TCR Friday Notes

- Alex Eisenberg runs Baseball Intellect and he's added a premium service where he breaks down video of prospects. Recently he did one that included  Logan Watkins and Hak-Juk Lee from a Boise Hawks game earlier this year. If you're a minor league junkie, I have to think that's a good way to spend $3 a month and I'll continue to give him a shout out when he features Cubs prospects.

- MLB Trade Rumors is reporting their own rumor that the Cubs have interest in the 21-year old 100 mph southpaw from Cuba - Aroldis Chapman. He's expected to be anywhere from $30 to $60M richer by the end of the offseason.

- Speaking of MLBTR, I read this bit over there:


ESPN's Keith Law, former special assistant to the GM in Toronto, mentioned a few interesting Blue Jays' non-trades in his chat today. He says that the Mets once offered 19-year-old David Wright for Jose Cruz Jr., but J.P. Ricciardi said "I'm not trading a major league player for some guy in the (Low Class-A) Sally League." Klaw also mentions that the Jays had a chance to trade Cruz Jr. for Rafael Soriano, but wouldn't do it unless the Mariners kicked in Clint Nageotte as well. What could have been, Jays fans.

Facepalm.

- You may have missed it yesterday, but it looks like the cutoff for Super Two status will be 2 years and 141 days. Arizona Phil broke out how that will affect the players who were near the cutoff (I believe it's suppose to read 2+171 and so forth, but you get the picture). There's a note on Glen Perkins if you follow the link to the original comment as well.

SUPER TWO:
Joey Devine, RHP - A's 2+171
Brian Wilson, RHP - Giants 2+169
Rajai Davis, OF - A's 2+167
Alex Gordon, 3B - Royals 2+162
Mike Adams, RHP - Padres 2+161
Tom Gorzelanny, LHP - Cubs 2+161
Omar Quintanilla, INF - Rockies 2+159
Jesus Flores, C - Nationals 2+158
Hunter Pence, OF - Astros 2+156
Jason Hammel, RHP - Rockies 2+153
Matt Garza, RHP - Rays 2+149
Tim Lincecum, RHP - Giants 2+148
Nick Masset, RHP - Reds 2+146
Jeff Karstens, RHP - Pirates 2+144
Matt Albers, RHP - Orioles 2+141
Carlos Gomez, OF - Twins 2+141

CUT-OFF?
Dustin Nippert, RHP - Rangers 2+140
Adam Jones, OF - Orioles 2+139
Mike Fontenot, 2B - Cubs 2+139
Brandon Morrow, RHP - Mariners 2+139
Micah Owings, RHP - Reds 2+139
Mark Reynolds, 3B - Diamondbacks 2+138
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C - Rangers 2+137
Allberto Callaspo, INF - Royals 2+135
Glen Perkins, RHP - Twins 2+133
Anibal Sanchez, RHP - Marlins 2+133
Ben Zobrist, INF - Rays 2+133
Joe Smith, RHP - Indians 2+132
Fred Lewis, OF - Giants 2+129
Jeremy Sowers, P - Indians 2+128
Mike Pelfrey, RHP - Mets 2+122

- Over at cubs.com, Carrie says that Jeff Baker is the frontrunner for the second base job (Ed note - the Cubs are stupid if this is true), and they aren't going to bring back Mark DeRosa just because he was popular(Ed note - a little less stupid if true). She does say that Starlin Castro has been playing some second base in the AFL and could be a mid-season call-up if he continues his rocket-like ascension through the system.

- Wrigleyville residents are concerned over a new project setting a precedent in building height that would then likely allow the Cubs to build the facility that they've been wanting to adjacent to the park.

- Vote on the game changers in sports at the Huffington Post. The guy that runs MLB.tv is currently in the lead and Dave Appelman of Fangraphs is #2.  Baseball geeks UNITE!

- I did want to congratule "The Joe" on winning the mostly TCR 15-team fantasy points-based league...his second win in the 4 years we've played. Actually no, I don't want to congratulate him, I want to tell him to stop cheating and that he should trade Hanley Ramirez, preferably to me. I know there was another league that pretty much used our rules, so if you could drop the winner and their point total in the comments, I'll put it somewhere on the site to celebrate, that goes for any TCR-based league...I think Transmission ran one as well (Ed note - worst constructed paragraph ever on TCR).

- Bears at Bengals this week, join the fun at The Bear Truth.

- Betus.com has signed on as an advertiser for the next year, you can find their logo on the left when you're on the front page. Gamble away your life savings(Ed note - please don't do that) or just check out the lines on games or the pretty girls.

Comments

Kmokeefe won the TCR 2 keeper league. At least I think that's his TCR handle.

point total?

9391, 89 points ahead of Chad.

not bad, would have finished 2nd in our league, Joe had 9585.25

ouch

addendum: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?i...

Ricketts to take control by next week, hopes to meet media with his future plans by Friday.

Can't wait to hear Ricketts' 'Vision'. Would love to see conceptual drawings and construction plans for 'Wrigley Field at Sears Park' located off the NW Tollway between Hoffman Estates and Elgin. Putting any more more money into Clark & Addison is more good money after bad, but as long as it isn't taxpayer dollars - oh, well.

sigh... meanwhile, we're still stuck with "doughnuts" Hendry,

The Padres did indeed make the move they were telegraphing when they let "tampering" Towers go. They're going to hire the Red Sox' asst. GM Jed Hoyer (35) to be their general manager today.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb...

I'm confused about this new building. Is it above the Cubby Bear? Behind it? The pictures look like it is on that corner. Maybe behind the Cubby Bear or where Taco Bell is? I don't fucking know, but some hotel rooms on the N. Side would be nice, not enough of them currently. Anyone who is against this is a ruhtard.

9391, 89 points ahead of Chad.

And by Chad, he means Little Nate Lewis.

"She does say that Starlin Castro has been playing some second base in the AFL and could be a mid-season call-up if he continues his rocket-like ascension through the system."

I don't recall Castro playing second at Mesa. Maybe one game or a few innings. He's been alternating between shortstop and DH. The reason he doesn't play short every day is that Mesa also has Jose Iglesias, the 19-year-old Cuban defector the Red Sox just paid $8.5 million.

Your paragraph begins discussing Jeff Baker, and then you say Castro has been playing some second. Castro doesn't have to worry about playing second with the Cubs. That's Theriot's worry, and Hak-Ju Lee's, and Flaherty's and LeMahieu's and others. Castro is going to be the SS.

she said he started there Monday and the box score confirms...

http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l119&t...

haven't looked myself since...

Castro doesn't have to worry about playing second with the Cubs. That's
Theriot's worry, and Hak-Ju Lee's, and Flaherty's and LeMahieu's and
others. Castro is going to be the SS.

that's cute, guess you missed Lou playing Theriot at SS and Blanco at 2b at the end of the year...

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 10:04am.

I don't recall Castro playing second at Mesa. Maybe one game or a few innings. He's been alternating between shortstop and DH. The reason he doesn't play short every day is that Mesa also has Jose Iglesias, the 19-year-old Cuban defector the Red Sox just paid $8.5 million.

Your paragraph begins discussing Jeff Baker, and then you say Castro has been playing some second. Castro doesn't have to worry about playing second with the Cubs. That's Theriot's worry, and Hak-Ju Lee's, and Flaherty's and LeMahieu's and others. Castro is going to be the SS.

==============================================

CUZZ: Starlin Castro played SS, 2B, and 3B for the DSL Cubs in 2007, and then he split time almost 50/50 between SS and 2B in 2008 at Fitch Park (Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, AZL Cubs, and Instructional League), when Castro and Junior Lake were teammates and the Cubs wanted both players to get PT at SS. (Castro and Lake were teammates at DSL Cubs in 2007, too).

Castro played SS exclusively at both Daytona and Tennessee in 2009, but he did play 2B for the Mesa Solar Sox last Monday, although (as you said) that was only because Jose Iglesias was playing SS that day. (Castro is a very good defensive 2nd baseman, BTW).

It's possible that Castro could end up at 2B if Hak-Ju Lee remains at SS and both make it to the big leagues with the Cubs, because Lee has better range, and Lee has only played SS (so far, at least). But Castro can certainly play SS.

I agree that there could be an argument between Castro and Lee over shortstop. But it certainly looks like Casto will get there first, and that LeMahieu will be zeroing in on second base. I'm not sure where that leaves Lee, who is a rabbit and a real leadoff hitter. But it's a good problem to have.

It's not a good problem for Theriot to have.

I know that AZ Phil has suggested in the past that Lee could make a good convert to CF (usually when the issue of his size comes up).

However, anticipating that all three of these guys will make it to the majors as productive everyday players with the Cubs is a little bit premature. It could happen, but will anybody be surprised if it doesn't?

A couple of things. Lee in center doesn't begin to make sense to me. Everybody plays shortstop in little league, and many do in high school, but if you can play shortstop at a high level they don't put you in the outfield. Offensively, Lee lacks power. He's an infielder!

The Cubs have a large group of middle-infield prospects right now, and some Cub fans are having difficulty getting their heads around that idea. Before the current group, when was the last time the Cubs had a decent middle-infield prospect? Theriot is an overachiever. Eric Patterson turned out to be a left fielder (i.e., someone who can't play any position). Who else? How long ago? What a screwed-up drafting apparatus the Cubs used to have! Almost all their prospects were slugging first basemen (a couple from Jim Hendry's high school). I guess the Cubs thought that it would save some time if their scouts didn't have to watch the players in the field.

I mention Castro, Lee and LeMahieu because even among genuine prospects they seem special. They hit the ground running as soon as they turned pro. Everything comes easy to them. "You want me to do the same thing at a higher level? No problem!" Brett Jackson seems to belong in this group also.

Most prospects struggle in the minors. I thought they all did until I saw this recent group. Cashner has done okay, unless you expected strikeouts in A and AA from a guy who throws 98. (1.79 K/BB, 6.73 K/9.) After a torrid May, Vitters hit .239/.274/.358 in 88 at bats in June. Then he went to Daytona and really stank. Barney has struggled. Guyer has struggled. Samardzija, obviously.

So that's why I focus on three or four guys who don't seem to struggle. If any of them doesn't make it, that will be an opportunity for Flaherty, for Darwin, for Watkins--and for Theriot. Whoever emerges from this competition should be able to perform in the majors.

I know it's hard for Cubs fans to be forward-looking and optimistic. Something about Bobby Hill and Gary Somebody, back in the eighties, I think.

Recent comments

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  • ...and the Bryant RBI jinx continues in the 3rd....crap.

    billybucks 37 min 47 sec ago view
  • bryant's in the dugout filling a police report BECAUSE HE JUST GOT ROBBED.

    f'n cabrerra...

    crunch 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • chapman showing up and available tomorrow night.

    i'm sure he'll be a bit hit. hope he doesn't choke. dude has a rifle for an arm. he'll add a bit of punch to the bullpen.

    crunch 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • the 'crosstown classic' sure has lost it's magic with interleague. the excitement level is barely noticable...maybe it's a bit more hype in the city, itself.

    crunch 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • Well he didn't leave a mark so its not that bad.

    Fuck that.

    Facts:

    He choked her.

    Her brother tackled him to separate him.

    He cooled off by shooting his gun in the garage.

    I don't have to like him on the team I follow.

    And you are others are free to not give a shit about his personal misgivings if you so choose as well.

     

     

    Rob G. 1 hour 39 min ago view
  • Sure, no marks and some inconsistencies in the witness's statements. But firing your gun into garage wall immediately after an argument and punching out your car window is still threatening and out of control behavior. There was certainly enough for MLB to think it warranted a 30-game suspension.

    Charlie 2 hours 50 min ago view
  • I'd prefer they be flexible with the closing situation depending on matchups. You're not really adding a lefty reliever if you use him strictly as a closer.

    Charlie 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • Stockpiling young talent isn't only for trading for someone like Chapman though. Even with an elite closer winning the World Series is basically a crap shoot so the key is to get to the playoffs as much as possible and not just mortgage everything on one year. Once you get there an elite bullpen certainly helps but the playoffs can be won by one hitter or starting pitcher getting hot (Murphy, Molina, Baumgardner) and a closer might not be able to stop that.

    johann 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • I'm also not crazy about press convictions. As the police report noted, there were no marks on the lady in question. There's a TMZ link (of course) to her police pictures, as well.

    I think the only way this trade goes real bad is if Cubbery intervenes and Chapman is suddenly bad for some reason.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 4 hours 48 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 56 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 5 hours 9 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 5 hours 41 min ago view