Changes a Coming
I just sent out a mass email (hopefully the one and only that I'll ever send out) on signing up for a new user account with Disqus. In case you've switched emails without updating your TCR account, I've included the text below the jump. But my intention is to upgrade the site sometime this week or next weekend. It sounds more dramatic than it is as most of the changes will be aesthetic in nature and I'm probably rushing it a bit as there are plenty of minor changes I still want to make, but if I don't get the site up and running, I'll just continue to procrastinate and it'll never happen.
While I think I can handle this myself, if you or someone you know is familiar with Drupal, CSS or databases - drop me a line. I can throw a little money your way.
Dear Fans of Cubbery,
My apologies in advance for the mass email, but I didn't know of another way to communicate to all the readers of the site, as I know some may not visit on a consistent basis and would miss the note if I put it up on the site. But in the very near future, I will be updating the website for The Cub Reporter (http://www.thecubreporter.com). It will be mostly aesthetic in nature, but there is one major change that will affect your user accounts. Actually, it will remove your user accounts as I have decided to change the comment system to what I feel is a far more user-friendly 3rd party system known as Disqus (http://disqus.com/). The reasons are numerous, but the quick overview is that it's faster to load, has more user options, is maintained professionally and has better administration options. As has been the standard, you do not need a user account to read the site, but if you do want to participate in the comments or be informed when new comments are up, an account is necessary.
The bad news of course is that it requires a brand new sign-up through Disqus. The other bad news is that you may not be able to keep the username that you had at The Cub Reporter, especially the more common names. I myself, will be using TCR_RobG rather than just the far too common Rob G.. If you're previous username has been taken, like mine was, and you want to keep your persona and reputation in tact, please come up with something that incorporates your old username. Or you can start afresh if you wish...
The good news if you're an avid Internet user is that Disqus is used on a lot of other websites and your account can be used on anyone that uses Disqus. Also, there are options to sign in with your twitter, facebook or Google accounts.
So to sign up for a Disqus account, either visit disqus.com and go through the login process (upper right corner click on "Login", then click on "Create An Account" and then choose from one of the 4 options: email address, twitter, facebook, Google). You can also do it straight from the new site once it's up, just open up a new post, click on "Leave a Message" where the comment box is and you'll see something to the effect of "Connect With" and 4 icons for twitter, facebook, google and Disqus, pick one to register a name and you'll be good to go.
My hope is to get the new site up by the weekend or possibly next weekend...but I make no promises.
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!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.