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   1. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4177026)
Even more impressive is that Rizzo has compiled his stat line while facing lefty SPs in half his games and has an OPS over .900 against southpaws.
   2. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4177096)
Cubs are now 14-16 over their last 30 games. Despite everything, their worst month was still April. They're no longer officially in last place. They've played above .500 at home since their first homestand.

Things are looking up!?
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 09, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4177105)
Rizzo's struck out five times in his first 49 PA with the Cubs. When he was called up by the Padres last year, he struck out 14 times in his first 49 PA, and then got even worse.

The reports this offseason were that Rizzo closed a hole that major league pitchers had found in his swing. His significant improvement in the minors (both in K rate and overall production) suggested he'd successfully fixed his swing, and his first 50 PA couldn't be a better sign that Rizzo's improved his contact skills up to at least major league quality.
   4. SteveM. Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4177107)
I wouldn't have Jeff S. in the bad. Sure, he has been uneven, but he has shown good potential.---------------------------------------------------------------
   5. Darren Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4177114)
Yeah, 5 K in 49 PA would have been great if he did that at AAA. His strikeouts have always been the big concern--if he's licked that, look out!
   6. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4177115)
Harold Reynolds broke down Rizzo's swing in 2011 versus 2012. Quite a marked difference between the hand position and the length of his swing. I've only seen maybe a dozen of Rizzo's Cub at-bats, but he's one of those guys where the ball just sounds different off of his bat. I'm excited.
   7. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4177117)
I wouldn't have Jeff S. in the bad. Sure, he has been uneven, but he has shown good potential.

I think this is sarcasm, right?
   8. zonk Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4177125)
I wouldn't have Jeff S. in the bad. Sure, he has been uneven, but he has shown good potential.

I think this is sarcasm, right?


Well, the ERA+ is down to 85 -- but his K rate is still quite nice and while his command has gone rapidly downhill, 3.3 BB/9 can work if that K rate stays where it is.

I think you have to be hopeful that there's someone out there who sees a Victor Zambrano ("I can fix him!"). He does lead the team in both GS and IP -- so I do hold out a little bit of hope that he just hit a wall and could use some time off. If he can get back to something within shouting distance of his first 1/4 performance, I would hope he can be a trade candidate. He's not going to fetch a ton - but like I said, maybe there's someone out there who sees a quite good K rate, some decent stuff, and is willing to overpay to try to 'fix' him.
   9. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4177140)
I think you have to be hopeful that there's someone out there who sees a Victor Zambrano ("I can fix him!"). He does lead the team in both GS and IP -- so I do hold out a little bit of hope that he just hit a wall and could use some time off. If he can get back to something within shouting distance of his first 1/4 performance, I would hope he can be a trade candidate. He's not going to fetch a ton - but like I said, maybe there's someone out there who sees a quite good K rate, some decent stuff, and is willing to overpay to try to 'fix' him.

Unless they get some sort of miracle deal, I think they're better off just keeping him to see if it can work. He's been uneven, but I think he's quite clearly a better pitcher than he has been in the past, and at this point who knows what they've got with him. Even if this is as good as he gets, he's a not-catastrophic back-end starter, and if he's still performing like this next year he'll be worth just as much in a trade then.

So I vote "keep" for now.
   10. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4177150)
I see that Baseball America is saying the Cubs signed their first round pick, Albert Almora.

So I vote "keep" for now.

Fair enough, and I don't disagree. I just see the good part of this season as a fluke more so than improvement, even while admitting his stuff looks better this year when I watch. But I also must note I cannot evaluate him objectively.
   11. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4177181)
I know you told yourself he's too young, but I feel like it can't be stressed enough that Castro is 22.
   12. zonk Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4177191)
I wouldn't give BPJ away -- they paid a lot for him and he's had instances of being fairly good... sometimes with smoke and mirrors peripherals (as in the actual bullpen jesus iteration), other times - he's actually looked as good as his numbers (until he hit the recent wall, he was pitching as well as the line said).

Still, he'll be 28 next year and I think he's used up all his "he missed development time to football" rope -- he's had 6 years now of pro instruction, focusing on pitching.... so if he's gonna click, it's time for him to click.

Just spitballing ideas here -- and these are not rumors, just ideas -- if Baltimore were to offer up any of their failed SPs for him (say.... Matusz or Tillman), I'd probably do that.... buy a few years of youth to take another whack at turning a major league arm into a major league pitcher. If the Dodgers were to offer up, say... Garrett Gould...

I agree that he's not an 'autotrade' -- if you figure Dempster is as good as gone, and Garza a decent shot at gone -- we'd be out of SP candidates I really care to get a couple months' look at.

I know he's just 24 - but I think I'm not alone in saying that I've seen more than enough of Casey Coleman. Figure Volstad slots in for Dempster and who else is there you really want to test drive for two months? Jay Jackson has been an awful, awful gopher ball machine. Chris Rusin looks like a lefty innings eater at absolute best -- a lesser Maholm, if that. There are a couple guys posting decent numbers at Tennessee (Struck in particular), but no one whose performance and age screams "promote me".

Sooo... I have no problem keeping Samardizja - but I'd certainly be listening to offers.
   13. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4177197)
I wouldn't give BPJ away -- they paid a lot for him and he's had instances of being fairly good... sometimes with smoke and mirrors peripherals (as in the actual bullpen jesus iteration), other times - he's actually looked as good as his numbers (until he hit the recent wall, he was pitching as well as the line said).

The bolded part is irrelevant. As long as they're getting adequate production for what they're paying him now, that's all that matters.

I know you told yourself he's too young, but I feel like it can't be stressed enough that Castro is 22.

Right. It really is impressive what he's done already in his career.
   14. zonk Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4177213)
I know you told yourself he's too young, but I feel like it can't be stressed enough that Castro is 22.


Sure - but he has sort of atrophied... He'll still be plenty valuable as a rangy - but erratic - SS who runs well, has good gap power, and a quick enough bat to be able to compensate for his continually abysmal plate awareness.

However - I'd have just liked to see SOME part of his game take something approximating a step forward this year... Either more power, a keener eye, more consistent defense.

Beyond a minor bump in power between his freshman and sophomore year - he's really the same player he was in his debut. Like I said, that's still plenty valuable (especially as long as he's cheap) - but plenty valuable isn't franchise cornerstone.
   15. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4177214)
Just spitballing ideas here -- and these are not rumors, just ideas -- if Baltimore were to offer up any of their failed SPs for him (say.... Matusz or Tillman), I'd probably do that.... buy a few years of youth to take another whack at turning a major league arm into a major league pitcher. If the Dodgers were to offer up, say... Garrett Gould...

I agree that he's not an 'autotrade'...

No way. I'm getting an elite package back in order to deal Samardzija at this point.

What would be the point of dealing him for Matusz or Tillman? Some random "change-of-scenery" swap, just at the moment where Samardzija is finally starting to put up some big league peripherals? Gould is a lottery ticket who should be a throw-in on a bigger deal.

I honestly don't see how any of this helps the Cubs. They've got a real asset in Samardzija right now - not a star, but a guy who looks like he might belong in a big-league rotation, and he's not a free agent for 3 more years after this one. Why give that up for lottery tickets or reclamation projects? That sure sounds like an "autotrade" guy to me.
   16. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4177217)
However - I'd have just liked to see SOME part of his game take something approximating a step forward this year... Either more power, a keener eye, more consistent defense.

His defensive stats show a HUGE step forward. And he's on pace to double his career HR total from the previous two seasons. I know his walk rate is disappointing, but there are plenty of gains to be seen if you look.
   17. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4177221)
Moses, I've had the same feeling on Castro for a while now. He's basically maxed out the production he can get from his BA skill and he's not going to show any real power with that swing unless and until he starts waiting for a good pitch to drive. I won't say he can't get better (Jose Reyes found patience in MLB) but I think it's unlikely he makes any major improvements at the plate.
   18. zonk Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4177232)
What would be the point of dealing him for Matusz or Tillman? Some random "change-of-scenery" swap, just at the moment where Samardzija is finally starting to put up some big league peripherals? Gould is a lottery ticket who should be a throw-in on a bigger deal.


Matusz and Tillman are both 2-3 years younger than Samardizja.


His defensive stats show a HUGE step forward. And he's on pace to double his career HR total from the previous two seasons. I know his walk rate is disappointing, but there are plenty of gains to be seen if you look.


Shift related? Given Barney's MVP candidacy based on dWAR warping via the shift - I'm just distrustful of defensive numbers. He is on pace to exceed his career HR high - but his ISO and SLG really haven't moved much. In effect, a fair chunk of doubles are -- prorated -- are going over the fence.

Again - I don't want to sound like I'm down on Castro... I'm just a bit frustrated that he hasn't taken a big step forward.
   19. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4177233)
His defensive stats show a HUGE step forward. And he's on pace to double his career HR total from the previous two seasons. I know his walk rate is disappointing, but there are plenty of gains to be seen if you look.

But his XBH are down overall - his doubles are way down.
   20. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4177252)
Shift related? Given Barney's MVP candidacy based on dWAR warping via the shift

It's not just B-Ref's DRS that has improved though - the Fangraphs numbers, which as I understand it factor out the shifts, are very favorable to Castro as well.

In effect, a fair chunk of doubles are -- prorated -- are going over the fence.

I suppose this is could be true ... but it sure seems like it would be counterintuitive.
   21. Sweet Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4177256)
His defensive stats show a HUGE step forward.

Independent of any shift-related noise in his stats, I think his defensive mechanics have meaningfully improved. I was at 2 of the 3 games with the Mets this past weekend, and I paid close attention to Castro's positioning, breaks on the ball, and footwork. He still seems a bit loose-limbed and is prone to double-clutching on throws to first, but even my untrained eye could see significant differences from last year.

Semi-relatedly, does anyone know where to find fielding game logs? I was going to back up my assertions above with Castro's month-by-month error totals from 2012 (since I think more than half of his current error total came in the first month of the season), but I couldn't find them anywhere.
   22. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4177267)
You don't trade Jeff Samardzija for a rehab project.
   23. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4177294)
Castro made his 7th error of the year on April 21st, 15 games into the season. He's made 6 in the 70 games since.
   24. zonk Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4177342)
You don't trade Jeff Samardzija for a rehab project.


Why not?

Again, I'm not saying I see any great need to deal him -- but at this point, he'll be 28 next year. He's had 150 MLB games - granted, not a lot of MLB innings - but he's been full-time on the mound for 6 professional seasons. The chances are slight he's ever going to be anything more than a mediocre swingman who occasionally flashes enough stuff to make you think "what if".

I know the Zambrano/Kazmir thinking is pretty rare - but you DO run into organizations every once in a while with a staff that sees a guy pitch and believes they're the ones that can finally help him harness his potential. IF there's a team out there who thinks that about Samardzija, and IF they're willing to part with something of moderate value for that opportunity, I'm highly tempted to pull the trigger.

It's foolish not to ask around - on no planet should Jeff Samardzija be anything approaching 'untouchable'. There are certain fallen prospect icons that I'd seriously consider taking back. Tillman is one - I don't like Matusz as much, but if the Birds were to add in a lottery ticket or two with Tillman, I'd pull that trigger.
   25. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4177347)
Matusz and Tillman are both 2-3 years younger than Samardizja.

Oh, and I offer a huge "big deal" in response to this. Younger doesn't mean better, and neither one has track records that look all that promising (meaning that it's questionable that their teams will get more from them than the Cubs are getting Samardzija now). Matusz even hits free agency the same year Samardzija does, and Tillman is only a year later.

If Samardzija was approaching free agency, I'd agree. But he's not, he's under team control until after the 2015 season. "Younger" doesn't mean all that much in context.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4177352)
Samardzija's FIP is 3.66. His K/BB remains excellent, and he's not giving up too many homers. His problems, statistically, are BABIP and (especially) strand rate. I certainly wouldn't deal a guy who might actually be a 120 ERA+ pitcher right now, but who is getting random variation'd to death.

If it isn't random variation, then Samardzija's biggest problem is his pitching in the clutch / with men on base, and that seems like one of the more fixable pitching problems for a first-time starter that you could ask for.
   27. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4177378)
Samardzija is 35th in the majors in FIP, 21st in xFIP.
   28. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4177395)
And how can you say it's unlikely a 22 year old makes any major improvements at the plate?
   29. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4177416)
Apropos of nothing, quite an interesting mix of comps for Starlin through age 21, all the usual caveats apply of course:

Garry Templeton (957)
Arky Vaughan (956) *
Dick Bartell (944)
Jim Fregosi (943)
Fred Carroll (941)
Travis Jackson (939) *
Vern Stephens (937)
Bobby Doerr (926) *
Rogers Hornsby (924) *
Mike Caruso (923)
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4177429)
Because he hasn't improved since he was a 20 year old and with his profile I think the one particular skill that must get better for any further improvement actually appears to be regressing. He's drawn fewer walks per PA each year in the league. If that is something he is capable of improving on then he's doing it wrong. Edgar Renteria and Rafael Furcal were middle infielders who had similar value at the plate at similar ages. What did they turn into?
   31. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4177434)
And to be more specific, I think there is less than a 50% chance he turns into a hitter who consistently posts OPS+s over 120. A guy who hovers between 100 and 110 is definitely a valuable bat at shortstop - even if it's light on OBP.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4177435)
Bryan LaHair - He’s cooled off and couldn’t be much worse against lefties

Of course that's just 47 PA against lefties. But the time to find out if he could handle lefties was earlier in the year when the alternative was Baker at 1B. With Rizzo up, it's probably not worth trotting out LaHair in OF against lefties.

On Castro: yes, just 22 and I suppose therefore likley to improve (add a bit of power) but he really hasn't improved yet. And just 12 BB in 363 PA -- that's nearing historically awful. It's true that, Templeton aside, even his b-r through age 21 comps are a pretty impressive (but generally not great) bunch. And it's true that Yount (one of his ZiPS comps) didn't break out until 24. Same with Jeter (although he always walked more). Really, I just want to see him get the BB rate to Francoeurian levels.

   33. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4177442)
Of course that's just 47 PA against lefties. But the time to find out if he could handle lefties was earlier in the year when the alternative was Baker at 1B. With Rizzo up, it's probably not worth trotting out LaHair in OF against lefties.

He looked every bit as bad as those numbers indicate, if not worse. I do agree that there really wasn't any reason to platoon Baker so much early on though.
   34. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4177447)
Similar raw batting lines to Renteria and Furcal, not adjusted for run environment.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4177463)
The closest batting comps for Starlin Castro in the modern era, shortstops through the age of 22, cover a very wide range of outcomes.

105 OPS+, +6 BRuns, 1500 AB, 301/337/422 - Starlin Castro

99 OPS+, -10 BRuns, 1500 AB, 299/319/405 - Garry Templeton
99 OPS+, +0 BRuns, 650 AB, 310/365/425 - Derek Jeter
103 OPS+, +2 BRuns, 750 AB, 310/355/387 - Harvey Kuenn
97 OPS+, -2 BRuns, 1200 AB, 251/334/364 - Chris Speier
92 OPS+, -11 BRuns, 700 AB, 278/325/416 - Jimmy Rollins
101 OPS+, +1 BRuns, 1000 AB, 274/336/430 - Wil Cordero

"A better Jimmy Rollins" is probably the comp there that makes the most sense to me for Castro.
   36. Brian C Posted: July 09, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4177477)
"A better Jimmy Rollins" makes him ... what? Jim Fregosi?
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4177487)
That makes some sense. I didn't include Fregosi on the comp list because he was way better than Castro at the same age, but Fregosi peaked at 22. His overall set and level of skills seem reasonably Castro-like - add some singles and take away some walks. Jim Fregosi's career with a more normal aging curve seems like a non-crazy realistic/optimistic vision of Castro's career prospects.

If there were some way to simulate what Garry Templeton would have done if he'd never touched the cocaine, that would be interesting too.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4177706)
no mention of tony fernandez?
   39. Textbook Editor Posted: July 09, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4177781)
"A better Jimmy Rollins" is probably the comp there that makes the most sense to me for Castro.


As long as he's not paid like Jimmy Rollins, there are worse things you could have at SS. When you start paying Jimmy Rollins prices for Jimmy Rollins "production"... thaaats where you get into trouble.
   40. zonk Posted: July 09, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4177838)
It's the Templeton comparison that most (and most frighteningly) always sticks with me... True, we can't exactly sim Gary without the blow - but when I was coming of age as a baseball fan, Gary had pretty much reached stagnation and Ozzie was on his way to being hailed as the best defensive SS in history (whether he is or not).

In effect, to my new baseball fandom -- trading Ozzie for Gary seemed a real stupid trade... but older fans -- uncles, older cousins, etc -- would tell me otherwise.

no mention of tony fernandez?


I think Castro has more power already and it basically took Tony to age 24 to do what Castro was doing at age 20.
   41. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4177898)
Before the season started I said Castro isn't a walker nor a slugger and his defense sucks. At least one of those things improved this year.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4177907)
I'm not sure what your criteria were but you probably missed Yount who had just a 90 OPS+ through age 22. But then if you include more guys around 90, it's probably not as promising as just noting Yount. :-)

By the way, when I say I worry about Castro, it's not that I worry about him being a good player -- Renteria, Rollins on up to Harrah, Fregosi, Franco is quite a bit of value. Even the "downside" of Templeton is 8000 PA of league average SS.

But his ZiPS comps entering the season were Yount, Jeter and Brett. Dan gave us the longer list too:

Paul Molitor
Hanley Ramirez
Steve Sax
Alan Trammell
Garry Templeton
Troy Tulowitzki
Carney Lansford
Zoilo Versalles
Roberto Alomar
Jim Fregosi
Adrian Beltre
Edgar Renteria
Chris Speier
Cecil Travis
Robinson Cano
Joe Thurston
Buddy Bell
Lou Boudreau

Molitor, Trammell, Alomar, Beltre, Bell and Boudreau are HoF, HoM or have a darn good argument for at lesat the latter. Tulo, Hanley, Fregosi and Cano are at worst HoVG. There are some "poor" outcomes there but who could ask for anything more?

So when I express "concern" or "disappointment", it's that he hasn't yet shown signs of taking that big step, not that I won't be perfectly happy to have him at SS for another 6+ years.
   43. zonk Posted: July 09, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4177918)
So when I express "concern" or "disappointment", it's that he hasn't yet shown signs of taking that big step, not that I won't be perfectly happy to have him at SS for another 6+ years.


Right - he's certainly a keeper. I think 'disappointment' is mostly summed up by "he's not a franchise player yet". He still might be and even if he doesn't, there's absolutely no need to worry about a SS upgrade for the next three years at least.
   44. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 10, 2012 at 02:23 AM (#4178060)
As long as he's not paid like Jimmy Rollins, there are worse things you could have at SS. When you start paying Jimmy Rollins prices for Jimmy Rollins "production"... thaaats where you get into trouble.

This comment doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. Jimmy Rollins has been a very good bargain for the Phillies over the years. From 2006-2008, he provided the Phillies with 17 WAR for a combined 21 million.
   45. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:33 AM (#4178075)
Is it March of 2009?

   46. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:36 AM (#4178081)
Edgar Renteria and Rafael Furcal were middle infielders who had similar value at the plate at similar ages. What did they turn into?


Shortstops of a quality the Cubs could only dream of having?
   47. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4178147)
Come on, now. I freely admit that Starlin Castro is a valuable player and an asset to the Cubs. Renteria and Furcal were just two guys who came to mind for putting up league-averagish hitting at young ages and didn't really build on those starts and rise to greatness. The idea that Castro is destined for super stardom by virtue of being productive and very young is fast slipping away. Heck, Andrelton Simmons is only six months older and is clearly outhitting Castro. Jose Altuve is two months younger and outhitting Castro. Ruben Tejada is five months older and outhitting Castro. They are all middle infielders.
   48. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4178166)
Come on, now. I freely admit that Starlin Castro is a valuable player and an asset to the Cubs. Renteria and Furcal were just two guys who came to mind for putting up league-averagish hitting at young ages and didn't really build on those starts and rise to greatness. The idea that Castro is destined for super stardom by virtue of being productive and very young is fast slipping away. Heck, Andrelton Simmons is only six months older and is clearly outhitting Castro. Jose Altuve is two months younger and outhitting Castro. Ruben Tejada is five months older and outhitting Castro. They are all middle infielders.

My opinion of Castro is best described as "very cautious optimism," but this takes it a bit too far.

Castro has amassed over 1500 PAs at age 22, and has a .301 BA. None of the players you mention -- and I emphasize that I think highly of these players and will not be surprised if one or more of them end up having a better career -- has done anything like this yet. And none of them have Castro's power potential.

My concern about Castro boils down to the usual with regard to Cubs position prospects: he is a Cubs position prospect. Which means he has problems with the strike zone. And then there are the mental lapses, etc. But there is no denying that he has established himself quite nicely at this age, and I would say he is quite a bit further along than the players you mention.
   49. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 10, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4178222)
Again, Furcal and Renteria did not have similar numbers to Castro at this age.
   50. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4178286)
I'm curious, how many players in MLB history rose to stardom after around 1600 PAs with a walk rate around 4.8%?

The big counter example in Castro's favor (who I can think of) is Jose Reyes and his big turnaround started in his age 23 season.

Castro is a fairly unique player in MLB history so the comp game is tough. The ZiPS list is great and all but I bet if Dan forecasted it now it would look a lot different and It's going to look a lot different when he does it prior to 2013. Castro is no longer at an age where being a productive major leaguer is exceedingly rare.
   51. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4178292)
Castro has amassed over 1500 PAs at age 22, and has a .301 BA. None of the players you mention -- and I emphasize that I think highly of these players and will not be surprised if one or more of them end up having a better career -- has done anything like this yet. And none of them have Castro's power potential.

I'm not trying to find comps because that's not going to do mich for us because of Castro's rare skillset (IMO). I'm just pointing out that hovering around league average in hitting value at age 22 is far less rare than what he was doing two years ago and my expectations are no longer putting so much weight on that because he isn't progressing.

EDIT: And yes, this just, like, my opinion, man. I feel discouraged because he has this massive flaw in his game that needs to be addressed to take any real steps forward and not only has he failed to improve there but he is actually getting worse. Until then, any power development is likely to come at the cost of BA and it's not going to add much to his overall value IMO.
   52. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4178304)
I think Templeton is indeed the best comp. Raw hitter who doesn't walk, but decent at making contact, and fast enough to run out a lot of base hits. Kind of a mess on the base paths though. A bit of power. Prone to miscues.

The problem with Templeton was that his approach at the plate left little room for development. He had leg issues but I think if you're drawing 20 walks a year it's hard to make progress.

I will be disappointed, but not surprised, to see Castro follow a similar career path. I think Castro probably has better skills as a hitter than Templeton: he has more power, and he's hitting .300 as a right-handed hitter, so he is probably relying less on his speed. Overall, I think he will be better than Templeton, assuming he stays healthy, but the two careers match pretty closely so far.

Furcal and Renteria, on the other hand, are pretty different as hitters, never having shown Castro's and Templeton's complete disdain for ball four. I would be reasonably satisfied to see Castro develop into a player like one of them. But then again, I am merely "cautiously optimistic" about Castro's prospects.
   53. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4178313)
The big counter example in Castro's favor (who I can think of) is Jose Reyes and his big turnaround started in his age 23 season.

Which involved a big increase in his walk rate. That would be nice to see.
   54. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4178323)
EDIT: And yes, this just, like, my opinion, man. I feel discouraged because he has this massive flaw in his game that needs to be addressed to take any real steps forward and not only has he failed to improve there but he is actually getting worse. Until then, any power development is likely to come at the cost of BA and it's not going to add much to his overall value IMO.

I fully agree about the massive flaw. If it doesn't get better, Garry Templeton will likely be an optimistic projection.

I am more concerned about speed being one of his most important offensive skills. Having speed to turn groundouts into singles and singles into doubles and doubles into triples is great, but only while it lasts, and not on the DL.
   55. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4178327)
i will mention that the defensive improvement could have only happened via work. you don't improve your defense via just athletic improvement

it's possible that castro decided he was going to improve his defense. and bam, defense is better. it's very possible that he turns back to offense and decides its control of the strike zone.

ryan braun did something similar. he focused on his plate discipline and his power suffered but he morphed into a better. once he felt like he had his plate control improved he focused on defense/baserunning.

the really good ones/great ones can do that in a very methodical way. maybe folks get impatient but if you can wait the results can be pretty fun to see
   56. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4178339)
OPS+ through age 22 (far from ideal, but it's quick and dirty):

Renteria: 87
Furcal: 98 (One very impressive season)
Castro: 105

At no point in either of their careers have they had a career OPS+ of 105. They are not comparable to Castro.

On the walk point, SSS, but Castro has more than doubled his walk rate since Jaramillo was let go.
   57. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4178357)
OPS+ through age 22 (far from ideal, but it's quick and dirty):

As I discussed, OPS+ doesn't capture the problem. I agree that his performance so far is an impressive feat: you don't hit .301 over 1500+ PAs as a 20-22 year-old unless you are really, really good at something. The argument is that considering his overall approach at the plate (and it will take more than drawing six walks over 14 games to make me think it was Jaramillo's fault), this does not seem sustainable to me.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4178380)
I'm curious, how many players in MLB history rose to stardom after around 1600 PAs with a walk rate around 4.8%?
This is something that play-index can do. These are players with at least 1000 PA through the age of 22, with a walk rate under 6%. I did OPS+ cut-offs at 90 and 120. Post-1947 only. First list is shortstops:

105 OPS+, 1600 PA, 4.8% BB/PA - Starlin Castro
---------------------------------
99 OPS+, 1550 PA, 2.9% BB/PA - Garry Templeton
90 OPS+, 2900 PA, 5.2% BB/PA - Robin Yount

Second list is for all positions:

110 OPS+, 1200 PA, 5.8% BB/PA - Carney Lansford
109 OPS+, 1200 PA, 5.6% BB/PA - Paul Molitor
106 OPS+, 1200 PA, 5.5% BB/PA - George Brett
--------------------------------
105 OPS+, 1600 PA, 4.8% BB/PA - Starlin Castro
--------------------------------
105 OPS+, 1050 PA, 6.0% BB/PA - Rod Carew
102 OPS+, 1800 PA, 5.9% BB/PA - Ruben Sierra
99 OPS+, 1250 PA, 4.8% BB/PA - Rocco Baldelli
99 OPS+, 1550 PA, 2.9% BB/PA - Garry Templeton
96 OPS+, 1450 PA, 4.3% BB/PA - Delmon Young
96 OPS+, 1650 PA, 5.3% BB/PA - Ivan Rodriguez
96 OPS+, 1200 PA, 5.4% BB/PA - Jose Cardenal
91 OPS+, 1050 PA, 3.1% BB/PA - Rennie Stennett
90 OPS+, 1600 PA, 4.3% BB/PA - Carl Crawford
90 OPS+, 2900 PA, 5.2% BB/PA - Robin Yount

Short answer - yes, it is actually extremely possible to develop into a Hall of Fame hitter after a thousand or more PA with a poor BB rate through the age of 22. It's also possible to bust. Nothing's a sure thing, but nothing that Castro has done has disqualified him from being compared to some legit HoFers, along with some solid All-Stars, some reasonable MLB contributors, and some busts. None of the busts played SS, though.
   59. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4178386)
Since this is turning into a Castro thread---

I've noticed that since Rowson took over that Castro seems to have altered his approach a bit. I don't know if it's reflected in the numbers yet, but he seems to be swinging at fewer first pitches and seems more willing to take with two strikes. The immediate results have not been good. His average has dropped, and his walk rate has not gone noticeably up, but if he can stay with it, Castro may be able to learn to hit without being so aggressive early in the count.

He's young enough to change if he buys into what Rowson seems to be trying to do and doesn't revert just because his numbers take a temporary dip.

EDIT: Per SSR in post 56, I guess it is starting to be reflected in the numbers.
   60. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4178497)
MCoA: thanks, that's much rosier than I would have guessed.
   61. Walt Davis Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4179772)
It's also possible to bust.

I'm not so sure about that. I'm not sure there's a bad player in that bunch.

As I mentioned above, by WAR, Templeton had a 8000 PA career as a league-average SS. That was a bit disappointing given his start but far from a bust.

Baldelli got hurt and sick but still put up a league average OPS+ in 2000+ PA. League average doesn't cut it as a corner OF but that would have played average in CF and above-average at SS. Anyway, we'll never know with Baldelli.

Delmon Young is up to 3300 PA of league-average hitting -- not good for a corner OF but not busty for a SS. Cardenal ended up with 7700 PA of league average.

So really it's only Rennie Stennett and even he hit well enough for a SS (86 OPS+) and he was one of the worst hitters in the list.

Meanwhile, 6 of those guys hit a lot better going forward, 7 if you count Sierra's peak. That said, there seems to be a relationship to walk rate in that list. Among the improves, Crawford (4.3%) is the only guy with a worse walk rate followed by Yount at 5.2%. With our luck, the threshold is right at 5%. :-)

   62. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4179800)
When you are hoping for Alex Rodriguez Ricky Gutierrez sure feels like a bust.
   63. McCoy Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4179804)
The insane thing about all of this talk is that by the end of the season BRef could very well have him listed as a 6 to 7 WAR player. That's insane.
   64. madvillain Posted: July 11, 2012 at 03:04 AM (#4179852)
The insane thing about all of this talk is that by the end of the season BRef could very well have him listed as a 6 to 7 WAR player. That's insane.


Positional adjustment is important, and WAR reflects that. It might overstate his case slightly, but a solid defensive ss that hits even just 5% better than league average and runs well is quite valuable.

The Cubs need to focus on their entire roster. In the grand scheme of things, the difference between a 4 WAR a year prime Castro verse a 6 WAR Castro isn't something to be concerned about: it will play out how it plays out, and then they will act accordingly.

He's an asset either way.
   65. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 11, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4179896)
Of course that's just 47 PA against lefties. But the time to find out if he could handle lefties was earlier in the year when the alternative was Baker at 1B. With Rizzo up, it's probably not worth trotting out LaHair in OF against lefties.

LaHair's handling seems consistent with keeping his numbers up to protect his trade value. If he has a nice couple of weeks in July I expect him to be moved. Of course, I can see moving any or all of: Soriano, LaHair, DeJesus, Soto, Barney, Marmol, Camp, Dempster, Garza or any one of the bench guys and it's July 11 with only Byrd having been shipped out - and he was turning into a DFA candidate.

Theo and Hoyer are either going to get really, really busy over the next two and a half weeks or I'm overestimating their desire to auction off the major league team for middling prospects.
   66. Dan Posted: July 11, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4179899)
The insane thing about all of this talk is that by the end of the season BRef could very well have him listed as a 6 to 7 WAR player. That's insane.


Current WAR(P) totals:

bb-ref: 3.0
fangraphs: 2.0
prospectus: 2.2

nFRAA has Castro's defense as +3.7 runs, as part of that WARP number. That seems a lot more believable to me than the DRS number. Their defensive rating of him goes from -2.0 to 2.8 last year to 3.7 so far this year, so it's still showing progression as he gets better, but the actual numbers seem much more sane than DRS going from -4 to -10 to +15 (in half a season!).
   67. Walt Davis Posted: July 11, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4179901)
I'm overestimating their desire to auction off the major league team for middling prospects.

There's not necessarily much point in accumulating middling prospects. And of course they will have to field a team in 2013 too.

Obviously they'll move Soriano for almost anything that saves them money. Dempster is likely to go because he'll be an FA but he should bring good return. Garza's an interesting one. The bench guys might get shifted but they won't bring anything back. LaHair would seem to make so much sense for so many contending teams -- Yanks, Indians, Pirates, Tampa, O's, Dodgers, Jays, A's (yes, they're contenders), maybe even the Mets. And he's cheap and more than a rental so he's worth a pick-up even if all it does is improve your chances at a 1-game playoff.

Shoot -- when did the Yanks get 7 ahead?
   68. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 11, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4179936)
Well if they traded everyone on the list:

Soriano - giving up two additional uears of control but there is little question they would like to move him.
LaHair - would be giving up lots of cheap control but he's playing out of position in Chicago and may bring actual value in return.
DeJesus - would give up one year of control.
Soto - would give up one year of control (right?) and they actually have other options at C.
Barney - is under control and cheap for a few more years but he's unspecial and the Cubs have some replacement options.
Marmol - FA after 2013. Might be a good idea to wait until after the deadline and test the market. He will clear waivers.
Camp - looks like a free agent after this year.
Dempster - heading to FA.
Garza - one more year of control. The Cubs need to extend him or ship him out soon.

It looks to me like the team would have to piece together a new outfield next season: I think BJ Upton will be a decent value and Campana will probably be a placeholder for Bret Jackson in case he figures things out. Otherwise, the Cubs have other options or the players on the list will be gone very soon. Keeping Barney for long term is sensible. Otherwise I don't think they will miss any one of those guys (OK, maybe LaHair but his low cost and advanced age are worth much more to a cash strapped contender).
   69. stanmvp48 Posted: July 11, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4179939)
To change the subject a little bit: I am kind of curious what the Cubs fan's impression of T Colvin was when he was there. After a promising year admittedly with low walks; he totally sucked last year and was unloaded. He is now hitting quite well in Denver.
   70. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: July 11, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4179946)
Colvin showed flashes, but he wasn't really great at anything. He took a wooden shard from a broken bat in the chest and never seemed the same after that. It's nice that he's hitting well in Colorado, but I still don't think he's a starter on a championship team.

In other words, no big deal that he's gone, but given the performance of Ian Stewart, the trade has to go down on the negative side of the TheoJed ledger.
   71. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4180024)
Per Heyman, Dodgers are the favorite to get Dempster. And also are looking at Garza.

---

I was never a fan of Colvin, but he did have that decent year.
   72. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4180026)
When you are hoping for Alex Rodriguez Ricky Gutierrez sure feels like a bust.


So we're just throwing out comparisons who have nothing in common with Castro beyond playing the same position now?
   73. Brian C Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4180039)
To change the subject a little bit: I am kind of curious what the Cubs fan's impression of T Colvin was when he was there.

Francouer-rific.
   74. booond Posted: July 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4180152)
Short answer - yes, it is actually extremely possible to develop into a Hall of Fame hitter after a thousand or more PA with a poor BB rate through the age of 22. It's also possible to bust. Nothing's a sure thing, but nothing that Castro has done has disqualified him from being compared to some legit HoFers, along with some solid All-Stars, some reasonable MLB contributors, and some busts. None of the busts played SS, though.


Even the busts (Baldelli, Young, Stennett) had some value or - Baldelli - excuses.

Stennett's career numbers are great. With his contact skills, the man was a throwback to another era. Too bad he couldn't replicate a few more of the good years.
   75. zonk Posted: July 11, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4180179)
It's especially frustrating that Soto is having such an awful year (as mentioned upthread, has anyone reminded him that it's an even-numbered year?).

If her were hitting at all, I'd think he'd have a ton of value... if he were closer to his career numbers, what do you think -- say -- the Nats would have given up for him? Average defensive catchers who can post a 105 OPS+ have plenty of value.

I'm perfectly content to have next year's catching corp be Castillo/Clevenger, so I really hope Soto can come alive and draw some interest in a few weeks.
   76. Brian C Posted: July 11, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4180251)
what do you think -- say -- the Nats would have given up for him? Average defensive catchers who can post a 105 OPS+ have plenty of value.

Well, I know that I would be reluctant to give up much. An inconsistent catcher, nearing 30, injury prone, having a second straight down year ... I'd certainly be willing to take a chance for a couple of low-level prospects, but nothing I'd miss.
   77. Brian C Posted: July 11, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4180626)
The Cubs released Mike MacDougal today, so McCoy can rest easy about that.
   78. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4183815)
Off-topic Cubs question: making my first ever trip to Wrigley soon. Any advice on where to sit? Are the bleachers a must? I'll be with my wife, and am willing to pay up to the $40s or so per ticket. Thanks for any suggestions.
   79. Spahn Insane Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4183835)
The bleachers are a must if you're a fan of sunstroke, poor sightlines, and being surrounded by drunken DePaul students. If your interest lies in actually enjoying the game, the best seats are the upper deck boxes (400 level), particularly between 409 and 431.
   80. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4183844)
Ha, thanks. I'm a huge sunstroke fan but am just meh on those other two things.

Thanks for the advice.
   81. Spahn Insane Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4183870)
Well, the sunstroke in Chicago is particularly exquisite this summer, truth be told. Upper 90s again today and tomorrow with Floridian humidity.
   82. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4183887)
Any other decent sections under an overhang if I decide to go with a cheaper option?
   83. Brian C Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4183938)
Well, if you're going cheaper than the 400s, you're pretty much at the mercy of the support beams that can obstruct your view. In that case, though, I'd recommend the Upper Deck Reserved (500 level) in the upper deck over the Terrace Reserved seats in the lower bowl (they're on the 200 level, not to be confused with the Terrace Boxes, which are also on the 200 level but without obstructions and with an attendant higher price). The problem with the Terrace Reserved is that you have both the support beams in your way AND the luxury boxes over you that can really give you a limited vertical sightline (if that makes sense). That really comes into play if you're more than maybe 20 rows up in the 200s, give or take. I probably wouldn't buy anything much further back than that unless I was desperate; the back rows of the 200s are the worst seats in the house, IMO (behind those seats is also where the designated standing room area is).

The 500s, though, are fine except for the odd support beams in your way. If you're more than 3-4 rows up, though, they're generally easy to lean around, and if you're closer to the infield, you'll probably be just fine if you're towards the middle of the row. Also, even though they're the uppermost seats, Wrigley is very small so you're not very far away.

Bottom line is, if you want cheap seats, you run the risk of partially (or worse in some unlucky cases) obstructed views.

So, to sum up:

Terrace Box (200 level, first 10 rows or so) - lower bowl, expensive, not really under the overhang so no obstructed views
Terrace Reserved (also 200 level, behind Terrace Boxes) - lower bowl, structural impediments both in front of you but also above, especially the farther back you are
Upper Deck Box (400 level) - upper deck, however no structural impediments, great seats (arguably the best in the house, depending on personal preferences) but a bit pricey
Upper Deck Reserved (500 level) - uppermost section, vertical support beams here and there, otherwise fine, and cheap
   84. zonk Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4183954)
I'd second avoiding the bleachers, unless you and the missus want to relive frat party days...

If you're going to a weekend game, then chances aren't good you'll be able to score <$40 tix unless you chance it and either scalp on the street or maybe visit one of the many ticket resale shops around Wrigley (there are plenty). I got really good lower desk seats a few Saturdays back for about half-face (~$20), but I live near the park and it was a spur of the moment thing for a buddy and I (so we were OK with getting shut out -- figured if we find good seats cheap, we'd go and we did).

Basically, the seating works out like this --

The Club box seats are the first section immediately against the field, separated into "infield" and "outfield" -- you'll pay a premium for these seats, especially on weekends. $60 to $100 depending on the game - even if you buy direct from the Cubs, they have like 5 or 6 "tiers" of games. Since a lot of these are package/season tix holders - it's also one of the better scalping opportunities.

The Field box seats are the next section immediately behind the Club seats - they also come in "infield" and "outfield" varieties. (IF vs OF is basically around short LF/RF). They're not much cheaper than the Club seats. These tend to be either season tix or people who bought well in advance for a specific trip, so sometimes you get lucky with folks who had cancellations, sometimes not.

The Terrace box seats are the sections immediately behind Field box -- also split up by "IF" and "OF". This is where you start to under the overhang/upper deck shadow. If you're looking for $40 or so tix - this is a decent bet. There are a couple levels of games that 'face' for $40 or less, but most games are closer to $50-60. If you're doing stubhub or a ticket broker, this is probably what I'd shoot for.

Terrace Reserved are the back rows on the first deck - you shouldn't have trouble getting $40 or less seats here, either direct or via a broker/scalper. In fact, you SHOULD be able to do closer to $30 for all but Saturdays and marquee matchups (Cardinals, etc). The big problem with these seats is that you can sometimes get bad luck with the upper deck support poles. If you go this route, I'd look for have a park map handy and check the specific section... and I'd actually stay away from aisles, opting for the middle of a section.

The Upper Deck is divided into Box (first section; usually $40 or so) and Reserved (back section; you shouldn't pay more than $20-25).

All sections are numbered, starting from the LF/3B corner around the bowl -- so a Field box in the LF corner is section 101 to 140 in the RF/1B side corner. Field/Club boxes are 100 and lower, Terrace are 200, upper deck box are 400s and upper deck reserved are 500 -- and they all proceed in the same fashion around the park (LF corner around to RF corner).

My preference is usually to sit somewhere midway down the 1B or 3B line - so I usually shoot for sections either in the teens (115-6-7/215-6-7/415-6-7) or around *25/6/7 (125-6-7/225-6-7/425-6-7).

I'd tend to agree with Retro -- the Upper Deck boxes are really good seats if you just want to watch the game. I don't like sitting directly behind home plate because I don't like the angle, so I'd prefer something off-center (I think section 420 is upper deck box section immediately behind homeplate).
   85. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4183955)
Well said, Brian. I think the 400 level seats are the best in the place.
   86. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4183961)
Thanks Retro, Brian, and Zonk- great stuff, I appreciate it. Sounds like the Upper Deck Box are the winners.

EDIT: and Moses
   87. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4183966)
Thanks Moses, too (no more editing posts, apparently?)
   88. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4183967)
Ahh, there it is, just to make me look like a dunce.
   89. Brian C Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4183973)
Thanks Retro, Brian, and Zonk- great stuff, I appreciate it. Sounds like the Upper Deck Box are the winners.

No problem. You really can't go wrong with the UD Box tickets. The views are unobstructed and close, you're in prime foul ball territory, you can see Lake Michigan if it's not foggy, and the breeze is usually nice up there (rough at times in the early/late season, but vital during this infernal heat we're having this summer). Really the only drawback I can think of is that, if you're in the sections behind home plate, you can't see the press box during the stretch, if you care.
   90. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4185109)
Jayson Stark says the Cubs are trying to move Dempster by the end of the week and that Alfonso Soriano is available.
   91. zonk Posted: July 17, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4185120)
I'm getting relatively excited about the coming deals --

Increasingly, it sounds like Dempster is probably the best fit on the market for a contender needing a pitcher... Sounds like the Phils want to keep Hamels and the Brewers still don't seem to have figured out whether they want to hang onto Greinke or not.

Should we start taking bets on the return?

I'll kick things off -- I say he goes to Detroit and brings Jacob Turner back....
   92. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4185137)
I wish... although Castellanos may actually be expendable for them with Miggy at third base. Maybe that's something to talk about when Garza gets shopped.
   93. McCoy Posted: July 17, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4185169)
Should we start taking bets on the return?

I'll kick things off -- I say he goes to Detroit and brings Jacob Turner back....


Profar.

I'm getting relatively excited about the coming deals

I was actually getting a bit nervous that Jed Epstein was going to pull a Hendry and do nothing.
   94. zonk Posted: July 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4185173)
Should we start taking bets on the return?

I'll kick things off -- I say he goes to Detroit and brings Jacob Turner back....

Profar.


No, no, no -- I've already got Garza earmarked to go to Texas to bring back Profar (and Martin Perez... maybe engel beltre, too).
   95. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4185408)
Apropos of nothing, Javier Baez is absolutely destroying Midwest League pitching, to the tune of a .975 OPS.
   96. Brian C Posted: July 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4187677)
Cubs went out and acquired Justin Germano today for cash from the Red Sox. In turn, they've DFA'd Asencio.

Germano only appeared in 1 game for Boston but has been starting in Pawtucket all season. I wonder if he's being acquired as a rotation candidate for when Dempster and/or Garza are gone?
   97. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 20, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4187795)
Germano only appeared in 1 game for Boston but has been starting in Pawtucket all season. I wonder if he's being acquired as a rotation candidate for when Dempster and/or Garza are gone?

Sounds like it to me. It's also being reported that Casey Coleman is going to meet up with the big league club today but hasn't yet been added to the 25 man roster. Sounds like an indication Dempster may be missing today's start.

It kind of sucks if he does, I want him to get the team's scoreless streak record.
   98. zonk Posted: July 20, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4187832)

Sounds like it to me. It's also being reported that Casey Coleman is going to meet up with the big league club today but hasn't yet been added to the 25 man roster. Sounds like an indication Dempster may be missing today's start.

It kind of sucks if he does, I want him to get the team's scoreless streak record.


Of course, I'd rather not hold my breath that Dempster tweaks something that prevents him from getting moved... For some reason, I've always liked Germano as a flier.
   99. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 20, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4187846)
Me too, zonk. I'm scratching my head that the Cubs picked up a guy with a 72/13 K/BB in AAA (though with serious gopheritis) for cash considerations.

He seems a reasonably good bet to have some major league value.
   100. McCoy Posted: July 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4187861)
I'm still waiting for them to pick up Sanchez.

In other news Theo has said they won't be going after free agents this offseason since he doesn't believe they are close enough to being good yet to make that move.
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