The Second Coming of Bill Madlock?
This topic doesn't really merit a full post, but the site won't allow me to reply directly to inquiries aimed my way about Marquez Smith so I took another route in.
I've assembled a hodgepodge of data about Mr. Smith and pasted it below. He's been on a tear of late and helped keep the team afloat at the top of the PCL standings while many of his teammates have been called up to sink their parents toward the bottom of the NL Central. There's a link to a recent feature in the Des Moines Register, a clip from a recent edition of I-Cub game notes summarizing his hot streak, an excerpt from those same notes that shows the team has a much better record with Matt Camp at 3rd than Smith [FWIW], a "scouting report" from his former coach at Clemson [wasn't he a teammate of Colvin's there?] who extols his defensive abilities and a stat line from his brief demotion to Tennessee in the spring where he really did nothing to merit a recall to Triple A. I can't remember the circumstances of his return to Des Moines, but he has certainly capitalized on the renewed opportunity. As for AZP's estimation of former third-sackers Smith might ultimately equate to, why not shoot for the moon and invoke the memory of Bill Madlock? He's built along the same lines as I remember Madlock, although Mad Dog's listed in stat archives at a mere 180 lbs., substantially fewer than Marquez is pulling around behind him. Smith is a low center of gravity guy which might lend itself to the dives so often called for at the corner. When I've seen him he has impressed at the plate and not really done anything one way or another to draw my scrutiny as a fielder.
Will Clemson have the Cub infield cornered in 2012?
ON THE MARQ: With two more hits last night, 3B Marquez Smith extended his season-high hitting streak to 10 games and has hit safley his last 12 starts. In those 12 games, Smith is batting .512 (22-for-43) with 15 runs scored, five doubles, nine home runs and 20 RBI. He has hit nine home runs in his last 14 games. For the month of August, Smith leads the league in batting (.429), home runs (9), slugging (1.00), and OPS (1.492). He is tied for the league lead with Mat Gamel of Nashville with 14 extra-base hits and tied with Jason Lane of Las Vegas with 56 total bases. He is second in the league with 21 RBI (Bret Pill of Fresno has 22) and in on-base percentage (.492).
Marquez Smith Tennessee 5/15-6/3 .182 16 44 8 8 2 0 3 5 5 13 0 0 1
Smith 58 (31-27), Camp 34 (23-11),
"Marquez is one of the better third-baseman, certainly in the ACC and maybe in the country. He played a lot last year as our third-baseman. His fielding percentage, consistency, and accuracy are all outstanding. He has great hands and is going to hit in the middle of the order. He's a great team player, and he's one of the keys to our success."
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.