Cubs Trade Mark DeRosa
Bruce Levine of ESPN1000 is reporting that the Cubs have traded Mark DeRosa and the $5.5M on his contract for 2009 to the Cleveland Indians for three minor-leaguers, RHP Jeff Stevens, LHP John Gaub and RHP Chris Archer.
You have to think a trade, let's say for a certain pitcher from San Diego whom I dare not speak his name, is possibly forthcoming.
I'll try and get some info on the prospects in a bit.
UPDATE #1: Link from espn.com, although I think they have a typo on John "Caub".
UPDATE #2: I poked around a bit and none of the three prospects showed up on Baseball America's recent top 10 Indians' prospect list or John Sickels Top 20. In other words, this deal only makes sense if they're all headed to another city, let's call it San Diego, to give them the quantity of pitchers and players that they wanted in that trade for that certain pitcher, whom we'll refer to as J.P.
Scouting reports and biographies that I could piece together on the prospects after the jump....
Jeff Stevens was drafted in the 6th round by the Cincinnati Reds in 2005 out of Loyola Marymount University. A year later he was traded to the Indians as part of the Brandon Phillips trade. He pitched for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics as well. He features a 92-93 mph fastball that can get up to 95mph, an above-average curve and has been working on a slider. He spent most of the 2008 season closing for the Indians Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. The 25-year old is certainly the best of the three players the Cubs are getting back.
23-year old John Gaub was a 21st round selection by the Indians in 2006 out of the University of Minnesota and had an incredible 14.06 K/9 rate in A-ball last year, even if he was a bit old for the league. He was considered a flamethrower in college, but had his shoulder scoped after his sophomore year which in turn resulted in a loss in velocity. He seems to be getting it back up to the mid 90's on occasion but usually settles in the low 90's with a decent slider and a change-up as well.
20-year old Chris Archer was a teammate of John Gaub at Lake County last season and although he had a healthy 8.27 K/9 rate last season, he walked an incredible 84 batters in 115.1 IP. The 5th-round pick out of high school in 2006 throws in the low 90's with a "plus slider" and scouts think he has the frame to build on that velocity.
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.