More Ivy at Wrigley?
With yesterday's trade for Matt Garza, the by-product that caught my eye is the fact that the Cubs seem to have cornered the recent market on Ivy Leaguers. Fernando Perez studied creative writing and received a degree in American Studies at Columbia and now joins the exclusive Cub club of four.
Perez has published in Poetry Magazine.
Perez says he turns to poetry when he's "after displacement, contrast" from the game of baseball. "The thick wilderness," he continues, "of, say, late Ashbery can wrangle with the narrowness of competition."
From his Poetry Magazine article, titled: Para Rumbiar
Like poetry, baseball is a kind of counter culture. The (optional) isolation from the outside world (which I often opt for); the idleness about which—and out of which—so many poems are written or sung: I see this state of mind as a blessing.
...and if you haven't seen the Fernando Perez You Tube video on "The Working Poor" here's the link.
"nobody talks about the Fernando Perez(s), Jason Nix(s), Emilio Bonafacio(s), all these great players, playing for the minimum, that keep these guys (the stars like ARod) afloat."
Growing more Ivy, after the break...
We all knew Mark DeRosa was a Penn grad, Ivy League starting Quarterback and received a degree from the Wharton School of Business. DeRosa's exit from the Cubs, in a 6 degrees of separation way, is related to Fernando Perez getting here. The Cubs received Chris Archer from Cleveland and now Archer goes to Tampa.
Doug Glanville also graduated from Penn and right from the get-go was one of the most scholarly ballplayers ever. His Penn senior thesis was a study of the railways surrounding a potential new Phillies stadium...and that thesis has been added to the collection of historic documents at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He was a first round draft choice of the Cubs from the 1992 amateur draft and patrolled the OF for the Cubs in 1995-6 before an offseason 1997 trade to the Phillies for Mickey Morandini. He's become quite a celebrated author, publishing as a columnist in the NY Times and now has a book out titled, "The Game from Where I Stand". Here's a link from Chicago Magazine.com including an interview with DG from Wrigley Field reminiscing on his Cub experience and moving back to Chicago as his current home. I love listening to him and this is a great Chicago ramble.
I'd forgotten that Mike Remlinger was a Dartmouth grad. He lead the NCAA with a 1.59 ERA in 1986. His legacy as a Cub? I'll always remember him for the weirdest disabled list injury...breaking his throwing left hand little finger when it got caught in a reclining chair.
The most famous Ivy Leaguer (but alas, not a Cub) is Lou Gehrig. Gehrig's college prowess was as a pitcher and he held the Columbia career strikeout record from the 1920's until 1978! Lou, Lou, Lou.
I say, Collect 'em all...and here's my invite to Fernando Perez to do some creative writing on TCR.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.