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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  • 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.