39 players on RESERVE LIST (one slot is open), plus three players on 60-DAY DL
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Felix Doubront
* Eric Jokisch
* 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....
Billy McKinney has the type of swing you see from really good lefty hitters like Bill Buckner, Al Oliver, or George Brett. Of course McKinney just turned 20 last month, so we'll have to wait a few years to find out if he can develop HR power and/or win a big league batting championship. Whatever happens, he will only go as far as his bat can take him. because his defense-arm-speed are just OK-passable-average.
I can't fathom a world where Max Scherzer isn't a Yankee or a Red Sox.
I think Shields is a bit long in the tooth for Cubs to make a run, plus the draft pick comp.
They'll certainly get well on down the road with Lester, but a lot of teams will. We'll see where the Cubs cutoff for risk aversion is, because pretty sure will be offered get 6-7 years, some sort of NTC and around 20-25M per year.
"I hope we add impact talent, but it has to make sense."
This is the take-away quote regarding free agency for me. I'd paraphrase that as "We'll pay, but we won't overpay". Not sure how that gets impact talent here since one or some owners are almost always willing to overpay.
Get Lester in this winter on a fair but not absurd deal because of previous connection to Theo, and then Price (or other TOR starter) next winter and plan to overpay since he will be key/final piece of regular playoff runs.
that sweet lefty swing you see every now & then.
The only time I've heard the word "sweet" and lefty mentioned together regarding a Cub: Billy Williams. That's a pretty lofty comparison if I'm reading you correctly. Maybe it's just a comp for their OF skills (which sounds like a reasonable comp as far as your take on his OF skills).
"We're going to be very involved," Epstein said. "We will add talent from outside the organization. I hope we add impact talent, but it has to make sense. We can't completely sell out for 2015. It's starting to be the right time to add impact talent.
"We try to look at these things in stages. Between this offseason, next year's trade deadline and next offseason, we will add impact talent from outside the organization.
CUBSTER: Billy McKinney has that sweet lefty swing you see every now & then. It can't be taught. He hit a HR over the RF fence in a sim game last week, and he shows that same power in BP, but he didn't show it in games at Daytona. He doesn't appear to have the arm to stay in RF and I doubt that he will have the range to play CF, either, but he's more than a 4th OF. He can flat-out hit.
AZ Phil: although Billy McKinney and Kyle Schwarber (Sac Fly is a good thing) didn't get hits, can you comment on what you see when watching them and maybe some updated projections on them. Also, would love to hear what you think of Chesny Young. Thanks.