''His arm action's good; he's throwing free and easy...He's not close to throwing off a mound yet. There's some issues
there, no question.''
No, not a reprint of a 2005 article or 2004 article or 2006 article, but rather Larry Rotschild talking about Rich Harden at the Cubs Convention on Saturday. Don't worry though, the Cubs have the spin ready.
Cubs insiders say Harden is right on schedule toward a strong, on-time
and well-conditioned start to spring training and the season.
Of course they believe that...but what about this?
But sources also confirmed Saturday that Harden has a tear in the
joint, just severe enough that some players might seek surgery but
slight enough to be in a range often treated effectively with a
strengthening program, therapy and a well- managed work schedule.
A tear you say, never had any problems with one of those.
That's more than the Cubs let on last fall, even after the
revelation that Harden had a cortisone shot for ''rotator tendinitis.''
But Harden has been working six days a week this offseason on a
program that might be the most rigorous of any Cub -- and the first of
his career to focus this strongly on his shoulder, team officials say.
In fact, the team estimates his shoulder is stronger now than it was
when he joined the team in July and started piling up 97 mph scoreless
Other things the Cubs have estimated over the years: Sosa would never become a problem with the team and will be beloved by all fans, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior would pitch full seasons in 2006 and 2005, and that they'd win a World Series sometime within the last 100 years.
''I'm on a set program, and I'm not behind at all,'' Harden said.
''I'm right on schedule and feeling great. I'll be ready for the start
of the season for sure. There's no doubt in my mind. Nobody has any
doubts whether I'll be ready or not. I will.''
If anything, that might have been the confusion with Rothschild's
comments -- that Harden isn't ready to throw from a mound by design.
He's on a deliberate throwing program to ease him up to pitching
condition by the end of an extra-long 2009 spring training.
They tried that shit with Mark Prior.
it didn't work.
Anyone have Kevin Towers phone number?
Dr. Hecht's medical take is below.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.