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.
AL pitcher hits a home run for a 1-0 lead. There goes perspective
Here are the ERAs for the last five starting pitchers:
At what point does the manager note it's not the "other pitcher"?
And why does he start Montero in the middle of a downturn?
Some perspective (mostly for my own benefit): Dan Straily beat MadBum 2-1 today as the Reds took 2 of 3 in SF. Giants are 2-9 since the break and their lead over LA is down to 2.5 games. So, yeah...baseball. It'll drive ya nuts.
McNutt / Archer didn't work out well for us.
The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.
Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup