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.
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.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!