Draft Pick 2015 Watch Begins
It was fun while it lasted, a 4-game win streak and a run of 18-13 since May 30th had visions of Cubs' relevance dancing in my head. But then TheJedi receivedt the the quality and depth of prospects they hoped for from Billy Beane and that Cubs 2014 ballon deflated and whizzed off into the darkness. Don't get me wrong, it's not that they really had a chance of doing much in 2014, but it was fun watching winning baseball over the last month.
And sure, maybe Hendricks and Wada provide a close fascimile of the two dearly departed hurlers or Wood and Jackson will make their inevitable improvements and it's all a wash, but more likely, more trades will be made and the Cubs make another run at a top 5 pick. And it had to be a bit of a hit to the team morale when two of your better players get moved. But we all know what was expected this year, although Theo did mention seeing a "light at the end of tunnel", so hopefully 2014 marks the end of the asset gathering and 2015 marks the beginning of the time to try and win some games.
On that note, here is where things stand now...
It's quite the pack at the moment, although if I were a betting man, i'd go Astros, DBacks, Phillies, Rockies, Padres and then Cubs.
As for Theo's tunnel light, I think it's a safe bet that Bryant and Alcantara will be regulars in the 2015 lineup along with Rizzo, Castro and Castillo, with an outside shot of Baez breaking camp. Baez's overall numbers may be a bit lacking at the moment, but the improvement is important (OPS numbers by month: .617, .738, .815, .938). Whether he breaks camp next year or joins the team at some point is certainly a fluid situation. They talked about adding vets and certainly starting pitching would be the obvious position, although I would guess they may look at some outfielders. I don't think we'll know when Russell and Schwarber will show up, but I'm guessing 2016 is a more likely ETA along with Almora arriving around then or 2017. There's also Jorge Soler of course, and if he can ever stay healthy should be in the mix as well for 2015 and certainly by 2016.
And then there's the trade front, they have enough high end prospects to start considering using them to acquire high end talent in trades. Now who will be available and worth the cost is nearly impossible to answer. There's been some talk of Giancarlo Stanton, but I think there was a better shot of getting him last year or last offseason when he was nursing injuries and upset at the organization. It doesn't mean the Marlins won't deal with him, but I don't know if there in such a rush with how well they've played this year, seemingly on the cusp of another run. Other names will pop-up in the offseason as they tend to do and the Cubs are well-poised to strike in the right situation.
As for starting pitching, the big names will be Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields and we'll see if the Cubs go over 5 years and offer any type of no-trade clauses as all 3 will have plenty of suitors. Tier B includes the likes of Justin Masterson, Ervin Santana, and maybe Yovani Gallardo if the Brewers don't exercise his $13M club option. I'm of course working off the premise that the Cubs will go after players closer to 30 than 35 and that's not a particularly long list of availables.
All in all, we're pretty close to a fresh from the farm picked club and that's going to be darn fun to watch. And I certainly look forward to the days of posting playoff watch versus draft pick watch.
At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.
sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.
he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.
Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?
"The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."
Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.
seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.
I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.
I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.
Cardinals, stop that. Right now.
In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.
vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.
while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.
Carl Jr.! Very nice!
Baez with another "WTF?" play trying a delayed steal with a runner on 3rd and one out.. Remarkable talent, needs to make better decisions.
m.montgomery up in the pen with a man on 2nd, 2 out, and rondon 20 pitches into the inning.
...and rondon ends it 22 pitches in with a popout to RF.
I gotta say with the crappy defense the Brewers have displayed outside of Fowler I'm pretty disappointed the offense hasn't shown more and Rizzo seems to be very swing happy lately. That said my god am I happy Madden has finally given Carl Edwards a chance after multiple times up with nothing. I don't think he could handle a starting role with his body frame but his stuff plays so well in a relief role and he seems to be able to handle high stress situations very well.
2nd at bat. Fowler is good for the Cubs run differential.
welcome back fowler.
More slow news...
Did Davey Martinez have to bring the shotgun?