Tuesday Cubs News Round-Up
Some bits of news from the latest news cycle, most of it mentioned in the comments in the thread below.
- I admit missing out on this rather crucial piece of information, but apparently Aramis Ramirez 2012 option is a mutual option. Technically, if the Cubs exercise the $16M option, he can void it and forfeit the $2M buyout, and his agent suggests that with Hendry gone, that's looking more likely now.
I'm not sure if that's good or bad news yet. $16M for one season is a bit expensive for Ramirez, but there's not a lot out there to play the hot corner either.
- Tracy Ringolsby goes after Cubs team president Crane Kenney today over on Fox Sports.
You've got to love Ricketts saying Kenney is absolved of all blame for what transpires on the field because Kenney is confined to business matters. Yeah, business matters like overruling Hendry on more than one occasion because Kenney felt outside pressure to reel in high-priced veterans.
Veterans like Alfonso Soriano, who Hendry had declared would not get more than a five-year guarantee only to have Kenney's business sense overrule him and provide an eight-year sentence to the organization with its obligation to Soriano.
It was pointed out on Twitter that then president John McDonough took responsibility for the extra years on Soriano's contract, which Ringolsby acknowledges, but also claims to "trust his sources".
- In the same link as the Aramis article, prospect Dillon Maples says Hendry was a big reason for him signing.
- Yet another prospective GM list, this time from Tim Brown at Yahoo.
- The Astros put Wandy Rodriguez on waivers and he was claimed. Doubtful it's the Cubs with a captainless ship at the moment, but I wouldn't have minded adding him(it's not, it's the Rockies). He's owed just $10M next year, $13M in 2013 and a $13M team option in 2014 with a $2.5M buyout. He's put up ERA numbers of 3.54, 3.02, 3.60, 3.31 since 2008 and will be 33 next year.
- Andrew Cashner has a rehab outing for the Tennessee Smokies tonight, allegedly can be watched for free on MILB.tv.
- Speaking of the Smokies, Eric Jokisch in his second start since being promoted from Peoria went 6 innings, struck out 10 against 2 walks and 3 hits, while giving up just a run. Vitters went 3/3 with a double in the same game. Brett Jackson keeps going with a 2/4 night for Iowa. Zeke DeVoss went 4/6 for Boise with a double.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.