Draft Pick 2015 Watch Begins

It was fun while it lasted, a 4-game win streak and a run of 18-13 since May 30th had visions of Cubs' relevance dancing in my head. But then TheJedi receivedt the the quality and depth of prospects they hoped for from Billy Beane and that Cubs 2014 ballon deflated and whizzed off into the darkness. Don't get me wrong, it's not that they really had a chance of doing much in 2014, but it was fun watching winning baseball over the last month.

And sure, maybe Hendricks and Wada provide a close fascimile of the two dearly departed hurlers or Wood and Jackson will make their inevitable improvements and it's all a wash, but more likely, more trades will be made and the Cubs make another run at a top 5 pick. And it had to be a bit of a hit to the team morale when two of your better players get moved. But we all know what was expected this year, although Theo did mention seeing a "light at the end of tunnel", so hopefully 2014 marks the end of the asset gathering and 2015 marks the beginning of the time to try and win some games.

On that note, here is where things stand now...

Team .PCT GB
Astros .400 --
DBacks .411 1
Rockies .416 1.5
Phillies .420 2
Rangers .432 3
Cubs .442 4
Red Sox .443 4
Padres .443 4
Mets .443 4
Twins .448 4.5
Rays .451 4.5

It's quite the pack at the moment, although if I were a betting man, i'd go Astros, DBacks, Phillies, Rockies, Padres and then Cubs.

As for Theo's tunnel light, I think it's a safe bet that Bryant and Alcantara will be regulars in the 2015 lineup along with Rizzo, Castro and Castillo, with an outside shot of Baez breaking camp. Baez's overall numbers may be a bit lacking at the moment, but the improvement is important (OPS numbers by month: .617, .738, .815, .938). Whether he breaks camp next year or joins the team at some point is certainly a fluid situation. They talked about adding vets and certainly starting pitching would be the obvious position, although I would guess they may look at some outfielders. I don't think we'll know when Russell and Schwarber will show up, but I'm guessing 2016 is a more likely ETA along with Almora arriving around then or 2017. There's also Jorge Soler of course, and if he can ever stay healthy should be in the mix as well for 2015 and certainly by 2016.

And then there's the trade front, they have enough high end prospects to start considering using them to acquire high end talent in trades. Now who will be available and worth the cost is nearly impossible to answer. There's been some talk of Giancarlo Stanton, but I think there was a better shot of getting him last year or last offseason when he was nursing injuries and upset at the organization. It doesn't mean the Marlins won't deal with him, but I don't know if there in such a rush with how well they've played this year, seemingly on the cusp of another run. Other names will pop-up in the offseason as they tend to do and the Cubs are well-poised to strike in the right situation.

As for starting pitching, the big names will be Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields and we'll see if the Cubs go over 5 years and offer any type of no-trade clauses as all 3 will have plenty of suitors. Tier B includes the likes of Justin Masterson, Ervin Santana, and maybe Yovani Gallardo if the Brewers don't exercise his $13M club option. I'm of course working off the premise that the Cubs will go after players closer to 30 than 35 and that's not a particularly long list of availables.

All in all, we're pretty close to a fresh from the farm picked club and that's going to be darn fun to watch. And I certainly look forward to the days of posting playoff watch versus draft pick watch.

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Comments

hope this is the last one of these threads for a decade or so...

sick of knowing the season is a close-as-you-can-get-to-100% total punt season before spring training even ends.

let's see how good this front office is at drafting with late round 1 picks + later round picks...without trading away a slew of players mid-season...etc.

2nd.

I'm hoping cubs can draft a ss next year.

Remember when the Cubs cornered the market on talentless no hit middle infielders back in 2000's?

Almora 2 run HR, 3 RBI, 2-3
Javy Baez 3 run HR
Straily 4 unearned runs in the 1st (welcome to the Cubs)
Edwin being Edwin (after 4 innings)

Tony Four Sacks # 18

Hey you guys: Barney can still play D and not hit and Valbuena can still work a count and get on base without any RBI. Just like the last two years. 9-3 Reds. Super educational Ricky we are learning so much about these mysterious players while we get blown out. Thank you!

PS - bring back Neifi!!

So sad that Junior Lake and Mike Olt were reassigned to bullpen catcher duty -- we had clearly seen enough of them to know they are not everyday players. Coughlin and Barney -- now, they have high ceilings, and their make-up?? Off the charts!!

Edwin -- just take your money and go home. Please. For the love of God -- just go away. We'll pay you.

Edwin is a frickin' bummer, man. I guess he'll eat some innings while we figure out who can pitch - but damn he's bad.

I have seen enough of Lake. He played in 67 of the Cubs first 75 games, and had 235 PAs in that time. He struck out in 78 of them and put up a .243/.274/.428 line. He was hitting .280 on May 23rd and then the league just decided not to throw him fastballs anymore and now he's at .223. In his last 20 plate appearances he is 0-20 with 10 Ks. If it spins, he can't hit it.

Lake to me is the epitome of the old regime's guys. He is clearly athletic, can run and steal some bases, and has some nice power when he runs into a fastball. The tools like good. But he swings at everything, makes silly errors, etc. He's like the outfield version of Ronny Cedeno. I don't think he fits with the new "control the strike zone" and play fundamentally sound baseball the new regime wants to see. He'll be gone soon I would think. He'll be swapped in the off-season to another team for something in a low key deal like Bogusevic for Ruggiano.

Lake to me is the epitome of the old regime's guys...The tools like good. But he swings at everything

Great point.

He's like the outfield version of Ronny Cedeno.

Ouch. Yeah, I don't think Lake fits the Olt complaint thing so much. As loathe as I am to say it, he may have been brought up a little too fast, too. Ruggiano is fine in center for now. I agree that Lake doesn't fit the new mold. I doubt Baez does, either, but Baez has such huge power that it overcomes that a bit, and it sounds like he's really making strides down in triple A on, as you say, learning how to control the strike zone.

I completely agree regarding lake, and add that he's not a good defender at any position.

I'll kind of will miss his perplexed stumble after any swing that doesn't enter the field of play. He still has both hands on that bat and just looks like he's never missed before and can't believe it ...

LOL. And if he does hit the ball and gets to run his 3-sizes-too-big jersey comes untucked within a few steps. He looks like he is playing in his pajamas.

Hahaha! Exactly. I miss him already!

And of course he gets a hit off Chapman to break his 0-20 streak. And Olt then walks off Chapman to follow. Cubs still lose. Good game besides the first inninig, but draft pick chase is well underway

Oh that's just cause I have Chapman on my TCR fantasy team.

I truly hope 2015 brings me Cubs baseball sans Shierholtz, Barney, Baker, Sweeney, EJax, and Olt & Lake for that matter. I could live with Watkins/Valbuena as back up IF/Utility as long as Valbuena was limited to < 200 ABs.

I want to watch Bryant, Alcantara, & Baez get as many ABs as Rizzo & Castro. If Soler can stay healthy and finish AA hitting like this week, I would let him play here in September and the AFL again to make up for lost PAs in May/June. I'd rather watch him in June, 2015 than Ruggiano or Coughlin.

Given his contract situation, is it reasonable to assume that Soler will get a September call up?

BOB R: Yes. 

There are no real payroll, service time (arbitration or free-agency), or 40-man roster slot issues involved with bringing Jorge Soler up to Chicago in September, since he's already on the 40-man roster and is signed to a nine-year major league contract (runs through 2020, with "club control" extending through the 2021 season).  

He does have a player option to "opt out" of his contract if and when he is eligible for salary arbitration (likely post-2018, and that's whether or not he gets called up in September), but that only would mean he can file for salary arbitration once he opts out, not that he would become a free-agent. So even if Soler opts out post-2018, the Cubs would still retain "club control" through the 2021 season.  

Soler will be out of minor league options in 2016 (he gets a 4th minor league option next season), and so any time he can spend on the field getting reps would be a positive thing, including a call-up to Chicago once the AA Southern League season ends, a stint in the AFL in October-November, and then winter ball in Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, or the Dominican Republic after that 

So unless he pulls another hamstring, I would say it's very possible that Soler will get a September call-up. 

 

Thanks Phil.

On a related noted, why do people think that Alcantare will be called up this season? Doesn't he have the same control issues as Bryant and Baez?

BOB R: Similar but slightly different.


The MLB season is 183 days in length, but 172 days on an MLB 40-man roster constitutes a "full season" for Service Time purposes. That's why the Cubs would want to wait at least 12 days to call Kris Bryant or Javier Baez up in 2015, so they can't accrue a full season next year, and so the Cubs can retain club control through the 2021 season even if Bryant and/or Baez become an MLB Article XX-B FA at first opportunity.


If a player is already on the 40-man roster (like Arismendy Alcantara), the player accrues a full season if he spends fewer than 20 days on Optional Assignment to the minors in a given season. So if the Cubs call-up Alcantara this season but want to buy an extra year of club control, they would want to wait at least 20 days (not 12) plus as many days as he spends on an MLB Active List in 2014 before calling him up in 2015.

Tier B may be a stretch the way Masterson is pitching this season. He might become the buy low reclamation project that TheoJed have done so well identifying the past couple seasons. The past 3 starts he's pitched a total of 9 innings and allowed 13 earned runs and his spot in the rotation may be in jeopardy. Talk of a knee issue bothering him.

Mark Gonzales/Tribune says Hendricks will pitch Wednesday, Beeler Thursday.

After the game, Renteria announced that Dallas Beeler and Kyle Hendricks would be promoted from Triple-A Iowa to start Wednesday and Thursday's games.

probably will send Rusin/Parker back on the Des Moines shuttle

So Wada will just get the one start in the double header then and be sent back, and Villanueva will not be stretched out but will remain the long man. I guess we get 3 months to see if Hendricks and Beeler have an major league potential. A nice audition for them.

And Parker frustrates me. He dominates AAA, but seems to struggle in the bigs. I hope he "figures it out" at some point like Schlitter seems to have done and becomes useful.

I won't mind if that's a one way ticket for Rusin. I'm interested in seeing Beeler - missed the last start. And I'm very interested in Hendricks, who some have compared - in pitching style - to Greg Maddux. Although I hate seeing people compared to once in a generation players, I think the reference is in the way he throws the ball. I am reading here and elsewhere he has excellent command of the plate. Cubbery being what it is, he'll walk 5 guys early.

Looks like Straily pitched pretty well for Iowa last night (key error by Bryant at 3B tho) but what's with Vizcaino getting lit up? Anyone know how his velocity and wicked curve ball are looking?

Chris Coghlan es en fuego!!!! Eh, crunch? eh? *nudge*

why you gotta keep bringing him up? this is the 10th time you've done this! it's like you're focused on him. that's probably why you've brought him up 15 times now. this team is crap and it doesn't matter who's leading off. bringing him up for the 20th time like you just did isn't helping. besides, mentioning him for the 25th time isn't going to keep him from leading off.

i wonder what the cubs ob% out of the leadoff spot is this year.

at least coghlan is inching closer to .280 ob% out of the leadoff spot.

Gotta love these little hot streaks from the likes of Coghlan, Sweeney, Ruggiano, Bonifacio, Valbuena, etc. Not to mention that career game by John Baker. This is the stuff of championship teams.

Sorry to troll, but the Cubs' cumulative leadoff OBP entering today is .291.

They are a long ways away from figuring out who will lead off.

Kris Bryant has a .110 HRPct in AAA. I'm not sure if that's a real stat, but I think it should be.

That sounds like... a lot.

I'm going to the Iowa Cubs vs Omaha Storm Chasers game at Werner Field tonight. It's both Cox Communications 2 For Tuesday AND Mormon Night at the ball game.

There's a polygamy joke in there some where.

I thought it was Moron Night so I'd qualify for the discount.

Moran-if your a Cardinal fan

I'd just like to non-judgmentally draw attention to you're grammar there...

Good news though on Stanton and Miami not being able to reach an extension. Maybe he will be available this offseason afterall. Baez and Soler would be a great start to the talks. I still like Almora a lot, especially because of his D, but if Alcantara can acclimate himself there, I presume the left-handed bat would be preferred by Cubs, although Almora was their first pick.

Any way we can get Fernandez too?

/beautiful dreamer

How is Rizzo supposed to compete with Morneau when Rockies fans are high enough to sit and vote for hours without getting bored? #VoteRizzo

Free Chris Coghlan!!!

Kris Bryant ejection arguing balls & strikes. First base coach also ejected. Manny running out to coach first base.

Bryant appeared to get ejected, then mgr Pevey, who was coaching 3rd came in to talk to ump. I think he thought he'd talked the ump out of it. When Bryant left the dugout (1st base side) to go to the clubhouse (3rd base side) Pevey roared back in from 3B coaches box and got tossed as well. 1st base coach moved to 3rd, Manny took over at 1st.

Bryant had issues with a call mid way through his 3rd at bat. First pitch of his last AB was questionable as well. After he struck out he said something over his shoulder as he was crossing the plate to head to the Cubs dugout and got thumbed.

Alcantara led off the ball game with a rope double to left. Next batter (2nd batter of the game), bunted him to third. Hopefully that is not part of the new Cubs way.

Baez had hardest hit ball of the day, never more than 6 inches off the ground 'til it hit the pitcher on the instep and ricocheted out to SS. Brett Jackson with no-doubt HR. Rhee pitched for Cubs and was unimpressive. Had about a dozen chances to help himself and let every one slip by....Cubs go up and he futzed around....needed a strikeout and turned an 0-2 count into a walk. Misplayed a bunt.

Olt with a HR / BB 2 RBI, 2 runs scored. Line drive to center field. Another BB earlier in the day in a PH role ...

And captain asshole pinch hits for him with Valbuena in the 9th of a tied game.

It's bordering on pathological.

I was disgusted after the eighth inning and turned off the game for obvious reasons. Good thing, because I wouldn't have wanted to see that unfold. Why don't reporters ask Captain Happy tough questions during the pressers? Like, Why did you pinch hit for Olt in that situation??????

I knew we were in trouble when he brought Villenueva in ... I assume it was because of the double header that he have Villenueva the 7th inning. But I will say I was disappointed he pitched N Ramirez at the end of game one - would have liked to see the opposite. Ramirez in 7th of game 2.

Jesse Rogers‏@ESPNChiCubs·
Breaking: Arismendy Alcantara getting called up to Cubs for Darwin Barney who's on paternity leave. 2 day call up. That's it

What'over/under on PA's?

Somehow Olt nor Alcantara will start either game

J. Lake to get rare starts at 3rd. Or maybe John Baker.

saw that movie: Todd Walker to play 1B, Neifi moves in at 2B

If Renteria is under orders to showcase the journeymen over Olt, does that mean they called Renteria in the dugout and told him to pinch hit for Olt in the ninth? Even one of Olt's outs was a sharply hit ball to right center that Hamilton made a nice catch on. As Carlito mentioned earlier up the thread, this is bordering on pathological. He had some really nice ABs yesterday. Play him for 30 days in a row goddammit or I stop watching you turds.

I keep going back to that quote I posted a few weeks back. Renteria says 'people' wanted to see Olt play every day back in May when he got hot (reading between the lines: Renteria did NOT want to see him play every day). Gave him a cursory 9 days of playing time and then relegated him to exile. Beyond bizarre. Is it REALLY that hard to hire a manager in this day and age, and at the current salary structure, who is VERY sharp as a strategist and a good 'manager' of people. This guy is running at about 60% of what I would consider world class.

Lefty vs righty match up, I like Olt but that was percentage move.

The GM is not calling the dugout to micromanage pinch hitters. Jeez. People complain about manager pinch hitting decisions no matter what. If Olt hits and Ks people wonder why you let the righty with a .150 BA hit when you have a lefty hitting 100 points higher on the bench. Well, maybe not here since everyone is obsessed with Olt, but other fans would be complaining just as much.

You can think of him as the righty batting .150 or you can think of him as the guy with enough power to tie the game in one swing and save Valbuena to bat for another righty (Barney) who can't hit it out if the park.

You can also think of Olt as the righty batting .150 or you can think of him as the batter that same day who walked twice, hit a HR, scored 2R and knocked in 2RBI while hitting another ball on the nose to the CF. Versus Valbuena who is batting about .140 over his last 65 AB.

The bottom line is no other manager makes that move. And he does it all the time to Olt despite the fact that he hits a HR better than once every 14AB.

Since when don't you want a guy who can give you the lead with one swing in the 9th to bat when you can use Valbuena to bat two batters later for Barney?

Let Olt finish a fucking game on a team going nowhere?

The swooning and insanity over Olt reminds me of the whining about Matt Murton. Olt ain't all that (right now) and the thing standing in his way isn't playing time. Let's move on.

Olt is not a ginger

Matt Murton hit 29 HR in his career. The most he ever hit was 13 in 455 at bats in his first full year. I was not a fan. Additionally, his first full year in MLB he started the better part of 150 games.

Also I admit that I am not accepting reality, which is that this guy is sitting on the pine regardless of my opinion. So I'll shut up cause it is tiring. But mark my words someday we'll hear what's really going on and there is something funky at work. And anyone who thinks we are swooning is missing the point. The point is why isn't he playing somewhere if we are in rebuild mode? Not that he is good. This treatment is unprecedented for a rookie. It just doesn't happen and not on a team that sucks in rebuild mode.

Soooo anyone know why Addison sat out yesterday's AA game? Hopefully just an adjustment day off after the big move and not a hamstring issue?

Planned day off for him and Soler.

Good news!

I have a theory that people must have a certain number of things in their "no big deal" bucket, a certain number in their "kind of a big deal" bucket, and a certain number of things in their "big friggin deal" bucket. And no matter what's going on, regardless of how big of a deal everything is, they will fill these buckets with their preferred percentages of complaints.

I guess what I'm saying is, there's not much that's happening on the Chicago Cubs that is a very big deal right now. Still, in Cub fandom there will be that percentage of things that are perceived as a really big deal. I'm not convinced that playing every day is even the best thing for Olt. I don't know him, but maybe he's got a confidence thing going on and Renteria wants to keep the pressure off him. I don't honestly know and really I just don't care. I think for a young guy, if he's not playing every day, he better be in the batting cage every day working on his approach- I guess that would be in my "kind of a big deal" bucket, but making sure he plays every day... meh..

It's not swooning. Read the posts. We're asking that he get a chance to play, to SEE if he's any good, and that it's nonsensical to not do so given the people ahead of him.

From the dead horse troll department: Olt started 34 of the first 45 games. Does that constitute a chance to play? I want to get a baseline here. (That's 76 percent of the games.)

He responded by hitting .165 with about a .250 OBP. Yes, with power, but nothing else.*

*And I reiterate that I would've kept him in the lineup regardless, but I understand why any manager would see it otherwise.

For the record, I like Olt, which he had not been pinch hit for yesterday, and wish that he had been given and will be given more consistent playing time. I just don't think it is as terrible as others do or that it is a big conspiracy (and certainly on the latter I could be proven wrong).

I posted along these lines last week: my guess is simply that goal is to get guys like Barney, Valbuena, Schierholtz, etc. as much trade value as possible. Some of them will be moved in a few weeks and then I would guess Olt gets 2 to 2.5 months of starts down the stretch to see what he can do.

They were actually winning games in June and playing well, so it was hard to criticize the manager for his moves then. But now that the two starters are gone and the team is tanking and has no hope of any contention, full re-build mode should begin soon and they will play the youngsters to see what they will get next year. I think the plan to start Beeler and Hendricks rather than say move Villanueva into the rotation is a good sign. And I expect once some room is cleared in the infield we will see a similar approach. If not, and the same shit is going on in mid-August, I'll be annoyed too.

Agreed!

(and I don't believe it's a classic conspiracy. I feel like it's a combination of front office telling Ricky to play those other guys, combined with a natural (irrational) distrust of Olt on the part of Ricky. When I say we'll find out what's up - it'll be what you describe when players are traded, and/or we'll find out there were some additional personality things going on. I just fail to see how this game plan has much value and Ricky seems to be adding in a fairly awkward rigidity (matchups etc) that puts a cherry on the whole shit sundae. I REALLY wish Ricky was a little more cerebral - he strikes me as a sweet people person - but more of a transitional guy who is not terribly shrewd.)

i cannot buy into the "front office pulling the strings" thing only because it's a hell of a way to tank your managerial career. joe torre is the only manager in recent memory who's been able to pull this off without the locker room revolting against the manager. it nearly ruined the reds during the dave miley era and totally ruined miley's managerial career.

sure, the front office does pull some strings...such as pitch count management...but if the front office is determining playing time then renteria's selling out his own career and possibly endangering the mood/attitude of the roster. this can effect not only the players in house, but potential free agents being sought to come over.

Also WISCGRAD, I don't think O&B thought anyone called Ricky literally, I think his point was that Ricky is making these decisions and we can't assume it was the front office. Btw I'm obnoxious because I'm a MICHGRAD! ;)

PS - I have a Master's Degree in Social Work Research from Michigan which is why I'm so literate, never swear, am a baseball expert, and have such a deft diplomatic touch with my opinions!

Hah! I have a PhD in Political Science, so I am trained to see both sides of every issue and I often find myself naturally taking the opposite view of the group just for the sake of argument like I do in my classes (I play a damn good right-wing Republican in my lefty liberal classrooms).

Is that you Colbert?

I see Baez batting third and Bryant fourth today. I was wondering when they were going to put them back to back and stop having Valaika sandwiched between them.

Also, continued good signs from Almora. 2-3 in the first game of a DH today, and he's hitting .349 over his last 30 games and .517(!!!) over his last 10 games.

Also, Schwarber continues to hit. 3-5 last night with two doubles, .379 now at A. I'm excited about him. He signs right away for under slot, says all of the right things, and starts playing like two days later and keeps hitting the hell out of the ball. Seems like a kid who just likes to play ball.

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