Thursday Cubs Headlines
After Kaplan claimed Kerry Wood was close to moving on, he then took credit that his story spurred the Cubs to up their offer for Kerry and that he should be signing with the Cubs soon. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports broke the news saying it's likely to be a one-year deal with some sort of 2013 option.
- Theo downplayed talks regarding Matt Garza, claiming more has been reported in the media than has actually happened. The Tigers (as they should) seem more than content with keeping Jacob Turner as their 5th starter this year (he won't last long there).
- Kevin Goldstein tweets that the Cubs are "definitely interested" in Yoenis Cespedes who signed up with a Dominican team today, which should give scouts even a better look at him. Rumor is that Jorge Soler probably won't sign until the season starts.
- The cops will have a little chat with Starlin Castro next week over the sexual assault allegations.
- The Cubs baseball ops department is now working with Bloomberg Sports on a "state-of-the-art player evaluation system". Hopefully they've moved Ari Kaplan's office out of the maintenance closet by now.
- Darwin Barney is not taking for granted that he'll be the starting second baseman. I promise to not take it for granted either and will openly root for an upgrade.
- At some point it seems the Cubs signed C Juan Apodaca out of the Indians organization on a minor league deal. If you haven't heard, "popular" Cubs backstop Koyie Hill(as coined by Jon Morosi) signed with the Cardinals on a minor league deal.
- A fun graph on which hitters are left on the free agent market, with Fielder and Pena leading the group.
- In Bears news, Mike Tice isn't buying the current pass-happy trend in the NFL. In personel news, I just slammed my head into the wall.
- The Bears have also received permission to interview four candidates: Marc Ross - director of college scouting, New York Giants, Jimmy Raye III, director of player personnel, San Diego Chargers, Jason Licht, director of pro personnel, New England Patriots and Phil Emery, director of college scouting, Kansas City Chiefs. Knowing nothing about them, I vote for the Patriot guy.
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.