Cubs News Round-Up: Ben Sheets, Spring Training, Top 10 Prospect List, Zambrano Interview
- The Hardball Times has put up their top 10 Cubs' Prospects:
- Starlin Castro
- Josh Vitters
- Brett Jackson
- Jay Jackson
- Hak-Ju Lee
- Kyler Burke
- Andrew Cashner
- Chris Archer
- Chris Carpenter
- Ryan Flaherty
Archer's not a name you see on a lot of Top 10 or even Top 20 lists so far.
- Ben Sheets will throw for teams tomorrow down in Louisiana, the Cubs and about nine other clubs will be there. While the odds of Sheets making it through a full season are about on par with the odds that you're going to go home with Megan Fox tonight, it sure would make for some exciting buzz heading into the season if the Cubs could land him. There's been a few comparisons to Rich Harden and why would they let Harden go and then pursue Sheets. And yes the injury concerns are similar, but the one thing Sheets has going for him over Harden is his ability to go deep into games when he is pitching. He has 18 complete games in his career including 5 in 2008. Maybe he shouldn't have completed those games, but his season high was 123 pitches in 2008 and for the most part he was in the 100-110 range. You have to admit - Zambrano, Sheets, Dempster, Lilly and Wells would be a real nice looking 5-man rotation and suddenly make 2010 a lot more interesting.
- One of our readers "jacos" heard an interview with Carlos Zambrano on ESPN 1000 earlier. The highlights...
-Said he's in "best shape ever"
- Wants to help team win
-Said he had "6 pack abs" lifted up his shirt, Waddle said atleast a "4
pack" and could not believe Z was 265, but he looked so fit
-Talked about Lou visits to mound and what he says, (Z doing Lou's
voice)-"Ya gotta throw strikes. Cmon. A lot of people are watching"
-Most feared hitter Pujlos then Carlos Lee
-Goals for next year "stay in shape" and help the team win
-Did not play softball last year
-Didn't want to address Sosa and McGwire but said he had baseball friend who took "asteroids"(no joke)
The friend did not make MLB but had warning track power and when he took "asteroids"(second time) he could "smash the ball"
*Before we get chastized for making fun of Z's accent or whatever, it's come to my attention that it's "esteroide" in Spanish which is what he was probably saying, but asteroid is way funnier.
- Naples, Florida took a big step in trying to woo the Cubs yesterday and we may have uncovered the smoking gun that would indicate Phil Rogers might have been right for once when he said the Ricketts have already made up their mind that they want their spring training operations out of Florida.
“Kenney said if he got the consensus of the lodging organiztion
within the county that it would suppoprt the project by virtue of bed
tax funds it would be the last piece he was looking for to approach the
owners that they submit their notice of termination with Mesa and start
negotiations with Collier,” Medweddeff said.
You never want to read too much into a newspaper quote and maybe this Medweddeff person is just trying to make everyone feel good about why they're pursuing this whole thing, but that sure does sound like the Cubs are really just looking for reasons to move to Florida.
UPDATE: Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Cubs will move to Florida barring Arizona coming up with "unforeseen money".
- One little note I wanted to pass along from a Rick Sutcliffe interview on XM radio this morning. He was talking about how he's glad Nolan Ryan is trying to get pitchers to go deeper into games with Texas and then said he's hearing that the Cubs plan to make a similar push with the addition of Greg Maddux. It wasn't a big point he was making, but that is what he said.
Sorry typing too fast.
I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.
Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.