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.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
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.