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As Kris Bryant watch winds down, Cubs fans prepare to start the Addison Russell watch

As Kris Bryant watch winds down, Cubs fans prepare to start the Addison Russell watch

"It just goes to show you, it's always something.  If it's not one thing, it's another."

-- Rosanne Roseannadanna

We wouldn't be Cubs fans if we weren't looking ahead.  After all, this is the franchise that has made the phrase, "Wait 'til Next Year" its mantra.  The rebuilding years have put a new spin on that.  Now we aren't looking ahead in some vague, idealistic hope that everything will somehow fall into place in the future.  Now we are looking forward to the tangible fruition of what has been a 3 year plan to produce their own talent.  We are looking forward to seeing specific players added to what is already becoming a team worth watching.

The Kris Bryant promotion has shadowed the Cubs since he incorporated hitting HRs into his everyday routine this past spring.  He left little doubt he was ready to hit at the MLB level.  The service time issue, however, made his call-up to start the season a poor decision for the long term.  And this front office doesn't make poor decisions regarding the long term.

There are still defensible baseball reasons to send him down, primarily his defense, as we talked about here and here.  Gordon Wittenmeyer, never one to defend the Cubs front office, has even admitted this in an article for Baseball America (subscription required).  Wittenmeyer writes that the Cubs have legitimate concerns about Bryant's defensive home and want him to play some LF at Iowa.  We have heard the same from scouts and it seems that even the ones who believe he can stick at 3B feel he is better off  in LF, especially in the long term.

But I don't need to convince anyone about keeping Bryant down at this point.  Even the hardliners have acquiesced.  None of us like it, but it is the right thing to do for the sake of the long term health of the organization.  That the Cubs have held their own without Bryant has made it easier and now, with the light at the end of the tunnel in sight -- Bryant can come up as soon as Friday -- there is nobody suggesting the Cubs call up Bryant any sooner than that.

The Cubs solid start makes it easier to wait even longer if necessary.  The front office may want a buffer period to at least attempt to make it look that this is about baseball and not service time.   Without a legitimate baseball reason to call him up specifically on Friday, it will only add fuel to the fire.  That legitimate baseball reason may still come, however.   Mike Olt has recently been hit in the hand by a pitch, his status is day-to-day and Tommy LaStella is dealing with a strain on his side.  Suddenly the Cubs are short on infielders and have had to start 25th man Jonathan Herrera at 3B.   They have Welington Castillo taking reps at 3B (he was actually signed as a 3B).  If the Cubs have to DL either Olt or LaStella this week, who can argue that the 3B who most deserves a call-up is Kris Bryant?

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Whatever happens, Bryant will be up soon.  It is only a matter of how soon.  The time on the Bryant watch is nearing happy hour.

So then Cubs fans can relax and enjoy their team on the field, right?

Well, not exactly.

Addison Russell has played extremely well at Iowa and though Starlin Castro has had a direct hand in two of the Cubs 3 victories, it seems he will never do enough to make some fans happy.  We've seen Russell at SS and he is the better defender, though I think exactly how much better is often exaggerated.  It is becoming apparent, however, that he is (or at least will be) the best middle infielder in the entire organization, regardless of where he plays.  And who can blame us for wanting to see the Cubs field the best team possible?

Arismendy Alcantara has struggled at the plate, Tommy LaStella is hurt,  and Javier Baez is out for personal reasons.  Even when Baez is ready to take the field again, he will need time in AAA -- so nobody has a firm hold on 2B at this point.  Theoretically, the Castro/Russell conundrum can be put on hold, at least for 2015. The Cubs can slide Russell to 2B for now, much as they did with Baez in 2014.  They can figure out 2016 later.  For now, the Cubs best team would seem to involve both Russell and Castro in the infield.

All of that said, the overwhelming sentiment is that the Cubs won't consider that move right now.  It is still early.  Alcantara could find his groove, LaStella could get healthy, and it could click for Baez.  The Cubs owe themselves the opportunity to find out.  There is no need to rush Russell to the big leagues.  None at all.  The Cubs, as we know well, like their prospects to get a full season at AAA and Russell has played just a few games at that level but elite players like Russell don't follow pre-set rules.  They set their own timetables.  Still, it will take an extraordinary set of circumstances for us to see Russell up in the next month or two -- continued great performance from Russell as the league adjusts, injuries to the MLB infielders, and subpar play from the Cubs current trio of 2B candidates would all have to be part of the equation.

But that is not going to stop the Russell watch from starting immediately after the Bryant watch stops.  Whatever happens, it is likely we'll be seeing Russell by 2016...at the latest.  And right now, it is looking like we won't even have to wait that long.

And then we can start the Kyle Schwarber watch.  Of course.

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  • fb_avatar

    Thanks John for your daily minor league wrap ups and the usual excellent articles which brings up several good points..... While it seems to be a fad to want to trade Castro or bash Castro... re: Sox/Yankee broadcast last night..... It is really nice to know we do have depth in several positions at AAA or AA that we can draw on to help bolster this team... It will be an interesting 2015 where we will love the youngsters and be frustrated with them... probably even in same 24 hours lol... Hopefully, their play will decide where and how the lineup plays out

  • In reply to rynofan74:

    what was said during the yanks/sox game?

  • I haven't even read the article yet, but the title is perfect. Waves!

  • In reply to LetTheKidsPlay:

    Finished reading. You hit the nail right on the head.

  • In reply to LetTheKidsPlay:

    Interesting. Based on the timing of your posts, it appears you finished reading the article before your first comment by about 4 minutes. Gremlins in the sysystem or are you caught in a time warp?

  • Well... Cubs fans can expect to see Addison Russell up by the 3rd week of 2016 at the latest that is.

  • In reply to hawkmcd:

    When is Corey Patterson going to be ready?

  • We'll have a Russell watch, followed by a Baez watch, Part Deux, followed by a Schwarber watch, followed by a Almora watch, followed by a Torres watch, followed by a...

    I give up. This is just too many watches to watch.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    don't forget the "Apple Watch" too! :-)

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    Ha!

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    Haha! I actually wrote it as if I was talking about a real watch, so I'm glad you guys picked up on that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The Bryant Watch keeps on ticking ... some people off.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Ha! I guess it does. But it will be over soon.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I think the Baez watch will resolve itself before the Russell watch

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Tom Skilling may have to get involved.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    He doesn't really get excited until the warnings.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Well played.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    When a football team is is second place (or lower) the most popular player on the team is the second string quarterback. The same applies to the situation of the top prospect in a baseball organization.

    The grass is always greener.

  • fb_avatar

    While Alcantara's 0-for-12 is nothing to get excited about (as well as his 5/17 K%) I am heartened to see he also has 5 BB which gives me hope for his future. I think he will begin to hit and when he does he will be quite a weapon.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes, but, I have not forgotten his sub-.210 average from last year's 3 month debut. Yes, if he hits his ceiling he would be a devastating strategic weapon, but so far in his major league career his most visible 'skill' is his ability to make outs, both in the field (good) and at the plate (baaaad)

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    I was going to make the Torres watch joke but two people have beaten me to the punch.

  • fb_avatar

    How about that Gleyber Torres watch?

  • In reply to David Johnson:

    2017.

  • fb_avatar

    That was the greatest first paragraph (or lede) ever! A perfect description of the Wait-til-next-year era as opposed to how we view the waiting during the Theo regime.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    Thanks Tim!

  • Nice one John, and guilty as charged here. I even posted about it this morning. Of course I've just had a feeling about Russell coming up this year all along, primarily because I think they'll need him, so I'll stick to my guns there. Of course if he levels out or the big club doesn't need a bat I think he stays down all year long and we all do the Bryant dance again next spring.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I actually think he has a great chance to come up this year, maybe after Super two. But it will depend on circumstances regarding Russell's performance and the team's situation at 2B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, you know I love your writing. Your articles are always well written and informative. But this one's lead in may be your best work. Your articles always have a great last paragraph. Always. But this one is so highly intelligent and intellectually witty, I'm still thinking you're gonna win a Pulitzer someday! What you said yesterday is so true...you've got it made. You write about the cubs and watch baseball all day.

  • Unlikely to happen, but I'd like to see Bryant in LF, Baez 3B, Russell SS, and Castro 2B (Schwarber C). The bats will play well and I believe this to be the strongest defensive infield arrangement . The issue is moving Castro off of SS and Baez to 3B. Probably too much juggling.

  • In reply to Senator Blutarski:

    I'm already pining for Bryant in LF after watching Coghlan's flyball routes these few games.

    But Chris is actually better than Hanley Ramirez out there.
    That dude is downright Soriano-like.

  • If you look at the team when Theo took over, there wasn't many Major or Minor Leaguers that you could really turn into big trades that benefit the organization long term.

    Who would you deal? Soriano? D Lee? A Ramirez? C Zambrano? What were those guys going to bring you back? Very little.

    Look at the team now. Every position is loaded with a sellable piece, pieces that could fetch quite a bit, if they had to be moved for any reason. Rizzo would bring a haul. Castro. Soler. Arrieta. Lester, (even though he won't be traded anytime soon).

    Guys not even in the Majors yet, Baez, Russell, Swarber, Bryant, and there are still more that can break out prospect status wise.

    Everything has happened so fast, it's hard to realize just how amazing Theo and Jed have been at rebuilding this roster. Color me very impressed.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Well the Demptser/Garza/Samardzija trades all returned good hauls so they weren't completely devoid of sellable assets, but for the most part you are right.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Exactly, though Bosio/Epstoyer and especially Shark himself increased his value significantly after the new regime was in place by converting him to a SP.

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    I don't see a Castro/Russell conundrum. Baez is looking increasingly like a bust, or at least not in Castro or Russell's league as far as overall value to the team. Alcantara is a nice utility piece but he's certainly not pushing Castro or Russell off the roster. The keeper infield is Olt/Bryant, Russell, Castro, rizzo.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I think the conundrum is that if they both prove to be MLB SS, there may be better value in trading one of them to a SS needy team rather than moving one of them to a less valuable position. Neither one of them walks much, and they bring similar bats to the team (maybe a slightly higher ceiling for Russell), so the same concerns about the righthanded/lower OBP concerns that would apply to a team with Baez or Olt on it apply to Castro/Russell too. The team may decide that La Stella or Alcantara at 2B and Castro or Russell traded for a different need is the better combination even if both of those guys are actually the better players than La Stella/Alcantara.

    Not sure what Olt has proven over Baez to be considered a keeper at this point. Both can play defense, and hit HRs with a sub-.200 avg while striking out a ton. Though of course one of them is five years younger.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I generally agree with what you are saying, but i'm just nitpicking here. I don't see Castro or Russell as low-OBP guys. Everybody looks at the walk percentage but that isn't the end all, be all. In Boston there were players who had a high OBP due to a high average, others bc of a high walk-rate. I think Russell and Castro (and Almora) fall into the former. What is most important is they are becoming very disciplined hitters who only swing at good pitches. It's not their fault that they barrel the ball more often.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    LaStella and Alcantara backup players on a deep-playoff calibre team. Starting them while trading trading Castro or Russell to fill other needs is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
    Olt has shown me way more at the major league level than Baez, who looks completely lost at the plate and at this point, still swinging for downtown, has me questioning his coachability.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    The best lineups are not a random collection of the highest WARs but balanced between left and right and between contact and power. On a team that tilts dangerously far to the right-handed power side of the ledger, La Stella provides an above average -- possibly better -- left-handed contact bat. Getting him in the lineup is really important.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    True but when you trade one guy to fill another need the premise is that you have a roughly equivalent guy to fill in that spot. The step down from Russell or Castro to Alcantara or LST is way too big to blithely say, oh let's trade Russell for a pitcher or a center fielder, we have LaStella to replace him. That's ludicrous, LaStella is a definition replacement level player while Castro and Russell are not. Whose loss would be more devastating to this team?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    As the team is structured? I'd say La Stella. You do not win everything without balance. You can't find a team that won solely with RH power hitters with high K rates. It's literally never happened.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    How in the world is Olt a keeper and Baez a bust at this point?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I didn't say he IS a bust but my faith in him is running very low, he SEEMS to be heading in that direction. Adding on the potential of his sister's death to mess with his head even more, I don't plan on getting any contribution from him at all this year.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    You're certainly entitled to your opinion. But exactly how much of Javier have you watched?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Olt walks.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Not implying Baez is a bust by any means--he's only 22. Olt is 26.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Olt was only a 3% higher BB ratio than Javier, but was a .248 OBP last year vs Javier's .272 OBP. Neither is acceptable, but Olt has done NOTHING to say he's a keeper vs Baez.

  • Nice article John, and I appreciate all you do for us, the Cub fans who want to get insight beyond the box score.
    As a person who has played and coached alot of baseball/softball, the shortstop position is where I always thought you wanted to have the player with the most natural baseball 'instinct', one with a highly consistent defensive level of play, and constant awareness to what is happening on the field as plays evolve. Some players don't fill all 'boxes', but when you find one who does - you have a special player.
    Starlin is a nice player, and I believe in the top 10 SS in baseball, but I feel he is there mainly due to his offense. His offense can carry him to a nice career, no matter what position he ultimately ends up at.
    But for me, Addison Russell needs to be our SS no later than next year, if we are to complement our offense capabilities with a team that can also play at a comparable high level of defense.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Thank you. In an ideal world, I want Russell at SS, but I think in reality it is going to be difficult to do that without trading Castro. If the Cubs want to keep both then I believe they will slide Russell to 2B and gradually let him assume a leadership position there the way Barney did in his time here. Brandon Phillips is perhaps a better example of a guy who was the captain of his infield from 2B.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't think it's so much about leadership at SS. I understand why you would want your SS to lead your infield, but it's not necessary. Baseball instincts are what you want. Both Baez and Russell seem to have it to a greater degree than Castro.

  • In reply to Aggravated Battery:

    I think Castro has more instincts then he is given credit for. He does lack focus at times, but that is a different issue. When he is locked in, he can play the position as well as anyone. Unfortunately he is not always locked in.

  • Thank you John for consistently reminding us to temper our enthusiasm on these prospects. Sure they all look great and we can bring them up now but that is not part of the plan. The plan this FO has so brilliantly put together thus far. By delaying instant gratification we already get another year out of Bryant when he likely wouldn't have done much to change our current record. That said, I feel like we may have no choice to bring him up this week if LaStella's injury is serious enough. But, the FO will probably doing something more responsible and bring up Valakia for a cup of coffee and drive everyone crazy.
    Off topic but the Rockies line up, when healthy, is going to be a juggernaut. That was a big win yesterday. Our bullpen deserves huge props for week one.

  • Bryant Watch. Baez Watch. Russell Watch. Schwarber Watch. I for one am thrilled to have all of these watches. The only watch I've had to look forward to at this point in the last three months of April was Bears Watch. And boy, those sure turned out to be fun...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Especially when compared to the Cubs sundial of years past.

  • Every time I launch into my Roseanne Roseannadanna impression, all I get is blank looks. Nice to know somebody else remembers her.

  • In reply to BudMan:

    Haha!

  • I dont think they bring Bryant up (barring a 3B emergency) until he plays at least a handful of games in LF @ AAA. While we all knew he was staying down for business reasons, there were legitimate baseball reasons to keep him at AAA. I think Epstoyer and Maddon value defense enough to have him spend some time focusing on just that part of his game.

    Shouldn't be too long, but I'd be surprised if he's up in April...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    So they are going to leave one of their best hitters (if not their best hitter) down in AAA to practice a position (LF) that he isn't going to actually play? That makes zero sense, and is as likely as it was that Baez was going to start in Chicago.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    We don't know that he IS their best MLB hitter yet. Since he has exactly zero MLB AB's. While we are all incredibly optimistic, there are no guarantees that he doesn't slash a line similar to Olt/Baez ast the MLB level for his first few months...

    And there are legitimate questions about his ability to stick at 3B. So I don't agree that he ISN'T going to play LF.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    So come Wednesday night Theo is going to look at Jed and say, "Bryant's clock is no longer an issue. Man, he should be in left fielder. I wish we would have played him there more! What were we thinking? Two Spring Training games just isn't enough. Maybe we should have thought about this sooner? And I thought we were on top of things. Oh well, let's keep him down on the farm a few more weeks -- heck, mid-May -- and get him out to left field. Then we can decide." Right.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    No, I'm sure Theo will call you personally for your input....

    If you have been listening to them, they said he needed some work defensively and they wanted to give him some time in LF (because they value positional flexibility). I'd be willing to wager they stick to their guns just to "prove" to Boras and the MLBPA that it wasn't all about the service clock, even if that was a big part of it.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    "Jed Hoyer hopes Kris Bryant sticks at 3B"

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs-baseball/7/71/503731/podcast-jed-hoyer-hopes-kris-bryant-sticks-at-3b

  • In reply to Rob Richardson:

    I never said 3B wouldn't be his primary position. Though his defensive position 5 years from now is a huge question mark. Go back and read all of Theo's/Jed's comments on that subject. Everybody wants him to stick at 3B. But they did give him OF reps in ST, said they would in Iowa too...

    On which position Kris Bryant will play, outfield or third base

    Theo Epstein: “Primarily third base with some outfield mixed in.”

    http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2015/03/theo-epstein-discusses-the-cubs-decision-to-send-down-bryant-baez-and-russell.php#.VSwjXvnF_uM

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The bottom line is there are an awful lot of moving parts here. Kris Bryant as a hitter is a rare can't miss type of prospect. They want his bat in the line up. There are also an awful lot of infielders needing spots. On top of that they have Kyle Schwarber trying to be a catcher at AA but who most, at least outside the organization, don't think he can stick there. What everyone agrees on is that it's pretty likely that he will be an above average MLB hitter. Both those guys can't play LF. For a lot of reasons including that one I don't think the question of where Bryant will play will be settled in 2015. I expect him to play 3B primarily and maybe a little LF when Maddon's feeling wild. It's hard find all the answers when all the questions aren't clear yet.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    @ TC154

    I don't disagree with what your saying. But I will add that even "can't miss" prospects do miss.... The OP called him our best hitter. That is not a fact... yet.

    I think the general sentiment is that his bat is MLB ready, but his defense is average at best. I think Epstoyer will do as they said they would... and that is to give him some OF reps at AAA and then give Kris the chance to stick at 3B with corner OF as a full time fall back option.

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    In reply to Rob Richardson:

    Yes, he does "hope" he sticks at 3B. However, that isn't a guarantee. And as HD says above they are also on record as saying they want him to work on LF defense. There have been ad nauseum discussions about whether he should play 3B or LF ("likely better value" vs "likely superior defense").

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    We don't know if Bryant will end up as a third baseman or a left fielded in 2016 or beyond, we can be pretty sure that he will be a third baseman in 2015, and he will not stay in Iowa so that he can work on his left field defense.

    IMO, all signs point to him being called up this Friday or more likely next week since they like to call up players on the road.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I do listen to them, to an extent that makes my wife think I am odd. She's right, of course. Hoyer was quoted last week as saying he has a "strong preference" for Bryant to play third. I also watch what they do. They traded their starting third baseman and they really haven't moved Bryant out to LF except for two ST games. I'm not Sherlock Holmes, but it seems clear to me. But maybe you're right. We'll see.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    If he's not up in April the Cubs FO will have a riot on their hands and deservedly so. Sure they can point to KB having to work on his defense as a legitimate baseball reason for more AAA time. But if playing competent defense was a perquisite to calling up a potential MLB slugger, Jason Giambi would now be a 44 year old AAA first baseman.

    I agree with you they'll wait a few days after April 17 so as not to make it too easy for the MLBPA to file a grievance, but if they until May the fans may tear down what remains of the bleachers themselves.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    I really don't think they are worried what the public sentiment is...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That's pretty naïve to think that...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    If they cared what the media and public sentiment said, Bryant would have broken camp with the MLB team.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    No...the media and public largely understand why he isn't on the MLB roster now even if they don't like it. They all get the argument and they understand the business reasons. The FO gets a pass for that.

    What they will not get a pass for is keeping KB in AAA for any significant time beyond April 17, unless KB gets hit by a bus or something.

    If KB comes up on May 1 or later, I'll be happy to come on here, say I was wrong, and give you full credit. If you'll do the same for me when he's on the Cubs roster later this month...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    To a large degree you're right but they took a hit sending him down, a justified hit but a hit nonetheless. If look at the schedule knowing the following things are likely when he comes up is not in that much question; a) Bryant is eligible to come up on Thursday complete with the extra year of control b) this FO likes, as do many other organizations, to bring up kids on the road c) after their road games with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati the Cubs have a 6 game home stand. Considering those things you would expect him to be called up somewhere between 4/20 and 4/26. I'd come close to betting on it. After that they're home for 6 games which would be a nice home debut after coming up on the road and then on to St. Louis. If they were to wait those Cardinal games would be the next road opportunity and there's no way you bring the future of your franchise up to face the lovely home town crowd in St. Louis. My guess is 4/21 in Pittsburgh, has been for awhile.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    I think your timing and reasoning are right: next week's road trip. I am trying to talk myself into this weekend's series. It is against his hometown Padres. The weather looks decent. They have an off day on Thursday, so he could come in and get acclimated. He missed Opening Day, so throw him a bone and let him play in Wrigley. It would help sell tickets. And frankly, they could use him ASAP. Slot him I. Between Soler and Coghlan, and let it rip. Still...next week in Pittsburgh sounds right.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'm not going to try and guess which day he makes his MLB debut until he plays a couple games in LF at Iowa. Maybe I'm wrong, but Theo said they would do that...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    He did say that. You might be right. Bryant is playing 3B today, and I would think they would have gotten him out there sooner. Olt was scratched today. La Stella still hurt. It may be that they actually need Bryant on Friday. Although I suspect the other two will heal up quickly.

  • Coghlan has looked pretty shaky in the field this year- I'd like to see Bryant in LF and Russell at 3rd before the year is out

  • Hamilton has stolen 7 bases in just six games.... I'm soooo glad this game isn't on ESPN or we'd be hearing nothing else tonight tonight when he faces Jon Lester...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I'm real excited to hear the Reds broadcast of the game. D'oh!

  • In reply to Cincycub:

    yeah, I'll stick with Len and JD

  • In reply to Cincycub:

    It's worth the extra $30 per year to get the Premium version of MLB TV so I can choose the Chicago feed. I don't think I can take 9 innings of Milo.

  • For what it is worth, when I was down at Spring Training this year I saw Castillo taking grounders at 3rd with Olt during drills.

    Waves and Waves!!

  • Possibiblity of Maddon Pairing Welly up with Lester?? Since Welly is good @ throwing out baserunners

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Ross is starting tonight. I'd expect this coincidence to continue quite a bit...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yeah. I fully expected that.. just putting it out there.

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    I think the FO is leaning with a lineup that has Bryant in LF, Russell at 3B, Schwaber at C and Castro at SS. I'm beging to think Fowler is on a mission and wants to nail down an extension to play CF for at least 3 years for the Cubs.

    I see the 2B situation working itself out between Alcantara, La Stella and Baez. Not sure if Almora is a sure thing anymore to be our CF as he once was when he was drafted. And Gleyber Torres might be the guy that plays SS after he is brought along extremely slowly. He's only 18 years old so he's got 4 or 5 years of seasoning.

    There, that solves this weeks issues. What's next? LOL

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I think all of that hinges on whether Schwarber is a catcher. I want to believe he is but I just don't. I've heard too many smart scouts say that he just doesn't have the hands for it. I think the FO wants to believe too but what if this guy tears up at the plate all year and next year has a spring comparable to Bryant's this year, but just doesn't look close to being a catcher? I think Bryant plays 3B all this year, Russell comes up in late June and plays 2B and a lot of decisions get made over the winter. In the meantime I'll be happy to see these guys wherever they play.

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    What date would Bryant need to be called up after to start his clock a year later? And how soon after that date is Theo going to wait? Would he wait a day just to piss everyone off? Or will they wait a few to make it look like he's actually getting seasoning at AAA.

  • In reply to David Johnson:

    That date is Thursday, but yes I think it will be sometime after that. maybe next week in Pittsburgh..

  • In reply to TC154:

    If little Tommy doesn't go on the DL and the cubs play .500 ball this week and next, I don't think Bryant gets to the majors befor the first week of May in St.Louis or Milw.

    That will give him a few games in the OF. All bets are off if the DL list happens or the cubs get swept by the reds. Then he'll probably be in the majors next Mon in Pitts.

  • OT: We should have signed A A Ron Harang.

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    John just FYI - comment caught in filter

  • "Things go better with Coke."

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