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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: July 26, 2007 at 02:40 AM (#2455757)
Weirdest thing-up until the past year or so when I started digging into minor league stats I didn't pay much attention to the minor league classifications. I simply didn't realize until now that the American Association has been gone for 10 years until I saw "PCL Iowa Cubs" up there at the top. Yeah I'm oblivious sometimes...
   2. NTNgod Posted: July 26, 2007 at 02:54 AM (#2455772)
What’s more, the hitters have produced despite playing in a pitchers’ park (973, 985, 980 park factors the last three years).

After ABQ, it's probably the top hitter's park in the American Conference (remember the PCL has the split AL/NL type thing going on, with an unbalanced schedule).

I believe the park factors are derived from taking the PCL as a whole, which if true, can throw player adjustments of PCL players off - since they don't play many games in parks in the other conference.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 26, 2007 at 04:13 AM (#2455879)
Those park factors are from BPro if that makes any difference.

I thought that park factors were calculated strictly from the team's home games vs. away games?

The unbalanced schedule would certainly affect MLEs if not taken into account.
   4. NTNgod Posted: July 26, 2007 at 04:17 AM (#2455884)
I'm not 100% about how they're calculated.

I am pretty sure Iowa's the top hitting hitting park in the conference outside of New Mexico...

The American Conference teams play only one series a year (EITHER home or away) against the teams in the other conference.
   5. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 26, 2007 at 01:59 PM (#2456105)
I'll try posting this again...

Thinking about how these guys might/should fit into the pennant race plans:

1. Pie. I agree with Pops -- I think the Cubs would be better off making Pie their every day CF than sticking with Jones. I see Jones' recent upswing as something that gives him trade value. My guess is that the Cubs see it as something that will make him a contributor in the pennant race, so I don't see Pie fitting into the every day CF plans unless Jones gets hurt. Seeing Jones struggle against LHP is not going to be pretty for the rest of the season, but we've seen worse. If/when Floyd goes on the DL, and Hendry fails to pick up a veteran fourth OF, Pie might be brought up for that role, I suppose.

2. Murton. I think the fact that he is still in Iowa speaks volumes regarding his prospects with the major league club. It seems the Cubs view Murton as suited solely to LF, which is Soriano's job, and while I wish the Cubs would use Soriano in RF, it doesn't seem that that will happen. To bring Murton up as a fifth OF/PH would not be a good idea, despite the fact that the Cubs could use a good righty bat off the bench. He should be playing every day somewhere, and that somewhere is probably in another organization. I hope for his sake that the Cubs turn him into something useful.

3. Soto. We are already seeing the Cubs lack of confidence in Kendall, who is one single for 17. He looks just as bad at and behind the plate as he does in the box scores. My guess is that Hendry will look for another veteran catcher very soon if Kendall doesn't snap out of it, and if that doesn't happen, promote Soto, who has a decent defensive reputation.

4. Cedeno. He doesn't have an essential role on the major league roster, so I think he's getting a bit of a showcase for a trade.

5. Moore. What Pops said.

6. Patterson. The middle IF spots seem pretty set, so I think Patterson doesn't see any action on the major league club until September, barring trades and/or injuries.


These are all good prospects, but the only real blue chip (and a flawed one at that) is Pie, who is probably untouchable. The Cubs could turn some of these guys into useful major league players via trades, and considering the Cubs' track record developing star position talent, that is probably what they should do with them.
   6. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 26, 2007 at 09:43 PM (#2456804)
BPro does rate Jones as slightly above average in center but my eyes don’t agree

I disagree with you. I think he looks really good out there. He takes a funny route every now and then, but he always seems to be in the right spot. What's especially impressive, IMO, is how many times he's already settled on a fly ball before the camera switches to him.

I think it would be a stretch to say that Jones’s hitting, a line of .205/.245/.309 to date, would signify a comparable difference at the plate.

Right, but he's also been hitting a lot better since moving to CF: .361/.429/.417. I don't expect that to continue, but he also looks a lot better at the plate now than at any point this year. And you have to at least acknowledge Pie's line of .216/.272/.345 in regular playing time in the bigs. I think 25 runs would be a HUGE stretch right now.

####, did I just defend Jones twice?

It’s tough to be a regular for the team when you’re a poor left fielder who rarely hits it out of the park.

True, and I'm getting the feeling that Soriano is in LF long-term. That's why I'd say Murton's also should have his bags packed (if he's not traded, he will end up back in the bigs as a PH at least).

Seeing Jones struggle against LHP is not going to be pretty for the rest of the season, but we've seen worse. If/when Floyd goes on the DL, and Hendry fails to pick up a veteran fourth OF, Pie might be brought up for that role, I suppose.

I think Pagan is a really good 4th OF, and I'd expect him to start in CF against all lefties (assuming Floyd and De Rosa are available). If they pick up another OF, it'll probably be a guy who in reality will be the 5th OF, righty half of a RF platoon.
   7. dcsmyth1 Posted: July 26, 2007 at 10:06 PM (#2456836)
Murton is a tricky player to evaluate. He is a corner OFer with a fairly muscular appearance, but he happens to be a GB hitter with reasonable plate discipline. He has average speed, and is probably an avg fielder, so no big negatives there. The GB profile will limit his HR and SLG, and the Cubs will overlook his healthy OBA. The Cubs were talking about his strong legs and are probably waiting for him to change into a FB hitter with HR, but there's little reason to expect such a change in his swing at 25 years old. So, they'll trade him, maybe to the A's, who will let him be what he is, and reap the benefit for a reasonable salary.
   8. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 26, 2007 at 11:35 PM (#2456975)
I think Pagan is a really good 4th OF, and I'd expect him to start in CF against all lefties (assuming Floyd and De Rosa are available). If they pick up another OF, it'll probably be a guy who in reality will be the 5th OF, righty half of a RF platoon.

Right, I was sloppy in talking about fourths and fifths. Really, we should thank our lucky stars for Pagan, who can actually play CF and hit a bit. But the Cubs definitely need the stereotypical lefty-mashing OF who can play in one of the corner positions.
   9. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 27, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2457633)
I disagree with you.

My pessimism on Jones's defense is based on seeing a few failed cutoffs on base hits. Perhaps I am overrating the damage done but it's very aggravating to see a ball trickle to the wall because Jacque took a bad angle.

The Cubs have a very difficult decision to make between Patterson and Fontenot after this year. I agree that a lot of the other players (Murton, Moore, & Cedeno) are better used to swap for value. That's the problem with having so much of the minor league hitting talent at AAA; the Cubs can't afford to exercise a whole lot of patience and the need to act fast. For once, I will be disappointed if the Cubs don't scoop up any 1/3 of a season rental types before the deadline.
   10. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 27, 2007 at 04:33 PM (#2457666)
It seems like Tejada could be a good fit for the Cubs. They could trade a package of some of their non-Pie prospects like Murton, Gallagher and Patterson.
   11. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 27, 2007 at 04:38 PM (#2457675)
We are already seeing the Cubs lack of confidence in Kendall, who is one single for 17.

Now up to 3 for 19. :-)
   12. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 27, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2457699)
Murton, Cherry up.

Fox, Petrick down?
   13. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: July 27, 2007 at 05:06 PM (#2457717)
Is Micah Hoffpauir a prospect? The numbers look good, but he has no position on the big club unless Lee goes down again.
   14. Sweet Posted: July 27, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2457776)
Anyone heard anything about Guzman's status? Last night's Marquis marquee reminded me of the benefits of having pitchers with, you know, stuff.

I'd like to see them try to unload Jones before the deadline and promote Pie to play center. Jones has been valuable since the switch to center, but I don't expect him to keep hitting like he has and, more to the point, I don't see a place for him on the team next year. They're not going to keep Pie at Iowa for another year, and Jones really can't hit enough to handle RF. Given all that, I think now's a decent time to try and sell high -- or at least not low.

What I'd really like, of course, is for them to DFA Kendall and promote Soto to be the starting catcher. But that's not going to happen.

My ideal roster, now through September 1:

Lineup vs. RHP/LHP:

Soriano
Fontenot/DeRosa
Lee
Ramirez
Floyd/Murton
Pie
Theriot
Soto

Bench:

DeRosa/Fontenot
Murton/Floyd
Pagan
Cedeno
K. Hill (replaced by Blanco when he's back)

Pitchers:

Zambrano
Lilly
Hill
Marshall
Marquis (realistically, he's not going anywhere)

Dempster
Marmol
Howry
Wuertz
Cherry (Guzman when he's back)
Eyre (not going anywhere, unfortunately)
Ohman
   15. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 27, 2007 at 05:54 PM (#2457790)
Is Micah Hoffpauir a prospect? The numbers look good, but he has no position on the big club unless Lee goes down again.

He's 27 which makes him nice filler to keep around but nothing to worry about.

What I'd really like, of course, is for them to DFA Kendall and promote Soto to be the starting catcher. But that's not going to happen.

Maybe Carlos will punch him in the face for dropping a foul ball.

Anyone heard anything about Guzman's status?

Still on the 15 day disabled list rather than the 60 day DL so there must be some hope he could return this year.
   16. Neil M Posted: July 27, 2007 at 06:13 PM (#2457815)
A factor to consider is the role of Hitting Instructor, Von Joshua. He's in his second year at Iowa but prior to that he worked with a lot of these guys at AA West Tennessee. Some of these players posted good numbers there too.
   17. Rally Posted: July 27, 2007 at 06:35 PM (#2457835)
Cedeno's numbers look really good. After his terrible 2006, and since he never hit much at any level before, I thought we could write off his 2005 MLE as a fluke.

Maybe he's the hitting version of Rich Hill? If so the Cubs might want to give him a few more chances.
   18. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:41 PM (#2462070)
For those who may be interested, below are the PCL American League Park Factors in hitter friendliness (three year avgs.):

Albequerque 1117.3
Nashville 954
Iowa 976
Omaha 961.7
Nashville 954
Oklahoma 945.7
Round Rock 944
Memphis 926.3
New Orleans 912

Which averages out to a 967.125
   19. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:42 PM (#2462074)
Oops, I thought I erased that first Nashville...

I have been undone by the lack of edit feature.
   20. dudley Posted: August 22, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2494920)
my theroy here is that these kids realize that Lou will not hesitate to tell hendry to bring up a youngster if he thinks the kid can play. Lou seems to be the type that doesn't shelter kids and thinks they can either play or not. future potential be damned, if he knows a kid is swinging a hot bat in IOWA and he thinks someone on the MLB roster is not in a groove, he brings 'em up.

it's like a young start-up company that rewards hard workers that put in 60+ hrs a week and go for the jugular.

IMO that is a fantastic atmosphere to brood a winning team in. when you have veterans looking over their shoulder knowing an 0-10, 0-20 streak is going to put them on the bench and someone fromt he farm will be starting in your place, you make the extra effort which makes all the difference in this game.

there's nothing worse than working at a job where things stay the same simply based on seniority. 162 games is a long season, you gota rest players and allow them to take a step back. the fear of being demoted or benched is a great motivator in MLB and i think the Cubs are thriving on it this year.

if this is what lous all about, i'm even a bigger fan of him now.

i almost want an IOWA cubs hat to wear to be honest.

(and glad i just found this place, lots of great stuff to read here, an excellent site you have here folks.)

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