And After The Holiday Weekend...
...a whole lot of nothing.
- An article in a Dominican paper says the Cubs (so far) have been the most aggressive at pursuing Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
- No real news out of the Cubs convention beyond the Kerry Wood signing ($3M with a $3M option for 2013) and the new patio deck in right field with the LED scoreboard.
- "One change the Cubs have already made was tweaking Tim Wilken's assignments, so that he's now director of amateur scouting and not carrying the additional workload of pro scouting." Word was Randy Bush occasionally had to rinse out the toilets at Wrigley Field to save a few bucks.
- McLeod allegedly said that he was rather surprised by the lack of player preparation amenities at Wrigley and there are plans in place to remedy it.
- Today is the day that teams and players file their arbitration number, the Cubs have yet to agree with any of their players: Jeff Baker($1.4M), Blake DeWitt($1.2M), Geovany Soto($4M), Matt Garza ($8.7M), Randy Wells ($2.2M), Ian Stewart($2M) or Chris Volstad($2.6M). The estimated figures come from Matt Swartz. Add that to the current player committments, auto-renewals (about $5-7M) and $5M owed Pena and the Cubs current payroll for 2012 is around $110M.
- Craig Counsell has decided to retire, but he will stay with the Brewers organization rather than joining Dale Sveum's staff.
- David Schoenfield ran a nice piece examining the best players in any 5-year year period starting from 1969. Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa show up twice each.
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!