Cubs Down to 31 Healthy Bodies
I lost track there for a bit, but it seems the Cubs have moved 10 bodies since my last update: D. McDonald, Javier Baez, T. Wada, N. Ramirez, B. Parker, B. Schlitter, C. Yong-Lim, C. Valaika, C. Wells and J. Sanchez. Wada was subsequently re-signed to a minor league deal today.
LOCKED IN (MOST LIKELY) - 23
Position Players: Castillo, Kottaras, Rizzo, Castro, Barney, Schierholtz, Ruggiano, Lake, Sweeney, Valbuena
SP: Samardzija, Wood, E. Jackson, Hammel, C. Rusin
RP: Veras, Strop, Wright, Russell, Carlos Villanueva, A. Cabrera, Grimm, Rondon
DISABLED LIST - 3
Fukijawa, Arrieta, J. McDonald
ON THE BUBBLE - 6
Murphy, Olt, Roberts(NRI), Bonifacio(NRI), Kalish (NRI), Coughlan(NRI)
MOST LIKELY CUT OR OPTIONED - 2
J. Baker (NRI), E. Whiteside (NRI)
ALREADY OPTIONED OR RELEASED - 32
Soler, Bryant, Almora, Alcantara, Szczur, Watkins, Valdez(NRI), Pimentel(NRI), Jokisch(NRI), A. Cunningham, M. Hatley (NRI), Beeler, Hendricks(NRI), Rosscup, J. Vitters, B. Jackson, Christian Villanueva, A. Vizcaino, A. Rivero(NRI), M. Maier(NRI), R. Lopez(NRI), Baez (NRI), T. Wada (NRI), T. Hottovy (NRI), D. McDonald(NRI), N. Ramirez, B. Parker, J. Sanchez (NRI), Yong-Lim (NRI), B. Schlitter (NRI), C. Valaika (NRI), C. Wells(NRI)
Since most teams break camp with 13 pitchers, it appears all 4 left are gonna make the team; Rusin as your 5th starter, Villanueva to the pen(guess they could flip-flop) with Cabrera, Grimm and Rondon also breaking camp with the club. I'm presuming J. McDonald will find his way to the disabled list of course.
That leaves 2 spots open for the 8 position players in camp that I still consider on the bubble. Baker and Whiteside don't look like they'll dethrone Kottares for the back-up catching duties, so scratch them off. Valbuena is having too good a camp to be cut, so he will either take the majority of at-bats at third base if they're not quite ready to give Mike Olt the permanent job, or maybe act as a flex starter splitting time between 2b and 3b depending on match-ups. Regardless, his roster spot is safe, which leaves just the 2 open spots for Olt, Murphy, Roberts, Bonifacio, Kalish and Coghlan.
Unless Olt's shoulder needs some more time, I'd be surprised if he doesn't head north with the club. He's had a good spring and not much left for him in the minors to learn, leaving 1 spot for Murphy, Roberts, Bonifacio, Kalish and Coughlan. If they're going by spring training numbers, Roberts has the edge by OPS: Roberts (.767), Bonifacio (.695), Kalish (.689). Coghlan (.621), Murphy (.589). Positonal versatility may be the key, or at the very least an ability to play some outfield so the Cubs have a 5th outfielder, in which case Roberts and Murphy sink to the bottom with Bonifacio, Kalish and Coglan edging towards the front. Of course last man on is usally first man off, so don't get too worked up over it.
In other news, Castro took some minor league at-bats today and seems to believe he'll have no problem being ready for Opening Day which I presume the Cubs agree, otherwise Baez would probably still be in camp.
Kershaw, Fernandez and Syndergaard are your current leaders and all will be pitching meaningful games down the stretch that could make or break them. Hendricks will not be and his saber-numbers aren't anywhere close to those 3 and he'd split votes with Arrieta and Lester whom all are basically neck-and-neck for WAR and FIP. If Kershaw pitches like just okay Kershaw in September he deserves to win in a landslide. Voters are pretty much saber-inclined now so it would take a crazy shutout streak or something for Hendricks to jump in the picture.
AZ PHIL: With starters the likes of Edwin Jackson, even Chris Rusin or Michael Bowden could look good on their staff. At best, he is a #5-6. But as always, LH are at a premium.
Sure we would all want consistency. He is not even 24, has played 5 (!) positions this year. Can you imagine what is in his head? He was only a part-time player at 2 spots last year. And THEN think about hitting?? Cut him some slack...You sure are picky lately. First wishing #6 NL RBI guy Russell have a better average, and now an "unncessarily fancy pick". Geez tough crowd!
it's going to be hard to take down scherzer.
kershaw is supposedly coming back soon, though he'll probably need a good amount of deep innings to match up with scherzer...probably too late at this point. tanner roark, bumgarner, and hendricks are probably going to steal some votes along with kershaw.
I absolutely love Javy's game, and I love the way Maddon changed the perception of him as a ballplayer, but I really wish he would just make the routine plays routinely. On the ground ball in the 9th, he made an unnecessarily fancy pick. He made the play, but tried the same thing last night and made an error.
How many wins does Kyle need for serious Cy Young consideration? Would 17 be enough if he leads the league in ERA? My goodness, what a season -- makes a Dartmouth alum proud.
hendricks WHIP drops to 0.98 over 159 innings after throwing 7ip 3h 1bb 4k, 0r/er
ERA down to 2.09 on the season.
I am pretty well fed up with the majority of home plate umps. Just terrible inconsistencies.
Oh shit forgot about that
Shark and Sczur right?
Yes, football player?- check.
If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract
he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag
Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.
kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.
i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.