Cubs Claim Catcher Off Waivers
The Cubs have claimed 26-year old C-1B Max Ramirez off waivers from the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox claimed Ramirez off waivers from the Texas Rangers last Wednesday, and immediately placed him back on waivers again the next day, obviously hoping they were the only club with interest in Ramirez and that they could sneak him through. But what the BoSox did not foresee was that during the time that Ramirez was on waivers the Cubs would make an eight-player deal where they would trade four players who were on their 40-man roster for two players on the other club's 40 (thus opening up two slots on the Cubs 40-man roster), and that one of the players the Cubs would trade would be a catcher (Robinson Chirinos).
Ramirez was signed out of Venezuela by the Braves in 2002, and was traded in stretch drive deals twice, from ATL to CLE in July 2006 (for RHRP Bob Wickman), and from CLE to TEX in July 2007 (for OF Kenny Lofton).
Ramirez was a Rangers Top 10 Prospect as recently as 2009. He is an offensive-first right-handed hitting catcher with plus-power who has also played some 1B in recent years, with a 298/396/476 minor league line in 563 career minor league games. If his minor league numbers are averaged out over 140 games per season, he would average 18 HR, 89 RBI, and 33 doubles per season. He has hit 217/343/357 with four HR and four doubles in 45 MLB games (2008 and 2010 with Texas).
He doesn't have much of an arm, throwing out just 18% of opposing base-stealers in his minor league career, and his all-around defensive skills are rated below-average. He is also a very slow runner.
Ramirez will be competing in Spring Training with Koyie Hill and Welington Castillo for the Cubs back-up catcher gig, but (like K. Hill) Ramirez is out of minor league options, so if he does not make the Cubs 25-man roster coming out of Spring Training he would have to pass through Ourtright Waivers without being claimed before he could be sent to the minors.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.