How Far Koskie Has Come
Haven't seen a lineup yet for this afternoon's Cubs-Mariners game, but Lou Piniella's stated plan with Corey Koskie is to "probably play him every couple days and see how he does..."
Koskie started Tuesday's game against the Dodgers and ripped a double off the centerfield wall in his first at-bat. He also walked and grounded out.
In looking for some information on Koskie, I came across an mlb.com article from April of last year, when the longtime Twin, still suffering from the after-effects of a concussion he suffered as a Brewer, dropped by the Metrodome.
The former Twins third baseman was...visiting with some
of his old teammates on Wednesday and talked about the constant
struggles that he still has with post-concussion syndrome.
...Just being down on the field at the dome
without having any problems was something that he considered to be a
It's been nearly two years since Koskie was last on a baseball field.
He suffered his concussion on July 5, 2006 when he chased down a
shallow popup while playing for the Brewers. He did not hit his head on
the play, but the effects of the concussion he suffered has been
lingering ever since.
That means getting dizzy and nauseous at times, and Koskie said
it's not necessarily during just physical activity. He can be watching
hockey on TV or a fast-paced television show when the symptoms develop.
"I don't know if I'm going to wake up one day and it will all be gone,"
Koskie said. "Or if there is going to be some stuff that's lingering
and I have to deal with it the rest of my life. I just don't know."
Koskie became a free agent this past fall when the Brewers
declined their 2008 option on his contract. Whether any teams would be
willing to take a chance on the 34-year-old, once he's fully recovered,
is also uncertain.
And until Koskie knows what his future entails, being around
baseball is tough. Just how much he misses the game was clear from the
look on his face, and he even declined the chance to go lean on the
batting cage and talk to some of the Twins as they took batting
"I'm not going to lean on the cage until I'm retired or I've got a
uniform on," Koskie said. "Right now, I'm in this kind of halfway
thing. I would still like to play baseball, but physically, I'm not
able to right now."
As a part-time Twins fan and full-time White Sox-hater, I have always liked Koskie, who delivered many Sox-killing hits in his Minnesota days. But just on a human level, the possibility that Koskie could stick with the Cubs will be, as Piniella says, "a nice story if it materializes."
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.
For some reason
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!