TCR Friday Notes

- Dale Sveum's ass must be pretty chapped from the hot seat he's been sitting in over the last week. Although he hasn't been fired yet, rumors earlier in the week had the Cubs targeting Joe Girardi and now another catcher is in the fold. Peter Gammons is saying that Brad Ausmus would be a person of interest if the Cubs do indeed decide to go another direction. Ausmus hasn't been given a major league managing job yet, but he did manage Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualification round and was a candidate for the Boston Red Sox job last offseason before the Red Sox traded for John Farrell. Also, if he would lead the Cubs to the promised land, he could help turn this leaflet into possibly a pamphlet.

- Baseball America has been putting out their top 20 prospects for each minor league. The Cubs didn't land anyone on the top Arizona League prospect list, but 6 made the Northwest League including Kris Bryant at #1. The other 5 are Paul Blackburn(#7), Yasiel Balaguert (#9), Dillon Maples (#10), Shawon Dunston Jr. (#12) and Kevin Encarnacion (#17). You can see how the Cubs have fared in the past over at Wiklifield.


interesting statistical...thing.

the top 5 teams in ERA in the NL all made the playoffs (in order): Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Dodgers, Reds, Cardinals

in the AL, the top one won't make it...the Royals, and Rangers are 3rd. A's (2nd), Tigers (4th), Rays (5th), Red Sox (6th) round out the field.

the team leader in ERA in the AL hasn't made the playoffs 6 years straight: Royals (2013), Rays (2012), Angels (2011), A's (2010), Seattle (2009), Toronto (2008). 5 of those 6 years, the same team that led in ERA led in run allowed with the outlier being the Rays in 2011 (who did make the playoffs).

Red Sox made it in 2007.

Minor League Ball Top 75 update

8) Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs: Pre-season 18, July rank 14. I do worry about the strikeouts but the power/speed upside is just enormous. I could see this going down a few slots depending on book analysis.

19) Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs: 2013 first-round pick. Masher.

22) Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs. Pre-season 44, July 18. The Cubs are going to have one hell of a lineup someday.

27) Jorge Soler , OF, Chicago Cubs. Pre-season 25, July 23. Holding steady pending health.

41) C.J. Edwards, RHP, Chicago Cubs. Unranked pre-season, July 73. Spectacular season from pre-season sleeper. You can make a case to slot him in the 30s.

70) Arismendy Alcantara, SS, Chicago Cubs. Unranked pre-season, July 57. Very broad range of skills, has speed, power, patience, don’t expect batting championships.

Pierce Johnson and Dan Vogelbach make honorable mention. Mike Olt tries to cry in his beer, but no tears flow.

Haw haw!

He never saw it coming.

fun times if there's a 3-way tie in AL wild card

the Indians would host the Rays on Monday, with the winner becoming an A.L. Wild Card. The losing Club in Monday's game would then play against the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday, with the winner of that game becoming the other A.L. Wild Card.

In the event of a two-team tie for one Wild Card berth, the Tiebreaker game would be played on Monday and hosted by the Club that won the season series between the two Clubs

btw, Rays and Indians have won 7 straight and Rangers 4 straight...Rays up 1 game on Indians, Indians 1 game up on Rangers, Rays 2 games up on Rangers...pennant fever baby.

pointless things from a pointless season...

"Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs

Travis Wood will pitch just one inning tonight to get to 200 for season. Then will be pulled for Brooks Raley most likely"


T. Wood pitching just one inning tonight to get him to 200 and will be replaced by Brooks Raley.

A. Wainwright moved up a day to start Saturday if anyone possibly cares.

What, did you say Bears? Oh,cares? No, guess not.

Sabean comments in the sidebar looks like they're going to re-configure the Giants...see how far they take it. I imagine everyone but Posey can be had at the right price.

Can't imagine Cubs would unload too many prospects for Cain or Bumgarner, but the possibility is intriguing at least.

given the fan outpouring last night for t.lincecum (lots of signs, lots of ovations) it might be him letting the fans know that with cain/bum around they're probably not going to sink loot into keeping lincecum around. i imagine they're ready to wash their hands of zito...can't imagine they'd want pence around since you could probably get someone like choo for a few million more at worst.

they've still got some key pieces around for another year under contract so i don't see them punting...though it'll probably point towards that if they get rid of panda and/or romo who are only under contract for 1 more season. scutaro + pagan + buster have multiple years left.

vogelsong has a 6.5m option...300K buyout...that might be interesting.

they need bats badly, especially more power...there's not many attractive options for that on the FA market.

I agree. This was definitely a pr bite to start softening the blow when Lincecum leaves etc.

the fan love for lincecum last night was rather impressive...standing O after a sac bunt...numerous ovations when he took the mound from pre-game til he exited...lots of signs in the stands.

He deserves it. Great player, and man he brought the hardware (personal and team) and did it with grace and style.

wood's last harrah inning not so sweet.

after a missed 3rd out sliding catch (ruled a hit) by bog...

hit (the botched catch), hit, hit, walk, lead by 3

he K's the pitcher with the bases loaded for the final out.

he gets his 200 innings...but his sub-3.00 era is now 3.11

It was a really stupid idea to pitch 1 inning and man did it backfire. Damn.

Btw if Sveum gets the boot on Monday (and I think he will) it will be for many reasons none of which are really anything close to incompetence. But I think one consideration was his dour persona - really a PR disaster and not what the Cubs want to project. It was like having a bridge troll as a manager.

If this team manages to get swept in St. Louis and put up a -50 run differential, it'll ease the pain of not having Cubs baseball to watch ... until about 6 hours after the World Series, of course.

it's rather sad that i'm sitting here with 2 games left (after tonight) of cubs baseball asking myself why in the hell am i still watching this game...

it's not even been messy's just been a display of mediocre talent doing the best it can do.

castro is 3-3 so far at least...

also, if d.barney is the starting 2nd next season this new "the cubs way" can go fuck itself.

also, i'm pretty sure the gun is hot tonight.

a.cabrera and b.parker were throwing 95 regularly...h.rondon was throwing 98 regularly...

also, rondon has 8 outings in a row without giving up a run after tonight. 8ip 1h 1bb 6k

c.martinez (STL) just threw a 101mph fastball...that gun is hot f'sure.

Ozzie and his sons watch out, you've got competition...

Recent comments

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  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.