Red Sox and Yankees Latest to C***block Cubs
The Cubs went from hording minor league pitchers to hording minor league shortstops when they hired Tim Wilken as scouting director. One target was Cuban defector Jose Iglesias, who defected back in July of 2008 when the team was in Edmonton and then signed with the Boston Red Sox in September of 2009 for 4/8.25M. He played some in the Arizona Fall League and his defense is considered "special", but at just 20 years old he still has some time to grow into his bat.
Rumor has it though that the Cubs were actually the top bidders, but Iglesias chose the Red Sox because they were his favorite team growing up. Curse you childhood allegiances!!!
For what it's worth, BP has him as 3-star prospect and #6 in the Red Sox stocked system.
Then there's the tale of Chan Ho Park, who has been rumored as a target for the Cubs for most of the offseason. The reports from Bruce Levine were that he wanted $3-4M and it was too high for the Cubs. The reality is that the Yankees came knocking and they got the rings(translated from The Korea Times).
"I was deliberating on the Chicago Cubs and the Yankees, but their history and championship contention resulted in me picking the Yankees,'' Park said. "Until last night, I was leaning toward the Cubs."
Park, who said he agreed to a one-year, $1.2 million deal, said the Cubs offered him a chance to compete for a berth in the starting rotation. With the Yankees, he will come out of the bullpen, as he did last season with the Phillies.
"I wanted to play for a champion-caliber team this year again," Park said. "I am not certain how much longer I will play baseball, but it will be huge experience and memory to play with the Yankees.''
C'est la vie.
If the Cubs are looking for another guy that could start or move to the pen(a swingman as they call it), there's Glendon Rusch (chuckle), John Smoltz (don't see it), and that's about it. It might mean they try to talk to Kiko Calero again as well and just go for a reliever.
*Thanks to "Sweet Lou" for the link on Iglesias spurning the Cubs.
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.