TCR Friday Notes
...Friday's game thread is below...
- As you've probably heard by now, the Cubs received 25-year old outfielder/first basemen Doug Deeds from the Twins today as the PTBNL in the Craig Monroe deal. A ninth-round selection of the Twins in 2002, the lefty was an honorable mention on John Sickels top 20 Twins prospects before 2007, but didn't make the cut in 2008 after a rough year in AAA. His scouting report on Scout.com before the 2007 season sure had some encourging notes:
Deeds is one of the more polished hitters in
the Twins’ organization, and each year he seems to grow at the plate.
He has the ability to hit to all fields, and has shown the ability to
hit at every level he has played at during his Minor League career.
Deeds is a great defensive outfielder, and
should have a future as an everyday corner outfielder in some
organization, hopefully the Twins. He makes all the plays in right
field, and has a tremendous arm that enables him to scare potential
base runners from advancing a base. He uses good closing speed to get
to balls that most outfielders do not get to, and has had his fair
share of outfield assists throughout his Minor League career.
His career line is still a solid 291/374/463 and hopefully a change of scenery will benefit him. I imagine he'll be headed Mike Wellman's way and on to Iowa.
- I don't care to read too much into Lou's quick trigger with Rich Hill yesterday, even if Lou is hinting that Hill better straighen it out soon. He seemed set on wanting to start the righty Jason Marquis as is, and I think Hill just gave him an excuse with his lack of control to get Jon Lieber in there as soon as possible. As for Felix Pie, let's say I wouldn't be too surprised if he gets sent down soon and Matt Murton gets called up. Reed Johnson would take over full-time CF duties, Murton would roam the outfield and Kosuke would probably be the CF backup, much like he's doing tonight.
Personally, I think 23 plate appearances isn't enough to judge a 23-year old kid. I do think that if Lou wasn't on board with giving Pie a legit shot to play through some early struggles, he should have been traded this offseason for someone Lou would play...like that Brian Roberts character we heard so much about.
- We had a couple lists this week of the All-time greatest Cubs killers. I can't get the spreadsheet that "Big_Lowitzki" gave me to import into google docs to give you the full results, but here's the bottom 10 with at least 350 PA's versus the Cubs.
|Player||OPS vs. Cubs
As reader "Chad" noted in the commments, we've owned Pujols to a tune of a .945 OPS. I'll see if I can put up some proper pitchers lists in the near future, which some of you started in the comments already.
- There was some brief talk about Korean Cubs pitching prospect Dae-Eun Rhee yesterday in the comments. That reminded me of an email I received earlier in the week from a guy who runs a website called the East Windup Chronicle. He's recently been hired by the Cubs as a scout in Korea, and although he can't discuss the players the Cubs are targeting, he does do write-ups on players after they've signed. One such player is Dae-Eun Rhee and here's a little excerpt:
He’s listed as 6′2 and 195 lbs, which is 10 lbs. heavier than his
signing weight. He throws right-handed and his birthdate is 3/23/89.
What makes the team really excited about this kid is the fact that he’s
already throwing three pitches well and is working on a fourth. His
best pitch is a tailing four-seam fastball that usually comes in
between 87-93 MPH. He can locate it to both sides of the plate and has
very good control overall. He throws a well-developed 11/5 curve that
drops as low as 73 and a less-developed splitter in the 77-82 range.
The fourth pitch is a power slider.
You can also find his site in our TCR Blogroll under the prospects section.
- It seems our Cubs Injury Calendar corrected itself when I updated Scott Eyre's entry. It use to duplicate the entries once you tried to navigate the calendar. Chalk it up to Google weirdness.
- Some site updates you may have noticed over the last few weeks: Added a Cubs schedule widget to the right sidebar, updated the "Quick Links" in the left sidebar and added a "TCR Approved" Amazon affiliate store of personally endorsed products by the TCR writers. Plus some social bookmarking links on the bottom of each post for BallHype, Digg and Stumble that help promote the site.
.- The TLFC and TCR have a little bet for the season. Seems TLFC thinks Ryan Braun is going to repeat his monster 2007 campaign, while I'm a bit skeptical. We set the bar at 35 HR's and a 925 OPS. I say he reaches neither and TLFC says he'll hit both or above. If he reaches one, but not the other, it's a tie. The stakes: TLFC gets to take over TCR for the day if Braun does hit 35 or more home runs and has a 925 OPS or higher. TCR gets a black TLFC cap and clock from his Cafepress store if Braun is unable to reach both goals.
- You may have noticed the Rotohog link at the top right of the page. They tell me there's a Cubs league you can join now as well. It's free to create a team and they offer all sorts of prizes (and we get some kickback for any teams that sign through that link).
- Speaking of kickback, don't forget about our TCR April Pledge Drive, even if GROTA doesn't care for the idea. I promised an update each Friday and so far we've received 18 donations for a total of $411.30. A good average, but a bit short of our hopeful, if not realistic goal (100-$2000). I would be thrilled with about $800, which would at least cover our startup costs and I could pay our writers back. And thanks to all that have donated so far.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.