Cubs Land Stewart, Weathers From Rockies

The long rumored deal to nab Ian Stewart from the Rockies went down last night, and the Cubs also received pitcher Casey Weathers in the deal. The cost? Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu.

To the analysis...

Ian Stewart was dreadful last year, absolutely dreadful to the tune of a .465 OPS in 136 PA's  that Colvin even managed to beat (.509 in 222 PA's).  He did put up a .950 OPS in AAA though and suffered through a wrist injury which may or may not explain the massive drop-off in his numbers. Even when healthy, he managed just a career .782 OPS (96 OPS+ in 1282 PA's) before last season, so he's hardly making anyone hold off to a trip to the concession stand when he reaches the plate.

But obviously the Cubs are counting on a bounce back season and he was quite the prospect back in the day, as high as #4 in all of baseball in 2005. Defensively, he's best at third base, although the Rockies have tried him at 2B, LF and RF. If you buy the defensive numbers, he seems to grade slightly above average at 3b. Hoyer claims he's "gifted" as a third basemen and Jim Tracy compared him to Adrian Beltre in a good way. High praise indeed...

Stewart is arbitration eligible and earned $2.2M last year and hard to imagine it won't stay the same or go down after his poor 2011 season. AZ Phil says he has one option year left, but would need to go through Optional Assignment Waivers (scroll way down for the explanation) to be sent to the minors. Hoyer says he's expected to be the starting third basemen, although you have to believe they'll keep at least Jeff Baker around as a platoon partner just in case.

Casey Weathers was the Rockies #6 prospect in 2008 and 2009 according to Baseball America. A closer-type that can throw in the upper 90's, he had Tommy John surgery that cost him his 2009 season and has pretty much struggled with his control ever since.

"Since (the surgery) he's struggled with his command," Hoyer said. "His velocity is still in the upper 90s. He has a great arm. We hope a change of scenery will help him as well."

According to AZ Phil, he has 2 minor league options left.

Overall, I like the deal, but I've always liked Stewart. Probably because I had him in a fantasy league those 2 awesome months he had his rookie year in 2008 where he had 35 RBI's over a month and a half and an OPS near in the 1.000 range. The negatives are kind of obvious so I will go over them briefly, he's coming off a abysmal season, wasn't all that great to start with, strikes out a ton which will always suppress his batting average and keep his OBP down. As for the positives, he'll be playing his age 27 season next year, about the time you expect a player to have his best seasons, seems to be able to handle himself defensively and he certainly fits the style of offense that Jed-Stein know how to put together. Just like David DeJesus, he averages seeing around 4 pitcher per plate appearance and is certainly not adverse to taking a walk.

As for Weathers, obviously it's all upside with his arm, just a matter of finding out if he can ever get some control back. I'm a bit skeptical considering how far out he is from his surgery.

Colvin for Stewart seemed like a perfectly fair trade to me, Colvin is a year younger and cheaper at the moment, but Stewart isn't really costing the Cubs much in the grand scheme of things, plays a position the Cubs need more of and most importantly, fits the style of offense that Jed-Stein are trying to put together, far more than Colvin. Losing LeMahieu was a bit of a surprise, I probably prefer to give him a shot at 2B or a utility spot over Darwin Barney, but overall I'm not a huge fan of his and never really expected much more than him being a bench player. If you evaluate the trade by terms of ceiling, the Cubs certainly got the better end of the deal and you hope their scouts are seeing something that the numbers aren't bearing out. But it's certainly a risky deal, if Colvin finds his 2010 groove and/or LeMahieu does develop his power, the Cubs could have given up two solid starters while there's the possibility that Stewart and Weathers don't do anything in the majors.

Let's hope Jed-Stein are as smart as advertised.

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Comments

I don't know if it's going to be EpHoy, Hoy-Stein, Jed-Stein, or an as-unyet-introduced variation, but one thing's for sure: The rest of the Cubs www will eventually be on TCR's nuts, once the local meta pronounces.

I disagree with the breakdown of the value exchanged, but I always appreciate your perspective, Rob G.

I prefer The Jed.

Ohhh, I like that a lot. +1 for The Jed

I vote for Jedstein. It sounds like Epstein.

My submission is.....

Steiner

takes a bow

my try at it is "EERIE PYTHONS" which is an anagram of Epstein Hoyer...

What have the EERIE PYTHONS done with my Cubs?!

Going with my early adoption of HoyStein.

I like to call them drinking buddies!

Jed-n-stein

I like that too.

why is Jason Mcleod getting no love with these names?

Colvin for Stewart made some sense straight up.

LeMahieu for Weathers makes no sense to me. The Cubs need position player prospects, not more relief prospects with no command--the system is pretty stocked up in that area.

So the Cubs lose LeMahieu, Flaherty, and Marwin Gonzalez all in the same day. That leaves Junior Lake and Josh Vitters as the only even vaguely interesting upper level 2B and 3B prospects, doesn't it? Hopefully Flaherty and Gonzalez find their ways off of the 25-man rosters before the end of the season.

If you evaluate the trade by terms of ceiling, the Cubs certainly got the better end of the deal...

Appreciate the analysis, but don't really agree with this.

Colvin was a first rounder, and the 13th pick in the '06 draft.

In his "best" year (he has only played 3 seasons - and season 1 & 3 combined he only had 242 PA's) he had an OPS of .816.

Better than Stewart's "best" of 2008 - the year ROB G got the chubby started.

I had thought all along that Colvin had just gotten started. I was looking forward to see what The Sveum could have done with him. What did they have to lose with this team not going anywhere?

Since they both are going to obviously be strike-out personas, I believe that Colvin will hit for more power. Stewart just plan sucks.

We would have gotten more from a DeWitt/Baker combo than this guy.

DJ will be another utility guy that will have success in the majors - no All Star, but he will have a nice career, imo.

With respect to Weathers, as has been said, since his TJ was two years ago, he has not progressed much - and he still cannot find the plate. We have a closer like that already.

Just a blech trade. I hope I am wrong, and will admit as such - but I don't think I will be.

Stewart was the #57, #4, #16, #46, and #38 prospect in all of baseball coming up, Colvin's highest was #75, I think he may have jumped into the top 50 before 2010 had they seen him after Camp Colvin.

Obviously Stewart's been in the majors a little longer, so we know more about his warts than Colvin. But I think Colvin has plenty of them. Hard to deny that Stewart fits the "grind out at-bats" style that JedStein wants far more than Colvin or LeMahieu. Defense is still pretty subjective, but reports and numbers seem rather positive.

But I certainly understand why people aren't thrilled with the deal. I don't mind it myself. It's not gonna hamper the team in anyway and they didn't give away any All-Stars. Worst case they gave up 2 regulars for 2 nobodies, best case they get 2 slightly above average players for 2 nobodies, chances are it ends up somewhere in between.

This trade is crap with upside for crap with upside. Not getting why the angst.

It's actually crap with upside and $2 million for crap with upside. If the salaries washed out it would make a little more sense.

I don't know about the defense, but you've got two converted shortstops in Flaherty and LeMayWho so I would assume that their defensive chops will be roughly comparable to Stewarts. Why not just platoon those guys?

Since when does 2 million matter in Wrigley? That's somewhere between Koyie Hill and Neifi Perez money.

Introducing your 3B..Koyie Perez....

I'll go ahead and bet any TCR'er 20 Bucks that Ian Stewart out WAR's either guy the Cubs gave up in this deal.

Who wants that action?

Not sure if WAR is fair statistic to use since playing time is a large component of it.

If Stewart is as awful as people are saying then he won't be playing long.

Wager is out there if anyone wants in?

Because the Cubs will replace him with ????

Jeff Baker, Josh Vitters, Starlin Castro, mid-season deal target X?

D.J.... uh, no, wait, ummmmm, Flah--- ooops, no. Never mind.

Marquez Smith is still around, isn't he? I still don't hate him for some reason.

Vitters could be up in an emergency and Lake can play 3B, probably a lot better than SS.

So this is in the case that Stewart turns out to be worse than Vitters or Lake probably would be at the MLB level right now? That seems like a pretty low bar. Seems more likely to me that if Stewart bombs, we're looking at an infield of Baker/DeWitt, Castro, Barney, and LaHair. It'd be nice to have one or two of those people on the bench or in the minors.

Since when does 2 million matter in Wrigley?

Since two days ago when it was reported the Cubs don't have the cash to afford Fielder.

The Cubs have the cash to get Fielder. It's just a matter of willingness on their part to spend it.

I'm not opposed to trying to work out a Soriano for Adam Dunn trade if the Fielder thing doesn't materialize.

Fair chance that a return to the NL and being in the field every day can help him rebound.

Y'know, I hadn't thought of that, (no, that's not sarcasm), that's actually pretty fucking genius. How much is washed up Dunn making again? Hell, compare what he hit last yr with what Sori hit and the sux might even throw in a buck or two....

*ducks

Wasn't it Peter Gammons that reported that? Let's not get all worked up over something Peter Gammons reported.

It was a tweet that had no real context or follow-up (at least that I saw). But by all means, let's think that spending $2 million in this Stewart deal means they can't afford to spend money on Fielder or any other free agent.

whatever Peter Gammons tweets is soon cast in stone and preserved in the Smithsonian for all to bear witness. It is then amended into the Constitution with holidays and town parades planned where people celebrate the word of Gammons. The Supreme Court judges all cases in accordance to the law of Gammons tweets.

Gammons...is soon cast in stone and preserved in the Smithsonian
---
not to mention that his poop has a slightly sweet floral fragrance and if you put your ear close you can hear the turd humming Neil Diamond's version of "Sweet" Caroline

Bah bah baaaaaahhhh

Somehow that Gammons tweet about Fielder had to come back around to being about the Red Sox.

I was really much more mystified by the draft moves: adding a recently converted SS whose last exposure was in rookie ball to the 40 man, and the drafting/deportation of the triple A guy.

Just shows a lack of preparation. It's not like the Cubs didn't have room on their 40 man for the two guys they lost, so they had leverage to get more than $50K for them.

Ephoy is off to a really poor start.

Agreed. You'd have thought that Theo and Jed, with their extensive knowledge of the BoSox and Padres' farm systems, could have come up wtih something better than this.

Looks like Monday's non-tender deadline is the next date for more bargain shopping...

perfect summary

There are no winners here, except maybe the players themselves with new opportunities in new locations. No team benefits greatly from this deal, but the former brightness of the names involved gives the trade more attention than it probably deserves

Is it wrong-headed to include the loss of Flaherty and Gonzalez in the deal, though? If that's the case, then it's a pretty clear L flying over Wrigley for 12/8/11.

yes?

I don't think anything had to with the other. Some folks didn't really like Flaherty or Gonzalez in the organization and weren't worried about losing them or don't think they'll stick. I disagree about Flaherty for sure, but I could be wrong.

Some folks in the organization really like Stewart and probably Weathers, only time will tell if they're right or wrong. It feels like they gave up a little too much putting LeMahieu in the deal at the moment, but the guys making the trades have about 450% more information than any of us on the people involved.

Like the Dejesus deal, in a vacuum, it's a whole lot of meh, we'll see what else comes.

and most fans always overestimate their own teams prospects, so whatever ends up on this board, is usually about 2 levels better than they actually are.

"and most fans always overestimate their own teams prospects, so whatever ends up on this board, is usually about 2 levels better than they actually are."

Oh, I don't know. I haven't seen a lot of LeMahieu love on this board apart from myself and AzPhil.

I think I rated LeM about as high as the Rockies did, and Flaherty as high as the O's did, and Gonzalez as much as the Astros. Actually, the Astros liked him more, since they said he was a better-than-average shortstop, which I hadn't heard.

A year ago, I thought LeMahieu would be the 2B in 2012, but then Barney came along and played in 143 games and pushed DJ over to a position where his lack of pop would be more of an issue.

So I'm not heartbroken about the ones that got away, and I'll give Jed/Theo a mulligan, since they're new here. Hoyer indicated the other day that it's the other teams who let you know who your good players are.

"You notice who gets asked about a lot, who teams covet," Hoyer said. "I think that is important for new people coming in to see that."

I expect Hoyer and Epstein to draw the right inference from the lack of interest in DeWitt, Baker, Soriano, Coleman, Hill and others whose names might not have come up this week.

Is it wrong-headed to include the loss of Flaherty and Gonzalez in the deal

Considering they didn't lose Flaherty and Gonzalez in the deal, I would say yes.

I guess I am able to look at the big picture a little more easily than some.

There is a difference between evaluating a trade and evaluating an off-season.

It is reasonable to say that the Cubs "lost" yesterday overall. It is not very reasonable to say that the Cubs lost the Stewart trade because they also lost Flaherty and Gonzalez on the same day in completely unrelated transactions.

fwiw, the current depth chart as far as I can tell and the offseason isn't over...

2B - Barney/DeWitt/Baker/
SS - Castro/Barney/Lake
3B - Stewart/Baker/DeWitt/Smith/Vitters/Lake

Samson and Mota probably in there somewhere

There's a cheap veteran SS glove guy out there somewhere, a Ramon Martinez type, waiting to get paid $3m to back up SS/3B. Don't know who, but your chart tells me that's our next move after signing a recently-recovering SP....

*edit Maybe Lake becomes that guy, but we'll need some more 'presence' in the clubhouse, esp if Pena doesn't re-sign...

I've got a left handed hitting third basemen, who shows some good power potential, and the ability to take walks, but strikes out at a fairly healthy clip.

Who do I have? Can you think of any organization who let one of those go for $50K, and brought another one in for $2.2 million?

The Cards lost a RH hitting Power Bat from the middle of the order yesterday. Maybe they can get Alfonso Soriano from us to fill that exact same void?

That's because you're operating on a different plane that a lot of the others on here. They're all on a plane with Ian Stewart, making mistakes so he can't hit 'em. Your plane is more like a big ol' jet airliner!

it's funny til you actually watch him swing a bat and realize he's a cub...a cub starter.

check out how he handles inside pitching (aka, not at all)

check out how far he'll offer at a pitch outside the plate (and you think soriano is bad)

check out how much he brings the exact same swing through the zone no matter where the ball is on a horizontal plane (wussup jason dubois)

or you can sit around and pretend AAAA hitters are only 28-32 years old.

Please tell me you copied and pasted this.

it's a summation of a real issue rather than some guy on TCR who doesn't play for the cubs.

welcome to The Crunch Reporter.

Check It Out, the Rockies took care of that last year when they moved Stewart a foot further away from the plate...

LOFL

they also changed his hands...in yet another attempt to find a swing that works.

he no longer looks like an idiot with his hands 5 miles behind his head at the top of his batting helmet...loading up his burnitz swing...

unfortunately, him bringing his hands down to shoulder level did nothing for his swing except speeding it up...and bat speed isn't his problem. i dunno if he's abandoned that like adjustments past yet, though.

Well if last year was the result, hopefully he does.

You make it sound like he's a total guess hitter at the plate.

during one his minors reassignments they tried out lowering his hands.

they've done a lot of stuff with the guy...don baylor had his shot and carney lansford's shot has been almost worse. he's also been tweaked in AAA on return trips other than the one last year where they changed his hand position.

he's got the bat speed, but he seems lost at the plate. his swing + not doing anything with inside pitching is choi-annoying enough...but his love of swinging at outside pitching is just odd.

the cubs should get j.burtnitz to coach him for a month...they both love to drag the bat through the zone at a near 45 degree angle (not that extreme, but whatever).

D. J. LeMahieu came up to the big leagues this past season after spending only one full season in the minor leagues. He just turned 23 this past July, and he has finally found a home at 3B. He was 2nd in the AFL in stolen bases, and he showed improved patience at the plate, too.

The HR power hasn't shown up (yet), but there is time for that to develop. And even if it doesn't, at the very least LeMahieu projects as a better version of Jeff Baker or Wes Helms. His ceiling is probably something like Kevin Seitzer, but the Cubs gave up on him before finding that out for sure.

I think the new regime may have fallen into the same trap Hendry fell into after the 2008 season, when he decided the Cubs needed to "get more left-handed."

I would not have traded LeMahieu even-up for Stewart, and the Colvin for Weathers part of the deal doesn't make it any sweeter. Colvin straight-up for Stewart or Colvin & DeWitt for Stewart & Weathers, maybe.

Agreed, and duly noted. Thanks, PHIL

Kevin Seitzer 2 time all star .887 career Minor League OPS. What has DJ shown at ANY level that would indicate that kind of skill set? He didn't put up Kevin Seitzer numbers in COLLEGE for Chrissakes.

That is like saying Ronny Cedeno's ceiling is Derek Jeter.

OK, he's like Kevin Seitzer without the walks.

23 YO Seitzer in about half a year of Southern League. .855 OPS
22 YO LeMahieu in about half a year of Souther League .878 OPS

Is it really a stretch to think that those guys are on similar career paths? Let's see what his minor league OPS is after a year in HomerLand (aka Colorado Springs).

Kevin Seitzer went .323/.440/.448 the next season.

I'll eat my hat if LeMahieu does that at any level other than Indy Ball over an extended stretch. You've said it yourself that his hot average showing in 1/2 season at AA was the result of an otherworldly BABIP.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a case of Hoyer and Epstein selling high on a player who had no business getting to Chicago last season. And his showing in AAA bears that out.

I said that he shouldn't have been promoted over Flaherty, not that he was a crap prospect.

Until he adds some power to his game, he's at best a secon divisional starter. That doesn't preclude him from adding power to his game. The guy's 6'4", the power may well come.

"Selling high" perhaps in the sense that they may have sold him at a time when he looked his best.

But not "selling high" in the sense of selling him at the value of that appearance.

Selling him as a big enough prospect to gain their starting 3rd baseman in 2012.

I'd say chances are at least 50/50 that his value is much lower in 12 months. Just like Colvin's value is much lower now than at this time last year.

Selling him as worth either Ian Stewart or Casey Weathers pretty much straight up.

"OK, he's like Kevin Seitzer without the walks."

We should probably pick a different comp, then. Maybe someone that got a similar OPS through a similar skillset.

I am not a DeJesus or Stewart fan, and I don't think these are fantastic, impressive moves, but I am happy about two things. First, the quotes surrounding these deals suggest a plan. They want a balanced left-right lineup, players who can take pitches and take walks, players that play good defense, and they wanted these guys to be young and cheap. I like the idea that they have a larger strategic vision.

Second, there has been a lot of criticism about them not valuing existing Cubs prospects enough. It's just as likely that we and Arizona Phil overvalue them. It is far more likely that these guys end up like Cedeno and Pie than Seitzer or whatever. Part of me is happy to see that they are perhaps not afraid to unload them before they become useless and we get pennies on the dollar for them.

In the end, we all want this organization transformed, and I think remaking it will take 25-30 moves over 2-3 years, of which these are just the first two. So I am going to see how it develops. Maybe DeJesus and Stewart become the Cubs' versions of Trot Nixon, Bill Mueller, and Mark Bellhorn.

Trot Nixon was a Red Sox draftee, and if memory serves a top 8 pick.

It is far more likely that these guys end up like Cedeno and Pie than Seitzer or whatever.

That feels a whole lot like cherry picking. I think we just traded the next Castro and Soto.

MLB regular players for pre-arbitration prices are nice to have. Maybe it takes 3 guys who perform well at AA to turn into one of them, but that doesn't mean you should just flush your system of every guy you have because you didn't draft him.

Ian Stewart is essentially Corey Patterson.... who trades anything for Corey Patterson?

Which Corey Patterson? The 2000-2004 version had tons of trade value.

The 2005 version... oh shit, he out hit Stewart too. He was even more highly ranked (twice) than Stewart was when he was in the low minors.

I made no claim about how they acquired Trot Nixon. All I am saying is look at the 2004 Red Sox and you see Bellhorn, Millar, Mueller, Nixon, Kapler, etc. None of those guys are great. But they are veterans who got on base well, provided good l-r balance, etc. In other words, they are not trading for Stewart for Stewart to be Manny or Ortiz or Ellsbury. They expect Stewart to be one of those types of complementary guys. So I am willing to wait and see how all of these pieces come together in a few years.

Also, the Cubs have had hundreds of prospects over the past few years, almost all of whom have sucked. I picked two of those that sucked as examples. You picked the two best, the rare ones who made it. That sounds a lot like cherry-picking to me.

The real shame in this is that Ricketts didn't open up the GM search to all the qualified candidates.

i'm still waiting on them to do "something"...2 months to do something...

i don't really want to spend 2012 looking forward to 2013 when the 2013 FA market looks like a bunch crap outside of a few OF'rs and some pitchers.

cubs still have more talent to give up to BOS and SD to pay for what we've received so far.

The real shame is how much we're overreacting to this. I'm not sure how I feel about this trade overall but Colvin and LeMahieu were going to do nothing for the Cubs.

Exactly!

When you attempt to use sarcasm, you want to start with an obviously false statement.

Thanks for that comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you're a little lacking on your exclamation points today, JD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know what these new suits are doing and neither do they. This is the not the last straw for me, but it might be the 3rd or 2nd. This whole situation reminds me of the time Lane Kiffin took over at Tennessee. These new suits are just spitting on the cubs minor league tradition without even doing their homework(probably)! Do your homework, Jed! Theo's off the hook because he got a note from his mom. Your butt is cut, though, Jed.

Your butt.

Is cut.

Your close-to-the-last straw is giving up Colvin and LaMahieu. Think about that.

You don't know how many straws I have! I might've gotten the value pack. There's just no way to know at this point.

cubs minor league tradition

LOL

some Carlos Pena to the Cards buzz on Rotoworld

- Matt Moore signs 5/14M deal with Rays
- LeMahieu to get shot at 2B starting job in spring training
- Reds targeting James Shields
- Marlins claim offer was a little north of $200M for Pujols rather than the $275 reported.
- Angels prefer to move Abreu if they move anyone.

//He did put up a .950 OPS in AAA though and suffered through a wrist injury which may or may not explain the massive drop-off in his numbers. //

This begs the question, How long does it take for a wrist injury to heal?! Stewart injured his twice in 2005 (he had a very good year that year by the way) and ever since when he has an off year it's blamed on a "wrist injury."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>Denver Post - Aug 12, 2007
Ian Stewart, a 22-year-old wunderkind with jaw-dropping power, made his major- league debut ... but a nagging wrist injury slowed his progress down in 2006. ...

>>Is Ian Stewart Back? - Colorado Rockies Farm report April 15, 2008
//I keep looking back to the slide into second that cut short Stewart's Arizona Fall League stint in 2005 as the downward turning point in his career. MRIs said there wasn't much damage, but the numbers showed a pretty dramatic decline from that point forward. Not until late last season did I see signs things were turning around.

Let me explain why this may have been an issue even if he never complained of further discomfort. One side effect of an injured wrist for hitters is that though the pain might completely dissipate, lingering weakness in one wrist will throw the timing of the rest of a player's swing out of whack. Stewart seems to be a classic case.//

http://blogs.rockymountainnews.com/rockies_fa...

>>August 23, 2011
Tweet //@TroyRenck Troy Renck, Rockies
Finally Ian Stewart's wrist still bothering him after BP last night. He's been shut down.
24 Aug via TweetDeck //

Thanks for that NAV.

Hoyer stated in an interview that Stewart was flown to Chicago Tuesday for a "wrist check" by the Docs.

If CUBSTER didn't perform the eval, perhaps HoyStein has their own guy they moved with them from Boston?

Sean Gallagher signs minor league deal with Reds, Robert Coello with Blue Jays.

What about Zambrano for K-Rod even up? Think the Brewers would be interested in that, or they'd want a boat load of cash too?

KRod is a Free Agent

he accepted arbitration somewhat surprisingly, they're trying to deal him now and save some cash.

Trade makes some sense, Cubs need Z more than K-Rod though for 2012. But if getting rid of Z is the priority, than that could be a possibility.

I suppose that makes sense. However Z is probably the 3rd starter right now ahead of Wells and Casey Coleman. So having a durable headcase who is pitching for his next contract can't be a bad thing IMHO.

I wouldn't be shocked at all to see Carlos revert to a 15 win 3.50 ERA, 210 IP form this year.

I wouldn't be shocked either, but we could use a reliable closer too, so it's not like we wouldn't receive any benifit, plus it would free up maybe $5 million for Kotchman.

Beating up Michael Barrett > Beating up your father-in-law

Remember, it was Barrett getting punched in the face that turned the '07 team around! We may have won a play off game if a father in law was punched.

Where is Bruce Jenner when we REALLY need him?

for the reasonable folks curious about Flaherty, he did have 25 errors in 102 games at 3b so far. I'm sure he could be good enough eventually, but sounds like a work in progress. BA has always been down on his defense in general.

We still have Blake DeWitt out there if need be. His glove is better than Flaherty and his bat is better than LeMays.

not sure about the second part of that statement, but he's still here for now. Him and Baker could be non-tenders for all I know, although I do believe Red Sox had some interest in Baker last year, so I presume he stays.

"We still have Blake DeWitt out there if need be. His glove is better than Flaherty and his bat is better than LeMays."

For some reason, Colorado didn't want DeWitt.

Who do you think starts more major-league games beginning today, LeMahieu or DeWitt? I'll wager you, but either way, I'll remember your answer. The same goes for Flaherty-DeWitt and, for that matter, Marwin Gonzalez-DeWitt.

LeMahieu might see a season as a 2nd division starter. So If I were to guess the ranking of who see's the most career starts going forward it would be.

1. LeMahieu with less than 400
2. DeWitt with probably 200-250
3. Flaherty with probably 100 starts
4. Gonzalez with maybe 25-30 starts career

Thanks for taking a stab. I'm going to rank them LeMahieu, Gonzalez, Flaherty and DeWitt. LeMahieu and Gonzalez are two-way players who should have nice careers at second and short, respectively. (For the Gonzalez prediction, I'm relying on the Astro scout(s) who said he was a better-than average defender.) Flaherty may be defensively challenged--that's what I keep reading on TCR--but he has played a fair amount of SS in the minors and a lot of second base, whereas DeWitt was a third baseman who gradually got pushed over to second, I suspect as his hitting promise faded. Flaherty's future is probably at second.

With their gloves, Baker and DeWitt don't really belong on an Epstein-approved roster, so I wonder where DeWitt is going to get his next 200 starts.

Gonzalez is the best shortstop in the Astros organization, so unless he is hitting like .075 on May 2nd, he's a breeze to blow by that projection.

I'll take the under on Stewart with 400 more starts for his career. He's one more weak season from never being given a chance again. A good over/under on him is probably 200.

Adrian Beltre had 80 errors in 310 minor league games. Not sure there's a real strong correlation there.

the correlation is that no one really cares for his defense in general...

Flaherty split time between three positions in 2009, but scouts project him as a second baseman in the end. He has neither the range nor the arm for the left side of the infield.

Rob this is 2011. Ian Stewart isn't a top 10 prospect anymore, by the way.

you showed me...

Matt Garza is a #3 starter too.

And Tyler Colvin doesn't have a good enough BB/K ratio to take major league pitchers deep 20 times in less than 400 PA's... what a tool. Seriously, just fucking retire. Be a dick head, but at least be man enough to admit it when you're fucking wrong. What a fucking pussy.

Now, let's pretend you had a fucking clue, and analyze your (drunken?) statements for them at face value.

"the correlation is that no one really cares for his defense in general..."

If "no one" cares for his defense, why are they pushing Gonzalez and Vitters off of the left side of the infield to give him starts?

Why? Because you're a fucking dipshit, who never admits that he may, on occasion, spew some bullshit.

Why is he rationing his BB/K? What a dick a head!

Edit:Looks like you edited that shit from your incoherent rant. Maybe you might want to call Z to get his doctors phone number. You need anger management in the worst possible way.

I hear Lance Berkman is done.

Don't recall making that argument about Colvin.

I think I'm relatively humble compared to the rest of the Internet and I certainly don't have a problem admitting when I'm wrong, especially in comparison to the rest of the Internet.

But congrats on being the first person I've banned in 4 years.

Really!!!!!! We should have a party.

does anyone in this particular part of this thread want to know my opinion on ian stewart?

Do you know anything about his swing?

Wasn't there something about a plane... or being worse than Soriano?

Congrats, and thank you ROB G.

Wow! He's had a pretty long leash for some time, but that last one really took the cake.

[Edit] Has it really been 4 years since Silent Towel?

Ahh, Silent Towel.....a moment of silence for ST. (pauses 1 second) OK, thank you.

That was a 'little' over the top for even TRN. Must have been the refried beans at his favorite Houston restaurant.

Oh well, nothing to see folks, move along.

There was somebody else before Silent Towel. Cubfan i think. the oldies should know...

Did this really just happen? Awesome.

I admit to doing my share of egging him on, but this is still awesome.

And who goes after Rob like that?

i think JD does too, but it's more of sexual innuendo and stuff

You don't have to go home...

"but at least be man enough to admit it when you're fucking wrong."

Pot meet kettle.

This banning is the best move of the Cubs' off-season so far...

Q&A

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

looks like he had elbow surgery in 2010 and missed the season, looks like was just on the outside of the Royals Top 10 prospects before then.

Interesting grab. Walks a ton with an OBP about 50-60 points above his BA regularly. He runs well and steals at a 78% rate. Doesn't ground into DPs. Plays SS and 2B. Potential upside, no real downside to the move. A meh move overall, but will be interesting to watch.

Marwin Gonzalez vs. Jeff Bianchi?

"Celebrity" Death match

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/majors/t...

cherry picking quotes...

With his upper-cutting lefty swing, Stewart strikes out too much to hit for steady average (.236 in 1,242 career big league at-bats), but he gives you everything else you want from a starting third baseman: above-average power, steady defense and a strong arm. Even with a lost 2011 season, Stewart has the ninth-highest isolated power (.193) among third basemen since 2008, and he's in the same neighborhood as David Wright, Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Zimmerman.

Weathers has the stuff to be a late-inning reliever in the majors. He has toned down his high leg kick, but Weathers faces a crucial season in 2012 to determine whether he's a big league contributor or just an eternal puzzle.

Colvin has been an extreme flyball hitter during the past two seasons (42 percent, according to FanGraphs), and no park favors flyball hitters with juice more than Coors Field—see: Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Seth Smith and Chris Iannetta, whom the Rockies traded last week after never fully committing to him as starter.

He rarely turns on balls and drives them for power, with his five homers in 2011 representing a career high. His proponents believe he'll develop into a 40-double/15-homer threat once he does a better job of recognizing which pitches he can drive, but most scouts see him as a singles hitter who doesn't provide enough beyond his batting average. LeMahieu's lack of pop wouldn't matter as much if he could stick in the middle infield, where he has spent much of his pro career, but his fringy speed and quickness don't fit at second base or shortstop. His best position is third base, where his soft hands and solid arm make him an average defender.

digging into why he K's too much...

it is alarming how much he doesn't offer at inside pitching much less doesn't hit it...especially with his swing. the guy cannot see or chooses to do nothing with inside pitching. ...and if he can see inside pitching and chooses not to do anything with it...wtf is with him swinging at all this crap that's inches off the plate outside?

when he stepped back in the box it didn't help and he'd even stretch to attempt to swing at the outside pitching.

you can pound this guy inside and outside for strikes...just don't make a mistake in the zone.

If I were pitching to Stewart, I'd just throw him mistakes. Because, the thing is...

...

...

he can't hit 'em.

Ok, I'm done, crunch. After making about 4 comments total the past 3 years or so, I get in here today and act like a jerk to ya all day long. To make it up, I offer you Madison Bumgarner and all you have to give me back is that Cruz dude. Tis the season, after all.

it's all about me...soak it up, guy.

Seems odd that they point to Colorado favoring fly ball hitters in the Colvin bit, but neglect to point out how that would help Stewart when comparing him to guys who played their home games in noted pitchers parks.

Since we're determined to get left handed again, I sure hope Wrigley plays more like we think it did last year than it has historically.

coloardo got rid of a guy who plays a position they need (3rd) with no replacement...unless chris nelson is supposed to slot in...in order to get yet another utility IF'r and an OF'r that will most likely start the year on the bench if he breaks with the club at all (they're flush in mlb-ready bench OFs and all 3 starting spots).

i like the fact they didn't spend much in prospects and won't spend much in money, but the faith the cubs have in i.stewart beyond his glove to be a starter...well, meh.

not surprising, but fwiw...

"Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said the team is "highly unlikely" to pursue free agent first baseman Prince Fielder."

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

well he looks like a slugger in that photo...or just fat.

Cahill/Breslow to Dbacks for Jarrod Parker/Cowgill

wow...they had to give up parker. harsh.

cowgill = reed johnson.

you were all waiting for Keith Law's take on this, I know

The Rockies get two firmly below-average players. Colvin has horrible plate discipline, can't hit LHP, and plays a corner. LeMahieu makes contact, doesn't walk or hit for any power (or project to do so), and can't really play the left side of the infield. Stewart was a fringy regular for three years before 2011, and Jim Tracy's capacity to mismanage players appears to be infinite, so there's a justification for thinking a change of scenery allows Stewart to reach his ceiling, avg to above-avg 3b. Weathers was 92-96 for me in fall league, slider wasn't as good as it was pre-TJ; walked a man an inning in the regular season but he wasn't hitting the backstop or anything in AFL.

and

I actually think [LeMahieu's] best position is LF. I don't see the arm for 3b.

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/416...

"I actually think [LeMahieu's] best position is LF."

cold. he's nothing special anywhere in the IF and his arm...yeah...but that's harsh.

When I read what Law and BP and BA and all the other 'experts' say about prospects/evaluation, I am more and more willing to go with AZ Phil's scouting reports than any of these 'know-it-all's.

At least I can be confident that Phil has ACTUALLY seen these players demonstrate their baseball skills in person, and not just regurgitated what a group of scouts and player development personnel have told or emailed them.

AZ Phil = eyes on the ground; BP/BA/etc. = satellite photos

Every prospect from other teams is better then Cubs according to Law. LeMahieu's arm is fine for 3rd. Makes me wonder if Wilken slept with Law's wife.

Doubt Wilken would have much interest in her unless she played football or had a utility infielder skillset.

And people say crunch repeats himself.

fox/fox sports signs a 20 year broadcast deal with the angels....3...billion...dollars...

The contract looks good at the moment, but it's heavily back loaded and will be a liability in 15 years. Plus, it doesn't leave much money for Fox Sports to sign other programs. They better win something in the first few years because this contract is going to be an albatross down the road.

guess Albert Pujols was worth it to the Angels...

Would that be the contract McCourt thought he was getting?

part of mccourt buying the dodgers (from newscorp/fox) included giving fox a very market-undervalued tv contract..i forget how many years.

I knew the name Ian Stewart sounded familiar, so I did a little Googling:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stewart_(musician)

So Ian Stewart, if he can't hit the inside pitch and chases the outside pitch as crunch asserts, at least can play piano or organ when we replace the seventh-inning-stretch singers. On the other hand, he's been dead for 26 years. Didn't Hoystein do their research?

Dead for 26 years. Or reborn as a baseball player 26 years ago.

Dude, this is pretty old news here...

we call it "3/44" on TCR.

I vote for...
---
The-O'Jeds. looks like The Joe but sounds like an Irish Motown group from the 60's

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Wittenmeyer article on Ian Stewart

The Cubs’ new third baseman said his poor 2011 season with the Colorado Rockies was about limited opportunity, a series of injuries that put him behind (and in some cases lingered) and maybe even about getting a little ‘‘desperate’’ later in the season.

‘‘But,’’ Stewart said, ‘‘with this situation now with Aramis Ramirez gone and one of the guys who would have had a chance to play third going in the trade to Colorado and that spot being open, it’s a great opportunity for me to be that every-day third baseman and get those 500 to 600 at-bats that I need to be successful.’’

If he starts out the season 1 for 20 with 11 strikeouts like he did last year he can forget about getting 500-600 AB's.

I'm not overwhelmed by the new regime's first moves -- DeJesus, Stewart, Lendy Castillo, and Bianchi. But.......I'm willing to withhold judgment or comment until I see whatever other moves are made between now and Opening Day. Also, it's hard for me to state with any certainty the roster as constructed today could produce a substantially worse record than last season.

I haven't had any Division contending hopes for the 2012-13 Cubs anyway, so my bar has never been set very high.

being the old fart that I am...

I remember a Cub third basemen starting the 1982 season at 1 for 36 including 1BB and 6 K's.

Recent Cub history seems to have a theme that there isn't much offensive production in April, so if Stewart gets off to a bad start, it would be nothing new although it wouldn't be a shocker either.

Aramis Ramirez had a better April in 2011 but in April 2010:
.152 .216 .283 .498

Carlos Pena end of April 2011: .159 .289 .175 .464
----
Cub 3B, end of April 1982: .203 .229 .304 .533
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl....

Ryno started the year at third in 1982? I remember the 1-36 start, but not the fact that he was playing third. Interesting...

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