TCR Weekend Notes
After a nice little run where the Cubs took 6 of 9 versus the baseball bottom-feeders (Astros, Brewers & Mariners), the Cubs are back to playing the major league teams and have promptly dropped 3 of 4 including yet another loss to Fransisco Liriano this afternoon. 3 More months of this fun...
- The Cubs reportedly will sign 16-year odl OF Eloy Jimenez out of the Dominican Republic for a cool $2.8M plus a $250K college scholarship. I'm not sure if that one is official yet, but INF Gleybar Torres and his $1.7M deal is:
The Cubs held a big press conference in Venezuela for signing No. 2 prospect Gleyber Torres pic.twitter.com/oBTJa1SwtU
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 5, 2013
Those two were ranked one, two or three on most of the prospect lists, so some nice talent added to the system, even if it won't affect the major league team until 2020 or later. After all the trades a few days back, the Cubs international pool money went up to $5,520,300. But they've spent about $6.42M so far and once the deals become official, they won't be able to trade for anymore space. If nothing changes, the Cubs would easily surpass the max penalty (over 15% of their cap) and that would cost a 100% tax on the overage (a little less than a million so not that big a deal), but they also would not be allowed to sign anyone for over $250K next season in the international market that is under age 23. Considering the Cubs will very likely have quite a bit of international cash again next year because of their current poor record and forthcoming fire sale, that seems a bit short-sighted by the acclaimed front office. But let's see how the cards fall before we rush to judgement. They still might be able to pull off a deal to avoid the stiff penalties (they need to add about $600K in space to keep the overage to 5% or less) or they just decided the players they signed this year were worth the penalthy. I'm sure they have a decent idea on who will be available next season and felt this was the year to go for it and these were the talents to spend on. They may also be confident in their ability to unearth some cheaper options next season, plus it would give them quite a trading chip of a lot of international pool money next season if they wanted to go that route.
- In the Matt Garza sweepstakes, Buster Olney was saying this morning that the Cubs made "progress" in their Matt Garza talkss and name drops the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Indians, Rangers and even the Orioles. Jayson Stark says the Cubs may wait until their asking price is met (which seems the prudent move since they can make him a qualifying offer). And that so far that asking price was INF Jonathon Schoop and LHP Eduardo Rodriguez from the Orioles, a price the O's weren't willing to meet, thus settling on Feldman. That's not the most insprining package, but guess the Cubs shouldn't expect more for a 3-month rental...both are talented players, but hardly top of the heap talent either. Personally, I just hope the whole ordeal gets done soon before the shine wears off Garza's recent run or Cubbery hits. Give us Mike Olt and let's call it a day....
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
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.