A Split is Like Goosing Your Brother

banana splitThe Cubs and Padres split. The Cardinals and Nationals split. The I-Cubs and Isotopes split. Look, up in the standings - it's a Dairy Queen! It's a gymnastics meet! It's a doubleheader...


The best thing to be said about the April weather in the upper Midwest is that it's good for pitchers. All four starters in yesterday's twinbill in Des Moines recorded quality starts. This in a league where the I-Cubs' 6.57 staff ERA in the first two weeks isn't even the PCL's worst and five entire teams have batting averages north of .300. Albuquerque's John Ely came within one out of throwing that franchise's first no-hitter in game two [note: PCL doubleheaders consist of a pair of seven-inning games].


Tonight's turnstile promo for the I-Cubs is more practical than most. They're passing out stocking caps to the first 1,500 fans. I suspect there will be plenty of leftovers.


Some of these playing conditions are like showing up at an arena for basketball to discover that they left the rink out from last night's hockey game - and then proceeding as scheduled! The only thing worse than crappy weather is indoor baseball.


Come on ivy!


Otherwise, could Project .500 be any more on pace? There is a definite pattern emerging here. But who knew that a share of first place would be part of the deal?! Actually calling the Central a division right now is a misnomer; there's precious little division at all...

Comments

I would note that it was Marquez Smith who broke up the no-hitter with a double.

Peoria had two shutout wins yesterdays. Starting (and winning) pitchers were Austin Kirk and Dallas Beeler.

Burgess hit his fifth for Daytona.

Speaking of juggernauts, Tennessee had three home runs (Jackson, LeMahieu and Clevenger) last night, and ten hits in the last four innings.

duly noted...

Braun re-uped $105/5 yr?

from Rotoworld...

Well, this certainly came out of nowhere. Braun was already under contract through 2015, so he is now guaranteed $145.5 million through 2020. He will earn $19 million per season from 2016-18, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2010 while the 2021 mutual option is worth up to $20 million with a $4 million buyout. The contract includes a $10 million signing bonus. It's officially the largest financial commitment to a player in franchise history. Braun and Troy Tulowitzki are now the only MLB players locked up through 2020. Prince Fielder was probably already a longshot to stay with the Brewers anyway, but it's now virtually certain that he'll be playing elsewhere next season.

Yearly salary-wise, that's a nice contract for the Brewers if Braun doesn't get hurt and/or decline too much in later years. He's a clutch hitter, fan favorite, and just took a second under-market deal to stay in Milwaukee.

Where's the potential reward for Milwaukee? All I see is risk.

winning games?

takes him through age 37 fwiw....

judging by the offseason and rumors, MLB must be forecasting deals in the $25-$30M range for FA superstars in the nearish future.

It's hard to forecast what wins will cost that far out, but he'll have a declining skill set; he'll anchor an "easy" defensive position which limits potential acquisition of impact hitters; and he probably didn't sign for much less than he would had if he became a free agent after 2015.

Even if he rakes for the 4.5 years, when he would have been a FA, Milwaukee very likely could have brought him back for a guaranteed $95M for his age 32-36 seasons.

High risk, (very) low reward.

So top hitters in the game in 2011 are going to get $22+ million per year, but in 2015 they're going to get $19 million per year? Be right back, I am going to convert my 401K to gold really quick...

Gold bubble. Consider Yuan. :)

I don't think it's that hard to forecast and I'm sure MLB teams have a much better idea of expected incoming revenues, inflation, expected rise in salaries than the casual fan.

He'll be making about the same as Soriano signed for at the same position and age, but with a better skill set and 8 years down the road. It's easy to see that $23-$25M a year is going to be the going rate at that time (or more). Plus I'm sure they really like the guy, realize you don't attract FA's to Milwaukee and he wants to spend his career there.

Nothing wrong with well-earned loyalty...

Unless he goes Jeff Bagwell on you... But that is a discount, and likely a pretty nice one if he continues on his current pace and stays healthy.

You gotta want it to win it. If nothing else, he's a fan favorite and a reason to put cheeks in the seats.

After further speculation, given his overall value to the franchise, it's not a recklessly risky move. They're enjoying an attendance renaissance, and I'm sure they want to maintain this momentum.

Still, I think there's a fair amount of overall risk in this move. His most comparables, using B-R and setting aside Chick Hafey and Manny Ramirez, are Raul Mondesi, Shawn Green, and Jeff Heath. All were essentially toast by age 35 or earlier.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/basebal...

4 wild cards play each other in first round with 6 division winners getting a bye.

meh...

formatting and scheduling is gonna be a blast...really need to go back to a 154-game schedule if this is the plan.

so much bullshi...

hopefully this isn't a road to crapfest where 1/2+ the entire block of teams get into the playoffs. nba/nhl might as well not even play 1/2 their schedule with their playoff structure.

Add another round to the playoffs? No thanks.

I'm sure you'll stop watching.

The Cubs won't be in them, so no.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/21/...

Breaking news: sprained ligament in my foot out 2 to 4 weeks. Suck on that. Told u fantasy people not to pick me up.

that's great

W. Castillo back with Iowa and they will carry 3 catchers for the time being.

I just noticed that Brett Jackson's OPS (1.265) is double that of Marlon Byrd (.632).

Byrd doesn't seem like himself in CF lately. Think he's getting nervous?

Old.

We can't trade him soon enough.

Bruce Miles says, "No, the Cubs aren’t seeking to trade Marlon Byrd, from what I’ve been told."

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5521

I hear the Nats are searching for a center fielder, better chance of moving Byrd over Fukudome. The defense already sucks this year, maybe they can get Gorzelanny back. :)

from that article...

According to [Kevin] Goldstein: “One front-office official also believes that how the numbers are compiled on a day-to-day basis can be as important as the numbers themselves. ‘The biggest thing we're looking for when thinking about promotions is consistency,’ he said. ‘We want pitchers looking good every five days as opposed to throwing seven shutout innings one start and then not getting out of the fourth the next. We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next.’”

We want guys hitting .300 across the month as opposed to hitting .500 one week and .100 the next, unless it's Josh Vitters.

Corrected.

heh

fwiw, Goldstein's article is a general baseball story, not Cub specific.

Recent comments

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  • Sorry typing too fast.

  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.