If you're like me, you're a little manager search weary, so I'm going to turn the focus today back to the players.
Scouts thoughts on Dan Vogelbach
Vogelbach gets criticism in some circles but I was able to get some scouting opinion on Vogelbach and it was pretty good stuff.
"Impact bat and a future middle of the lineup bat. Better glove than thought but still below average"
One scout said he'd love to have him in the organization and feels he's capable of hitting 40 HRs with a batting average around .290 in his peak.
For what it's worth, I spoke earlier to some evaluators who weren't too concerned with his defense. They just say he needs to be adequate and the bat will carry him. "He's going to get paid to hit", was what one scout told me.
AZ Fall Recap
- Jorge Soler came back from his residency issues and went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI. So much for small sample size and "slow" starts. Soler is now hitting a solid .282 in the Fall League despite inconsistent playing time over the past 2 years. The guy just has a lot of talent. A reader who attended the game said that Soler showed showed patience and that all 3 hits were line drives.
- Dallas Beeler started and had a solid outing, going 4 innings and allowing 2 runs but walking none and striking out 2. Both runs scored on a rare HR allowed by the sinker ball specialist. Other than that it was a very good outing. 33 of 48 pitchers were strikes and he generated 5 ground ball outs.
- Matt Loosen relieved Beeler and also allowed a HR but otherwise was very good. He walked no batters, which is a huge key for him, and struck out 3 in 2 innings.
- Lendy Castillo pitched a scoreless inning and struck out. He did walk 2 batters, however.
- Albert Almora and Kris Bryant got the day off but they are in the lineup today, along with Jorge Soler.
Gold Glove Finalists
Some good news and bad news for Cubs fans rooting for some Gold Glove awards. Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo are finalists while Welington Castillo got snubbed. Castillo led all catchers (including Yadier Molina) in runs saved but it's likely his passed ball and error count swayed some old schoolers away when it came to the voting. It's a shame. There has been some progress as far as voters taking advanced defensive metrics into account, but the vote is still largely based on reputation and outdated statistics such as fielding percentage.
Odds and ends
- Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors tweets that Jacoby Ellsbury may get $150M in free agency this offseason. Both Tom and I have heard the Cubs are interested in adding the speedy outfielder into the mix but you have to figure price has to be a factor here. It's not like the Cubs don't have the money, but it's likely that Ellsbury's best two seasons will be his next ones while the Cubs aren't contending. The question is whether he'll be worth the money in 3 years when he probably moves to LF in favor of Albert Almora.
- There's another Korean pitcher available and it's Seung-Hwan Oh but the Cubs are not listed as one of the interested teams. Oh throws 94-96 mph but is 31 years old and stands just 5'10". The Yankees are said to be scouting him closely.
- The Nationals have hired Matt Williams to be their next manager. Williams was never mentioned as a candidate for the Cubs.
- Rick Renteria is getting an interview with the Seattle Mariners, who have also interviewed Brad Ausmus.
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