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 know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.