TCR Friday Notes

- Dale Sveum's ass must be pretty chapped from the hot seat he's been sitting in over the last week. Although he hasn't been fired yet, rumors earlier in the week had the Cubs targeting Joe Girardi and now another catcher is in the fold. Peter Gammons is saying that Brad Ausmus would be a person of interest if the Cubs do indeed decide to go another direction. Ausmus hasn't been given a major league managing job yet, but he did manage Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualification round and was a candidate for the Boston Red Sox job last offseason before the Red Sox traded for John Farrell. Also, if he would lead the Cubs to the promised land, he could help turn this leaflet into possibly a pamphlet.

- Baseball America has been putting out their top 20 prospects for each minor league. The Cubs didn't land anyone on the top Arizona League prospect list, but 6 made the Northwest League including Kris Bryant at #1. The other 5 are Paul Blackburn(#7), Yasiel Balaguert (#9), Dillon Maples (#10), Shawon Dunston Jr. (#12) and Kevin Encarnacion (#17). You can see how the Cubs have fared in the past over at Wiklifield.


interesting statistical...thing.

the top 5 teams in ERA in the NL all made the playoffs (in order): Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Dodgers, Reds, Cardinals

in the AL, the top one won't make it...the Royals, and Rangers are 3rd. A's (2nd), Tigers (4th), Rays (5th), Red Sox (6th) round out the field.

the team leader in ERA in the AL hasn't made the playoffs 6 years straight: Royals (2013), Rays (2012), Angels (2011), A's (2010), Seattle (2009), Toronto (2008). 5 of those 6 years, the same team that led in ERA led in run allowed with the outlier being the Rays in 2011 (who did make the playoffs).

Red Sox made it in 2007.

Minor League Ball Top 75 update

8) Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs: Pre-season 18, July rank 14. I do worry about the strikeouts but the power/speed upside is just enormous. I could see this going down a few slots depending on book analysis.

19) Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs: 2013 first-round pick. Masher.

22) Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs. Pre-season 44, July 18. The Cubs are going to have one hell of a lineup someday.

27) Jorge Soler , OF, Chicago Cubs. Pre-season 25, July 23. Holding steady pending health.

41) C.J. Edwards, RHP, Chicago Cubs. Unranked pre-season, July 73. Spectacular season from pre-season sleeper. You can make a case to slot him in the 30s.

70) Arismendy Alcantara, SS, Chicago Cubs. Unranked pre-season, July 57. Very broad range of skills, has speed, power, patience, don’t expect batting championships.

Pierce Johnson and Dan Vogelbach make honorable mention. Mike Olt tries to cry in his beer, but no tears flow.

Haw haw!

He never saw it coming.

fun times if there's a 3-way tie in AL wild card

the Indians would host the Rays on Monday, with the winner becoming an A.L. Wild Card. The losing Club in Monday's game would then play against the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday, with the winner of that game becoming the other A.L. Wild Card.

In the event of a two-team tie for one Wild Card berth, the Tiebreaker game would be played on Monday and hosted by the Club that won the season series between the two Clubs

btw, Rays and Indians have won 7 straight and Rangers 4 straight...Rays up 1 game on Indians, Indians 1 game up on Rangers, Rays 2 games up on Rangers...pennant fever baby.

pointless things from a pointless season...

"Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs

Travis Wood will pitch just one inning tonight to get to 200 for season. Then will be pulled for Brooks Raley most likely"


T. Wood pitching just one inning tonight to get him to 200 and will be replaced by Brooks Raley.

A. Wainwright moved up a day to start Saturday if anyone possibly cares.

What, did you say Bears? Oh,cares? No, guess not.

Sabean comments in the sidebar looks like they're going to re-configure the Giants...see how far they take it. I imagine everyone but Posey can be had at the right price.

Can't imagine Cubs would unload too many prospects for Cain or Bumgarner, but the possibility is intriguing at least.

given the fan outpouring last night for t.lincecum (lots of signs, lots of ovations) it might be him letting the fans know that with cain/bum around they're probably not going to sink loot into keeping lincecum around. i imagine they're ready to wash their hands of zito...can't imagine they'd want pence around since you could probably get someone like choo for a few million more at worst.

they've still got some key pieces around for another year under contract so i don't see them punting...though it'll probably point towards that if they get rid of panda and/or romo who are only under contract for 1 more season. scutaro + pagan + buster have multiple years left.

vogelsong has a 6.5m option...300K buyout...that might be interesting.

they need bats badly, especially more power...there's not many attractive options for that on the FA market.

I agree. This was definitely a pr bite to start softening the blow when Lincecum leaves etc.

the fan love for lincecum last night was rather impressive...standing O after a sac bunt...numerous ovations when he took the mound from pre-game til he exited...lots of signs in the stands.

He deserves it. Great player, and man he brought the hardware (personal and team) and did it with grace and style.

wood's last harrah inning not so sweet.

after a missed 3rd out sliding catch (ruled a hit) by bog...

hit (the botched catch), hit, hit, walk, lead by 3

he K's the pitcher with the bases loaded for the final out.

he gets his 200 innings...but his sub-3.00 era is now 3.11

It was a really stupid idea to pitch 1 inning and man did it backfire. Damn.

Btw if Sveum gets the boot on Monday (and I think he will) it will be for many reasons none of which are really anything close to incompetence. But I think one consideration was his dour persona - really a PR disaster and not what the Cubs want to project. It was like having a bridge troll as a manager.

If this team manages to get swept in St. Louis and put up a -50 run differential, it'll ease the pain of not having Cubs baseball to watch ... until about 6 hours after the World Series, of course.

it's rather sad that i'm sitting here with 2 games left (after tonight) of cubs baseball asking myself why in the hell am i still watching this game...

it's not even been messy's just been a display of mediocre talent doing the best it can do.

castro is 3-3 so far at least...

also, if d.barney is the starting 2nd next season this new "the cubs way" can go fuck itself.

also, i'm pretty sure the gun is hot tonight.

a.cabrera and b.parker were throwing 95 regularly...h.rondon was throwing 98 regularly...

also, rondon has 8 outings in a row without giving up a run after tonight. 8ip 1h 1bb 6k

c.martinez (STL) just threw a 101mph fastball...that gun is hot f'sure.

Ozzie and his sons watch out, you've got competition...

Recent comments

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  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.