Recent comments

  • was the last out, bottom 6th more about Adam Warren being good or about the Pirates struggling this series?

    and on cue, Len and JD discuss:
    JD: It appears that Adam Warren is becoming Joe Maddon's favorite club.
    Len: You mean favorite Cub?
    JD: No like a favorite golf club.
    Len: Like Billie Baroo (from Caddyshack)

    Cubster 7 min 38 sec ago
  • Rizzo on fire

    9th hr

    /5-0

    jacos 14 min 2 sec ago
  • By the way in relation to the zany suits Madden was saying his other reason for forcing players to wear them in public is to cause some awkwardness and embarrassment in the players that they'd have to overcome. He said he feels this ability might help players when they screw up in the game recover more quickly. Not sure if it will but he definitely thinks about the things he does.

    johann 42 min 28 sec ago
  • Brutal. Pirates load the bases with 0 outs and fail to push any runners across. After two tough games, that really has to suck the wind out of them. Man...

    Ryno 1 hour 15 min ago
  • Bases loaded no outs

    Lester pitches out of it

    jacos 1 hour 15 min ago
  • Hahaha

    Brick 1 hour 20 min ago
  • Most excellent! MTFBWY!

    The E-Man 1 hour 31 min ago
  • Btw Star Wars Day, May the Fourth

    Score
    C-3 P-0

    /found on twitter

    jacos 1 hour 42 min ago
  • Rizzo almost killed McCutchen with a line drive to center.

    /blazin

    jacos 1 hour 52 min ago
  • Don't agree with you, but an interesting discussion. I find this thinking limiting and not in-tune with the latest brain and physiology research. The fact is we use only a tiny fraction of our capacity, and if one can increase motor function along with brain capacity you achieve greater flexibility and value of the (player) asset. For the club's and player's benefit.

    The E-Man 1 hour 54 min ago
  • Oh, no. "Now the benchmark is quickly shifting to whether they [the Cubs] can become one of the best teams in baseball history."

    via http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-cubs-start...

    matthewcooksie 2 hours 3 min ago
  • Lester should try that for pickoff throws.

    Ryno 2 hours 9 min ago
  • Daniel Murphy

    jacos 2 hours 43 min ago
  • any other unemployed on parrot chat?

    jacos 2 hours 43 min ago
  • Please be Noah Syndergaard and Andrew McCutchen...

    Joking. I really like Andrew McCutchen. ...

    Ryno 2 hours 51 min ago
  • Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.

    billybucks 3 hours 9 min ago
  • http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/15458724/more-ped-busts-coming-ma...

    "OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"

    Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!

    Rob G. 3 hours 17 min ago
  • Sorry typing too fast.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 29 min ago
  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

    johann 3 hours 37 min ago
  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

    Ryno 3 hours 42 min ago
  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

    billybucks 3 hours 42 min ago
  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could. To accommodate Paredes at SS, the Cubs have been moving Andruw Monasterio (who was the #1 SS at AZL Cubs in 2015 and the presumptive Eugene SS going into Minor League Camp) around the infield (SS-2B-3B) at EXST. 

    It's interesting that the two of the three most-advanced position-players from the last two Cubs IFA classes are from Mexico (Carlos Sepulveda and Issac Paredes). Maybe the Cubs are on to something by placing a much-greater emphasis on scouting Mexico (the Cubs have signed as many players out of Mexico in the 2015-16 International Signing Period as they have out of Venezuela).  

    As far as the other Cubs 2015-16 IFA at EXST are concerned, Yonathan Perlaza is a switch-hitting Dominican SS who loads up on his back leg (both RH and LH) and tries to pulls everything, and he does have good bat speed. Defensively he has throwing issues at SS that will almost certainly result in a permanent move to 2B if the problem is not corrected (he's already started playing 2B). He reminds me a lot of Frandy de la Rosa (traded to TEX for Spencer Patton this past off-season), who became a much better prospect once he was moved from SS to 2B.    

    Both Aramis Ademan and Christopher Morel are injured, but they are the more-legit shortstops (moreso than Paredes or Perlaza. and more along the lines of Carlos Penalver).  

    Kwang-Min Kwon is a LH-hitting corner OF and he has plus-power (he won the HR Derby at Instructs post-2015), but he also has a slow bat (what's sometimes called a "slider-speed bat") and he gets blown away by high velocity (94+). 

    Jonathan Sierra is (like Kwon) a LH-hitting corner OF. Sierra is a good hitter (better than Kwon) with a line-drive stroke and HR-power potential (he shows it in BP but not yet in games). I like Sierra better than Kwon. 

    Abraham Rodriguez is still another LH-hitting corner OF, and he has a really solid lefty swing, but doesn't display the same HR power in BP as Kwon or Sierra. A-Rod is more like a Bijan Rademacher-type.  

    Ruben Reyes is still another LH-hitting corner OF, but he is more about speed & defense and eventually could see some time in CF. His hitting needs work.  

    Miguel Amaya is a legit front-line catching prospect (he has a plus-arm and is very athletic and "cat-quick" behind the plate -- he has the body of an infielder). His bat is a bit behind his glove at this point, however, although he does show some promise as a hitter. It's not unusual for young catchers to be slow to develop as a hitter, because they have so much to learn about the pitchers they handle and defense (receiving, framing, throwing, blocking balls in the dirt, catching pop-ups, etc). 

    Kevin Zamudio has more a classic catcher's body-type, but he is below-average defensively and plays as much 1B as he does C. But Zamudio has plus-HR power, and would probably project as a #2 catcher who can play 1B & DH. Zamudio is still another Mexican kid who could move fast, though probably not this year. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 11 min ago
  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

    The E-Man 4 hours 44 min ago
  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 50 min ago
  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

    Rob Richardson 5 hours 8 min ago
  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

    billybucks 5 hours 12 min ago
  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

    billybucks 5 hours 15 min ago
  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 16 min ago
  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

    The main problem with Cease is command & control, and yesterday was really the first time he threw strikes fairly consistently. Too often he struggles to command his fastball (it's like a teeenager driving a Porsche 918 Spyder) and/or can't get a feel for his curve, but if he can sustain yesterday's outing and make it typical (and also use the change-up more-regularly in games), he will move a lot faster.  

    Cease will be Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2018, so if he moves at a normal pace he will be at South Bend in 2017, Myrtle Beach in 2018, then get added to the 40-man roster in November 2018, and then be optioned to AA in 2019. However, if he skips South Bend in 2017 or spends only half a season at South Bend in 2017, he could conceivably be ready for AA in 2018, and he could get a call-up later that season, since he has to go on the 40 post-2018 anyway. 

    But I can't see him pitching in MLB any earlier than mid-2018 (and that's absolutely the best-case scenario). An MLB debut sometime in 2019 is more realistic (and even that's an optimistic ETA, since it presumes no setbacks along the way).  

    I will also say that right now the top three pitching prospects in the organization are (in no particular order) Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, and Duane Underwood Jr, and only Underwood is anywhere close to being MLB-ready (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2016, and so he could get a call-up later this season -IF- he dominates at AA). Cease and Hudson will both likely be in the starting rotation at Eugene in 2016, and then everything becomes TBD.

    BTW, Hudson actually is more-advanced than Cease in terms of command. and if anyone skips South Bend next season, I would say Hudson would be the one more-likely to do so.  

    Cease and Hudson are both legit TOR starting pitching prospects, but they are way down in the pipeline. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 18 min ago
  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

    johann 5 hours 28 min ago
  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

    The E-Man 5 hours 56 min ago
  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

    Rob Richardson 6 hours 2 min ago
  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.

    KingKongvsGodzilla 6 hours 16 min ago
  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.

    ...it's also worth mentioning high(ish)-end AA rhsp prospect p.blackburn (22yo) is ripping AA a new one with a 0.29 ERA and 0.87 whip through 31 innings (5 starts), but the enthusiasm is paused by only racking up only 15Ks in 31ip. that said, the control/command he's displaying is impressive. he's mostly working with a very low 90s fastball and a very nice curve. hopefully it plays well at higher levels.

    crunch 9 hours 52 min ago
  • Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...

    Given Cease's timetable this season (which I agree with) Eugene to start and if he does well a late promotion to South Bend. What are the chances, given his special ability, that the Cubs have him start next season at South Bend and if he dominates, break with tradition, and promote him mid-season to Myrtle Beach with an eye on him starting in AA in 2018.

    There's a lot of "assuming he does well" in there. I guess what I'm asking is do you have a sense that Cubs brass will treat him differently because of his talent level?

    Thanks.

    K Dub 13 hours 28 min ago
  • nice.

    also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.

    also also, the wsox are 19-8.

    crunch 13 hours 54 min ago
  • Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.

    billybucks 16 hours 16 min ago
  • Fully agree on Addy -- hope he is our SS for a long time. I'm just surprised he has 4 errors already -- the last 2 on routine plays.

    billybucks 16 hours 17 min ago
  • Guess how many Carlos Correa has?

    3

    I would still rather have Russell, right now, than any shortstop the team has had in many years. The future is bright enough to wear shades.

    EDIT: Gonzo WOULD have been my favorite, 'cepting a certain error of a double-play ball...

    The E-Man 16 hours 28 min ago
  • Hi Phil, made it home tonight safely. Looks like Cease is getting better each outing. I see Crow did ok today too. I will be reading your write_ups everyday. Great seeing you while there!

    bigsky33 17 hours 8 min ago
  • tomorrow's game is a 12:35pm EST game for some ungodly stupid reason...then it's back to wrigley field for a night game on the 5th.

    crunch 17 hours 9 min ago
  • The best part of tonight's game was 6 different players with RBIs. Truly a lineup that doesn't give up top to bottom.

    johann 17 hours 14 min ago
  • excubs [email protected]_NEWS

    Jake Arrieta first Cub to go 6-0 in first six starts since Three Finger Brown in 1908.

    QuietMan 17 hours 36 min ago
  • Russell now with 4 errors -- that's a big (unpleasant) surprise.

    billybucks 17 hours 42 min ago
  • Thanks Phil!

    billybucks 17 hours 43 min ago
  • Throwing error to 2nd on a possible double play ball.

    Sonicwind75 17 hours 46 min ago
  • 19-6...unf.

    crunch 17 hours 51 min ago
  • Can someone tell me what happened on Russell's error?

    The E-Man 18 hours 9 min ago
  • BILLY BUCKS: As things stand right now, Dylan Cease will be in the Eugene starting rotation when the NWL season begins play in June, and if he peforms well there he could perhaps move up to South Bend toward the end of the minor league season or for the MWL playoffs (if South Bend qualifies). 

    Arizona Phil 20 hours 15 min ago
  • i'm more "wtf?" about him hitting 2nd than playing LF...especially since zobrist exists.

    crunch 20 hours 21 min ago

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