The Magic Number is Two

A Royals loss coupled with a Cubs win will eliminate the Cubs from getting the top pick in next year's draft, mostly thanks to the Royals recent seven game skid. The Cubs are 2.5 back of the D'Rays for the second spot at the moment and you never know if the Royals will cheap out on a signing bonus (or for that matter the D'Rays) so there's still hope the Cubs can land the best talent in next year's draft. The Royals did shell out on Luke Hochevar this year so they may finally realize the value in building from the ground up. This is likely Sean Marshall's final start of the year and his last chance to leave something better than the taste of rotten milk on the Cubs palette. It hasn't been pretty at all for Marshall since his return from the DL (which coincided rather closely to the loss of his mentor Greg Maddux). Carlos "Don't Call Me Hector" Villanueva is a 22-year old Brewer prospect who was the bounty in the big Wayne Franklin deal with the Giants two years ago. He didn't break the Brewers top 10 prospect list by Baseball America last year but he was rated as having the best changeup in their organization. He put up a nice season between AA and AAA this year going a combined 11-6 with a 3.22 ERA, 120 K, 40 BB, 12 HR in 128.2 IP. This will be his first chance to terrorize us for many years to come. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-EIGHT IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] MILWAUKEE BREWERS (73-83 (Draft) 7th) AT CHICAGO CUBS (63-94 (Draft) 3rd - 4.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Clear, 70 degrees, Wind out to CF @ 6 mph TV: WCIU, DirecTV 744 Radio: WGN, XM 188
Sean Marshall, LHP 5-9, 5.64 ERA, 119.2 IP 74 K, 56 BB, 19 HR 270/357/440 againstCarlos Villanueva, RHP 1-1, 3.35 ERA, 40.1 IP 30 K, 9 BB, 5 HR 204/264/395 against

Brady Clark, CF Tony Graffanino, 2B *Prince Fielder, 1B Bill Hall, SS Corey Hart, RF Kevin Mench, LF David Bell, 3B Mike Rivera, C Carlos Villanueva, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF *John Mabry, 1B Henry Blanco, C *Scott Moore, 3B Ronny Cedeno, SS *Sean Marshall, P

Brewers vs. Marshall: No Brewers have ever faced MarshallCubs vs. Villanueva: No Cubs have ever faced Villanueva
Well if that lineup doesn't scare the hell out of Hendry into giving Ramirez whatever he wants, nothing will.
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Comments

Ugh... the lineup...

Haha.

Wow. Just.... wow.

If you had showed me this lineup at the beginning of the year, I would have guessed that Jones and Pierre were in injury rehab in AAA, and Murton and Cedeno tanked.

But for a major league line up?

Hank White, superstar.

Mabry's AB in the first might have been more effective if he came to the plate with a violin rather than a bat...just to generate sympathy for an old veteran (was it WW2 or Korea?)

Are the Cubs running a charity or a baseball team? How does John Mabry continue to get at bats??

I guess that explains why no team wanted Mabry at the trading deadline. I predict he'll give it up after this year-no team will want him.

A few weeks ago Az Phil suggested the Cubs give Cedeno another year in AAA before giving up on him. Not only do I second that, I suggest we give Marshall and Guzman another year in Iowa-provided they're not traded.

A few weeks ago Az Phil suggested the Cubs give Cedeno another year in AAA before giving up on him. Not only do I second that, I suggest we give Marshall and Guzman another year in Iowa-provided they're not traded.

I agree on Cedeno, but more to lure someone into trading for him than for any hope that he will become productive.

Mabry is getting playing time, as any manager would do..he only needs about 5 more outs to get his batting average under the Mendoza line.

A good manager lets all his veteran players achieve their important personal milestones.

Please someone give me one good reason why Theriot and his .400 OBP doesn't start 162 games at SS in 2007.

Please someone give me one good reason why Theriot and his .400 OBP doesn't start 162 games at SS in 2007.

Cesar Iz.... Oh, sorry, you said good reason. I got nothin'.

See, there, you went and made Mabry angry.

YOU DONT LIKE MABRY WHEN HE IS ANGRY

9/26/2006 vs. 9/27/1981 (game 1 of DH) - Advantage
Juan Pierre, CF - Bobby Bonds CF
Ryan Theriot, 2B - Ivan DeJesus SS
Jacque Jones, RF - Bill Buckner 1B
Matt Murton, LF - Leon Durham RF
John Mabry, 1B - Steve Henderson LF
Henry Blanco, C - Jody Davis C
Scott Moore, 3B - Ty Waller 3B
Ronny Cedeno, SS - Mike Tyson 2B
Sean Marshall, P - Doug Bird P

God, this lineup really blows.... Even putting Lee/Ramirez/Barrett back at 3/4/5 and moving Jones/Murton to 6/7... it's not THAT much better than the 1981 team, which is the worst in my memory.

See, there, you went and made Mabry angry.

ROFL. Damn, now we're gonna need to see Mabry get 10-12 more at bats to get his average below .200

OK, so Mabry is now a crafty veteran. So we got that going for us.

Hank White, super duper star.

Cardinals lost to SD 7-5, their lead is down to 1 1/2 games over Astros.

StL losing streak at 7
Stl only 4 games over .500

I'd say there is a very tight collar being worn somewhere in StL

CARDS LOSE!! CARDS LOSE!!

this would be absolutely epic as far as late collapses....it was 7.5 game lead like a week ago....amazing

MURTON 3-3 again.....this man MUST be your starting left fielder next year unless he's packaged in a trade for somebody huge (i'm looking at you, mr. vernon wells, and i'm also looking at the extension we'd need to take you...)

I may be reading too much into this, but for Ramirez to miss a game for a "sore leg" doesn't make sense. Putting yourself in the shoes of Ramirez:

You have, what, 6 games left, on the verge of 40 home runs and the biggest contract you'll sign in your career. It's going to take more than a sore leg to keep me from playing.

So... and this is just conjecture, either it's worse than a sore leg, or the Cubs have already agreed to terms and he's no longer worried about impressing possible suitors.

Horatio: Please someone give me one good reason why Theriot and his .400 OBP doesn't start 162 games at SS in 2007.

I don't care if his OBP is .250, he definitely deserves consideration for a starting position next year. Everything about his approach at the plate spells success. He doesn't spazz with 2-strikes and makes the opposing pitcher work to get him out. It's not like his hits this year have been the "lucky" variety, either, he earned most of them.

AZ Phil a couple weeks ago compared Theriot with an insect. It's a brilliant comparison to other insect-like players (Freel, Eckstein) and I give Theriot 2B next year, you know, since Izturis will be starting SS ;)

Got back a bit ago from the game...

The weather was actually pretty good, not that cold at all, for a late Sept game. In my 4 years of having season tickets, I have never been to a game with as many open seats as tonight. There might of been only 20,000 people there. But that 20,000 were into the game pretty good.

Cubs offense lit things up tonight, looked they were taking BP. Cedeno was the only starter without a hit until he got that IF hit and the crowd gave him a Bronx cheer. Marshall was blah and the bullpen was not too good again, but at least Dempster had a 1-2-3 inning.

Last game of 2006, at least the Cubs won it. Go Cubs!!! Good Luck this offseason, we have a LONG way to go even in this shitty NL to get back to contention.

I'm really starting to wonder if we have any idea what Hendry's plan might be. I know he feels the pressure. I really thought the move would be Fredi Gonzalez. I'm starting to think Gonzalez will end up in FLA. Which makes me rethink the Pinella thing. Stone was on the Score yesterday and really seemed to hint at Lou being Hendry's choice. After what I've heard about the clubhouse lately, I think it makes sense. I also sense Hendry has to make a move on a hitter. The following 3 would make sense on some levels. Wells, Tejada, or Soriano. What would it take to get Wells? I think he is our best option, much cheaper than Soriano would come. I also see him signing one impact FA either hitter ie. Soriano and trading for pithcing K. Wells, Westbrook. Or the other way around? FA Bautista, Padilla, Wolf and trading for Wells? I know Toronto loves Barrett does he figure in the deal? What trade value does Murton really have? So many ??? What do you think guys, I'm getting antsy, oh and take care Juan Pierre.

Just how bad is the NL? With FIVE games left to play, the 78-79 Reds still have a playoff pulse.

How can the Cardinals lose seven in a row? I never thought I'd root for the Astros in my life, even against the Birds. But this would just be too cool.

Anybody catch the Cubs documentary on HBO? Has it been airing for awhile? It looks like it is reairing many times over the next couple weeks...catch it. It isn't special, and it's quite painful as the vast majority covers the 1969, 1984, and 2003 collapses...but it's about our team, so definately worth the watch.

It's interesting when I relive 2003, The Bartman play doesn't make my stomach drop, Gonzo's error doesn't make my heart drop...seeing tens of thousands of fans outside of Wrigley in the bottom of the 7th waiting to go crazy makes me sick to my stomach and tears in my eyes. Just being able to see the fans and the city celebrate that night is what I was looking forward to so much as I was sitting watching the game here in LA.

I can safely say, while this 2006 season absolutely sucked on the field...it was so nice not to have to invest that much time and energy as I did in 2003 and 2004.

Considering the fact that I hate the Astros far more then I dislike the Cards, the cards collapse is pissing me off. 3 years in a row, Houston basically doesn't show up the first half of the season and then out of nowhere goes on this unbelievable winning streaks at the end of the season. I just don't like the team. I don't like Clemens repeated retirements and unretirements without even missing a season, I still can't stand Berkman for the stunt he pulled in 2004 same goes for Oswalt. I hate the Stadium, hate the city....bah.

Go Cardinals!

Saw the HBO special. Familiar territory. Nothing about all of us being racist though. How inaccurate.

Also, in reliving the Bartman episode, there was a lot of sympathy there and people trying to downplay it. But basically, the other six games in the series were glossed over. Just amazing that we even showed up for Game 7.

My personal opinion: The game the Cubs should have won was Game 1. I am simply amazed Mark Guthrie gets off the hook for his role in blowing that series.

Tortured myself by watching most of the HBO special, subtitled Mike Murphy Hits Your TV for Almost a Full Hour. Sheesh.

What really busted me up was hearing Pat Hughes' incredulous calls of the events of Game 6. (I watched that game on TV, don't recall having the radio on.) He really has a profound way of calling a sudden series of reversals like that; he makes it sound like the world is ending. Which it didn't, but still.

Anyway, myths, curses, Dennis Farina...to paraphrase Crunch, "blah blah, ugh, yeah."

Good Luck this offseason, we have a LONG way to go even in this shitty NL to get back to contention.

It will be an even longer offseason if Hendry keeps following Manny's advice, by doing things like allowing Dusty Baker to return, or keeping Mark Prior untouchable (not that he has much value these days).

This team is bad, to be sure, but that 1981 team mentioned may have been the worst I've ever seen!!!

Its not close if you compare the players on that teams stats for that season with those from this year. The 1981 team finished last in slugging, OBP, and average, and next to last in runs scored...

Unfortunately, I don't have HBO in my package here in Chi.

But, having been at a couple games - the night before "Bartman" and at the Braves series, I have this perspective as well:

There was a choice the manager could have made, to go to one of our starting pitchers to finish the game six.

Both Guthrie and Veres had given up the long ball during the post-season. One of them, as I distinctly recall, a game before to dead center against Lowell.

Now, the Marlin's manager, in contrast, had Beckett, Penny, et. al. in the bullpen AND THEN in the game!

This is the essence of Dusty-ism. No matter what, loyalty comes before everything else. It is very admirable, honestly. No doubt this came from his upbringing and training in the Army.

I would love this in an employer.

But in professional sports, its, " what have you done for me lately?"

To not recognize that in game six, with the team in an historic position five outs away from a pennant, his mindset SHOULD have been "how can I give us the BEST chance to win RIGHT NOW"? Not - "I've gone with Veres and Guthrie all year, and I'm gonna do it again 'cause they got us here". NO! NO! NO!

Clement, Woody, Moses - anyone else get us five outs? Except Shawn Estes.

Figure out the rest in the World Series...

But - This is the essence of WHY players love playing for Dusty. Wouldn't you?

I wish him success down the road. This year was not entirely his fault. Jim Hendry is the one signing Doughnuts, Mabry, Neifi, Prior, Dempster....

He seems like a nice person although I have never met him. I don't know what he does to reprimand players behind closed doors. I know he'll be managing again somewhere next season.

The sad thing is that I was hoping as a 35+ year Cub fan, that we could have had a situation that made for continuity ala La Russa or Bobby Cox.

It really can help on many levels.

This team has had SO MANY managers and only a few have had success.

This morning on the WGN news sports reported that Glendon Rusch "believes his career is over."

He thinks the blood thinner that he will be on for the next year will keep him too loopy to pitch.

I hated his pitching, but he's an overall nice guy.
I wish him the best and a long happy life.

jacos: I hated his pitching, but he's an overall nice guy.

Yeah. I wonder what the Cubs think of employing him as a left-handed batting practice pitcher (which they've expressed a need for this year)? Those guys stand behind a fence, right? Would a doctor clear him for that job? I don't know.

Satirical article about Hendry/Girardi/Loria: http://www.thebrushback.com/loria_full.htm

Johan clearly won't make his Sunday start so this marks the first time in (non-strike year)MLB history that there will be zero starters with 20 wins. Me thinks T.Hoffman also picked up some Cy votes after Carpenter was shelled last night.

It looks like the Braves will be making M.Giles available this off-season with Wickman's extention and Smoltz and Hampton's contracts escalating...if Smoltz doesn't lobby for a trade to the D. I forget the name but a ATL writer was on MLBradio yesterday stating that the Braves will almost assuredly go with either Martin Prado or W.Aybar next season. However, seeing that the Braves would probably want pitching and/or a LFer back, and save for R.Hill the young starters have tanked, if Hendry were to pull M.Giles(unlikely) it would probably take some combination of Murton, Pie, Gallagher or Veal...somehow I don't see it with no real salary dump being involved. Billy Beane loves M.Giles and tried to pluck him in the Hudson deal...the A's can use a 2B and they have a lot more on the farm to offer. He could be out of their price range so maybe Boston could get involved if Loretta isn't retained. Unfortunately, Ray Durham's 2nd half might price him out of the Cubs range in terms of $ and duration...but you can't go into next season with Izturis and Cedeno up the middle(offensively).

Screw Cedeno...I'll take my chances with Theriot....who I know has no power, and therefore can't be a productive MLB hitter, because without HR power, is just can't be done.

Please note dripping sarcasm.

Screw Cedeno...I'll take my chances with Theriot....who I know has no power, and therefore can't be a productive MLB hitter, because without HR power, it just can't be done.

Please note dripping sarcasm.

Please also note the double post...and that, as usual, I am an idiot...

Joel Sherman from the NYPost claims the DRays are looking to shop Crawford for a young Kazmir type starter this off-season. Does D.Veal and Pie qualify?

http://www.nypost.com/sports/mets/ex_rayvisio...

Dusty,

If a player has no power, it just makes it all the more important that he be adept at avoiding being put out. Since Theriot is flashing major potential in this area, I think he'd be fine.

It's Pierre, Cedeno, and Izturis who are the problem in my view, since they not only have no power, but get themselves out far too frequently to be useful players.

"Hampton's contracts escalating"

Holy Sh!t!

Didn't he sign that back in the 90's?

That's got to be the worst contract since Orioles and Albert Belle.

Not having a 20 game winner is good for baseball. The fewer times they trot dudes out there on three days rest trying to pick up their twentieth win (and get them hurt in the process) the better, I think. Maybe the fact that no one did it this year will snap people out of it and realize that pitcher wins aren't that important. Wins (for a pitcher) are an archaic and practically meaningless stat. (Obviously, team wins are a pretty important stat.) Wins tend to follow good pitching or course, but I don't think wins by themselves indicate good pitching. Think back to Santana being screwed out of the Cy Young Award by Colon. JS had Colon bested in literally every way. Except the wins. So Colon wins the CYA on the strength of his bullpen and offense, not his pitching.

Dusty,

I realize you were being sarcastic. I'm just agreeing with you.

If Crawford is dangled, I would like Jim Hendry to pick up the phone and tell TB: "You can have any pitchers you want not named Carlos Zambrano."

Crawford is a young, budding superstar with an incredible contract that runs through the 2010 season (I think).

If we can get Crawford, this would be my 2007 lineup:

1 - *Roberts CF
2 - Theriot 2B
3 - *Crawford LF
4 - Lee 1B
5 - Ramirez 3B
6 - Murton/*Jones RF
7 - Barrett C
8 - #Izturis SS

Crawford can spell Roberts in CF against LHP

That is a lineup that would win some games, and the first 3 guys in the order can really steal some bases and mess with opposing pitchers

With Rusch's potentially career ending health problem, is there any chance that the Cubs would be able to have the remainder of his contract paid by insurance (assuming he has insured).

has=was

I love Crawford. A contract with Crawford that ran till 2010 would be fantastic. We'd have him for his most productive years (25-28) if not more.

By the way, in striking constrast to faux "basestealer" Pierre, CC swipes bases at an 82% clip for his career and 86% this season. 56 for 65!!! Now that's a basestealer!!

I might be confused, but isn't Crawford the guy that threw the bat at the ump in that minor league game this year?

Delmon Young, nevermind.

On a totally unrelated note, how great is it that Frank Thomas won the Hometown Heroes thing for the Sox?

They basically told him to f off after he established himself as the greatest hitter in their team's history, and now he's lighting it up for the A's while the Sox are out of the playoffs. I love it.

Yes, it's terrible when a team & fans shun a great hitter like that after all his years of service.

I guess I don't fully get Crawford's appeal. He's a free swinging contact hitter. He's never had an OBP over .350 dating back to Rookie ball. He doesn't like to walk. He's shown moderate power lately, but he's hardly knocking the cover off the ball and he had almost zero power in the minors. He's fast, which is nice, I guess. He's a left fielder, not a center fielder, so he'd be bumping Murton.

What am I missing?

I think you'd move Crawford to CF...he'd play CF for most any other ML team but since TB has Baldelli he's slotted to LF. Murton/Crawford/Jones would look pretty good to me...all with plus speed for their positions...Crawford also has an above average arm.

Carl Crawford and you want to give up any pitcher for him?

his deal runs through 2008 with an $8.25 mil 2009 option and a $10 million option in 2009 with escalators that could make it $11.5 mil

As for the player...
2003: 281/309/362
2004: 296/331/450
2005: 301/331/469
2006: 303/346/480

steals a ton of bases, defense is okay, he's 25.

Looks like a great CF and barely any better than Murton in LF. And someone would bat him 3rd? He says he wants to stay in LF too.

At his age and reasonable contract, he's a nice guy to have, but I don't find him that overwhelming, especially in place of Murton.

I get that he isn't a terrible player, but I don't see him being worth our top pitching prospect (and maybe more). He's just not that special.

Also, what a difference a year makes. At the start of the last offseason, a lot of folks here were doing a chicken little routine about the possibility of Soriano or Crawford coming to the Cubs. Now we're willing to plop down long term money to Soriano or trade our top prospects for Crawford? Ick.

IF Crawford would play CF, I'd pony up Guzman or Veal or Gallagher and whatever else they needed tossed in to make it work. But in LF, he's a marginal upgrade at best. And I'm not sure he's that much of an upgrade.

"I guess I don't fully get Crawford's appeal. He's a free swinging contact hitter. He's never had an OBP over .350 dating back to Rookie ball."

Crawford does sort of fall into that Corey Patterson/Felix Pie were in the hell does he truly slot in the order category. TB finally moved him out of the leadoff slot post AS break this season as they felt he would knock in more runs so he's been hitting in the 3 hole which isn't terrible for a guy who still hits .300 with his questionable plate discipline. He also falls into that toolsy type of player that scouts and Hendry types love so a lot of his reputation is based on that. Lou Pinella stated last season that Crawford would win a batting title in the next couple years...fwiw...I think most of us would put him more into the Jose Reyes, Soriano, Figgins type where in order for him to maintain a .350 ob% he'd have to hit around .305-310. Scouts also say that eventually he'll consistently hit 25 HRs a year. Obviously in a Dusty lineup he'd leadoff, but I think in the potential '07 Cubs lineup I'd slot him in the 2 hole behind Theriot and in front of D.Lee so he'd get a nice helping of fastballs to crush.

Carl Crawford is a difference maker. He is in the class of an impact player. He is the player you build championships around. He is the guy that always has the big hits when you need them.

Take no further look than his whopping .350 BA and a 1.013 OPS with RISP, and his .413 BA and 1.328 OPS with RISP and 2 outs this year.

And if you think that is just a fluke his 2005 average with RISP is .324 BA and .920 OPS, RISP/2outs .358 BA, .948 OPS.

His 3 year averages (2003-2005) for RISP is .310 BA, .838 OPS, RISP and 2 outs, .320 BA, .858 OPS.

The guy is a serious monster with the bat and getting better by the year. Most players hit worse with RISP/2outs, he actually gets better.

I like Vernon Wells and all, but Crawford is the better player. Especially when it comes to situational hitting and base running and your team needs those runs.

As a CF I'm onboard, as a LF, no big deal.

And I read somewhere near the trade deadline that he wanted to stay in LF. Not that I guess he'd have much choice.

he didn't make that much of a difference in tampa bay....

I'd probably bat him in the #2 spot, depending on who else we had on the team.

Carlos Zambrano hasn't made much difference in Chicago.

Derrek Lee didn't make much difference in 2005.

The Cubs sucked in their best years. Does it mean they aren't impact players and difference makers? Not at all.

Thats pretty poor counter-arguement Rob. I thought you would go with the Wells has more RBI's and HR's thus = better player/hitter route. Which I could agree with on some levels.

I was being a bit sarcastic of course, not that I'm exactly sure how a guy who managed an OPS just over 800 the last 2 years is such a big difference maker.

Z and Lee are All-stars and deservedly so with All-Star numbers. Crawford steals some bases, whoop-de-doo.

I didn't realize we were comparing Wells to Crawford, but if I had my choice I'd take Wells. But I don't think you'd go wrong with either one of them.

The big question is if the baseball powers that be think he can play CF.

the only reason crawford's higher OPS than pierre is the extra 10 homers (some of which come at the expense of his expected doubles).

the guy's a singles hitter who, much like pierre, relies a lot on his speed to give him singles he otherwise would not get.

he'll hit his 10-20 homers and 10-15 triples...pimp out his slugging...but when you got him in a game, you cant count on that homer...you cant count on that double.

you're gonna be lucky to get an extra base hit outta him once every 2 games.

in the field pierre's got a better judge on popups, but its not like crawford sucks out there.

personally i think he likes LF cuz its less work for him and it protects his main tool, speed.

Baseball America has named Cubs 2006 #1 draft pick OF Tyler Colvin (Boise) as the #1 prospect in the Northwest League. BA's Aaron Fitt compares Colvin to a young Shawn Green, and from what I have seen of him in the Instructional League, I would agree. And his arm is not anywhere near as bad as I had heard it was. He can play CF.

2005 #1 pick LHP Mark Pawelek was rated by BA as the #9 prospect in the NWL. Fitt mentions that although he held his own in the NWL, he continues to struggle with mechanics and command. Also, Paweleks's fast ball--which topped out at 96 in HS, now sits at 89-92 and tops out at 93-94. And the Cubs have told Pawelek to drop the slider and splitter, and stick with the fastball, curve, and straight-change.

BTW, RHP Jose Ceda (acquired from SD for Todd Walker) was the only Cub listed among BA's Top 20 in the Arizona League (AZL), coming in at #14. Ceda was rated as having one of the best fastballs in the AZL (he throws 96), but that's his only decent pitch, so he is projected as a reliever rather than a starter.

I saw Ceda pitch at Mesa this year, and he does indeed throw gas. He was the hardest thrower that I saw down here.

MikeC,

I agree with your assessment. Crawford will be 25 next year while Wells will be 28, so CC is a bit better investment I'd think. Wells has a bit more pop, but I think CC makes up for it a bit with his speed and basestealing ability. They're just not that different as players. So I say go with the younger one who's locked up through 2010. But he has to play CF. MM must be in LF next year. Murton is establishing himself and much like CC at only 24, he's only going to get better. Now is no time to give up.

I say then we go after Soriano and stick him in right. We use JJ as a part time LF platoon and bench guy (JJ would be as solid, though expensive, a pinch hitting option as there is in baseball).

Then, of course, all you'd have to do is stick Theriot at SS and Fontenot at 2B and you're all good.

And with all the extra cash you'd save from those MLB minimum guys like Murton, Theriot, Fontenot, et al., you could sign some real ass-kicking pitching.

I'm glad to see Hendry got a nice-looking youngling for what was really his only great bargaining chip in Todd Walker. To the team that traded Loretta for Mirabelli. Very nice.

How could you possibly be okay with Fontenot at 2B next year? He is a 26 year old, perrenial AAA player with no pop, no wheels, and no upside.

I agree with your assessment. Crawford will be 25 next year while Wells will be 28, so CC is a bit better investment I'd think. Wells has a bit more pop, but I think CC makes up for it a bit with his speed and basestealing ability.

Crawford is 25 right now, birthday in August, fwiw. Wells has yet to strike out over 100 times and has a lot more pop. Power hitters who don't strike out a lot are the most coveted players in the game.

Value on the dollar, I wouldn't mind Crawford. In terms of who's the better player, it's easily Wells.

hort has no idea what fontenot is...much like moore (his last man crush which has now been replaced by fontenot)...he only knows the numbers and that's all he needs.

worse, he only knows the hitting #s and just assumes defense is an after thought.

knowing how a guy gets his #s and what his limitations are not only at bat, but in the field, are just as important to a guy's promotion through the system as actual success via numbers.

If we can commit to no-bat Izturis, than no one should have any problem seeing what Fontenot can do over the course of a season.

btw...yes that is harsh on hort, but a guy with such strong opinions on things he presents it as facts that cannot be swayed deserves a direct and focused response.

esp. when people waste a lotta time trying to open his mind up a bit about things he's not paying attention to.

"Carlos Zambrano hasn't made much difference in Chicago.

Derrek Lee didn't make much difference in 2005."

False.

Without Z this year, the Cubs would be picking #1
Without Lee last year, the 05 Cubs would be the same as the 06 Cubs.

What's the point? That you need a few difference makers to win a division or go to the playoffs, but to say that one player can't make a difference is just plain wrong.

hort has no idea what fontenot is...much like moore (his last man crush which has now been replaced by fontenot)...he only knows the numbers and that's all he needs.

It's all I need to give him a chance...

WPZ:
"I'm glad to see Hendry got a nice-looking youngling for what was really his only great bargaining chip in Todd Walker."

Yes, Hendry did a very good job on that trade. Walker had very little trade value as Hendry surely saw when shopping him over last offseason. I don't think Hendry could of gotten more. I give him an "A" for the trade and if this guy actually makes it to the bigs, that becomes an "A+".

RobG

What I meant was that next year will be CC's age 25 season.

Vernon Wells and Carl Crawford aren't even close to the same player. The fact that you think they're so similar is a pretty good example of the problem with judging players just by what you pull up on ESPN or B-R.

"It's all I need to give him a chance..."

its not realistic or wise, though.

no matter how much you may be swayed by "magic numbers" you read about in a book and other people's studies, they're not realistic.

fontenot isnt up based on anything he's done at the bat...he's not up mainly cuz of a late season injury and cuz he's not versitile.

his inability to shift to 3rd is the reason you dont hear about him, you havent seen him much, and he's not a top prospet even with a few years of seemingly good looking AAA numbers. his play at 2nd just isnt solid enough to warrent him playing there full time.

know why theriot is up? cuz he can play SS/2nd and play it well...the hitting is just butter...the recognition of breaking stuff on this level is honey butter...break out the rolls, good for theriot.

things rarely get easier on the mlb level...you cant injest raw #s and apply them to all players equally.

you also cant ignore things that players bring (or dont bring) just cuz YOU have some stats you hold as golden.

unrealistic expectations like not batting izturis also dont work. no matter what you feel about him, thing about him, and wanna propose about him...if he's healthy and here he's this team's SS with very little doubt.

Baseball is a funny game.

Juan Pierre is going to get 200 hits this season, and the debate rages here about his true value.

But if had only 162 hits this year, going 1-4 in every game of the season, they would hang his plaque in Cooperstown because he had hit in 162 consecutive games (with an OBP of only .250), and talk about his feat for generations to come.

I acknowledge the difficulty in attaining a consecutive game hitting streak. But no wonder we debate his value, when the sport itself places such a high value on consistent mediocrity over actual performance.

CBS Sports Rumor Mill:

Cubsí outfielder Juan Pierre remains focused on reaching 200 hits, refusing to be distracted by recent speculations about heading to the White Sox. Local papers are reporting that Pierre was surprised about the report he wanted to go to the Sox and refused to comment any further.

"Crawford does sort of fall into that Corey Patterson/Felix Pie were in the hell does he truly slot in the order category."

Let's not put Pie in the same category as Patterson before we've seen him.

Pie is 6'2", 170 and is expected to fill out. He's only 21. He's been projected as a 30/30 guy since back when he was hitting four homers a year. Now he's at fifteen, including five in the last month at Iowa this year.

Patterson is mature and has settled in as a .270-.275 hitter with a homer count in the mid teens.

It turns out Patterson didn't really have five tools, he had two or three. He can run and he can throw.

Why would we want to assume that Felix Pie is like Corey Patterson? Here is what Ken Rosenthal (Sporting News) said last March:

A rival G.M. says of Cubs center field prospect Felix Pie: "He's going to be a superstar. He's got electric tools. He's really fun to watch."

CC's age 23 season - .301 .331 .469 - 84 SO
CC's age 24 season - .303 .346 .480 - 83 SO
CC's age 25 season - ???

VW's age 23 season - .275 .305 .457 - 85 SO
VW's age 24 season - .317 .359 .550 - 80 SO
VW's age 25 season - .272 .337 .472 - 83 SO
VW's age 26 season - .269 .320 .463 - 86 SO

First off, I didn't say they were the SAME player, just that they weren't all that different. And judging from the numbers above, I don't think it's that far off the grid to suggest that the two players are similar. After all, one would normally project improvement for their age 25 season for a guy like Crawford. That would mean that CC will probably outperform VW's age 25 AND age 26 seasons at those ages. Perhaps CC will develop some power in the next couple years. Doing that wouldn't be entirely unheard of. VW flashed some power at age 24, but it didn't return until this year. Why couldn't CC do the same thing? Basically VW is a better player, but largely because he is older and farther along on his development curve. Sure, CC may never develop the power that VW has, but at similar points in their careers, they really were not that far apart.

VA Phil:
"Why would we want to assume that Felix Pie is like Corey Patterson?"

I don't think we want to assume it, but this is the Cubs and have a not so good track record of position prospects. And it is up to Pie to show he is not like Patterson, not us.

"Here is what Ken Rosenthal (Sporting News) said last March: A rival G.M. says of Cubs center field prospect Felix Pie: "He's going to be a superstar. He's got electric tools. He's really fun to watch."

And I am sure there were many GM's saying the same thing about Patterson when he was in AA.

Perhaps my math is off, and it often is, but, given that a guy had an OBP of .250 and all he could get were hits, the chances of that guy getting a hit in at least one of 4 AB's is a little over 68% (1-[.75*.75*.75*.75]). 68% taken to the 162nd power is about 1.72 E-27. So the chances of a .250 OBP all hits no walks type guy getting a hit in 162 straight games is about a million trillion trillion to one.

BTW, featuring large on Carl Crawford's list of comparables thru age 23:

Roberto Clemente
Carl Yazstremski
Rickey Henderson

Not sure if those comps are adjusted for era, but still...

Then again, Terry Puhl is a comparable too.

Horatio:

Crawford is a slap hitter. He's aggressive, he'll make contact, and he'll put the ball in play--mostly on the ground. He uses his speed to stretch some outs into hits or to add a base to a single/double. A lot of his slugging is coming from the triples he's legged out; otherwise, you can expect ~15 home runs and ~20 doubles and that's about it. Think Neifi Perez or Juan Pierre with some more power.

Wells is a power hitter. He hits line drives to all fields. He's aggressive, but he has the patience to take occasional walks and wait for his pitches. He'll give you 35-40 doubles and ~30 home runs per year. He's also quite a bit faster than his stolen base total would suggest, but that's a factor of the organization more than anything.

Crawford is a decent, but not spectacular, left fielder. Vernon Wells is a Gold Glove winning centerfielder.

Speedy contact hitters and sluggers tend go in different directions performance wise when they approach 30.

I can go on. They aren't anywhere near as similar as you think.

Horatio: So the chances of a .250 OBP all hits no walks type guy getting a hit in 162 straight games is about a million trillion trillion to one.

Yeah that's nice, but I don't think Seamhead was giving us a scenario he thought might happen. It was a hypothetical exaggeration used to prove a point.

Crawford's BP comparables are:
Willie Davis
Erstad
Willie Wilson
Carlos Beltran
Johnny Damon
Christina Guzman
Lloyd Moseby
Vada Pinson
Marquis Grissom
Bobby Tolan
HM: Ray Lankford, Terry Puhl, Korey, Garry Templeton, Richie Ashburn

Vernon Wells:
Carlos Lee
Kevin McReynolds
Jermaine Dye
Ellis Burks
Dave Henderson
Rondell White
Bobby Thomson
George Hendrick
Ollie Brown
Joe Rudi
HM: Marty Cordova, Frank Thomas, Torii Hunter, Sammy Sosa

CRUNCH: "tw...yes that is harsh on hort, but a guy with such strong opinions on things he presents it as facts that cannot be swayed deserves a direct and focused response.

esp. when people waste a lotta time trying to open his mind up a bit about things he's not paying attention to."

RIGHT ON! The man is a brick wall and uses only stats - usually with small sampling sizes to predict his version of the future. Totally agree.

Yeah, HORATIO, put FONTENOT on your fantasy team next year.

That's about all he'll be doing other than playing, ONCE MORE, in the minors somewhere.

FONTENOT - the man with "NO" and "NOT" in his name!

Says it all!

Manny Trillo: Iím racking my brain trying to think of highly touted Cub prospects who fizzled, apart from Patterson. Guys who were supposed to be five-tool players. Kevin Orie: always marginal. Rick Wilkens: never was going to be a good defensive catcher. Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith: singles hitters. The nineties were a dry spell, thatís for sure. Our best eighties prospects were Grace, Joe Carter and Palmeiro, all of whom had outstanding careers, though not necessarily with the Cubs.

There was a guy named Adolpho Phillips in centerfield in the early seventies, but it was mainly Durocher who said he was going to be great.

The one guy with tools that could be described as ìelectricî was Brock.

Brock, Carter, Palmeiroóit seems to me the problem is that when we get a good one, we give him away.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/...

all kinds of talk from Wells about wanting to stay now and the BJays not worried about him committing to a long-term deal before next season.

Crud....

Its funny how BP can compare Wells to all those others guys, but none of them that were mentioned ever won a gold glove, except for Hunter and he is honorable mention! Wells has won two and almost seems to be in line for a 3rd.

The man is a brick wall and uses only stats

So you're saying I rely on empirical data to support my conclusions?

I suppose I've been called worse...

I'm glad to be proved wrong with conflicting data. Actually, if I find something that seems more right than what I've been thinking, or even proves my opinion to be utter hogwash, then I'm quite quick to grab hold of it (the new thing, not the hogwash). But if all someone's got is vagaries like "his speed makes him dangerous" or "he's the glue that keeps the clubhouse together," please pardon me if I remain skeptical.

re prospects who fizzled besides Patterson: I should have mentioned Choi. Not a five-tool guy but supposedly our best up-and-coming hitter.

Well, that's why Hendry hired Tim Wilkin, to draft better position players.

But let's give Pie a shot, like we gave Choi, Murton, etc.

VA Phil:
"But let's give Pie a shot, like we gave Choi, Murton, etc."

Oh, I am all for giving him his shot when he is ready, but that doesn't mean I can't be sceptical. I am sorry, but Patterson, Dubois, Choi and Bobby Hill have me thinking not to count the chickens before they hatch.

well by honorable mention I meant guys 11-20, I just didn't want to list them all. I don't think BP uses defense in their comparision. I could be wrong though.

Prospects who fizzled:
The list could go on forever..

Carmelo Martinez
Ty Griffin
Gary Scott
Derrick May

Put these Virginia Phil's and Manny's...What a team!

Vegas Brian:
"Put these Virginia Phil's and Manny's...What a team!"

We talked about that early this year in the chatroom. We talked about how the Cubs might have the best AAAA team ever (players who did very good in minors but couldn't do it in the bigs).

"Brock, Carter, Palmeiroóit seems to me the problem is that when we get a good one, we give him away."

Carter was not given away. He was traded for the 1984 Cy Young award winner. They would do that trade again and again and again.

Palmeiro was nothing until he started using steroids.

steroids is bad

I did not do steroids ever. period.

I no speaka Inglees

John,

What are you trying to say?

HORATIO:

Yeah - whatever, dude.

As I said, you like to use stats when its not even appropriate to back up your own slant:

"WOW. HE HAS AN OBP OF 1.000! (but...that's in one at bat - for a guy's career) then you will use this out of context stat as if the player you're talking about should have been starting for the Yankees! "How could the Cubs miss on this guy?!"

That is SO Sabremetric of you - HORATIO.

And then - you say, you will miss [White Sox] playoff baseball in Chicago this year?! TRAITOR!

Like I said, "FONTENOT = NO and NOT"

Like I said, "FONTENOT = NO and NOT"

How can one argue against such logic? I give up. You win. Fontenot sucks. He will never amount to anything. It is crystal clear to me now that he is so much worse than Freddie Bynum and John Mabry and Cesar Izturis and Ronny Cedeno and Neifi Perez and Tony Womack and Jose Macias and any number of guys who have received paychecks from the Cubs over the last few seasons. What was I thinking?

Wait - I thought Tony Womack was DFA'd?

In three days it is all over.

Perhaps Fontenot/Bynum/Izzy can get packaged in some kind of deal?

BTW - RANDALL SIMON SIGHTING TONIGHT!

Pinch hit for the Phillies - walked.

Man, I liked him. He'd swing at anything and make contact most of the time during the magical 2003 season.

And, of course the sausage race!

Chad said: "Carter was not given away. He was traded for the 1984 Cy Young award winner. They would do that trade again and again and again."

Carter had a sixteen-year career in which he hit 396 home runs, zero with the Cubs. He was a good outfielder with a strong arm and had good speed for a big man. He was a World Series hero, with a Mazeroski-type moment.

Sutcliffe had a Cinderella-type year in '84 but was a .500 pitcher (66-64) with the Cubs after that.

Chad said: "Palmeiro was nothing until he started using steroids."

Palmeiro hit .307 in his first full year with the Cubs in 1988. Then they traded him for Mitch Williams.

"In his book, Canseco also said he introduced Texas Rangers teammates Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez to steroids." (Rocky Mountain News)

This would have been 1992 or later, since it was during the '92 season that Canseco went to Texas from the A's. In 1991, Palmeiro had 203 hits and 26 home runs. That was Palmeiro before steroids. Stretch those numbers out over ten years and you have a Mark Grace-like career, only with decent power numbers.

You could have had Palmeiro, Grace and Carter on the same team for a decade or more.

The point is, don't trade your top prospect in the hope that he'll fail like Corey Patterson. Chances are he'll succeed.

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