The Cubs Over/Under on Wins is Set at 71

The pre-season ritual of BP releasing their preliminary PECOTA numbers is upon us and as expected the Cubs are in the bottom 5 of the league. They've got them tabbed at 71 wins at the moment, 3rd worse in the league with only the Astros and Marlins being worse. Apparently that doesn't include the recent Jason Hammel signing, which should be good for maybe a win on the positive side (maybe not).  Of course, it's all just theory now, but until there's something practical to follow, forecasting and guessing are about as much fun as we're going to have around here.

I don't subscribe to BP anymore, but the link to the Cubs page can be found here and apparently it's particularly unkind to Jeff Samardzija (0.1 WARP forecast). Fangraphs posted the ZIPS projections last week as well, and they were much kinder to Samardzija (3.2 zWAR forecast). Both systems seem to think Castro and Rizzo should have solid bounceback seasons. The #1 Comp column on the ZIPS tables is always a fun read: Baez=Ripken, Soler=Candy Maldonado, Rizzo=Carlos Pena, Schierholtz=Randy Bush, Edwin Jackson=Jaime Navarro and so on down the line.

I'm taking the under by the way, I think TheJedi are gonna be a little reluctant/stubborn on bringing up Baez, Bryant and some others and then the mid-season trading will take it's toll like it did last season.

Comments

Marlins sign Jeff Baker to 2-year deal, previously gave Reed Johnson an NRI and Casey McGehee a 1-year major league deal.

Sam Fuld gets minor league deal and invite from the A's.

so the cubs are in on Suk-Min Yoon...wonder if they see him as a starter or reliever.

he used to be a starter...worked pen last year (and on/off in years past) because of shoulder issues. *shrug*

http://www.baseballamerica.com/statistics/players/...

I sure hope that if Baez, Alcantara, Hendricks, etc are having good seasons in AAA that HoyStein doesn't hesitate to call them up June 1...July 1...whatever...if Barney, Castro, 3rd baseman X are struggling

they said they felt they rushed Jackson and Vitters up and it did them no good. I wouldn't be surprised that they stick to their 600 AAA PA's guideline.

Don't shoot the messenger.

Jorge Soler will be out of minor league options in 2016, so the Cubs will have only two more seasons to get him 600 AAA PA.

As things stand right now, it is unclear where exactly Soler will start the 2014 season. It might seem logical to have Soler start back at Daytona with his best buddy Albert Almora, get into a groove, and then get moved up to AA Tennessee in May or June. But if the Cubs want to get him 600 AAA PA before he runs out of options, Soler will probably need to spend at least part of the 2014 season and all of the 2015 season at AAA Iowa, which means starting the 2014 season at AA Tennessee and then getting a promotion to AAA by August, regardless of whether he has mastered AA by that point in time.   

Hopefully Soler won't end up like Wily Mo Pena, who was signed to a major league contract as a teenager, and then ran out of minor league options before he was ready for MLB. 

 

 

fair to say that without the injuries, Soler would have been in AA last year and most likely AAA at some point this year. Don't think they'll hold him back from AAA for too long if he's raking. Soler may be a slightly different case since he has a major league contract. Part of that 600-PA-somewhat-bullshit stand is obviously keeping guys service time in check. Less of an issue with Soler.

Not shooting anyone Rob....just throwing in my unnecessary .02
:)
Jackson and Vitters each had 450 At bats or so in AAA before getting brought up...Vitters put up .304/.356/.513 in 452 PA's.
I dunno....I would understand not bringing up the rooks I suppose.

I tend to think the "we rushed Jackson and Vitters" stance is a euphemism for "these guys failed miserably, but there's no point in giving up on them just yet, so what else do you want us to say?"

The 600 PAs rule will be flexible and influenced by the situation with the MLB team as well as the performance of the individual prospects. If there is no 3B and Barney continues to hover around the Mendoza line and Baez + Bryant/Alcantara rake, what are you gonna do?

indeed, doubt we'd see Baez before the Super 2 cutoff though for sure. Alcantara is hardly a can't miss bat anyway, the more he learns the better.

Frankly, for all of Baez's athleticism and quick wrists, his defense still needs tons of work along with his strike zone judgement. I see no reason to call anyone up until they have nothing left to prove in the minors regardless of what is happening at the major league level.

Injuries will probably end up dictating a lot of these call ups anyway, then it'll be up to the prospects to keep their jobs.

Sigh...that's probably true Rob. It's logical.
Then I will hope for my guy Logan Watkins to get a shot! Lol

DUSTY B: With the change in the "Suiper Two" threshhold in the 2012-16 CBA, the approximate MLB Service Time cut-off for Super Two ststus in arbitration post-2013 was right about 2+120 (it was about 2+140 in the previous CBA), so if you want to avoid Super Two status with the player down the line (post-2016), you wouldn't want a player to make his MLB debut before June 15th. (Of course that supposes the player is brought up and never gets sent down again, as happened with Starlin Castro).

Also, we don't know if the Super Two threshhold will change again in the next CBA, and the next CBA actually might go into effect by the time any player making his MLB debut in 2014 is eligible for Super Two consideration. Maybe the threshhold will stay the same, maybe it will go down even further (it certainly won't go back up to where it was pre-2012), or maybe they will eliminate Super Two status in return for Article XX-B MLB free-agency after five seasons of MLB Service Time.   

BTW, Javier Baez is not Rule 5 eligible until post-2015, so he doesn't need to be rostered this season or after the season.

Kyle Hendricks will be first-time Rule 5 eligible after the 2014 season, though, so a September call-up (if not earlier) would be perfectly understandable for him. (Arismendy Alcantara is already on the MLB 40-man roster).  

Including Hendricks, there are presently 75 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft. Among the 75 are RHPs C. J. Edwards, Dillon Maples, and Tayler Scott, who are eligible even though all three were HS draft picks in 2011, and HS kids normally get four seasons before they are eligible for Rule 5 selection  However, Edwards, Maples, and Scott are Rule 5 eligible post-2014 because all three were 19 years old on the June 5th prior to signing. It's unusual to have even one HS draft pick eligible for Rule 5 selection after four minor league seasons, but to have three at once is VERY rare.

  

"Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune hears that the Cubs are unlikely to sign right-hander Suk-Min Yoon."

"Former star pitcher turned television analyst Curt Schilling announced Wednesday that he is battling cancer.

The 47-year-old Schilling, who spent 20 years in the major leagues before retiring in 2009, divulged the news in a statement released through his employer, Bristol-based ESPN. It did not indicate what type of cancer Schilling has, when he was diagnosed or what his prognosis might be."

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/former-pitcher-...

Barney signs for $2.3M

Marmol a fish. 1/$1.25
Rodney a Mariner, 2/14
Schmidt, 3/44

This has been an abysmal off season, and probably is going to be another abysmal season, but I still believe in the plan. I also believe in Cubbery, and believe it is perfectly possible for Theo to leave, frustrated, before the plan bears fruit, and whoever replaces him will lose sight of the original vision.

Kyler Burke has signed with the Phillies according to BA.

FA's still out there

N. Cruz, E. Santana, U. Jimenez, S. Drew and Morales all have draft pick compensation, so they're obviously no-go's

I know the thing is to blame the "system", but how about blame their dumb agent for not taking the $14.1M deal? Regardless, other than Cruz, no one there makes any sense as does any other of the position player free agents left that aren't compensation attached.

Pitching wise, Burnett and Arroyo will certainly go to contenders and Cubs seem set on starters at the moment. Still think they could use another reliever: Hanrahan, Ayala, K-Rod, Bailey, O. Perez, F. Francisco, K. Gregg, Dotel, Atchison I believe are still all out there.

and K-rod back to Brewers on a 1-year deal

And Arroyo goes to DBacks on 2-year deal.

"Arizona Diamondbacks SP Bronson Arroyo will make $9.5 million this year and $9.5 million in 2015. The deal includes an $11 million option for the 2016 season with a $4.5 million buyout."

great deal for ARZ if he can effectively pitch all 3 years...2/23.5 or 3/30

ARZ pitchers/catchers reported yesterday...LAD saturday...most of the rest of MLB trickling in over the next week (cubs 13th, thursday).

full workouts for most teams happen in 2 weeks.

Damn, I love baseball.

I cant wait for AZ Phil's reports to begin!

Baseball America lists the Cubs releasing:

Chicago Cubs
Released: RHP Daniel Adrian, RHP Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, RHP Eddie Orozco, LHP Matt Iannazzo, LHP Sheldon McDonald, OF Taiwan Easterling

the Rockies signed: LHP Garrett Schlecht (released by Cubs, Jan. 7)
the Red Sox signed: Mike Brenly

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/minor-league...

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  • Very nice. I saw him in Lansing in May. I'm still stunned that he hit a 400-foot foul ball onto Larch Street ... which is going the other way for a right-handed batter. It was perhaps the most amazing swing I've ever seen a minor league player take. I should also mention that it was about 40 degrees out at the time. Not that it's evidence of anything per se, but I feel his plate approach is way more advanced than Soler was at this stage in his development and that the comparisons aren't really fair to Jimenez. 50/50 chance I'll go to Midland tonight for the low-A debut of Oscar de la Cruz.

    John Beasley 40 min 33 sec ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.

    Finished the night 4-5, with two doubles - 32(!) on the season - along with the grand slam. Sick

    Eric S 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • Meanwhile, out West:

    SF is 2-11 since the break, lead over LA is down to one game, and they are running out Cain and Peavy this weekend against the Nats. Challenging times by the Bay.

    billybucks 2 hours 49 min ago view
  • Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.

    Hagsag 6 hours 44 min ago view
  • The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).

    A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was. 

    Arizona Phil 11 hours 53 min ago view
  • Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.

    ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)

    Arizona Phil 12 hours 7 min ago view
  • Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.

    Old and Blue 16 hours 59 min ago view
  • Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.

    Brick 17 hours 23 min ago view
  • Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
    Hope they can sustain it.

    blockhead25 17 hours 50 min ago view
  • Don't sell yourself short, Judge.

    Jackstraw 18 hours 17 min ago view
  • I love this team.

    Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.

    Rob Richardson 19 hours 45 min ago view
  • Hey! I remember this team!

    billybucks 19 hours 53 min ago view
  • The key for Heyward's offense: get early leads. Heard a stat on Mike & Mike on the way to work that his avg/power much better this year when the Cubs have the lead. And true to form he gets the two run dinger with Cubs winning 3-0 ...

    Eric S 21 hours 20 min ago view
  • I'm sorry - I was probably not looking at the correct line, or spot, or...who knows!

    I could blame it on the weed, but I stopped smoking many years ago.

    Fortunately, I can rely on the rest of you sober and astute folks to bring the correct info forth.

    The E-Man 21 hours 47 min ago view
  • Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.

    Old and Blue 22 hours 53 min ago view
  • Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.

    I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....

    Dusty Baylor 23 hours 16 sec ago view