Cubs Land Stewart, Weathers From Rockies
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.
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.