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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  • Don't know if Cubs will recover from "spanking" Gordo

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/cubs-sent-home-...

    jacos 3 min 37 sec ago view
  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 12 hours 29 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 13 hours 45 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 14 hours 28 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 14 hours 29 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 14 hours 31 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 14 hours 34 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 14 hours 34 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 15 hours 2 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 16 hours 6 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 17 hours 12 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 18 hours 1 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 22 hours 31 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 13 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 13 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 13 hours ago view