Thanks again for the tickets John) I too would rate Gettys and Gatewood over Jackson as far as HS guys. Glad to see they see it the same way as me.

    Gettys was the best athlete there and flashed a legit 5 tools. Gatewood was probably the better pure hitting prospect and I think he could probably play 3B, but no way he stays at SS. Jackson has the best raw power but he was slow as hell behind the plate, I just can't see him as a catcher. Vallot was another guy that could hit, but again no way he plays C, and I didn't even think he looked good at 1B, he may be a DH. I loved Verdugo as well, hope he will be available in the second round.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Slow as hell behind the plate? Jackson has 1.6 pop up times, that's ridiculously fast. He has a very good chance to stay at catcher.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It's pretty mixed opinion and most seem to think he won't stay there at this point. Of course, he has a whole year to prove scouts wrong. The pop times are good and he has a strong arm. I think the receiving skills are the biggest concern.

  • What position is Baez going to play and should play?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    That's the million dollar question right now.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Should he play? SS
    What is he going to play? My money is on 2B right now, but the percentages to me are probably 50% 2B, 45% 3B, and 5% OF.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    That's a good breakdown.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    That's a question that's going to get asked a few times.......to me, alot depends on how other prospects shake out. Is Alcantara a 2B of the future? Is Olt 3B? Will Bryant stick at 3B, or move to RF? Will we trade Starlin Castro?

    About the only sure thing for me is a) we'll find a spot for him at 2B, SS, or 3B, and b) he's not going to be blocked by anyone on the current ML roster other than maybe Castro

    If every prospect works out, we'll have a tradeable surplus. Big IF of course.......

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Good post!

  • John... any thoughts about whether Lake might be sent to AZ, formally or otherwise, to work with McKay on his routes, etc.?

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    I think Lake may go to winter ball as he did last year. He'll also get work in with McKay this offseason, but probably mostly this spring.

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    John or anyone, can you 'splain me why Barney's fangraphs WAR was 2.3 last year and is only 0.7 this year? Defense is about the same, offense only slightly worse - which component of WAR has he really regressed in?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    It's mostly the offense. His wRC+ has fallen from 74 (bad) to 56 (terrible). Essentially, that means last year he created 74% of the league average runs per 100 ABs. This year, he's creating 56% of league average.

    The fielding is also down from 14.8 to 11.8 -- roughly a 25% drop.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I have to say that between Castro and Rizzo, I'm more concerned about Rizzo. We have a track record with Castro and he seems to be putting it back together... When I look at Rizzo I am starting to see shades of Carlos Pena.

    Check this out:
    Pena as a Cub: .225/.357/.462; hit 28 HRs and 80 RBIs; 101 walks and 161 Ks

    Rizzo this year: .229/.325/.419; 21 HRs and 73 RBIs; 71 walk and 111 Ks

    Pena actually had better OB and slugging skills though he hit for a slightly lower average and struck out more. They both have plus gloves at 1B. I guess I can live with a younger Pena if Baez, Bryant, and Almora come as advertised but I also see him being a #6 hitter on a good team.

    And yes, I know he can improve. And yes, I know it's a one year sample in both cases, but I think the comparison is still food for thought about what kind of player we (may) have in Rizzo.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Apologies about the placement of the above post. It was meant to be in response to an earlier post about Rizzo... obviously this has nothing to do with Barney.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    I'm not too worried about Rizzo. Prior to this year, everywhere he has had significant ABs as a pro he has posted BABIPs in the 290-350 range. This year it's 250. My gut tells me that this is a fluky season for him, and he's not going to be a guy who hits in the 220-240 range, but in the 280-290 range, long term.

    Another issue that has hurt his OPS is that a lot of his HRs have "turned into" 2Bs this year. That happens from year to year for power guys (for example, look at Shawn Green's numbers circa 1998-2003). Some years, the doubles go way up and the homers go down, and other years the opposite happens.

    IMO, Rizzo has some issues to sort out in the short term, but he'll be a very good player over the long haul. I don't see anything in his struggles this season that cause me to adjust expectations for him downward.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It seems to me that Sveum wanted both Barney and Castro to add power this year by pulling more pitches. That hasn't worked out well for either of them and their offensive numbers have plummeted. Castro seems to be using more of the field lately with better success. Barney...not so much.

  • I having heard much this year about Barneys intangibles iether. He will be fighting for his job next year if he is not traded.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    He's useful as long as he is cheap. Once he hits arbitration he needs to be gone.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    How much would he really get though in arb? Arb tends to be offense-heavy. I also like Barney has a UT guy, he just obviously can't hit enough to play every day.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    He is a starter with a lot of games played and he has a gold glove he can point to. He is going to get awarded more through arb than he is worth.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree with you there, Zonk. Its tough to see him being too cost prohibitive going forward and I agree that he's a really valuable bench glove. Castro has excelled at staying healthy so far but it's going to be interesting the day he comes up lame running to first and has to miss two weeks. Also, most hopefully, Baez and Alcantara's presence lights a fire under Castro and Barneys asses and they play better!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    Barney will go thru the arbitration process for the first time this winter. I don't expect him to get a huge raise however, as his offense has regressed and the big raises usually come the second or third time thru the process. I would expect him to be traded next summer or possibly non-tendered next winter.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Barney can cover all 3B/2B/SS effectively defensively - although at 3B he is suboptimal - so he's probably got a 'Valbuena'-like case to stay on a team.

    Keep him on until he gets too expensive,.... even if it is as 'Mr. Infield' back up guy.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    I would say, however, that Valbuena has far more offensive value.

  • John or anyone, my instincts are swaying that Almora may be injury prone. I feel this way about B-Jax and Szczur after watching them play. Moreso B-Jax, but I can see Szczur getting banged up a lot with his mentality.

  • In reply to Cubswin:

    Hard to say Almora is injury prone at this point. He may have been guilty of trying to come back too quickly. B-Jax and Matt Szczur play hard and they may get hurt from time to time. Can see them running into a few walls. Then again, so might Almora.

  • Fine work as always John. Yes Gordon did have a great CJ Edwards article, but his other article from today about the rebuild was annoying, as was his appearance on Mully and Hanley this morning to talk about the article. He's beating the same tired drum and he appears to be the only person doing it.

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    Thanks. I guess it's his story and he's going to keep pursuing it. I don't agree personally with some of his takes but he does good work. He can have his take on the rebuild...and we'll have ours :)

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    To me, Baez should be moved to 3B simply because Alcantrera's skill set seems to work out best at 2B. Alcantrera could be a classic table-setting 2B if his patience continues to improve at the plate. We know he has the speed. Bryant can always move to LF, as it seems Soler has the classic RF physique. As for Olt, he's basically "found money" if he pans out. Hopefully he gets a shot at 3B in the majors next year with Baez at 3B in Iowa. Olt may be trade bait at some point.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BrettJ42:

    If Olt and Alcantara both hit, then someone's getting traded. Not sure who, but there isn't room for Olt, Alcantara, Baez, and Castro.

    That's a big IF of course........not all prospects make it

    Even further down the road, Bryant can move to RF, but what do you do with Christian Villanueva if he has a nice year at AAA?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Zonk:

    Iowa's infield situation next year will be interesting to watch. In theory, all the AA guys should be promoted: AA, Baez and Villanueva. But then, what do you do with Olt if he doesn't make the MLB club? Move him to OF? It would work out best for everyone if Olt comes into next Spring crushing the ball and gets a shot at the MLB 3B gig. A nice, and new, problem for the Cubs organization.

  • In reply to BrettJ42:

    Another possibility for alcantara is cf. I suspect baez will play 2b because hell be ready first and hes more of a sure thing than aa is. Bryant may be mlb ready before olt and cv and may be the cub 3B late next season but will prob take schierholtz' spot in rf for '15 if olt or cv prove ready because theyre better defensively.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Unless Olt makes the change to LF if he hits enough to make it in the bigs. In that scenario it could be Alcantara 2b, Baez 3b, Olt/Bryant/Soler in LF and RF. You have to assume they won't all pan out, but the flexibility of positions are there to keep them all if they did.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Thing about Olt and Christian Villanueva, though, is that they are more likely to be traded than moved positions. That's because they both are considered plus 3B, but somewhat limited with the bat to an extent that it doesn't profile at 1B or an OF corner. They don't hit enough for one of those spots. Their value is really 3B only.

    If both hit, someone will get dealt, IMO

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Hopefully the major league club is winning so you tip your cap to Villanueva and he becomes organizational depth. Its hard to pick any four guys and have them all be healthy and productive at the same time. My guess too is that Alcantara ends up being a Luis Valbuena type player, which is nothing to sneeze at.

  • My concern with Barney's LT value is can he sustain GG caliber defense if he is moved around and used in a utility role? And if he isn't a superb defensive glove, does he have any value to us long term? He essentially has one tool, a glove and IDK if he will be that good at SS or 3B in a utility role. Wouldn't we better off trading him this winter while he has some value? Granted, even now it's limited... but with our knack for scrap pile value signings of utility IF'rs... he's very replaceable now which will leave 2B wide open for AA or Baez next summer...

    Honestly, I'd rather go with one of our utility guys (Valbuena or Murphy) as our everyday 2B in 2014....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I've decided the only reason Barney is on the club this year is that management hopes that Barney's defensive play serves as a model for Castro to improve his play.

    I will be surprised if Barney is on the team next year. I will be shocked and disappointed if he is on the team in 2015.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Perhaps if Olt or another takes 3rd base to start the season next year Valbuena would be platooning at second while both barney and he could fill the 4th infielder role. Until more talent comes up that is.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yeah I suppose,,, I just don't know that he's good enough to warrant a spot as anything other than a Gold Glove defender... He hasn't played like one this year, and I suspect moving him around won't help his defense any. He can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag and he's not fast enough to serve as s pinch runner. Those 25 spots are coveted and a platoon/reserve player needs to be multidimensional, and he is not. He's hitting .244 vs LHP vs .219 vs RFP but historically, he's more even.

    I like the guy, but I don't even see a platoon player here and on a championship caliber roster, can you afford a one dimensional defense only guy on your roster? I don't think so. Hence we'd be best to trade him now while we can a couple of DSL prospects for him....

  • Was just looking at team stats and noticed Schierholtz is our batting leader (among qualified ABs) with a .255 average. That is all kinds of depressing.

    Also noticed Rizzo has a crazy low BABIP (.250) which thus explains the terrible .229 average. Good news is ISO, Walk Rate are all up. Is he just having a terribly unlucky year at the plate, or is something else going on?

  • In reply to BBullerman:

    The ridiculous amount of soft ground balls he's hitting to 2B and 1B contribute to the low BABIP big time

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Rizzos problem isnt so much the grounders as the popups. I thought the same thing and checked his gb/fb and saw hes actually been hitting ball in air more than last year

  • Noticed that Rizzo has a crazy low BABIP (.250) which helps explain the low average (.229). On a positive note, his ISO and Walk rate are up from last year.

    Is he just having a terribly unlucky year at the plate, or is something else going on? His strikeout rate isn't much higher than last year, so it's not Mark Reynolds syndrome...

  • In reply to BBullerman:

    sorry for the repeat post...didn't think the original was posted

  • In reply to BBullerman:

    May be a little of both. He's flying out more which tend to drop for less hits than line drives. I also notice he'll roll his wrists once in a while, which results in a weak grounder to 1B or 2B. He also has a bit of a long swing.

    But some of it is bad luck too. I think he can hit around .270 but he won't hit for average as a rule.

  • fb_avatar

    So, about that extension, Jeff. Here's what's going to happen. We're going to offer you 1/2 of what we offered last season, you're going to say yes.

  • Lets draft left handed hitting Conforto from Oregon State.
    http://bigleaguefutures.net/1/2013/06/11/mlb-draft-profile-michael-conforto/

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    Yea, not alot of lefty position players getting much early love on the prospect lists. Derek Fisher is also mentioned but no where near where the Cubs appear to be picking. I was hoping for Tyler Kolek. RHP already a massive athlete 100mph, think I read he ran a 4.8 40 too. It will be fun to watch next years draft develop.

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    He's a very good hitter but he's strictly a LF'er (and he's not even that great at it) Very unusual for a LF'er to get taken that early. Some guys move there later but it's unusual for a guy who starts out there to get picked up in the top 5.

  • I was talking with the regional scout i usually watch games with at one of the final Beloit Snappers games, so naturally he covers KCC as well, and we got on the subject of cubs minor league pitching. One thing that he mentioned offhand at the time that I didn't think too much about was that there seemed to be a disconnect between Derek Johnson and the FO. Like I said, it was offhand so I can only speculate what it might be over, but I would have to think it's over his role rather than development philosophy as they would have to be on the same page about that at the time of the hire. He apparently had very little role in the whole draft process, so that could be it. It may be nothing, but it could be a big deal down the road if it isn't solved and we don't have him around to work his magic on the pitching development as he did this year.

    Sort of off topic, but this blog is the best place to put this kind of thought.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    When I spoke to him, he indicated that he wasn't yet doing a whole lot of development stuff and it was still a lot of evaluation. Also said he didn't have a lot of input in draft, though they did ask him about some of the pitchers they looked at. I assumed at the time they were trying to ease him into a long term role.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Im sure that's it then. Like I said, it could be nothing big. I just know that when I'm cooking, I like picking out some of the groceries. With the system booming like it is, guys like mccleod and others in high scouting roles will get the call from other orgs for a promotion without a doubt, they have done a fantastic job, and when that time comes, this might be a guy to move up, so it would be wise to keep him happy.

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    It kills me to say this, but I think CubsTalk was right, Samardzija is on his way out of town after this season. They just can't give him the money he wants when he's this inconsistent.

    Hopefully that leads to a major bidding war. Best bet is probably that a team wants to respond to a rival's pickup of David Price. Or Dayton Moore gets even more desperate.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You may be right, but Samardzija may also realize that he can win right here if he is reasonable in his demands and gives the discount his performance merits. i wouldn't really mind the bidding war either. As long as we get the good end of the deal.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I just plain don't understand this. I've never heard anything about the kind of money Samardzija "wants". All I've heard is that he wanted to play out at least one full season as a starter before he started talking about an extension. I haven't seen any reports that he's turned down any offers, just that he won't talk about them yet. If I missed something saying that the Cubs offered him "x" amount and he said "No, give me 'y'", please share.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    For me, its just idle speculation. Fun! I've heard the same thoughts mentioned many times on many blogs.

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    In reply to Bilbo161:

    I hear you, my contention is with the idea that Samardzija has come forth with unreasonable contract demands that the Cubs will never meet. Also, with the idea that he either needs to sign a "team-friendly" extension or he's on his way out of town.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I think it all comes from Jeff not being interested in the negotiations till later. Implying he wants to wait till he is in a better position performance wise to negotiate a deal. Many, including myself don't think he has accomplished that and thus should look to do a team friendly deal instead of waiting. I have not seen any numbers. Just that Jeff is the one who wants to wait.

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    In reply to Matt McNear:

    They've been talking since last year.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/18992/samardzija-contract-talks-weigh-on-you

    My understanding of it is that the sides are pretty far apart because, unlike Castro and Rizzo, he doesn't need the security that a team friendly extension provides.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    This quote from Theo suggests that things are iffy at the moment: "[I]t's not always easy to sign someone to a long term deal and there has to be mutual interest. We'll see where that goes. Regardless, we control him for 2014-5 and hopefully for a long time to come."

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I don't see how that quote suggests he won't be around next year if he doesn't extend, seems to point to the opposite to me.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    That's the way I look at it too. The Cubs were trying to sign Samardzija on a value deal and while some players jump on that (Castro, Rizzo), he wanted to wait and see what he could do this year. Didn't want to regret signing a deal buying out his FA years while he's still young . I think he had a right to see if he could enter that upper echelon before taking the safe deal. And if you think about it, he probably didn't lose anything by waiting. I'm sure he can get a similar deal now that was offered last season.

    From what I understand, both sides want Samardzija to stay around and my guess is that they'll talk this offseason.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If they can work something out that keeps Jeff here all his career, awesome. But if Jeff is determined to get #1 type money, and wants to go to free agency to get it, then I don't think they can risk losing him for a comp pick, when they could get a pretty nice haul this off-season/next trade deadline.

    But, my first solution is indeed that Samardzija signs a long-term deal.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I haven't heard he's trying to get #1 money. I think he was just going to pitch another year to try and establish value. It's not working for him. He's not as good as last year and he's a year older. He can't keep putting this off forever. I'm hoping he goes to negotiate because i'm not sure what he has to gain by waiting another year now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Samardzija isn't going anywhere.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Even if Shark shows no improvement, and always remains an inconsistent starter like this, he's still pretty good. #2 or #3 material. Jury out on whether he is a legit #1; not yet.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yes, I agree and I think what the Cubs would like to do is extend him as if he's a #3 starter. If they do that then I'm okay with it. But like everyone else, I don't want him at #1 starter. For that money you might as well get a real #1 starter.

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    I'm fairly skeptical of the meme that says a low BABIP is by definition an indicator only of bad luck. It could also mean weak swings due to poor pitch recognition/plate discipline, inability to simply square up the ball, and inability to read the defense and hit accordingly.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    this was in response the Rizzo discussion, btw

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I agree, I don't think it's 100% bad luck. At the same time, making hard contact tends to even out over time. Hitters don't usually stop making hard contact one year (at least not at Rizzo's age) barring some kind of physical or maybe mechanical issue.

    It seems to me that Rizzo hasn't made consistently hard contact this season but I see no reason that can't change next year.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Players who are quicker to first base and hit line drives tend to have naturally higher BABIP (Ichiro: Career BABIP of .344), vs. the opposite end, the slow-footed fly ball hitter (Adam Dunn: career of .286). That right there is pretty much the range; almost all players will fit somewhere in there, and anything outside is small sample size or an anomaly.

    I couldn't find a player lower than Dunn with alot of ABs, and not sure you can find someone higher than Ichiro that has at least 3000 ABs

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    In reply to Zonk:

    PS: So, I think Rizzo is unlucky. He's probably closer to Adam Dunn than Ichiro, but there's room for growth

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree. Players who are a) fast and b) hit the ball hard, can expect higher BAPIP due to beating out infield singles and/or blasting the ball past the infielders. It doesn't hurt if you can bunt for singles as well. This is why I don't think Junior Lake is necessarily due for a BAPIP regression.

  • On the bright side today, Zac Rosscup looked good --throwing harder than advertised (93,94) and broke a couple of bats on RH hitters, which makes me wonder if he has some late glove side run.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd love to see Rosscup win a lefty bullpen roll next season.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Me too. As long as he shows he can throw enough strikes. He'd be a nice compliment to Russell because of his ability to miss bats. You can put him in some tough spots and he gives you a chance to get out of it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm glad to hear this because he looked very bleh vs the RH hitters when they were in Jax and I saw him live. He would strike out the Lefties, but the RH hitter he faced were hitting him hard. Fortunately, he didn't face many. One RH made a very loud out, if that was 20 feet to the right, it was a screaming line drive HR...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    May have been a bad day. Overall he's handled RH hitters well all year. I think he can definitely be more than a LOOGY.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    The other day I noticed Rosscup was showing higher velocity than advertised; you and others reported 90-92 range when he was in the minors, but he's showing a couple ticks higher in the majors. 2 mph makes a big difference for a reliever.

    Interesting, hope he keeps it up

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I like me a lefty who can miss bats. That's a nice weapon out of the pen. Disappointed in Lim's command so far in two appearances but maybe it's a matter of not having pitched a lot this year. At least i hope.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I reported him throwing 92-93 during spring training back on March 3rd. Glad to see he's still doing it 6 months later.

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