2012 Trade Deadline Free-for-All
Year in Review: After impressing last year in the complex leagues, Villanueva was a Sally League All-Star in his full-season debut.
The Good: Villanueva has outstanding bat speed and impressive power for his size, projecting to hit for average with 15-20home runs annually. He's an impressive athlete with average to slightly-above-average speed; he has improved his defense at third base, and has good hands with a strong arm.
The Bad: Other than the bat, Villanueva is not exceptionally toolsy. His approach could use improvement. He's filling out and getting stocky, and will likely lose some of his speed down the road.
Ephemera: Villanueva was used in six different spots of the Hickory batting order in 2011, but had the most success in the six-hole, hitting .357/.410/.629 in 20 games.
Perfect World Projection: Above-average third baseman.
Fantasy Impact: A good batting average with some power and more speed than your average third baseman.
Path to the Big Leagues: Villanueva is buried in Texas at the hot corner, and the Rangers have experimented with him at other positions. He'll begin the 2012 season at High-A Myrtle Beach.
Not finding much on Hendricks.
3:12 PM: Pure speculation on my part, but Rougned Odor (that's a terribly unfortunate name) is a Class A position player in that top 20 list.
3:06 PM: Rosenthal says a Class A pitcher and a Class A position player are headed to the Cubs.
3:03 PM: Here's a Rangers top 20 prospect list to start speculating upon. It won't be Profar or Olt.
3:00 PM: And fin. I'll try and get the prospects for Dempster up before I take off here.
2:58 PM: Scott Miller of CBS saying Rangers as well for Dempster...and so is Buster Olney.
2:57 PM: Whomever Ken Gurnick is, he's dropping the Rangers as the destination for Dempster. I believe he's the Dodgers beat writer for mlb.com
2:50 PM: Bowden saying Yanks "may have" acquired Dempster.
2:49 PM: Dodgers beat writer for the L.A. Times Dylan Hernandez says Dodgers are out on Dempster and they're done making deals today.
2:41 PM: The NL Central has been busy, Pirates get Gaby Sanchez and Travis Snider (that happened last night). Cardinals get reliever Ed Mujica and Reds get Jonathon Broxton.
2:15 PM: Nightengale saying that Soriano likely staying put, but of course he'll easily clear waivers, so an August deal is always possible.
2:06 PM: Kaplan says Tigers and Cubs are hard at work trying to complete a deal for Soriano.
2:03 PM: Dempster has allegedly said he'd waive his NTC for the Yankees, Rangers and Dodgers.
1:25 PM: Heyman tweet claim Dempster has already told Cubs he'd agree to a trade with Yankees...sure. Rothschild and Hendry are over there, so it does make some sense.
1:09 PM: Some Dempster to the Yankees or Diamondbacks rumors floating.
12:33 PM: Olney saying that Diamondbacks are working on something big and then teases a Justin Upton for Matt Garza deal as making sense. Of course the Cubs are on Justin Upton's no-trade list.
12:20 PM: The actual deal with the Texas Rangers for Geovany Soto is Soto and cash to the Rangers for Brigham and either a player to be named later or cash considerations heading to the Cubs.
12:18 PM: Another Goldstein tweet saying the Cubs really want to get Allan Webster out of the Dodgers and are trying to include parts to make that happen.
11:51 AM: By the way, Coleman, W. Castillo and Cardenas on their way up from Iowa for tonight's game.
George Ofman says multiple players involved in potential Dempster deal and Goldstein tweets that James Russell could be one of those players.
(You can usually find the tweets or links in the twitter box btw).
Jim Bowden claims they're just crossing the i's an t's on a deal to send Dempster to his beloved Dodgers.
Earlier the Dodgers gave up Lindblom and Ethan Martin for Shane Victorino.
The Giants are apparently getting Hunter Pence from the Phillies without including Gary Brown or Brandon Belt.
It seems Rangers, Reds and Blue Jays are the 3 teams still in on Garza.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Castro, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.