2010 Winter Meetings Day Three
10:30 PM CST (Rob G.): A previous Levine post said Cubs are interested in acquiring Jason Frasor after missing out on him last season. Medical reports on Brandon Webb are in the Cubs doctors hands and Chris Davis for Robinson Chirinos is still on the table, but the Cubs want Darren O'Day included in a deal.
10:17 PM CST (Rob G.): Levine says the Rays and Cubs met for a second time since the meetings began, presumably to discuss Garza and that the Cubs "package" was the most attractive. (7th grade chuckle). Brewers and Rangers are also in the mix.
5:18 PM CST (Rob G.): Joel Sherman says the Rays are thus far unsinspired by offers for Garza and will likely wait until July to see if value goes up.
1:56 PM CST (Rob G.): Well at least the Cubs called to ask about Zack Greinke.
1:44 PM CST (Rob G.): There were some multi-year offers out there for Pena with Nats, Orioles, Mariners, Blue Jays and Braves showing interest. (O's seem to be at least one team that made a multi-year offer and the biggest competition according to Pena).
12:46 PM CST (Rob G.): There it is, $5M to Pena is deferred until January 2012.
12:26 PM CST (Rob G.): Pena press conference updates culled from Twitter.
- Grew up watching the Cubs, cites watching George Bell (~shrug~).
- "To play for the Cubs was my preference...I love the city, my family loves the city, and we have a good chance at winning."
- Boras cited Rudy as one of the reasons they liked the Cubs and confidence that he can help him improve on last season.
- Rumor that Yankees could be going after Mark Prior along with rumors that they'll try and bring back Kerry Wood once the Cliff Lee sweepstakes are over. Yes, Rothschild, Prior and Wood back together again is a looming possibility.
- Trib story says Cubs targets were Pena and Berkman and talk about LaRoche and Loney were overstated. Nats, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles made offers or were at least interested. No mention of deferred money from them, although Levine has already put it out there. Also says they're working on trades and still talking to Brandon Webb.
12:20 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Levine chat excerpts:
- Says Cubs like Garza and have young talent Rays are seeking, although Archer and B. Jackson seem safe from being moved.
- Chris Davis is still in the mix even with the Pena signing.
- Mentions deferred money in Pena deal again, but no specifics.
- Cubs still high on Vitters (as they should be).
To the rumor cave...
- With Pena about to be signed, look for the Cubs to intensify trying to move Fukudome and giving Colvin the everyday job.
- Same report from Levine suggests the Cubs are making a push for Matt Garza. (Claps hands like a cymbal playing monkey). Here's a more proper link to the story.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Montero, Castro, Hendricks, Russell
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.