Archive - 2014

The Hall of Fame Case of Lee Smith

Hall of Fame ballots were due by December 27, and the results will be announced on January 6. A player must appear on 75 percent of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballots to be inducted. I’ll have more commentary on the entire ballot soon, but in this post, I’ll more closely examine the case of one former Cub: Lee Smith.

December 26th

A Review of the Cubs 2014 Draft

Following on my previous two poss on the 2012 and 2013 drafts, here is an overview of the Cubs 2014 draft and where the players are now. Here again it only shows those draft picks who signed with the Cubs and lists their draft number, current age, position, current organizational level, and a brief snapshot of their 2014 performance. Another positoin player, Kyle Schwarber, is the headliner here; but the Cubs drafted 10 pithcers in the first 12 picks, many of them teenagers. While most debuted at low levels and only played the last part of the summer, there is a lot to like about the level of success of many so far.

December 25th

Feliz Navidad

The Cubs acquired/signed two Mexican players last week, 18-year old 2B Carlos Sepulveda and 19-year old RHP Jesus Camargo.  

Both played for league champion Diablos de Hermosillo of la Liga Norte de Sonora (the top Mexican professional developmental league) this past season. 

Camargo made a brief cameo appearance with Diablos Rojos del Mexico at the very end of the Mexican League season in August, and Sepulveda was the #1 draft pick of Naranjeros de Hermosillo (and the #1 overall pick) in the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (Mexican Pacific League) draft this past summer.

The Cubs had previously signed 16-year old Mexican League RHP Hector Garcia in September, after acquiring the rights to the teenager from Leones de Yucatan.

December 21st

A Review of the Cubs 2013 Draft

Following on my Friday post on the 2012 draft, here is an overview of the Cubs 2013 draft and where the players are now. Here again it only shows those draft picks who signed with the Cubs and lists their draft number, current age, position, current organizational level, and a brief snapshot of their 2014 performance. Bryant is the headliner here; beyond him it was a pitching-heavy draft and many are moving steadily through the system with three reaching A+ by the end of the year, though one of those (Godley) was sent to the Diamonbacks in the Montero trade.

December 19th

A Review of the Cubs 2012 Draft

I’ve been a frequent commenter on TCR for over 8 years now and in the past I have sent Rob some guest posts, for example on the Cubs’ use of no-trade clauses and the Cubs’ best drafts of all time, and I have also written longer analyses directly the comments. Rob has now graciously provided me with my own login so I can now post commentary directly. I won’t be a frequent poster, but this will make it easier for me to share the longer form data collection and analyses pieces I like to do. In particular, readers have seemed to like my overviews of recent Cubs’ drafts that I have done in comments in previous summers. So to help us through the boredom of winter, I’ll post overviews of all three Epstein/Hoyer drafts in the next week, starting with 2012 today. Below you will see the pick #, player, the level at which they ended the 2014 regular season, and a short snapshot of their performance this past year.

December 17th

Cubs Trade Ruggiano

The Cubs cleared some 40-man roster space and made room for a "clubhouse dude" by sending OF Justin Ruggiano to the Seattle Mariners for 25-year old relief pitcher Matt Brazis. Ruggiano was acquired from the Marlins last offseason for Brian Bogusevic and put up an 111 OPS+ with an .846 OPS versus lefties in limited, albeit effective action. He can also handle all 3 OF positions which is a nice added benefit.

December 15th

Cubs Sign Motte

The Cubs have signed reliever Jason Motte to a one-year deal for $4.5M with a games finished incentive. Motte hasn't pitched a full season since 2012, but did have a helluva nice run out of the Cardinals bullpen from 2010-2012, including being their closer in 2012 where he knocked out 42 saves with a 2.75 ERA thanks to a 10.1 K/9 rate, 2.1 BB/9 rate and 0.917 WHIP that season..

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Recent comments

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  • Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.

  • My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.

  • In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.

    One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.

    I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.

  • Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.

    What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?

  • A-Team

  • Ha

  • I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.

    there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.

  • I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.

  • Cubs are taking advantage of bad D by their opponents -- did it a few times in PIT and the Nats botched 2-out rundown leads to 3 Cub runs in the 8th. Which were nice to have.

    I hope Kyle had fun at the dance party -- he was terrific.

  • i hope he's getting more consideration for the 2-slot vs lefties, too.

  • I hope we can dispense with the Zobrist RISP concerns.

  • Is this heaven?

  • They call me Schwarberino because I'm basically Ruth,
    and as long as we're rapping I'm gonna tell you the truth:
    This team would be even better if I wasn't laid up;
    we'd win the World Series, the Superbowl, and the Stanley Cup.
    As long as we're at it, I'm putting the Premier League on notice.
    Hell, if I were healthy, Epstein could run for POTUS.
    My busted knee's even sadder than this presidential kerfuffle,
    but my first rehab assignment will be the World Series Shuffle.

    I am avoiding grading papers.

  • Phil,

    With Mutton on the DL now, does Victorino finally get to Iowa?

  • Chat ... is happening.