Cubs Send Some Talent to Arizona Fall League
According to a Paul Sullivan tweet, the Cubs will send Andrew Cashner, Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter, D.J. LeMahieu and Junior Lake to play for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. Bruce Miles adds that P Jeffrey Beliveau will be added to the taxi squad meaing he's only eligible to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays. That seems to be one of the better crews of talent they've sent to Arizona over the years.
This is the second year in a row that Jackson and Carpenter were sent out to play. It's also Cashner's second go-round, although not in successive years, his first visit being after the 2009 season.
You can check historical Arizona Fall League rosters over at Wiklifieid.
While not set in stone, I assume this means Brett Jackson will not get a September call-up and I'll tell you why I'm okay with that after the jump.
First, calling Jackson up means putting him on the 40-man roster, which in and of itself is no big deal because there's plenty of dead weight there. On the other hand, there's some good reason not to do it if you don't have to quite yet and Jackson does not need to be protected this offseason from the Rule 5 draft. On the other hand, there are plenty that do and the new gonna-be-totally-awesome-GM-that-does-everything-I-want-them-to-do might appreciate the roster flexibility with the Rule 5 and possibly signing some free agents.
If that were the only reason, I'd certainly be saying fuck it, let's see what Jackson can do over a month against some major league pitchers. But, we all know Q-Ball is managing to save his job or at least set himself up for another job and that means there's no way he'd trot Jackson out there every day or close to every day. Maybe he'd do it at the expense of Colvin, but certainly not at the expense of the precious veterans that he owes his job too.
Finally, there's some considerations about starting his service time clock for arbitration and free agency. It's not as a big a concern for the Cubs deep pockets, compared to let's say the Rays, but something to consider. Jackson will be playing his age 23 season next year and normal aging patterns say his best years are gonna be 26-30 (different studies, different bell curves, but 26-32 is about a big a stretch as you want to go). So if you're under the predisposition that the Cubs will suck next season(I am not one of those people) and are probably 2-3 years away from being a serious contender, isn't it smart to ensure that one of the better prospects on the team is gonna be around for those years and at the most advantageous cost to the team? Which means Jackson's call-up really shouldn't be any sooner than May or June of next year, presuming he's still hitting the crap out of the ball next season. I don't think the Cubs will learn much about Jackson those first two months that they won't learn the last four.
Food for thought...
Also a good time to bring up my thoughts on Bryan LaHair. He'll most certainly get called up once the AAA season ends and he's named PCL MVP. There's seems to be a swell of support to let him play 1b and bench Pena (or preferably trade him when they had the chance). And if they had moved Pena, that certainly would be my preference. But they didn't, and now I have to think that letting Pena play and likely maintain Type B status on the free agent market may be more valuable. Last time MLBTR put out their reverse-engineered Elias rankings, Pena was near the bottom of Type B status and he'll need to finish out the season at his current levels in all iikelihood to stay there. I don't know if the aforementioned gonna-be-totally-awesome-GM-that-does-everything-I-want-them-to-do will actually offer Pena arbitration, but I assume he or she wouldn't mind having the option. Sucks for LaHair and I'll eat a healthy plate of crow if he ever amounts to anything in the majors, but that probably is the best option for the Cubs organization going forward.
I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.
Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.
I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.
Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.
Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.
South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.
Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.
Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.
The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.
Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.
HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.
However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.
E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader.
PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?
Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.
Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.
Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.
so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.
paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.
Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!
Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.
jeebus... that's terrible.