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.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.