TCR Friday Notes

...returns after a one week break.

- There was a brief discussion in the comments about who should be the Cubs All-Stars. I think the deserving candidates are Carlos Zambrano (leads NL pitchers in VORP), Carlos Marmol (leads NL relievers in WPA), Geovany Soto (leads NL catchers in VORP) and Aramis Ramirez as a backup at third base to Chipper Jones. Ramirez is just a few notches behind Garrett Atkins in VORP for the backup spot, but he has a slight edge in home runs, RBI's and huge lead in OBP...and the Rockie kind of suck right now.

On the outside looking in, are Kosuke Fukudome(12th among all NL outfielders), Ryan Dempster (12th in VORP) and Derrek Lee (4th in VORP). And don't be surprised if Soriano gets himself back into the mix before too long.

- I noticed today that you can view Iowa Cubs highlights from their home page. Neat.

- Speaking of our minor leaguers, Alex Eisenberg has done some writing for The Hardball Times and runs his own website, Baseball-Intellect. He recently ran a nice analysis of Tyler Colvin that includes a nifty little breakdown of his swing.

- The June amatuer draft is fast approaching and the Cubs have the 19th pick in the first round. Details of whom the Cubs might be pursuing have been sparse so far, but Baseball America posted their first mock draft today.

19. CUBS.
Chicago is the first team that has been linked to Cole, though it's
always possible that another club is lying in the weeds. The Cubs have
no pressing needs and scouting director Tim Wilken loves athletes, so
they could take a long-term project like Hewitt. Wilken's Gulf Coast
ties also could lead him to Kelly, who shows equal promise as a pitcher
and a shortstop.


Projected Pick: CASEY KELLY.

Cole is California prep righthander Gerrit Cole, Hewitt is Connecticut high school outfielder/shortstop Anthony Hewitt, and Casey Kelly is Florida high school righthander/shortstop/quarterback Casey Kelly. If this story is true, Kelly has actually committed to quarterback for the Tennesse Volunteers, so it's going to take a big bonus to talk him out of that. Good that we have practice in that (See Samardzija, Jeff).Similarly, Cole was named the top high school prospect by one website, but has a verbal committment to UCLA. I haven't found much on Hewitt, except this page which just has a picture and some combine-like numbers.

- The 2008 run differential leaderboard:

Cubs +71
Diamondbacks +52
Athletics +34
Indians +31
Astros +25

- A couple shout-outs to some Cubs sites. There's The Cubs Brickyard and Cubbie Nation. Cubbie Nation is a new addition to the Cubs Blog Army and The Cubs Brickyard was the former Bricks and Ivy Radio. Stop by and say hello.

- You may have noticed some new advertising on the site. Some of that is just ad rotations, but we do like to give a mention to those that directly advertise with us. Seatrocket.com, as the owner described it, is a more "organized craigslist". You'll see some other ticket service ads in the ad services we use, but seatrocket.com is a free service. And the last time I checked over there, I saw some tickets being offered at face value, which is always a good thing.

- We are undergoing just a few minor site tweaks, which have included so far, reducing the header on the top of the page so you can see more content when you first load the page. It's subtle, but helps a bit. We added that top banner ad on the upper right and fixed the headline size for those that use Internet Explorer 7. A few more should be done by next week.

Comments

The Cubs currently have no pressing needs? Really? Tell that to the writers at BA, please.

well, theyre just not desperate anywhere and they have immediate youth in the pipeline.

granted, some of it is yet to prove they're MLB ready, but they got decent coverage even if it's lacking in "sure-thing" top guys.

SS/2nd is always in need and the cubs are no different...probably their biggest need, but hard to draft for. so many end up having to give up 2nd/SS on a pro level and their bats tend to be weaker than draft peers in the higher rounds (the ones that actually stay middle IF'rs anyway).

still...there's a nice crop of kids currently contributing in smaller roles (aside from soto) coming of age. the pen and starting has a decent amount of arms in the pipeline.

would be nice to have some better corner OF prospects in the pipeline, but then again the cubs won't have to worry about that for a while...in the mean time tyler colvin's trying to prove he's the guy who should be the post-fuku (if necessary) guy in the OF.

Everybody wants the next Ryne Sandberg or Jeff Kent - a MI who'll hit for avg and power. Hey 3 MI's with BA in the .280-.315 range who don't make many errors are fine with me these days. But I guess of all the Cubs "ML-ready" minor leaguers, MI is lacking more than a couple tools(yes, I'm counting E-Pat as "lacking").

Heck - I haven't seen anyone mention the Cubs home numbers this season (knock on wood, no pun intended) but compared to last year, the Cubs are raking at home.. finally. That's the key to getting many games above .500.

I would think Fukky would need to pump up the power a bit for A/S consideration. Great avg. and OBP, but for a middle-of-the lineup RF (not his fault, but still) -- very few HR and RBIs.

If the game were today -- Soto, Marmol, Z and Dempster would get my votes. Each has been terrific and pretty consistent. Lee has really cooled off, and has a surprising number of errors.

Top Caught Stealing (MLB)...

1. R Theriot, CHC, 7 CS

(9-way tie for second place)
2. C Figgins, LAA, 4 CS
R Freel, CIN, 4 CS
M Mora, BAL, 4 CS
H Ramirez, FLA, 4 CS
J Reyes, NYM, 4 CS
B Roberts, BAL, 4 CS
B Upton, TB, 4 CS
E Velez, SF, 4 CS
D Wright, NYM, 4 CS

Dodger catcher has the yips.

Yikes

Ruined Macky Sassers career.

Fbomb may make All Star game due to pub.

Cubs needs-one more starting pitcher.

Please.

I saw an advertisement for DykeFinder.com on TCR today. I think the target demographic for that banner might've been a little off...

Why did you find of all people find this? I find that too fitting.

Well there is bear dating for you also, Carlos.

;-)

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080516&c...

tear in the capsule of his right shoulder, won't throw for two weeks, but no surgery.

Present Cubs Disappointments

For those who care about what's become of our #3, was listening to the I-Cubs game when RICH HILL suddenly got in trouble after two were out in the third inning. He issued three walks and a couple runs and was pulled after talking with the trainer. No clue what was wrong. But today's DesMoines Register has this story

BACK STIFFNESS
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...

So that's what the "firecracker" in his shoulder was.

Towel drills will commence shortly.

Off topic, but how about that Josh Hamilton fella? Still clean and sober (at least as I type this), hitting .314 with 10 HRs and 49 RsBI for Texas.

Trading him for cash to the Reds 17 months ago didn't seem crazy at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight.....man. Do I even want to know how little cash the Cubs got for him?

Nobody really saw Hamilton's bustout coming, but this causes pain and sadness for me. Felix Reedmonds isn't a total disaster in CF, but Hamilton (and his $400K salary) would be a monster out there.

Top 10 offensive numbers for Cubs minor league position players over their last ten games:

* bats left
# bats both

(BA/OBP/SLG)

AT IOWA:
* Micah Hoffpauir, 1B-OF - 324/343/676
Matt Murton, LF - 316/366/421

AT TENNESSEE:
* Tyler Colvin, CF - 289/373/500
* Nate Spears, 2B - 303/378/424

AT DAYTONA:
Josh Lansford, 3B - 351/351/514
* Mark Reed, C - 310/412/394 (also 59% CS)

AT PEORIA
Jovan Rosa, 1B-3B - 362/475/643
* Cliff Andersen, CF - 405/500/538
* Dylan Johnston, RF - 351/400/567
Elvis Lara, LF - 389/444/472

Agreed that Marmol is deserving, but how many setup men go to the all star game? Seems like it's all starters and closers.

Pressing needs in the minors? A few more position players who can hit would be nice.

- Peoria ranks 10th (of 14 teams) in the Midwest League at .239.
- Tennessee ranks 10th (of 10) in the Southern League at .231
- Daytona ranks 3rd (of 12) in the Florida State League at .268
- Iowa ranks 11th (of 16) in the Pacific Coast League at .269

how many setup men go to the all star game? Seems like it's all starters and closers.

aaron b listed these in a previous thread:

Okajima
Justin Duchscherer
Tom Gordon

And those are just the most recent ones.

Timmer, broad measures are about quantity but it's quality that matters.

Recent comments

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  • 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?

    QuietMan 15 min 17 sec ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    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.)

    VirginiaPhil 15 min 55 sec ago view
  • 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.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 22 min 22 sec ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 25 min 54 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 29 min 30 sec ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 38 min 26 sec ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 40 min 18 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 46 min 4 sec ago view
  • QuietMan 54 min 2 sec ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 13 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • 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.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 46 min ago view
  • 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.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • 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?

    The E-Man 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 36 min ago view