TCR Friday Notes

- Alex Eisenberg runs Baseball Intellect and he's added a premium service where he breaks down video of prospects. Recently he did one that included  Logan Watkins and Hak-Juk Lee from a Boise Hawks game earlier this year. If you're a minor league junkie, I have to think that's a good way to spend $3 a month and I'll continue to give him a shout out when he features Cubs prospects.

- MLB Trade Rumors is reporting their own rumor that the Cubs have interest in the 21-year old 100 mph southpaw from Cuba - Aroldis Chapman. He's expected to be anywhere from $30 to $60M richer by the end of the offseason.

- Speaking of MLBTR, I read this bit over there:


ESPN's Keith Law, former special assistant to the GM in Toronto, mentioned a few interesting Blue Jays' non-trades in his chat today. He says that the Mets once offered 19-year-old David Wright for Jose Cruz Jr., but J.P. Ricciardi said "I'm not trading a major league player for some guy in the (Low Class-A) Sally League." Klaw also mentions that the Jays had a chance to trade Cruz Jr. for Rafael Soriano, but wouldn't do it unless the Mariners kicked in Clint Nageotte as well. What could have been, Jays fans.

Facepalm.

- You may have missed it yesterday, but it looks like the cutoff for Super Two status will be 2 years and 141 days. Arizona Phil broke out how that will affect the players who were near the cutoff (I believe it's suppose to read 2+171 and so forth, but you get the picture). There's a note on Glen Perkins if you follow the link to the original comment as well.

SUPER TWO:
Joey Devine, RHP - A's 2+171
Brian Wilson, RHP - Giants 2+169
Rajai Davis, OF - A's 2+167
Alex Gordon, 3B - Royals 2+162
Mike Adams, RHP - Padres 2+161
Tom Gorzelanny, LHP - Cubs 2+161
Omar Quintanilla, INF - Rockies 2+159
Jesus Flores, C - Nationals 2+158
Hunter Pence, OF - Astros 2+156
Jason Hammel, RHP - Rockies 2+153
Matt Garza, RHP - Rays 2+149
Tim Lincecum, RHP - Giants 2+148
Nick Masset, RHP - Reds 2+146
Jeff Karstens, RHP - Pirates 2+144
Matt Albers, RHP - Orioles 2+141
Carlos Gomez, OF - Twins 2+141

CUT-OFF?
Dustin Nippert, RHP - Rangers 2+140
Adam Jones, OF - Orioles 2+139
Mike Fontenot, 2B - Cubs 2+139
Brandon Morrow, RHP - Mariners 2+139
Micah Owings, RHP - Reds 2+139
Mark Reynolds, 3B - Diamondbacks 2+138
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C - Rangers 2+137
Allberto Callaspo, INF - Royals 2+135
Glen Perkins, RHP - Twins 2+133
Anibal Sanchez, RHP - Marlins 2+133
Ben Zobrist, INF - Rays 2+133
Joe Smith, RHP - Indians 2+132
Fred Lewis, OF - Giants 2+129
Jeremy Sowers, P - Indians 2+128
Mike Pelfrey, RHP - Mets 2+122

- Over at cubs.com, Carrie says that Jeff Baker is the frontrunner for the second base job (Ed note - the Cubs are stupid if this is true), and they aren't going to bring back Mark DeRosa just because he was popular(Ed note - a little less stupid if true). She does say that Starlin Castro has been playing some second base in the AFL and could be a mid-season call-up if he continues his rocket-like ascension through the system.

- Wrigleyville residents are concerned over a new project setting a precedent in building height that would then likely allow the Cubs to build the facility that they've been wanting to adjacent to the park.

- Vote on the game changers in sports at the Huffington Post. The guy that runs MLB.tv is currently in the lead and Dave Appelman of Fangraphs is #2.  Baseball geeks UNITE!

- I did want to congratule "The Joe" on winning the mostly TCR 15-team fantasy points-based league...his second win in the 4 years we've played. Actually no, I don't want to congratulate him, I want to tell him to stop cheating and that he should trade Hanley Ramirez, preferably to me. I know there was another league that pretty much used our rules, so if you could drop the winner and their point total in the comments, I'll put it somewhere on the site to celebrate, that goes for any TCR-based league...I think Transmission ran one as well (Ed note - worst constructed paragraph ever on TCR).

- Bears at Bengals this week, join the fun at The Bear Truth.

- Betus.com has signed on as an advertiser for the next year, you can find their logo on the left when you're on the front page. Gamble away your life savings(Ed note - please don't do that) or just check out the lines on games or the pretty girls.

Comments

Kmokeefe won the TCR 2 keeper league. At least I think that's his TCR handle.

point total?

9391, 89 points ahead of Chad.

not bad, would have finished 2nd in our league, Joe had 9585.25

ouch

addendum: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?i...

Ricketts to take control by next week, hopes to meet media with his future plans by Friday.

Can't wait to hear Ricketts' 'Vision'. Would love to see conceptual drawings and construction plans for 'Wrigley Field at Sears Park' located off the NW Tollway between Hoffman Estates and Elgin. Putting any more more money into Clark & Addison is more good money after bad, but as long as it isn't taxpayer dollars - oh, well.

sigh... meanwhile, we're still stuck with "doughnuts" Hendry,

The Padres did indeed make the move they were telegraphing when they let "tampering" Towers go. They're going to hire the Red Sox' asst. GM Jed Hoyer (35) to be their general manager today.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb...

I'm confused about this new building. Is it above the Cubby Bear? Behind it? The pictures look like it is on that corner. Maybe behind the Cubby Bear or where Taco Bell is? I don't fucking know, but some hotel rooms on the N. Side would be nice, not enough of them currently. Anyone who is against this is a ruhtard.

9391, 89 points ahead of Chad.

And by Chad, he means Little Nate Lewis.

"She does say that Starlin Castro has been playing some second base in the AFL and could be a mid-season call-up if he continues his rocket-like ascension through the system."

I don't recall Castro playing second at Mesa. Maybe one game or a few innings. He's been alternating between shortstop and DH. The reason he doesn't play short every day is that Mesa also has Jose Iglesias, the 19-year-old Cuban defector the Red Sox just paid $8.5 million.

Your paragraph begins discussing Jeff Baker, and then you say Castro has been playing some second. Castro doesn't have to worry about playing second with the Cubs. That's Theriot's worry, and Hak-Ju Lee's, and Flaherty's and LeMahieu's and others. Castro is going to be the SS.

she said he started there Monday and the box score confirms...

http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l119&t...

haven't looked myself since...

Castro doesn't have to worry about playing second with the Cubs. That's
Theriot's worry, and Hak-Ju Lee's, and Flaherty's and LeMahieu's and
others. Castro is going to be the SS.

that's cute, guess you missed Lou playing Theriot at SS and Blanco at 2b at the end of the year...

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 10:04am.

I don't recall Castro playing second at Mesa. Maybe one game or a few innings. He's been alternating between shortstop and DH. The reason he doesn't play short every day is that Mesa also has Jose Iglesias, the 19-year-old Cuban defector the Red Sox just paid $8.5 million.

Your paragraph begins discussing Jeff Baker, and then you say Castro has been playing some second. Castro doesn't have to worry about playing second with the Cubs. That's Theriot's worry, and Hak-Ju Lee's, and Flaherty's and LeMahieu's and others. Castro is going to be the SS.

==============================================

CUZZ: Starlin Castro played SS, 2B, and 3B for the DSL Cubs in 2007, and then he split time almost 50/50 between SS and 2B in 2008 at Fitch Park (Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, AZL Cubs, and Instructional League), when Castro and Junior Lake were teammates and the Cubs wanted both players to get PT at SS. (Castro and Lake were teammates at DSL Cubs in 2007, too).

Castro played SS exclusively at both Daytona and Tennessee in 2009, but he did play 2B for the Mesa Solar Sox last Monday, although (as you said) that was only because Jose Iglesias was playing SS that day. (Castro is a very good defensive 2nd baseman, BTW).

It's possible that Castro could end up at 2B if Hak-Ju Lee remains at SS and both make it to the big leagues with the Cubs, because Lee has better range, and Lee has only played SS (so far, at least). But Castro can certainly play SS.

I agree that there could be an argument between Castro and Lee over shortstop. But it certainly looks like Casto will get there first, and that LeMahieu will be zeroing in on second base. I'm not sure where that leaves Lee, who is a rabbit and a real leadoff hitter. But it's a good problem to have.

It's not a good problem for Theriot to have.

I know that AZ Phil has suggested in the past that Lee could make a good convert to CF (usually when the issue of his size comes up).

However, anticipating that all three of these guys will make it to the majors as productive everyday players with the Cubs is a little bit premature. It could happen, but will anybody be surprised if it doesn't?

A couple of things. Lee in center doesn't begin to make sense to me. Everybody plays shortstop in little league, and many do in high school, but if you can play shortstop at a high level they don't put you in the outfield. Offensively, Lee lacks power. He's an infielder!

The Cubs have a large group of middle-infield prospects right now, and some Cub fans are having difficulty getting their heads around that idea. Before the current group, when was the last time the Cubs had a decent middle-infield prospect? Theriot is an overachiever. Eric Patterson turned out to be a left fielder (i.e., someone who can't play any position). Who else? How long ago? What a screwed-up drafting apparatus the Cubs used to have! Almost all their prospects were slugging first basemen (a couple from Jim Hendry's high school). I guess the Cubs thought that it would save some time if their scouts didn't have to watch the players in the field.

I mention Castro, Lee and LeMahieu because even among genuine prospects they seem special. They hit the ground running as soon as they turned pro. Everything comes easy to them. "You want me to do the same thing at a higher level? No problem!" Brett Jackson seems to belong in this group also.

Most prospects struggle in the minors. I thought they all did until I saw this recent group. Cashner has done okay, unless you expected strikeouts in A and AA from a guy who throws 98. (1.79 K/BB, 6.73 K/9.) After a torrid May, Vitters hit .239/.274/.358 in 88 at bats in June. Then he went to Daytona and really stank. Barney has struggled. Guyer has struggled. Samardzija, obviously.

So that's why I focus on three or four guys who don't seem to struggle. If any of them doesn't make it, that will be an opportunity for Flaherty, for Darwin, for Watkins--and for Theriot. Whoever emerges from this competition should be able to perform in the majors.

I know it's hard for Cubs fans to be forward-looking and optimistic. Something about Bobby Hill and Gary Somebody, back in the eighties, I think.

Recent comments

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  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 16 hours 53 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 16 hours 58 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 17 hours 3 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 17 hours 15 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 17 hours 26 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 17 hours 51 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 18 hours 32 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 19 hours 44 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 20 hours 1 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 20 hours 5 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 20 hours 50 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 4 hours ago view