Rosey Debut for Cub Draft Pick in Mesa

Making his professional debut, Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick Neftali Rosario (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) belted an RBI double to drive-in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 5th, but the bullpen could not hold the lead as the AZL Mariners rallied to score six runs over the final four innings, defeating the AZL Cubs 10-6 in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this evening.

box score

The 17-year old right-handed hitting Rosario struck out in both of his first two at bats (and looked bad doing it), before delivering a laser-shot liner off the top of the LF fence on a 2-2 slider that drove-in Dong-Yub Kim from second-base, and missed being a two-run HR by inches.

Rosario also looped a single to right-center in the 7th, and lined a rocket (unfortunately) right at the third-baseman for the final out of the game.

Rosario showed-off his arm from behind the plate, too, nabbing two base-stealers, and throwing out another trying to take an extra base on a Wild Pitch.

On the negative side, while he has a strong arm, he has a lot of work to do on his catching mechanics & receiving skills. He was charged with one Passed Ball (could have been two), and was consistently unable to block pitches in the dirt, resulting in four Wild Pitches charged against Cubs pitchers.

Rosario also is a sucker for high fastballs, swinging through most every one he saw. But when he did connect, he displayed outstanding bat-speed and plus-power.

He reminds me a lot of Welington Castillo.

While the Cubs pitchers struggled throughout the game, the offense did not.

Playing 3B tonight (he moves around between 2B-3B-SS, but his best defensive position is 3B), Gioskar Amaya had three more hits, raising his slash line to 400/435/488 (he is now 4th in the AZL in hitting). The 18-year old Venezuelan also scored two runs, stole a base, and laid-down a picture-perfect textbook sacrifice bunt. He is a magician with the bat, an ideal #2 hitter.

With Taiwan Easterling having been promoted to Peoria and Zeke DeVoss having been moved up to Boise, 18-year old Dominican CF Oliver Zapata is back in his accustomed lead-off slot, where he has excelled all year. He reached base three more times tonight on two singles and a walk, and he also stole a base and scored a run. A 5'9, round, bowling ball of a young man with a Kirby Puckett-like physique, the speedy switch-hitting Zapata has taken the lead-off gig very seriously, shortening his swing and following each pitch into the catcher's glove, just like Pete Rose used to do. As a result, he leads the AZL in walks. He also has been running the bases with abandon, having stolen 10 (good for 3rd the AZL) while getting thrown-out just twice.

After missing six weeks with a broken hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch in the final game of Extended Spring Training, OF Jesus Morelli returned to the AZL Cubs lineup Monday night versus the AZL Dodgers, going 0-3 with a walk. But he had a very good game tonight against the Mariners, driving-in a run with an RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd, and clubbing a game-tying 400+ ft solo HR over the left-centerfield fence in the bottom of the 5th. He also threw out a runner trying to score on a fly ball out to LF. (Morelli has a RF arm, so it's almost "no contest" when the opposition tries runs on him when he's playing LF).

Morelli was seemingly destined for a return trip ticket to Boise when he suffered the broken hand (he spent most of last season at Boise, too), so he probably won't be staying in Mesa too much longer. It would just be a matter of clearing a roster slot for him at Boise. (Actually, when he leaves, he really should be going to Peoria).

And after spending most of the season on the AA Tennessee Smokies DL with a broken hand, OF Jim Adduci has finally returned to action over the past few days in Mesa, and he continued his rehab tonight, playing RF and getting five plate appearances for the AZL Cubs. He popped out, flied out, grounded out, singled, and was called out on strikes. While he looks like he is probably ready to return to Tennessee, there may not be room for him there at this time, what with Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Spencer, Ty Wright, and Nelson Perez all vying for playing time in the crowded Smokies outfield.


//Hendry scoffs at the notion that Chicago should overhaul its roster after the season. “Why would we trade anybody who we think is going to help us next year or the years after?” he said. Hendry is open to making some moves before the July 31 trade deadline. “I would say if we move anyone it would be somebody we clearly knew wouldn’t be back,” Hendry said. “We’re not going to move people that we think are going to help us.” Hendry wants to keep the Cubs’ youth in place, and he feels no pressure to dump payroll via trade. He already has rejected several potential deals. “Why would I trade Sean Marshall?” he said. “Why would I trade Darwin Barney? Those calls kind of stop quickly. It makes no sense.”//

Why on earth would Hendry think anybody on this team is untouchable? I've never heard of such a thing, on good teams or bad. Castro -- I'd keep him. But if Hendry is turning down reasonable offers for other players, he's an idiot. If he is that enamored of these players, then he should fire Quade immediately. Well, after yesterday's fiasco, he should anyway. I haven't been this disgusted with this franchise in my 40+ years of watching this team. Except, this year, I'm not watching this team. This is the first year, in fact, that I have watched this few games. I used to be a critic of "fans" like me, who jump on the bandwagon only when the team is good, but this backward ass movement into oblivion has shut me down. I still read about every game, but that's as far as I can go. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Ricketts is going to end up being a massively over-leveraged owner of a dying franchise if he doesn't wake up soon and have the light turn on for him. In this post-WGN era, I wouldn't even completely consider it an impossibility that he could manage to preside over Chicago becoming a White Sox town, as crazy as that sounds. By post-WGN era, I mean that, even though WGN still has Cubs games, they no longer carry them exclusively to help build the brand as one of "America's teams" like they did several years ago. I'm visiting Chicago in late August, on one of my yearly trips to see the family, and for the first time I'm not getting Cubs tickets. If Ricketts fired Hendry today, I'd buy some, believe it or not. If Hendry backed up the truck and filled the roster with minor leaguers, I'd buy some. But this status quo is unacceptable, and I refuse to provide revenue to watch Soriano strike out, Quade repeatedly mismanage a pitching staff, Blake DeWitt bat fourth, a lineup that has the lowest or near the lowest walk total in the league, and a generally horrific style of baseball play that is about the same quality as I see here at Round Rock Express games (I've seen enough games to at least make that observation). Gee, I wasn't expecting to go on this rant when I started.

let it flow...

“Why would we trade anybody who we think is going to help us next year or the years after?” Hendry said. Of course the follow up question is help you do what next year or the years after that. The proper question is "Why should I trade someone who we believe will be on the team that wins the World Series."

Pena is the kind of player you want. Unfortunately, he's a free agent this year, so he should definitely be available. I agree with making Castro untouchable- the 2B of the future. The rest of them, forget it... Hendry is just deluding himself.

I wonder if that includes players like Jeff Baker, John Grabow or Reed Johnson. I don't think there is certainty that we wouldn't want them back and they definitely can be helpful as role players. Assuming we can trade Aramis, he clearly should fit that category, though he would be the hardest person in the lineup to replace. The important point, raised by Rob Richardson below, is that Hendry should have few untouchables right now. It should be whether this will make us a better team for the future...we aren't winning in 2011 and I think winning in 2012 with the same roster (even if we replaced Pena with Pujols or Fielder) is a pipe dream. If a trade of an older veteran will provide one or more players who can be reasonably expected to be part of a winning team in the future, then it should be completed (assuming the players we receive are fair market value for the player we are trading). My points about trading Dempster, for example, goes in line with this concept -- don't trade Dempster unless you receive fair value for him (with "fair" including removing a $12mm pitcher from a terrible team), but don't hold onto him just because he is a good pitcher (most bad teams have some good players who are older veterans, but unless they can find a way to become a winning team with those players, the best move is to receive younger players in a trade and build for the future).

I don't see why the Cubs would want Grabow back unless he comes at a drastic discount. As for Reed Johnson, the Cubs could probably trade him and still get him back next year if they want him then for some reason. He'll be a free agent, won't he? Jeff Baker might be the one piece they'd like to hold onto if they feel that he and Flaherty might platoon at 3B, 2B, or even 1B. Of course, they might use LeMahieu for similar purposes (although they might also be hesitant to relegate a 2nd round draft pick to short-side platoon role so quickly). link. it's just media talk, but it would be wiser to just say something like "I'm always open to any trade that will make the team better" and leave it that.

Soriano not concerned about nonexistant trade talk-Sullivan's actual title of this article.


WSCR has been rumbling all morning about Tom Ricketts' recent meeting(s?) with Pat Gillick.

mentioned in previous post

to me hendry's quotes in the local paper read like an embattled gm of a woeful team stuck on a farm system tour during a heat wave condescending to a media rep he figures he'll never see again...

I liked everything Hendry said in that interview. I also liked this statistic supplied by the interviewer: "Eleven players on Iowa’s roster are 24 or younger, compared to three on opening day." As for Hendry's being "stuck on a farm system tour," well, that's one way of looking at it. Another is that he's out touring the 2012 Cubs. Here are twelve Iowa players who could be on the Cubs next year: Gonzalez, BJax, LeMahieu, Flaherty, Castillo, Colvin, LaHair, Carpenter, Rusin, Coleman, Maine, Gaub. Coello and JJax could be added to the list, but they may not be as ready as the others. With the exceptions of Fukudome and Grabow, almost everybody on the current Cub roster could be back next year, but I have serious doubts about Hill, DeWitt, Ramirez, Johnson, Lopez and Ortiz, and milder doubts about Byrd, Soriano, Pena and Baker. If by some incredible stroke of luck none of these players returns, that leaves a core group of Barney, Castro, Soto, Campana, Garza, Dempster, Zambrano, Wells, Wood, Samardzija, Marshall, Russell and Marmol. That's thirteen names, only four of which are non-pitchers. (If Hendry was there last night, he saw LaHair hit his 28th.) If I was in Iowa now, I'd go to a lot of games. I'm surprised you're not happier than you sound. Earlier in the season, you were complaining that all the talent was in Tennessee.

Is the goal to win 40 games in 2012?

The goal is to become a spirited, hungry, speedy, mistake-prone talented half-decent young team on the way to becoming a normal good team with a core of home-grown players. I’m one of the greybeards here and I don’t remember any such Cub team. (The late-sixties team might have fit the description if they hadn’t traded Brock.) The first goal is to become watchable. How interesting is it to study the defects of older castoff players who are steadily deteriorating instead of improving? Daddy, Daddy, tell me again about the great Cub team of 2008, the team that was built on trades and free-agent signings that won 98 games! Oh, wait a minute. That team had Soriano, Fukudome, Ramirez and Soto in the starting lineup, just like the team that took the field today. (I forget which combination of Lee, Edmonds, DeRosa and Theriot made that team so great.) The top starters were Zambrano and Dempster and the closers were Wood and Marmol. That team burst like a bubble when they lost the lead in the fifth inning of game 1 of the NLDS on Loney’s home run. They never led again in the series. I recall that the 100-game-winning Angels lost the first two games of their divisional series that year, but unlike the spineless, spiritless Cubs they fought back, winning game three in Boston and losing game four in the bottom of the ninth.

winning baseball games equated to courage...well done.

Pot meet kettle. . . On at least two occasions you've referred to athletes crapping their pants -- Dempster in game one against the Dodgers, Grossman in a season finale against the Packers. Losing sporting events equated with cowardice...well done.

Do I have a stalker or something? but my stance on that Grossman game was always that it was completely fucking meaningless, so if I ever said anything along those lines it was in a joking manner. I don't recall being all that upset about the Dempster game, my couple of posts from that time period don't seem that I'm all that worked up about it. you sure you're not confusing me with someone else?

What are you wearing?

There is no such team. To have a hungry, speedy, talented homegrown team. You need......talented kids. This system is devoid of talent. There is 1 future MLB regular in your 14 player list above.

1 out of "Gonzalez, BJax, LeMahieu, Flaherty, Castillo, Colvin, LaHair, Carpenter, Rusin, Coleman, Maine, Gaub. Coello and JJax"? yeeeesh...who pissed in your corn flakes? =p i wouldn't count on 1/2 of them being regulars, but i can see at least 3-4 guys in that list with a good chance of putting in some good pujols, clemens, or m.riveras in there or anything, though.

Which 3 or 4 are regulars on a good team?

i'd give carpenter and bjax some love right out of the box...gaub, jjax, flaherty i wouldn't count out, either. some haven't given up on colvin...

I figured BJax was it. Flaherty is a platoon utility infielder Gaub and Carpenter are bullpen arms. Colvin ain't moving until he learns to control the zone Castillo is a future backup catcher Other guys all have Major issues they need to overcome. Sure some of these guys will have careers at the MLB level. None of them other than Bjax are the types of people a 130M payroll team creates spots for though.

Other guys all have Major issues they need to overcome. Sure some of these guys will have careers at the MLB level. None of them other than Bjax are the types of people a 130M payroll team creates spots for though. you should see some of the guys playing for the Giants, Angels, White Sox and Mets right now.

"None of them other than Bjax are the types of people a 130M payroll team creates spots for though." That wasn't actually the question. The question was whether they are better than DeWitt, Johnson, Baker, Hill, Lopez, Ortiz. I'm not as high on many Cub prospects as you might think. Vitters is a borderline prospect to me at best, since unlike most Wilken picks he's not strong on D. Jay Jackson has more than he can handle at AAA and is not on my radar. I expect Gonzalez, BJax, LeMahieu and Carpenter to be solid major-league players. Flaherty is a real middle infielder (unlike, say, DeWitt or Baker or Aramis) and there's no reason he can't hit well enough to play second, short or third for someone, maybe the Cubs. Coleman, Maine and Gaub are marginal but Gaub is a big talent--with a ten-cent head. LaHair can definitely hit in the majors but it's tough for a first-baseman, since teams don't carry two of them and there are only thirty teams. It helps if you can field like Pena. I don't know anything about LaHair's glove. Colvin will be a major leaguer and possibly a star but he may run out of time with the Cubs. (You don't have to be smart to hit, but it gets you there quicker.) Castillo can hit but he has one little weakness that will continue to hold him back: actually catching the ball. We saw him miss a shoulder-high fastball in Chicago, and he had a similar passed ball on a Carpenter fastball the other night that allowed the winning run to advance to third. This is not the stuff that catchers-of-the-future are made of. Rusin has excellent control and should have a Marshall-like career. On Tennessee I like Lake, McNutt, the two catchers, Clevenger and Flores, and relievers Rhoderick, Beliveau and Hatley. Lake may be the biggest talent in the system, but you won't like him because he's a free swinger. Last year at this time I was touting Chirinos and Guyer, and they're doing okay. I'm a long-time fan of Campana, and he's doing okay. With his skill set, there will always be 25-man rosters that he can make. Samardzija and Russell seem to be succeeding as major leaguers.

Let's not forget that the game has changed. It's a young man's game now.

you completely misread my comment,'s hendry who doesn't sound happy, not me, & i do go to as many games as i'm able...if i was in virginia now i'd move to des moines; i'm surprised you're not more miserable than you sound...again, i was speculating on hendry's mood, not expressing my own...

"if i was in virginia now i'd move to des moines" That's a great comeback, I enjoyed that. Yeah, I don't know what I'm doing here! But I'll be happy when DesMoines moves to Chicago.

There was a report that Hendry has turned down several potential trades. Shortly after that, someone criticized Hendry, saying that he should not turn down reasonable trades for anyone. Both statements could be true, abut have nothing to do with the other. Just because Hendry turned down trades does not mean that they were reasonable trades. You could only determine that if you knew what the offers were, and we have absolutely no reliable reports, or even unreliable reports that tell us if the offers were good or bad. Yet we go forward on the assumption that Hendry did something wrong, and it will soon enter into the "common knowledge" aspect of the Cub Fan Culture.

He might no longer have the authority to authorize any trades.

nearly 110 degrees on the field today at Wrigley Fuku, Castro, Ramirez, Pena, Byrd, Soto, SOriano, Barney, Dempster vs. Worley

Submitted by Rob G. on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 11:29am. nearly 110 degrees on the field today at Wrigley ==================================== ROB G: Has anybody spotted the massive Dust Cloud yet?

Lincecum vs. Kershaw today in San

scoreless through 6th until Dionar Navarro takes Lincecum out in the 7th. 9 K's for Kershaw through 7, 7 K's for Lincecum through 7

rumors... Pirates "mulling" a deal to bring in Josh Willingham and Craig Breslow Reds "targeting" James Shields.

I think most of the Cubs likely to be traded (Reed Johnson, Carlos Pena, Rodrigo Lopez, John Grabow, et al) will be dealt in August, as happened with Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot last year. And the Cubs will probably not be getting any organization's Top 15 Prospects back in a deal, either, although if they can get another Evan Crawford-type back (as happened in the Fontenot deal), that would be good.

Clearly the best that is likely to come from the Cubs trading this season is for them to simply rid themselves of some of the money owed to the likes of Pena and Grabow. Getting valuable prospects back for these guys seems unlikely, unless they work out a deal involving Aramis.


Who's actually watching this atrocity at Wrigley? It's ungodly hot and this team is hard to watch. 5-0 already? wow.

yeah...and soto just took a HBP off the left hand. he manned up, didn't rub it, and took his base...

with courage like that, how do we lose every day?

probably something to do with grit and/or scrap.

pena with 2 errors on 1 play...cubs 9 game error streak rolls on in style ...and a miserable dumpster only lasts 3ip Ricketts' spokesman, Dennis Culloton, said in a statement: "While Tom respects Pat Gillick's Hall of Fame career, reports of a conversation are unfounded."

Now that's news. I had no idea Culloton was still speaking for Ricketts.

Roger (Chicago, IL): Jim - Matt Szczur seems to be handling himself just fine so far in High A. If all goes right does he project to have a plus hit tool and hit for at least average power with good dee? Any comp that scouts or yourself liken him to? Jim Callis: He has a chance to have average power, but even if he doesn't, he should have well above-average speed with plus defense and a plus bat. Sounds like a righthanded-hitting Jacoby Ellsbury to me. ~snip~ ...Jim Callis: ...Top three prospects in order for me right now would be Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, Javier Baez. Could debate various combinations of those three, too. ~snip~ Re: Vitters Jim Callis: He's still only 21, and he still almost never takes a walk. I wouldn't get excited, but I do think he can be a big league regular. ~snip~ Navin (Pasadena, CA): How good a chance do the Cubs have of signing either Maples or Dunston? Jim Callis: I'm hearing they'll get Dunston done. Maples will be the tougher sign. ~snip~ Tony (Frederick, MD): Speaking of the Greinke deal, what was your take on the Garza deal back then (and how it compared to the Greinke deal), and what is your take on the Garza deal now? I am a big fan of Chirinos, who, after a bad April, has really swung a good bat, and Guyer has blossomed. Lee still garners the hype, and Archer still seems to have the stuff to make it in the pen, at the very least. Jim Callis: Thought the Cubs paid a lot, though the players they gave up were somewhat redundant in their system, but they had some sense of desperation in trying to make the big league club better. Thought it made perfect sense for the Rays with Hellickson ready to step in. The Cubs' season hasn't gone as they hoped, but I bet both teams would make the trade again.

I definitely know about 10000x less about prospects than Jim Callis, but I don't really agree with his comments on the Garza trade. Not sure who HJ Lee is redundant with in the system and we definitely don't have a deluge of front-line pitching prospects (which, at the time of the trade, if not now, Archer had to be considered). I am a big Guyer fan and most likely overrate him, but not sure we have someone filling his role either, at least not until Sczur shows he is ready. The Garza trade made sense if we were close to being a competitor. We were terrible in 2010 and few rational prognosticators picked the Cubs higher than 4th in 2011 even after the Garza trade. If the Cubs would make that trade again, knowing what they know now, I think that is downright idiotic -- if you knew you were going to be 21 games under in mid-July, why would you trade 4 of your top 16 prospects?

you really should look at the 2012 FA pitcher list before going on about the garza thing...not wanting to punt in 2011, and garza being $6m bucks (a great deal) aside... you have cj wilson and...well, you could sign mark b. from the wsox to a 3+ year deal. it's realistic to assume that both TEX and CWS might eventually sign both guys, too. 2012 pitching market is ass.

That is fine, but my point doesn't change. If you know you are going to be terrible in 2011 (which is the assumption here), then you likely know (especially with contracts like Z, Demps and Soriano limiting our movements) that we likely aren't going to be great in 2012. So the question is, in that situation, when you are NOT going to win in 2011 (which was known under the assumption) and likely not going to be a playoff team in 2012, do you trade prospects for Garza? Garza is a good pitcher, a number 2 in the rotation type. But if that isn't going to make you a contender, why not build from within?

i really don't know how to tell you that you have to accept that 2011 was not a punt year. you literally have to 100% accept that. it's not up for debate. it wasn't gonna probably never will happen... teams with payroll like that don't punt and it was 100% known the cubs were not going to punt. that's the starting point. base...ground floor... no one the cubs have given up have a role on the 2011 or 2012 cubs...archer sure as hell doesnt...guyer maybe could be a RF'r...chinniniooros bench...sam fuld is sam fuld besides that...unless you want to use that money saved to throw $18+m a year multiyear at cj wilson or $12+m a year multiyear to throw at m.buerlelele....then garza makes sense. having a pitcher with club control was stated in the media by the string pullers as being something they were looking for during this offseason trade adventure.

The reason for our disagreement is, I believe, we are taking different perspectives. You have stated more than once that "2011 was not a punt year". This appears to be a statement that the Cubs were going to make efforts to improve the team for 2011, regardless of predictions from every rational analyst that said those moves were not going to make the Cubs a contender. In other words, you are being a realist. I am stating that if you were in control and wanted to make moves that would have the best chance to make the Cubs a contender within the next five years, you do not make that trade. You say that no team with a payroll like this would "punt". I would disagree, if by punting you imply that any team with a high payroll and no chance of contending (again our assumption) would always trade some of its top prospects for a #2 pitcher. But even if you are correct and every team would do that, that does NOT mean it is the best way to get your team to respectability again. Garza is a nice pitcher and I would have loved to trade for him if we were in contention. But I don't care about CJ Wilson or Mark Buerhle, I would much prefer that the 2012 Cubs had Jackson and Cashner and, if he turns it around, McNutt and (if we didn't make the trade) Archer as prospects for the rotation than CJ Wilson. Why would I prefer that? Because when you are a bad team, you should give your prospects a chance, not trade them for someone who doesn't really make you a contender. I had no problem with Jamie Moyer and Greg Maddux each getting 30 or more starts in 1987 and going 12-15 5.10 and 6-14 5.61 respectively. Why? Because the Cubs were a terrible team. I am not saying that Jackson, Cashner, McNutt or Archer will have 1/3 of the career of either Maddux or Moyer. But I sure would like to find out and for them get experience rather than sitting in AAA while the Cubs send out Demps and Z and Garza to lead us to the second worst record in baseball.

I know you'll disagree and all, but with this Cubs system at the moment, they should do 5 more trades like that and they'll be in contention a lot quicker than waiting for their prospects. I'll take above average players with 3 years of club control and under 28 anytime over 5 okay to slightly above average prospects. While the Cubs may have a lot of depth in their system, I don't see one guy that's gonna be a top 5 at his position year in and year out. Maybe Jackson and Szczur, but that's still a bit of a reach on them. If I were Hendry, I'd be fat, but I'd also be calling the Rockies right now and seeing what the Ubaldo Jimenez price tag is.

If I were Hendry, I'd be fat,

It's actually something that all baseball fans go through at some point. Over valuing your franchise's prospects.

I am definitely a victim of that. But when a potential #2 starter is available and the Cubs, a team whom no analyst gave a realistic chance of making the playoffs, outbids the a definite championship contender in the Rangers, I think we overpaid. And such overpayment is even greater when the addition of Garza hasn't led to further success for the team while reducing potential for the future.

Would you have said that HJ Lee could be top 5 at his position? Seems possible with his midseason ranking. Thought Archer showed the same last year. This years' struggles aside, he has great stuff. Personally, when the Cubs are terrible (a not uncommon fate), I would much rather have the potential for the future than make trades to get slightly better (maybe .500) but have no prospects of note after doing so; it seems that following your plan would eliminate any players with huge upside, but get a few pretty good players on the major league team. Seems like that is what we have now. And then, when we get to 2014, all these players are getting to free agency, and we either resign them all and get stuck again with a $140+mm payroll with no championships, or let some of them go but have little in the minors left to replace them. IMO, either you are spending your resources/making trades for making a realistic run for the playoffs or you are building for a future run. Sometimes teams are uncertain where they stand, maybe having some veterans and being slightly over .500 in late June...they walk a balancing act between these two positions. But the Cubs are not in that position. They are actually quite bad. Unfortunately, they now appear to think the team is close to a run next year (next year was 2011 at the time of the Garza trade, now its 2012), and act like a contender. All that will do is drain the farm system and keep the championship drought going strong.

Would you have said that HJ Lee could be top 5 at his position? Seems possible with his midseason ranking. sure, he's the guy I always missed in the trade. Gotta give something though to get something. He's also not a useful major leaguer until 2014 most likely and there's plenty of time to find replacements. I think DeVoss is pretty much his offensive equivalent and just 4 months older. Of course he doesn't play SS, but Lee probably wasn't going to play it for the Cubs either. Archer was a big trading chip with a lot of potential and a lot of risk, he's showing the risk right now. The Cubs seemingly traded him at his peak. it seems that following your plan would eliminate any players with huge upside no keep the guys with huge upside, the Cubs just don't really have a lot of those imo. to sum up, the guys on this list, especially the top 50 are important. the guys on this list, not so much...

archer can't get consistent...every time he seems to right the ship he starts giving up the hits again. he's always walked guys, but in the past he managed to keep the hits to a minimum. maybe he's got a crappy D behind him...i dunno...either way, the only positive to his season so far is he's kinda keeping the ball in the park.

Rob G: I know you'll disagree and all, but with this Cubs system at the moment, they should do 5 more trades like that and they'll be in contention a lot quicker than waiting for their prospects. I'll take above average players with 3 years of club control and under 28 anytime over 5 okay to slightly above average prospects. While the Cubs may have a lot of depth in their system, I don't see one guy that's gonna be a top 5 at his position year in and year out. Maybe Jackson and Szczur, but that's still a bit of a reach on them. If I were Hendry, I'd be fat, but I'd also be calling the Rockies right now and seeing what the Ubaldo Jimenez price tag is. **** Exactly. Despite all talk about how great our farm system is, I don't see any true blue chippers. And if you can deal them for a younger player like Garza, who is a proven big leaguer, on a relatively cheap contract under team control for several more years, that's a no brainer. I liked the Garza trade at the time and I still like it, regardless of our team's record. I also said at the time of the Garza trade that Hendry likely also looked at projected possible 2012 free agent SP's and there just aren't any out there. And I still think HJL is only a Kaz Matsui type of hitter.

You might be right on HJL....but he's only 20, and seems to have a lot more speed than Matsui. I just never got trading that much for 1 player. I like Garza. He's a good pitcher, a #2/3 starter....but to give up what they did is....interesting.

The flip side is that Garza is under 3 years of club control. There is no high end pitching prospects in the upper levels of our system. Dempster and Z are gone over the next 15 months. Garza is a top of rotation bridge between now and the next generation. Very likely he's a type A comp player. At worst we get comp picks for him in 2014. At best he leads a rebuilt roster to the playoffs.

Who was the last player to whom the Cubs offered arbitration and received a compensatory pick? Does this go back to the 2004 or so? Garza will probably be a nice pitcher for the Cubs. I don't believe he is top of rotation (#1) for a contending team, but certainly a #2 or #3. Again, though, that isn't make the Cubs a contender.

I figure that a competent GM will be on the job by 2014. (crosses fingers)

I will join you on that hope :)

We should have with Alou and Wood at minimum over that last few years. Cases can be made on Harden,Gregg,Nomar and Beernutz as well.

they probably would have had Alou, not the picks.

They'd have been better in 2005 for it.

Some RHP named Jordan Zimmermann was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft (67th overall pick), which was the compensation draft pick the Nationals got from the Cubs after the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano. So I guess you could say that the Soriano signing is basically the proverbial gift that keeps giving.


Are you saying the Flubs would have done something with that pick had Sori not been signed w/the team?

"Not sure who HJ Lee is redundant with" Callis may be referring to the 21-year-old shortstop the Cubs sent to the all-star game. But I agree with you that Guyer, as a toolsy righty-hitting OF, was not redundant, and that without him the Cubs will have to reach down for Crawford or Szczur to replace Reed Johnson, whom Guyer might have beaten out in spring training last March! Of course, part of the void left by Guyer resulted from the demise of Fernando Perez. Incidentally, I noticed recently that Lee and Crawford have eerily similar offensive numbers in the same league. Both have played the same number of pro games, although Crawford played for Indiana U. and is two+ years older. And of course a projectable shortstop is worth more than a CF-LF prospect.

did you watch? He struck out and made an error. pretty much the Cubs' season in a nutshell.

I agree that Castro may have been who Callis meant, though I always one of Lee or Castro to move to 2b (as Barney did).

DET trades for less potential aram suitor.

#Cubs Quade points to Castro misplay in first as a key to bad day blame the kid of course. anyone know what play he's talking about?

a popup that he lost in the sun as it weakly plopped down a few feet from was ruled a hit. btw, at the time (as you could tell easily from the shadows) the sun was almost directly overhead.

I'm nearing Dusty-level hate for Q-Ball.

well, in the press conference it was a more playful thing rather than laying out some blame, imo...well, not "playful" but not angry or along that lines...imo... the game was kinda craptastic with no highlight except the run that scored... he probably meant it as more of a "i knew it was gonna be a bad day when it started with..." type thing. they got scored on in 6 of 9 innings and the cubs bats were dealt with really quickly in every inning but 1.

Quade blasts Castro, Barney for missed popup in 9-1 loss: "The sun’s been in the same damn spot for however long Wrigley Field’s been here."

well, that's more to the point. damn. the EI feed i was watching only showed part of the post-game press, but he wasn't that aggro, yet.

but he loves his veterans: "I think our veterans are doing a pretty damn good job. I see intensity from my CF, and Rami's playing really well" Bruce Miles, 38 minutes ago

I wonder the context of that quote. Seems there was no reason to throw Castro under the bus, but it is made even weirder to then compliment a different group of players who may be playing hard, but the team as a whole isn't performing. It actually would be a nice compliment for his team and something I think is good of the manager to do if he hadn't previously selected certain players to rip on as if they were the main cause of a 9-1 shellacking due to one dropped flyball.

Hopefully Quade won't be in the same spot for too much longer.

Wow. I've kind of felt for Quade at times, what with Zambrano saying "what manager," the arguments with Dempster and the media generally day in day out reminding him that he's out of his league. But this kind of comment tears it for me. Castro is the best thing to happen to this organization for a long time - at least as far back as the hope we all felt when Prior had an incredible rookie year - and for Quade to constantly media-fuck him is bullshit. Fuck Quade. I can't wait for Soriano to miss a fly ball and see what he says.

Don't necessarily agree with Quade saying what he said, but there is some context to it that isn't provided in tweets and this headline that called it a "rant":

I just got there today after his BS move of throwing Castro & Barney under the bus. Nero (i.e. Quade) fiddles while Cubdom (his lame-ass Vets) burns down all around him.

A. Kirk lit up again tonight, 3 IP, 9 ER, 9 H, 1 HR, 3 K, 1 BB J. Jackson going for Iowa tonight

Jackson shelled as well...6 IP 10 H 7 ER 1BB 3K. 2-4 for Lemahieu with his first HR at Iowa, but Flaherty (0-3) and Jackson (0-1 as PH) hitless.

Easterling hits his 2nd HR for Peoria tonight 333/429/583 line heading into game, think that puts him on aaronb's top 5 prospect list now

I love the line!!!! I really hope this kid keeps it up!

I thought everything was gonna be all perfect and fun once Lou was gone. No need to search for a manager Quade is our man he did such a great job to end last season! Mistake #1......never let an extremely small sample size cloud your judgement or mask what is reality. I call it the "Neifi Perez Effect".

what a random reply

Just what i have noticed lately....a whole bunch of Quade bitching and moaning. It's not really any managers fault its the quality of talent in the Cubs system. At least Lou made them play better baseball than what we are currently seeing. It's like no one gives a shit, and no one fears Quade in the slightest bit, they just walk right over him and do what they want. He is an invisible manager.

I just meant you replied to us discussing Taiwan Easterling.

I wouldn't agree with the statement that Lou made them play better baseball than what we are currently seeing. Lou's clubs the final year and half of his career were awful, and he frequently said in his post-game press conferences that he didn't know what else to try. I've been puzzled by how bad our defense is constantly, as far as making boneheaded errors for what seems like decades. The good teams, like the Yankees, etc., don't seem to have that problem. So what makes us different? Are our players stupid? I doubt it. Are they lacking in baseball smarts? I doubt that too. Do good teams practice fundamentals more, or perhaps stress fundamentals in the minors more strongly than the Cubs do? Do players on good teams get benched when they make a stupid defensive play, while the Cubs sometimes chew the player out but rarely bench anyone? Just what is it that makes the Cubs always have these fundamental problems, no matter who the GM is, who the manager is, who the coaches and players are? It's one thing to be bad and be outhit, outpitched, etc. But looking like a bunch of clueless dunces really drives me crazy.

I think defense and especially fundamentals are an organizational issue. You can't teach hitting tools. You can't teach athletic range or soft hands per se. You can teach fundamentals. You can teach proper defensive rotation and drill hitting cutoff men. You can practice tracking fly balls. You can work on DP pivots. Yet them Cubs always seem deficient in these areas?

Castro has committed 18 errors in 448 chances, for an FP of .960. He's 21 and will improve, maybe dramatically. Barney has 9 errors in 375 chances, .976. Not sure there's a problem there. 16 errors at catcher, 8 by Soto in 583 chances (.986), 6 by Hill in 216 chances (.972), 2 by Castillo in 20 chances (.900). Maybe the Cubs do need a defensive upgrade at catcher, although Soto's .986 looks okay. Dewitt, 6 errors in 112 chances (.946). He's gone after the season, hopefully sooner. Pena, 6 errors in 750 chances (.992), nothing wrong there. Ramirez, 6 errors in 197 chances (.970). He's gone after the season or sooner. Soriano, 6 errors in 137 chances (.956). Hopefully his days as a regular are numbered. Garza, 5 errors in 22 chances (.773). Wake up, Matt! Nobody else has 3 errors.

This is a good point, but errors only tell part of the story. Being out of position, not getting to the ball you should, taking bad angle/routes to the ball, not turning double plays that should be turned, are things that don't show up in the error column.

castro's committed a lot more errors than what shows up in official scoring, unfortunately. he's still learning on the job, though...price you pay for bringing him up so early...same price you pay for the lack of power that will probably have him hit 15+ HR one day. garza's been some horribly bad D mixed with the fact you can't even count on him to bunt.

yes he has It'd be nice to see some improvement there but I don't.

Not sure there's a problem? Only Rickie Weeks has a worse FPCT in MLB. Same goes for Castro. The nearest shortstop to him has 15 errors (Ryan Theriot). And as a keystone combo they totally suck. Cubs are near the bottom in converting double plays.

I have always liked Castro's ability with the bat but it always rubbed me the wrong way when people clamored that his defense was soooooo much better than Theriots when it wasn't and still isn't. That was just plain and simple bashing on a player and slamming his faults while ignoring Castro's. Hell not even ignoring, trumping up his defensive abilities when they didn't even exist. It's all cute now that he is still brand new, it wont be cute in the next 2 years if he is still doing it. I think Castro is destined for another position.

I think you can add, don't keep a manager a horse shit team of players want.

Lol....I call that the "Hollandsworth Principle"

Article from Phil Rogers today (link below) discussing Cubs trading Aramis to White Sox (in which case, it wouldn't force Ramirez family to move). Not really that great of an article (suggesting maybe Morel or Peavy as part of the deal). But towards the end he made a statement that I don't think is true and wanted to get people's thoughts: "I will throw in one qualifier, however. July trades benefit the sellers far more often than the buyers." Is that true? I guess it depends on how you define "benefit". Does "benefit the buyers" mean only they made the playoffs or that they performed better than they would have without the new player? Does "benefit the sellers" include salary savings or is it only the prospects received? The reason I ask is that if we are just looking at players moved, I would think the buyers benefit much more often than the sellers. Typicaly the acquired players have some good effect on the team (i.e. player is better than whomever they replace) while the prospects acquired rarely become something special, even if highly rated at time of trade. And this doubt comes from me, one of the bigger proponents of the Cubs trading veterans! Am I missing something, or is this just WW Rogers at his finest? Link:

First, Phil Rogers is an idiot. Only rarely does he say anything remotely true or not made up by him. Second, this might be one of the rare times I somewhat agree with him. Name off any player who was traded to a new team that made a huge difference for the new team and helped them win playoff games? Carlos Beltran to Houston. ARam to the Cubs. Sabathia to the Brewers. Cliff Lee to the Phillies and Rangers. Who else? I'm drawing blanks. There aren't a lot of individual mid-season trades you can say helped push a team into the playoffs. On the other hand, there are a ton of mid-season trades where you can point to a prospect(s) a team received that significantly helped the team in the future. A few I can think of off the top of my head: John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander. Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for Larry Williams. Lou Brock to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio. Jay Buhner to Seattle for Ken Phelps. Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to the Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. Freddie Garcia, Carlos Guillen, and John Halama to the Mariners for Randy Johnson. Jon Lieber to the Pirates for Stan Belinda. The list goes on and on. Probably because teams often overpay in prospects in deadline trades for marginal players, especially relief pitchers. On the other hand, not many true impact players are traded at the deadline. Did Jason Kendall help the Cubs make the playoffs in 2007? Probably. Would that be considered a big enough impact to add to the list of helping a buyer more than the seller? Jerry Blevins, one of the two players the Cubs sent to Oakland, has pitched for 5 years for Oakland and has been an avg. to slightly above avg. RP for them. Kendall is lone gone from the Cubs, and nobody would say he was an impact player when we got him.

Not that I disagree with your point, but the trade that brought Sutcliffe, George Frazier and Ron Hassey to the Cubs for Mel Hall and Joe Carter turned out ok, although Carter's bat would have been a nice fixture in Wrigley.

The Sutcliffe/Hall/Carter deal was a great trade for both teams, especially since we had Sutcliffe for a few more years and he was very productive for us.

Trades DO help to bolster a team during a playoff series. Aramis, Randall Simon and even Doug Glanville helped us in the 2003 playoffs.

weird argument... the point of a deadline trade is to make your team better the rest of the way and make the playoffs, so simply what's the team's record before and after the trade, did they make the playoffs and of course how well that player actually played. You're talking 2 months of baseball and one or two players being added, it's not gonna be more than a handful of wins at most. The team knows they're giving away the future for the now. Derrek Lee had a .849 OPS for the Braves and they made the wild card, although they were a game or two under .500 after the trade. Do you think the Braves regret the trade even if Robinson Lopez or Jeffrey Lorick become major leaguers?

Just a note: Jerry Blevins put together some nice stretches in the bullpen early on, but then I think we mostly lost track of him. But he has not been an average to above average relief pitcher for 5 years. He pitched just 4 innings in 2007, spent half the season in the majors in 2008, spent most of 2009 in the minors, pitched in the majors for all of 2010, and has spent most of this year in the minors again. So he's really had 1.5 good seasons in the majors (2010 and 2008). This year he has been optioned twice already and has allowed 70% of inherited runners to score. An A's blog sums him up his most recent demotion to the minors best: "Unsurprisingly, after pitching his two innings of work in which he allowed the required run that is a part of any Jerry Blevins outing."

And for every John Smoltz there are about 100 prospects traded in deals that don't pan out. I mean, the Garza trade is still be debated on here, but my guess is in 3-4 years, Fuld, Guyer, Archer, Lee, and Chirinos will be thought of a lot like Gallagher, Donaldson, Patterson, and Murton are now. As much as we like them, most (the vast majority) don't pan out. And even if Lee becomes Jose Reyes in 5 years, so what, over the long term you gain more than you lose trading prospects for veterans like this.

hell, just a few months ago the sky was falling because the cubs dared to part with walk-happy chris archer...aka, God. now his name is barely mentioned. 5ip 4h 7bb 4k 2er...last night's game...and his ERA went down as a result. all the poor cubs got out of it was a club-control MLB pitcher they paid 1/2 $$ price for in 2011 putting in sub-4.00era/1.30whip work...and evidently there's plenty to complain about in that.

Your position noted, I mention Archer every time. Of course, I suppose we could instead defer to your judgment of a 22 year old pitcher's future performance and prospect value based on 1/2 year minor league stats and write off Archer as never going to be good. Furthermore, the trade should be judged as of Archer's value at the time of the trade...we could have received more than Garza for what we gave up. It is the winner's curse of a bidding process, where we bid more than everyone else, even teams that could have used Garza for a playoff run. Your overall excitement for the Garza trade is quite amazing...we overpaid and so far he has helped us get the second worst record in baseball. Hopefully by the time he becomes a free agent, he puts up stats justifying what we gave up; we gave up the price for a number one pitcher and Matt Garza doesn't come close to that right now.

im not writing off sure looks to be a great sell-high point on the guy, though. i dunno how you can't like the trade beyond your assumption that the cubs will not contend in 2011 or 2012 based on previous posts. right now it looks like the only piece of any importance that was lost was a young low-power SS. i'm not gonna pretend b.guyer is some mlb impact starter and i'm not gonna pretend chinirororos is one, either. you have to give things up to get a guy like garza with his 2011 price tag...because you don't think it should have been a trade to begin with doesn't make that matter moot. he came with $6m pricetag on a guy that's worth $10-12m, easy. he also comes with club control. he's also MLB-ready, young, and the type of pitcher rotations want.

I come across in my posts as disliking Garza...I don't. He is valuable. But I don't think he is as valuable as what we gave up. You said: "you have to give things up to get a guy like garza with his 2011 price tag" If Garza is valuable, why wouldn't the Rangers, on the cusp of a championship, give up more than we did? We overpaid. You do have to give things up, but shouldn't give more than his value, particularly when the Cubs weren't in a position where he as the last piece to get us over the top. By the way, the management's job is to judge the talent level and make decisions based thereon. It wasn't some crazy Karnac-esque fortune telling that predicted the Cubs wouldn't contend this year, with or without Garza. Rather it was every rational analyst out there. My prediction that the Cubs, with one of the worst teams in baseball over 2010 and 2011 (and without any other relevant factors to the contrary of our poor play), won't contend in 2012 isn't rocket science either. But to put it another way, why didn't the Astros make a play for Garza? Hell, why aren't the Astros trading prospects now to acquire another veteran player? Obviously, because they are terrible and their best option is to play for the future. The Cubs obviously think their strategy should be different from every other losing team in sports. Probably way they remain a losing team.

i personally don't think you know much about rocket science. also, you need to get over the team wanting to flush 2011 or 2012...much less both. it don't happen, it wasn't going to happen. you can insist it shouldn't happen, but that's not a reality. i can insist the cubs should sign pujols and fielder this offseason as well as cj wilson. that's not going to happen. i guarantee 100% predict that the club would be better. how about we follow my plan?

Of course, I suppose we could instead defer to your judgment of a 22 year old pitcher's future performance and prospect value based on 1/2 year minor league stats and write off Archer as never going to be good. is anyone saying that? or are we saying that he's probably the #1 or #2 pitcher that people seem to think he was heading towards? personally I think he ends up in the pen as a set-up guy, maybe a closer. we could have received more than Garza for what we gave up you seem to state that as a fact. t is the winner's curse of a bidding process, where we bid more than everyone else, even teams that could have used Garza for a playoff run. generally, in an auction, the one to bid the most, wins, yes. Hopefully by the time he becomes a free agent, he puts up stats justifying what we gave up; we gave up the price for a number one pitcher and Matt Garza doesn't come close to that right now. you know Garza's in the top 10 in FIP and xFIP and would have 9-10 wins if not for blown bullpen games? that's not even getting into the bad defense and bad luck...he's pitched pretty damn close to a #1, just on a bad team that's given him no support.

Quote my Archer response related to: "hell, just a few months ago the sky was falling because the cubs dared to part with walk-happy chris archer...aka, God. now his name is barely mentioned." Sounds like he was being mocked and then written off to me. Pretty darn close to a number one? Say all you want about our bad defense (lots of which is his...can't blame that on others), but lots of good pitchers play with bad defenses. He had a great defense in Tampa, had one winning season. But hopefully the GM of any other team agrees -- I would gladly take the number one on many contending teams in exchange for Garza. Don't think Sabathia, Wilson, Jurrjens, Hamels, Halladay, Lincecum, Kershaw, Weaver or Verlander (some of whom have worse FIP, so perhaps you don't want them) are available in such trades. More importantly, I didn't see you mention FIP when discussing Dempster and his value. Why? He is 20th in the NL, certainly not $12 mm a year value. But for him, BABIP disparity is relevant. Cherry picking stats to justify bad performance doesn't really make a point IMO.

tampa bay has to worry about money. they also had a surplus of starting. they didn't have a need to pay $6m to garza vs. trading him off now with teams in a bidding war that had a craptastic 2012 market to worry about. if texas would have gotten him they probably wouldn't be worrying about if they need to give cj wilson 3+ years at 16+m a year this offseason. back in 2010 people were talking about cc sab. opting out of his insanely high paying contract because of how bleak 2012 was looking.

If Texas gave up exactly what we gave up, I would have said it was a decent trade -- they are in contention, so if they overpaid it would be ok. You are right on the CC point in that I cannot predict the future performance of the Cubs. But it is the job of the GM to do so and make moves based on these predictions. I will go on the record right now and predict that the Cubs will not make the playoffs prior to Garza being eligible for free agency (i.e. not in 2012 or 2013). The team they have is terrible and there isn't significant help on the horizon. If you knew that before the 2011 season for certain (and, as I mentioned, there is no certainty as demonstrated by your CC point), would you still make the trade?

it's fair to expect the GM looked at 2012 and said "wtf pitchers?" because having a guy with a contract or club control was an important part of snagging another starter for 2011. it's not fair to assume any GM on a team that spends $120-$140m a year telling the owner you want to punt for 2 seasons...or even 1 season...would be employed very long...or sell tickets...or merchandise... i find myself saying this for the 10th time or so in the past 2 days...teams like this don't punt. you just have to accept that. it's like getting pissed MIN never decides to add 40+m to a year's payroll because they "finally" (for what seems like every few years for a decade+) get the youth balance in they've been waiting on. you have to accept it. it's not irrational or radical's done...a lot.

whaaat? I believe I said Dempster's peripherals were on par with his last two seasons and definitely worth $12M. (this was before his last start) If his FIP is 20th in the NL, that's basically a #2 starter. He had a great defense in Tampa, had one winning season. he had 2 winning seasons in Tampa, he pitched 3 seasons for them. I would gladly take the number one on many contending teams in exchange for Garza. me too... Don't think Sabathia, Wilson, Jurrjens, Hamels, Halladay, Lincecum, Kershaw, Weaver or Verlander (some of whom have worse FIP, so perhaps you don't want them) are available in such trades. I don't think Garza is available either. I'd take Garza over Wilson or Jurrjens myself and probaly Jamie Garcia. I didn't say he was the best pitcher in the league. You said he hasn't pitched anywhere close to one, and the reality is that he has pitched close to some of them. There should be 30 #1's last I checked, 16 in the NL. Or are you on of those that thinks Daniel Hudson would be 10-5 if he pitched for the Cubs this year?

Winner's curse definition from Wikipedia: "The winner's curse is a phenomenon akin to a Pyrrhic victory that occurs in common value auctions with incomplete information. In short, the winner's curse says that in such an auction, the winner will tend to overpay. The winner may overpay or be 'cursed' in one of two ways: 1) the winning bid exceeds the value of the auctioned asset such that the winner is worse off in absolute terms; or 2) the value of the asset is less than the bidder anticipated, so the bidder may still have a net gain but will be worse off than anticipated." Common value auctions means the player is roughly equivalent in value for each team. I would argue that Garza is much more valuable to a team in contention than to the Cubs. Thus, the fact that we outbid contending teams would imply our overpayment would be even greater.

Wikipedia also says that when you have resorted to citing abstract concepts such as "winner's curse" on Wikipedia you have conceded the argument. It's a fact. I just looked it up on Wikipedia.

"my guess is in 3-4 years, Fuld, Guyer, Archer, Lee, and Chirinos will be thought of a lot like Gallagher, Donaldson, Patterson, and Murton are now." There's a good chance that the Cubs and their fans will come to regret losing each of the following: Guyer, Lee, Chirinos, Donaldson. Looking at Donaldson's offensive and especially defensive (throwing) numbers at Sacramento, I would put him at the head of the class among Cub catching prospects. (Castillo can throw, but can he catch?) Patterson and Murton were not real prospects because they didn't hit like left fielders and yet that was the only place you could put them. You didn't get much for them. The Cubs have better prospects today than they did in those days, and should sell higher accordingly. Gallagher looked like the real deal and turned out poorly, so I guess if you're able to predict that, he's the ideal trading chip. Maybe Archer will be the same way. (Let's hope so.)

Who's the better prospects than those guys? I'd say Murton's bat is better than anyone else's in this whole system.

I'll point out again that there is no free substitution in baseball. You have to play a defensive position. Murton was not a shortstop. The only position he could play was LF. Given the minimal defensive demands of that position, you usually want a slugger there. Let me give a few examples in the NL today. Best HR years: Soriano 46 Ibanez 43 Braun 37 C Lee 37 Ludwick 37 Burrell 37 Holliday 36 C Gonzalez 34 Murton had doubles power. His highest HR total of 13 came in 508 PAs in 2006. Colvin hit 20 in 394 PAs last year.

Murton put up an .821 OPS when he was a full time starter his first year and a half. He Slugged in the 450's and got on base at better than .365 I'm not completely sure we have a 820 OPSer in our system at the MLB level? Do we have anyone on the MLB roster doing that right now?

Ramirez is .859, .840 career. Soto is .814 career. Colvin was .816 in a season in which he slumped in the second half. Reed Johnson is sitting at .940. Murton slugged .444 in his one full season before the Cubs signed a genuine slugger who could only play left. Now in his dotage, Soriano is still slugging .445, a shade higher than Murton's number. Also higher than Murton are Johnson (.567), Ramirez (.514) and Pena (.458). Castro is at .425. Colvin slugged .500 last year. Byrd slugged .459, .462 and .479 at Texas. Let's imagine that in left field in 2012, we had a choice of Murton, Lahair, Campana, Byrd, Flaherty or Colvin. I would pick Guyer, but more realistically I would prefer LaHair for power, Campana for speed, and Byrd and Flaherty as more or less equivalent to Murton but better defenders. Colvin is either worse than Murton or better, depending on whether he wises up. If Murton had been able to play third or second, he could have played here for a while. You can't just take his offensive numbers in isolation.

And, of course Murton would never improved on his rookie year, or got better in any way. Reed Johnson's career slugging is .415, and comparing Murton to Ramirez or Pena? Oh..and Byrd slugged a robust .422 here last season, and cracked .400 once prior to going to Texas. The only real problem I had with Murton, was his defense..which was suited only for LF...never for RF of CF. Now Guyer is a player I'd have liked to have seen in LF for the, oh well.

Sure, he would have improved, but it comes with being defensively challenged that you don't get many shots. Corey Patterson has over 4,000 ML at bats now, why, because he was a better hitter than Murton? No, because he plays a defensive position and he can run. Cedeno, likewise. Every little tool helps.

So Murton would improve but not Castro?

Colvin is either worse than Murton or better LOL. Brilliant insight, as always.

Actually there are three possibilities. Your sarcastic note contemplates only two, worse and better, and suggests that of course he must be one or the other.

Murton had doubles power. His highest HR total of 13 came in 508 PAs in 2006. Colvin hit 20 in 394 PAs last year. And Colvin will probably never hit 20 again. Murton is a much better hitter than Colvin will ever be, and that is not saying much.

Guyer put up better numbers than Murton in the minors, I believe. If you add in relative factors for offensive production based on speed, defense and position played, Lee and Chirinos have better bats (based on minor league performance).

numbers? hell, if you like numbers why aren't you at least giving props to the cubs snagging zach rosscup in the garza trade? woo, numbers.

I don't think anyone knows what the hell you mean by, "If you add in relative factors for offensive production based on speed, defense and position played." That is a whole lotta ifs and shoulda woulda couldas. Fact is Brandon Guyer wasn't a superior hitter in the minors, Murton was. Guyer is sporting nearly a 3 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio, which translates to a guy who will more than likely hit for a poor average in the majors unless they have amazing power which he doesn't have. Murton had a much better eye which leads to better overall hitter. And just to give you a point of reference Colvin has a worse strikeout to walk ratio and how is he doing? He fluked out last year and his power kept his average up. Now that the league has exposed his flaw and returned him to reality, there is no power to keep that average up and you become a player who will be looking for a new organization soon.

Taking Guyer's best year against Murton's best, I don't think it is close. Guyer put up ridiculous numbers last year. Then also throw in SB, and Guyer is significantly better. Relative factors: Chirninos and Lee play positions that have less offensive production as average. Lee is fast, so brings that into play as well. Both are, I believe, better than Murton defensively.

Ohhhh so now were gonna cherry pick single seasons in minor league ball now huh? And Guyer put up ridiculous numbers? For who? Himself? When i tend to think of a minor league player putting up ridiculous numbers its guys like Michael Stanton and Anthony Rizzo. I have seen better, much better than anything Guyer put up.

Guyer in the minors: .296/.358/.470 Murton in the minors: .320/.386/.471 minus the Japan numbers, .314/.389/.474 at AAA, .342/.403/.498 at AA. Guyeer is much more athletic, and looks to be a better defender however.

Guyer injured alot...I was looking at Guyer's best year against Murton's best year.

Well, Donaldson is 25 and has all of 32 major league at-bats and is hitting .263 at AAA. I'm not worried.

Of course, Donaldson is stuck behind Kurt Suzuki....

can quade please stop w/ the abbreviated surname/nickname routine? enough w/ the sori, cassie, marsh, etc.

It would be cute and funny if the Cubs were first in the division. At this point, just shut your trap, q ball.

"cass barn shed strap sun forever dammit negative behind veterans play better"

Anyone else read Wrongway Rogers' latest trade idea for the Cubs and Sox? Boils down to A-Ram for Brent Morel, and/or Jake Peavy..which then would "free Hendry to trade Garza to the Red Sox or other interested teams." So we can add $17 million to next year's payroll, for a broken down Peavy, add a 3B who has an OPS+ of 52....AND trade away Garza, who we just traded away a handful of prospects for this past offseason? LMAO.....I could use whatever drugs Rogers is taking....

Rogers is consistent with his misguided suggestions.

Perhaps already posted...BA reports Cubs sign 13th round pick 18 yr old CF Trey Martin. Short review of Martin: He makes solid contact, is an above average runner, and is an athletic CF.

I read a rumor that Tony Gwynn said Trevor Gretzky signed with the Cubs on Monday. Sorry no source/link. (Gwynn would be his coach if he goes to college.)

Toronto Sun has the story.

Someone get that kid a [email protected] [email protected] comb.

neat. He's got a twitter account. I bet it's fascinating.

The 6-foot-4 1/2, 180-pounder played high school at Thousand Oaks, Calif., where Cubs scout Tim Kissner was attracted to Gretzky.


Boner check!

while Cubdom (his lame-ass Vets) burns down all around him. --- what? Soriano's shoes are on fire? Probably a Dempster prank.