The Curious Case of Josh Vitters Being Promoted

So pretty much out of nowhere yesterday, the Cubs decided to promote Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. In a lost season, where getting the #1 draft pick is more important than winning 70 games, I'm all for going with the youth movement. Now when the Cubs were keeping Rizzo in the minors to delay his shot at free agency, TheJedi were spouting that they like their prospects to get a full 162 games at the Triple A level. Rizzo ended up with 163 between his time in Tuscon and Iowa to the tune of a 336/405/670 slash line. There was another factor and that was the play of Bryan LaHair, who after a red hot April deserved all the chances in the world to keep his spot. Yeah, they could have moved him to the outfield sooner, but between LaHair's early play, Rizzo's long-term future and that the Cubs were going to suck regardless, it was a wise decision to keep Rizzo in Iowa.

So with Jackson, while I'm a bit surprised by the call-up, he had played 154 games in Iowa (hey, it's a full season if it's 1960) with a solid slash line of 269/353/502 including 25 HR,73 RBI,105 R, and 33/39 in SB. On top of that, LaHair has gone full Fukudome on us when you look at his OPS by month: (starting in April): 1.251, .793, .686, .517. So there was room on the roster at this point and in the starting lineup, a key point allegedly with calling up prospects, i.e. that they are suppose to play everday(Dusty's head explodes).

Now there is the contact issue with Jackson or lack thereof, and that hasn't gone away, but at age 23, you hope he has a quick enough bat that he isn't going to go full Carlos Pena and end up fighting the Mendoza line. To his credit, he has stayed relatively consistent from month-to-month (.759,.826, .898, .752, .889) and as I mentioned, has youth on his side.

Now with Vitters, I have to admit I'm confused. He's been playing great in Iowa after a rough April (.611, .884, .970, .833, 1.467) and there's certainly a hole named Valbuena that can be filled at the hot corner. But he's only played 110 games at the Triple A level and while I understand that may be more a guideline than a rule, or maybe it was just an excuse, he's also not going to be playing everyday. Allegedly he's going to start as the short-side of the platoon and while he certainly did better versus lefties (1.002 vs. .805), if you're gonna get his feet wet, drown the sucker. And at age 22, the service time issue is of great importance as you really don't want your players hitting free agency before they hit 30 if you believe they're a long term solution.

Which is why I'm wondering if Vitters may not be part of the TheJedi's long-term vision. Are they showcasing him a bit by playing to a strength and limiting his time on defense? Some have wondered if they're taking it easy with him since he's historically struggled starting out at a new level, but it's obviously something that hasn't bothered him on a long-term basis, he seems to adjust just fine and his confidence hasn't waivered, so I don't get the sudden change of sitting 60 to 70% of the time. And then I wonder how many free swingers can TheJedi stomach? They've made it clear they want hitters that work the count, occasionally take a walk and so forth and I think they're pretty committed to Starlin Castro. Will they risk yet another big bat that likes to hack?

Now there smart guys so they'll never admit to such things, they'll play up Vitters' strengths, do their best to build him up as an asset, but I won't be too surprised if he's dealt at some point over the next year or so.


I agree with your analysis. They also obtained a young 3B in a trade last week who is probably around the same general degree of a prospect as Vitters. The part that I am waiting for is moving Baez to 3B. I belive it will come next year in spring training. Here's a question for AZ Phil, is the main reason that the two players to be named later for Baker is probably that the Cubs don't have room in their system right now to integrate two more prospects and preferred to have Detroit play them the rest of this year?

Is it really so hard to move from SS to 3B that he needs to change now?

some SS's find 3rd harder...depends on how quick to react and/or "claustrophobic" they are. some guys cannot mentally get used to having this huge view and playing area you get at SS knocked down to this tight view where unless the play is in the grass you don't have as much room to cover. SS's are used to processing plays very quickly because the middle infielders have a tremendous amount of possible places to be once a ball is put into play depending on who's on base and where it's put into play. you "slow down" at 3rd, but everything happens so much faster, from getting the ball to getting rid of it. that said, i don't have much of an opinion on when it's proper to move baez even if it looks like he may end up there. he's got the arm for 3rd...

Given Dale's defensive shifts (which the Dodgers beat, BTW). 3rd is/will be just like playing short. Wasn' Barney supposed to switch with Castro or is Barney still on the table?

barney's played nearly 100 (low 90s or something) games at 2nd without an error. he's probably going to stick there.

No, it's probably the easiest defensive transition in baseball. Maybe RF to LF is easier depending on the park.

From what I have seen of Javier Baez at SS, it's Starlin Castro who will move to another position (probably 2B or it could be 3B). Not Baez. That is, if Castro isn't traded sometime in the next couple of years (which I think is a distinct possibility). Even though Justin Upton presently has the Cubs on his "no trade" list, a Starlin Castro for Justin Upton trade during the 2012-13 off-season might not be that far-fetched. The Cubs MLB payroll projection for 2013 is at about $69M right now (and that includes projected salaries for arbitration-eligibles), so they could easily take on Upton's contract ($9.75M in 2013, $14.25M in 2014, and $14.5M in 2015). Conversely, the D'backs are always looking to cut payroll, and even though Castro will be eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2012 and then be eligible for arbitration again post-2013-15, he is not going to make anything close to what what Upton will be making over that period of time ($38.5M 2013-15) Darwin Barney could play SS and Adrian Cardenas could play 2B for the Cubs until Baez is ready, and a young SS is just what the D'backs need, because it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Stephen Drew won't be back with AZ in 2013.

i'm editing this one out before it goes in weird directions... long story short, upton probably doesn't like the OF fan reputation (fair or not compared to what other teams also have to deal with), the ivy/brick OF wall, or all the day idea what's more important than the others.

So, AZ, you are saying that Baez looks like a good fielder at short?

Tue, 08/07/2012 - 6:49am — Old and Blue So, AZ, you are saying that Baez looks like a good fielder at short? ============================= O&B: Yes. He also is a point-guard/captain on the field, someting Castro is not.

People can learn leadership. Not saying Castro will necessarily grow into that mold, but it's possible. Have to be able to lead by example (his defensive play) first though.

He can keep track of outs?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:34pm — TJ Here's a question for AZ Phil, is the main reason that the two players to be named later for Baker is probably that the Cubs don't have room in their system right now to integrate two more prospects and preferred to have Detroit play them the rest of this year? =============================== TJ: There are various reasons why October 31st is the deadline, but the most-likely reason is that the Tigers provided the Cubs with a list of names and the Cubs want some time to scout the players and then digest the scouting reports before making a decision. I doubt that either of the players will be anything more than a second-level prospect. As is normally the case with a PTBNL, the Cubs probably have the option to take a cash payment (normally $50,000 for trades involving a player on the 40-man roster) in lieu of a PTBNL if none of the players the Tigers are offering end up being to the Cubs liking. If the Cubs do take money instead of players, the Cubs could spend the cash on a selection in the Rule 5 Draft ($50,000) or make a couple of waiver claims ($20,000 per player).

I think they want to get all the Hendry guys up and see, because I'm sure they don't fit TheJedi makeup of the players they want. Which why Castro may get moved in a few years also. " gone full Fukudome" HAHAHA

and from 3B to LF...(not referring to Baez) then of course we have the Mark DeRosa/Jeff Baker void that Vitters just might slide into.

I dunno about the speculation either way, but I swear I saw this same team play in Round Rock a month or so ago.

it's not like either player would have to do much to get more playing time vs. the other option. it's theirs to take. if the swings vitters took last night was any indication, you might not have to worry about him too long. that said, i doubt he's consistently that messy or he wouldn't have made it to this level. the $80m 2013 chicago cubs should be interesting...

the official site of mis-information, bad rumor sources dreamed up by random authors, and some of the weirdest opinions on the game you'll ever read. neat.

You shouldn't say stuff like that about Ed Sherman. He'll come to your house.

it's the whole site's lets anyone be a "writer" you just have to wade through a lot of muck to get to some good stuff...a lot. also, ed sherman...come at me, bro. *puffs up chest*

in related news, I was offered an infield rake and a can of Simoniz for The Cub Reporter. PS - I have no idea what Simoniz is to this day. I know I can look it up, but takes the fun out of it.

I have no idea what Simoniz is to this day. --- Rob: don't settle for less than a few jars of turtle wax
Ben Hirsch was a true entrepreneur. He promoted his product by commuting to crowded venues like Wrigley Field. Ben would shine one fender of cars in the parking lot and wait for the car owner to return with hopes of convincing them to buy his product… he would almost always close the sale. More than seventy years later, Turtle Wax is still a family-owned company based in the Chicago area.

I wonder how many slide shows they can get out of that $200M.

so much hate for the much hate for the push for web content you can easily view on a 3"-10" screen. if you have to click 10-12 (ad pages included) times to get through a top 10 list with about 20 seconds of reading material on every "page"...maaaaaaaaaaan.

Carrie Muskat‏@CarrieMuskat #Cubs lineup: Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Vitters 3B, Mather RF, T. Wood P

adam dunn 2.0 in the TEX system?

Brooks Raley gets the start tomorrow night.

missed this for nearly 30 theocorp's gonna lay the cards on the table. 40 man roster move needed?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:08pm — crunch missed this for nearly 30 theocorp's gonna lay the cards on the table. 40 man roster move needed? ======================== CRUNCH: No. The Cubs presently have 39 players on the 40, so Raley makes 40. And if the Cubs need more 40-man roster slots before the end of the season, Arodys Vizcaino and/or Ian Stewart can be transferred to the 60-day DL. (Blake Parker is presently on a minor league rehab assignment at Iowa, and if all goes well and he has no medical setbacks, he will probably get reinstated from the 60-day DL once he completes his 30 day rehab at AAA on 9/1). BTW, Lendy Castillo (whose minor league rehab assignment was moved up to Tennessee from Daytona over the weekend) will need to be reinstated from the Cubs 15-day DL no later than next Monday (8/13) to get his required 90 days on an MLB Active List in 2012. If he is not reinstated by next Monday, he remains a Rule 5 player going into the 2013 season (but only until he has spent 90 days on an MLB Active Roster combined 2012-13).

anyone on paralegal tonite?

here is the Stooges episode that lead to their Simoniz ad Bright-0 car cleaner (and medicine)

and the other half of what Rob got offered for TCR:

TCR has to be a weird place for new people at least once a week until the madness makes a little more sense. if parachat was more popular we'd be talking about half the posts in total in-joke mode...

That's what I love about this place. Some of these jokes go back probably 6-7 years, if not longer. 3/44 was what, 2006? /Pours one out for Ruz, transmission, manny, Chad, and all the other fallen TCR heroes

All I know is that Scott Eyre is broke, and that I blame Michael Barrett.

+5 mph

end 'o story.

My personal favorite is gay witchcraft.

Obviously, I mean my favorite TCR meme is gay witchcraft.

With Johann's Mom

I always got a kick out of Chad's hatred of the Replacements.

And white wide receivers. And logic.

"Matt Garza (triceps) is out indefinitely with a stress reaction in his right elbow." pat mooney via the twitters. ...waiting on dem MRIs...or whatever's next.

that should help the old trade value this offseason...

i dunno much about brooks raley, but i found this on a message board from this year...from user Ced Landrum @bleachernation (i believe he's been on TCR occasionally...or someone named 'ced'). "First a little scouting on Raley. He throws a 89-91 MPH fastball. A 72-75 mph curve and then either a 82 MPH changeup or slider. I wasn't sitting behind the plate, so I couldn't make it out too well. He throws from the third base side of the rubber. When he keeps the ball on a downward plan he is fine. If the ball is up he is very pedestrian and that is where he got in trouble. When he worked ahead he was very tough. He had 3 walks but a lot of the hits he gave up were from falling behind. Like I said down good, but he flattened out a pretty often and was squared up pretty well. He had a few unearned runs b/c of what was ruled as an error on Raley, but really Amezega just got handcuffed on a double play ball where Raley fired to him." "He looks smooth. Right foot slightly in front of left. He doesn't have a big windup. He actually looks good out there. He can be a 4-5 if he learns to keep ball down. Nice pick off move "

Brooks Raley is a good all-around athlete. He played CF and hit lead-off at Texas A&M on days he wasn't pitching, hitting 304/404/424 with 25 SB (4 CS) his last season at A&M (2009). Raley played only two years of college ball. (He was a draft-eligible sophomore when the Cubs drafted & signed him in 2009).

So he throws on multiple planes. Maybe he can work with Ian Stewart to get that motion onto just one plane.

Dude just turned a bloop single into a triple. I'd trade the whole 40-man to have this guy for the rest of his career.

In my 13 player keeper I traded McCutcheon for Baumgardner, Hellickson, and Mark Reynolds. Who the hell saw this coming on THAT team? He hit f'n .259 last year.

I don't think anyone saw .372 coming, but the rest of his stats, certainly.

didn't seem that implausible at age 25 that he'd break out, although a .372 is just as lucky as his .259 was unlucky. but in a keeper league....that's a clown trade, bro

It's an 11 team, 13 man keeper league that has been going on since the late 80's. The only way to get a team is to take one over. The one I got was seriously devoid of talent. I kind of felt that McCutheon was on the BJ Upton career path to be quite honest. And since I already had Upton. I figured I'd try to plug the HUGE hole I had at 3rd base, and upgrade my pitching staff. Hasn't worked out so well, in hindsight.

that should help the old trade value this offseason... --- It certainly could affect his trade value in the offseason as this isn't the first time Garza's had this diagnosis. We've been through "stress reaction" stuff before in May 2011 but he did return to pitching in about 3 weeks back then. He was on the DL from May 18th - June 6th in 2011. "Stress reaction" is the term used when the MRI is slightly abnormal but the signal isn't linear enough to call it a stress fracture. It's treated by rest until any local tenderness has resolved. I read recently he has a screw in his pitching elbow from a childhood injury/fracture. That may make the current MRI imaging a bit less reliable because a stainless steel screw causes distortion on magnetic imaging. My previous writeup on Garza with this problem (from May 2011) had more discussion of "stress fracture" vs "bone contusion." I used the term, "pre-stress fracture" which is really identical to what is meant by calling Garza's current elbow problem a "stress reaction." "Bone Contusion" usually refers to direct trauma rather than repetitive stress, so I had a problem with that term back then given Garza's situation. At least bone contusion is not the term being bandied about regarding Garza's current elbow problem. From TCR 5-24-11, "Beware the 5 inch Screw"... here's the Sun-Times/Wittenmeyer article mentioning Garza has a screw near his elbow from a childhood injury:

Here is another comp on Garza's diagnosis, Blake Parker:
But after experiencing more stiffness on Sunday, Garza was sent back to Chicago for further evaluation. The injury is not uncommon, and Cubs reliever Blake Parker has been on the disabled list since June 6 with it, and is just now beginning his rehab stint in the minors, two months later.

tony gwynn's facial paralysis is kinda he needs to hold his mic with the arm that's on the side of his face he speaks out of. btw, he doesn't sound too muffled or slurry...also, it's hoped the nerve health and face movement will get better. also also, he still needs to lose weight...

hopefully he's speaking out against chewing tobacco

TWood got rid of his hillbilly do

Padres radio announcers saying Cubs pitchers have the "no shake-off" rule imposed upon them by Bosio and staff

That's good because the catchers have sooooooo much experience "handling" pitchers. Sounds like something Mike Martz would do if he were a pitching coach.

re: Vitters' future with the Cubs. If he shows he can hit, why wouldn't/couldn't there be a spot for him in LF with the Cubs? Fonzie won't be here much longer, and moving from 3B to LF is not very difficult for a guy with even a smidgen of defensive talent. Granted, if Jackson shows he can reduce his K rate, he is the more logical long-term LF possibility, but his K problems are a huge hurdle for him right now. Vitters in LF sounds like a good backup plan to me. Obviously, I am assuming Almora or Szczur for CF and Soler or one of those two in RF.

that's the brett jackson we know...3ab, 3Ks so far.

well, one can see that from veteran and former All Star Soriano.

...who just stole 3rd, double steal working.

And a fourth makes it Golden Sombrero Time. Vitters gets the #1 web gem for his diving play at third.

how much longer is this 4-man rotation stupidity in COL going to continue? it's getting kinda silly...and the SP's can't be happy about it at all.

Cubs are now only 4 games behind the Rockies for #2 draft pick

Yes We Can!!!!

At best, I think Josh Vitters will be a stopgap at 3rd base. Maybe Ian Stewart and Vitters can form a semi-decent platoon in 2013. Brett Jackson? Yikes. His stock has dropped off the face of a cliff. He isn't going to have a major league future, even as a spare outfielder, if he keeps on whiffing at a 30 to 40 percent clip. Again, maybe he can be a stopgap until Almora or Soler are ready to compete. I'm not optimistic on Jackson. I'm also not optimistic on Matt Szczur for that matter. Starlin Castro? This has become more than a slump. He looks awful at the plate...guessing on pitches...trying to jerk everything down the left field line. I'd sit him for a several days and get him back in the right frame of mind. Honestly, I dont' think he is a Theo and Jed player. As Cub fans I think we insanely overrate what we have in Castro. He can be a productive offensive doubt about that. But to me he is Alfonso Soriano in the making, absent the big power and baserunning speed of Soriano's younger days. Javy Baez is playing shortstop for the Cubs in a couple years. That's my hunch. I won't be shocked to see Theo and Jed trade Castro at some point. But not this offseason with his stock down.

Hooray for's a breath of fresh air.

I'd have to agree. However, Josh Vitters is getting his first shot, as a Top 10 draft pick, at 23 years old. I don't thing HoyStein will be bailing on the kid soon at this point. I just do not understand why BJax was called up to whif? If he could not make contact at the AAA level, how in the hell would he succeed with even better pitching? That is totally a head-scratcher to me. Castro, as several here opined will probably not be here more than two more years. He just is not a HoyStein type of player. I think rooming with Alf was brilliant as there are some similarities, but Castro is still a better fielder.

Castro for Justin Upton is an interesting trade for both sides.

True...but don't we have a bunch of outfielders in the minors, and shortstops that everyone says will need to be moved? Castro is 22/....sometimes a step back happens. His defense has improved this year, so has his power. In 2014, if he's hitting .280/.310/.420 I'll worry more.

Has Castro's defense inproved to the point where we think he can stick at SS? At least to my eyes, he seemed to have made strides with the glove, while regressing with the bat.

I have Anthony Quinn's t-shirt to trade. /interesting trades considered

"Why does this dummy have a bucket on its head?" "Because we're blind to their tyranny."

Castro will be around if they can extend him for a hometown discount. Beggers can't be choosers--the Cubs need good young players, and Castro is good and the right age. He can always slide over to 2nd or 3rd if necessary. Let's not get too down on the kid because he's in a slump.

I agree on Castro. Kid is 22. Very likely that his focus on improving his defense has affected his hitting some. Big deal. It's an off year, anyway. And it's not like he is surrounded by a powerhouse lineup. He's trying to do a little too much. He started doing this awhile ago. Not sure why he is flailing so much. He'll figure it out. He's not Shawon Duston redux. That said, an Upton for Castro trade would actually be interesting if the Cubs had somebody to actually take Castro's place. Baez is a ways off, I assume. I like Barney the more I see him. I know that's not universal around here. But, overall, I'm pretty okay with the Castro-Barney to Rizzo left side of the infield. If ain't broke, don't fix it. I also wonder why the DBacks are so anxious to trade Upton. They know something we don't, other than he isn't quite playing to his potential. That normally wouldn't stop a team with a guy with his ability at 24 years of age.

EDIT: After reading the ESPN cover story today on Upton, it doesn't sound like Arizona is "eager" to trade him. Just sort of open to it.

"That is totally a head-scratcher to me." Sveum was blown away by Jackson's athleticism and also hitting tools in ST. It's a head-scratcher to Sveum why Jackson isn't doing better. So I'm sure he lobbied hard to get Jackson under his tutelage. Sveum is a hitting coach, after all. Jackson looks wonderful, by the way, going back on balls to deep center. I've seen Cub outfielders do a lot of drifting, drifting back over the years.

"So I'm sure he lobbied hard to get Jackson under his tutelage" If this is true and works out, I can't tell you how estatic I would be that the Cubs finally have a real manager.

I think it's fair to say already that Sveum is not Quade, already. He does things people don't like but that is pretty normal.

Do people think Javier Baez is a Jedstein player?

Maybe not. He was a "Hendry-ite". If he could have given Baez a NTC, he would have, though.

I don't think that just because he doesn't follow the template it means they don't like him. Baez appears to be showing enough to move up pretty quickly.

I'm sure they love him, but I don't see why they'd move Castro at this time for a Hi-A player or why they'd like Baez more than Castro. They seem pretty similar to me, good "Hit" tool, questionable SS defense, don't walk much, Baez may develop a little more power. Baez seems a little more intense. Personally I don't see Baez in the majors until 2014 at the earliest and not someone that would make much of an impact until 2016. Fwiw, Baez 0/8 with 5 K's in Daytona so far. had a .941 FP in Peoria (15 E in 52 games) and a 4.63 RF Castro (who skipped Peoria) had a .933 FP (32 E in 90 G) in Daytona and a 4.94 RF

I think Theo and Jed, Inc., might make decisions about role players and some free agents to some degree based on the "type" of player that they want. But when it comes to guys that come up through your system, you take your lottery winnings and do the best you can with them. Don't see either Castro or Baez going away simply because they don't fit a certain mold--especially because they are young, high-ceiling players.

according to a tweet of his, Rock Shoulder voted as the best name in minor league baseball

Interesting article in Baseball America explains how players who have played professional baseball can reacquire amateur eligibility and play college baseball at an NCAA D-2 or D-3 or NAIA school. Essentially, the player loses a year of eligibility for every season played in pro ball, and the player must redshirt his first year at the school to establish residency and academic cred. This is really a nice option for kids who signed out of HS and then were released after playing only one or two years of pro ball, and who want to play baseball while attending college. It also is a plus for coaches at D-2 and D-3 (and NAIA) programs looking to add players. BTW, if a player does play college baseball after being released by a profesional club, the player does not go through the Rule 4 draft again. He is a previously-released player, so any club can sign him once he stops playing college ball.

The Cubs building program is hugely dependent on getting quality young arms into the system. Genius Jim Hendry left the cupboard bare in that regard. As the Cubs stand right now they have precisely two marketable assets to try and get better in long-term pitching department. 1. Matt Garza - but he's got a bad wing, therefore meaning he'll be back in 2013 because his trade value has taken a big blow (for now at least) 2. Starlin Castro - he's just not a Theo, Jed, Jason kind of player. While there is no denying the enormity of his offensive talent, he is overrated. Yet he holds lots of market value. Javy Baez should be knocking on the door in a year and half or so...meaning this offseason may lead to Castro going on the block to the highest bidder. What else can Theo, Jed and Jason do to build a pitching staff?? Sure they'll go out and sign a few veterans from the bargain bin (i.e., Paul Maholm types). But that doesn't address the extreme lack of pitching in the organization. The options are very limited to improve...meaning Castro may be on the block. Which I'm fine with.

Castro is 22. He's improved his defense. JedStein has been here through 1 draft, maybe we give them another draft, and realize that this team is not close to contending, and keep good young players who can be around when the team is getting better in 2015-on? I'm pretty sure that the Sawx didn't just jettison every player who was there prior to Theo's arrival because they weren't "his guys"

Starlin Castro is one of the few tradeable assets. Maybe the only. The Cubs are presumably deep in middle infield prospects. Javy Baez shows indications of being a truly special player offensively. Gary Sheffield like wrists and offensive potential in fact. Like I said, the Cubs NEED to add pitching. The options for doing so are very limited. Castro is a card to be dealt, and I think he stands a fair chance of being traded this winter.

Presumably. There's already been talk of moving Baez to 3B, and Junior Lake to the OF. Um...who else? I like Arismendy Alcantara, but he's not close yet either. Who else? Logan Watkins? The Cubs made some deadline deals, and added....3 pitchers. 1-Grade A stuff. Injured. May or may not be a starting pitcher. 2- A solid reliever prospect...not overpowering 3- a AA starter, who is repeating the level, and may or may not develop into a 5th starter type. We know we have Castro. We know he's young,. and he's cheap. He's made strides, and unless the Cubs are just blown out of the water....I don't get it.

Castro begins the arbitration process this year. So he might be at peak value right now FWIW. I like the kid as a player. I just don't know what he ultimately will be worth? Do you try to McCutcheon/Longoria contract him now and lock him in for 7 or 8 years? Or do you go year to year and see how it plays out? Or do you deal him for a Machado and Bundy type of return?

"Presumably . . . [t]here's already been talk of moving Baez to 3B, and Junior Lake to the OF." I think Baez and Lake will stay at shortstop until they no longer project as shortstops--and maybe a bit longer if the Cubs consider them trade chips. It's just good business. If you have a guy who can hit and projects as a shortstop, you lessen his value if you move him anywhere else. Quick example: a couple of years ago, the Cards traded minor-league third baseman Brett Wallace and two lesser prospects to the A's for Matt Holliday. The Cards knew that Wallace wasn't a real 3B, but maybe the A's hadn't seen him enough to know.

You don't trade assets just to trade asset. Starlin is a long-term asset. He's the type that management is likely to keep in a rebuilding phase. In fact, he's the type you try to extend while he's young and hope you come away with an Evan Longoria kind of discount.

I think Castro has made great strides on the defensive side of things, but still lacks. Still, I would consider keeping him just due to the difficulty in finding good shortstops. And ballsy comment to argue for trading Starlin Castro around here. :)

spend some of the $140m they have to spend by being in one of the largest markets and most popular national teams in the nation... draft and sign under the new huge-money-saving spare parts for useful ones (rizzo/cashner)... ...or they can continue to trade for 3-5 starters and wait until castro/ninja/rizzo costs about $50m a year to keep around while fielding a $80m team and telling the fans to wait until there's 2 rizzos, 2 garzas, and a few spare castros around before one of the richest teams in the league decides to invest in the product of one of the highest ticket prices in MLB. but hey, the ricketts will have plenty of rock concerts, charity bike races, and on-field campouts with ricketts autograph sessions to fill the time @wrigley.

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure it's terribly useful to spend a bunch of money right now with the organization in the condition it is in. It's ridiculous that the Chicago Cubs are fielding this team every day, but nobody said rebuilding would be pretty.

I don't understand your complaint, crunch. It may not be your preference but the plan isn't rocket science: fastest way to achieve THIS plan, is to stock farm system as fast as possible through draft, international signings, and trading aging assets for prospects. Upgrade and train scouting, coaching and player philosophy. Spend on free agents when your youth movement is ready ... and when you can identify your positional needs. Any free agent spending is a poorly planned long term investment either blocking an unknown prospect, or committing money long term.

Cubs may not have chased the big dogs last winter, but they did in fact spend moderately in free agency on guys like Dejesus, Maholm, Wood. Without looking at numbers it's probably more than quite a few teams spent. No huge complaints about the decisions made so far. We'll see what happens this coming offseason. Failing to re-spend the expiring contract moneys a second year in a row will in fact transform the Cubs in a mid-market MLB team (with equivalent attendance results as well). Instead, I predict the team will hold serve on opening day payroll, which when considering the outgoing contracts for Dempster, Zambrano, Maholm, Wood, Stewart, Soto, Camp, etc., actually results in a decent amount of money that can be spent on free agents. That said, the odds of making a big-money offer to Greinke or Hamilton is low. Instead, we're likely to see another round of prudent short-term signings, but perhaps greater in number than last year.

I don't have many complaints so far, either. I thought Maholm was a weird acquisition, but he worked out alright on a dud year.

i still don't get how one of the richest teams in baseball....with one of the highest ticket prices in baseball.... SOMEHOW BECOMES UNABLE TO PRODUCE A PROSPECT OR BUILDING A SYSTEM JUST BECAUSE THEY SPEND SOME MONEY. signing someone doesn't automatically mean there's 2 less notable prospects and less money to train don't lose a minor league coach or give up your system's top prospect because you sign a pitcher with the $40-60m you can spend WITHOUT IT HURTING ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE BOTTOM LINE. i mean...are people assuming they're going to spend $80m for the next 2 seasons then suddenly spend $200m because they saved up their money for a shiny new bike? btw, this is a general rant...not directed to 1 person, but many. i mean, hell...look at maholm...just because you have something doesn't mean you're crippled from doing something else. no one's clamoring for anyone's 7/$140m talent that i know of...but hey...this is a rich team...BE READY for something good if something good goes your way.

I agree with you, crunch. I've yet to hear a good argument for why the Cubs cannot build the farm system AND field a respectable, competitive team at the same time. Other organizations do it, but for some reason, the Cubs can't. I don't get that.

I completely agree. The best thing to happen to this franchise long term was when people started to stay away in droves, 2nd half of 2006. It caused ownership to look long and hard about the Wrigley beer garden. And finally start to spend some money. Hopefully Ricketts has got the memo.

To quote K Goldstein from a chat asking why Cubs cannot compete and build system in timely way (see quote directly below this box): Kevin Goldstein: "ANYTHING the front office does to give you a SLIGHTLY BETTER, but still crappy product on the field hurts their ability to give you a genuinely good product down the road." Now I'm sure you all know better than Theo Jed and Goldstein types ... So take it with a grain of salt. But signing impact free agents costs money, time, and occasionally draft picks etc. But believe what you will ...

Nothing against Goldstein, but I don't think he is infallible or really in a position to be an authority on this topic . He's entitled to his opinion, but there's no large market team he can point to in the last several years that has built their team the way the Cubs are trying to build their team. Who knows, the JedStein way of doing things may work out, but as jacos pointed out, things have to work out just right for this strategy to be effective. It also can take a long time. In the end, it's not a matter of being smarter than JedStein. I'm sure they are both smart guys, but they are certainly going against the grain with the way they are trying to build the organization and I just happen to disagree with their approach.

Goldstein is also a prospect guy. Which is the same issue that many of these 60-80 million payroll guys seem to have. They tend to over rate prospects. Or at least not fully grasp that incredibly high attrition rate attached to each one of them. McFail squandered having Wood,Prior,Zambrano and Matt Clement ALL well under market value. Because he didn't sign guys like Vlad Guerrero and especially Miggy Tejada when they were available and willing to come here. At some point winning needs to be the priority over ownership profits. At least if you want the fans to respect you.

I completely disagree with Goldstein. The Ricketts have billions of dollars. Why does one two- or three-year free-agent signing to plug a hole where we have no prospects coming up, mean that we can't spend money later? Why does (for instance) signing Carlos Pena for $10M mean that we have $10M less to spend in a future year? Are we really going to be dumb enough to believe that, for every dollar JedStein saves, they get to spend exactly that amount of money in a future year? They should be able to fill in the gaps with short-term free-agent signings where possible, so the fans aren't left staring at AAA teams on 8-game losing streaks.

short-term free-agent signings where possible well there's the rub, isn't it?

I don't think anyone's asking the Cubs to go out this offseason and sign mega-deals with guys like Josh Hamilton. I just want them to show that they're willing to spend some money at a position they know they need to plug, where they don't have a prospect coming up. Like, for instance, I'd love to see a couple of 2- or 3-year deals for solid starting pitchers this offseason so we're not subjected to the Justin Germano All-Stars again next year.

They did this last off-season. Is there reason to believe they won't do it again?

so exactly what they did this last offseason?

No, good solid players and pitchers to short term contracts.

Better than Maholm and DeJesus? Who, better than those types, is going to be looking for short term contract?

paul maholm finds this all very interesting.

Other organizations do it, but for some reason, the Cubs can't. I don't get that. what other organizations came off 3 declining years that led them to a top 10 draft pick, spent a bunch of money to get good instantly and then sustained that goodness by building up their farm system?

Rob -- I think we've had this conversation before. Off the top of my head, the 1989-93 Yankees had four consecutive sub-.500 seasons. In 1993 they signed FAs Wade Boggs, Paul O'Neill, Jimmy Key and Jim Abbott. Since then, the Yanks have not had any sub-.500 seasons and they have gone to the playoffs 16 out of 19 seasons. Over that time, I'm not sure how good their farm system has been, but it has been very good in recent years. If I remember correctly, I found similar circumstances for the Phillies and Braves. What I haven't been able to find is a large market team that mailed in one or more MLB seasons for the express purposes of concentrating their efforts on building up their minor league system. The JedStein strategy may work. We have no way of knowing right now, but if it does work for the long term, as best I can tell, it will be the first time.

comparing to the Yankees is like comparing pitchers to Greg Maddux...also, the Yankees were on the upswing, not the downswing heading into'93. personally, I wouldn't call it mailing it in, I'd call it not compounding the problem. Just because the Cubs aren't good right now, doesn't mean they should do stupid things and I'll just leave it at that. The mass amount of free agents they needed to sign this offseason to be competitive would have amounted to a lot of stupid deals.

And Phils and Braves got shiny new stadiums and the money that it makes. I think Wrigley is as much hindrance as it's a money maker, which I'm sure someone will show me the facts that I'm wrong .

You asked me to name a team that has been in a similar situation to the Cubs, but when I do, you say that they are off the table. Other posters said the Braves and Phillies don't count because they got new stadiums. So at this point, you're restricting the argument to the point where you can't be wrong. Rather than argue about the teams that have been in the Cubs situation and changed their luck by spending money at the big league level, how about if you come up with a team that spent money on the minor leagues and essentially punted a big league season or three. I couldn't find any. BTW, the Yankees weren't exactly on an upswing in 1993. The had had four consecutive years of sub-.500 baseball before they signed some impact free agents and started the run they are still enjoying. I have no great love for the Yankees, but if I'm going to emulate another team, it is going to be a large market team that has had success, not the Kansas City Royals.

2003 Marlins

What about the 2003 Marlins?

They dismantled their 1997 WS team and built a 2003 WS team with mostly guys they brought up. I'm not trying to say you are all wrong and I'm right, I wish too they could figure out away to do both. But the Cubs have to be one of the most unique situations in sports. Find me a team with new owners, who can not invest in ball park unless gov okays, has no gov money, restricted in the number of night games they have, no parking income, no video board income and btw have had a shitty organization plan for about 30 years (dallas green) where ownership cut off money to smart baseball guys, and then finally open purse strings when they want to sell and have wrong guy there to spend it. While still drawing 3 million fans. I mean it's crazy.

The 2003 Marlins might be the closest you'll find, but even their situation was completely different than the Cubs. They spent like drunken sailors to win the WS in 1997 and then completely dismantled their team. Not exactly the Cubs situation. In 2003, they had two position players (Castillo and Gonzalez) and three pitchers (Willis, Beckett and Penny) that came up through their minor league system, but they had to trade for guys like Juan Pierre, Derrick Lee, Mike Lowell, Jeff Conine, Carl Pavano, Mark Redmond, and Braden Looper, and sign free agents like Ivan Rodriguez and Todd Hollandsworth. So I think it's fair to say that, although they had some guys that were developed by their minor league system (especially pitchers), the team was built primarily through trades and free agency. Of course, if you want to hang your hopes on the 2003 Marlins as an example of building the minor league system while ignoring the MLB team, you have to accept that the plan didn't work long term. Although the 2003 team won the WS, they haven't been back to the playoffs since. I think it's fair to say that has as much to do with the Marlins management as it does with how they built their team.

They also traded for Willis and Penny.

You're right. Penny was drafted by the Diamondbacks and Willis was drafted by the Cubs.

Their 20 year old left fielder they called up was pretty good too.

He was a 1st overall draft pick wasn't he? Or was he a latin free agent that any team could have simply signed?

I forgot about Cabrera. He was signed as an amateur free agent in 1999 and played about half of the season with the Marlins in 2003. Add him to the "home grown" list. I don't think it changes things much. You're comparing a traditionally low budget team and the way that they do things to the high budget Cubs. As I understand it, the goal for the Cubs is to be competitive year after year after year. I don't think the Marlins are a good example for that and I don't think it is necessary to punt one or more seasons to get there.

all long term one is thinking it's going to be a 100% farm team.

I-Rod was on a 1-year deal, right? Lee, Pierre, Lowell, Pavano...those are trading for long term assets even if they're not technically home grown.

You asked me to name a team that has been in a similar situation to the Cubs, but when I do, you say that they are off the table. I believe I said a team that was on a 3-year downswing like the Cubs and turned it around through free agency and sustained it with free agency and a minor league system. I don't think your Yankees example fits that and I think the Yankees have 3-4x the resources of the Cubs. BTW, the Yankees weren't exactly on an upswing in 1993. '88: 85 wins '89: 74 '90: 67 '91: 71 '92: 76 '93: 88 I'm sure you could plot that out on a graph and see what I mean by upswing or improving. I'm not sure about the Phillies and Braves or what years you're speaking of...but my memories of their teams is they had a lot of homegrown talent ready to help the team when they got good. No one is saying it's going to be a 100% homegrown team. how about if you come up with a team that spent money on the minor leagues and essentially punted a big league season or three. I couldn't find any. once I again I disagree with the term "punt", there's just no reason to make stupid deals. As for teams, I doubt you'll find perfect examples for either of our criteria, but a few come to mind. Giants Rangers Milwaukee Brewers (check their recent payrolls) I think all those teams are good because of their young talent and long term assets, don't you? Giants signed Zito and Rowand got nothing out of them, but it's Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Sandoval, Posey on why they're good. Rangers got good when they stopped trying to sign A-Rod's and let guys like Cruz, Hamilton, Kinsler, play. 2012 Mets Rays Pirates you realize you wanted the Cubs to do what the marlins did this offseason or the Rays heading into 2000 or the Cubs heading into 2007. Sometimes it works for that season, but so rarely and I can't think of ever where it worked long term.

The 2007 Cubs

Had the new CBA not had the oppressive spending caps I'm sure you would have seen a much different approach by Theo. With these enormous restrictions, the CBA makes it very difficult for a very good or even mediocre team to spend much money in the draft. I know that some of the spending won't impede some teams, but I think we would have seen $20M worth of signing bonuses to draftees instead of the 7 or 8 that was spent. To amass anywhere close to the draft talent that Theo would have picked up, having one of the top picks is THE way to do it. Obviously Type A/B free agency works a lot different and diminishes a team's ability to get extra picks, but the Cubs won't have that problem going forward anyway. So Theo won't have compensation picks like he did in Boston, and he can't spend big on draft bonuses like he did in Boston. So how can you add lots of talent to the system? As for "doing both," this past offseason it was clear that the Cubs wouldn't sign anyone who would cost them a pick. Maybe they could have made some better signings, but this isn't just going to the grocery and grabbing Doritos AND some steaks. You have to agree with a player. Maybe there's no obstacle there, but players who don't cost picks are generally not the type you want to add. So you add Maholm, DeJesus, guys of that ilk. Then you get this comment: "Maholm - neat. Meh. Lulz." "DeJesus - neat. Meh. Lulz." I'm not sure anyone's going to believe it, but this is why Theo can't "do both." I'm sure nobody will believe it and I'll hear the same question in a week, but here ya go.

Exactly. Plus, (very important) as soon as anybody you sign is marketable you HAVE to trade him for future talent or you are hurting your organization. (ala Maholm). They will not keep a good veteran just to have a fun experience for fans. When you have not won in 104 years you skip the niceties and go straight to "no compromises".

" if something good goes your way." key words

dude railing on B. Jackson's 4 K game Hey, Mike. Why are you worrying about big league games? Rebuilding is going on there. Rebuilidng being done by really, really smart people. Be patient. Did you really think they'd win a lot of baseball games this year? On Barney He's a wonderful BASEBALL player, but not very toolsy, or enough of an offensive contributor to work as an every day player. He's going to be in the big leagues for a decade or more though, and deservedly so. Q: ...I worry about major league games because I'm a fan, it's what I do. Heck, it's how I spend a big chunk of disposable income, I think I deserve a better return on that money then this team gave us this year. Kevin Goldstein: ANYTHING the front office does to give you a SLIGHTLY BETTER, but still crappy product on the field hurts their ability to give you a genuinely good product down the road.

b.jackson...t.colvin with more speed...there, i said it....and i can get on with life. i like the guy, but the K/AB ratio is so out of whack on the AAA level it's hard to get excited about the nice tools behind the swing.

I'm not saying you're right or wrong about the Colvin comp. But the huge difference is that even if Brett Jackson hits 220, he'll get on base >30% of the time. If Colvin hits 220, he gets on base about 22% of the time. That's a huge difference and could be the difference between average MLB player and fringe roster worthy.

it's a weak comparison, anyway. they're both guys who have an interesting set of mlb-quality tools hidden behind an inability to make consistent contact. i'd take b.jackson over colvin...way more interesting tools behind his weak contact rate.

Rob: That was really terrific. Thank you.

im still shocked about the power...i know i shouldn't be, but i was in the camp that saw him more of a great hitter with 20-25hr power (and unreal speed). that "gary sheffield-lite" timing mechanism and short/compact swing...i didn't think he had the power...he does. he's looking more like gary sheffield and less like d.erstad...not like that's a shock to most. schooled...

The thing that surprises you when you see him is how big he is. He's 190-200 lbs and fast. He's really good and he's not a Cub. Right now, there is probably no player in baseball with a value as high as his. Someone said to me that if Trout had bad knees he'd be Mickey Mantle.

he's looking like an easy 40/40 man next season...if not multiple times. i didn't know he could jump like he can. that "famous" catch he made a month ago or so is a bit skewed in awesomeness based on the camera angle, but he's got some serious torri hunter-like ups. kenny lofton back in his CLE days could jump over a 50ft. wall if his adrenalin was pumping enough...loved watching him play CF when he was younger. lofton...

Torii Hunter is on the same team (although he's now 36). Trout plays CF when they are in the lineup at the same time. Bourjos, who is one hell of an outfielder, can't get any PT,

If you get schooled by Ian Stewart, you know you're in trouble.

All of this SS talk, what about Amaya? He may not be in the same league with Baez and Castro, but I think he is considered a good prospect. Any thoughts on him and Hernandez on Boise.

Tue, 08/07/2012 - 3:22pm — TJ All of this SS talk, what about Amaya? He may not be in the same league with Baez and Castro, but I think he is considered a good prospect. Any thoughts on him and Hernandez on Boise. =========================== TJ: Gioskar Amaya is a top-of-the-order (#1 or #2 hitter) offensive-first infielder who has played 2B-SS-3B, but you wouldn't want to have to play him at SS long-term. He adjusted well to playing 2B full-time at EXST once he was allowed to concentrate on that one position (2B), and I believe that's where he will stay unless he becomes a utility infielder at the higher levels. He's actually adequate defensively at 2B.

Thanks AZ Phil.

Colvin in his last 10 games: 25 AB, .240, 0HR, 3BB, 7K His hot streak is over but I'm not sure that he's gone LaHair on them. Also I'm not sure if he's dinged up as that includes 3 pinch hit appearances and one game he was pinch hit for after 2 at bats.

He was running into to some playing time competition, but most of them are injured now...

If I was Brett Jackson, I'd ask my agent to make a deal with a hat company to produce the Official Brett Jackson Golden Sombrero. Gold & blue. Autographed by BJax. Could be a big seller at Wrigley Field.

And the winner is.... Rock Shoulders!.

Strange, but True: I played a gig with Marvin Hamlish. 1986. Miami Beach at the Doral. Norm Crosby (he of the backward expressions - probably in his 80's or dead now) opened up for him. Hamlish actually was pretty funny with his schtick.

cool, what do you play?

Drums, at the time. Not much anymore.

Dempster 6 shutout IP in Boston, rangers lead 2-0

Dempster leaves with 4-3 lead, 3 run reviewed HR by Middlebrooks and demp is relieved in the 7th after 99 pitches

m.fiers (MIL) perfect through 6 vs CIN. -ended, top 7th, 1st batter double.

No. YOU ended it CRUNCH didn't you when you jinxed him.


and b.jacKson starts the game off with a K...6 in a row over 3 games.

Chasing Soto.

and he breaks it up with...a walk. sure, why not.

raley's FB is topping out at 88mph fwiw...a lot of slop. coleman has better stuff. he's throwing this 84-86mph cutter a lot, too (pretty good one). high 70s curve...low 80s slider-looking-thing without much break. all of it looks the same coming out of his arm slot...pure deception and pitch-mix pitcher...shame he doesn't have a fastball/changeup combo.

also, while he's a little wild (wide) he is keeping almost everything down. also also, he smiles a lot on the mound. either someone's funny or he's the type that does that when he's nervous or concentrating.

Maybe he's just trying to give the impression that he's got something up his sleeve.

Don't wink, kid

4ip 8h 3bb 4k (7er)...

vitters got his 1st hit...long 2-RBI double...he tried hard to contain his smiling, but...denied.

4-7 on 1st/2nd...1 out...0-2 (2k, 1bb) b.jackson is left in to hit vs a lefty... so anyway, 3 Ks now... it's too early to say much, but "overmatched" seems like it might be an understatement. it's not like he's getting punched out on 3-2 counts or after fouling off a few. fairness....last night he had 4 at bats, and saw 24 pitches. Let's wait...oh at least a week before we decide to get the pitchforks a nd send him back to Iowa?

we'll get more than a week of b.jackson most likely...only a few more weeks left of AAA, anyway. i like him...i just don't know what he can do. he had an interesting spring. that AB/K rate, was alarming in AAA and it's not looking so slick so far in the majors. and yeah, it's way too early to make any kind of call on just isn't a good start. 12ab/8k...

I think the good news in all this is that he seems to be aware of part of the solution. Sveum said after his golden sombrero that he needs to not give up at bats, in other words, don't swing on a x-2 count on a pitch way out of the zone. Just make that pitcher at least hit the zone. If anybody is a candidate for more standing strikeouts it's him. The real issue is going to be, okay, he knows. Now can he fix it. I really like the looks of him overall. I'm willing to watch the struggle and root for him. We'll just have to wait and see.

It's true that it's too early "to make any kind of call," but the small amount of evidence we have now indicates exactly what we would expect. Brett Jackkkkson

looks like Javier Baez 0-for start in High-A Daytona is over. 2-4, double, 3 rbi tonight in a 6-1 win.

The general rule is when a person is promoted from AAA strikeouts go up and walks go down. Thats because the level of competition is better and free passes are harder to get. Like crunch keeps saying his strikeout rate is alarmingly high and its early but he is doing about what i would expect from a guy who punches out as much as he does against AAA pitching. He is gonna have a good game once in awhile but he might go a week or two between those good games. Its not prospect hating its reality.

Speaking of Colorado's 4 man rotation Yahoo has an article about Col project 5,183. This isn't the first time Jim Tracy's front-office bosses have tried to reinvent baseball. So excuse the Colorado Rockies manager if he isn't in mutiny mode just because he must pull his starters after only 75 pitches and the first reliever he summons is called a "piggyback" and the entire cockamamie plan was dubbed Project 5,183 because that's the altitude at Coors Field. It begins with a four-man starting rotation rather than the standard five, and follows them with three rotating piggybacks. No starter throws more than 75 pitches and no piggyback throws more than 50. It's a system rooted in rigidity, one that gives a manager little room to maneuver. And Tracy, like most managers, loves bullpen flexibility. But he won't blast O'Dowd or Project 5,183. And, heavens, he would never blast the Rockies pitchers who have been so bad it's impossible to tell if Project 5,183 has any merit. Those pitchers are Tracy's guys, most of them are young, and most of them aren't any more thrilled about the system than he is. Tim's latest: Brian Urlacher's knee talks with BJackkkson's K's. The are both hanging out and causing concern and enjoying things.

With the Rockies 2nd win in a row over the Dodgers, the Cubs are now 3 GB in the race for 2nd draft pick. 6 BIG games coming up with them, at Wrigley the last weekend in August and at Coors the last week of the season. **trembling with excitement**

Unfortunately the Astros are the '27 Yanks of draft picks....they are likely uncatchable. The best we can hope for is the silver.

Last night's Ugly performance goes to... Jake Brigham AA Tenn: 0.2 IP, 6 R, 6ER, 6 hits, 1 Walk, 1 K, 1 HR. Ouch. John Andreoli at Daytona an actual prospect at all? Zero power, but he seems to get on base a lot.

The comparable in the Cub organization might be Adduci, who has failed to achieve prospect status while the Cubs continue to wait for his big frame to start producing extra-base hits. Andreoli (an outfielder) is listed at 6'1, 215, but he has no home runs this season, and only 20 XBH's out of 99 hits. On the plus side, he has 47 SBs on his way to something like 60, and Adduci never did that. Adduci stole 30-plus bases only once. Andreoli's OBP is 110 points higher than his BA, where a 70-point spread is the norm for Adduci. So maybe he's a prospect. He's certainly an interesting case.

Nobody here has mentioned Starling Peralta's 14 Ks in 7 innings last night at Peoria. Kevin Capie says he broke the O'Brien Field record of 12 held by Kerry Wood and Rich Hill. Peralta had a perfect game until someone homered with two out in the 6th.

Peralta had a perfect game until someone homered with two out in the 6th. No doubt CRUNCH was watching the game, or looking at the box, and said, "Dude has a PERFECT GAME working." That's it...pfffft.


And commenting on the quality of his stuff and the other team's swing planes.

lulz etc.

Soler update Missed some games with " a minor medical problem" but back in the lineup again @ESPNChiCubs: Cubs blog: Cubs pleased with Soler's progress in ARL

Twisted testicle?

Scrotal hematoma!

More on Peralta's outing @CarrieMuskat: Peoria's Starling Peralta fans 14 in perfect-game bid via @Minorleagues

In this farm system that is almost completely bereft of top-tier pitching prospects, does anyone know whether Peralta stands a chance of being good at the major league level? Seems like he's had a fairly mediocre season to date.


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  • crunch 9 hours 38 min ago (view)

    * except for playing 1st base


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...


  • Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...


  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 4 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 10 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).