It's day 8 of Theo Hostage Watch...I hear he's doing as well as can be expected. The Red Sox have taken his cell phone away and all other lines of communication and they have him bordered up in his office on Yawkey Way. He is allowed to speak to his wife and children through closely monitored Skype chats. Once the Red Sox receive their terrorist demands, he's been assured of being released. Stay tuned...
Most of this has been covered in the comments, but time for a new thread.
- Peter Gammons reminds us he's a Red Sox fan by going on WEEI radio and regurgutating this line of B.S.
“This thing with the Cubs, they don’t actually have anyone negotiating that actually has been in development, so they don’t know the players the Red Sox talk about,” Gammons said. “They have the CEO of business, and the assistant general mnager, who wasn’t actually involved in the farm system. So, it’s been a difficult negotiation. And frankly, I think everyone involved knows the Cubs are a bottom-three farm system. Trey McNutt would be Red Sox prospect [No.] 25. For the Cubs to act like they’re giving up the next Billy Williams is kind of absurd."
If that's the way McNutt is thought of by the Red Sox, they should be happy not to get him. Anyway, Baseball America's Jim Callis says the Cubs organization is closer to the middle of the pack and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus "respectfully disagrees" with Gammons assessment regarding McNutt's ranking if he was traded.
- Speaking of McNutt, nice article at fangraphs with video on him and saying he'd instantly become the Red Sox highest upside pitcher in the upper levels.
- Paul Sullivan name dropped Trey McNutt and Chris Carpenter as players of interest for the Red Sox. It's a steep price and I certainly hope they can get away with a lesser prospect for one of them. I also hope Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols signs with the Cubs for 5/75M, but normally you got to pay something to get something. And I'm certainly in the camp that bringing Theo Epstein and his pals is worth that price for a couple of arm injuries waiting to happen.
- Growing consensus seems to be that Theo will be named president of baseball operations and will ultimately hire a GM to deal with the day-to-day grind, with Padres GM Jed Hoyer or his assistant Josh Byrnes (both former Red Sox employees) as the frontrunners. Levine says the relationship between Padres owner Jeff Moorad and Ricketts is pretty good and compensation for Hoyer would be less of an issue than with the Red Sox if that comes to fruition.
I will say that little nugget makes me think that the Cubs could indeed walk away from the negotiations with the Red Sox (yes, this is a change of opinions from what I originally argued in the comments). While I still believe not sealing the deal for Theo would look bad for the Cubs and the press would have a field day with it. If he's just going to take the president title and hire a GM anyway, the Cubs can just go about the process of hiring Josh Byrnes and Jed Hoyer as the GM and hire Theo next offseason when his contract runs out. At least they wouldn't waste a year rebuilding that way as presumably Hoyer or Byrnes run similar organizations and would make similar decisions. Hell they can call Theo up and use morse code to see if he agrees. Not like the Red Sox would want him working for them next year, they'd probably pay him $7M to sit on his ass for a season to make a point. There is the substantial risk that Theo changes his mind over the next year and doesn't take the president's job, so it's not something I advise, but it's a card the Cubs can try and play. Although the tampering accusations on that whole scenario would probably be a mess.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.