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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  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 3 min 33 sec ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 30 min 19 sec ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 46 min 12 sec ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 5 hours 48 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 6 hours 33 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 10 hours 16 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 10 hours 50 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 12 hours 27 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 28 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 34 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 12 hours 38 min ago view