Kris Bryant Newsbeat
Monday, March 30, 2015
The Chicago Cubs have reassigned top prospect Kris Bryant, who leads the majors with nine spring training home runs, to their minor league camp. The Cubs made the move Monday, less than a week before they open their season against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“We entered camp with the presumptive move being to send him to Triple-A,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said. “It’s always the presumptive [move] for us move with young players that haven’t played in the big leagues yet.”
Bryant, 23, led the minor leagues with 43 homers last season and was having an outstanding spring with the Cubs, batting .425 (17-for-40) with 15 RBIs in 14 games.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
It’s time for everyone involved in the current Kris Bryant saga to shut up. For the good of the kid and — more vitally — the good of the game.
Everyone has had their say now, even the new commissioner. Everyone has staked their position. This should be the feel-good story of the spring. Instead, the rarest commodity in the sport — a young position player with the talent and charisma to attract fans — has been soiled.
It would be worthwhile if this were a debate in which the outcome could be swayed. But that just is not the case.
The Cubs say they still have not made a decision whether they are sending Bryant down. Stop. If Bryant is sent to the minors for even just 12 days, Chicago can — by rule — control him for seven years before free agency rather than six. It is a no-brainer and anyone who has been around the Cubs executives would not describe that intelligent lot as brainless.
As you may have noticed, there are a few Kris Bryant discussions on the site. One area of some contention is how the CBA actually works. I’ve seen one poster unequivocally state that keeping Bryant down won’t give the Cubs another year of Bryant’s play, even going so far as to say “I am so ####### tired of reading this. It is not about what years the Cubs have Bryant it is about how much they pay him in those years.” Debating such topics without factual information only makes the discussions more difficult and more acrimonious than they need to be. Luckily, CJ Nitkowski’s timely and informative article popped up in my Google search. FYI.
In an average year there are 183 service days in a major-league season, 162 games and 21 off days. If you accrue 172 days in any season, it is considered a full year. Six full years gets you to free agency. Five years and 170 days—like Rick Porcello currently has—does not.
Posted: March 28, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 167 comment(s)
Thursday, March 26, 2015
I get that he’s trying to help his client become a free agent sooner but it’s also within the Cubs purview to send him down to the minors to gain another year and use Bryant’s defense as a reason to do so. If Boras really wants to get rid of the contract issue, he can agree to a contract which supersedes this issue. That won’t happen, of course. You don’t squeeze every penny out of a team signing such a contract. In the meantime, Scott, spare us the sanctimonious pontifications about “integrity and brand”.
The opiate of player control cannot supersede the greater importance of MLB’s integrity and brand, which says that this is where the best players play. You can’t have that,” Boras said in a phone interview with CBSSports.com. “Clearly, there’s an obligation to put the best players in the big leagues.”
I need to see Bill’s high school stat line.
Hey Bill, on the Tommy John surgery boom, a couple of questions: 1) I’m pretty sure you’ve answered this in detail before, but is the proliferation mostly the result of Little League and high school kids throwing curveballs long before they should? And/or: 2) Were there a larger number of early-career burnouts before Tommy John? When I was in Little League (early ‘60s), our best pitcher threw a nasty curve. We dominated the league when he pitched, which was pretty much all the time because we only played a couple times a week. But I remember him asking the coach to take him out of a close game toward the end of the season because his arm was so sore. This may not have anything to do with TJ surgery, but I bring it up just because the curve has been a holy grail for pitchers for a long time.
Well, I’m not any kind of athlete, but I was on a high school baseball team that played for the state championship; I didn’t really play, but anybody who wanted to be was on the team in theory, and the other guys were pretty good. When we played in the state championship, the coach allowed our best pitcher to pitch a 7-inning complete game on Saturday and another on Sunday. Some of the questions you are asking don’t really have answers. In my view the increase in the number of surgeries is driven mostly by the lack of fear of the surgery. People aren’t really afraid of that surgery any more; we figure that almost everybody comes back from it, so if there are indications that there is going to be a problem, we’d rather get it taken care of at the start of a young player’s career, rather than when he is ready to move to the major leagues. There are probably other factors driving the frequency of the surgery as well, but exactly what they are is poorly understood, I think.
... in thinking about Brooks [Robinson] at 3B—or, say, Mariano Rivera at “closer—do you find yourself thinking “was this historically great player played out of position?” Should Brooks, really, have been playing shortstop? And would that have further boosted Brooks’ potential value in an overall historical perspective?...
Regarding Mariano as a starter. . ..one year the Red Sox beat up Mariano pretty badly toward end of the year, and I suggested to Terry Francona that maybe the Yankees had over-exposed him to us, let us see him too many times. Part of what made Mariano magic was that he pitched so few innings every year that he only faced each opposing hitter two to three times per year, on average, if the opponent was a regular. One year he pitched about 10 times against us, and we started to hit him really hard. I suggested to Terry that maybe we just saw him too much, but Terry didn’t buy it at all; he said, “No, we just happened to catch him two or three times when he didn’t have his best stuff.” I was never sure whether that was a “true” reaction or a politically correct-this-is-what-us-professionals-say-about-that type of reaction. . . .Regarding Brooks as a shortstop, Brooks didn’t have quick enough feet to be a shortstop. What made him wondrous was that, like John McDonald, he had that wondrous ability to put his glove in front of the ball in exactly the right position at exactly the right moment; of course, he had other skills that McDonald didn’t have. But his feet weren’t quick enough to have been a shortstop, I don’t think. But your point is a good one; there probably are Hall of Fame players who were sort of miscast. I always though Fisk probably should have played third, and might have been Mike Schmidt if he had.
Topical question: as a fan, it sort of bothers me when a young super-talent is indisputably one of a team’s 25 best for Opening Day, but gets sent down for three weeks to retain an extra year of club control. Is this an ethical issue, in your judgment, or perhaps the rules should be re-written to avoid this annual controversy?...
If the player uses the rules negotiated between the union and MLB to maximize his income, is that unethical? Of course it is not. Why, then, would it be unethical for the team to use those rules so as to maximize their return? It would raise an ethical issue if the young player was being exploited in some way, not given value for his contribution. But a player who has a STARTING salary of $500,000 a year cannot reasonably be seen to be exploited.
Reading about Darrel Evans made me wonder, have any players ever thanked you for what you wrote about them in the old abstracts? I remember for some of them, it seemed like you were the only guy who realised how good someone like Brian Downing, Ken Phelps or Ron Roenicke was, or could be. IF they got a chance.
Yes. . . .actually, a good many times. I have heard from Darrell Evans, not thanking me exactly, but I think he’s aware of what I have written about him; seemed to be. But we definitely hear from athletes who appreciate things that are said about them. . .not only me, but those I work with. One of the players who received a Fielding Bible Award, a lesser-known player, wrote to Baseball Info Solutions in February to thank them for the award.
Dan O’Dowd has been providing some great analysis on MLB Network this off-season. He’s spot on in this article.
Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 24 comment(s)
Monday, March 23, 2015
If Kris Bryant starts the season at Triple-A, the union should file a grievance, even though it would stand little chance of winning. New union chief Tony Clark should embrace the pending Bryant absurdity as the perfect opportunity to take a stand, knowing that bigger fights lie ahead with the collective-bargaining agreement expiring in 2016.
Why won’t Epstein simply acknowledge service-time considerations with Bryant? Presumably for the same reason that other executives follow the same script when dealing with the same situation: Concern that the union would use such remarks as grounds for a grievance.
So, the explanation for the act might trigger a grievance, but the actual act wouldn’t?
Makes no sense.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
This kid is a freak.
Kris Bryant, 23 years old, smiled and looked out over the tops of the heads around him. He’d hit two more home runs Saturday afternoon, one of them against Felix Hernandez, was batting .480, had played a capable third base and had all of Chicago Cubs fandom rallying behind him. The spring in which he’d been dared to play himself onto the team was going handsomely.
Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:37 AM | 109 comment(s)
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Cubs president Theo Epstein countered, “Kris Bryant’s development path has absolutely nothing to do with ownership, period. As with all our baseball decisions, I will determine where Kris begins the 2015 season after consulting with members of our baseball operations staff. Comments from agents, media members and anybody outside our organization will be ignored.”
Saturday, March 14, 2015
How can the Cubs sell not keeping him on the 25-Man Roster? If they really are serious about winning this year, he has to be up to start the season.
Posted: March 14, 2015 at 07:44 PM | 229 comment(s)
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
A particularly arousing bit of Cub prospect porn.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Something needs to be done to fix this issue.
This new task will give Bryant something else to work on at Triple-A to start the season. He most likely will spend at least 21 days in Iowa to confirm another year of service-time control for the Cubs. This is done by most all clubs with young stars who have agents looking forward to six-year free agent status.
Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 49 comment(s)
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Finally, with regard to defense, I’ve made no attempt even to estimate something along the lines of runs saved. Instead, I’ve utilized only a rough approximation of each player’s positional adjustment — which figures one can derive (following the application of some minor arithmetic) from the Steamer projections available at the site.
Having first calculated and then found the sum of those first three figures (i.e. Bat, BsR, and Def), I then also added the replacement-run total [(PA / 600) * 20] for each player. The sum of all those numbers divided by the number of runs per win (10 is a fine estimate) provides a rough WAR figure for any player….
• By this methodology, Cubs third-base prospect Kris Bryant produced the highest WAR figure in all the minors last year. That he is also regarded as one of the top-two or -three prospects in baseball appears to be not a coincidence.
• Among all minor leaguers who recorded at least 100 plate appearances, Detroit shortstop prospect Manuel Joseph produced the highest WAR600 figure, recording a 4.2 WAR in 252 plate appearances at the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League — equivalent to a 10.1 WAR in 600 plate appearances. Talented Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber finished second by this measure, at 9.5 WAR600.
Friday, January 02, 2015
Which executives, managers and players will drive the MLB narrative in the coming season? Here’s a look at the 15 most interesting people in baseball heading into 2015:
1. Rob Manfred
After an extended run as Bud Selig’s most trusted aide, Manfred takes center stage in late January as baseball’s 10th commissioner. He’ll try to maintain the momentum that has made baseball a $9 billion industry while setting an agenda on pace of play, changes in the draft and free-agent compensation system, and MLB’s efforts to reach out to a younger fan base. Manfred also needs to connect with Tony Clark and the players’ association while navigating the usual array of ownership labor hawks and doves in negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement in 2016.
2. Alex Rodriguez
Where do we start? A-Rod, who missed the entire 2014 season with a drug suspension, turns 40 in July. He’s six homers shy of tying Willie Mays’ total of 660 and collecting a $6 million bonus on top of the $61 million the Yankees already owe him. But the Yankees just signed third baseman Chase Headley to a four-year deal—yet another sign that they want Rodriguez to go away. Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter were universally revered at the end of their runs in the Bronx. The reception won’t be quite as fawning when the most polarizing figure in baseball reports to Steinbrenner Field for duty in February.
They don’t always drink beer. But when they do, its Dos Equis. Wait, is that a centaur joke?
Posted: January 02, 2015 at 09:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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