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.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
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?