40 players on RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus three players on 60-DAY DL
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Felix Doubront
* Eric Jokisch
* Joe Ortiz
* Zac Rosscup
* Tsuyoshi Wada
* Travis Wood
* Wesley Wright
* John Baker
* Rafael Lopez
* Anthony Rizzo
* Luis Valbuena
* Logan Watkins
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Chris Coghlan
* Ryan Kalish
60-DAY DL: 3
James McDonald, P
Justin Ruggiano, OF
* Ryan Sweeney, OF
2015 Draft Pick Order
For failing to sign top overall pick Brady Aiken, the Houston Astros will get the 2nd pick in 2015 draft as well their their regular pick. The teams with the 10 worst records (top 11 picks) have their first round pick protected if they signed a qualified free agent this offseason.
Back in April, I put up some polls for our readers to rank the position players and number one pitchers in the division. I originally intended to get them up before the season started so any hot starts wouldn't influence the results. I failed miserably at that and the poll results showed that (Derrek Lee second?). Nonetheless, let's revisit the fun.
I had to take a little break to bash Brenneman yesterday, but NL Central Smackdown is back. I was going to just try and cover all the pitching in one post and have you guys vote on the pitching staffs as a whole. But who really want to decide between Brandon Backe vs Braden Looper. On the other hand, the crown for the best staff ace is worthy of discussion.
Before we examine left field, I remind you to check out and vote on center field and right from this weekend if you missed it. As for the left fielders, I think it's an intriguing group and something that should really test the "homer" vote that's been going around
in the previous installments. I think Soriano is as good as they get
out there in the division, but he seems to be quickly falling out of
fans' good graces as of late.
Before we head to the outfield, we take on the field generals. A difficult position to evaluate with the numbers just because there's just no great way to numerically measure a catcher's defense, leadership and ability to work with his pitching staff...but we'll do our best. I did want to note, I'll keep going with these through the weekend just so we can finish this up by early next week. If you take the weekends off from TCR, be sure to check back Monday and vote on the polls you missed.
We march on around the diamond. Today it's the double play partner of yesterday's vote. The Cubs so far have the 2nd best first basemen and second basemen in the division. Can Ryan Theriot keep the streak going? Answer - no!
I started off with the first basemen yesterday and I'll leave the poll up until I get through all the positions. If you need a primer on all this, be sure to check out that first post as well on the first basemen.
Today though we move to the second basemen. While Hendry tries to win by sheer numbers, it's about quality, not quantity. Your contestants after the jump....
I was going to try and get this up before the season started, but that clearly didn't happen for a variety of reasons. But that's no excuse to let the work go to waste. Basically I thought it would be fun to go through each position player in the division and the starting pitchers and see how we rank them. Who’s the best now? Who will be the best over the next 3 years? I'll be using Baseball Prospectus's WARP-3 numbers for the most part, which includes both offense and defense and most importantly for this exercise, projections for the next three years. Once we get through the eight positions and the starting pitchers, I'll finish it off with a Bill Simmons inspired (ripped off) trade value chart.
Here are the ground rules. We're trying to figure out who you'd rather have on your team. Do your best to take your Cubs bias out of the equation if possible (that shouldn't be hard for some of you). But we're also trying to figure out who has the best players on the their team right now, so I'm going to use the players projected to get the most playing time this year. Sure, Jay Bruce will eventually take over center field duties in Cincinnati, but who knows when. The chart after the jump includes their 3-year WARP-3 averages (2005-2007) and their projected 2008-2010 averages.The final column, appropriately labeled "Rob's Rankings", are simply how I ranked them before looking at any stats. For the most part I was pretty close to what the numbers bear out. I should also note that I did my rankings before the season started.
We'll start off with the toughest and most talented position, the first basemen. Your gladiators after the jump....
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My favorite Lou moment -- Cubs down a run in the 9th, get a man on first, ARam coming to the plate. The other team has a lefty on the mound. Lou pinch runs Felix Pie. Bob Brenley says this is a great move, since Pie can steal a base and put the tying run in scoring position. Pie never tries to steal 2nd. Brenley is flabbergasted as to why they would pinch-run Pie if he wasn't going to steal. The reason -- the scouting report said the lefty used a slide step with a fast runner on first, and when he went to the slide step, his slider flattened out.
Thanks Rob - all managers make head scratcher moves so I'm not worried about that angle. My overall feeling is that if everybody loves the guy then they ought to go for it. The march against Cubbery needs every angle it can get to overcome the stench we've had to endure.
it's a manager, no one has yet to devise a great way to really evaluate one vs the next in any tangible way. But we know he can succeed with young talent, we know players love playing for him, sure does love defensive shifts, is a really sharp guy.
Not saying Renteria isn't any of those things, and that Maddon wouldn't make some head scratcher moves here and there, but the track record and reputation are certainly there.
Is Maddon really that much better than Renteria? I honestly don't know that much about Maddon since I hardly pay any attention to the AL. Renteria had this team playing pretty sound, fundamental baseball. I haven't seen that in about ten years. I'd be bummed if they hired a star manager and then started missing cutoff men again or played wacky in their many other ways.
On the other hand, Olt.
It's these huge questions that I rely on you guys to answer, since I really have no clue what is best.
yeah, guess I could see Tigers getting rid of Ausmus. Mets made sense and was team everyone jumped on besides Cubs, but they've been rather adamant all day that they're not making a move, but that could change of course. Cubs on the other hand have been completely silent about it today.
Madden is the best person alive for the Cubs manager job because of the way he keeps player loose, having fun, not taking things too seriously outside the lines. No team like a bunch of barely-adults with 110 years of expectations, a media crush, and an insane fanbase needs to be relaxed as much as this one would.
Nothing against Renteria, but this would be a massive get. I don't typically buy into managers as key pieces on teams, but in this case, I am sold.