Theology

Theo was on the WSCR radio this morning for an interview during the program "Hit & Run" hosted by Barry Rosner and Connor McKnight. I was able to make a full transcript which you can read right after the jump...

Theo: Morning guys, thanks for having me on.

Barry Rosner: We appreciate it. So Theo, Generally speaking, I'm wondering how you feel about where you are? You've had 2 drafts, 2 international signing periods, 2 trade deadlines. You've built up a terrific stockpile of legitimate prospects. You've basically had a year and about 2 -3 months to get this going. How do you feel about where you are now?

Theo: There is a real dichotomy involved. We are thrilled with the state of the farm system and the health of the organization overall relative to where we were about 18 months ago. From a consensus standpoint we've gone from a bottom 5 farm system to a top 5 system farm system. It usually takes a bit longer to do that. We're taking advantage of the opportunities that we do have, you know, two trading deadlines, and that comes with consequences at the big league level that you're seeing now. Two drafts that we're pretty happy with, 2 international signing deadlines and 2 off seasons of trade opportunities, haven't been perfect, there's been some hits and misses. Overall in potential impact players which I think is most important and overall depth which is also very significant, I'm happy where we are. The people and processes that we have in place both in our scouting operation and our player development operation, I'm very happy with. They are responsible for most of that progress. That said, we continue to push forward and try to get better as it's a very competitive landscape out there. 

On the other hand, the big league picture hasn't been as pretty. We know that. When you are pushing forward in your farm system it's because you have high draft picks, because you are making trades. There is a price to pay at the big league level. That said, we can't help but be a little disappointed that we haven't provided more consistent improvement with our young players at the big league level, more progress that's demonstrable.  Progress, player development of young big leaguers isn't linear so it's understandable.  We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard at the big league level.

 

Barry Rosner: I think people know who you are talking about. They are aware of it as well. They know which players are important to the future here. It's guys like Castro, Samardzija and Rizzo and players like that. Where are you now on a guy like Starlin Castro? He made some interesting comments yesterday after hitting the game winner. He said he's not thinking anymore, he's done thinking. He's just wants to play baseball. I know you guys have tried very hard to get him to take a more thoughtful approach to the game, while not affecting his natural ability. Where are you in that process with him right now?

Theo: I still very much believe in him. When a young player has a number of things go wrong within the course of one season, it can be a physical factor or a fundamental factor. Sometimes it can be a mental factor. When you have one of each or maybe 2-3 things affecting you over the course of a season it can be really really difficult despite the length of the season to turn it around in season. Especially with young players, I've seen this on and on, over and over again. Sometimes it takes just getting into the winter to hit the refresh button, to have perspective on the things that were bothering you, things that you have to do better. You put the work in and you magically come back with better perspective and much improved and resume your level of play the next spring training. I think we're going to see that with Starlin. It's been like a 5 month long slump. It's really hard for young players, especially ones that haven't struggled to hit that reset button in season. It doesn't matter, All-Star break... You give him a couple of days off, there's just something about the rapidity of the season that requires you to wait until the winter to get it right. Sometimes. Now you don't give in to that, but it's a reality sometimes.
With respect to your approach, we do try to make all of our hitters aware, basically,  of one simple thing, which is getting a pitch you can drive. That said, with aggressive hitters, especially with Starlin, yeah sure there's been some of that dialogue but there's always been the recognition that he's been an aggressive hitter, that he has unique hand eye coordination, the ability to put a lot of pitches in different parts, inside and outside the strike zone into play relatively hard. So, there is an awareness not to take that away from him. It's more art than science. Were there at points done that maybe make him think too much? Did he come into camp trying to advance too much as a hitter, rather than letting the accumulation of at bats, thousands of at bats take their natural course and allow him to mature? Maybe. I'm sure there is some of that. Long ago, we went to Starlin and just asked him to...hey, clear your mind and listen to your own instincts as a hitter. As Starlin said, no one taught me how to hit originally to get me here. He says that in a very nice way. What that means is he's a "feel" hitter. He drifts a little forward through his swing, he doesn't naturally pull the ball through the air and he just has to have that feel for the barrel. He just has to be feeling really good about himself to be able to hit the ball with backspin, to the pull side and that's fine. You saw that yesterday afternoon, after a few days he's feeling pretty good about himself, he was able to take a fastball that leaked back in over the plate, stay inside of it, get the barrell through the ball and saw the juice that he still has left in his bat. I'm bullish on his future, I think we need the winter to get him straight.

 

Connor McKnight: Theo, you mentioned how Castro needs to develop and what he's been doing the last couple of months at the plate. I think there's been equal amount of questions about him in the field. There's been some mistakes both mental or physical and a lot of people have wondered for awhile if will he stick at SS? I wonder if you are as bullish about him in the field as you seem to be at the plate?

Theo: I think he can certainly stick at SS. When you have struggles they are often with young players they are taken onto the field. The one massive mental mistake that he caught the pop up on national TV and put his head down, that came toward the end of a stretch where he played really good major league shortstop for a period of 4-6 weeks.  We see these long stretches of him playing excellent SS. There are some fundamental things that he's working on. He needs to gain ground on balls a little bit more, come through the ball, rather than lay back and all of a sudden he's got to rush a throw. Those things are fundamental issues that I think he can and will continue to improve upon. The bottom line is he's gotten a lot better in the last 2 years. There are no physical issues, when we get him straight at the plate, we'll see more consistent sense of play. I think he's made some strides this year defensively despite the occasional high profile lapse.


Connor McKnight: Jeff Samardzija is a guy on that pitching staff who's shown he's incredibly talented and can do things with the baseball that not a lot of others can do. I find it interesting that he's the age he is and seems to have that one hidden year between going from relief to starting and whether you put those miles on him as a starter or reliever is interesting. You guys have a decision to make with Jeff Samardjiza coming up in the off season. He's just on a one year deal with a year of arbitration eligibility left I believe. A lot of people are looking to him as a key to where you guys are going in the next little bit here...is JS status something we can read into as far as your plans into the future.

Theo: If you are asking about our desire to sign him into a long term deal, I don't think that's ever been a question. We are interested in locking him up for the long term. It hasn't been a perfect year, of progress and development for Jeff, there are lessons he's going to learn from this season that will make him better in the long run. It doesn't change the way I view him. I still think he will continue to develop into a consistent top of the rotation starter. He has the stuff. He has the physical ability. He has the makeup there. A couple of things are holding him back. Mainly this year, honestly, is his ability to respond to adversity during the course of a game and keep his composure and execute pitch after pitch regardless of what's going on behind him. I think that's what cost him yesterday a bit and it's cost him a number of times during the season. He's so talented, usually when there is a big inning it's because there's an inability to harness his emotions and calm himself down.  The same things that make himself great, his competitiveness, the hard nosed nature, that also gets in his way sometimes. He needs to continue to harness that. I'm sure there are people out there who have doubts about his ability to turn the corner. I'm not one of them. That said, it's not always easy to sign someone to a long term deal and there has to be mutual interest. We'll see where that goes. Regardless, we control him for 2014-5 and hopefully for a long time to come.

 

Barry Rosner: Theo, I think most Cub fans truly get it now, maybe a majority didn't get it at the start but a majority understands it now. They are remaining patient, I believe for the most part, certainly not everyone. You've talked about the noise from the media and fans and other baseball people. Not in a negative way, but you can't be distracted by that, not let that affect your timeline. Are you immune to all of that? Are you aware and does that affect you at this point?

Theo: After a long decade in Boston I'm pretty calloused to it. I don't think any human being is immune to it. That would be a neat trick. I'm calloused and used to it and at this point emotionally mature enough that it certainly doesn't affect me or at least my decision making. That said, it's been replaced by an internal pressure, internal drive that we all feel and we put on ourselves. We're asking fans to be patient and in return we're going to provide something special. While the average fan would say you are asking me to be a heck of a lot more patient that I ever expected. So it better be a heck of a lot more special. We feel the same thing. We clearly are taking the long view here. It's the right thing to do. Some of it is out of necessity frankly because we simply don't have the payroll flexibility that we would for a quicker talent infusion. Given some of the limitations and timing of the business plan are the realities of lots of circumstances surrounding the ball club right now. We need to take the long view. It's not easy. I do enjoy the scouting and draft, I enjoy the player development part of it. I enjoy the young players. I believe in young players. In an ideal world we'd be doing both and we would be infusing a lot more ready talent into the situation to speed up the clock a little bit but we don't have that luxury right now. We need to be fully committed to what we are doing. So we can deliver on that promise. So the fan who says, "hey, you are asking me to be a lot more patient that I ever imagined"...so we can deliver something more special than they ever imagined. I do believe that day is coming. We had a fantastic year in the farm system and for the organization as a whole. Despite what you've seen at the big league level, I'm convinced based on the talent we've acquired and started to develop, the organization is  a lot closer to winning the World Series then we were.

 

Barry Rosner: There is no doubt you've got a stockpile now and it's legit. You've got 20-22 guys that are legit when there was probably one when you got here. There's a lot there. They are not all going to get here, they are not all going to be superstars, you will probably use some as trade chips. You will evaluate that and figure that out. In the meantime, you look at all those players coming and you think about all the time that you've spent and all the money you've spent down in the minors and the international signings and the draft and the Dominican and everything else. Will you have the resources then to pair that up? How will the timing be in terms of revenues from renovations or any of that. Will you have as a baseball operation department, the revenue you will need to jump into free agency or however you need to spend it when the time is right?

Theo: That's the plan but we need a lot of things go right. There are a lot of really talented people working on that behind the scenes. It depends on our ability to come throught with our over the air TV package, TV rights deal, which is up soon. It depends on our ability to come throught and for the right market to develop for the cable package, which is 5-6 years from now. Most importantly it depends on our ability to get the Wrigley renovation, restoration done quickly and done well and done in a manner that generates revenue. Ultimately, it will depend on our ability to put a better product on the field at the major league level so that we can stop the trend in attendance and reverse it and get our attendance back up and generate revenue that way. It depends on our overall investment in the club from a financial standpoint. Just as we have a baseball plan, one that takes a longer view than anyone would want in an ideal world, we also have a business plan, it also has a longer term perspective. We're at a point where we haven't realized those increased revenues yet as an organization. There are a lot of building blocks being put in place, a lot of work being done behind the scenes. With the Wrigley issue, with the sponsorship issue and the TV deal that will pay dividends for us. The timing still matches up, our baseball plan and the business plan. There is great synergy between both plans and the departments, even if  it's not as quickly as either side would like.

 

Connor McKnight: Theo, you mentioned patience and timing a couple of times so far this morning and I think it boils down to a couple of players as well. Maybe those that you are collecting at the AA level or will be at the AA level next year. Javy Baez is a kid we've talked about him in a round about way this morning with the fantastic year the farm system has had. I know there is going to be...and Jed has talked about this before with Anthony Rizzo back in San Diego, he mentioned he rushed him. He didn't use the patience he'd liked to have used the first time around with Rizzo. You guys are going to have to, whether it's with Baez or another prospect, resist temptation to bring that kid up. I wonder how you and Jed evaluate those kids and evaluate the timing for each one of those prospects, when that time comes?

Theo: We rely on their individual player development plan. That's a mechanism that we use to make sure that we optimize each players development at the minor leagues and get the player invested in their own development. Each player has a document breaking down his strengths and weaknesses from a physical, mental and fundamental standpoint. When those weaknesses are addressed and become strengths that's when the move up through the farm system and ultimately that's how they advance to the big league level. Obviously, there are more factors involved. A big league promotion has to have opportunity and the mix has to be right for the major league roster. That's essentially how we do it. If you look at the history of some of the players that came through the Red Sox system, I'm a firm believer that it's important to do everything you can to fully develop a player. I don't like rushing players. I like players who have every chance to maximize their development at the minor leagues before they come up here. I believe it's important for players to fail in the minor leagues and bounce back and undergo some sort of adversity and learn how to adjust and bounce back. The prospects like the Ellsbury's and Pedroia's, the guys that have gone on to have success, those were more advanced college players, they've all spent significant time in AAA. The all got to a point where they held their own but not only succeeded but for stretches of time dominated and developed some consistency at all levels of the minor leagues including AAA. I just believe we're invested in these players for two decades and it's important not to rush them, not to show them off to appease anybody but to develop them as slowly as you can so that they are ready to come up here and succeed.

 

Barry Rosner: Theo, we really appreciate your time. You've been gracious with your time today. We look forward to talking to you again. That's it for us this year on "Hit and Run" at least. We can't fight the NFL beast. At least not until you put yourselves into a position to let us work into September. We appreciate it. We look forward to next year.

Return to Homepage

Comments

dale...did you really just ask welly to take 3rd tagging up at 2nd on a flyout to mid-RF?

...really?

...at least he made it via a bad throw.

this "aggressive running" cubs team thing started in spring training...and it worked well in spring...but it's been kinda downhill since then, both for SB and taking extra bases...and he really needs to quit trying to make rizzo a base stealer, especially.

wtf? 3rd to home on a flyout to mid-RF?

...ball beats him by 2-3 steps, but the C rushed the catch and never got control of the ball.

...run scored...whatever.

6 run lead...rondon-proof.

well, we're getting b.parker...okay, then.

Baez first inning double.

and some thoughts on Baez:

http://smokiesonradio.com/2013/09/01/smokies-and-l...

Javy Baez with a 3 run HR (#20 for Tennessee) in the 5th to tie the game at 3.

tied with g.springer (37)...and behind j.gallo, though some people (for some reason) refuse to acknowledge gallo's 40 HRs as leading the minors because they were done in Rookie ball (2) + A ball (38). there's a lot of talk about springer/baez being in the HR leader chase all season...i guess A+ ball is the starting point for those people.

...now if gallo could quit K'ing 1/2 his ABs...he doesn't turn 20 til november...crazy sano-like power (who has 35, btw, between A+ and AA).

At Daytona,
Bryant 2-3 with a double and triple. 1 walk. 2 rbi, 1 run.
Vogelbomb 2-3 with 2 runs, 1 walk
Geiger 2-4 with 1 rbi, 2 runs.

Thanks for the transcript Cubster!

Grimm with a 2 hit shutout through 4.0 innings so far for Iowa.

Grimm, scoreless 5th albeit eventful with a walk and then he picked the runner off. Then a double that was stranded.

Smokies take the lead, top of 9th...Andreoli walk, sacrifice, BJax double. 4-3. On to the bottom of the 9th.

...and Tony Zych gets the Lookouts-out, 3 up-3 down including the final out with a K swinging.

0-3, 1bb for olt tonight.

i've been following his ABs on MLB Gameday and tracking his ABs a bit this week (small sample size), but he seems to have "hole" in his swing with anything pitched high (at least recently). he offers/misses at a lot of high pitches. it's not even like they're pitching him up the ladder like they used to do to c.pat.

From the plots, does it look like they pitch him strictly up and outta the zone, and he either takes the pitches for a walk or he cant resist so he K's . . . .? Is that the general dynamic the last month or so?

keeping in mind the small sample size...

it doesn't seem like they're toying with him and trying to fool him...they're not working him up the ladder...he's getting a steady diet of high stuff.

that said, he does lay off of a good amount of them outside the zone. it just seems like that may be where it's safest to pitch him because he's not doing anything with it that's damaging even when he does make contact. he'll swing and miss at a good amount, he'll make (what seems like "on paper") weaker contact compared to what he's capable of on a good amount of it, but he's also not swinging at everything so he'll build his count/walks on it, too.

it seems like it's where he's weak and where he's getting a lot of pitches thrown at him...but it's not like his eyes get big as saucers and swings at anything thrown at him that's high.

That sounds like something they can work with. Bring him up!!!

iowa + kane county play their last games tomorrow.

smokies have their last regular season game tomorrow, then playoffs on thursday.

daytona's season over, playoffs start tuesday.

Excellent transcript, Cubster! Well worth the read.

Boise backs into the playoffs in spite of losing four in a row including getting no-hit on Saturday and pummeled 14-3 on Sunday. That must have been a low-key celebration.

Unless they can advance in the playoffs while continuing to lose, I guess I'm more optimistic about Daytona's and Tennessee's chances.

Thanks for the great transcription, Doc.

So it's September...and we'd better get those atbats for Darwin Barney and Luis Valbuena!
Sheesh....

Free Logan Watkins!

t.wood is looking human again in august...still a hell of a season so far, though. he's been extremely efficient putting up a lot of innings without throwing a lot of pitches. he could easily cruise into a 210+ inning season this year...especially impressive given he usually gets yanked in 90-105 pitches. 14 of his starts (out of 28) he hasn't even gone 100 pitches.

bobby hull has been arrested for murder...of the 7th inning stretch.

he tried...he really did try...it just didn't work. fans didn't mind.

i blame hockey concussions.

Please, for the love of all that's good in baseball, can the Cubs end this stupid 'tradition'. Play a tape of Harry, and hell, you can throw a hologram of him out on the pitchers mound for all I care. Just be done with it.

He sounded like William Shatner doing a dramatic reading of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

kershaw gives up 5er in a game for the 1st time this season today (@COL)...he's got single games vs STL and SD with 4er given up...none more than 3er other than those 3 games in 29 starts.

he's pitching in a 5-5 tie currently...he's never lost a game in his career where the dodgers have given him at least 4 runs to work with.

he's kinda good as baseball.

...and the dodgers add 3 runs in the top 6th to put kershaw in line for the win.

olt goes 0-2, 2bb to end his season in iowa.

c.lim goes 1ip 1h 0bb 1k (0r)...overall 11ip 5h 4bb 12k with iowa and 22.1ip 13h 7bb 24k across his 4-level rehab...time to add him to the 40-man and bring him up.

baez finishes the season 0-4, 3Ks...playoffs thursday

since iowa's season is over...and i'm bored...how about one last rosscup post until the spring? no? well, screw you.

7.2ip 5h 6bb 17k (AAA)

43.1ip 31h 19bb 66k (AA)

51ip 36h 25bb 83k (overall)

as you can tell, his control isn't all there every outing, though in some outings he can absolutely dominate. he's had a 9+ K/ip rate the past 3 years of 9.1, 12.9, 14.6 respectively.

...so what's wrong with him (aside from the control) that keeps him in such a low profile in the minor league system?

he works the zone with a lot of high pitches...a whole lot...he lives high in the zone. it's the same reason tony cingrani can rack up amazing numbers (especially with the Ks) and not get his props. people just don't trust a guy that works high in the zone consistently no matter what the other numbers show. that said, comparing him to t.cingrani isn't fair or totally apt...they're just 2 lefties who work a lot up in the zone who don't get their props from the list makers or prospect watchers.

...so what's right about rosscup?

he's a true 1 inning guy. lefties...righties...don't matter. he's not a specialist. as far as relievers go, this is good stuff. he's got his fastball (93+mph) and a slider with better command than his walk numbers would lead you to believe. even though he works high in the zone, he's not been prone to giving up a lot of homers or xbase hits...this is one of the main fears about a pitcher who works high in the zone a lot.

...so what's his future?

middle relief, initially (and probably not more than a setup guy in a strained bullpen unless his control sharpens).

since iowa's season is over...and i'm bored...how about one last rosscup post until the spring? no? well, screw you.

Haha! Well done CRUNCH!

I think we all have to agree (even NAVIGATOR, wherever he is), that the pitching stock cupboard is less bare than its been recently.

If only Hendry had picked the right pitcher to send to Tampa. Then we'd really have something.

Still a fucking schmuck. Some "scout".

CUBSTER: Very nice work! Thanks!

from the twitter box, all-minor league team

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/yahoo-sports--all-minor-league-team-0530429...

Baez at SS, CJ Edwards made the starting rotation, Kyle Hendricks got an honorable mention and Rock Shoulders naturally got best name

Re: Baez

There may be no more polarizing prospect in the minor leagues than Baez, onto whom Cubs fans have transferred 100 years of yearning and wanting with the idea that he is baseball Yahweh, or at very least Ernie Banks 2.0. Meanwhile, those who choose not to deify him are the enemy. OK. Let's find a happy medium. He is a 20-year-old who hit 37 home runs, and even if he does have to move to third base (probably) and strikes out too much (definitely), his bat speed is otherworldly and his swing a thing of beauty. Just watch this video. Focus on the lower body, because everyone else seems to fixate on the Gary Sheffield waggle he's got going on. The load, the stride – it's Miguel Cabrera. The ballhawks on Waveland are smiling already.

Re: Edwards

Edwards, and not Mike Olt, was the main piece going back to the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal, and even if at 22 he's old for Class A, executives see him as a No. 3-level starter because of plus stuff and good control.

RE: Baez, let's hope he has Cabrera's eyes, literally speaking, and not Olt's. Or, God Help Us, Brett Jackson's.

Vogelbomb also was Honorable Mention, but the article basically said 1B is very weak this year.

thanks for catching that...

d.murphy finally gets a shot at 2nd tonight.

also, when the hell is c.lim gonna show up? they're paying him 2/$5m whether he's on the 40-man or not...might as well get him up since his year in iowa is done. i can think of more than a few people on the 40-man that can be safely removed...even if accepting rondon isn't going to be dropped.

On a day with not much exciting Cubs news (what a surprise), BleacherNation did an interesting read on the Fabulous Jake Arrieta:
http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/09/03/jake-arri...

grimm, boscan, b.raley, z.rosscup called up.

no lim yet...odd.

rosscup isn't on the 40-man, btw...sappelt DFA'd to make room for him...darnell mcdonald is somewhere doing backflips.

sappelt DFA'd to make room for him

No great loss.

darnell mcdonald and cole gillespie agree.

i'm ready for c.lim to show up...maybe a little olt...

lim's got a 2/5m hanging over him and it'd be nice for him to see some work down the stretch so he can come into next season actually having seen some MLB hitters for the 1st time in his career.

speaking of guys with contracts not here yet...wonder what they're going to do with s.baker...

Dave Sappelt does not have the right to elect free-agency if he clears waivers and gets outrighted to the minors, and if outrighted he will be eligible for selection in the next Rule 5 Draft, and he would be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent FA (6YFA) post-2014 if he is not added back to an MLB 40-man nroster by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2014 World Series (same as Julio Borbon). So if he clears waivers and if he is not selected in the Rule 5 Draft, traded, or relased in the meantime, Sappelt will probably get an NRI to Spring Training. Same goes for Julio Borbon. Neither of then can be a free-agent post-2013.  


Conversely, Eduardo Sanchez is an Article XX-B player (he was outrighted previously in his career) so he can can elect to be a free-agent if he is outrighted  He can elect free-agency immediately after he gets outrighted (but then his contract is terminated with no severance pay), or he can accept the asignment, continue to get paid per the terms of his contract, defer the option until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season and then file for free-agency anytime starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. However, if he is outrighted and defers free-agency, and then is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, he would not be eligible to file for free-agency post-2013. 


Because he was a minor league player eligible for selection in the next Rule 5 Draft who had his contract selected and who was added to an MLB 40-man roster after August 15th, Zac Rosscup will have "Draft-Excluded" status through the off-season and into Spring Training. What this means is if the Cubs do not outright him back to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft (and Outright Assignment Waivers must be requested no later than 2 PM Eastern on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series), Rosscup cannot be sent to the minors (by Optional or Outright Assignment) any earlier than 20 days prior to 2014 MLB Opening Day. A Draft-Excluded Player can be traded at any time, but the only way a Draft-Excluded Player can be removed from an MLB 40-man roster between the Rule 5 Draft and 20 days prior to the start of MLB Opening Day is by non-tender on 12/2 or by Outright Release. So a Draft-Excluded Player cannot be outrighted to the minors for most of the off-season.

Apparently you weren't the only one noticing rosscup.

he's old enough...he's due...time to see what he's got.

he was going to be added to the 40-man this offseason anyway...much like sappelt was most likely going to be dropped from the 40-man this offseason (though im surprised they're going with d.mcdonald rather than him to finish the stretch).

For anyone wondering about Chang-Yong Lim and his contract, it was a $100K bonus and he's paid like a minor leaguer.

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/tag/chang-yong-lim/

Now if he does get added to the 40-man and pitches in the majors, it could reach up to $5M allegedly.

http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs-talk/story-behind-cubs-drafting-javier-baez

on how Cubs drafted Baez

eagerly awaiting the same piece on Hayden Simpson...

1-2-3 inning for Blackburn (with 2 K's) in Game 1 of Boise playoff game vs. Salem-Keizer

Daytona vs. Dunedin predictably delayed by rain.

Tennessee starts on Thursday @ Birmingham

2 runs for Boise in bottom of 1st, Encarnacion lead-off single, Lockhart RBI double and advances to third on error, sac fly by Balaguert.

Blackburn bookends 2 singles with another K and a double play to get out of the 2nd.

1-2-3 inning for Corey Black (also with 2 K's) to start off FSL playoff game.

Pin-Chieh Chen doubles, advances to third on flyout and scores on wild pitch. 1-0 Daytona after an inning.

not sure the point of starting a 28-year old in a Hi-A playoff game is, but ex-Cub Austin Bibens-Dirkx getting start for Dunedin.

C. Black with 2 pop outs, a single and a K in top of 2nd. (1-0 Daytona)

Blackburn gets a ground out and 2 K's in top of 3rd. (2-0 Boise)

Blackburn with 2 more scoreless innings, now 5 IP, 2 H, 7 K, 0 BB (2-0 Boise in the 5th)

Black also with 2 more  scoreless innings, 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (1-0 Daytona in the 4th)

Boise wins 3-0, 7 scoreless for Blackburn, 8 K's. Godley with a 2-inning save.

Daytona up 6-0 in the 8th.

valbuena drilled in the ankle...ow.

taking 1st even though he's hobbling around a bit.

Reds called up Billy Hamilton...and we thought Crazy Legs Campana was fast.

comes in as pinch runner, steals a base and scores on a shallow double to give Reds 1-0 lead in 6th.

-edit- now with video

http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=30291919

off Yadier Molina btw, looks like throw would have beat him, but way off target.

len talking callups...pretty much dropping hints we won't be seeing any prospect bats (baez/olt/etc) added to the team...also said s.baker's future unknown and his velocity is barely mid-80s (made his final rehab outing today).

Ouch! Had no idea his velocity was down there. Damn.

i thought it was up in the high-80s earlier, myself...and assumed it had improved rather than regressed.

Another Castro error on a routine ground ball in case anyone is still keeping track.

the more depressing thing is baez had 44 errors in 123 games this year...baez may be coming to chicago in the next year or 2...but he probably won't replace castro at SS on his current pace.

baez was looking improved (though not stellar) there last year...but this year...ugg.

Also, Baez is......20 years old. Let's wait and see how he does before deciding his future.
At that age, lots of good shortstops have high error totals. Elvis Andrus was 19...had 32 errors at AA, then only 22 his first full season for instance. Learning when to put the ball in his pocket will cut down on some of those errors I'd wager.

The Cubs, if they want to move forward, MUST get over these false dichotomies between two crappy choices at SS. If a guy can't play the position, he can't play the position, it is what it is- find another option and move Castro/Baez to a position they can play. You can't regularly give the opposition four outs to score in an inning by fielding mediocre shortstops.

One of them is 20, the other is 23. Relax.

If the problem with defense is that he's so young, maybe he should be playing in the minors until he is ready.

I feel ya brother. Sometimes my personal aesthetics get in the way of accurately evaluating a player, too.

He IS playing in the minors. What do you think the Cubs are?

He had a nice errorless streak for a while, and a spectacular barehanded play the other day. In general I thought he had been doing pretty well of late. Has he been biffing some routine stuff the last few days?

it's his 17th error...it just feels like his 71st error.

yeah, he's been a bit more solid there lately.

koehler with 64 pitches for MIA..1 out in the 5th...leading 3-1...

HR, walk, walk, K, walk...and he's out of the game for a lefty to pitch to rizzo...his lead and his chance at a win gone...

cold...

rosscup debut...

man on 1st, 1 out via a.cabrera

strikeout, walk, popout LF...and wow, he worked those 3 batters slowly.

no runs scored, though he did make a "mental error" not checking j.pierre at 2nd allowing him to steal 3rd standing up.

RRRRRRR
OOOOOOOO
SSSSSSSSSSS
SSSSSSSSSSSSS
CCCCCCCCCCCCCC
UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!
Boom!

if not for j.fernandez and puig he'd win ROY f'sure...no doubt about it.

hope theojed locks him up to a 10 year deal sometime within the next week before he prices himself into the $10m+/yr market.

hey look, it's hector rondon...awesome.

hey wow...lead off 4 pitch walk...

walk, K, double play...sweet.

Daytona 5 spot in 6th, now 6-0

Daytona Bottom of the 6th
Wes Darvill walks.
Elliot Soto singles on a line drive to right fielder Mike Crouse. Wes Darvill to 3rd.
Pitching Change: Tony Davis replaces Austin Bibens-Dirkx.
Pin-Chieh Chen walks. Elliot Soto to 2nd.
Pitching Change: Wil Browning replaces Tony Davis.
Zeke DeVoss walks. Wes Darvill scores. Elliot Soto to 3rd. Pin-Chieh Chen to 2nd.
Dustin Geiger strikes out swinging.
Pitching Change: John Anderson replaces Wil Browning.
Dan Vogelbach reaches on a force attempt, fielding error by second baseman Jon Berti. Elliot Soto scores. Pin-Chieh Chen to 3rd. Zeke DeVoss to 2nd.
Kris Bryant singles on a line drive to left fielder Matt Newman. Pin-Chieh Chen scores. Zeke DeVoss scores. Dan Vogelbach to 3rd. Kris Bryant advances to 2nd, on a fielding error by left fielder Matt Newman.
Anthony Giansanti out on a sacrifice fly to right fielder Mike Crouse. Dan Vogelbach scores. Kris Bryant to 3rd.
Chadd Krist flies out to center fielder Jonathan Jones.

how prophetic...Godley trying to close out a Boise 3-0 lead in the 9th vs Salem-Keizer...two outs, one man on...

Blackburn awesome...7 IP, 2 hits, No Walks, 8 K's

Godley strikes out the last hitter for a 3-0 Boise win. Blackburn has a streak of 16 in a row at one point.

I'm sold. Given the Title of this thread is Theology...The Cubs closer for their 4th win in the World Series has got to be named Godley.

Amen.

The Pirates have won 81 games in a season for the first time since September 9, 1992 when they won their 81st game over the Cubs on a grand slam by Jeff King off of Ken Patterson, who was traded to the Cubs with Sammy Sosa in the deal with the White Sox.

CUBS 2028!

some Scott Baker quotes:

“I don’t have one negative thing to say about how things have been handled,” Baker said. “They’ve given me every opportunity to get healthy and to be successful. It’s just taken a lot longer than everyone anticipated. It stinks, but it is what it is.”

http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/scott-baker-wants-h...

Probably he's better off at this point just resting up, getting a spring training invite, and not creating a most recent impression of getting murdered by MLB hitting.

Bowden DFA. Lim added to 40 man.

I'd say that's going out on a Lim...

Old McDonald had a farm, ei ei ooh...

Like Eduardo Sanchez, Michael Bowden is an Article XX-B player (he was outrighted previously in his career) so he can can elect to be a free-agent if he is outrighted.


He can elect free-agency immediately after he gets outrighted (he actually has 72 hours to decide), but if he does his contract is terminated with no severance pay, or he can accept the assignment, continue to get paid per the terms of his contract, defer the option until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, and then file for free-agency anytime starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th.


However, if he is outrighted and defers free-agency, and then is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, he would not be eligible to file for free-agency post-2013.

Cubs claim Daniel Bard...whoops there it is.

DFA Cole Gillespie

which begs the question...why?

his past 2 seasons he's lost 4mph off his fastball and can't throw anything with control.

meh, whatever...at least cole "i wish i had blackmail material like darnell mcdonald" gillespie is gone.

Particulars regarding Daniel Bard:

Cannot be Article XX-B MLB free-agent until post-2016.
Because he has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to minors.
Will be eligible for salary arbitration for second time post-2013. 
$1.8625M salary in 2013 (first year of salary arbitration eligibility).  
Can be cut maximum 20% in 2014, so Cubs must offer him at least $1.49M on 12/2 or else non-tender him. 
Cubs could non-tender him on 12/2 and then try to sign him for less than $1.49M and/or offer him a minor league contract with NRI to Spring Training.
Will have one minor league option left in 2014, but Optional Assignment Waivers must be secured before he can be optioned. 


 

McDonald's hanging by a thread now.

I'm lovin' it.

strop to be used in save situations occasionally according to dale/muskat

Fun with stats:
- Welly is 3rd amnong starting catchers in OBP
- Barney is 134 out of 140 in BA for those with enough PA to be "qualified". Some interesting names below him:
135: Rickie Weeks
139: BJ Upton
140: Dan Uggla

yankees demote future cub (lulz) p.hughes to the bullpen

yow...

mike stanton let a bat fly...on a line (not a rainbow arching path)...hit a kid.

he has one of the fastest swings in baseball...he had one earlier this season clocked at 122mph.

kid was immediately run out of the seats and into the concourse by parent(s)...no word on how bad it is, fwiw.

kid is okay and back in the stands!

sweet ending and he's probably sure to get lots of player swag from both teams after the game.

yolo, etc.

yolo should be a banned word, even on this site. Replaced by ****.

ninja implosion...after stanton destroys a little kid it's followed by single, single, walk, grand slam, double...

cubs down by 3 to a club full of AAA talent with only 1 out.

he gets another 2 batters afterwards...2 groundouts...110 pitches...at least that's over.

Meet the new Shark....same as the old Shark. Once things turn bad, he seems to have no ability to right the ship.

He will be an Astro or Marlin in 2015

Wow! I find this intriguing. . . . Why those two teams?

given how much they've been losing, they're sure to have a 1st place team by then.

being like STL and winning year after year is no way to build a farm system or a team. you gotta lose to win.

MIA vs HOU 2015 world series...bank on it.

talking out of my ass, but I don't see anyone of consequence giving a 31 year old a contract to figure it out.

Just tired of Samardzija.

at least we've got Daytona (Edwards) and Boise (Underwood) tonight...and praying for something Godley at the end.

castro, navarro, and sweeney HRs today...

6-4, mia/chc...bottom 6th.

Samardzija: I'm Sharkman! I can lift a Toyota Camry over my head and leap rooftops in a single bound!
Me: There's a fly on that windshield.
Samardzija: shits pants

andre dawson in the cubs booth...and we've been treated to about 5+ minutes of conversation about how awesome c.yelich is from dawson/len/jd.

cubs 2013...awesome.

lim up in the pen...which has slowed down their warming up thanks to having men on 2nd/3rd and 0 outs.

navarro 2rbi single! still 0 outs...

7-6 MIA/CHC

d.murphy 2r HR!

7-8 MIA/CHC...still 0 outs.

they sat lim down...strop up in the pen.

Castro drives in another run with a double. Continuing to look much more competent at the plate over the last week and a half or so. .324/.395/.486 since Aug. 25 -- not including today's 2 for 5 with a HR and the aforementioned double.

This is what is so weird about baseball. Yesterday he struck out late in the game, and looked good doing it. J.D. pointed out that he had a good at bat, not swinging at some stuff that he has swung at pretty much all year. It was a good strikeout, if there can be one. But he's also more aggressive up there. I honestly don't get it. Castro says he wants to be more like himself, what got him here, but he seems to just out of the blue have better judgement at the plate while at the same time getting around again on the hard stuff. The only thing I can think of is that if he thinks a fastball is coming he's just ripping away and trying to lay off stuff that seems to be heading out of the zone. Or something.

sometimes you just think too much up there...

Cubs coaches were probably in his ear about being more selective (rightfully so), and Castro seems eager to please. But you got to go up there with a clear mind and Castro was just too timid about what he should and shouldn't be swinging at.

Who knows if he's fixed...but he certainly seems to be more of his early self since declaring he'll do it his own way.

Playing internet coach, he seemed too anxious with runners on base (this year and years past), that's when pitchers really play on the edges and Castro seemed unwilling to let anyone else drive in the runs and took some of his worst swings just trying to put the ball in play.

That seems like a pretty good take. My biggest concern really hasn't been about how he's doing this season - he is still awfully young, but how this season and maybe a little too much badgering by the coaches might hurt him. Last year, even with his flaws, I'd watch and say to myself, "how good is this guy gonna be when he's 28?" There aren't a lot of Manny Machados around. Most guys take several years to get really good, as you know. So if he has a nice September, this is all just a nice learning experience, and a good year to have it.

Daytona atDunedin...guess what's going on?

Delayed Start: Rain.

Daytona doesn't score in top of the first, but CJ Edwards strikes out the side in the bottom half.

Then they go back into a rain delay...that would be unfortunate if they lose Edwards for the game.

2nd rain delay over, 29 minutes. Bryant hit in the back by a pitch. Dull thud but he's OK. Supposedly Edwards will continue.Darvill drives in Bryant with a two out double. 1-0 D-Cubs.

CJ Edwards did come back for the 2nd. 6 up 6 down, 4K's. On to the 3rd, 1-0 Daytona.

Bryant bloops a 2 run double in the 3rd. 3-0 D-Cubs

3 IP, 6 K for Edwards, no hits, no walks...3-0 heading to the 4th.

single by Darvill, double by Elliot Soto scores Daytona a 4th run (4-0 into the bottom of the 4th).

Boise starts off top of 1st with 2 runs, Justin Marra with the 2-run RBI double, Underwood retires the side in order in the 1st.

Charlotte (Tampa affiliate) already advanced to championship game in FSL if Daytona wins. They beat Ft. Myers (Twins affiliate that had Byron Buxton on it)

Edwards gives up walk, but gets another K, still has a no hitter through 4.

another K and still no hits against Edwards through 5 (8 K's total).

looks like Cub minor league-lifer Jim Adduci made it to the majors with the Texas Rangers.

2/5 so far, got his first start today

Interesting that Adduci hit 16 home runs for Round Rock this year. Never had half that many with us. Hendry-Fleita used to talk about getting the big guy (6'2, 210) to hit the ball over the wall. Well, 28 is the start of a player's prime, I guess.

Underwood lit up in the 2nd, BB, single, BB, sac fly, HBP, 2-run single and he's done for the night....Boise down 3-2 into the 3rd.

Ryan Searle relieved Edwards in the 6th and has a 1-2-3 inning, no-hitter in tact.

Searle gives up a walk, but no hits in the 7th...

Boise takes a 6-3 lead in top of 3rd...inning still going.

7-3 Boise after their half of the 3rd...J. Marra and R. Rodriguez with doubles in the inning did the bulk of the damage.

another 1-2-3 inning for Searle in the 8th...

Boise goes up 8-3 into the bottom of the 4th.

2 singles off Searle after getting the first out in the bottom of the 9th for Dunedin ends no-hit bid, trying to hold on for win and series now.

Searle ends it with a K and Daytona advances to the Finals!!!

Boise up 8-4 through 4.

Boston up 20-4 over the Tigers (still not done), 8 HR's on the night (Ortiz x2, Middlebrooks, Ellsbury, Napoli, Nava, Drew, Lavarnnway).

Boise wins 11-7, advances to Finals, likely versus Vancouver (Toronto affiliate).

Yay for playoff baseball! Can only hope it filters up to the big club eventually.

It was a low pitch and tough to get to, but he's got to get the bat on it in that situation.

Two out suicide squeeze

inspired by his time with season-saver Neifi obviously....

was there an explanation in the post-game? Seems more like a blown sign...bunting, while not ideal, may have some merit if the 3B was dozing, but absolutely no reason to run on the play. If he gets it down and beats it out, Choo will score, there was no force opportunity at home where you needed to start the runners.

that wasn't dusty...the post-game press conference cleared it up...heisey bunt on his own and choo was running for some reason. it was a nice combo of player-developed boneheadedness...especially since the IF wasn't playing back on heisey and he's not a burner.

Rotoblurb:

Rockies sent OF Tyler Colvin outright to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
He's now off the 40-man roster. Colvin hit only .160 with three home runs and 10 RBI while striking out 27 times over 75 at-bats for the Rockies this season. He'll be a non-tender candidate this winter.

Colvin had/has a lumbar disc herniation. Did anyone ever remove the bat sticking out of his rib cage?

Outfielder Tyler Colvin cleared waivers and was taken off the 40-man roster. Colvin told The Post on Wednesday that he accepted the minor-league assignment. He dealt with a disc injury in his back in Triple-A, compromising his power. He finally became healthy, but it was too late.

“It just needs rest,” Colvin said.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/rockies/2013/09/04/car...

Tyler speared as a Cub...

http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=12243779

I'm starting a list of players that need the offseason to reset:
Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Daniel Bard, Scott Baker, Ian Stewart...

Q-MAN: Tyler Colvin would have been a non-tender candidate if he was on the Rockies MLB 40-man roster on 12/2, but now that he has been outrighted he has the right to elect free-agency. That's because he is an Article XX-D player (he has accrued more than three years of MLB Service Time). 


So Colvin can elect to be a free-agent immediately or defer his decision until the end of the MLB regular season (he has 72 hours to decide). If he declines the Outright Assignment, he would become a free-agent immediately, but he would also forfeit what remains of his 2013 $2.275M salary (about $350K). 


Since Colvin wasn't claimed off waivers, he knows (or at least his agent knows) that he is not going to get a major league contract offer once he becomes a free-agent (unless he gets an offer to play in Japan, a 2013 minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training is probably the best offer he'll get, and that offer should be available throughout the 2013-14 off-season). So there is no point in electing to be an Article XX-D free-agent this time of year, unless Colvin doesn't care about $350K.


Thus, Colvin will almost certainly accept the Outright Assignment and defer free-agency until the conclusion of the MLB regular season. But then he will file for free-aency after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.  


An Artcle XX-D minor league player (that is, any player who has been outrighted previously in his career and/or who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, who was outrighted off an MLB 40-man roster after signing a 2013 major league contract and then deferred his right to be a free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season) can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. (NOTE: An Article XX-D player who was outrighted to the minors and then deferred his right to be a free-agent until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season cannot be a free-agent if he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular seasson).  

At present, the Cubs have two Article XX-D players (Henry Rodriguez and Eduardo Sanchez) on the Iowa roster, with a third (Michael Bowden) likely to join them (if he isn't claimed off waivers). So both Sanchez and Rodriguez (plus Bowden if he isn't claimed of waivers) will almost certainly file for free-ageny during the period of time starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. Once an Article XX-D minor league player becomes a free-agent, he can sign amajor league or minor league contract with any club (including his former club).The player's former club does not receive compensation if the player signs with another club. 


Note that Cole Gillespie is not an Article XX-D player (he was released by Arizona last Septmeber, but he has never been outrighted), so if he is outrighted (if he isn't claimed off waivers) he will be declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (a so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the World Series. (A Rule 55 minor league free-agent does NOT have to file; rather, the player is automatically declared a free-agent at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series if the player and the club have not agreed to a 2014 minor league successor contract prior to the deadline).

Conversely, neither Dave Sappelt nor Julio Borbon are an Article XX-D or an MLB Rule 55 player, so neither had the right to elect free-agency when he was outrighted, and neither will be declared minor league free-agents after the World Series. Unless the Cubs decide to release them, both Sappelt and Borbon will remain under club control through the 2014 season (although both will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft), and both will likely get an NRI to Spring Training.  

Among players presently on the Cubs 40-man roster (or MLB 60-day DL) who could get outrighted sooner or later, Brian Bogusevic, J. C. Boscan, Darnell McDonald, and Cody Ransom would be Article XX-D players (Ransom cannot be outrighted without his permission once he reaches five years of MLB Service Time on 9/14, but he could still get released) and Rafael Dolis, Thomas Neal, and Zach Putnam would be Rule 55 players if outrighted. (Dolis and Neal would both be a Rule 55 6YFA, while Putnam would qualify as a Rule 55 "second-contract" player).


Also, any player on an MLB 40-man roster who would have qualified to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league FA if he hadn't been on an MLB 40-man roster cannot be outrighted to the minors after 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series until he signs a major league contract for the following season or agrees (in advance) to sign a minor league contract. 


And an injured player (like Dolis, Neal, and Putnam) can be outrighted to the minors only during the period of time starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until reserve lists are filed on November 20th, and an injured player on an MLB 40-man roster normally cannot be optioned to the minors at any time. The one exception to this rule is an injured player on an MLB 40-man roster who did not accrue any MLB Service Time the previous season and who does not qualify as an Article XX-D player can be sent to the minors (outrighted or optioned) up until 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day. That's why clubs are reluctant to recall players late in the season if the player has not previously accrued any MLB Service Time that season. (For example, because they willl not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2013, Josh Vitters, Mike Olt, Trey McNuitt, Brett Jackson, Neil Ramirez, Christian Villanueva, Matt Szczur, and Jorge Soler could be optioned to the minors during Spring Training even if they are injured). 


 

Interesting from the sidebar; MLB Trade Rumor's all prospect team.

Baez at SS
Vogelbach at 1B

Bryant mentioned in the paragraph on 3B

from a BP article on "what scouts are saying, 9-5-13"

Cubs OF Junior Lake: "He is starting to figure it out. He has always had the physical tools but never really looked like a natural baseball player. To see him slow the game down makes him a viable player. Of all the defensive questions I had in the past, his athleticism is starting to answer them at multiple positions. He has the physical attributes to impact major-league games… and it is starting to show up more regularly than expected."

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

.380 Babip on the full season...255/306/365 slash line discounting the first 7 games fwiw.

1.113 OPS vs. lefties, .637 vs. righties

I'll put my chips on short-side platoon outfielder when the roulette wheel stops on him sometime in 2014.

Yeah, he got real hot to start and it's been fairly downhill since. If he can play outfield and 3B, SS, 2B in a pinch, and has speed (though his stolen base abilities haven't been great, 72% in the minors), then he could make for a nice 25th man on an NL club. And if he gets hot you play him for a few days in a row until he cools off. Way better than Macias or Mather or Scales, but that's not saying much...

I think it's too soon to say. It's doubtful he's going to have a Monty Python swing like the Cubbie Blue pic for his whole career, so if he learns how to control his bat some he could be pretty lethal. I see him more as an Angel Pagan comp as a hitter, not in style but in end results. If he doesn't adjust to the current adjustment, he won't get that far. If he does, and learns how to hit a little bit instead of just being a good flailer, I can see him with something close to an .800 OPS, which would be pretty nice. He's definitely interesting.

Angel Pagan has the benefit of hitting from the left side for about 2/3 of his at-bats.

Lake flails at the breaking stuff pretty badly, you just hope he can do enough damage on the straight stuff and the occasional one in the zone to make a career for himself. I have my doubts because right now he just doesn't hit for enough power with those kind of K and BB rates and I'm not seeing a lot of folks who think he'll hit 30+ HR's on a regular basis.

Well, that was what I meant by whether or not he can adjust. If he keeps taking those wild swings at breaking stuff he's a goner.

Lake was the master of the delayed steal in the minors, don' think that'll play well in the majors.

Saw him try it once 6 weeks back or so and he was caught steeling. Fairly ugly.

The Neifi-cation of Junior Lake.

At least he's steely-nerved while trying to "steel."

(Not much of a data sample.)

X
  • Sign in with Twitter