TCR Monday Notes
I was suppose to post this Friday night, but life got in the way the rest of the weekend...
- Arizona Phil does what only he can do...an amazing retrospective on how the 1969 Cubs were built and his memories of the season.
- Ryan Theriot is losing fans in the Cubs organization apparently by sticking to his $3.4M demands. Bruce Miles on the radio and Bruce Levine both saying that an arbitration hearing looks inevitable. It would be the first arbitration hearing in 17 years between the Cubs and a player (Mark Grace).
- Orlando Cabrera signs with the Reds on a 3 million deal for one year with a $1M buyout on a $3M mutual option in 2011. They then acquired Aaron Miles from the A's for Wily Taveras and Adam Rosales. As long as they don't land Johny Damon...
(Interesting twist to this story, A's DFA Taveras immediately. Also, the A's are sending a PTBNL to the Reds as part of the deal).
- Reed Johnson was offered $800K by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Wezen Ball relates some interesting press quotes when Andre Dawson signed with the Cubs in 1987. There's been a bit of myth perpetuated that Dawson was dead set to
play for the Cubs at any cost. But what really happened was that he was a victim of
collusion by the owners and the blank check story was a desperate plea to find a team for '87. To his credit though, he was a man of his word and certainly didn't sulk over the low-ball contract offer.
"I didn't think they'd make an offer, because I thought they didn't want to be the first ones to sign a free agent," Dawson said yesterday. "But since they did, I'm man enough to stick by it.
I know I'll miss Montreal . . . but you gotta do what you gotta do. I don't want to say a move was overdue, but with the problems I had the last couple years . . . I had the same salary the last six years, and then they offer me a pay cut . . .
It got so that towards the end of the season some of my own teammates told me it would be best that I make a change."
- An interview with an author of a book on how the Cubs may have thrown the 1918 World Series.
- The Xavier Nady deal was made official Friday. The Cubs will be cautious with Nady in March and April though and he probably won't see much time in the field to start the season, much like Tyler Colvin did at the beginning of last season after his Tommy John surgery. I do wonder what that will do to the bench since it means Fukudome won't have a platoon partner. They could possibly put Baker out there, but that means either Fontenot plays against a lefty or Blanco. They could also carry an extra bat at least for the first two weeks as a 5th starter isn't due until April 18th.
- Jayson Stark says the Cubs prefer to sign a reliever such as Chan Ho Park or Kiki Calero, otherwise a trade with the Blue Jays for Jason Frasor or Scott Downs is a possibility.
- Jerry Crasnick tweets that Jermaine Dye essentially turned down the offer that Xavier Nady accepted.
Just read that when Hendricks starts the Cubs have won 33 times in his first 50 games which is the best for any Cubs starter since the 1940s. So he might not be getting a ton of wins but he's at least leaving the team in a winnable spot
That and we've had a lot of terrible teams.
I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
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?
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.