Cubs News and Notes: Moreland leaves booth, Cubs leave WGN, more on Samardzija, Tyler Beede, AFL

Cubs News and Notes: Moreland leaves booth, Cubs leave WGN, more on Samardzija, Tyler Beede, AFL

Just a few notes here as the Cubs get ready to announce Rick Renteria as their new manager tomorrow.  Renteria will sign a 3 year deal with 2 club options.

  • There will be a new radio voice to team with Pat Hughes as Keith Moreland resigned to spend more time with his family.  No word yet on potential replacements, though I've heard more than a few fans bring up Kerry Wood.  What about a minor league guy like Mick Gillespie of Tennessee, who has already covered many of the Cubs that will be Cubs in the future?
  • The Cubs exercised their option to get out of their broadcast contract with WGN after 2014, as expected.  According to the article, "By exercising the option, the Cubs’ broadcast and cable rights will sync up in 2019, giving the team a target date and its full slate of games to potentially form a much more lucrative cable sports network."
  • Chris Moran wrote a nice piece for the Gammons Daily on Jeff Samardzija.  Interesting how fresh his arm still is compared to other pitchers his age.  He also has excellent stuff.   I think he's still learning the craft of being a starting pitcher and it will be interesting to see how much progress he continues to make in terms of his approach and his command this upcoming season.
  • AZL Recap:  Kris Bryant went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.  He's hitting .390/.456/.831 with 6 HRs.  He is still striking out a lot (20 Ks in 67 PAs), but he is also regaining the patience he showed as an amateur (8 walks). Wes Darvill went 0 for 4.  Both Lendy Castillo and Armando Rivero pitched a scoreless inning.  They each walked one batter and struck out another.

Here's a scouting report by Kevin Gallo on potential Cubs draft pick Tyler Beede.

Pitcher name: Tyler Beede

HT: 6’4

WT: 215lbs

Position: RHP

Draft status: Junior at Vanderbilt

B/T: R/R

Physical: He has a strong muscular athletic build with rounded shoulders. He has a frame that can carry 200 innings a year without a problem.

Mechanics: Beede starts on the 1B side of the rubber and steps at about a 45% angle back to start his windup. He has a simple compact delivery keeping his hands close to his chest until the point of separation. He has a high compact leg kick and explodes off his back leg. He throws from a high ¾ arm slot and gets good extension from his forward stride. He has a solid landing on his front leg and clean follow through. His release point is a little inconsistent.

Fastball: Beede offers two different types of FBs, which could both be plus pitches. His 4 steam shows good gear out of his hand with some rising action, sitting around 94 to 95 with a 97 max. Beede’s 2S fastball shows good tailing and sinking action and sits around 92 to 94. His 2S is an excellent ground ball pitch with swing and miss action.

Secondary Pitches: Both of Beede’s secondary pitches show flashes of being plus or plus plus pitches.

Curveball: Beede’s CB sits in the low 80s and shows a hard 12-6 break. He shows a good tight spin, depth and good shape when his release point is right. It shows flashes of being a plus pitch when his command is on.

Change up: Beede’s CU could be his best pitch. It sits in the high 70’s and shows very good deception. It shows a good tailing and sinking action. His CU has all the makings of a plus plus pitch if his release point is correct.

Command: This may be the only knock on him. His release point has been the biggest issue in his development. But he has shown times when his command is on and he is all but unhittable.

Summary: The only thing holding Beede back is consistence of his release point If you go with pure stuff, he maybe the best pitcher in the draft. Beede could become the best pitcher coming out of the 2014 draft, if he can get master his command. It is very possible, if Beede shows the improvement in his command that he could be a top 5 pick.

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  • So at this very early stage, good options for the Cubs at #4 are looking like Kolek, Beede and Turner, right? I am presuming that Hoffman goes 2 or 3.

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    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    At the moment, Beede really isn't a good option, he could play himself into consideration though.

    If the draft happened today, you'd have to think the Cubs get whichever of Kolek and Turner the White Sox leave. (John isn't a huge Kolek fan, though, so he may have a different answer.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I like Kolek. Just don't think he's as projectable as your normal high schooler in terms of stuff. He's fully grown, physically mature. But he doesn't need to project either. He's already there in terms of velo. Just a matter of refining the rest of his game. I wouldn't pick him up at 4, personally, but you never know. Depends on how the draft shakes out.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Another kid (Kolek) coming out of Texas. Does he compare to either K Wood and/or R Clemens as a big hard thrower?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    I have seen Comps to Clemens for Kolek.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Crazy thing is he's already as big as Clemens was in his 30s!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think is was in term of stuff but I heard one to Nolan Ryan.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    That would make him an easy top 3 pick if that holds. Cubs may not even get the chance. I could be wrong on Kolek. I have only seen him at the UA game. He was throwing some serious heat.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I know this sounds snarky, but I do not mean it to be, and am serious about the question.

    Would there be comps to Clemens if he were from Michigan or New Jersey? Every time a pitcher from Texas has a good fastball, he is comped with Clemens or Wood.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I think there's a natural tendency for scouts to make those kinds of connections.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    You never know. White Sox may take the top HS catcher, Beede may go to Miami leaving the Cubs with option of Turner, Kolek or Hoffman.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Beede is a top 5 talent but right now he has some work to do to solidify that spot. His stuff is as good as any pitcher in this draft.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Raw stuff as good as Rodon's, you think?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Definitely. Beede has NASTY movement on his pitches.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    His stuff yes. His CB could be every bit as good as Rondon's SL and Beede CU could be better the Rondon's. Its a command issue.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Raw, yes. Rodon is a better pitcher right now.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    If you just look at the rankings right now (and my site Bigleaguefutures.net is working on new ones that should out next week) Kolek and Turner are the besr bets that could go at 4. I have some player that could be fast riser but they all have something to prove first.

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    The Bryant strikeouts are a little disturbing -- kind of like Shaq's free throw shooting -- but you look at that slash line and you can't argue that he isn't swinging at strikes. Really can't wait to watch him in Tennessee next season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    When Bryant K's, are most of them swinging or looking?

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    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Dunno. Guestimating from what I've seen, about 2/3 looking, 1/3 called, but that could be dead wrong.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He does have some swing and miss but I think that goes down the more he see the same pitchers over and over again. Right now I think he is being more aggressive then he will in year 3 of his MLB career. He is feeling out and learning how to approach these pitchers.

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    The other thing about Beede that may impact draft day is that his command problems seemed to get worse when Johnson left Vanderbilt. If Johnson thinks he sees Beede's issue and can fix it, the Cubs may roll the dice.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If he can fix Beede it wouldn't be a roll of the dice. It would be a grandslam pick. Beede has the best pure stuff in the draft. As a cubs fan your biggest fear should be that he gets picked up by the Cardinals.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I'd view it as a roll of the dice because Johnson could be wrong -- don't know for sure until he gets a chance to work with him.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Yes, was just thinking this. Seems comparabel to Wacha - though looks like Beede is more well-known since he was previously drafted and plays for a Tier-1 school (I assume A&M is tier-2).

    The FB / CU jumps out and me and screams Wacha...

    I assume Johnson worked with him prior to joining the Cubs....?

  • Is there another 1/3 for swinging?

  • As far as the booth goes, I never thought Zonk kept up with Pat (who is a HOFer imo). It will be interesting to see which direction they head with it. I always liked Judd Sirott.. But more and more it seems as if they are grooming him to replace Hughes one day (which would ideally never come, BUT..).

  • Thanks for the scouting report on Beede, KG. I really like this guy. Nice to see the plus plus change on a big college arm. Don't see a ton of 96 with a plus plus change. Usually the breaking stuff that flashes plus and the change that needs polish. I hope he stays on track and stays healthy!

    I'd like to see Woody get in there somewhere too.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Thanks Ben. It is unusual to see a plus plus change up out of college. Which is why I wouldn't be surprised if the cubs did go after him. It unusual to see a plus change most of the time. The last plus change out if college was Wacha and he really didn't have a breaking ball.

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    what's everybody think about maybe kicking the tires on 30 yr old lefty Clayton Richard? Not necessarily sold on the idea, but it would give the Cubs some options. Russell could be dealt and two of Rusin, Raley and Rosscup could occupy the 'pen. As a side note, there doesn't appear to be any shortage of RH power arms for the 'pen, with perhaps Parker, Schlitter and Rondon setting up Strop.

  • I'd really love to see Dave Otto in there...I thought when he filled in, he and Pat had great chemistry.

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    Dave Otto - no thanks. I've heard enough anecdotes from 30 years ago. Cubs need someone who is in sync with today's player mentality, knows what a clubhouse is like in this century, what with the salaries, the egos, the transience of contracts. And someone who is familiar with saber metrics. Off the top of my head, two choices: mark derosa ( yeah I know he's not officially retired but his playing career is on life support, I bet he can be talked into it) or Doug Glanville. Anyone who's read Glanvilles's blog pieces, often picked in the New York Times can see he's articulate, smart and knowledgable (two different things). Glanville also may bring in an African American demographic, something the game needs more of. Actually a guy like ausmus - smart, witty, self deprecating - would have been a good choice.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Glanville would be a good choice.

    Were I making the choice, I would strongly consider going old school and NOT select an ex-player. Most of them (think Sutcliffe, Gwynn, etc.) are dreadfully soporific. Find an articulate, knowledgeable (especially in modern analysis), enthusiastic and interesting professional.

    The selection pool of candidates is in the thousands. You can find the right one there, even if he (or she) is unknown.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    I'd start looking with the best minor league play-by-play sportscasters in the USA.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    Could go with Mick Gillespie, who has already seen many good prospects and did some spring training games with Len Kasper.

  • I am going to add one thing to the Beede scouting report. If everything comes together his command at least becomes above average and all his pitches come close to being what they can project to be. You are looking at a Pitcher that could be one of the top 2 pitchers in all of Baseball. It wouldn't surprise me if he won multiple CY Young's. But to be that guy a lot has to go right.

  • How does one help a pitcher, like Beede, acquire a consistent release point? More reps, watch film, simplify his delivery, reduce his repretoire (sp), ? In your opinion, can Beede do this?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Sometimes its nothing it just happens. It has to do with his delivery And finding more consistency in it. Its just a small adjust that is needed but sometimes those are the hardest to make. Its a feel thing at this point

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Sometimes it's just reps and letting a pitcher get comfortable with his own release point. It's not unusual for young pitchers to struggle with their command, but athletic guys like Beede have an advantage when it comes to finding that consistency.

  • With all of Beedes plus pitches, right now it seems like a no brainer to take him, although I like the take a position player and pound the pitcher afterword approach.

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

    The cubs like polished and he isn't polished yet. But I like talent I would do it.

  • I doubt if Beede will be available, but if he is, he is the obvious choice. I think the risk/reward is really there.
    I liked Zonk, both as a player and even with a few flaws as a radio guy. I wish him well. As far as a replacement goes, please not Mark Grace, I loved him as a player, but he drives me nuts as an announcer, talks too much. I doubt if Sutcliffe or Gwinn could leave the camera, Glanville would be fine, DeRosa, OK, but maybe Jim (above) is right and we should get a professional type.
    See ya WGN, maybe now we can do without all those annoying, stupid sit-com promos during play.

  • In reply to Bluekoolaidaholic:

    I'm really going to miss the Bud Lime water slide commercial that they play at least 12 times per game!

  • In reply to Bluekoolaidaholic:

    I'm really going to miss the Bud Lime water slide commercials that they play at least 12 times per game!

  • I think it's Mick Gillispie. Knows the young guys, smart, probably ok with a year of deal uncertainly. I love to see him and Corey Provus together once Pat retires.

  • In reply to Colin Waters:

    He's my outside the box candidate if he's indeed interested. Makes sense.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I found this interview on youtube with him, if anyone wants to get a sense of how he speaks and his general thoughts on the org.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTTgWP1LQK4

  • Attended the AFL games Monday-Wednesday this week. A great atmosphere for prospect junkies. Only a few hundred fans attend and you can sit anywhere all for $7! I sat amongst the many scouts and also players charting pitches. The Cubs big three looked good though I didn't see any big thunder. Bryant looked at a lot of pitches in each AB as the pitchers were not giving in to him. Lots of soft stuff, much of which he laid off. He fumbled a couple grounds balls at third but what was striking were his throws. Very strong and true with big time velocity.

    Soler is an imposing physical specimen and the ball explodes off his bat. He hits a couple of grounders towards third one of which went for a double that looked like they were shot out of a cannon. I heard one scout compare him to Danny Tartabull.

    I only saw Almora just one game (players usually play every other day) and he didn't do anything flashy. He got the barrel on the ball twice in 4 AB's and ran his butt off to first every time. Like we have heard one scout said "he plays above his tools."

    Only pitcher of note was Dallas Beeler who threw strikes consistently. He had some bad luck on seeing eye grounders, bad defense, and a blooper so his line looked wacky with 7 runs allowed, all of which were unearned.

  • In reply to peabodydg:

    Thanks for the report. I watched the Beeler game on MLB. I thought both Almora an Soler were too aggressive at the plate swinging at pitchers pitches early in the count. Maybe I was expecting too much as it is just one game. I've seen Soler a few times and he may have lost a bit from his injury. It was my first time watching Almora and one can see that he has talent.

  • I for one hate to see Moreland go. If they go with a non-player, I would be happy with Mick Gillispie. There is something to be said for having an ex-player, though. Somethings in baseball only a player can know and it's nice to hear that perspective on the broadcast. So, I would prefer an ex-player but as with anything, you have to choose wisely when you pick one.

  • These are the articles that I love about this site and all of the comments from the scouting to the local hands-on feedback. Thanks to all.

    If Beede does work out his command issues then the Cubs will indeed have a good player to choose from at 4, which is the spot some people frowned upon when the Sox locked up the #3 spot. So from Hoffman, Kolek, Beede and next years fast riser, we should be ok if the FO looks towards SP.

  • This is my 1st ever post, as I have finally broke down and decided to join the Chicago now family.... Have have been reading Cubs Den from more than a year now, and I keep coming back daily... I have lived in Southwest Florida since February 1996... After relocating from the Northern Illinois area... I must say I enjoy all the writing ,and up-to-date information .. It makes me feel like I'm still home, only 1400 miles a little South... Anyway,what made me finally chime in was... The Chicago Cubs separating from WGN-TV after the 2014 season.... This is ridiculous and cannot happen... I've been watching the Cubs since 1969 on WGN ... I was 3 going on 4 and remember that season like it was yesterday... Nobody painted a better picture in those days than Jack Brickhouse... He would get more excited than some of the fans and that made me love the Cuns from that day on... My favorite call will always be Jack's... Ernie Banks 500th home run... I also enjoyed when Lou Boudreau sat beside him ..of course many people didn't ...but I did... Oh hell, I even enjoyed the inebriated Harry Carey... I quite often sing the seventh-inning stretch at Fort Myers Miracle games...Via :Harry Carey style... Even when someone hits a homerun ... I sometimes sit there and say hey hey or holy cow... I wonder where I got those two phrases from... Anyway ,kind of weak 1st post ...but after reading what's going on with the Cubs and WGN ... It really kind of broke my heart... As for what these knucklehead people down here say to me,or laugh... I wear my Chicago Cubs hat with pride.... PS... Boston Red Sox fans are not very nice... trust me... I get to deal with them every spring training..!!!!! You think Cardinal fans are bad...!!!

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