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News and Notes: Stanton, Soler, Hendricks, Castro, Rizzo, McKinney, Schwarber, Castillo

News and Notes: Stanton, Soler, Hendricks, Castro, Rizzo, McKinney, Schwarber, Castillo

Day game today and a good time for some lunch-time news and notes...

Stanton to stay in Miami?

It appears that the Marlins are set to make a run at extending Giancarlo Stanton.  There's some talk here time to time about the Cubs acquiring the 24 year old superstar slugger.  While I like Stanton (who wouldn't?), such a deal has always seemed highly unlikely and the Marlins recent overtures indicate that it may be even less than we thought.   Not only are they going to make a run at extending him, but they have also stated that, even if they can't, they plan on keeping him as long as possible, meaning his free agent year, meaning the year 2016.  So if the Cubs want Stanton, it appears they'll have to wait a couple of years.

Adding to that unlikelihood is that the Marlins have also indicated they intend to pursue a top of the rotation starter to help replace the injured Jose Fernandez, who will be out until midseason next year.  At first I thought, "What's the point?"  They certainly have enough pitching to carry them through the all-star break.  But the point may be to keep Stanton happy and giving themselves the best chance to compete in what is now a two-year window for them if they can't extend Stanton.  Their best chances of keeping him are to build a contending team.  And that appears what the Marlins want to do.

Soler to Chicago soon?

Maybe the Cubs can develop their own Stanton.

The "news" of a possible call-up isn't really news.  We have assumed he will be here in September.  If nothing else, the extra reps are a good enough reason for the oft-injured prospect.  The downside is also low.  He is already under contract and on the 40 man roster.  He can opt out and choose arbitration, so calling him up speeds that clock a little, but in all honesty that's probably outweighed by the potential benefits in this case.  GM Jed Hoyer said a September call-up is under consideration,

"[Soler] has been playing great, and is locked in now, and great at-bats, great attitude, playing good defense," Hoyer said. "We have to decide if he's had enough at-bats or not."

One potential issue as to call-up date is that the Iowa Cubs are tied for first place and contending for a playoff berth.  Hoyer isn't inclined to undercut the I-Cubs anymore than he already has when he called up Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Javier Baez.

"They worked hard down there," Hoyer said. "We don't want to raid them and leave them with nothing if they do make the playoffs."

The playoffs are good for Soler, if not for us fans here in Chicago who are anxious to get a glimpse of another talented prospect.  Soler hasn't had time to stay in one place very long and the word is he is developing into something of a leader.  The chance to experience the playoffs with Kris Bryant, a probable future teammate, as well as extended time at a level where pitchers can begin to make adjustments may be better for Soler's development than an early call-up anyway.  Even if Iowa makes the playoffs and goes all the way with each series going the full 5 games, Soler could still be here by mid-September at the latest.  Everybody wins in that scenario...more reps for Soler, more continuity, more development time, playoff experience...and we still catch a glimpse, albeit one a little later than we might like.

The Maddux-Hendricks connection

Disclaimer: This is not saying Hendricks = Maddux, but...

One of the things that made Greg Maddux great was an encyclopedic knowledge of his opponents.  It appears that Kyle Hendricks has the same cerebral approach, not just one the mound, but in his off the field preparation.  What's more, he actually likes it.

"I just try to sear the game plan into my mind by watching a ton of video," Hendricks said. "That way, when I'm on the mound, I don't have to think about, 'What was this guy supposed to do again?' It's just kind of there because of watching so much video.

"It's studying for sure. You're looking at the hitters. The scouting report is just a bunch of words. You have to read it and have to be able to retain it. It's fun studying, it's not like school. It's fun sitting there watching hitters. You're watching baseball."

We don't yet know what Hendricks is going to be.  He still needs to improve his breaking ball (per @enosarris Hendricks only got two swings and misses out of 15 breaking pitches in his last start), but we do know he is going to make sure he squeezes every ounce of talent he has.  Hendricks study habits are enhanced by his advanced command, so he is able to execute well.

And we shouldn't get too hung up about the breaking ball.  A veteran scout told me he doesn't have to develop a great one.  Heck, he said he doesn't even need an average one.  Just one that is just good enough to keep hitters honest and one that breaks lower in the strike zone so it doesn't drop right into a hitter's happy place.  Coming from the studious, hard-working Hendricks, it doesn't seem like that is going to be a huge issue for him to learn that too.

Castro, Rizzo learning to turn on the ball

One story I remember hearing from a former MLB pitcher (sorry, can't remember which), was how Ryne Sandberg sort of lulled pitchers into thinking they can go inside by lunging and weakly fouling off outside pitches.  Then, just when they thought they could bust him inside...Boom!  Sandberg was ready to take it pull side to Waveland Avenue.

Similarly, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, though not intentionally,  probably created a book last year that they will settle for opposite field and that they can be busted inside.

Pitchers are beginning to find that both Cubs young hitters have made the adjustment and they are more than ready and willing to turn on pitches in the inner half.

The power surge from the Cubs two best young hitters stems from an increased willingness to pull the ball.  We saw Rizzo do it yesterday and he ranks among the most improved in this category, per this article by Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs.  Starlin Castro ranks as the most improved overall on what is a very impressive list of ballplayers.

Both Castro (24) and Rizzo (25) are young but they have been in the league long enough to have adapted to pitchers as pitchers have adapted to them.  We sometimes forget that development continues at the MLB level, particularly in those first 3-4 years.  It may have been a bumpy ride, both both are vastly improved, more well-rounded hitters than the ones that first came up.  Painful as it was to watch, especially last year, the struggles have made them better and I'm beginning to think that each can be a great resource to up and coming Cubs prospects for this reason.  The Cubs could use some veteran leadership too, but if anyone can understand the ups and downs of adjusting to MLB pitching as a young player, it's the Cubs two top young hitters.

McKinney, Schwarber draw praise

Jeff Moore of Baseball Prospectus scouted the FSL (free) and had good stuff to say about the two top LH hitting prospects the Cubs acquired this year.  They acquired Kyle Schwarber via the MLB Draft and Bill McKinney as the second prospect in the Addison Russell deal.

Moore hangs a 65 grade on McKinney's hit tool, feeling he can be a .300 hitter at the MLB level.   He grades his power as average and was surprised by his athleticism.  McKinney likely ends up in LF but he has the bat to carry the position, especially since he enhances his hit tool with the ability to draw walks, giving him the potential to put up big OBP numbers.  That will compensate for having a corner OF'er with average power, a spot you normally reserve for big thumpers.

The Schwarber praise is less effusive and some may be disappointed in this hit/power tool grades, both of which are a grade above average at 55.  But Moore thinks he can produce at the level of a first division left-fielder -- that implies a very good bat.  One scout similarly told me he could end up a .280 hitter (supplemented with a good walk rate) with 25 HRs.  That is an asset -- especially one at 6 years of cost control.  That is no small thing.

But it could be even batter.  Imagine that kind of bat at catcher.  Moore thinks he can stick there, possibly everyday or possibly in a part-time roles similar to what we have seen at the minor league level so far.  The Braves have shown that can work with Evan Gattis, who projects as a 3+ win player in that role.  That's a good player and a potentially unique asset for the Cubs.  They don't need Schwarber to be a star, but if they can get that kind of production from the left side and from the catching position, it will go a long way toward balancing the Cubs lineup.

Rusney Castillo update

Castillo will narrow down the field in the next few days with the Red Sox expected to be very aggressive.  His camp claims there is no leader right now but that is likely due in part to getting as many interested bidders involved as possible.

There has been Castillo hype out in the media but privately I have heard more tempered evaluations.  Yes, he can be a good player.  He's a quick-twitched CF who relies on speed and quick hands, but the question will soon become is how much to invest in such a player, especially for the Cubs, who may have a similar player in Arismendy Alcantara that will come at far less money over the next few years.  Unless the Cubs consider Castillo a significant upgrade over Alcantara in the short term, I'm not sure they will have the motivation to enter a bidding war against teams who have a greater current need.

Of course, the recent reports from workouts suggest that Castillo may have improved and perhaps gotten stronger, so maybe he is a different player now.  We don't know how the Cubs feel but we do know they were impressed enough to bring him in for a private workout.  Its worth following for that reason alone, so we'll keep tabs.

Today's Lineup

  1. Coghlan, LF
  2. Baez, 2B
  3. Rizzo, 1B
  4. Castro, SS
  5. Valbuena, 3B
  6. Alcantara, CF
  7. Ruggiano, RF
  8. Castillo, C
  9. Jackson, P

 

 

 

 

Comments

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  • I agree completely John, why spend money on Castillo when at-best, he's a slightly amped-up version of Mendy. What's the point?

    I'm no Welly fan, and fortunately I think we're in good shape moving forward at catcher. Schwarber, Zagunis, Caratini, Brockmeyer, Malave--we only need one of those guys to pan out (two if you have little faith in Welly).

    The future is bright.....

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I have some faith in Welly only because he works so hard at this game. I think the Cubs should give him an extra year -- we saw how Castro and Rizzo bounced back, maybe Castillo can be the same.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I like Welly's game overall; he plays good defense and he seems to have a good rapport with the pitchers, to the point where I can accept some offensive problems. The issue for me is that he's an abominably terrible pitch receiver...and getting worse. If he doesn't clean that up significantly within the next couple seasons, I'm going to have some real problems with him as the team's main catcher.

  • In reply to Nathan King:

    He does need some work. He has come a long way but he's still not a finished product. He has had to develop at the MLB level, like many prospects from Hendry era. Hopefully he takes that next step but if not, he's more of a 2nd division starter and the Cubs need to upgrade once they are ready to contend. And that could come soon.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think that the boys are keeping their eyes open for an upgrade. In the past rumors included McCann, Wieters and Salty. All left handed bats allowing the Cubs balance and a better opportunity to keep more stud right side hitting position guys.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Russell Martin. FA after this year, and tho a RH bat, a signifigantly beter catcher than any of those 3. Hes been a winner everywhere hes been.

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    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Save the money to spend on free agent pitching.

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    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I agree. He is probably going to want a 5 year contract at $8-15M/year. That will likely look like a terrible investment in 3 years if we have any of our CF prospects pan out.

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    I think we need to save our dollars for a top-flight pitcher, rather than Rusney Castillo. The bidding figures to get nuts if the Yankees and Red Sox are involved. He's a "nice to have", but we need pitching much more than we need another OF. No thanks.

    In general, I feel like we need to open our wallets for a top-flight pitcher, and a decent veteran catcher, and maybe a LOOGY, but outside of that we have internal options for everything else.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Agreed..."a nice to have" is a good way to put it, but he's not a "have to have" like he is for the Red Sox and Phillies, so I think the Cubs lose out here. Save it for the arm and some needed veteran role player types.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Maybe the Cubs can up the bidding to get those guys to pay up. I think if they try lowball him, the Cubs could swoop in -- I'd be okay with that. At least up the bid to make them use more payroll space than they prefer.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Hey, the more the Red Sox spend on Rusney Castillo, the less they have for Jon Lester.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    We're on the same wavelength ;)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's risky. Only bid what we are truly willing to pay rather than trying to play gamesmanship with BOS/NYY, otherwise "The more WE spend on Rusney Castillo the less we have for Jon Lester (or other FA of choice)."

  • Really don't like the idea of pursuing Stanton, Cole Hamels, or any other type flight player (especially a pitcher that could potentially break down & be lost for a year or so) via trade because of what we'd have to give up in return. We have enough hitting coming so why make it a priority? Who wouldn't want Stanton but is he really necessary for the Cubs? Also, I'd prefer to overpay, in free agency, for a top pitcher. Lester being the obvious choice because there is no compensation tied to him. After we see how our prospects pan out, and if we have redundancy, then it makes sense to trade one of our upcoming prospects but, IMO, now is not the time.

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    In reply to Pepitone8:

    I don't think Lester is the obvious choice just because of the Theo connection and the comp pick. Scherzer has fewer innings on his arm and probably looks better on paper.

    Not saying Lester is the way to go, just saying it's not a no-brainer. I do like the fact that he is left-handed.

    I do think these are the only two guys worth breaking the bank over. Then, a year later, we have Jordan Zimmermann and David Price, but who knows if Zimmermann will reach free agency?

    I'm glad I'm not a GM. I'd be a horrible one. I maybe sign Scherzer by a nose over Lester. No, wait, Lester by a nose. Either way, I sign the guy I think will be the better pitcher going forward regardless of the comp pick.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Scherzer has already turned down a long-term extension from the team he plays for (that is built to win now) that would have made him one of the highest paid players in the game. IMO, Scherzer is going to be way too pricey, for the Cubs, in terms of dollars and years on the contract. I'd expect him to be a better fit for Yankees based on what his contract demands will be. Lester should be less expensive, will not require compensation, has a connection with the FO, and may not require the contract years of Scherzer. So of the big three (Scherzer, Lester, & Shields), Lester is the obvious choice. (Shields will be 33 at the start of next season so, IMO, is not a great fit for the Cubs.) Plus, Lester has said publicly that he is more interested in signing with a team, in a city, that fits best for his family versus the team offering him the most money.

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    In reply to Pepitone8:

    Your points are good ones, and I was aware of them. Still don't think its obvious. If the Cubs feel Scherzer is the better pitcher with fewer innings on his arm, they should target him.

    Lester just said recently he might be willing to go back to Boston for less money. So it's tough to predict how this will play out.

    If one of these two guys is going to be a Cub next year I agree it more likely will be Lester. But again, I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have Scherzer.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Got it Greg! I'm with you, I'd probably prefer Scherzer over Lester but would be elated to have either. Just think Lester - cost wise - would be a more realistic fit for the Cubs. Scherzer seems to have his eyes on Kershaw type money.

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    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I wouldn't pay too much attention to what these guys say they will do. It is all gamesmanship at this point.

  • "Maybe the Cubs can develop their own Stanton."

    Why stop there?
    Let's go for three...Rizzo, Baez & Bryant.
    I don't see Soler putting up those kind of power numbers... he's the multi-tool of the bunch.

    I don't have a problem with Welly.
    I also don't have a problem with a prospect coming up and taking his spot. Best players play, period.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Interesting, most scouts see Soler with the most power of them all. Are you a professional scout? What makes you think that he won't put up power numbers?

  • In reply to MashBrotherMania:

    His OPS is only 1200+

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    I don't get why we keep trotting Jackson out there every 5 days. No one is going to trade for him and everyone we've called up from Iowa to start has outpitched him. Beeler and the 2 new guys deserve a shot more than Jackson does. Put him in long relief for when we need an innings eater and then cut him in the off-season. He has virtually no value so why waste time with him any more.

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    In reply to Terry Huebner:

    I can think of two (and a half) good reasons for this The first is that there's no urgency to win now, and while that doesn't mean the Cubs should try to lose, it does mean that Jackson has a bit of leeway both to get some innings in as a veteran presence who has been ineffective but generally not disruptive, and also a chance to right the ship on the off-chance that he can get some quality starts to build on for next season.

    The second reason is that, while Jackson's results have been terrible, I (and more importantly the Cub's front office) believe that the process by which those results are obtained are more predictive than the actual results. By this I mean that Jackson has been victimized by sequencing enough to the point that his 5.61 ERA masks a 4.17 FIP. He's probably not even that good, I'll admit, since he consistently under-performs his FIP over his career and this article (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/limiting-hard-contact-nl-leaders-and-a-laggard/) from Tony Blengino today is pretty damning. However the point remains that there is reason to believe there is still upside in Edwin Jackson, much as he is brutal to watch.

    The two and one half good reason is simply that his enormous contract would look pretty bad in the bullpen. Good teams can't worry about such concerns, but since the Cubs are bad and the pitchers who would replace Jackson are younger but not necessarily better, the front office can save a bit of embarrassment and hope for a possible but unlikely turnaround before they make some tough (or maybe not so tough) choices this offseason.

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    In reply to Nathan King:

    I understand your points, but they fail to convince. How many bad years must we endure? What does it say to the rest of the team when he doesn't get pulled out of the rotation for bad performances? You don't breed a culture of winning that way. He needs to take a seat.

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    I agree completely. The fact that Lester isn't tied to a draft pick makes him a priority this off season. Even a Masterson or Shields makes sense.
    SIGN ALL THE PITCHERS!!!!

  • In reply to Drougs:

    All your pitchers are belong to us.

  • In reply to CGunz:

    Haha!

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    In reply to Drougs:

    Shields will pitch next year at age 33. I don't see it.

  • Can somone clearlify what a 1st division starter and 2nd division starter actually means? Thank you.

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    It's just a way of saying whether a guy is good enough to start for a good team or if he is only starting because he is on a bad team that starts him because they don't have better. Another way of saying it is a guy that;s good enough to stick around but someone you always want to upgrade. 1st division starters are good enough to start for basically any team.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I looked for an answer to his question and didn't see your response. I think if I had refreshed I would have seen it. I shouldn't have even posted! I do think Edwin Jackson would be a good example. Could he pitch for any top team, say the Dodgers or Oakland? Not on your life!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    EJax really looks like a 2nd division guy right now...at best.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    makes me wonder if there's not a metric somewhere that we've missed. Somebody can't overwhelmingly under perform their peripherals 2 consecutive years, can they?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Some guys do. I think Buerhle consistently outperforms them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    How many divisions are there? just a 1st and 2nd? I think Barney would fit closer to a 10th division starter.

  • In reply to SenatorMendoza:

    Haha! Actually Barney was a pretty good 2nd division starter example when he was putting up 2 WAR seasons based almost entirely on his defense.

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    I am not sure I am the right person, but essentially a No. pitcher for the Dodgers is not generally the same as the top pitcher for the Astros. The top 7 or 8 teams in each league have the top pitching over-all. There can be an outlier, like Fernandez for Miami last year. But generally there are pitchers in the bottom 7 or 8 teams in the NL and AL which could not start at their rotation spot on a top division team.

  • Sittin here at Wrigley watching the Blue Angels practice with my 2 boys while reading Cubs Den. Life is really really good!

    Hope Javy hits another bomb to ice the cake.

  • In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    Sweet! Really liked seeing the Blue Angels when I was a kid too. Have fun!

  • In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    Sounds like Heaven... enjoy!

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    it was until Jackson took the mound! I think I'm the only one booing him.

  • John:

    1. I'm interested in your thoughts of Coghlan's future with the team. Incredible that we're about to have surplus high-end ML talent. When I read the above report on McKinney, I'm thinking that's what we got in Coghlan right now. Can he keep this up? Can he be a .300 hitter with decent gap power? I didn't think much of him through the first two months of the season, but he has really opened my eyes. He seems like a keeper.

    2. I just hate the idea of trading away Coghlan, McKinney, Alcy, Soler or Almora. But that's a crowded outfield and doesn't even account for Bryant being out there if we go with an infield of Castro, Russell and Baez. Holy smokes the talent we have! Yes, these are good problems to have but they'll lead to painful decisions. I'm glad we got the right brain trust to make those decisions.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I think the Cubs need to keep Coghlan around for next season. LF is open for now with Alcantara in CF and possibly Soler in RF. Nice to have a veteran and some continuity, perhaps in a platoon with Ruggiano. The Cubs can judge his long term value from next season. Right now he looks like a solid piece. Fits the Cubs philosophy.

    McKinney won't be ready for 2 years minimum, so the Cubs can cross that bridge then. A lot of things can change with Coghlan, McKinney, or both.

    It's a nice thing to worry about.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Coghlan has impressed me as well. Sometimes you do catch lightning in a bottle.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Coghlan is preferable to the alternatives; more Junior Lake, or spending big on a FA LF. I would rather save the $$$$ for top-flight pitcher. At some point we will have internal options for LF, from McKinney or Schwarber or whomever, so we just need a bridge until then, and hopefully one that doesn't cost much. Coghlan fits the bill well.

    Coghlan is due for regression, fair warning, though he has also made some underlying improvements; he is hitting the ball in the air more this year, as opposed to grounders

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    The Marlins intend to pursue a TOR starter if for no other reason than to keep Stanton happy and compete in the two year window before his free agency.....Then why the hell did they draft a raw HS pitcher who they won't see for 3-5 years, if ever, over Carlos Rodon who could have been in their starting rotation next season? Though, since it's the Marlins, I'm sure their stupidity will end up working out for them and they'll fall ass-backwards into another World Series title before losing Stanton.

  • In reply to Voisie Winters:

    Yeah, I never quite know what the Marlins are doing.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    a mind is a terrible thing to waste, jeffrey loria....

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    They don't ever quite know what they are doing apparently.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    True.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Well they have won a couple WS.

  • In reply to Voisie Winters:

    A lot of teams apparently didn't think Rodon could be a TOR arm. If the Marlins thought Kolek has way better upside then they made the right choice. Just because Rodon might make it to the majors in the next two years doesn't mean much. Hell, the Marlins brought up Fernandez when he was like 20, maybe they do the same with Kolek.

  • I'm going to miss the "give up the farm for Stanton" nonsense. Oh well, at least I can count on the "trade Castro for prospects" banter to return shortly after his current hitting streak ends.

    In ref to Rusney Castillo, a NL scout told me he has really loud tools. But they don't have enough game tape on him to know if that translates or not. So good luck figuring out if he is more Junior Lake than Yasiel Puig... IDK, we did have him up to Wrigley for a private workout, so there is some interest.

    I've been one of the most vocal anti Hendricks = Maddux members on the board. But I am totally okay with the Maddux cerebral comp. I think the kid has earned that. I also think that's what will prove all of his doubters wrong and make him stick as a MLB SP. But that doesn't make him an ACE. So pretty please, with sugar on top, can we stop the Hendricks = Maddux (other than the cerebral approach asterisk) and Hendricks is an ACE nonsense until the league has seen the kid a few times. So far so good. But, this is the MLB, they will adjust to him.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I haven't seen anyone here say Hendricks can be an ace, or maybe I just haven't read through all the comments. I said after his third start that I think he can eventually be a mid-rotation starter, and I stand by that. Have the ace comments come from here or other places?

  • In reply to Ricardo:

    Here... Some of it in jest. Some of it NOT.

    But even MOR SP is not substantiated at this point. He may turn out to be. But you can't go off of 3 MLB starts or 6 MLB games. His scouting profile and body of work in the minors says BOR.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I know it's still very early in his career, but I like what I see so far. Yes, the league will adjust to him, but he seems smart enough to be able to adjust back, hence my optimistic MOR projection. Without overpowering stuff, he doesn't have much room for error, but he hasn't made many errors so far (though there have been some pitches hitters probably could've done more with). His ability to attack hitters' weaknesses and execute pitches this early in his career bodes well I think, but of course we'll know more with a bigger sample size.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think too much is made of FB speed and not enough is made of a pitcher's variation in speed. Likewise on mental ability and how to use your strengths and an opponents weakness. I just hope some of Hendricks rubs off on Turner and the rest of the young guys.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    That's an interesting point. Hendricks has credited his success to all the one on one sessions with Bosio inbetween his starts. But his team mates have commented about how much extra time he puts in study video.

    His team mates notice this stuff, and see the results... How can they not jump in and do the same thing?

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    we're not going to need Stanton by 2016. between Bryant, Soler, McKinney ans Schwarber we may have someone just about as good.

    welly looks like trade bait to me in the next couple of years

    can't understand people still calling for trading Castro, no matter what the return is. Trade castro and hope Baez/Russell become....Castro?

    Not thrilled with Mendy's arm - saw 2 throws to the plate in 2 games that were 20 feet up the line. If he can't play CF he really has no place on the team except as a bonifacio-type super-sub.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    AA's a candidate to get beat out for the CF job. Cubs have some nice prospects at that position.

    But I'm totally cool with him manning the spot until that time comes... if it comes at all.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Is there any video on his throwing? There is a proper technique for throwing from the outfield; hand dropping thumb-to-thigh, and up over the top. Maybe he just hasn't had time to learn the technique and mixes the 2B throwing with it?

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    In reply to Quasimodo:

    i've heard this reasoning, that he's throwing like a middle infielder, i'm not sure I buy it. I don't think you can teach an outfield arm, it's either there or it's not - unless bulking up his upper body would help.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    A motion for an outfield throw can be taught. It is a motion. Keep in mind, AA didn't get that many reps in CF in AAA. There is a ceiling to arm strength, I think, but he can still learn the proper way to throw from the outfield. My thought is that he is destined for "super-sub" regardless of his arm. The Cubs just have too many other good options.

  • Billy McKinney = David Murphy type?

  • Arg, Ejax torturement.

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    In reply to Oneear:

    please, make it stop. I don't need to see any more Ejax this year - I do need to see what we have in Turner or Straily, and later on maybe Dubront. Could not be any worse results.

  • Walks will kill ya. Another deep EJax hole. Sigh.

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    I wouldn't pay a nickel to go to a Cub's game when Jackson is slated to pitch. Awful.

  • In reply to AggBat:

    Agreed! I have tix for Labor Day and taking my son to his first game at Wrigley. Here's hoping we don't have to suffer thru EJax. Ugh.

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    First game for your boy, very exciting! My first game; May 4, 1969. Doubleheader with the Mets. They lost both games 3-2. It was standing room only and my Mom took me. We didn't have seats, but two men gave the lady and her 7 year old boy their seats. I doubt that would happen today. Enjoy!

  • We should acquire any over 30 yr players for big money. Its
    defeats our long term plan

  • I love reading and hearing about Charcer Burks down in Boise. I love when even when he has a "bad" day at the office (he went 0-for-2 last night), he still got on base twice with BBs. Even though the offense was non-existent, figuring a way how to get on base is so pivotal for a guy like him that he could be a real nice utility type player for years.

  • In reply to npinzur:

    I like scouting finds like Burks. Always root for those guys who slip through the cracks.

  • Mark Zagunis to Kane County.

  • There's one good thing about Jackson pitching today - he can't pitch for another 5 days. At least, The Blue Angels are entertaining.

  • In reply to Alabama Cubs Fan:

    I can't take it. I'm watching Javy bat one more then I'll read about the rest.

  • Does anybody on this site know Theo Epstein well enough to convince him to DFA Edwin Jackson? That would be great and thank you

  • In reply to Eric:

    I'll mention when we and the wives have dinner tonight :)

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    That was my email pat just read about the final-out call

  • Jacob Turner warming up. There's a reason to keep watching.

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    Is there any reason why they couldn't move Baez to center and return Alcantara to second? Baez may not have the speed but he has the arm and Alcantara may be just as good or better than Baez at second.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    Baez won't stick at CF. Getting thick already. Baez has good skills, he'll be good at 2B. Hasn't been there long yet.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Puckett was a lot thicker than Baez and he got the job done. I'm just not sure the team wouldn't be better overall if AA and Baez switched since AA doesn't have nearly the arm.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    It's his throwing motion, not his arm strength. Since Javier has never played OF, at any level, you dont know what he'd look like out there. I'm sure he'd be fine, but this early in his MLB career is not the time to find out. Javier is considered to be the superior middle infielder defensively, so why move him to OF anyways?

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    I just can't watch Baez any more. I've never seen a player swing and miss as much as this guy does. He can't even hit a low 90's fastball down the middle. I'm sure there were pitchers in AAA that were throwing in the low 90's. I would like to think he is in the middle of a Sandberg 1 for 30something beginning to his career. Make contact first and let the speed of the pitch carry the ball out. Dude's head is moving all over the place during his swing. He's a few years away. So is Almora if he even stays with the Cubs. We're going to be talking 2017 or 2018, before they are contending. I remember when it was supposed to be 2014 or 2015. Yawn.

  • In reply to Jay Menadue:

    "I've never seen a player swing and miss as much as this guy does."

    You didn't watch any of Junior Lake or Mike Olt this year then. Javier's BA is higher than both and his K rate lower... oh and he's 21yo with 41 PA's. RELAX Dude.

    I don't seem to recall any member of the FO, or any respectable media source saying it was going to be 2014 or 2015...

    Keep trolling bruh....

  • In reply to Jay Menadue:

    Link it up to when that was said.. we will wait.

  • Krist released. Zagunis to Kane, some catcher is going to Daytona...

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Carhart tweeted late yesterday that he was being promoted from Kane to Daytona. Could be him.

    Why do we have so many catchers at Kane? Doesn't that impact development time? (Brockmeyer, Caratini, Remillard, Carhart)

  • Castro kept his streak alive. So that's something.

  • What's that they say about when you don't like someone, you being to notice all the negative qualities about them?

    I'm really getting tired of Jackson's snail pace on the mound. Last couple games were both under 3 hours, but whenever Jackson's on the mound it's upwards of 4.

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    That's because of all the base runners. I repeat, we've all seen enough of Jackson. He has done nothing to keep a spot in any rotation when others have consistently pitched better. I would even rather give Grimm a shot, not to mention the new guys and Beeler.

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    Closest I come to knowing Theo Epstein is, I live in the same suburb as rickets and his son and mine play in the same little league. I know, you're all happy for me. But if I ever get to rub shoulders with rickets, I will let him know the sentiments of Cubs Denizens. ;)

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    I get tired of everyone saying Jackson is a great guy when he can't get the job done. I'm a good guy too and that doesn't mean they should send me out every 5th day so the team can get hammered again.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    You mad bro?

    In jest - but nobody here is climbing over themselves to defend Ejax. It's one of this "is what it is" deals and you just have to live with it. It's not like he's losing the pennant race for us.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I'd like to see someone else getting his starts for the rest of the season. We've got an opportunity to evaluate other options so we may as well take it.

  • Speaking of Scherzer ...

    8 IP 3 hits 0 ER 2 BB 14 K's today ...

  • Hmmm. I like the strategy of piggybacking Turner and Ejax, I wonder if they'll let him pitch for 3+, or if he's done after the 7th.

    Regardless, so far so good methinks. 4 up 4 down with three soft grounders.

  • I have a few questions regarding watching film and Hendricks...

    I have to imagine the players have a lot more access to film at the MLB level than the MiLB level, but how much is film used in the minors? I'm asking because it sounds like a cerebral pitcher such as Hendricks, really thrives with studying film. Could this help produce a pitcher who is better at the MLB level than projected?

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    In reply to SymposiumX13:

    I believe it was Hoyer who said something to that effect the other day

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Thank you for the response and information, Mike.

    How much video do players have access to in the Minors? Is this something that our FO preaches?

  • Yo Terry.. have a coke and a smile.. lol.. but man fiers is on it today.. good god.. he trying to emulate woody?

  • Whoever is doing the recap tomorrow should name it Turner and Hooch. Good to see Turner do well in his first appearance with the boys. EJax? Well, he pitched like a slobbery dog again.

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    Tough day for Javy, as he earns the Golden Sombrero. 4 Ks.

    That's 16 Ks today, and we haven't seen a single 90-plus FB. Not good. We strikeout way too much.

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    Amazingly Edwin is on pace for the identical 8-18 record as last year. I know the W-L stat isn't the best way to measure a pitchers performance. Still ouch babe. I wonder how many pitchers have lost that many games back to back years? It would be hard to keep a starting gig long enough to do it.

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    In reply to Sean Holland:

    A lot of pitchers lost 18 + games a year back in the day of four man rotations and before specialized bull pen roles. Some pitchers even went 20-20

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    I guess I just wonder what he has to do to go to the bullpen. How many bad starts will it take. I don't care what we're paying him, if he is this bad he has to go to the pen or get released. It's not like he's a young prospect just feeling his way. He is a veteran who isn't going to suddenly develop. None of the other guys, even Grimm and Carlos V. could be worse. Jackson had more than enough shots. It's long past time to give others their shot.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    I doubt he goes to the BP. I'm hoping/praying for the mysterious groin strain that lands him on the DL though.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Hoosier, I completely agree...
    I wouldn't be surprised if it was a soon as tomorrow and lasted the rest of the year. He still throws a lot of pitches and is 'durable' - too bad he throws all those pitches now in less than 6 innings, which doesn't help the bullpen at all. He hasn't gone more than 7 innings all year and not even that since Mid-May...Excitement and expectations are slowly starting to come back with this team...he has to demoralize the team a bit when he starts...

  • John, just read Kyle Kendrick of the Phills will be a free agent at the end of the season. Could this be another Cub pitching rehab project? How fun would it be to have Kyle Kendrick and Kyle Hendricks in the rotation!

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    @ the Smokies game. There's an additional coach on the Smokies bench tonight wearing a Cubs uniform. Any idea who that would be? They shifted on a guy in the 1st inning and he was repositioning infielders around. It worked. The guy hit the ball right to the 2B.

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