He controls pitching staffs well, and provides a calming influence during games. His receiving skills are only average, but he works diligently to try and improve them. Robinsonís arm is very strong, with a quick release, and very good foot work.Offensively he doesn't sound like much now, a line drive stroke that hasn't translated into much power. His numbers at Hi-A Lakeland for the year were: 288/338/367 with 1 HR, 47 RBI, 72 K, 25 BB in 319 AB's. As for Neifi, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Good riddance! I really don't want to spend another moment on his worthlessness. Good luck Tigers, you'll need it. AZ PHIL: Cubs minor league managers, coaches, and players have had a chance to get a good look at Chris Robinson the past two seasons, what with Chris playing last year in the Midwest League at West Michigan and this year in the FSL at Lakeland. A little more on Chris Robinson: DEFENSE: Chris Robinson's defensive stats compared to other catchers in Cubs organization (thru 8/19): AT LAKELAND Chris Robinson 32-126 CS (25%) - 7 E, 16 PB CUBS: Michael Barrett 21-104 CS (20%) ñ 5 E, 9 PB Henry Blanco 12-26 CS (46%) - 1 E, 1 PB IOWA: Geovany Soto 32-118 CS (28%) ñ 8 E, 3 PB Jose Reyes 24-65 CS (37%) - 2 E, 3 PB Casey Kopitzke 9-22 CS (41%) ñ 0 E, 2 PB WEST TENN: Jake Fox 29-98 CS (30%) ñ 7 E, 19 PB Tony Richie 14-46 CS (30%) - 1 E, 2 PB DAYTONA: Jake Muyco 49-99 CS (49%) ñ 8 E, 6 PB Alan Rick 13-50 CS (26%) ñ 0 E, 8 PB PEORIA: Mark Reed 32-82 CS (39%) ñ 3 E, 3 PB Blake Lalli 6-24 CS (25%) ñ 3 E, 4 PB Olin Wick 1-5 CS (20%) ñ 1 PB, 1 E BOISE: Matt Canepa 5-37 CS (14%) ñ 3 E, 9 PB Mario Mercedes 10-29 CS (34%) - 2 E, 5 PB Adam Hackstedt 9-14 CS (64%) ñ 0 E, 3 PB Welington Castillo 0-2 CS (0%) - 0 E, 2 PB MESA: Carlos T. Perez 16-48 CS (33%) - 5 E, 4 PB Cory Vanderhook 18-36 CS (50%) ñ 0 E, 2 PB Blake Parker 4-6 CS (67%) ñ 1 E, 3 PB Robinson's defensive numbers are very similar to those of Jake Fox, except Fox has a slightly better CS % while Robinson has three fewer passed balls. But both clearly have significant defensive shortcomings. However, Fox's defensive problems are a bit more tolerable because he profiles as a power-hitting middle-of-the-order run producer type, while Robinson is more of a "singles hitter." OFFENSE: Robinson does not hit home runs, but he does hit doubles. He also doesn't walk much ("Welcome to the Cubs!") and he strikes out about once in every five PA. After struggling at the plate through the first three months of the season, Robinson has been on fire in July & August: JULY-AUGUST 29 GAMES 36-104 (.346) .370 OBP .451 SLG .821 OPS 0 HR & 19 RBI 11 2B 4 BB 19 K Robinson will probably share catching duties the last few days of the 2006 season with Jake Muyco at Daytona. Muyco is an excellent defensive catcher and is one of the best "catch & throw" guys in all of minor league baseball. Muyco's problem is that he is a lousy hitter. Maybe they can help each other improve in the areas where they are deficient. Otherwise, I would expect Robinson or Muyco (but probably not both) to move up to AA in 2007, with the other remaining at Daytona to share catching duties with lefty-hitter Mark Reed (who will almost certainly move up from Peoria to Daytona next season). In summary, Chris Robinson does not appear at this point to have the combination of offensive & defensive skills to be a #1 catcher. Hopefully he will continue his hot hotting into the 2007 season and work hard to improve his defense.
Christmas In August
UPDATE: Here's the press release from cubs.com. It doesn't say anything about the Cubs sending cash the Tigers way which means there's some millions freed up for next year. According to Len on the WGN broadcast, TCR whipping boy Neifi Perez has been dealt to the Detroit Tigers for 22 minor league old catcher Chris Robinson. Robinson was a third round selection of the Tigers in the 2005 draft and made the Florida State League All-Star team this year. And he's a U of I boy to boot which I'm sure will make many Cubs fans happy. Here's a quick blurb via tigstown.com: