Draft Pick Standings Update

The Cubs have been playing out the string since about May...maybe June, but they can 'eff with the Pirates and Cardinals playoff jockeying this week. More importantly though, they're trying to at the very least maintain the 4th pick in the draft. The Astros clinched the #1 spot for the third year running yesterday and Miami and the White Sox should wrap up the #2 spot here by mid-week with a 4.5 game lead over the White Sox, who are 3.5 ahead of the Cubs. The Cubs could very well drop to the 5th spot in the draft as they own just a half game lead over the Twins, although the Cubs do own the tiebreaker against both the Twins and White Sox. Mathematically they could drop farther than the 5th spot, but that seems unlikely at this point (full draft pick standings in the left sidebar).

Remaining schedules for the candidates after the break...

White Sox (7) - vs. Toronto, 2 @ Clevelenad, 4 vs. Kansas City

Cubs (6) - 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 3 @ St. Louis

Twins (7) - 3 vs. Detroit, 4 vs. Cleveland

Royals could be eliminated by the weekend as they stand 3.5 back at the moment from a wild card spot and the Tigers could have the division wrapped up as early as tonight. Tigers are 3.5 back of the Red Sox for home field and 2 back of the A's for any home field considerations, but they'll certainly be making their best effort for the bulk of the Twins series you would think.

The AL Wild Card and NL Central/Wild Card races should last through the bulk of the weekend.

Cubs will throw Samardzija against Morton tonight, then Rusin vs. Cole followed by Arrieta vs Liriano. Then they have a day off Thursday and T. Wood vs. Lynn, E. Jackson vs Kelly and Samardzija vs Wainwright to finish the season, although they'll certainly skip Wainwright if the game proves meaningless in the standings or they know they'll need him for the wild card game.

There's not much in the statistical mile markers to watch for either this week, Rizzo and Schierholtz will battle for the team home run title (22 vs 21 at the moment). Despite the off-year, Castro will lead the team in hits (155 at the moment) and if he can manage a stolen base, tie the departed Alfonso Soriano for the team lead there, 2 will give it to Castro outright. Rizzo will lead the team in runs (70), doubles (39), walks (74), on-base percentage (.323 amongst those with enough plate appearances) and potentially home runs. Schierholtz will take the batting average (.252) and slugging percentage crowns(.475).

On the pitching side, Travis Wood and Samardzija will both get a chance at 10 wins this week, Samardzija will need to win both his starts and Wood his sole opportunity. Regardless, both will end up with below .500 win-loss records, not as meaningful as it's just ugly to look at. Samardzija will of course take the strikeout crown for the team and is 4th in the NL overall at 203. He won't catch up to Kershaw(224) for the league lead, but he has a legit shot at the #2 spot...Cliff Lee(209) and Burnett(203) should have just one more start this week and Wainwright(209) may just have one more start.

Anyway, sort of a can't lose week this week for the Cubs, they win and they screw with their division rivals, they lose and they do well in the draft.

 

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Comments

More important than this Cubs B.S....DA BEARS!!!!!

Alright, the defense doesn't feel like they could stop anybody if they really needed to, but it always felt that way under Lovie too. They still seem to have the turnover knack though which I'm surprised by.

Steelers are far from even decent right now, but have to love the Bears being able to move the ball and execute in the 4th. Although I could do with less Cutler leading with his throwing shoulder when running.

A blowout that felt like a close game....

@ Lions, vs. Saints, vs Giants on Thursday, @ Redskins

3 of 4 would be nice

Interesting that the Bears D got better AFTER Melton got carried off. That showed some character to me. They didn't deflate. The turnovers are a nice carryover from the Lovie era. Trestman has said he inherited a well coached team, all he had to do was install his system. I always thought Lovie's teams were pretty well coached. The offensive side was absymal, but defense held its own pretty well.

I hope Cutler doesn't make a habit of it, but his plowing his shoulder into that DB was awesome. I do think the media are the only ones who think Cutler doesn't have respect because of his playoff thing. He takes a pounding and I am pretty sure NFL players respect him, but it was good national TV stuff for others to see him do that. And honestly, I think he has pretty good football instincts. I doubt he would have tried that with a bigger guy and he had the perfect angle to wipe him out. Good stuff.

I love the quick pass stuff. I hope they keep working out the kinks in that. It was really effective for the first quarter til Pittsburgh started adjusting. And I love how they've Marshall Faulked Forte. They've had 50 offensive coordinators in here who have said they would do that with Forte and haven't.

I'm still worried about the D, but it did do better Sun night. Still, I see teams marching the ball up and down the field at will on them. They can't depend on turnovers forever. Williams sort of picked it up, not sure who went in for Melton - wasn't paying enough attention, but he must have done ok.

Oh, and Howie Long's kid? Nice pick.

bWAR leaders for Cubs

W. Castillo: 4.2 (even if you don't buy defensive WAR, especially for catchers which you probably shouldn't, his 2.2 oWAR is best on the team).

T. Wood: 4.8

Castro dead last among all hitters on team (qualified and unqualified) at -0.8, Barney at -0.5

Vin Scully is cool...

"The mayor of Los Angeles has a great deal more important things to do than name a street after me," Scully responded.

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/09/vin_scully_way.php

"Welington Castillo underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday."

minor procedure...4-6 weeks recovery...still, hope he can retain his value as a C (which he should).

as a C he's really useful...1st/OF not so useful except off the bench or low value/low cost filler.

Verlander making a run at 20K

10 K through 4 IP...79 pitches though so far.

weird season for him...he's been working a lot more deep counts than in years past.

he had velocity issues earlier in the season, too...then he turned the corner and could bring it 97+mph again. part of his "magic" was being able to work 92-95mph early in the game then up'ing his velocity to 95+ after a couple times through the lineup or when he needed to nail down the AB. it's almost like having 2 different pitches even though they're the same arm slot/grip/etc.

speaking of velocity issues...before r.halladay was pulled after throwing to 3 batters for "arm fatigue" tonight, he was topping out at 83mph...yow.

down by 1...3-0 count, man on 1st, 0 outs...valbuena hits into a double play.

this new "cubs way" sure is interesting.

And it was a foul ball ...

h.rondon with 7 outings in a row without a run...amazing after going on a nearly 3 month stretch where he didn't have back-to-back scoreless outings.

7ip 1h 1bb 6k

a.rios has hit for the cycle in TEX...in only 4ab and 6 innings.

double, single, HR, triple...

bog single, runner to 2nd on a hit/run groundout to pitcher (good ol' d.barney and his bat), runner to 3rd on a wild pitch, d.murphy single...

...tie game!

k.gregg gives up a solo HR with 2 outs in the 9th!

awesome! cool! rad!

2-1, top 9...

Gregg. Ugh x 50. Also blame Sveum ... Gregg not exactly on a roll.

at least it's almost over...

he was great for a good chunk of the year, but held onto that closer role a while longer than he should have.

i can't imagine he'll be a cub next year, even on the cheap.

Agreed.

Also that play to end the game SUCKED. Painful.

right move to send him imo, can't expect another hit from this offense....Schierholtz was coasting into 3rd though and appeared surprised that he was being sent...should have tried to actually slide under then knock out Martin, but such are the breaks of a shit team.

I agree on all points. He appeared to coast approaching 3rd and then to slow down and brace himself approaching home ... Both ineffective and awkward looking. I have no problem sending him as well.

Pirates in an interesting situation ... still have a chance at the division, so maybe they shouldn't party too hard tonight if it costs them a game tomorrow?

Twins, White Sox win...Cubs lose, good for the draft pick race.

cubs are still getting 30K+ people a game showing up to watch this atrocity on the field...though looking at what's in the stands it seems like 10K scalpers and ticket brokers are getting screwed in the wallet for some of the home games.

in the 1st half they had 9 games with attendance below 30K...some weather-related (especially the early TEX series of 2 games with 29K and 26K).

in the 2nd half they've had 8 games with attendance below 30K (3 of them 29,000+ attendance, though) and some of those were weather-related.

they've broken 40K four times...vs STL (2), LAD, and MIL (home opener).

cubs are still getting 30K+ people a game showing up...

I don't buy this. Maybe "sold". But not turnstiles.

Al Yellon, to the best of his ability, has an attendance watch thing on his site that you can check out and considering he is there every day, and not entirely on the Cubs payroll (yet), his estimates seem pretty reasonable.

RE: the Girardi twitter link above

Any of you watch enough baseball to know if Girardi is actually any good, now that he has a few years under his belt? I know there's the argument that the Cubs won't spend money on a manager but I don't buy that.

Draft pick watch...

I believe Cubs can do no better than the 6th worst record at this point and no worse than the 3rd worst record. Last night Brewer win/Cub loss combo guarantees the  Cubs the tiebreak edge in the standings with the Brewers. 

2.5 behind White Sox for 3rd spot, 1.5 ahead of Twins for 4th spot and 3 ahead of the Mariners.

Notable ex-Cubs playing in Japan (NPB):

Casey McGehee: 295/376/522 with 26 HR & 89 RBI and 29 doubles
Matt Murton: 315/361/486 with 17 HR & 80 RBI and 36 doubles
Bryan LaHair: 230/306/428 with 16 HR & 57 RBI and 19 doubles
Micah Hoffpauir: 186/276/310 with 5 HR & 45 RBI (53 K in 163 PA)

Free Matt Murton!

Grab your crotch and keep reaching for the moon

According to WSCR Theo is going to "follow league protocol" in pusuing Girardi and the Cubs are hot for him.

Well - it is obvious that it would be ok to fantasize about what a good manager (if anything) could do with the team they have currently.

With a $15MM payroll in 2006, and some terrific young pitchers (Willis, Anabel Sanchez, Nolasco, Welly), the team wound up only 4 games under .500 and had Hanley Ramirez, Josh Willingham, Miggy, Uggla, et. al. (TEAM OPS: 1.115) Joe won a Manager of the Year Award, and most important, told Loria to fuck himself.

Would he want to come here and live through misery for a year + ?

Would he want the headache?

the very idea of paying girardi $3+ million to come play house on this crap team rather than sinking the $2-$2.5m+ saved vs another manager into the actual product on the field kinda disgusts me.

we've done the "50+ year old savior" before...and paid them handsomely to do it.

ultimately, it's the product on the field, not the old man playing psychologist and roster shuffler.

what girardi did in 06 is a function of what his team did with him at the helm in 06...he didn't make/break any of those guys.

plus, girardi does some weird stuff with bullpen management...and he makes some weird double/triple player switches (especially for a guy managing an AL team). he's anything but a sure thing...and managers heralded as "sure things" seem to be heroes one year and bums the next season or 2 later, such as jack mckeon and currently mike scioscia.

put the $2-$2.5m+ into the product that actually takes the field.

I hear what you're saying about spending the $2.5M+ on players vs. a manager. I've come to the conclusion player payroll means shit. As it stood this morning, 5 of the 10 potential playoff teams had payrolls of less than $66M. I would love a manager/coaches who could teach a Barney to hit, take Castro/Rizzo to the next level, teach Samardzija to have a long-term memory of 20 seconds when he's on the mound, etc. But, is it the player(s) or the manager? Soriano sits for 5 years under Pinella/Quade and plays LF like he doesn't give a shit -- then, Sveum's staff takes him out to LF before every game and he becomes, arguably, a Gold Glove candidate last year. Is it the development skills of the manager/coaches, or is it the player who gives a shit (or in Soriano's case, starts to care)?

I've always seen MLB as a high-paid, small town of about 1,200-1,500 players, coaches, execs who know (or should know) about everyone's dirty little secrets. Look at Keppinger today leaving the White Sox (bad shoulder, allegedly). Everybody in that clubhouse thinks he's a dick with ears. MAYBE, it's less about the Sveum/Girardi/Gardenhire's of the game and more about the Theo/Jed's building a roster of players who have real baseball skills, want to get better at baseball, and are willing to be coached and put in the work to get better. I believe if the Cubs had more of that, the playoffs/titles might not be so far away.

"I would love a [manager] who could . . . teach Samardzija to have," etc.

Girardi would teach him to have short hair.

I would love a manager/coaches who could teach a Barney to hit

Anybody that could teach Darwin Barney to hit should have an MLB batting coach job for life.

d.barney gets a night off...l.watkins in.

the quest for the sub-.300 slugging mark takes a break.

They may use him to pinch-not-hit.

Like

it's a cold night and all, but this seated attendance for the last night game @wrigley for the season is pathetic.

seats are filling out more...must have been a lot of people waiting around in the concourses staying warm before 1st pitch.

awesome...more shitty baserunning leading to outs.

way to go sureholds + navarro.

also, c.rusin...love is over.

bottom 2nd, 3-0 PIT/CHC

What exactly happened on that sureholds play at 2b? I missed the play and just saw they had three hits in a row and no runs.

(Was this his encore after last night's rumble to home fiasco?)

clusterfuck.

for some reason navarro ran full on towards second...took a few steps towards 3rd, then slowed and returned to 2nd...sureholds, seeing how fast he was running and where the ball was in the OF kept running towards 2nd. sureholds tagged out half way between 2nd and 1st trying to return to 1st.

navarro could have made 3rd...running like he was going to...sureholds assumed...sureholds out.

Thanks crunch. That's kinda what I pictured when I looked at the play on my MLB AtBat text . . . Keystone Cops.

rusin done after 2.1...men on 2nd/3rd

4-0 in the 3rd.

b.raley in as if that's some sort of difference/improvement/whatever.

raley Ks the 1st 4 batters he faces and gets the 5th to pop out through 1.2ip...lulz.

The Neifization of the infield continues. Barney 13 for his past 87 (.149)

lim in...

single, walk, walk, K, double, IBB to get to the pitcher, K...

34 pitches for 2 outs...double switch...sweeney enters, sureholds exits, b.parker on to pitch...bases loaded. awesome.

6-1 PIT/CHC

...parker gets the K...free-bleeding contained and stopped.

Two observations from being at the game last night (free tickets/masochism):

1) Lim is absolute torture to watch, even worse in person.
2) I think I heard the crowd was announced at 32,000. No way that many in the house.

wacha (STL) has a no-hitter through 7...86 pitches.

through 8...99 pitches.

Crazy infield hit with 2 outs in 9th. Wacha is a real great kid . . . Very classy. Cards are playing some fine basball. Molina is a stud.

broken up after 8.2ip

then rosenthall comes in to finish out the game.

cubs bases loaded, 0 out...rizzo up...cole staying in the game.

woo...fielder's choice/error SS...run scores, still 0 outs.

navarro works a 3-0 count...then strikes out swinging 3 times (at least he fouled one).

then another K...then a fly out to the track (nice tease, bro).

6-2, end of 6.

There's been much written about the 0.045 tv rating in the Houston market for last week's Saturday game vs. the Angels, which meant that an average of 915 households were tuned into the game.

Apparently, Sunday's game got a 0.0 rating, which means the audience was so small, it was unmeasurable.

Houston Chronicle story:

http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2013/09/accordi...

Sample size of 581 households. Granted, of course, 0 out of 581 is pretty grim, and I bet fairly representative, but you would think in the digital age they can come up with better reporting mechanisms than meters that, I assume, are actually still installed in the home? That seems crazy. These systems are all digital now. It should be easy for cable companies to provide better metrics.

I'm sure Google could find a way to monitor what all of us are really watching - if that's what we really want...

Girardi, Gardenhire, or Scioscia? Assuming all are available who do you want? I guess you could pick Sveum, too.

Girardi I guess? Scioscia seems hellbent against playing youngsters, Gardy has a rep as a good manager...so I wouldn't be disappointed there...hmm.

Draft Pick Watch: White Sox, Cubs and Twins all lose...Mariners win though and with the tiebreaker, Cubs can do no worse than the 5th pick in the draft.

Cubs 2.5 back of White Sox with 4 left to play (5 for White Sox), 1.5 ahead of Twins (also 5 to play)

This is exciting!

Rosenthal...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/dale-sveum-chicago-cubs-manager-under...

...The Cubs did not hire Sveum to be a long-term answer. He was the caretaker, the bridge to the big-name manager who would “complete the job” once the team was ready to win.

Sveum knew it. The Cubs knew it. Everyone knew it.

TheJedi: Hiring big-name managers since....never?

Don't get me wrong, they very well may want Girardi and think he's a good fit, but I'm 98% confident it has nothing to do with his "big-name" status.

Ownership might want a "big name" he they think the additional salarly will be paid for by increased attendance. Not that I buy that agrument.

if ownership was dictating the managerial hires based on potential ticket revenue, Ryne Sandberg would have been named the manager two years ago.

Good point, but it wouldn't shock me to see them hire Girardi.

it wouldn't shock me either, but it won't be because of his "big-name" status, it'll be because they know he can handle the media, the players will respect him and he's in tune with whatever "The Cubs Way" is right now and isn't going to constanstly clash with TheJedi.

Dunno about that -- does anyone really come to the ballpark to see the manager? Would Ryno managing a 95 loss team bring out more folks than Sveum? Unless the team improves, other than a very short-term Ryno blip, I don't think so -- althoguh it does give the press something to talk about.

Now, if they hire Kate Upton to manage the club, I, for one, would attend more games.

Might be a way to stop all the Cuban free agents from going to L.A.

Dunno about that -- does anyone really come to the ballpark to see the manager?

nope, hence why the Cubs would not be hiring Girardi for his big-name status...but rather if they do hire him, because they think he'd be good at the job.

2013 Cubs attendance lowest since.........1998.

lowest since.........1998.
----
does that season attendance include the playoff game vs the Braves?

even in 2011, on the 2nd year on the wrong side of a .500 record the team was taking in 35-40K rather regularly.

it seems the "we're going to punt" mantra of the past 2 seasons has degraded enthusiasm.

when the kids finally trickle up to the majors and/or there's more hope from signings/trades...or the team starts winning in spite of either of those facts the fans will come back.

for a huge stretch run of seasons the problem was not having enough good/non-obstructed/non-nosebleed seats for the people that wanted them and an ever-growing + never-moving season ticket list. it'll return. the market and the draw the stadium is too large not to...especially when they can pull 30K in tickets sold in a season like this following last season. some teams in contention can't even pull 30K even when they are competing...aside from the obvious like TB, the reds are drawing rather pathetic numbers for a team that's going to the playoffs this year.

Nice finish to the home season for Starlin...

Carlos Gomez stares at a HR in first, everyone on the Braves yells at him including Brian McCann who stands in his way while he tries to touch home plate. Reed Johnson gets a sucker punch in there on Gomez while he's jawing with McCann.

Seems Gomez and Freeman are out of the game, no idea how McCann stayed in...seems like blocking the runner from touching home plate would be an ejectionable offense?

Regardless, bush league all around...don't they know better to just drill him the next time up?

You can find the video on the MLB gameday link.

Never seen anything like that. I am COMPLETELY stunned and flummoxed that McCann is not tossed. Without him literally blocking the plate by a good 6 feet (Gomez never did touch it), the whole thing might have actually blown over (at least until Gomez batted again). I completely blame the braves, and I don't know why they even give a shit. Bush league is right.

I would bet on a suspension/fine for McCann - they can't really condone a catcher blocking the plate. On a HR. That would be quite a precedent. Probably a suspension for Reed too.

Also was Aram tossed?

Gameday says "Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman ejected by 1B umpire Doug Eddings", "Atlanta Braves catcher Gerald Laird ejected by 1B umpire Doug Eddings", and "Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez ejected by HP umpire Paul Nauert". So they didn't eject McCann because they had already thrown out the backup catcher who was on the bench? Laird does not appear in the box score at all. What a mess.

_________

edit

I see Carlito weighed in on this while I was typing my comment. Sorry for the 3/44.

how did r.johnson not get run?

I like Johnson as much as anyone here, but he better get fined before this is all over. McCann too. The umpires clearly lost their grip over that whole situation -- couldn't control it and couldn't even keep track of what happened.

Interesting note: in reading the braves brewers box score it says Braves' catcher Gerald Laird was ejected in the first along with Freeman and Gomez. Very odd . . . wonder if this played into McCann not being ejected. Or if Laird was ejected as Proxy for McCann or something bizarre. Weird.

'Roid rage all around.

strop got the 8th and gregg got the 9th for the save tonight...odd, i think.

I half wonder if Sveum felt pressure from Matheny and Dusty to 'play the best lineup' in this 3 team pennant race.

A reasonable hypothesis.

Draft Pick Watch Update:

Cubs win, WSox and Twins lose

WSox would need to sweep Royals over 4 games and Cubs lose all 3 to Cardinals for Cubs to get the 3rd pick in the draft. Royals were eliminated tonight though.

Twins within a half game of Cubs, finish the season vs Indians. Cardinals could clinch division on Friday, so Sat/Sun games may be meaningless to them.

Cards and Braves are fighting for best record in NL (cards just took the lead) so Sat / Sun games will likely mean something.

Baseball Prospectus article on their top 20 prospects to have impact in 2014 but not make the opening day roster ("The Stash list"):

2) Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs

Oh, what do we have here? Just a shortstop-eligible player who hit 37 homers and stole 20 bases between High-A and Double-A this season. The word out of Cubs camp is that Baez is skipping the Arizona Fall League to rest up for a big Spring Training battle, in which he’ll get time at other infield positions. Of course, he’s likely to lose that battle since there are service time concerns here, but Baez has the bat speed and #rig to put up some crooked numbers upon his arrival.

15) Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/SS, Chicago Cubs

Not only did Alcantara survive the Double-A test in 2013, he flourished—hitting .271 with 15 homers and 31 steals. On top of that, he cranked a homer off Anthony Ranaudo in the Futures Game, putting an exclamation point on a great season. Alcantara’s biggest obstacle in 2014 may be the fact that he could be competing with Javier Baez for a shot to play 2B on the North Side.

20) Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs

The second player on this list who has yet to cross the all-important moat to Double-A, Bryant is also the only 2012 draftee here. A lot would have to go right for Bryant to get him into the majors before August, but he has enough upside to warrant inclusion even with that being the case. The power is real and it’s fantastic.

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

Should've gone with "spectacular" at the end there.

Nice Seinfeld reference, there.

I can only assume the Cubs will pass.

"[ ] Cano is searching for a deal that would pay him $305 million."

http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2013/9/26/4773088/robi...

Polish up the resume Andy McPhail...Bud Selig retiring after 2014 season.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/who-will-be-baseball-s-next-commissioner--1...

some candidates, please let it be W...baseball needs more easy punch lines.

Fuck, he'll just ruin baseball like he almost did the country. Let him stay in his bathtub painting his kneecaps.

past tense, but Wes Darvill added to AFL and Almora bumped up from taxi squad to full-time status. Baez and Vizcaino are out as mentioned before.

Wes "Why Do You Even Know My Name?" Darvill.

jim "there is crying in baseball" leyland let loose the tears last night upon clinching.

it's like clockwork...win or lose something important...here comes the emotion.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/61714200/

The Odd Couple

Rizzo too laid back, Castro too hard on himself....

Rangers with FOUR errors in the 2nd inning behind Garza.

SF fans, even though they're losing 2-0 in the 5th, are applauding almost everything tim lincecum does (even just bunting). multiple people also have a lot of "we love you tim" and other such signs at the game.

i dunno if they think his days in SF are done after this year or they want to send a message to the team that they want him back.

Draft Pick Watch: White Sox and Twins lose, Sox clinch 3rd spot in draft and Twins move into tie with Cubs for 4th spot, Cubs do own the tiebreaker.

Jim Callis loves the Cubs in 2015.

The Cubs are the last-place team poised to contend the soonest.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

I read this and had to put on my shades

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NZKLZmz4kA

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