Cubs Sweep A's in Cactus League Minor League Opening Day Action

Rob Zastryzny and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout and Trey Martin roped a double and an RBI single, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) shutout the Midland Rockhounds (Oakland A's AA affiliate) 4-0 on Field #5, and Jeimer Candelario belted two run-scoring doubles, Dan Vogelbach singled twice, walked, and scored two runs, and John Andreoli hammered a solo HR and a single, leading the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Cubs) to an 8-1 victory over the Nashville Sounds (A's AAA affiliate) in Cactus League Minor League game action Thursday afternoon at Mesa Cubtown at Riverview Park.


Although it doesn''t make much sense geograhically, the A's transferred their AAA affiliate in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) from Sacramento to Nashville after the 2014 season. 

Also, the A's Hi-A and Lo-A players reported to Spring Training a week later than the A's AA and AAA players, so the A's were unable to field teams to play the Cubs Hi-A and Lo-A squads at the A's new minor league home at Fitch Park, as would normally be the case when the two clubs' AA and AAA squads meet each other at Riverview Park. So the South Bend Cubs and Myrtle Beach Pelicans (the Cubs Lo-A and Hi-A affiliates, respectively) played an intrasquad game on Field #4 simultaneous with the Cactus League Minor League tilts on Fields 5 and 6.

Jake Stinnett got the start for Myrtle Beach and Josh Conway was the starter for South Bend in the intrasquad game, and both of the right-handers threw three innings and allowed one run a piece. Stinnett struck out four. James Norwood also threw three innings for South Bend. Eloy Jimenez clubbed a solo HR for South Bend off Pelicans LHRP Michael Heesch in the 4th inning.   

Only six of the position players presently assigned to the Iowa squad played in the game against Nashville. The others (Contreras, Giansanti, Ha, Silva, Soto, and Villanueva) were called-up to the big club to provide depth at the MLB "B" game at Sloan Patk and the night game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields. Several  members of the Tennessee squad (including Caratini, Darvill, McKinney, and Rademacher) were also absent from Minor League Camp today (same reason as the I-Cubs six), and Candelario and Chen were moved-up from Tennessee to Iowa for the day.   

Here are the abridged box scores from the two Cactus League Minor League games played on Fields #5 & #6 (Cubs players only):

FIELD #5

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1. Jake Hannemann, CF: 2-5 (1B, E-5, 1B, K, E-3, SB, CS) :
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-5 (F-9, P-4, 5-4 FC, K, F-9, R, RBI)
3a. Shane Kennedy, 3B: 2-3 (1B, K-DP, 1B, PO)
3b. Tim Saunders, 3B: 0-1 (K)
4. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-4 (K, 4-3, 4-3, L-9, RBI)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-4 (L-7, K, K, 6-3)
6. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, L-8, 3-1, SB)
7. Ben Carhart, DH-C: 1-3 (2B, BB, K, 6-3, R)
8. Cael Brockmeyer, C-DH: 2-4 (2B, P-3, K, 1B, R, RBI)
9. Trey Martin, LF: 2-3 (1B, 2B, HBP, K, 2 R, RBI, SB, PO) 

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Rob Zastryzny: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 4/4 GO/FO, 46 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Andres Santana: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Jose Rosario: 2.0 IP 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 34 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Ben Wells: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Tayler Scott: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 10 pitches (7 strikes)

TENNESSEE ERRORS: NONE

TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEEFENSE:
Ben Carhart 0-1 CS

FIELD #6

IOWA LINEUP:
1. John Andreoli, CF: 2-5 (1B, HR, F-9, 4-3, P-4, R, RBI, CS)
2a. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, HBP, K, 2 R)
2b. Shawn Dunston Jr, PH-LF: 0-1 (4-6-3 DP)
3. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, K, 2 R)
4a. Rafael Lopez, C: 2-3 (F-8, 1B, 1B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
4b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-1 (K)
5a. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-3 (4-3, 2B, 2B, 2 RBI)
5b. David Bote, 3B-SS: 1-1 (1B, SB)
6a. Ryan Dent, SS: 1-2 (1B, BB, F-8, R, SB)
6b. Bryant Flete,  SS-2B: 0-0 (1-3 SH)
7a. Pin-Chieh Chen, RF: 1-3 (3B, K, L-8, RBI)
7b. Adonis Paula, LF-3B: 0-1 (K)
8a. Kevin Brown, LF-DH: 0-3 (L-3, 3-6-1 DP, K)
8b. Tyler Pearson, PH: 1-1 (2B)
9a. Andrew Ely, DH: 0-3 (1-3, F-8, K)
9b. Shamil Ubiera, RF 1-1 (1B) 

IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Ivan Pineyro: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/4 GO/FO, 48 pitches (28 strikes)
2. Barret Loux: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
3. Hunter Cervenka: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 14 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Fernando Cruz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 15 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Matt Brazis: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 27 pitches (17 pitches)
6. Armando Rivero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
7. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 8 pitches (5 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: 1
2B Stephen Bruno - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Taylor Davis: 0-1 CS 

ATTENDANCE: 62

WEATHER: Overcast & very breezy with temperatures in the 60's 

 

Comments

Will Baez getting sent down to Iowa - his video highlight yesterday was an 8 pitch walk sandwiched between several strikeouts, with some embarrassing swings thrown in for good measure - change the Cubs minds towards Bryant? I think the Cubs are going to shock people and break camp with Bryant if he stays healthy and keeps mashing. The standing assumption of course is that they won't, but I think Maddon will want to break camp with his best hitters. Olt has had a pretty good spring, but he's cooled off some - still seeing the plate pretty well and so that's a consideration, but he's going to have to learn how to be a producitve late inning pinch hitter if he's gonna stick, not an easy task for anybody, much less a guy with his number of MLB at bats. But that scenario doesn't change with Bryant gone a couple weeks so I can't imagine why it would really be a factor. Normally, I'd be for them keeping him in Iowa for the allotted time because it shouldn't matter, but I've changed my mind (but I have no angst over this). One problem the Cubs have had the last couple years is their terrible starts. Bringing Bryant up kills a year from their service time before free agency, but it's still a long way off. He may not even be playing then due to injury or some other happenstance. Bringing him up with the team will be a morale booster to the team and especially the younger players. Sending Baez down at the same time sends a message - nothing is automatic. And, it may also win the Cubs an extra game. I think the service time is overblown. You can't assume he'll be playing at a certain level in 2021, that the Cubs will be any good, or, really, anything. What if he blows out his shoulder in 2019? Or in Iowa, week one, for that matter? Imagine the angst from that. Plus, the Cubs chances of signing him to a longer term contract before free agency are much better if they build that good will early, and that is ultimately what they'll want if he has the type of career we all think he will have. We don't want him to leave in 2021 (my apologies if I have the year wrong). We want him to be a lifelong Cubs player if possible. I really don't care too much - but I think it would be a lot of fun if the Cubs just went ahead and did it.

I'm on board with bringing Bryant north with the team, but I think the chance of it happening is very remote.

Hence the "I think the Cubs are going to shock people" part.

Sure, but we both know that they aren't going to shock people.

let me know when Bryant makes 10 good throws in a row from 3B in a game setting.

The goodwill thing is silly, he'll go to the highest bidder regardless.

"he'll go to the highest bidder regardless." Mike Trout disagrees. There's no reason to think he won't re-up on a deal before he hits free agency until he actually doesn't. Also, how is two weeks in minor league ball going to improve his throwing?

What is Trout disagreeing with? After his rookie season Angels auto-renewed his contract for like $600k and his camp got pretty pissy about it. Then they agreed to an extension the next season because the Angels forked over a ton of cash. Whatever lack of goodwill was afforded by the auto-renewal went away with lots of zeros at the end of the check.

I know Boras discourages pre-arbitration extensions, but I believe a few of his clients have signed them. It's just not going to be much of a deal for Cubs. They may get one free agency year if they're lucky and they'll be paying some high end arbitration dollars. 

As for the throwing, it's much easier to work on things in the minors. If Cubs are truly trying to be good this year, they can't afford to let him work it out on the major league level as they did with Baez last year or Castro's defense the years before.   And the fan and media scrutiny is so much worse in the majors, Baez K problems were all there in the minors and all the crap and questions Castro had to answer on a daily basis about his D.

I also think Bryant's K's are going to be a bigger problem than people want to admit right now. Not Baez problem level,  but something that will get exposed quickly.

My guess is we don't see Bryant until May unless the Olt, LaStella, Alcantara triumvirate really blows it or there's an injury. Actually hope Bryant gets some OF time here soon.

He might have some K issues. That's true. Putting up a .438 OBP between AA-AA last year seems to show to me that he'll still work the count enough to take some walks. Am I expecting that in the bigs? No. But putting up a .280/.370/.520? That I could see for sure. It's nice that there are options though.

The "he also walks so it's okay" is what everyone was saying about Brett Jackson too (and Hee Seop Choi). And a billion other power hitting prospects that end up being more Mark Reynolds and Russ Branyan than Giancarlo Stanton.

That being said, Bryant seems smart enough to adjust and I would be utterly shocked if he's not a superstar in this game. I just don't think he's going to hit the ground running like Trout did. I think he'll have a real bad stretch at some point this season and have to adjust and it might not happen this year and it might not happen in the majors. But majore league pitchers are gonna find that weakness and he's gonna look silly for a bit. I'd be happy with a low .800 OPS season from him this year. He's gonna have to go through some rough patches like Rizzo did imo.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/kris-bryants-o...

Fair enough Rob. Brett Jackson at AAA:.245/.330/.439 Kris Bryant at AAA: .295/.418/.619 I don't disagree that Bryant won't hit the ground running, but then neither did Trout his first go-around. I'd be happy with a low .800 OPS his first season also. It'd also be nice to see him playing in the field soon, whether it's LF or 3B.

let's compare apples to apples, Jackson's first AAA run when everyone was excited about him

297/388/551/939

I did forget about Trout's brief call-up at age 19, was talking about his rookie season.

Valid point Rob. Jackson did struggle a bit more his first time through AA...and was better in AAA. Trout was young....40 games and 135 PA's a little early I suppose. Hopefully, Bryant will do a little better than that to start.

RE: Trout - My point is that he didn't bother going through the free agent process, so service time is a non issue there, as it is for 90% of all the good players these days. It means nothing for most player now a days. So the Cubs buy nothing with those two weeks, most likely. So, working on that throwing for two weeks (or 4 weeks in your scenario) is going to iron out the problems? If you're right about May, I still don't see how that helps turn him into a much better thrower. It's a month. He played a whole year last year, and this is what they've got. If they don't like it, they should have put him in the outfield from Day 1 in spring training. A few errant throws to first are only gonna make Rizzo look even better. It's meh compared to bad throws at shortstop. It's also hard to put a lot of emphasis on a few bad throws in Spring training. He hasn't really got that reputation (they're more worried about his range and fielding) and it is probably due to his shoulder being sore. If they keep in Iowa to turn him into an outfielder, that's another thing. I don't see that as a month long project, though.

Maybe he'll stay down longer...Theo talked about getting him into a rhythm of throwing and getting down on every ball. I don't doubt for one second that Bryant spent most of his time last year worrying about his hitting and much less about his defense. Not saying he ignored it, but one thing to go through the drills and another to make it a priority.

As for the Cubs not buying anything by keeping him down, they buy leverage and potentially an extra year with those two weeks if Boras and Bryant really dig in on $$ or refusal to negotiate an extension. It's a simple business decision and luckily TheJedi don't listen to any of us.

Yeah Rizzo is awesome and will certainly help him look better, but there's a throw to second base he's having problems with too so far. Could very well just be the sore shoulder, I do know he has a strong arm, hopefully it remains accurate.

I'd much prefer him play 3B than crashing into brick walls and running over bullpen mounds in LF myself. I guess he'd still have to run over the mounds at 3b.

I know as uber-Cubs prospect, we're expecting a 10 WAR season from Bryant and a few weeks or a month means like 10 wins, but in reality, if he replaces a replacement level player and can put up an above average 4-5 WAR this year, you're talking one April win maybe of difference. I know which trade-off I'd take.

That all being said, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Bryant does make the team. I do think the Cubs are stressing the baseball more than the business in this decision. If Bryant can show some stable defense these last 2 weeks and continues to hit, that they'll bring him up.

The Bryant service time issue reminds me of the famous Stanford marshmallow study on delayed gratification in the late 1960s. Researchers would put a kid in a room with a marshmallow but told the kid if they waited 15 minutes they would receive a bigger reward such as a cookie. Two weeks of Bryant as a rookie is a little marshmallow, an extra year of Bryant in his prime is the cookie. Most arguments for starting Bryant in bigs are basically justifications for immediate gratification. BTW, subsequent studies showed that the children who waited the 15 minutes tended to have higher test scores and in general be more successful adults. I want the Cubs to be successful adults.

it's comments like that on why this place still stays open.

+1000.

When I hire software developers for my team, is it instant gratification for me to bring in a guy who isn't quite up to the same standards as some of my seasoned, grizzled old vets but wows us all with some great magic tricks with his his code? Once he's hired, as that's a closer comp, do I keep him off the glamor projects because he's hardly got any skin in the game yet, and may even make some big mistakes as he's learning some new systems? Maybe you would do that, but I won't. If I was worried that some clown was going to hit me with a Stanford study from the 60s about marshmallows every time I made a hiring decision, I'd have no team. You just go with the best guy you've got, no matter the age or experience level. You have no idea if Bryant will be in his prime in five years. He may be in his prime right now. He could go all Jay Williams on us, there could be an act of God, there could be a thousand other reasons he's not playing then. He could simply get hurt. He could have a couple great years and do what lots of other players do after big starts, and fade fast. What you are saying is, "I know for sure he's going to be a superstar in his prime in 5 years and therefore I am going to base all my decisions on that." Unless you have a time machine, that's a specious argument. Baseball isn't much different than a lot of other businesses. You go with the best person for the job. The more I think about it, the simpler it gets.

that's a helluva logical fallacy there, I'm going with False equivalence but I'm a little rusty on them.

And if we are going to use that rather odd example, isn't Bryant still going to work on the project anyway, just joining the team later on so that he can work on future projects as well as this one? If you knew you only get to use this software developer for 6 projects instead of 7 by using him now instead of starting him in 3 weeks and that the project would still be just as good, wouldn't you?

There's only one project that matters, and that's the one that's in front of you now. If I know he's going to be on the team in three weeks, why should I wait three weeks to bring him on? Because something might happen in five years? The fallacious argument is that we know what will be happening in five years, and basing our decision on that.

The difference is your developer isn't in a union that has a complicated collective bargaining agreement that makes it in your company's long term best interest to not bring him or her in for the first 15 days of the project. It is rather simplistic to say the only project that matters is the current one. Successful companies have long term plans and look to best allocate and optimize resources not only today but 5 years from now.

Actually, not true these days. The most successful companies build products quickly and are constantly poaching each other for top talent. Show me a company with a five year plan and I'll show you a Javy Baez tape of brilliant at bats.

Apple and Tesla.

They do all poach from other companies just like MLB teams do though.

Amazon. Microsoft. Even start ups looking for venture capital have to have a business plan.

Most successful modern businesses now use an agile approach to their product development. The product development may fall within the scope of an actuary's ledger, but the budget is the only impact the five year plan will have on that product, and that can also change quickly. Starts ups pivot all the time, often in the middle of a fairly successful roadmap. Even Microsoft has pivoted midstream. One minute they are binding Office to the desktop, the next minute they are offering free copies of it on iPad. There is no such thing as a five year development cycle in modern day business. Even the coal companies in Kentucky have to pivot to new regulatory realities.

There's only one project that matters, and that's the one that's in front of you now.

sorry you missed the last 3 years of rebuilding that put the Cubs in position to have a discussion about Bryant's service time.

If I know he's going to be on the team in three weeks, why should I wait three weeks to bring him on? Because something might happen in five years?

Yes, if you're fairly certain that in 5 years he'll be of more use to you.

if it is either or... 2-3 weeks of Kris Bryant at age 23 vs 1 year of Kris Bryant at age 28. Which has more value (duh), short of armageddon (shoulder-arm-a-geddon)? if it is not either or...and Boras wants him on the 4-5-15 lineup, then... Sign him to a 5+ year deal to buy out the arbitration years or more. Those are the current alternatives for both sides under the current collective bargaining agreement. Boras is just posturing so that this gets addressed going forward. Neither Theo, nor Boras individually can change that.

Somebody, I think Keith Law, is suggesting that MLB will need to come up with the Bryant Rules as part of an adjustment for this whole stupid thing.

"sorry you missed the last 3 years of rebuilding that put the Cubs in position to have a discussion about Bryant's service time." I'm not understanding how that's relevant - what is in front of them is still putting out the best team they can for the current project, which is getting to the playoffs, or the WS if you are Anthony Rizzo. If they keep Bryant down for just the two weeks, they're saying, in effect, we are not going to put out the best team we can, but we will in two weeks, after the season starts, so bear with us. But you seem to be arguing for keeping Bryant down to work on D, which is a completely different argument. I don't know about that one way or the other. You may be right - he may need more reps. If that's the case, two weeks isn't going to do a damn thing for his progress. Either will 4. So is your argument that he should play the year in Iowa? If the idea is to just keep him down for two weeks because the system is goofy, then I would bring him up with the parent club if you know you're gonna call him up when the service time clock says it is time. Otherwise, you're just sending the message that you aren't bringing in the best guys, which I do realize is the Boras argument. The difference is that I doubt Boras really believes it - he is just panning for gold. I'm not going to get into an argument about whether or not Bryant needs more time for defense. I don't know enough about it or him. I am just not buying that he should be down in Iowa for two weeks.

I'm arguing that the Cubs would be completely justified in keeping him down for service time issues and in a 162 game season means almost nothing, especially when they have decent options there right now.

I'm also saying that I think the Cubs will find any baseball excuse to not bring him up BUT if he actually does indeed show enough defensive chops these last 2 weeks of spring training, they will take start the season with him on the roster.

We'll agree to disagree on what he can work on defensively in the minors. He's not going to turn into Longoria down there, but he can work on his consistency and footwork. Reps help and better for his long term psychological health to do it in the minors.

I highly doubt they'll call him up the day his free agent clock passes either unless there's an injury. They don't want to make it too easy for the union or Boras.

I'm not understanding how that's relevant - what is in front of them is still putting out the best team they can for the current project, which is getting to the playoffs, or the WS

it's relevant because you're constanstly weighing the current with the future health of your organization. Any team that goes all in for one season will almost always regret it (see Hendry, Jim).

I can't keep up with the business-model talk, but I would say the fallacy here is to assume that "project" = "single MLB season." We've known since the beginning of the Jedstein rebuild that "project" = "competitive window in which roster talent lines up," approximately 5-6 years. (And I think we all hope that this window can be extended and/or renewed depending on the way the front office runs the franchise during that window.)

That's what I said, about one win in April, maybe. It's really hard to know what to expect from Bryant. I have actually not seen much of him yet. So everything I say is based on what I read. He's not a can't miss prospect in the way Gary Scott was, that pretty much seems evident. Brett Jackson had a nice swing, but he missed fastballs over the plate with regularity. My overall point is that the extra year is based on an assumption we can't know to be true. That Bryant will be good until then. That he won't get hurt, that Putin won't start a nuclear war and wipe us all out. I'm hoping it is strictly a baseball decision. I agree with you on one thing - I consider the decision to be in good hands with Theo and his crew. I haven't seen a Cubs FO come along in quite awhile where I could say that. Maybe a tiny sliver of time during the Dallas Green era, but that was a very brief window.

Fucking Putin KGB murderer.

Right?

Really? So if someone takes advantage of you, it doesn't affect your relationship with that person? Have you ever been up for a promotion that you didn't get, but felt you deserved? You hummed along your usual course of business unaffected by it? I fail to see how the Bryant situation is much different than these two scenarios.

Maybe... I'm guessing if I still had to work for them for 7 years, we'd find a way to mend it though, especially if they still wanted to write me a big check.

This isn't the Marlins and Loria people...TheJedi are far smarter than us at this baseball thing and know what they're doing. The Ricketts aren't dumb either. And hell, even Loria convinced Stanton to sign an extension and Stanton was all kinds of peeved off after the Marlins fire sale two years ago.

And worst, absolute worst case scenario is they end up trading Bryant in 4-6 years.

The question is -- does he think other clubs would handle this differently, and thus the Cubs are being unusually unfair? If he starts at Iowa, then comes up and has a fun and successful run with the Cubs for 6-7 years, and the Cubs offer him a competitive contract at that point -- this April won't matter.

More pitcher breakdown news: Ryu shut down with shoulder inflammation. Probably starts year on DL. Got a cortisone injection.

Lester gonna miss next spring start...dead arm phase. No one seems concerned at moment.

@CarrieMuskat #Cubs Maddon also says talked to Theo about finding creative way to keep both EJackson and TWood on roster at start of season

if it means Jackson and Wood are the last bench bats that would be pretty awesome, but if it's that one starts and one is a reliever that doesn't seem all that creative.

if they petition the league and say they'll piggyback starts and should just take up one roster space, that would be equally awesome.

 

Adam Eaton gets deal from White Sox. I think he'll be a real good leadoff option for many years. Entering age 26 season.

@JordanBernfield  #WhiteSox sign Adam Eaton to a 5 year, $23.5 million contract. Club options for 2020 and 2021.

re: bryant. let's not even try to pretend any of this is about his play at 3rd or Ks. it's about money and service time. "oh, but theo/jed said..." who cares. they're lying. boras is full of shit, too. this is a situation where theo/jed can't come clean without sounding like they're disrespecting the game. agree or disagree with him going to the minors, it's not about hoping he hones his play at 3rd or learns better pitch selection over the course of a couple weeks/months playing vs AAA talent. also, it's not a big deal. the logical thing is to screw bryant over for a couple weeks in order to get another year out of him. at bryant's expected peak this is a $20m-30m+ decision on a few weeks of not having him around in the bigs. you can be sure the players association will try to address this kind of thing next agreement.

let's not even try to pretend any of this is about his play at 3rd or Ks.

I'm not pretending.

"oh, but theo/jed said..." who cares. they're lying. boras is full of shit, too. this is a situation where theo/jed can't come clean without sounding like they're disrespecting the game.

they can't come clean because it would actually violate the CBA and the union would file a grievance.

agree or disagree with him going to the minors, it's not about hoping he hones his play at 3rd or learns better pitch selection over the course of a couple weeks/months playing vs AAA talent.

he'll need a lesson from major league pitching regarding the pitch selection, minors are a better place for working on his defense though

you can be sure the players association will try to address this kind of thing next agreement.

they've been trying half-heartedly for the last few, ultimately they care more about other things. They'll likely dig in on compenstation picks for free agents and the DH I'm guessing.

I predict some kind of compromise where MLB gets their international draft and the players get their FA clocks started differently.

tony clark has already been vocal about his issues with the FA clock starting issue...mostly cuz people keep asking him about bryant. hell, if we really want to "fix" things we need whatever system would give the cubs a good reason to start bryant last september when he really should have been up for a taste. on talent alone he should break with the club, but he was more than ready to see some big league pitching for the first time late last year. as long as things are the way they are it's hard to blame the club for waiting even if it's a minor (few months over both seasons for the most part) annoyance for the fans and the player's potential legacy in the bigs.

certainly a possiblity...

my latest understanding is that Manfred would prefer just one draft like the NBA does with domestic and international players all in the same pool.

Probably too complicated to make that happen by the next CBA, but it would be quite interesting to see what that looks like...would they change age limits across the board?

My belief today is that the service-time issue will not be a big part of the next CBA negotiation. My thinking is that the affected constituency is too small. I have no idea how many individuals are covered by the CBA. Is the number in the hundreds? Maybe a thousand? I'd like to know. Of that number, how many are adversely impacted by Bryant's situation. From what I can tell, the number this year is one. I'm sure Tony Clark is answering lot's of calls about Bryant's situation today, I think it likely that come May 1 or May 15 he no longer will be. Loud voices (Boras and Clark?) will need to make up for the small number of affected individuals for things to change in the next CBA. Just my thinking.

40-man rosters x 30= 1200

minor league rosters are usually around 25 and they can go as much as 8-deep in an organization, so another 6000. They are not covered by CBA and attempts to unionize themselves have proved fruitless.

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_n...

and I agree, the union doesn't care about this issue all that much. A little, but not much. Tony Clark is answering questions because people are asking and Boras is good at making a stink. It affects like 1-5 players a year and I think I'm being liberal with those numbers. G. Springer was the only one I can think of last year. Rays do it a lot. This is getting a lot of play because it's one of the first big market teams to possibly do it, particularly the Cubs who the world thinks should sell their souls and their mothers for a chance at a World Series and Bryant is about as high profile a prospect as they come.

If they really cared, they'd fight for minor leaguers to get paid a living wage for their time spent at the ballpark.

It may change next CBA, but I have my doubts.

The Cubs presently have exactly 260 minor league players under club control, not counting the 40 players who are on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).

Tough shit, the players union screwed over minor leaguers and this is what happens.

highlights so far...5-4 Cubs ahead of WSux. Harrelson is in mid-season irritating form on TV broadcast. D. Ross 2 run HR J. Lake 2 run double (takes 3rd on off line throw to the plate). Then scores on wild pitch. T. Wood (vintage 2014), 4 runs on 11 hits in 5 IP (gave up a ton of hits in a 3 run first inning).

harrelson and stone are making my ears bleed. they both have so much to say about so little.

look at this passive/aggressive hackery on twitter ‏

@Joelsherman1: #chisox willing to start Micah Johnson’s arb/fr agt clocks, leaning toward making him starting 2B to open season

Some responses:

@thecubreporter "Take that Cubs", said no one. 

@NotTomRicketts Micah Johnson probably won't even last in the majors for 7 years, much less need to be controlled that long.

@NotTomRicketts · If we have a guy we picked in the 9th round who OPSed .684 at AAA last year that can help us, sure go ahead and start that fucking clock.

The whole Bryant free agency clock thing is a no-brainer, and it's on the CBA, not the Cubs front office, for being that way. Sure, there's a tiny chance that the Cubs end the season a game or two out of the wild card and Jedstein have to deal with people who say they'd have made the playoffs if only they'd had Bryant to start the season. But imagine if a few years down the line Bryant hits free agency a year earlier than he would otherwise; we'll all be calling them stupid for not taking full advantage of this current CBA.

Or imagine him getting too much chin music from a hard throwing wild thing in the minors in the first week in Iowa and he's out for the year with a concussion. Everything is a gamble. Luckily they get paid well to make these decisions, and whatever they do I'll be okay with. It's just kind of fun to get the board fired up a bit while things are sleepy.

You make a good point about whether 2-weeks would help his D etc. And why he hasn't had OF reps already. But I honestly don't think his defense at 3B is MLB ready. On MLB radio they were talking about when Ryan Braun started at 3B and despite crushing the ball his WAR was held down a ton by his defense. I think the Bryant hype is a bit overblown to be honest. He's still a young player with just one full year of pro ball. I actually think he would be exciting but that he would/will struggle and NOT be the best 3B option. Baez is seriously deficient at the plate btw. No way he deserves to make the roster and that has been obvious for a while I think. Anyway I would argue Bryant would not be the winningest option. I'd start with Alcantara/LaStella/Olt rotating 2B/3B ... Sure Bryant is up and on the roster ASAP. But he hasn't played in the field much at all and I think his defense will hurt a lot at times.

There's a good video on the MLB app (probably can be found via web on Cubs MLB site, too) where Eric Byrnes' face is practically exploding talking about the Bryant service time. Although I get the feeling this is just how the guy talks.

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  • crunch 4 hours 25 min ago (view)

    bryce harper ruined that bat dragging thing for everyone after his ejection years ago at the junior college world series.

    also, hurrah for baseball making it's return.

     

  • JustSayin' 4 hours 30 min ago (view)

    College ball started Saturday.  Umpire egos in D1 baseball are not that much smaller than in the pros, so of course there was a controversy.  In the late innings of a game in the weekend's biggest series (Michigan vs.

     

  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    the news is mostly based on a Baseball America article from the 11th (behind a paywall)...so the gist of it is rather legit rumor-wise, though it's still too far in the future to call it a 100% done deal.

    btw, the cubs have been strongly linked to pursuing christian hernandez for quite a while.  the BA writer that wrote the article about the cubs links has been following c.hernandez since he was a 14yo talent and is quite familiar with him.  that signing probably is in the bag.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    I don't know much about this website, but they are speculating that the Cubs may sign two of the top International Free Agents available during this signing period: https://www.cubshq.com/print/news.do?id=16441&isNe... Does anyone know if this sounds legit?

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Minnie Minoso was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 47 and Julio Franco was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 49, so Mexican League teams clearly do not have a problem with signing older players. 

    And of course the ageless Satchel Paige was still working as a SP in AAA (with the Miami Marlins) into his early 50's (and prior to that he pitched in MLB as late as age 46).  

     

  • crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    b.colon has signed to a mexican league team.  woo old dudes.  he turns 47 in may...believed by some to be older.

     

  • Cubster 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Replacing someone like David DeJesus?

     

  • crunch 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    mark grace returns to chicago as an analyst/on-air-talent for Marquee.

    he won't be part of the main game calling crew, but will be doing support content during games.

     

  • Eric S 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Increasing levels of smoke concerning a possible Arenado/KB trade

    https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/02/13/cubs-reportedly-are-absolutely-motivated-to-try-to-acquire-nolan-arenado/

    Get Arenado to agree to push back his opt out a few years or so down the road and this could work out nicely for the Cubs

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Jason Kipnis (like Brandon Morrow) was a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a 2020 minor league contract, so he gets a $100K retention bonus and an automatic June 1st player opt-out if he is not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB 40-man roster or MLB 60-day IL by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 5 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed post-2019 second-contract minor league FA catcher Jordan Procyshen to a 2020 minor league contract and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee.  

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Q could be subbed in for any of those too

     

  • crunch 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    darvish, lester, and mills could combine to give up 100 homers between the 3 of them.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    I would have liked to give him a shot. I don't see much more out of a Chatwood and Alec Mills competition for the 5th spot.

     

  • crunch 5 days 11 hours ago (view)

    M's sign him 1/2m

     

  • crunch 5 days 12 hours ago (view)

    walker throwing for the M's today...hopefully they see something they like and can outbid the cubs.  it should be easy since the cubs seem to be hiring guys with camel cash and canadian tire money.