Arizona Fall League Report: Week 4

David Bote started off the week hitless in his first two games, then picked up the pace with 4 in his final 3 games. Then on Saturday, he lined out in his lone at bat during the Falls Stars game. His pace has dropped off considerably since his scorching start, with a .235/.278/.265 line over his past 10 games.

Jason Vosler turned in his best week, collecting 5 hits and his first homer, raising his line to .210/.329/.371 in 18 games.

He entered the week riding a 4 game hitting streak that he extended to six, but then Charcer Burks (.245/.288/.327) closed out the week on a 1-for-13 drought over his final 3 games.

He only appeared in 2 games, but Ian Rice did enough with a hit and a walk to keep his average above .300 and his OBP above .400.

Another week, another 4 inning, 1 run performance by Alec Mills. It is a result he has replicated in 3 of his last 4 starts.

Maybe it is just a blip in the road, or maybe his career high number of innings in 2017 is starting to catch up to him. Adbert Alzolay turned in his worst performance of the entire season in his lone appearance for Mesa last week. He gave up 6 runs on 6 hits, including 3 home runs, in just 0.2 IP. He then gave up another run on a hit and 2 walks in one inning during the Fall Stars game Saturday night.

He pitched to only one batter in Fall League action last week but Jake Stinnett tossed a scoreless inning in the Fall Stars game, striking out the last batter he faced. Reports are he was throwing 92-94 and his above average slider that he showed in college and early in his pro career appears to be back as strong as ever. There were times in the last two years as he struggled to maintain his stuff as a starter that the slider abandoned him. Including the Fall Stars game Stinnett has stuck out 11 and walked 3 in 8.2 innings.

Pedro Araujo (1.42 ERA) pitched a perfect 1.1 innings on Thursday. It was his 3rd straight outing in which he did not allow a base runner. Overall he has walked just one batter and struck out 8 in 6.1 innings.

Filed under: Arizona Fall League


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  • Phil rogers just tweeted giants have interest in heyward. It would be shark and melancon for heyward. Deal complicated but not impossible is what he said. That's the 1st legit report

  • In reply to bolla:

    Not trying to derail the thread. Didn't know where else to post it

  • In reply to bolla:

    No, that is absolutely cool. We aren't going to have daily rumor mill threads so feel free to drop them in the most up to date comment section.

    On the face of things, I would have no issue with such a deal. Melancon's deal is awful, Shark is a bit overpaid, but Heyward is both. Giants would save a bit of money up front and spread the cost out over a longer period of time, which might make sense for them if they are looking to rebuild in near term. Cubs absorb greater cost up front, but their commitment is shorter, which would free up resources around the time the young hitters will require extensions.

    It feels like a larger version with more money involved of the Hundley-for-Grudz/Karros deal. Hopefully, if it goes through, the deal will work out just as well for the Cubs as the first one did.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Heyward's NTC is biggest stumbling block to me.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Tough to make a deal with this much money and so much on the line work out though. It isn't the craziest proposal I have seen, but I'll believe it when I see it. I need a more reliable source than Rogers. His tweet was unclear to me if this is his speculation, or if he has legit sources.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Why would they want Heyward? They have Pence in right field..Samardzija and Melancon have much more value than Heyward. Maybe mot impossible but very improbable.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Pence is old, bad and only has one year remaining on his deal. Heyward still relatively young, and not impossible he bounces back.

    Shark has some value, but wouldn't likely bring back much in a trade until he is closer to the end of the deal. Little or no excess value. If he gets hurt then it becomes albatross.

    Melancon is hurt. And while not considered serious, any arm problems for a guy his age have to be considered somewhat threatening, especially with 3 years remaining on a backloaded deal.

    Giants may look to save money in short term (and long term if Cubs kick in money to help cover Heyward's contract on the back end). They would be dealing for an athletic OF with some potential to bounce back while trading away two pitchers who likely only get worse from here out, including one already encountering arm issues.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Melancon's remaining contract is an anchor,.... that's for certain. He's owed what - like $40-45 MM more over the next 3 years? If he could return to the form he showed when he was closing for the Pirates 3-4 years ago he might be worth that, but not if he's looking more like the guy that the Giants had last year.

    If the Cubs were to make that deal (and I don't know if they would) and take him and Samardzija on it would cost ~$30 MM/year but save Heyward's ~$21.5 MM. If Melancon were to rebound to being a dependable leverage RP guy again,... maybe that makes sense for the Cubs as it would fill two of the potential holes, but cost about a net >$10 MM/year. Would Cubs would still be on the hook for the ~$6.6 MM in signing bonus that Heyward is also due? That might help a bit.

    Interesting idea though,... get a decent SP, possibly a decent RP, and then use the existing 'kids' to fill RF in some way? How much RF did Happ play?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    14 games in RF.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Heyward has not received any of his $20M signing bonus yet.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    I would be interested in this deal, at least a little bit.

    Samardzija could be a #4 starter. He was at 3.8 fWAR last year. His K and BB numbers were solid. And has 3 years left at $18M/year. We aren't going to get a better deal than that for that kind of money this off-season. He can chew up 200+ IP every year. They may not be the prettiest innings in the rotation, but having a guy we can be reasonably confident will go out there every 5th day can be enormously valuable. Suddenly, the rotation for the next 3 years would be Lester, Hendricks, Quintana, Samardzija, a BOR starter. That wouldn't be a bad crew to send out to the mound.

    If Melancon is hurt in a long term way that could affect things, but if it is something he could recover from he could be a very good pick up. Some of his peripherals (FIP, xFIP, Hard%, Med%, Soft% look oddly like CJ Edwards. Just with a lower K% (about 30% lower) and a MUCH lower BB% (about 2x lower). Giving up a BABIP of .375 certainly didn't help him.

    It could also take out the log-jam in the OF which wouldn't be a bad thing either, though none of them are as good in the OF as Heyward. At the same time, I still think Bryant's ultimate home will be in RF.

    The main hesitation I would have on this front would be the potential for regret. It is not inconceivable that Heyward returns to being a 4-5 fWAR guy. But if the Giants wanted to make this kind of move it could improve the bullpen and give us a starting pitcher who is capable of being pretty good, though not TOR, and also give us some large expiring contracts right around the time that Bryant, Russell, et al would need to get paid. Even if the Cubs have to chip in some cash I might seriously consider it.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I like your train of thought, but a couple things w that 4 some in our rotation, we will still need a true #1. Hendricks will be fine as the #1 next year, but I am not sure we can depend on him to be a #1 for much longer. Maybe I am wrong though. Although you can never have too much good pitching right?

    I think if Melancon bounces back ( or Wilson), thats our closer for at least next year. Then we revisit it next offseason or perhaps CJ or someone else is ready ( Maples) to be closer and Melancon can be a very over paid bullpen piece.

    In regards to your main hesitation, if Heyward does some how ( by the grace of god) regain his stroke and starts hitting for power and its next year he's a 5+ War player, he will opt out anyway. ( yes if he opts out, we won't be on the hook for Samardija and Melancon's $$)

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    If Heyward does become a 5+ fWAR player do the Cubs try to re-sign him? HAHA.

    I don't know that they NEED a #1. As I've said a million times on this board, I shy away from saying any team "needs" something. There are lots of ways to build a winning organization. As for how long Hendricks can remain a #1--if he is one now, and I don't think there is consensus one way or the other on that--what would happen to make him NOT a #1 soon?

    But that might come down to what you mean by #1. I know of at least a couple of different definitions and have found that people on here debate almost endlessly only to find out they have different definitions. Some use a strictly scouting perspective and insist it has more to do with how many "plus" or "above average" tools he has. Others use a strictly production based (W, IP, ERA/FIP/xFIP). Others use a more subjective measure ("This guy ends losing streaks). And probaby many other definitions.

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    In reply to bolla:

    If the Cubs do this trade (seems like legit interest from the Cubs side from multiple reports) this means 2 things, 1. All the faith and positive reinforcement they put into Heyward last off season and reworking his swing all winter and into spring. All that great D, good base running, and being a good teammate has run its course and who could blame them? Eventually "its a what can you show me kinda league" 2. They believe Hickey can fix Meloncon along w Justin Wilson along w help/tweak a thing or two w Samardija to get the most out of him.

    Like Michael said above for the Giants its all about time value of money plus long term resources vs short term resources. They rather make a splash this offseason and rebuild on the fly plus they could use a Gold Glove Caliber defender in that big outfield. Also, they must feel at least ( well some in the organization at least) that they can fix Heyward and get him to reach his potential as he enters his "prime". If they just get him to be 80% of the hitters he was in St Louis, they come out like bandits.

    Then there is the super X factor, (assuming Heyward waives his NTC) and he A. Has a monster season or B. The Giants lose 100 games again or he hates SF ........or some combo of both and he opts after 2018. The Giants win win !

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    That is very interesting. I've likened Shark to a replacement for Lackey +20-40 innings. There is a lot of value in 200+ innings of Shark. If they land Shark, someone like Cobb, and a couple AAAA starters, they are pretty much set for the rotation.

  • In reply to Glen Krisch:

    If they land Shark & Cobb they already have enough AAAA starters w/Tseng, Butler, Mills & Underwood.

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    I just read that Roy Halliday died in a plane crash today. He was only 40 and a two time Cy Young winner. He was a great pitcher.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Dam... just read that too. RIP Roy...

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Bummer. He was a solid pitcher.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    Sounds like a really good guy too. When I think of Toronto pitching I think of Dave Stieb and Roy Halladay.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    HoF pitcher

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I think he comes up a little short - Hall of very vert good

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I think Halladay may be a first ballot HoF. He was very good.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Top 3 pitcher for close to a decade. He's a lock, only question is first ballot or not.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    RIP, after Maddux, the most cerebral pitcher I have ever seen. He was a real artist on the mound. The nicest guy in the world ( give u the shirt off his back type), but a straight bulldog on the mound.

    I think he's the only pitcher to throw a no no and perfect game in the same season ( 1 post season)

  • I'd be all in on that trade. I've always thought shark was a solid three in the rotation and melancons peripherals weren't bad last year as groundball pitcher.

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    In reply to 2lf6reedyt:

    Perhaps Hickey can fix him and if he returns to his true ground ball self; he should thrive as he can't ask for much more w our infield defense.

  • Also jon heyman tweeted lackey is not retiring.Please don't bring him back

    I'm 50-50 on the heyward deal, ironically he posted a bunch of cubs pics on his Instagram today after not being active for like 6 weeks.

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    a strong NO on Lackey.

    I'd be good with this trade, especially if they can add a Cobb with it. Shark eats innings (200+ for 5 straight years), doesn't walk guys (right around 2 BB/9 over the last 4 seasons), and will keep you in many games (he is one of those guys who mixes in a lot of bad starts when he's off, which is the down side).

    Whatever happened to Melancon last year, BB's were not the issue. He doesn't walk a lot of guys, which we all know was a huge issue. He doesn't K a lot either.... but when he was on, he was very effective.

    I think we've seen what Heyward will give us, (but I'm sure he'll work on another new swing this offseason), and if they can trade him, I actually don't really care who we get back. These 2 guys would make a good trade.

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    Heyward won his 5th Gold Glove tonight. Neither Rizzo nor Zo did. Rizzo is a great 1st baseman--Goldschmidt won it and I haven't seen enough of him to see what he can do.
    I would like to see a "6th man" award like basketball in baseball and have Javy win it. Someone who is a superb defenseman but plays all over. Football has a special team player award, why not baseball?

  • Melancon injury issue much the same as Davis--forearm stress. Rest cures it most of the time. As for Lackey, heck yes as a #5 starter at about $8M but certainly not $16 that he was getting. Hey, he was 12-12 which is okey for a #5. Good club house presence as well. A good buddy to Lester.

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    I don't see the Cubs wanting to trade Heyward.

  • Have the Cubs ever announced Hickey as their pitching coach yet? I don't think so.

  • Fwiw sean spears from sports mockery says the cubs and rays are talking baez + for chris archer.I hope that isn't true.This guys credibility seems shaky because he reports rumors no one else does pertaining to the cubs.

  • Trading Baez alone for any pitcher would be the worst of all trades EVER !!!!!

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I really don't see the Cubs trading either Baez or Russell. Hopefully they will be together for a long time.

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