Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Gonfalon Cubs > Discussion
Gonfalon Cubs
— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Prospect Update

I don’t actively follow the minor leagues, and haven’t seen any of these guys plays this year yet.  But I thought it would be interesting to look at how the top prospects for the Cubs have been doing so far this year, and also to talk about which ones the Cubs should keep and which are possible trade bait.  As for what the Cubs should trade for, feel free to add your suggestions or packages you think it would take to get these guys. 

I’ve been banging the drum for some time for a young, cost controlled starter.  I see the most recent rumor is Nathan Eovaldi, but I’m not sure I see a match; I don’t think the Yanks would really want to move him and he’s not under contract for much longer than Arrieta.  He’s definitely the type of guy that Cubs should be interested in though.  Teahran’s numbers have bounced back, but his stuff appears to be declining.  Ross and Gray have been hurt and/or ineffective.  It’s also not a priority for the 2016 team.  Another target would be a quality lefty for the pen, and Andrew Miller is the obvious name here.  Maybe the Cubs and Yanks could line up for a blockbuster deal if the Yanks continue to falter.

For the purposed of this exercise, I’m using the Baseball America list and BB-Ref.  I regularly read Cubs Den and their minor league recaps, so any editorializing is most likely borrowed from them.  Any actual insight is highly recommended.

1. Gleyber Torres, Hi-A: .253/.325/.430.  From a recent Cubs Den post: After a horrific 15 game start, Torres has hit .308/.352/.511 with 5 HRs with a K rate under 20%..  Torres appears to be the top prospect from just about everyone’s perspective.  From what I’ve read, he appears like he can stick at SS, but could also move to 2b.  I’d rather not deal a guy like him, but he could be a huge piece in a deal for a really good player (on his own, he’d be too much to give up for a reliever).  The Cubs also have a lot of depth in the MI in the majors and minors. 

2. Willson Contreras, AAA: .329/.418/.559.  His bat is ready now.  He would be the guy I would absolutely not want to trade.  He could very easily be the starter, or as least platoon, next season.  What I’ve read seems to say the Cubs love his defense, but not his receiving. 

3. Ian Happ, Hi-A: .274/.392/.430.  He’s mostly played 2b this year, but there was talk of him in CF when he was drafted.  IIRC, the Cubs were more convinced he could stick at 2b than others.  He is not on the same fast track as the previous 2 first round picks. 

4. Duane Underwood, AA: 26IP, 18/14 K/BB, 1.692 WHIP, 5.19 ERA.  I think he was hurt, but that’s a pretty small sample and it’s hard to know anything looking at those numbers.  In 2 levels last year, he went 54/24 K/BB in 78.1IP.

5. Dylan Cease: Doesn’t have any stats for the year, after only throwing in rookie ball last year.  McLeod had glowing things to say about him during ST.

6. Albert Almora, AAA: .318/.335/.458.  The bat has somewhat come around, but only 6BBs in 201PAs.  He’s supposed to have gold glove caliber defense right now, but whether he can hit will determine whether or not he’s a starter or just a 4th/5th OF somewhere. 

7. Billy McKinney, AA: .245/.348/.291.  He’s repeating AA this year (.285/.346/.420 last year), and his defense limits him to a corner.  That lack of power would appear to be a major problem at this point.

8.  Oscar de la Cruz: No 2016 stats.

9. Eloy Jimenez, A: .337/.379/.551.  A breakout season for him, and he already has 8HRs.  He’s a corner OF, but a big kid, so hopefully the power is for real.

10. Jeimer Candelario, AA: .243/.339/.387.  He was really impressive during spring training, and so I had pegged him as a darkhorse to contribute this year.  That batting line is a little disappointing to me (he also hit .291/.379/.462 in AA last year).  His defense at 3rd isn’t supposed to be great. 

One other notable is Dan Vogelbach, AAA: .298/.418/.484.  He’s listed at 6’ 250lbs, but looks bigger.  He really doesn’t appear to have a future in Chicago, and he’s been a favorite trade throw-in since he appears destined to be a DH somewhere.  If he’s still around when the Cubs make another pass through AL parks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a look there.  I’d expect him to be traded eventually though.

Anyone else I missed?

Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 31, 2016 at 03:37 PM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 31, 2016 at 04:32 PM (#5232979)
Thanks to Charles and McCoy for the suggestion.
   2. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: May 31, 2016 at 04:46 PM (#5232996)
9. Eloy Jimenez, A: .337/.379/.551.  A breakout season for him, and he already has 8HRs.  He’s a corner OF, but a big kid, so hopefully the power is for real.


The third part, more or less, of the Feldman trade which keeps on giving.
   3. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 31, 2016 at 04:58 PM (#5233017)
I don't know much about minor leaguers, but I'm a little troubled by the fact that only 3 of your 10 names are pitchers - 2 of whom have no stats for 2016 and the 3rd of whom only has 26 IP. Ideally, the Cubs are going to need to bring 2 or 3 guys into the starting rotation over the next couple of years. Adam Warren could be one of them, but otherwise, the Cubs are going to have to go out and buy starting pitching - which they can afford, but their options may be limited and they may have to overpay - or figure out a way to convert their position-player prospects into pitching prospects.
   4. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 31, 2016 at 05:11 PM (#5233033)
Here's Sickels's rankings from before the season. In general, none of the pitchers are really close right now. Except Edwards, and he's a reliever.
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 31, 2016 at 05:33 PM (#5233062)
Not really a prospect anymore, but the Brewers have claimed Neil Ramirez.
   6. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: May 31, 2016 at 05:38 PM (#5233068)
Not surprised someone took a chance on him, surprised it took this long for him to be claimed.

Federowicz still needs to go. His presence on the roster greatly annoys me.
   7. Meatwad Posted: May 31, 2016 at 06:48 PM (#5233123)
Eloy has been mashing in South Bend this year, then again seems like the whole team has been pretty good overall here.
   8. McCoy Posted: May 31, 2016 at 11:07 PM (#5233334)
Not having pitchers on the prospect list is a good thing and a bad thing. The Cubs are so loaded with prospects that they can easily trade for either a pitching prospect (I wouldn't do that) or for a major league proven pitcher that has a decent amount of cost control left (that rules out Eovaldi). I'd rather have 7 hitters in my top ten than 7 pitchers. The youth also means that all of those position spots are going to be cheap for the foreseeable future which means the Cubs can spend on starting pitching on the FA market and Theo has shown so far to be pretty good at that.
   9. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 01, 2016 at 11:36 AM (#5233608)
Is Pierce Johnson hurt again?

He's been stuck on 4 starts for about a month now... command doesn't look great - given only 15 innings (and 8 BBs in those 15), but he did have 20 Ks in that limited work.
ear or
Our old friend CJ Edwards deserves a mention, too -- he looks like he's been pretty lights out in the pen (28 Ks in 19+ IP, no HRs, though 9 BBs). I'm disappointed it would appear he's done as an SP but I think he's got a future in the bullpen.

A few other pitchers --

Carson Sands is having a nice year at A South Bend - not a great BB/K ratio, but IIRC, he's just a couple years removed from TJ surgery and fell in the 2014 draft because of it. He's still just 20 and could have a future.

Jen-ho Tseng was a Taiwanese import with decent stuff that got the "knows how to pitch" tag - he's getting bounced around a bit at Tennessee, but he's fairly young (just 21). He might be nothing more the Dallas Beeler level fodder, but I remember reading a nice review of him a year or two back.

Paul Blackburn - remember him? 2012 first-rounder - quietly continues to defy his stuff. He's kinda a mini-Kyle Hendricks. Scary low K rates still, but he doesn't walk anyone and keeps the ball in the park. He's having his best year yet at Tennessee (3-1 1.62 ERA in 10 starts, WHIP well under 1.000). His lack of swing-and-miss stuff is always gonna make him suspect, but if he keeps getting people out?

Trevor Clifton is a guy that Sickels really liked - he's probably got the best pure stuff among the RH SP prospects - and he's having a nice year at SB. He's probably the one guy who could breakout into a front-line SP. He just turned 21.

Justin Steele was another LHP who slid in the 2014 with health issues - nice K rate, but his command is dreadful.

Lastly, I'll mention Dave Berg -- he's a neat story and I hope he makes it... He set the NCAA career saves record (yeah, yeah) though he was always tagged with the "not professional stuff". He's a sidearmer (or maybe a submariner, don't recall exactly). Control and ground balls - as you might imagine - are his bread and butter. Anyway, he's working middle relief at Tennessee and just keeps on proving people wrong/getting people out he shouldn't. In 40 career pro innnings - 2 levels last year, and he already graduated from High A to Tennessee this year - he's got just 5 BBs... and has yet to cough up a pro HR. I really hope he makes it because I think he'll be a fun guy to have in the pen.
   10. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 01, 2016 at 11:54 AM (#5233631)
Another couple guys on the field side - and yeah, Meatwad has a pretty good team to watch in SB - a lot of the guys spent HS lottery tickets in the 2014 draft are starting to make their way into full season ball...

Tyler Alamo was a glove-first catcher who struggled with the bat early on - but is hitting .302. He's a tall guy for a catcher (something like 6'4"). Victor Carantini - the guy picked up in the Maholm deal (or some Braves deal) - looks like a keeper. He's a switch-hitting catcher (also plays some 3B) and he's logged a 283/392/386 line at Tennessee. Together with Contreras - the Cubs suddenly aren't lacking for catchers in the system anymore.

Donnie Dewees was the hyper-athletic 2nd rounder in last year's draft -- would be interested to hear what meat thinks about him in person - he's hitting 278/343/444 with 12 steals. The thinking on him was that he needed to tighten up his plate control - and with 18 BBs/23 Ks in 213 PAs - he looks to have done that. He might end up being better than Happ.

   11. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: June 01, 2016 at 12:43 PM (#5233700)
Federowicz still needs to go. His presence on the roster greatly annoys me.

I think he annoys everyone, but he's going to be around until Contreras is ready. Ross is 39, and on the radio this morning Bosio revealed that Montero is still playing hurt. No surprise there, he's been hitting nothing lately and boxing balls all over the place behind the plate. I don't think Maddon is comfortable with just Grandpa and an injured Montero.
   12. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2016 at 12:52 PM (#5233706)
So why is Montero up? He should be on the DL at least that way the presence of Timmy! is at least somewhat justifiable and frees up a spot for a real hitter to sit on the bench instead of in the minors.
   13. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 01, 2016 at 01:55 PM (#5233815)
Agree on DL'ing Montero if he's still hurt. His defense was terrible last night, and if he's struggling there too he's not worth playing. I still think Heyward should have gone on the DL at some point. 2 months of this pathetic bat (almost all from the 2 hole) is terrible to watch. The Cubs have played so well, they could live with those guys sitting to get healthy - if that's what they need.

---

I've said from the start of the year, Clayton Richard also needs to go. It's perfectly reasonable for Maddon to use him last night if he's on the roster - you can't manage every single game like it's game 7 of the World Series and you can't use your best arms every single night. Bringing in a lefty in that situation was perfectly reasonable - and not at all cute or overmanaging or Maddon reminding everyone he's there (all things suggested in the game chatter) - and Wood wasn't available. However, Richard just flat out sucks and needs to also be gone immediately. Something else Maddon did last year was use guys in all sorts of different situations (pitchers and position players - remember him starting Schwarber in RF in Pitt to see if it was an option, which he then was able to start him in the WC game) to see what works, what guys can do, etc. The idea that anyone could criticize him for that now, in May/June with a big lead in the division, is baffling to me.
   14. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 01, 2016 at 02:09 PM (#5233837)
I've said from the start of the year, Clayton Richard also needs to go. It's perfectly reasonable for Maddon to use him last night if he's on the roster - you can't manage every single game like it's game 7 of the World Series and you can't use your best arms every single night. Bringing in a lefty in that situation was perfectly reasonable - and not at all cute or overmanaging or Maddon reminding everyone he's there (all things suggested in the game chatter) - and Wood wasn't available. However, Richard just flat out sucks and needs to also be gone immediately. Something else Maddon did last year was use guys in all sorts of different situations (pitchers and position players - remember him starting Schwarber in RF in Pitt to see if it was an option, which he then was able to start him in the WC game) to see what works, what guys can do, etc. The idea that anyone could criticize him for that now, in May/June with a big lead in the division, is baffling to me.


I'm spoiled and tend to over-react in the moment.

As to Federowicz, the problem with keeping him around because Montero is still injured is that he's not actually playing. He's played a grand total of 2 innings at C since Montero came off the DL. Now, granted, if he started a game or played more innings, I'd complain loud and long about that (see my last paragraph). But, how much protection is he even providing if Maddon doesn't trust him to spot start a game here and there?
   15. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: June 01, 2016 at 02:50 PM (#5233895)
But, how much protection is he even providing if Maddon doesn't trust him to spot start a game here and there?


Fair question, and I think Maddon really doesn't want to use him. I just think he's afraid of getting a call at 10 AM that Montero can't go, and no one can get here from Iowa for a 1:20 game. It's frustrating, but since he's taking Ramirez's spot, and Ramirez wasn't playing anyway, we just have to accept that Maddon is fine with a 24-man roster keeping one spot in his back pocket to help him sleep at night.

As for Richard, I'm sure the front office is scrambling around to find a worthwhile lefty reliever, but there doesn't seem to be anyone in the system, and none of the decent ones around the league are available yet.
   16. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2016 at 02:55 PM (#5233905)
If Montero can't go you play Ross until either Timmy!'s plane lands or the next day. If Maddon is willing to decrease the chance of winning a particular game to find out what his guys can do in different situations then he should have no problem possibly using Ross for a game he didn't want to use him or sticking some emergency catcher back there for an inning or two. But really if Montero is that much of a worry and his performance is what it is then he should be on the DL.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 01, 2016 at 02:55 PM (#5233907)
Fair question, and I think Maddon really doesn't want to use him. I just think he's afraid of getting a call at 10 AM that Montero can't go, and no one can get here from Iowa for a 1:20 game. It's frustrating, but since he's taking Ramirez's spot, and Ramirez wasn't playing anyway, we just have to accept that Maddon is fine with a 24-man roster keeping one spot in his back pocket to help him sleep at night.

As for Richard, I'm sure the front office is scrambling around to find a worthwhile lefty reliever, but there doesn't seem to be anyone in the system, and none of the decent ones around the league are available yet.


Yeah, to be honest, the Cubs, as currently constructed, are fine with a 23-man roster. And on the position-player end, Maddon is treating it as such. Federowicz is mostly the very last PH option before you ask Trevor Cahill to grab a bat. There are a small handful of times where it would have been nice to have Ryan Kalish's bat instead or maybe have an Arismendy Alcantera around to pinch run, but that's really small stuff.

My objection to Richard is more that Maddon actually uses him - while freely granting Moses's point that if the man's on the roster as your situational lefty reliever, you may as well use him in situations that call for a lefty reliever.
   18. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 01, 2016 at 06:05 PM (#5234121)
Maddon is fine with a 24-man roster keeping one spot in his back pocket to help him sleep at night.

Yep. See last year with Herrera. The thing is that Kawasaki would be a perfect 25th man for this bunch.
   19. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 02, 2016 at 01:29 PM (#5234800)
Also put this in today's game chatter, but if Federowicz isn't starting today (against a lefty, day game after a night game started by Ross), there literally is no reason for him to be on the roster.
   20. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: June 02, 2016 at 04:59 PM (#5235040)
if Federowicz isn't starting today (against a lefty, day game after a night game started by Ross), there literally is no reason for him to be on the roster

I don't disagree, but you know if Fed gets released, the new 25th man will be Edwards or some other pitcher. The dream of 11 ifs and ofs is never happening.
   21. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 02, 2016 at 08:31 PM (#5235164)
If the Cubs pitchers are going to keep twirling gems - and geez, it's getting ridiculous how phenomenal this rotation has been, they might as well cut back to 11.

They've had what -- a Hammel start abbreviated via cramps (followed by 4 pristine Travis Wood innings) and that Giants start where Lester couldn't go 5. Since? Well... Hendricks throws a CG, Lester tossed one last night, and Hendricks could have gone 9 again today.

At this point, the Cubs really need to stay at 11 because there's simply not enough work for the relievers they have.

Yep. See last year with Herrera. The thing is that Kawasaki would be a perfect 25th man for this bunch.


Concur.

Would love to see him up.

Tactically, I suppose Alcantara brings more things... a 2nd PR... a guy who can play everywhere. Switch-hitter. But absent injury, the Cubs don't need him with Bryant's ability to play the OF and Baez playing everywhere.

Good team problems!
   22. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:04 AM (#5235458)
It appears Pierce Johnson was indeed injured -- back problems he tried to pitch through in April.

He's making his way back and should be pitching again at Iowa in the next week or so. Obviously, he's about 8th on the rotation depth chart - but if his K rate was that good with a bad back, I'll be interested to see what he does when he makes it back.

If we're all agreed that a true LOOGY - or just a really just LHP out of the pen - is all we really need, you'd think something like Johnson +/or Vogelbach would be enough to get it done. I suppose the Yankees aren't really in need of young SP, so it probably doesn't work - but you'd think those two alone would get you half (or 2/3?) the way there to an Andrew Miller.... or maybe all the way there.

BTW - with the June draft coming up in a week, ought to be noted that what we got is what we got... The Cards get the Cubs' 1st and 2nd rounders in the comp round so the Cubs don't pick until the 3rd round (#104 overall). As a result, the Cubs also have far and away the lowest draft pool -- by nearly a million dollars -- at $2.245 million. The Royals (3.25 mil) and Giants (3.5 mil) are the 2nd and 3rd lowest. At the top - the Reds have nearly 14 million.

This means the Cubs don't really have a lot of options - on the chance someone falls all the way past the first 100 picks, I suppose they could blow their wad but more than likely -- we're looking at a mix of HS lottery tickets and advanced college seniors who were largely unheralded.
   23. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:08 AM (#5235461)
Also put this in today's game chatter, but if Federowicz isn't starting today (against a lefty, day game after a night game started by Ross)

Wait - why would it being a day after a Ross start make it more likely that Federowicz ought to start? I get the rest, but not that.
   24. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:18 AM (#5235468)
BTW -

One last prospecty guy to note....

Remember Gerardo Concepcion? He was the 'other' big Cuban bonus the same year as Jorge Soler. He'd been given up as a bust years ago - though, he's had a ton of injuries including what amounts to a year lost to mono. It's almost as if the lightswitch clicked this year, though -- he started the year repeating Tennessee and tossed 17 near perfect relief innings (no runs, just 5 hits and 4 BBs with 17 Ks) and has since progressed to Iowa where he's been awfully good in limited time, too.

His velocity is reportedly up into the mid 90s regularly now and his breaking stuff has finally come along.

He might actually end up being the LOOGY we're looking for -- he's still just 24 - and his combined line out of the pen at AA and AAA (28 IP, 28 Ks, just 12 hits, 9 BBs and 2 runs allowed) shows some potential.

   25. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:35 AM (#5235482)
Wait - why would it being a day after a Ross start make it more likely that Federowicz ought to start? I get the rest, but not that.

I said day after night game; Ross isn't likely going to start a day game after catching a night game the day before. In case you missed it, he's really ####### old.
   26. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:39 AM (#5235488)
Tactically, I suppose Alcantara brings more things... a 2nd PR... a guy who can play everywhere. Switch-hitter. But absent injury, the Cubs don't need him with Bryant's ability to play the OF and Baez playing everywhere.

Alcantara has really come around the last month or so. His line is up to .260/.311/.446 after a horrible start. He's still only 24, but this is his third go round at AAA. He would appear to be more useful than Federowicz - either as a defensive replacement, a pinch runner, or even a PH more likely to run into a pitch. I could see why the Cubs would perhaps want him to get more regular playing time than he would as the 25th man on the big team. That's why Kawasaki seems like a better fit.

If there was an OF worth bringing up, I'm guessing they'd be up (Victorino was released after being awful, Murton's been hurt/bad, etc).
   27. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:40 AM (#5235489)
In case you missed it, he's really ####### old.


He looked pretty darn spry pouncing on that attempted sac bunt in the Lester game, getting the out at 2B and nearly getting a DP out of it.

In all seriousness, I've really started to feel bad bemoaning Rossy last year and when he was signed.

It's pretty clear he actually IS a great clubhouse guy and I think I'm perhaps happiest for his success this year as much as anyone's.

It's a very rare thing when a player can bring me around to the extent he has...
   28. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:41 AM (#5235491)
What would the Cubs do if they have to find another closer? I know Rondon has been officially listed as day-to-day with a back strain, but if you read up on his injury history (TJ surgery, broken elbow, and lengthy painful rehab almost ending his career) you might surmise that he is really dealing with a little bit of back pain with a whole lot of sore arm that he or the Cubs aren't copping to.
   29. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:44 AM (#5235493)
If there was an OF worth bringing up, I'm guessing they'd be up (Victorino was released after being awful, Murton's been hurt/bad, etc).


Putrid K/BB ratio aside, Almora continues to smoke at Iowa -- I suppose it's the same as you say with Alcantara... better to have him playing every day at Iowa rather than the occasional defensive inning in Chicago.

   30. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:49 AM (#5235499)
What would the Cubs do if they have to find another closer? I know Rondon has been officially listed as day-to-day with a back strain, but if you read up on his injury history (TJ surgery, broken elbow, and lengthy painful rehab almost ending his career) you might surmise that he is really dealing with a little bit of back pain with a whole lot of sore arm that he or the Cubs aren't copping to

I'd only suspect arm problems if he were struggling. Which he hasn't been at all. So I'll believe them for now. If he were to be hurt, I think Maddon would just mix and match with what he had, and the FO would try to accelerate their search for another bullpen arm.
   31. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:51 AM (#5235501)
I said day after night game; Ross isn't likely going to start a day game after catching a night game the day before. In case you missed it, he's really ####### old.

Yeah, I know. That wasn't my point. Going back to your original quote:

Also put this in today's game chatter, but if Federowicz isn't starting today (against a lefty, day game after a night game started by Ross), there literally is no reason for him to be on the roster.

There is literally no reason for Federowicz to be on the roster if he doesn't start the day after a Ross start. Huh?

When I first read over the quote, I just skimmed it and thought you were saying Maddon was making Montero start a day game after a night game -- which would be bad given how fragile he currently is. But Montero had a day off the previous game.

It's a day game after a night game-- but with two different catchers. So..... why does that relate in any way to if Federowicz needs a roster spot? Seems like a random bit of info thrown in there.
   32. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:52 AM (#5235503)
Putrid K/BB ratio aside, Almora continues to smoke at Iowa -- I suppose it's the same as you say with Alcantara... better to have him playing every day at Iowa rather than the occasional defensive inning in Chicago.

I don't think there's any debate Almora is still a prospect that needs to play, it's more I was wondering if the Cubs were ready to treat Alcantara as a finished product who's only a minimal use bench guy. For some reason, I thought he was older (like 26).

I'm a little surprised we haven't seen LaStella get a start in a long time; his last 2 starts are 5/20 and 5/25. I guess he was the first casualty of Soler turning it around. (Soler's OPS+ all the way up to 83, after bottoming out at 43 and me calling for him to be demoted; Heyward is now looking up at him).
   33. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:53 AM (#5235504)
What would the Cubs do if they have to find another closer? I know Rondon has been officially listed as day-to-day with a back strain, but if you read up on his injury history (TJ surgery, broken elbow, and lengthy painful rehab almost ending his career) you might surmise that he is really dealing with a little bit of back pain with a whole lot of sore arm that he or the Cubs aren't copping to.


Pretty sure Strop would get the first crack at it. With Edwards pretty much ready to go at Iowa, I expect they'd just stick with what they've got in-house for the time being until proven they needed to look elsewhere.

Beyond that, the Yankees bullpen would be the logical target -- Miller or Chapman.

I would think with the Angels a mess and this looking like a lost season with a farm system almost wholly bereft of talent, they'd also be a logical place to go. Huston Street just came off the DL and while the Angels aren't hurting for money, seems like an obvious place where the Cubs could do a nice 4 for 1... I.e., you'd think something like Vogelbach + Johnson + McKinney + Villanueva might be enough to get that done.

EDIT: Meant Candelerio instead of Villanueva... regardless, though, the Cubs have enough better-than-the-LAA-farm talent to plop in a big bundle without needing to get into the Gleyber/Eloy/Happ realm of talent.
   34. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:55 AM (#5235507)
Also put this in today's game chatter, but if Federowicz isn't starting today (against a lefty, day game after a night game started by Ross), there literally is no reason for him to be on the roster.

Ross usually starts against lefties and when Lester pitches. There was a lefty pitching, and it was a day game after a night game Ross start, so Ross wasn't going to catch the day game. Thus, you start the other righty catcher on your roster over Montero, who is a left handed hitter. Otherwise, why have a second righty/third catcher on the roster?
   35. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:57 AM (#5235509)
Huston Street just came off the DL and while the Angels aren't hurting for money, seems like an obvious place where the Cubs could do a nice 4 for 1... I.e., you'd think something like Vogelbach + Johnson + McKinney + Villanueva might be enough to get that done.

That would be a ridiculous overpay for Street.

EDIT: Meant Candelerio instead of Villanueva... regardless, though, the Cubs have enough better-than-the-LAA-farm talent to plop in a big bundle without needing to get into the Gleyber/Eloy/Happ realm of talent.

That would be worse!
   36. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:07 AM (#5235516)
IDK...

Street's been as reliable as closer as they come over the last 6-8 years. On another team, the owner might be looking for some salary relief but not LAA so I doubt they're particularly hot to move him.

Since McKinney is limited to LF/RF - with Heyward under contract and Schwarber or Soler ticketed for one corner, he's redundant in Chicago. Vogelbach obviously isn't going to play on the north side. Candelerio likewise has no real future in Chicago.

Aside from Chapman - Street is probably the best closer to be available and they don't come cheap.

I wouldn't want to overpay, either -- but IF the Cubs were desperate for a closer, I'd be comfortable with that package. I wouldn't start the bidding there, mind you, but I'd probably be willing to go that high.
   37. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:20 AM (#5235527)
Aside from Chapman - Street is probably the best closer to be available and they don't come cheap.

I wouldn't want to overpay, either -- but IF the Cubs were desperate for a closer, I'd be comfortable with that package. I wouldn't start the bidding there, mind you, but I'd probably be willing to go that high.


Given that Hector Rondon has (a) been perfect in save opportunities, (b) had perhaps the best performance of any closer in baseball, and (c) has a whopping 9 saves on the season, I doubt the Cubs would ever get to the point where they're "desperate" for a closer, even without getting into the fact that Pedro Strop and Justin Grimm could probably both be perfectly cromulent closers, either of whom are probably capable of saving 40 games on a team that were to give them the requisite 40-50 save opportunities.
   38. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:27 AM (#5235539)
Since McKinney is limited to LF/RF - with Heyward under contract and Schwarber or Soler ticketed for one corner, he's redundant in Chicago. Vogelbach obviously isn't going to play on the north side. Candelerio likewise has no real future in Chicago.

I don't understand this thought process to proposing trades. Here's a bunch of players that seem to be currently blocked, let's just lump them all together and move them all, independent of their individual value. You didn't address Johnson, and I completely disagree that Candelerio doesn't have a future here.

Street is signed for another year and has an option for another one, that's a ton to give up *and* have to pay. I'd like to think this FO could do a better job of identifying a *better* pitcher - who cares if they have the proven closer shine - and pay less in both prospects/salary.

I also kind of dismiss the hypothetical anyway that they would be desperate for a "closer", even if Rondon were hurt.
   39. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:31 AM (#5235545)
That's not to mean I'm overvaluing these guys, you're right some of them don't have a future here and the Cubs should be doing everything possible to make sure the team this year doesn't have any holes. But that trade is such a Hendry move it upsets me.
   40. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:37 AM (#5235553)
Given that Hector Rondon has (a) been perfect in save opportunities, (b) had perhaps the best performance of any closer in baseball, and (c) has a whopping 9 saves on the season, I doubt the Cubs would ever get to the point where they're "desperate" for a closer, even without getting into the fact that Pedro Strop and Justin Grimm could probably both be perfectly cromulent closers, either of whom are probably capable of saving 40 games on a team that were to give them the requisite 40-50 save opportunities.


Oh sure -

I was just playing the "what if" game where the WHAT IF means Rondon is hurt badly. Strop is occasionally prone to really bad blowups - any pitcher is - but there Strop is sometimes especially combustible. He's just not a guy I'd want to lean on as THE bullpen stopper (not even thinking saves/9th inning - just as THE guy I go when I need a critical out or three in a playoff game).

Grimm? Maybe.... Honestly, if it's not Rondon - I think Edwards more than likely would be the "Closer of the future".

Again... I'm in no way lobbying for these trades -- I'm just solely playing along with the what if. The Cubs wouldn't be screwed if Rondon got hurt, but I do think they'd almost certainly want a reliable, proven reliever of top-notch quality in that case. Street fits that bill to a T. The bullpen by no means would be a disaster without Rondon - it would still be pretty good, with some quite good upside. I'm just saying that they'd lack a guy with an extensive track record of ironclad reliability.
   41. Brian C Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:59 AM (#5235594)
Here's a crazy stat - the Cubs have 19 blowout wins, and have only played in 13 total one-run games.
   42. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: June 03, 2016 at 01:53 PM (#5235723)
Given that Hector Rondon has (a) been perfect in save opportunities


I have seen this misinformation all over the internet. Rondon has one blown save this season, i.e. 9/10 in save opportunities. But for some reason his stats are listed as variously 9/9 or 9/10 depending on where you look. Very curious how there hasn't been an authority to correct this ongoing miscount and it keeps getting repeated incorrectly.
   43. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 02:05 PM (#5235730)
No, he doesn't. He's only given up 2 runs, so it's pretty easy to check. He has a loss, but he came in to a tied game.
   44. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: June 03, 2016 at 02:11 PM (#5235739)
No, he doesn't. He's only given up 2 runs, so it's pretty easy to check. He has a loss, but he came in to a tied game.


You can get a blown save without having a run charged to your record, or getting a loss, but Rondon doesn't seem to have done that.
   45. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: June 03, 2016 at 02:47 PM (#5235778)
No, he doesn't. He's only given up 2 runs, so it's pretty easy to check. He has a loss, but he came in to a tied game.


Ok well I thought I remembered one and Patrick Mooney seems to agree with me http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8631/

I will dig further and sound the alarm should I find a smoking gun.
   46. Brian C Posted: June 03, 2016 at 03:20 PM (#5235801)
Pretty easy to check, since he's been in so few games when a blown save was even a possibility. He has no blown saves.
   47. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: June 03, 2016 at 03:37 PM (#5235811)
Ok well I thought I remembered one and Patrick Mooney seems to agree with me http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8631/


You are both wrong. He has been in 19 games, and has 9 saves. In the other 10 games, he came into 5 of those with a 4+ run lead, thus no save or BS possible. Of the other 5:

Came in with a 3 run lead, bases empty, and 2 outs in the 9th. Not a save situation. Had it been, he would have gotten a save, as he retired the only batter he faced.

Came in with the Cubs behind twice. Not a save situation

Came in with the Cubs tied twice. Not a save situation.


He does not have a blown save. He has been in 9 save situations and converted them all.

Put another way, in the 15 games in which he came in with the Cubs ahead, he never allowed the tying run to score.
   48. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 04:38 PM (#5235870)
Christopher Kamka ‏@ckamka 11m11 minutes ago
#Cubs starting pitching this season
2.33 ERA (!!), 340.0 IP, 239 Hits, 321 K, .199 Opp BA (!!), 0.985 WHIP (!!)
   49. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 03, 2016 at 05:24 PM (#5235944)
Two months in now...

Maybe we were wrong - the rotation isn't going to regress.
   50. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 03, 2016 at 05:31 PM (#5235950)
Christopher Kamka ‏@ckamka 52m52 minutes ago
#Cubs starters in last 8 games:
0.98 ERA, 55.0 IP, 30 Hits, 56 K, .161 Opp BA, 0.800 WHIP


Christopher Kamka ‏@ckamka 21m21 minutes ago
2.33 ERA by #Cubs starting pitching this season is lower than 72 of the 110 Cy Young winning seasons in MLB history
   51. Meatwad Posted: June 04, 2016 at 01:25 AM (#5236187)
With the dback in town it looks like they could get to 40-15 easily. i know they cant keep this up all year, but damn has this start been amazing. Last year was the only team close to as fun to watch as this years team. We complain about a 12th pitcher or a 3rd catcher, and well for once tbose are first world problems for the cubs! I hope this lasts almost as long as mr bones wild ride
   52. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: June 04, 2016 at 09:54 AM (#5236230)
Christopher Kamka ‏@ckamka 21m21 minutes ago
2.33 ERA by #Cubs starting pitching this season is lower than 72 of the 110 Cy Young winning seasons in MLB history


Speaking of which:

Cubs starters:

31-10 2.33 172 ERA+ 340 IP 321K 96 W .985 WHIP 9.3 WAR

Steve Carlton 1972:

27-10 1.97 182 ERA+ 346 IP 310 K 87 W .993 WHIP 12.1 WAR

Carlton was a little better, but damn!
   53. McCoy Posted: June 04, 2016 at 10:03 AM (#5236232)
Things to shoot for:

The 1961 Yankees had the most home wins with 65 wins and the 1932 Yankees had the highest winning % at home with a 0.805 winning %. Cubs are at a .750 winning percentage.

Cubs are still 3 games behind the 1907 win pace but 2 games ahead of the 1906 win pace. Talking about fast starts though, the Cubs are also 2 games ahead of their 1969 win pace. To pickup just one game on the 1907 team the Cubs will need to win the next 7 games in a row. The Cubs have to win the next 9 games in a row to catch the 1907 team. If they don't catch them by then they'll probably have to wait until September to come close again as the 1907 doesn't come back down to Earth again until then.


The only team in the AL that trails the division leader by more than 9.5 games is the Twins at 14 games.

The Cubs can now go 57-67 to finish at 95 wins.
   54. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: June 04, 2016 at 10:16 AM (#5236235)
Cubs facing a guy named Edwin Escobar today. He has 5.1 career IP and one career start. In that start, he gave up 8 runs in 3.1 IP. Cubs have lost games this year to Junior Guerera, Chase Anderson, Colin Rea, and Chad Bettis, and yesterday Archie Bradley held them to 1 run over 6 IP so who knows what to expect.
   55. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 04, 2016 at 12:32 PM (#5236277)
Escobar was a bit of a prospect at one time...

Taking a couple cousins to the game today - one, who's a big baseball fan but only a recent midwest transplant - is making his first trip to Wrigley.... Hope the weather cooperates.
   56. Norcan Posted: June 05, 2016 at 12:19 PM (#5236725)
Huston Street just came off the DL and while the Angels aren't hurting for money, seems like an obvious place where the Cubs could do a nice 4 for 1... I.e., you'd think something like Vogelbach + Johnson + McKinney + Villanueva might be enough to get that done.

That would be a ridiculous overpay for Street.


Not only does that not seem like a ridiculous overpay for Street, but I don't think the Angels would even jump on the deal. Maybe they would if that's the best deal they get after shifting through various offers but let's see, a future DH who, despite having a good season with the bat this season at Triple-A, might not have enough of a bat for a team to try him as their full-time DH, a pitcher in Johnson whose stuff is mediocre and who hasn't been able to stay healthy (he's not even a sure thing to make it as a reliever), McKinney who is having a terrible season and came into the season with a profile that was tweenerish at left to begin with and Candelario who is hitting 220/320/350 at Double-A. All those prospects are struggling big time or just were tool-bereft, below-average prospects to begin with. More than giving up too much in prospects, I'd be more worried about whether Street is even someone worthy of acquiring.

Mark Zagunis looks like he may be one of those prospects who gets overlooked a bit in a good farm system but puts together a good career. He's controlled the strike zone throughout his minor league career thus far and has plenty of bat speed (in one video taken during spring training, he turned around a mid to high 90s Dillon Tate fastball soundly for a sharp line drive). After starting slowly in April with a 239/354/284 line, he's gotten hot and raised his season line to 304/411/450.
   57. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: June 06, 2016 at 09:26 AM (#5237187)
Hey Norcan -

Do you know why the Cubs seem to have completely ditched the idea of Zagunis behind the plate? I had thought it was a just a crunch - once he moved past Boise, he was playing the same levels as Schwarber and Carantini... Just not cut out defensively for it? I have a vague recollection he also had some knee issues.

With Carantini still with him now at Tennessee - and Contreras at Iowa - I suppose there's still no room behind the plate for him, but I'm a bit surprised he's not getting the Schwarber treatment of a game of two a week behind the plate.
   58. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2016 at 10:23 PM (#5237820)
First time the Cubs have led the division by 10 games since September of 2008. Fasted team to 40 wins since the 2001 Mariners.
   59. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 07, 2016 at 11:41 AM (#5238050)
Over their last 162 regular season games, the Cubs are 107-54. The Cubs really didn't start winning at a ridiculous pace last year until the Kris Bryant walk-off against the Rockies, they were 52-47 going into that game. Since that game and including this year, the Cubs are 85-34. That's a 0.714 winning % (same as the current win% for just this season), which would be 116 wins over a 162 season. That's ridiculous.
   60. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: June 17, 2016 at 01:27 PM (#5246000)

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Piehole of David Wells
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5944 seconds
59 querie(s) executed