The Trade Winds Blow
Undoubtedbly the Cubs wil be selling as the July trade deadline approaches with Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, Kevin Gregg & Nate Schierholtz being the most likely chips on the table. There certainly may be others, but those players make the most sense. Let's take a look at some potential trade partners:
When it comes to starting pitching, a contender is one injury away from being in the market, so I'm sure the list will expand, but here are the most obvious candidates (NH stands for not happening):
1. Baltimore (Starters' ERA: 4.88)
Prospects To Target: Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy
2. San Francisco Giants (Starters' ERA: 4.50)
3. Colorado Rockies (Starters' ERA: 4.41)
4. Arizona Diamdonbacks (Starters' ERA: 4.13)
Prospects to Target: Tyler Skaggs(NH) or Archie Bradley (NH)
5. Oakland Athletics (Starter's ERA 4.11)
6. Texas Rangers (Starters' ERA 3.98)
Prospects to Target: Mike Olt
7. San Diego Padres (Starters' ERA: 4.56)
8. Anaheim Angels (Starters' ERA: 4.49)
Prospects to Target: Kaleb Cowart
The Angels might seem like an odd choice on this list, but they didn't spend all that money to pack it in. That being said, they'll need a bit of a run heading into the deadline before they start being buyers. The Orioles seem to make the most sense on the list and could easily slot Garza and Feldman in their rotation, Gregg in their bullpen and maybe, just maybe that would be enough to land one of Gausman or Bundy and 3-4 other B/C prospects. Feldman makes a ton of sense for the Rockies if they go shopping (sinkerballers and all in Coors), but who knows how willing they are to move prospects and of what quality. The A's have always been willing to make deals when they feel they're in it, hence their inclusion. I know Adam Eaton might seem like an odd inclusion from the Diamondbacks, but with the emergence of Parra and with Pollock around and Eaton's injuries, they can probably spare a young outfielder.
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. St. Louis Cardinals
5. Cincinnati Reds
6. Baltimore Orioles
7. Anaheim Angels
The Cards, Reds, Angels and Orioles could have a use for Gregg as a set-up man and I'm sure many other teams could emerge in that role. The other 3 could probably use Gregg as a closer, but how much any team is going to give up in a deal for a guy picked off waivers is beyond my prediction capabilities.
1. Kansas City Royals (OPS by RF'ers: .707)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (OPS by RF'ers: .664)
3. Oakland A's (OPS by RF'ers: .663)
4. New York Yankees (OPS by RF'ers: .679/ LF: .624)
5. Cincinnati Reds (OPS by LF'ers: .669)
I imagine Dejesus might be shopped around as well once he comes back, but Schierholtz seems to be the best best. Royals are in desparate need of power and a Francouer/Schierholtz platoon would be lethal, but who knows if that's on their radar. The Reds are expecting Ludwick back at LF at some point and seem to be doing well enough without him, so I don't expect a move, but I imagine it's a possibility. The A's were without Reddick that got them to that number and while he's struggled since returning, I'm not sure if they're looking for a minor upgrade on offense, especially considering Reddick's far superior defense.
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.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!