Would You Care for Some Pie?

Much is written here about not wanting to rush Felix Pie, and some in the TCR community even question whether the Pie Man is even a top prospect. A couple of days ago, Dusty Baker was asked by the Chicago media whether the Cubs might consider recalling Felix Pie from the minors anytime soon. According to Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune, Dusty replied: "Maybe. But at .270 Ö you guys have been talking 'Felix, Felix, Felix,' but Felix has to be the Felix you're all talking about if you're going to bring him up. I'd like to see him do a little more. I'd like to see everybody do a little more. I'd like to see everybody get here not only on name, but on merit at the same time." You can quibble about whether Felix Pie should be recalled, and if you look at his aggregate numbers for the entire 2006 season, Dusty's probably right, they don't jump out at you. For the year, Pie is hitting around .270 with a .333 OBP and a very bad SB/CS ratio. But a lot of that goes back to his May-June slump, when he went into a funk and it looked like he might be on the verge of a demotion to AA. You have to remember that Pie is a 21-year old playing at the most advanced minor league level (AAA), where the average age of the players in the league is about 25. Many of the pitchers in the PCL have MLB experience. And the idea in promoting a player to a higher level is to challenge the player, force him to adjust, and then hope for improvement. Well, Pie did struggle, but then he adjusted, and now he is showing improvement. Since the end of June, Pie has been consistently good. Very good. Over his last 38 games (more than 1/4 of the AAA schedule), he has had one ten-game hitting streak, 15 multi-hit games, and has reached base in 31 out of 38 games. He also has improved his base-stealing over this stretch, with nine stolen bases in 11 attempts. He struck out about once in every six PA during this period of time (still not good), but it's a better K rate than at any time previous in his career. Anyway, here are Felix Pie's numbers over his last 38 games (more than 1/4 of the AAA schedule): 38 GAMES 51-159 (.321) .365 OBP .453 SLG .818 OPS 30 RUNS SCORED 3 HR 14 RBI 12 2B 11 BB 26 K 9 SB (2 CS) 4 OF ASSISTS 1 E
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Comments

The BB/SO ratio stands out during that stretch. 11/26, not exactly optimal, but better than Korey and whatever we've been fielding at CF for the past few years.

I hate to say it, but Dusty is right. The fact of the matter is that we *know* Pie is not the answer in 2007. Defensively, yes, he is ready to be a starting CF...but he still lacks plate discipline and, as you mentioned, hasn't translated his great speed into base-stealing at this point in time.

Could he be put in the 7 or 8 spot and adjust at the MLB level? Possibly, but rushing him would still be a bad idea, especially since he's not a true lead-off hitter (pushing him down in the order at AAA would be beneficial to him, methinks), and an outfield of Murton, Jones, and Pie would be pretty brutal...

Bringing him up now would just limit his playing time at a point in time when he needs to play every day to hone his skills. Keep him in Triple A.

Phil:
The Iowa Cubs announced the signing of RHP Makoto Suzuki and RHP Hugo Castellanos; prospects? useful parts? retread signings looking to help them win the division?

Even though the remainder of the season is meaningless, I would not bring Pie up yet. Give him another year in AAA and if he's hitting lights out this time next year bring him up.

Don't rush him.

Yep....he needs some time, but it's good to see Pie heating up at AAA.
For a while there it looked pretty grim.

He is pretty young for AAA..at 21, he's got time.

I know its been too long since Cubs fans have seen this, but shouldn't the idea be to have minor-leaguers stay in the minors until their stats demand that they be brought up, rather than waiting until they'd be just acceptable? If you sign good major league contracts, then when a rookie is brought up, you have the option of having quality spare parts or good trade pieces. I say give Pie a cup of coffee, then tell him he's at AAA until he can put together an entire season of the numbers he's shown recently.

Ryan: he still lacks plate discipline

I think it goes further than just plate discipline. His swing is very long and sweeping. At the higher levels where pitchers are more deceptive, he'll struggle.

I vote to trade him for a single-A left-handed pitcher. No, not really, but I think he could be useful trade bait.

"I say give Pie a cup of coffee, then tell him he's at AAA until he can put together an entire season of the numbers he's shown recently."

I have been saying this for some time now. He will not be the starter next year and should be in AAA ALL year unless he just starts to tear it up. Let him know that 2008 he is expected to be a starter (CF or RF).

#3 of 5: By Carlos (August 11, 2006 12:11 PM)
Phil:
The Iowa Cubs announced the signing of RHP Makoto Suzuki and RHP Hugo Castellanos; prospects? useful parts? retread signings looking to help them win the division?

--

CARLOS: Iowa is adding pitchers with AAA experience to help them win more games down the stretch and maybe win a PCL championship. Kerry Ligtenberg has been getting lit up lately and Adalberto Mendez has shown that he is not ready for AAA, and with Aardsma, Wuertz, and Novoa all up with the big club, and since there aren't any arms at AA West Tenn who are ready for a promotion to AAA right now (although Federico Baez is pitching great, and is making a strong move to get added to the 40-man roster after the season), signing a couple or three pitchers with AAA experience is understandable.

Hugo Castellanos is a career AAA/6Y MLFA and Mac Suzuki was never able to establish himself as an MLB pitcher and returned to Japan. The I-Cubs also recently signed RHP Wilton Chavez (some of you may remember him as the guy the Cubs traded to the Expos a few years ago for Jose Macias), so they are looking to add some veteran arms to their staff. I doubt that either Castellanos or Suzuki have a future in the Cubs organization beyond this season, but you never know. If one or both pitch "lights out" this month and into the PCL playoffs, the Cubs might want to take a look at one or both next Spring Training. An offer of an NRI to ST usually gets a player's attention.

He does have a long swing, but most lower-order hitters do nowadays. Like I said before, I don't see him as a lead-off hitter. Until he proves otherwise, he belongs (at least, on a Major League club) at the bottom of the order. He reminds me too much of Patterson for comfort, and if he has the mindset of C-Pat (God, I hope he doesn't), that means he's not going to be shortening his swing anytime soon. If he's not going to shorten the swing, it'd at least be nice for him to develop some concept of a strikezone.

Lots of hitters can't hit the breaking ball, but some are at least able to lay off of it. Not the case with Pie.

The Cubs don't to bring up Pie and I don't see how leaving him in the minors for the remainder of the season does him any harm. The real question is what do you do with Pie in '07, do you "block" him by signing Pierre to a long term contract, or do you get a stop gap player?

ROB: "Anyway, here are Felix Pieís numbers over his last 38 games..."

I agree with the majority of the sentiment in the thread so far: no rush to bring the kid up yet.

Let him set AAA on fire for a bit. Grow up. Take walks. Beam with confidence...

There is no pressing need to let him play on this shit team that is the 2006 Cubs.

It is unfortunate that there is no true demi-god future 1B on the farm right now.

This would be the time to let them get their feet wet.

E-man, I see Hoffpauir as the next Adam Dunn (although he'd have to be an older Adam Dunn...) In fact, I'm more excited about Hoffpauir's future than I am Pie's.

Can't we drop Rusch off the 40-man roster yet to make room for him?

Also from Paul Sullivan'a article in the Trib:

"Baker is perturbed that Florida is lauded for its talented young roster, suggesting everyone forgets that many of the Marlins' kids were top Triple-A prospects in other organizations before being acquired in trades.

'Everybody is talking about the Florida Marlins,' he said. 'Yeah, they're young, but Hanley Ramirez was Boston's No. 1 dude, and how many years did he start in Triple A?'

ANSWER: Hanley Ramirez never spent one day in AAA. He went straight from AA to the big leagues. Same goes for Dan Uggla. Jeremy Hermida played ONE GAME in AAA (in 2003).

one potential dis-advantage to bringing pie to the cubs in 2006 would be his exposure to coaches/manager who will be long gone by february 2007. it is no certainty that hendry will extend baker, and by default the baker staff; perhaps the rapport which may be developing between pie and joshua/quade is more valuable long-term than any mlb at-bats in a wasted 2006 season.

of course, as others have said, it would be much more ideal to have genuine major league talent blocking his progress. the uncertainty of pierre being around for 2007 is creating a scenario that pie may be more needed than wanted.

Is it possible that Baker is saying that Pie's stock is lowered by playing in AAA?

oh great, they're planning...wilton chavez for macia$, round deux. Trying to ruin my weekend Phil?

;-P

Is it possible that Baker is saying that Pie's stock is lowered by playing in AAA?

There may be legitimate reasons for not calling Pie up right now, but "not rushing him" isn't one of them. Not this year. The season is lost and has been for a while.

You rush a guy by making him an Opening Day starter before he's ready. You rush him by calling him up to replace an injured starter during a pennant race. You rush him by anointing him a starter ahead of his time because of his name or pedigree or hype.

But calling him up in August or September of a lost season to play in meaningless games isn't rushing him. In fact, it's a unique opportunity to get him acclimated to the major leagues without any extra pressure -- it's one of the few benefits of being out of contention.

If he's named the 2007 Opening Day center fielder -- now that would be rushing him. But getting him up here when rosters expand in September to that he can experience Wrigley, see some major league pitching and (hopefully) have some successes to remember over the winter would be wise.

AAA season is over in 3-4 weeks...he'll probally get his callup then. if for nothing more than to get around the big league coaches and warm some bench...meet the rest of the team, acclimate.

Well, since you brought up what Dusty said about Florida's young rookies, he also opined,

"And the first baseman, [Mike Jacobs], wasn't he in Triple A [last year], too? Look it up."

So, I looked it up and he went from AA to the Mets last year. He played 117 games for Binghamton and 30 games for the big club in 2005.
No AAA.

In 2004 Jacobs had a short stint with AAA Norfolk but tore his labrum and it required surgery. He was moved from catcher to first base as a result in 2005. So not only did Jacobs not play in AAA last year, but he was handed the starting job at first base with only one year of professional experience at the position.

WELL SAID 433,

Looking at the standings, looking at the calendar, and looking at what he's done coming off an injury and a promotion it's almost time to bring Pie to Chicago.

Wow, I bring up Dusty error regarding Florida's players in the prior comment and no one response. AP "steals" my info and suddenly people are coming out of the woodwork to comment on it.

Well I guess I know whose posts are being ignored around here :)

"But calling him up in August or September of a lost season to play in meaningless games isn't rushing him"

It is if he's 21, in his first year of AAA, and just starting to be average in AAA.

Bring him here Dusty bats him first one game he struggles, gets benched for a week or two. Not a good situation at this time imo, I'm suprised Murton has not lost it yet and El Kabong Dusty over the head with a bat the way Dusty is using him.

come sept. there's no where to play him, period, in AAA.

pie playing isnt an issue...i mean, seriously...lay your chips on the table...who sees pie 07 as a reality?

at this point, it seems not even hendry sees that.

so...well...who cares what he does in sept. if he gets called up or how much bench he warms? if he is called up its a meet/greet/coach fest...he's not there to prepare to be the cubs starting CF in 07 at this point in his career.

the alternative is going home and sitting around friends/family rather than professionals.

"pie playing isnt an issue...i mean, seriously...lay your chips on the table"

of course they want free pie and chips!

sigh..har har har...

murton's being occasionally benched for a guy hitting .320/.375/.440

oh the shock and horror of it all! and the worst thing is the guy's a vet...wait, no he isnt.

maybe its how they're being used that's leading to both guy's numbers? ...maybe?

so is dusty being stupid or coaching well? heh...

yeah, that's a loaded statement/question.

dusty...whatever...

and yeah, even though pagan's got a semi-decent arm and plays better in the OF than murton, murton projects for a possible everyday starter whereas pagan really doesnt thanks to his lack of power.

im still amazed he's hit 4 homers this year...

pagan's lack of power? I can't argue with the numbers, but every home run I've seen him hit (at least 2 that I recall) was absolutely crushed.

hey, i mean...yeah...pagan's put some pop in the ball, but this is a guy who's never shown he can hit for power til he showed up this spring and hit 1/3rd his entire minor league #s in homers in just a month of on/off play.

he did start to show a touch of power in IL play last year (AAA) to be fair.

Like Pagan, you'll see regular comments here to the effect that Murton doesn't have any power either. But nothing could be further from the truth. Matt Murton is well known for hitting monster shots to all fields in batting practice. He has tremendous power, but then so does Bobby Abreu.

While you can't fake power, it doesn't always translate to game conditions. But be patient.

15 minor league homers in 2343ab's...8 of them coming in 05 AAA (516ab)

spring 06 cubs - 5hr in 42ab
reg.sea. cubs - 4hr in 90ab

im not complaining...

Regarding DUSTY BAKER's inane comments about Felix Pie not being ready after posting these stats in 113 games at AAA Iowa

2006 .274 .333 .750

Yet this guy who played a total of 141 games in AAA

2005 .271 .333 .728

not only made the team but Dusty has him platooning in left field with Matt Murton.
(not to mention Freddie Bynum who posted similar numbers in AAA)

Of course Angel Pagan is 3 years older than Pie so maybe that makes him more veteran-like.

Rotoworld has a blurb about Prior saying he might miss his next start due to some shoulder issues.

CWTP,

Bynum and Pagan are bench players that nobody really expected to make it to the show. Thanks to the Cubs PR department they have been touting Pie as baseball's answer to Jesus since he was 19. He isnt ready to be a contributing everyday player yet. If they bring him up now and he struggles the bleacher bums will be all over him because he isnt Griffey circa the Mariners years yet.

#23 of 34: By Robr (August 11, 2006 02:38 PM)
Wow, I bring up Dusty error regarding Florida's players in the prior comment and no one response. AP "steals" my info and suddenly people are coming out of the woodwork to comment on it.

Well I guess I know whose posts are being ignored around here :)

---

ROB R: I didn't see your post from the previous thread. I was busy with this one and hadn't revisited that previous thread until just now when I saw your post on this thread. I guess GMTA.

Anyway, the point is, Dusty doesn't know what he's talking about. You know that. I know that. Lots of us here know that.

Tangential, but the Bleacher Bums are FAR more likely to get on a player's ass for having attitude problems than they are for him sucking it up. Witness Jones' continued problems in right versus the guys writing MURTON on their chests even at the lowest point of his slump.

I assume Pie will be a September call-up (and he should be really). Question is: will Dusty sit an otherwise healthy Pierre and start Pie at CF for a single game? Pierre is in the middle of a long consecutive games played streak (I forget the #) ... this is where the rubber meets the road so to speak re: what's more important: appeasing the veteran player or getting some PT in for a possible (though not likely) CF starter next year.

I think this is where the spoken/unspoken agreement b/n Hendry and Dusty at the all-star break needs to kick in re: young player usage.

what was jones's attitude problem again? that he didn't like being called racist names? what a jerk.....

Eric S., Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Pie is not nearly the player Pierre is. With the Cubs spending millions of dollars on a player, he's not going to sit, that just doesn't make sense.

Pie can play RF or LF if needed, Pierre will play everyday.

If you want Pierre back next year, you don't bench him 2-3 times a week to play Pie. He is playing for a contract and that is a disservice to him. Pie won't be the starting CF next year, so big deal. Let him come up get a start here and there, let him PR, let him come in the late innings in a blow out and just let him experience being a MLB player. That's it.

Felix Pie doesn't have to play CF. He has one of the top three outfield arms in the organization. He can play RF, Jacque Jones and Matt Murton can platoon in LF, and Angel Pagan can spell Pie in RF against tough lefty starters. Then, if the Cubs can't re-sign Juan Pierre after this season, Pie can be moved to CF in 2007. If the Cubs do re-sign Pierre, then Pie stays in RF.

I agree with you 100% Manny. I just have serious doubts that that one start will include CF.

Pierre had a streak of 386 broken in June last year according to Wikipedia, I don't know what it's at currently.

But I dout he'd sit at any point this year unless he asks for it...

By the way Ariz Phil, Canzler went yard yet again yesterday. Kid has homered 3 games in a row now (and committed his 8th error) -- perhaps he's the next coming of Brian Dopirak? I hope Canzler's not as stiff at 1B than Dopirak.

AZ Phil:
"He (Pie) can play RF, Jacque Jones and Matt Murton can platoon in LF, and Angel Pagan can spell Pie in RF against tough lefty starters. Then, if the Cubs can't re-sign Juan Pierre after this season, Pie can be moved to CF in 2007. If the Cubs do re-sign Pierre, then Pie stays in RF."

So next year you think we will have an OF of either:

LF- Murton/Pagan
CF- Pie
RF- JJ

or

LF- Jones/Murton
CF- Pierre
RF- Pie

Either way I say...UGH!!!

If that is the case, we better upgrade 2B in a big way, resign ARAM AND get 2 top of the line SP or we will be battling for 4th place again.

Rob G:

I'm not making any excuses for that crap, but as I recall, the really serious heckling didn't start until after Jones whined to the media about fans booing him for striking out.

there is no huge 2nd base upgrade (no, loretta is not an elitte 2nd baseman, just a singles hitter who plays 2nd well) besides lugo, really. and his D there is as much of a question as SS...

and if you're worried about that OF being the OF...well, i dunno what to think.

Anyone who claims that Angel Pagan and Freddie Bynum proved themselves in AAA but Felix Pie has not probably can't read a bus schedule.

Interesting comments here. I guess I'm in the minority on prefering to see Pie get at least one start at CF - the position he played the vast majority of his games at Iowa (and his minor league career to date for that matter) - during a string of Sept games that have no playoff/post-season implications for the Cubs.

but pie projects to start...pagan/bynum was nothing more to this organization than bench. neither are being groomed to start coming into this year.

this spring when pagan just owned ST, .360-5hr, no one was like OMG PAGAN IS OUR NEW LF'R!

while it wouldnt be unlikely to see pagan come up in sept and work a little bit more than just CF, its not likely they'd want him around getting 150-250ab's in a full season working bench like they want/expect outta pagan/bynum.

pie's gonna have to hit the ground running when he comes...at least that's how the situation is posturing itself (sept. callups cant be gauged by this, though...that's a whole different thing to different players. very few sept. callups come up to take over for a starter.)

soriano (maybe)
loretta
belliard
castillo (incentive option)
durham
kennedy
DeRosa

also
Grudz
Biggio
Hairston Jr.
Aurilia
Bellhorn

and I'm sure Lugo could play 2b too.

I made a mistake on Jeff Kent earlier, he signed an $11.5 mil extension this spring with a $9 mil team option for 2008 which is guaranteed with 550 PA.

Eric S.-
I said I think he should get a start here or there. And I think he will. I wouldn't expect more than like 3-4 starts though.

Crunch-
If you think Lugo is even an option, why not Soriano at 2B? That is where he wants to play and it might be a deal maker for him to come here. His defense at 2B is about as bad as Lugo's at SS. If one believes Cedeno is going to struggle there next year anyways, I say give Soriano the shot to at least mash the ball there instead of living with a guy who is going to have a .300 OBP and still make 17-20 errors and hit for no power.

Manny: Aramis Ramirez MUST be signed to an extension. No excuses. Derrek Lee MUST come back 100% in '07. Only time will tell if he will, but I hope he sits out the rest of this season and does exercises to get his wrist healthy.

And yes, if the Cubs re-sign Pierre, I believe they will need a profound offensive upgrade at either 2B or SS. Acquiring Miguel Tejada would be ideal, and I would certainly entertain trading Carlos Zambrano (plus Ronny Cedeno) to get him. And then I would go hard after Jason Schmidt to replace Z.

If Pierre cannot be re-signed, then I would move Pie back to CF, pursue Carlos Lee instead of trading Zambrano for Tejada, and platoon Jones & Murton in RF. Then I would attempt to sign Zambrano and Barrett to contract extensions so that they cannot be free-agents after 2007.

IF PIERRE RE-SIGNS:
Pierre, CF
Izturis, 2B
Lee, 1B
Tejada, SS
Ramirez, 3B
Jones/Murton, LF
Barrett, C
Pie/Pagan, RF

or

IF PIERRE CANNOT BE RE-SIGNED
Pie, CF
Izturis, SS
D. Lee, 1B
C. Lee, LF
Ramirez, 3B
Barrett, C
Jones/Murton, RF
Cedeno, 2B

"If you think Lugo is even an option, why not Soriano at 2B?"

well mostly cuz while lugo isnt very good (a lot of his problems being with his arm)...soriano is REALLY bad with his glove, range, and arm.

i dont recall a single team this trading period wanting or talking about soriano at 2nd (aside from sportswriters predicting possible moves).

Phil,

Z for Tejada? No WAY!

We are looking at a perennial Cy Young candidate for the next 10 - 12 years here.

Tejada still has a lot of great baseball ahead of him but Z is five years younger. If we were talking Miguel Cabrera, well then we could talk.

Manny - Still agree with you - Pie should start here or there. Do you think Pie should get one start at CF - his most natural position based on # of games played? If not, why?

aquiring tejada would rule, but i dunno how even BAL would go about trading him without getting a LOT of tallent.

guy's got 3yr/38m left. that's peanuts compared to the market at large at SS...esp. for a slugger.

i dunno what it would take, but cedeno isnt a start...he's a "throw-in" with the amount of tallent it would take.

Then based on those 2 lineups, I would much rather have the 2nd one. An OF of Jones/Murton, Pierre, Pie/Pagan scares me.

And there is no way I can condone trading Z + Cedeno for Tejada. No way. Never. Our pitching staff for next year is shaky and question mark riddled at best. Trading our #1 and getting a lesser #1, is not going in the right direction.

Eric S.:
"Do you think Pie should get one start at CF - his most natural position based on # of games played?"

Yeah 2-3 starts in CF and maybe 1-2 in RF.

I figured out who I think Matt Murton will turn into,

MIke Greenwell.

Thoughts?

I don't think a package of Murton, Pie, and any pitcher in the organization not named Carlos Zambrano (meaning Veal, Marshall, Guzman, Marmol, Hill, or ???) to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera is out of the question after this season.

If I were the Marlins, I would make that deal in a heartbeat. The Marlins have a gaping hole in CF where Pie would patrol, and they could play Murton everyday in LF and move Willingham to 3B, not to mention adding a young rotation starter, all for a player who will be eligible for arbitration after next season.

What it would do for the Cubs is allow them to move Jacque Jones to LF (where he belongs), while playing Cabrera in RF. Then sign Ramirez, Zambrano, and Barrett to contract extensions, re-sign Pierre, and the 2007-08 lineup would look something like this:

Pierre, CF
Izturis, SS
Lee, 1B
Cabrera, RF
Ramirez, 3B
Barrett, C
Jones, LF
Cedeno, 2B (maybe E. Patterson in '08)

Although I've called for the Cubs to add a top shelf SS, I'm not sure I would go for a Zambrano for Tejada trade. Since I covet having ARod play SS for the Cubs in 2007, I probably would go for a Z for ARod trade, but not Tejada.

I also would go for a Murton, Pie & Veal/Guzman/Marshal/Marmol trade for Cabrera in a heartbeat.

arod sells deodorant, soda, clothes, and has about as many non-profit commercials out ther (boys/girls club, mlb charities, etc).

his worth to nyy is far more than just what's on the field as long as he keeps living a 'clean' life...at least as long as he keeps hitting.

i mean, hell, theyre signed themselves up to pay $20+m for 1 year of abreu.

You might be right, Crunch, but I've got to believe they would take a long look at adding Zambrano to their less than awesome pitching rotation. If they're lacking anything, it's pitching, not offense, regardless of what a great community guy ARod is.

yeah, that'd be a hell of a starting point...Z's one of the most valuable guys on the market without a longterm contract, yet.

im just saying that player for player, arod has a bit more on the table than what he brings to the field.

ichiro's value is similarly high, but for a different reason, via what he brings in addition to his play.

It would be cool to see ARod hit number 757 and break Bond's record in Wrigley Field.

(you know that bastard would hit 756 and quit the next day. Just like that movie that was loosely based on him)

PLAYER A, PLAYER B

Here is player A's minor league career capsule:

(5)seasons 1415 AB .302 .373 .818

Player A was called up to the big club for a short stint every year of his minor league career beginning at A level, age 19. By age 22 he had 98
MLB at bats.

Player B's minor league career:

(4)seasons 1402 AB .297 .356 .816

Player B has never been called up to the major leagues. He's currently finishing his fifth season in the minors (400+ more minor league AB's than player A).

Did player A really show more than B before sticking with the major league club? Did player A really spend a longer time in the minors getting prepared and seasoned? Was player A ruined by his trips each year up to the majors starting when he was 19?

Player B is Felix Pie. Player A is Dusty Baker.

I would be surprised if the Yankees would NOT trade A-Rod for Carlos Zambrano (straight-up), just as I would be surprised if the Orioles would not trade Miguel Tejada for Zambrano. The only issue would be getting A-Rod to agree to the deal (he probably wouldn't) or keeping Tejada from demanding a trade after one season in order to renogotiate his contract (he probably would).

From the Yanks & O's POV, they would be getting a 25-year old stud #1 ace starter, and both certainly have the financial resources to keep Z happy well into the middle of the next decade. Replacing A-Rod at 3B would be no big deal for the Yanks. They already have sluggers at 1B-LF-RF-DH-C, so it's not like they couldn't survive with Nomar or Pedro Feliz at 3B until Eric Duncan is ready. And the Orioles could sign a FA power-hitting DH bat and a slugging LF to help replace Tejada's middle-of-the-order run production.

If the opportunity arises to acquire A-Rod or Tejada for Zambrano, Hendry would be a fool not to make that trade. Personally, I would prefer Tejada over A-Rod because he is a year younger and (IMO) the better player of the two. Then spend what you have to spend to sign a FA starter like Jason Schmidt (my #1 choice) or Ted Lilly (who would be fine, too) to replace Zambrano in the rotation. I can't see Barry Zito signing with the Cubs, though. He's just too West Coast.

Then I'd take my chances on filling out the rotation with the best of the kids. And if Mark Prior can comeback to being Mark Prior at some point, great. If not, just C-Pat him and at least save his salary and apply it toward signing a second FA pitcher. Signing both Schmidt AND Lilly would be very good. But to sign one or two top-tier FA starters like Schmidt and Lilly, Hendry will need to be super-aggressive right from the onset of the FA period. I don't know if he has that in him.

BTW, just so there is no misunderstanding, I do NOT want Hendry to trade Carlos Zambrano. Unless it's for Miguel Tejada or A-Rod. Those are the ONLY two exceptions.

Interesting CWTP. Pretty funny actually.

But you say Player B has 400 more minor league AB's, yet they seem about equal -- 1415 - 1402. ?

ruining isnt really the point as much as it is pie being ready to play.

what those #s dont show is the k/bb ratio...what he's making contact on, etc.

i dunno much about dust's minor league playing career, but he didnt even K 100 times in the majors.

what pie's being fooled on in the minors is more important than what pie's hitting most likely.

besides...he should get his sept callup and be and up/down major/minor league player next year...he doesnt project to be the cubs RF/CF as of right now.

it could all change depending on how the money/tallent gets shifted around, but now it seems that pie is destined to start 07 in the minors.

What is the most criticized offensive statistic surrounding the Cubs? OBP? All I read here are comments about the Cub players and the organizationin general needs to change it's philosophy. So what is wrong with keeping Pie in the minors UNTIL he focuses on his biggest single weakness. What is wrong with telling him if you want to reach the majors you MUST improve this area of your game. Why reward a lack of plate discipline this year by a callup? Besides, it will start the clock on his FA years. I guess we really don't want the Cubs to really insist on changing it's philosophy.

"But you say Player B has 400 more minor league AB's, yet they seem about equal -- 1415 - 1402. ?
Posted by: 433 "

I'm very late getting back to you, 433, but the seeming discrepancy is due to the fact that Felix Pie is still in the process of completing his fifth minor league season this year. I didn't include any of this years numbers.

Pie had as many at bats in four seasons as Baker did in five.

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