Trick or Treat?

At the halfway point, here is a quick update on Cubs players active in the AFL: 1. Eric Patterson is a wreck defensively at 2B. I really hate to say this, but he has evolved into another Freddie Bynum. He's playing scared, like he is afraid to make a mistake. So (naturally) he constantly makes mistakes. He reminds me of a two-guard in basketball who is asked to play point guard. He leads all AFL players (at ALL positions) in errors. At this point, I can't see E-Pat remaining at 2B. He will probably need to be moved to the outfield--probably LF, or maybe CF--but he will need some time to adjust. The Cubs have not done anything about this move (yet), but they will have to do so at some point in the near-future. He is regressing at 2B. Offensively, Patterson is simply outstanding. He is showing much better pitch selection at the plate than the last time I saw him, and in the process he has cut his K-rate to about in one in every 10 or 11 PAs. He is 4th in the AFL in batting average, tied for 3rd in runs scored, tied for second in triples, and tied for the AFL lead in SB. He hits line drives all over the place and has gap power, mostly to right-center field. He also is an excellent bunter and base-runner. I believe E-Pat WILL be a major league #1 or #2 hitter, the type of top-of-the-order guy a lot of people had hoped his brother would be. But unfortunately, I'm sorry to say it looks like he ain't going to be doing it as a second-baseman. 2. Scott Moore's confidence is really strong right now, as he has improved his hitting (he's tied for 5th in the AFL in doubles and sports a .932 OPS) and his plate discipline (he is 6th in the AFL in walks, with a .383 OBP--108 points higher than his BA), although he still strikes out too much. He has definite plus-power (as he has matured physically, he has developed Hank Blalock-type power). He also has good speed (he is 4-for-4 in SB) and runs the bases very well. He is very athletic, and has played 3B, SS, 1B, and LF, although he seems a bit lost in the outfield so far. If the Cubs re-sign Aramis Ramirez, I would like to see Moore moved back to SS and see if he can handle the position, although he would probably need to spend a year or so re-learning the position and perfecting his keystone play at AAA. And if A-Ram leaves as a FA, I would not be averse to Moore platooning with somebody like Wes Helms at 3B immediately (Opening Day 2007), with an eye toward possibly eventually taking over 3B on a more-everyday basis later in 2007 or in 2008. 3. Jake Fox has been a big disappointment. He continues to struggle with his catching mechanics (although he throws OK), and offensively he is kind of a mess. He continues to wail away at breaking pitches, and swings at just about everything. He is a compulsive first-ball swinger, even if it isn't a strike. More experienced pitchers will eat him alive at AAA and in the big leagues. He has good power and is a good run producer, but that's his only positive. He needs a LOT of work, and not only is he a long way away from the big leagues, I don't think he is close to being ready for AAA, either. He is a project at this point. He needs a one-on-one mentor to help him with his receiving, and another one-on-one mentor to help him with his hitting. I no longer believe Fox is a lock to get added to the 40-man roster. 4. Acquired from the Florida Marlins at the end of Spring Training 2006 for Todd Wellemeyer, RHP Lincoln Holdzkom had been consistently throwing a mid-90's fastball and a slider with bite in th AFL. Filthy stuff. Then Solar Sox Manager Pat Listach extended Holdzkom to 50+ pitches in his last relief outing, and you could see him tire at about 35 pitches, and then he got clobbered. But when he has thrown 30 pitches or less in a game, he has been unhittable. Holdzkom had TJ-surgery in 2004, and hasn't been used as a starter since 2001. He is a one or two-inning reliever. Period. If he is used that way, he is Rob Dibble redux. Same body-type, same leg kick. Holdzkom is a virtual lock to get added to the 40-man roster and should be ready for MLB in 2007, possibly right away out of Spring Training, but more likely later in the season (if Listach doesn't wreck him in the AFL). 5. Also a virtual lock to get added to the Cubs 40-man roster next month, Clay Rapada is a side-wheelin' lefty (he can also throw 3/4, though) who reminds me of Mike Myers or sometimes Brian Fuentes. He is death on left-handed hitters. I believe he can pitch in the big leagues right now. I could defintely see Rapada pitching in an MLB bullpen in 2007, preferably with the Cubs. 6. LHP Carmen Pignatiello's career was reborn when he was moved to the bullpen full-time in 2006. He was eligible to be a six-year minor league free-agent after the 2006 season, but re-signed with the Cubs for 2007 after he got a slot in the AFL and (presumably) an NRI to Spring Training. He is not quite as much of a LOOGY as Rapada, although he does have a breaking ball he throws to lefty hitters. He has more of a starting pitcher's arsenal (sinker, breaking ball, change) than most lefty relievers, but he doesn't have the stamina to start. He just looks more comfortable as a reliever. He also has excellent control. Pignatiello has been out of action for about ten days after he cut his hand in an off-the-field accident. 7. RHP Adam Harben was acquired from MIN for Phil Nevin. He has been used as a starter in the AFL, and I would say that while he has the arsenal of pitches needed to be a starter, he has no "plus"-pitch, so he probably projects as no better than a #4 or #5 MLB starter or possibly as a middle-reliever, or he could be used as a trading chip this off-season.
Return to Homepage

Comments

There really is no chance that EPatt can recover at second base? Maybe with the help of Ryne Sandberg this spring?

If Rapada is what Phil says he is, I think that makes Will Ohman entirely expendable. What type of trade value can we get for Ohman does one think? Our starting second baseman, maybe, or just a plus prospect?

AZ Phil: Is the Cubs by some Hail Mary miracle end up with ARam, Soriano and a decent 2B in the lineup next year, do you think EPat would be ready to play CF and hit 8th? I know that's asking a lot, but if this team's going to get better we need to get cheap somewhere.

cant imagine ohman moving anywhere unless they wanna use marshall in the pen.

ohman's still got 1 "cheapish" year left.

with the depth of pen, though, almost no one is untouchable on the possible trade market given how bare the FA market is...lotta guys are gonna have their values artificially raised outta desperation of the market itself.

I think it's that one cheapish year that gives Ohman good trade value. If Eyre and Rapada could both be healthy and effective we would hardly miss the guy. And on the other hand he's a valuable commodity to have. Trade from strength.

#1 of 1: By Nick (October 31, 2006 12:09 PM)
There really is no chance that EPatt can recover at second base? Maybe with the help of Ryne Sandberg this spring?

-

NICK: Well, anything is possible. I'm an optimist by nature. Miracles do happen. I'm sure the Cubs are going to do whatever they have to do to try and get Eric Patterson's defensive problems fixed so that he can stay at 2B. However, I doubt that it's going to work.

Other than his range (which is good), there is not one aspect of his game at 2B that isn't lacking. When he doesn't bobble a ball, he throws it away. He's scared. You can see it. He is like a running back who keeps fumbling. He is going to cost his team too many games if he plays 2B every day. He has Manny Alexander Disease. There is no visible separation at 2B between Freddie Bynum and Eric Patterson. When a ball is hit at E-Pat, the 200 or so fans at HoHoKam let out a collective gasp that can be heard all the way to Tortilla Flat.

Now, if and when Eric Patterson is moved to the outfield (and BTW, I see no indication that the Cubs are planning to do this), I don't know if he would be limited to LF or if he could play CF. I know he has the speed to play CF, that's for sure. But in either case, he will have to learn to play outfield. Obviously, he would be more valuable as a CF than as a LF, because I don't think most teams (including the Cubs) would want a top-of-the-order type guy playing LF, unless they have a power guy in CF, at 2B, and/or at SS.

Great job AZPhil. I am really excited about Scott Moore i only wish he had played more last season for the Cubs instead Dusty screwed us by playing ARAM who will soon be an ex-Cub.

And EPat is another example why the GM of the big club should rarely if ever, shop only for stop gaps at certain positions. Same should go for Pie. Don't pencil him in as a starting whatever 2 years from now and figure we need to get a stop gap for the time being. Of course we all hope they pan out and fill in perfectly and cheap, but go get the best player for the best money and then deal with the problem of minor league player being clearly ready. They did that in Philly with Ryan Howard and it worked just fine for them.

#2 of 5: By WPZ (October 31, 2006 12:11 PM)
AZ Phil: Is the Cubs by some Hail Mary miracle end up with ARam, Soriano and a decent 2B in the lineup next year, do you think EPat would be ready to play CF and hit 8th? I know that's asking a lot, but if this team's going to get better we need to get cheap somewhere.

--

WPZ: While I believe Eric Patterson has no future as a second-baseman and should be moved to the outfield immediately, I doubt that the Cubs will do that right away. I believe the Cubs will try and force the square peg into the round hole at second-base, until they finally get it through their heads that it's a bad fit. And I believe only then will they consider moving E-Pat to the outfield. But that's probably a year away from happening.

BTW, I would be much less-inclined to make the move with Eric Patterson if he was a mediocre offensive player. If that was the case, I would just sit back and give him three years or so to improve his defense. But he can rake, and he is a multi-tool offensive player. He is very close to being a big league hitter right now, but I wouldn't want him in the big leagues as a second-baseman.

Let me put it this way:

If the Cubs took the Marlins approach and developed their team in-house, I would think you would see a Murton-Patterson-Pie OF by 2008 (presuming E-Pat can handle CF, which would have to be determined), with Theriot at 2B and possibly Moore at SS (if he can succesfully make the move back), or Cedeno at SS and Moore at 3B (if Ramirez walks away). Obviously that's not going to happen, because Hendry will sign or trade for a big bat (or two big bats if A-Ram leaves).

The Cubs simply cannot sign FAs for every position. Somebody has got to be developed in-house, and the more the better. Because that means more money would be available to sign or trade for high-priced difference-makers for (especially) the starting rotation (or for the everyday lineup), instead of spreading the cash around on a gaggle of #4 starters and one-dimensional outfielders.

Stupid question - what does LOOGY stand for? I know that it refers to a lefty out of the pen, but that is all i know.

Thanks

Lefty One Out GuY = LOOGY

Thanks

I hate to think Jim Hendry is so close-minded that he wouldn't roll the dice with Pie or Patterson in CF if that's what his trades and free-agent signings dictate. It's entirely conceivable that one of the best ways to make this team better is to plan on having Pie or EPat in CF so we can get better in LF, the bench, the rotation and 2B. If both flop and the Cubs are desperate, Murton could play RF and JJones could stopgap in CF for a few weeks or a month until July when Lofton or Dave Roberts are on the market again.

There's only a small handful of ways this team can compete this year, and I wish he'd consider all of them equally. Instead, I expect we'll see another Hendry-style offseason - I don't mean that in a good way either.

If EPat is athletic (and it sounds like he is), then his problem defensively is mental. If that's the case, he can probably overcome it. Aramis Ramirez used to be the worst 3B in the game defensively, and now he's just fine.

Forget working with Sandberg, he probably needs to work with a psychiatrist.

Or a Shrink

"I believe the Cubs will try and force the square peg into the round hole at second-base, until they finally get it through their heads that it's a bad fit."

decent assumption and pretty much done all over.

think people have heard me go on and on about bj upton playing SS for TB before...the worst SS ive ever seen in my life, easily. nice bat, though...and its not a lack of trying that's making upton not successful (which is kinda worse, really).

until e.pat blocks someone he's got no real reason to move yet...unless the parent club wants to redefine his role for a specific purpose in the bigs (like CF or 3rd or whatever).

i wonder what will become of fontenot and his role...he was injured doing pinch-hit work mostly, when epat joined AAA. looks like moore will keep fontenot from going to 3rd for another try...he cant play SS...*shrug*

CRUNCH: I expect the Cubs to trade Mike Fontenot sometime before the end of Spring Training to someplace where he will get a chance to play 2B every day, at least at AAA. Because I doubt that he has any future whatsoever in the Cubs organization. He doesn't have the versatility or athleticism to play other positions, but he is a decent hitter, albeit without speed or power.

I'm guessing Rapada is probably somepart of next season still away at this point?

I hate to think Jim Hendry is so close-minded that he wouldn't roll the dice with Pie or Patterson in CF if that's what his trades and free-agent signings dictate. It's entirely conceivable that one of the best ways to make this team better is to plan on having Pie or EPat in CF so we can get better in LF, the bench, the rotation and 2B. If both flop and the Cubs are desperate, Murton could play RF and JJones could stopgap in CF for a few weeks or a month until July when Lofton or Dave Roberts are on the market again.

It is not about being closed minded it is which direction you want to take the team. Pinella didn't sign on to manage a rebuilding team, he signed on to add some impact players and win a title.

If the Cubs were just going to pull a full blown rebuild then there wouldn't be a problem with Pie in CF and Epat attempting to win the 2nd base job next season. But the team has already said "We are going to win the World Series next year." So they can't go the rebuilding route. They want the quick fix and the quick fix will require signing lots of free agents, hopefully some of the best. It remains to be seen whether the Cubs have the stones to go out and get the best.

I still think 2007 should be a punt year. Throw all the younger players into the mix and see who sticks. You will get a much better idea of what Murton can do, whether Theriot is for real, whether Hill really has turned the corner, and various other answers. Then you mix and match with trades/free agents in a much better market in 2008.

But the Cubs seem bent on winning in 2007, I am all for that. I just hope they go after the right players. If they don't they will not only screw up finding out what their younger players can do, but wasted a whole lot of money and time doing it.

It's difficult and painful, but we all need to reposition our thinking about Aramis now that he has filed for free agency. He's not a Cub anymore; he's a free agent. We can talk to him just like all the other teams can, and we can sign him if it makes sense to sign him.

Hendry has to treat this just like any other business decision. Is this the right guy to play 3B given the market and his asking price? His history with the Cubs is just that, now -- history. Aramis decided to break ties with the Cubs and end discussions 12 days before he had to, which is a pretty big statement.

It's painful, but Aramis is just a free agent now, like all other free agents on the market. The "you gotta resign him at all costs" camp has it wrong.

Having said that, he would fill a glaring need -- the Cubs now need a power hitting third baseman. At the right price Hendry has to go get him, but only if it makes sense.

Hendry is refusing to pay ARam market value, why would anyone expect Hendry to turn around and pay market value to Schmidt, Matsuzaka, C. Lee, or Soriano? It's not going to happen. Hendry will trade for Gary Sheffield and then sign someone like Mark De Rosa to play 3b while Scott Moore develops.

Soriano's agent told the O's he wants a Carlos Beltran like contract, 7 years, 119 million. Hendry didn't even come close to that offer for Beltran, he's not going to do it for Soriano.

I have no problem getting Sheffield other than the fact that if you let ARam leave then it makes sense to rebuild with youth, not try and plug holes in a dam you can't fix. Sheffield would eat most of Murton's playing time. Now, if you keep ARam and add Sheffield, then get aggressive and sign Schmidt or Zito or Matsuzaka plus another good sp, then maybe, just maybe, this team could compete.

Another interesting question is, will Hendry be dumb enough to deal Rich Hill for a hitter? Trade Hill and the rotation is Big Z and pray for four days of biblical flooding.

Hendry is refusing to pay ARam market value, why would anyone expect Hendry to turn around and pay market value to Schmidt, Matsuzaka, C. Lee, or Soriano? It's not going to happen. Hendry will trade for Gary Sheffield and then sign someone like Mark De Rosa to play 3b while Scott Moore develops.

Soriano's agent told the O's he wants a Carlos Beltran like contract, 7 years, 119 million. Hendry didn't even come close to that offer for Beltran, he's not going to do it for Soriano.

I have no problem getting Sheffield other than the fact that if you let ARam leave then it makes sense to rebuild with youth, not try and plug holes in a dam you can't fix. Sheffield would eat most of Murton's playing time. Now, if you keep ARam and add Sheffield, then get aggressive and sign Schmidt or Zito or Matsuzaka plus another good sp, then maybe, just maybe, this team could compete.

Another interesting question is, will Hendry be dumb enough to deal Rich Hill for a hitter? Trade Hill and the rotation is Big Z and pray for four days of biblical flooding.

well chances are Aramis is asking for more than market value at the moment, just like Soriano is. And no one really knows the market value until some new deals drop.

"Hendry is refusing to pay ARam market value"

wuh?

One interesting Theory about why the Yanks picked up Sheffield's option is to prevent him from going to Boston as a free agent. That is a very real possibility as the Yanks do alot of their deal making and waiver wire moves to block the Red Sox from making deals.

So in theory the Yanks won't be asking for much. I can't imagine many teams wanting to give up much for a disgruntled Sheff, who may or may not be washed up at age 37.

So if the Cubs want him, throw the Yanks Jacque and Eyre or whatever and he can be ours. Either way, if Sheff wants a shiney new 3 year deal, he is going to have to show his new team he can still play in 2007. He can be pissed off all he wants.

I don't know if it would be a good idea to have him on the team. But the grand plan of getting rid of all the supposed "bad attitude guys" worked out brilliantly for us. What do we got to lose at this point?

probably with Sheff is that he wants no interest in a trade unless he gets an extension. And I certainly wouldn't give him one. Otherwise he'll throw another temper tantrum that has already got him kicked out of a number of cities.

I love his bat, his defense is a bit ugly, but he's could fill-in at 1b if lee went down and we could call Pie up or leave Sheff in the OF and call Moore up to play 1b. So he's a great option, but quite the risk.

ugh, that should have read problem with Sheff....

It's up to Hendry to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze. Know what I'm sayin?

brought to you by your random "Girl Next Door" quote....

"MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Pitcher Carlos Silva's $4,325,000 option was exercised Tuesday by the Minnesota Twins, who are hopeful his 2006 season was an aberration."

wow.

Silva's talent is a lot closer to 2004 than to 2006. So yeah, it was an aberration. But hey, 2005 was also an aberration!

AZ PHIL:

Wasn't E-Pat above average in 2B, according to you and several other sources, before the AFL? Could this be just a rough patch?

Well, take this one with a monstrous grain of salt, as usual, but from MLB Trade Rumors:

I am told that Aramis Ramirez's agent Paul Kinzer is asking for six years at $15MM per or seven years at $14MM annually.

Jim Hendry's counteroffer: five years, $70MM guaranteed (11/12/15/16/16), sixth year vests at $14MM with a team option and seventh year a player option at $14MM. Full no-trade 2007-09, partial no-trade 2010-13.

the first line of the "report" from mlbtraderumors...

"I have debated about posting this one because I can't verify the source."

but...of course.

what's new?

hahaha...

I am on the Lincoln Holdzkom and Clay Rapada bandwagons BIG TIME. You don't need to throw millions at veteran pitchers to stock your bullpen with talent. Talented young pitchers that (for whatever reason--injuries, stamina, stuff) can't be starters at the big league level, become good relievers at the big league level instead.

Look at Jenks. Wainwright with the Cardinals. Gagne. Duscherer and Street in Oakland. Etc...

We have the makings of a fine young pen in Wuertz, Aardsma, Holdzkom and Rapada. Keep one veteran reliever if you must, but the rest are tradeable and will bring down the budget for use elsewhere at positions of more critical need.

Myself, I'd dump Dempster on whoever'll take him as a salary dump. Howry and Eyre have value on the market, I'm willing to trade both, would prefer to trade just one. I have no use for Ohman and Novoa, both are extremely replaceable. In fact, Holdzkom and Rapada are probably already both better.

"Well, take this one with a monstrous grain of salt, as usual, but from MLB Trade Rumors:"

How about the Great Salt Lake.

This guy is a fraud in my opinion...

But, to most of us, this isn't news.

A few notes from Levine today.

Aramis's agent did indeed tell Hendry/MacFail that Ramirez would accept a discount to stay in Chicago when Hendry discussed a possible trade prior to the deadline...most likely why we're hearing the 5y/$17m per being floated in hopes that the Cubs will pony up 14-$15m per and Aramis can say he accepted a "discount" to stay on the north side. The Cubs have until 11/11 on exclusives before the Angels and Dodgers jump in.

Freddy Garcia for Sheffield trade rumor is not going to happen...nor does Levine think the Cubs are seriously interested. fwiw, Olbermann thinks the Yanks will get no more than a mid-level prospect or veteran reliever for Sheff.

Cubs have some interest in Gerald Perry for hitting coach...however his status with the A's is up in the air with their managerial opening.

If ARam would give us a "hometown discount" and "settle" for $15 million per year, the contract should be signed yesterday.

I was right the other day when I said players can file preemptively and just because they file doesn't mean an option was or wasn't picked up.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

This part is from the above link, today's ESPN article about FA's who filed today.

Injured Dodgers closer Eric Gagne filed provisionally -- the team has a $12 million option with a $1 million buyout. Even if it is exercised, Gagne can void the option and receive a $250,000 buyout.

So when Wood filed, it didn't mean neccesarilly that the Cubs turned down his option.

What about "SHEF"?

Or, rather, WHY?

IF the Cubbies can only make a deal for Shef by giving up a top pitching youngster from last year (I mean a "promising one" who at least won a few games), I'm like, WHY?

He's like 40 years old, moving to a new league, coming off surgery, he doesn't even really WANT to be traded in the first place! He's his own agent as well...

Is this really added value for the Cubs?

After further thought while writing this, it would be very CUB to give up too much ($$ or players) for a former top star who is at, or near, the end of his career (Fred McGriff, Todd Hundley).

Is there anything else out there?

MANNY: Go to one of the Bears games on the East Coast, man!

Rumor has it that the Cubs are interested in acquiring Aaron Heilman. I wouldn't mind him if he came inexpensively. Although I think that Miguel Batista or Wade Miller would be as good in the rotation as Heilman.

I think the Sheffield rumors are a Cub's off-season tradition. IF he doesn't retire, he'll be a Yankee. Geesh.

#18 MikeC
I'm not talking about rebuilding, I'm talking about the way Hendry tries to go for the gusto next year. In terms of total dollars to spend, does he go 70/30 pitching, vice versa, or 50/50 straight up?

Some items have a high priority: Two SPs, one of whom is high-quality. Effective backup catcher who doesn't cost a ton. Others are more blurry: A big bat, yes, but where? CF? 2B? LF? Does the third one mean that Murton goes to the bench? The Cubs need power somewhere, and they need a cheap, effective young hitter in the other spot. Patterson, Pie and Moore have to be the top contenders behind Murton and Theriot.

And I might as well be one of the first (it's probably been mentioned a few times) to throw out the question that won't be asked by the big-name reporters this offseason and then every single day in May: Can Howry close for the Cubs?

Corey Patterson:
Rumor has it that the Cubs are interested in acquiring Aaron Heilman.

Isn't he a long reliever?

pretty easy to call B.S. on that mlbtraderumor. Aramis gets 10/5 rights in 2010, so why would there be a partial no-trade in that offer?

although those numbers sound pretty accurate. 5/75 with a 6th year vesting option sounds very, very reasonable to me.

I'm a big Heilman fan....

He's not an ace or anything, but as a backend rotation guy who could slip into the bullpen if Mr. Prior every gets his shit together, hell of a choice.

He was used as a long reliever but he was a starter in the minors and could easily make the transition back to starter.

Heilman should be used as a reliever, except for emergency spot starts. His starter/releiver splits are pretty drastic. But as a reliever he would be very good, but we are not in the market for relievers. And if the NY Mets, who are in pitching trouble with Pedro on the sherlf for awhile, are not interested in him as a starter and willing to deal him, you gotta think they may know something.

EMAN:

"He's like 40 years old, moving to a new league"

He played for the Padres, Florida, Dodgers, and Atlanta. He was in the NL for almost his entire career until 2003. I don't think it will be a problem.

Manny,

"They did that in Philly with Ryan Howard and it worked just fine for them."

I am pretty sure the Phillies had no internal discussion that said 'Do we really want to sign Thome? We got this guy who hit 18 home runs in A ball this year.' They then turned Thome (42 HR's) into Rowand (12 HR's)paid $22 million for the privalege.

As far as the Cubs situation, I think they should go after a center fielder, like Jones, Wells or Soriano who hits well enough to move to a corner if Pie does develop. I agree that you don't want to not bring in a guy because you have some unproven commodity in the minors, but you still need to keep in mind that those minor league players may one day force their way into the lineup and you don't want to pay the Sox $22 million to fix your mistakes.

I am not sold on Moore, he still strikes out too much. Fox had good discipline at Daytona, what happened to it?

There is a reason the Mets never used Heilman as a starter--even after their rotation was decemated. (Jose Lima started for them, and Heilman did not.)

The thinking out here is that Heilman needs a third pitch. We all know how 2-pitch pitchers do during the second (and third) time through the order.

That said, if Jones is going the other way, I'm all for it.

Heilman is a Notre Dame graduate so now we know why Hendry wants him...

Heilman scouting reports (no idea how old)

Foxsports
Heilman tried to be too fine with his pitches, particularly early in the count, when he returned to the big leagues. Despite walking only one batter in his final start, he issued an average of 4.17 walks per nine. The key for Heilman is to keep his pitches down in the strike zone since he cannot overpower hitters, especially above the belt. His fastball sits in the low 90s, and his slider and changeup are above-average offerings, though inconsistent. Heilman is no better than an average fielder but holds runners well, allowing only one stolen base last year in the majors. He appears destined to replace Al Leiter as the game's worst hitter among pitchers.

Sportnset.ca

Assets
Rakes in the strikeouts with his snarling splitter, set up by low-90's heat that he generally keeps low to keep the ball in the park. Works well on little rest as a reliever.


Flaws
Improved command, particularly over his slider and change-up, will be keys to future success. Has had trouble in the early innings as a starter.


Career potential
Good middle reliever with a future as a strong mid-rotation starter.

As for his splits he had 5 starts in 2004 and 7 in 2005. Obviously off those 12 starts, we KNOW that there's just no way he could ever possibly be a starter ever again.

If we do go after Heilman I'm guessing the guy the Mets would want would be Jacque Jones. They could move him to left to replace Floyd...

If we made that deal, then we'd look to replace Jones with Sheffield. I'd guess the Yanks would want Howry but we might be able to make the deal with Eyre. At least that is who I would rather deal...

I don't understand the interest in Heilman. Don't the Cubs still have a relatively pitching rich farm system? Why trade a position player for another unproven starter? Seems like they already have plenty of those.

#31 of 52: By Carlos (October 31, 2006 08:16 PM)
AZ PHIL:

Wasn't E-Pat above average in 2B, according to you and several other sources, before the AFL? Could this be just a rough patch?

--

CARLOS: All I've ever said about Eric Patterson's defense at 2B that's positive is that he has plus-range (which he does). But the ballhawking, defensive playmaking, and savvy needed to play 2B was not there in the three previous periods I saw him (ST '05, AFL '05, and ST '06), and it's still MIA. I had expected him to show improvement by now, and he simply has not. On top of that, not only has he not improved, he has actually regressed defensively. He looks totally lost.

He has developed what appears to be a mind-freak about making errors, such that he ends up making even more miscues. I don't know how that gets corrected, although I hope it can be and that he can stay at 2B and be an MLB second-baseman. I just doubt it very much at this point.

As for E-Pat moving to the outfield, I have seen a number of second-basemen make a successful move to the outfield in my lifetime (Pete Rose, Tim Raines, Frank Catalanotto, Craig Biggio, and Alfonso Soriano are five that immediately come to mind), so I don't think E-Pat would have that much of a problem making the transition if the Cubs choose to make the move.

The only question I would have is how long it would take him to learn the outfield to where he feels comfortable and is not a liability (probably one full season at AAA, at most), and (most importantly) whether he can play CF or if he would be limited to playing LF. To help the Cubs, he would probably need to play CF.

That said, I am fairly certain that the Cubs will keep Patterson at 2B for at least one more season, maybe more. But I would move him to the outfield (preferably CF) immediately, because his offense (both hitting & baserunning) is REAL, REAL close to being MLB right now, and he shouldn't be put in a position (as happened with Alfonso Soriano this past season) where he has to learn to play the outfield in the big leagues. He should be learning outfield play at AAA while he is putting the finishing touches on his offense, so that once he arrives at the Friendly Confines (probably sometime next season), both his offense AND defense are MLB-ready.

CHAD: Indeed The Shef has spent the majority of his career in the NL.

I guess that's the least of my point.

What concerns me is giving up a player (pitcher) that potentially could be productive at the MLB level for a long time.

To me, the value AT THIS POINT in Shef's career is not worth it.

I'd rather have JJones for the next 2 years and find a bat another place.

#56-AZ PHIL.

Maybe the best IF to ever move to the OF is Robin Yount.

Point is, there is precedent for a successful move from the IF to the OF.

Joey

Rob G.:
"As for his splits he had 5 starts in 2004 and 7 in 2005. Obviously off those 12 starts, we KNOW that there's just no way he could ever possibly be a starter ever again."

I would take the word of the NYM GM over yours or even the current CHC GM. Sorry...

IM Slacker:
"I don't understand the interest in Heilman. Don't the Cubs still have a relatively pitching rich farm system? Why trade a position player for another unproven starter? Seems like they already have plenty of those."

Good point. I hear some people saying how DEEP our pitching staff is, but now some people want to trade for a guy who has not done good as a starter and the current team he is on doesn't think he is a starter? Doesn't make any sense to me, but this is the Cubs we are talking about.

What did Minaya say about Heilman?

and if your talking about him staying in the bullpen this year, that's probably more of a decision by Randolph and Peterson.

anyway, he's the exact type of player the Cubs should go after if they're going to get 3 starters this winter. A guy who could compete for the 5th spot but easily slide into the bullpen if Prior can pitch.

Actions speak louder than words...

And it would be another PERFECT mistake on Hendry's part to go after a relief pitcher and make him into something he is not. Like AZ Phil was talking about earlier, square peg...round hole.

There is a note in the ND student paper that mentions Epstein having interest in Heilman as a setup man or closer as well. I'm not really sure that either the Cubs or Red Sox have anything to offer the Mets in trade without vastly overpaying.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10212006/sports/m...

here's a piece from a few weeks back talking about trading Heilman.

pretty much sums up what is being said here. Mets don't really think of him as a starter, other teams and scouts do.

Mets are looking for a corner OF, starting pitching and a 2b it sounds like.

Jones for Heilman is interesting, but I read they'd prefer a righty OF and they can just go sign Alou to be honest, so why give up Heilman? That post article I linked to suggest a Heilman/Milledge package for something bigger like Dontrelle or Bedard or Peavy.

He's probably not going to be cheap and I don't find him all that valuable to offer up the world for him. Be thrilled to cough up Jones for him though and get Sheff play RF, but I doubt that's reasonable, unless we give up Guzman or another high-end pitching prospect.

ROB G: I would think the Mets would probably want Matt Murton and either David Aarsdma or Michael Wuertz for Heilman and maybe a young 4th OF-type like Bobby Malek. If that deal were to happen, then Wrigleville LF would be open for either Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Lee.

BTW, Heilman was heavily scouted by the Cubs in 2000 and was projected by BA as the Cubs #1 pick that year, but they ended up selecting Miami HS shortstop Luis Montanez with the 3rd overall pick after Heilman incurred an elbow or shoulder problem (can't remember which) right before the draft.

Heilman fell to the very end of the 1st round n 2000, where he was selected by Minnesota. However, the Twins were unable to sign him, and he went back to Notre Dame for another year.

Heilman was 100% healthy by 2001, but that was when the Cubs got a shot at Mark Prior and took it. If the Twins had selected Prior, the Cubs were once again considering selecting Heiman with the #2 overall pick.

The Cubs have wanted Aaron Heilman for a long time.

I don't see why the Mets would want Murton, they'd be looking for veteran help right now. There too close to a championship. Maybe I'm wrong....

And giving up Murton for Heilman would be beyond moronic...

#67 of 67: By Rob G. (November 1, 2006 02:40 PM)
And giving up Murton for Heilman would be beyond moronic...

-

ROB G: ... which means it will probably happen.

MANNY: "They did that in Philly with Ryan Howard and it worked just fine for them."

NEAL: "I am pretty sure the Phillies had no internal discussion that said 'Do we really want to sign Thome? We got this guy who hit 18 home runs in A ball this year.' "

This is rich. This fanboy hyperventilating sounds better when you ignore the facts... or just join in and completely spout off about something that you have no clue about.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter