TCR Friday Notes
...the triumphant return.
- Earlier this week, Tom Verducci tackled the importance of rotation stability. A piece that easily could be re-titled: "The Value of Jason Marquis".
- Also at sportsillustrated.com, Joe Sheehan goes through his 2008 breakout candidates (I believe the article is on BP as well). Clip and save for your fantasty drafts.
- I'll be once again contributing to Wrigley Season Ticket 2008. An in-depth roster review of the 2008 Cubs with plenty of 100-year-World-Series-drought references and an article on our NL Central rivals. I believe you can pre-order now (available on Amazon.com as well) and it should ship near the end of March I believe. For the $10-$15 you'll end up paying, it's like TCR that you can take to the can (See if they put that in their marketing).
- Baseball America takes a look at the importance of velocity in pitching prospects. A quick look back at all the pitchers in their 2002 handbook that topped 98 mph on the gun and how they've fared and then a look a the 2008 prospects that have done the same. Zambrano made an appearance in 2002, Jeff Samardzija makes one in 2008. And we wonder why Hendry is in love with radar gun readings.
- Straight from the horse's mouth, the Padres definitely have interest in Matt Murton. Apparently Kevin Towers doesn't have the same issues as Hendry about talking about players on other teams. Or in the case of Mark Prior, actually talking to those players even though they're still under contract with another team.
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!