boubucarow

***Chicago Cubs Thread***

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Man, we love ourselves some Wood.

We've got Woods
Link? Source?

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Man, we love ourselves some Wood.

We've got Woods
Link? Source?
it's now up at ESPN

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yup was just coming to post that.....Congrats to both Cubs and Wood - good for him to be back in the Windy City

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yup was just coming to post that.....Congrats to both Cubs and Wood - good for him to be back in the Windy City

It was announced at the Cubs Convention to a huge ovation. Edited by boubucarow

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Top 20 list of Cubs' prospects from minorleagueball.com

Cubs' prospects

1) Brett Jackson, OF, Grade B+: I love his broad range of skills...speed, power, patience, defense. Only problem is a high strikeout rate which could foretell adjustment issues and/or preclude a high batting average. A more complete player than newly-acquired Rizzo, so ranks ahead for me.

2) Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Grade B+: Acquired today from Padres for Andrew Cashner. Nobody should panic about 128 at-bats. Although he's not going to hit .300 in the majors, Rizzo should provide plenty of power and walks and I think he'll make the needed adjustments. Maximum outcome: Ryan Howard. Worst-case: Chris Davis.

3) Javier Baez, SS-3B, Grade B: 2011 first-round pick. Outstanding bat speed, should hit for average and power. Questions revolve around future position as well as volatile personality. Higher ceiling than Jackson or Rizzo but we need to clear these issues up first.

4) Matt "Scrabble" Szczur, OF, Grade B-: Borderline B. Grade under review. Outstanding tools but still learning how to play baseball. Uses speed very well, skilled defensively, should develop more power but plate discipline slipped in High-A.

5) Trey McNutt, RHP, Grade B-: Hampered by nagging injuries in Double-A and gets a partial mulligan, although stock is legitimately down a bit. I am concerned by low strikeout rate.

6) Dillon Maples, RHP, Grade B-: 14th round pick with second-round talent, hasn't pitched yet. Scouting reports point to number two starter potential, or perhaps a relief ace if he doesn't develop a changeup, or if his funky delivery results in durability issues. Grade speculative given lack of pro data.

7) Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Grade B-: 2011 second-round pick. I really, really believe in this bat. Enormous power combined with legitimate hitting skills and strong plate discipline. Main problem is jumbo size; at times he has carried more pounds than I do, and he's not a sedentary middle-aged writer. If he can stay in decent condition he could move quite quickly and provides a backup plan if Rizzo doesn't work out.

8) Junior Lake, SS, Grade C+: Borderline B-. Excellent athlete, with power and speed, great throwing arm. Poor plate discipline, erratic track record, and probable position switch hurt stock, but has tremendous upside. Much better physical ceiling than Vogelbach, of course, but I'm less confident in his ability to hit.

9) Welington Castillo, C, Grade C+: Considerable power with a great throwing arm, still somewhat raw with the glove. Spotty strike zone judgment could be an issue, but could supplant Geovany Soto eventually.

10) Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP, Grade C+: Tommy John survivor saw velocity boost, continued to throw strikes, and was extremely effective in High-A down the stretch, posted 32/5 K/BB in last 25 innings with 2.16 ERA. If he maintains that momentum in 2012, will break through and shoot up prospect lists.

11) Josh Vitters, 3B-1B, Grade C+: Placement is very difficult. You can make a case as high as eight or as low as 15. Strengths remain age (22) and contact ability, but still short-circuits himself with impatience. At some point he's got to produce more than this, and with the new regime in place he needs to take that step forward now.

12) Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Grade C+: Outstanding performance in the Dominican Summer League. Scouting reports are good, too. Unfortunately DSL performance is not particularly predictive, but he has good plate discipline and scouts are impressed with him. May face position switch. Could rank much higher once we see him in North America.

13) Marco Hernandez, SS, Grade C+: Solid performance in Arizona Rookie League, gap power, should hit for average, and can remain at shortstop. Could also rank much higher a year from now.

14) Chris Carpenter, RHP, Grade C+: Power arm pitched poorly in Triple-A bullpen due to command issues but looked much better in Arizona Fall League. Dominant when his command is working.

15) Rafael Dolis, RHP, Grade C+: Could rank as high as 10th if you aren't concerned by his poor strikeout rate in Double-A. Power sinker could get him significant major league innings in 2012 but will need better command to close. I don't like him as much as some other people do, but upper-90s sinkers are rare.

16) Zach Cates, RHP, Grade C+: Acquired in the Cashner/Rizzo trade. Often overlooked due to 4.78 ERA in Low-A, but he has a live arm and peripheral stats were much better. Breakthrough possible.

17) Ben Wells, RHP, Grade C+: Arkansas high school talent from 2010 draft is another sinkerball expert, impressed scouts in Northwest League. Number three starter upside.

18) Dave Sappelt, OF, Grade C+: Acquired in Sean Marshall deal. Perfect fourth outfielder with a broad balance of average tools/skills.

19) Ronald Torreyes, 2B, Grade C+: Acquired in Sean Marshall deal from Reds. Excellent performance record, hits for average, very reliable with the glove, but undersized at 5-7, 150. Can he do what Jose Altuve did with the Astros?

20) Reggie Golden, OF, Grade C+: Struggled with contact in Northwest League. A raw hitter, but power potential is quite impressive. High risk/high reward type.

21) Gioskar Amaya, INF, Grade C+: Hit .377 in rookie ball, lacks distance power at this time and needs better plate discipline. Long-term position unsettled as well, but a nice ceiling.

22) Tony Zych, RHP, Grade C+: Lively arm drafted in fourth round in '11, projects as a closer if he sharpens his command.

23) Shawon Dunston, Jr, OF, Grade C+: Excellent speed, but lacks strength/power and raw for a bloodline player. Good upside as a leadoff type but will take time to get there.

24) Aaron Kurcz, RHP, Grade C+ Good year as a swingman in Florida State League, excellent K/IP ratio with few hits given up, above-average stuff.

OTHERS: Jeffry Antigua, LHP; Dallas Beeler, RHP; Jeff Beliveau, LHP; Jeff Bianchi, INF; Lendy Castillo, RHP; Pin-Chieh Chen, OF; Zeke DeVoss, 2B; Jae-Hoon Ha, OF (a lot of people really like him but he looks like a tweener to me); Jay Jackson, RHP; Eric Jokisch, LHP; Austin Kirk, LHP (season collapsed after he threw the no-hitter);; Luis Liria, RHP; Kevin Rhoderick, RHP; Jose Rosario, RHP; Neftali Rosario, C; Hayden Simpson, RHP; Nick Struck, RHP; Yao-Ling Wang, RHP; Logan Watkins, 2B; Robert Whitenack, RHP.

The exact rankings of the players, especially 12-24, is quite difficult in this system, so don't get bent out of shape if you think the guy at 19 should be at 12 or something like that. If you are looking for guys who will help in the short run, someone like Sappelt would move up the list. Some guys in the "Others" section could see major league action soon and help out, including Jeff Beliveau, Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo, and Nick Struck.

The major league roster needs a revamp, and the new Epstein/Hoyer administration is hard at work on that. But even before the Cashner and Marshall trades, the farm system had some good things going for it and was, in my opinion, underrated.

The weakness heading into the off-season was obvious: lack of impact talent close to the majors beyond Brett Jackson. Acquiring Rizzo helps with that. But there are very intriguing players at the lower levels who have the potential to develop considerably, particularly products of the solid Latin American and Asian programs. In this respect the Cubs remind me of the Indians system: there is a LOT of depth in C+ and "Grade C with upside" type prospects. Some of those guys will develop.

The biggest problem I see currently is lack of high-powered pitching. There is nobody here who looks like they can anchor a major league rotation with any certainty. That's not to say that there aren't live arms; there are quite a few, although most of them project better as relievers or back-end starters. There are a few candidates who can get beyond that, although they all have significant questions attached. McNutt had a bad year but could rebound, it is too soon to tell about Maples, and both Rhee and Cates could take big steps forward.

Overall, if I was a Cubs fan, I would be pleased with the level of depth, but anxious (in a good way) to see how the new front office manages the draft and international scouting to bolster what is already present.

They really need to make some moves to acquire an arm or two.

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They really need to make some moves to acquire an arm or two.

The trade chips now are Garza, Soto, Marmol, and Byrd. Only Garza will get a high level pitching prospect in return. Reading Sickel and other sources the past year it seems the Cubs have a lot of arms that could peak in the middle to back end of the rotation. McNutt and Maples have more potential but have serious issues that could lead to bullpen roles. Unless players like McNutt or maybe Rhee put it all together this year, I don't see #1 or #2 starter coming any time soon if at all from this organization. The Cubs will almost certainly have to pay for pitching in the open market to seriously contend in at least the next four year window and of course that is full of risk.

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They really need to make some moves to acquire an arm or two.

The trade chips now are Garza, Soto, Marmol, and Byrd. Only Garza will get a high level pitching prospect in return. Reading Sickel and other sources the past year it seems the Cubs have a lot of arms that could peak in the middle to back end of the rotation. McNutt and Maples have more potential but have serious issues that could lead to bullpen roles. Unless players like McNutt or maybe Rhee put it all together this year, I don't see #1 or #2 starter coming any time soon if at all from this organization. The Cubs will almost certainly have to pay for pitching in the open market to seriously contend in at least the next four year window and of course that is full of risk.
I'd like to hope the Cubs can flip a couple of those guys or others to a contender at the trade deadline this season. I wouldn't miss any of those players, but they could all make an impact for a team making a playoff run.I've been saying "blow it up" for several years now. Looks like it took Theo coming here to get this organization on track. Edited by Grahamburn

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They really need to make some moves to acquire an arm or two.

The trade chips now are Garza, Soto, Marmol, and Byrd. Only Garza will get a high level pitching prospect in return. Reading Sickel and other sources the past year it seems the Cubs have a lot of arms that could peak in the middle to back end of the rotation. McNutt and Maples have more potential but have serious issues that could lead to bullpen roles. Unless players like McNutt or maybe Rhee put it all together this year, I don't see #1 or #2 starter coming any time soon if at all from this organization. The Cubs will almost certainly have to pay for pitching in the open market to seriously contend in at least the next four year window and of course that is full of risk.
I'd like to hope the Cubs can flip a couple of those guys or others to a contender at the trade deadline this season. I wouldn't miss any of those players, but they could all make an impact for a team making a playoff run.I've been saying "blow it up" for several years now. Looks like it took Theo coming here to get this organization on track.
Agree completely.

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Cubs and Garza agree to $9.5M plus incentives to avoid arbitration. Now, how long is he a Cub?

Also, the Cubs sign Cuban 19 year old lefty hurler Gerardo Concepcion to a multi-year $7m contract. His fastball hovers around 90 MPH with a 75ish curveball and a developing changeup/splitter with some deception/inconsistency in his delivery. It seems scouts disagree on whether he has back of the rotation potential or better. Looks like the Cubs have added to the fleet of #3 to will never make it starters in the minors.

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2012 MLB Free Agency: Chicago Cubs Expected to Agree to Terms with Jorge Soler

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the deal in place is for three or four years, and it is valued at $27.5 million. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training, but doesn't look to be ready for the majors just yet.

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What's the take on LaHair?Late bloomer or a 4-A type of player?

Sveum is already calling LaHair his cleanup hitter. So it sounds like we're going to find out pretty quick.

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Soriano wasn't the only one at Fitch Park hoping to change habits this baseball season. A woman among the hundreds in the retiree crowd was overheard loudly describing how she lost 40 pounds last year following the "Cubs Diet.""I only ate when they won," she said.

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Vitters going to get a chance at 3rd?

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Vitters going to get a chance at 3rd?

There is no reason to think he is ready. Stewart will be playing near full time probably only sitting from time to time for Baker to get time. Even if Stewart sucks, I don't see Vitters seeing time until past mid season. And that is only if Vitters shows a lot of improvement over last year.

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What's the take on LaHair?Late bloomer or a 4-A type of player?

Sveum is already calling LaHair his cleanup hitter. So it sounds like we're going to find out pretty quick.
I expect LaHair to have about an 800 ops but would be surprised at much more than that. He can hit and will take pitches. He will hit 20-25 homers if he plays all season. Problem is that if Rizzo shows the adjustments the Cubs want to see, how long will they wait until he is their everyday 1B.

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Loved the headline that popped up in my Facebook feed yesterday:

The Cubs scored ten runs today! (They gave up more.)

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So after all that, the Cubs give the Red Sox Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz. If the previous reports are close to true, the Red Sox were beyond ridiculous in how they handled this situation. They were always going to receive two middle level prospects. Prospects the Cubs would have given them two months ago.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-eamus-catuli-sign-0323-20120323,0,2515552.story

A familiar Wrigleyville sign recalling the Cubs' futile past may itself be a thing of the past.

The well-known "Eamus Catuli!" sign and nearby numbers high atop the Lakeview Baseball Club building beyond Wrigley Field's right-field wall have been taken down for rooftop repairs, and the numbers may not be back.

Mark Schlenker, part of the ownership group that bought the building and business out of bankruptcy in January, said Thursday that while "Eamus Catuli" likely will return, the numbers marking the years since the Cubs last won a division, pennant and World Series are being reconsidered.

"As the new owner, I respect the tradition of Wrigley Field," Schlenker said. "At the same time, I'm also open to new ideas. Someone presented to me that the sign shows futility and perhaps we need to put the past behind us and go forward."

I actually know a guy that's part of the new ownership group and we had a pretty long talk about how this whole thing needs to be marketed properly. The person I know is not Mark Schlenker, but I'm a little surprised they're even thinking of going in this direction.

If it goes, I'd be genuinely pissed off.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-eamus-catuli-sign-0323-20120323,0,2515552.story

A familiar Wrigleyville sign recalling the Cubs' futile past may itself be a thing of the past.The well-known "Eamus Catuli!" sign and nearby numbers high atop the Lakeview Baseball Club building beyond Wrigley Field's right-field wall have been taken down for rooftop repairs, and the numbers may not be back.Mark Schlenker, part of the ownership group that bought the building and business out of bankruptcy in January, said Thursday that while "Eamus Catuli" likely will return, the numbers marking the years since the Cubs last won a division, pennant and World Series are being reconsidered."As the new owner, I respect the tradition of Wrigley Field," Schlenker said. "At the same time, I'm also open to new ideas. Someone presented to me that the sign shows futility and perhaps we need to put the past behind us and go forward."

I actually know a guy that's part of the new ownership group and we had a pretty long talk about how this whole thing needs to be marketed properly. The person I know is not Mark Schlenker, but I'm a little surprised they're even thinking of going in this direction. If it goes, I'd be genuinely pissed off.
I wouldn't be pissed off to see it go, but I'd rather it stayed. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging the reality of the situation and having some fun with it.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-eamus-catuli-sign-0323-20120323,0,2515552.story

A familiar Wrigleyville sign recalling the Cubs' futile past may itself be a thing of the past.The well-known "Eamus Catuli!" sign and nearby numbers high atop the Lakeview Baseball Club building beyond Wrigley Field's right-field wall have been taken down for rooftop repairs, and the numbers may not be back.Mark Schlenker, part of the ownership group that bought the building and business out of bankruptcy in January, said Thursday that while "Eamus Catuli" likely will return, the numbers marking the years since the Cubs last won a division, pennant and World Series are being reconsidered."As the new owner, I respect the tradition of Wrigley Field," Schlenker said. "At the same time, I'm also open to new ideas. Someone presented to me that the sign shows futility and perhaps we need to put the past behind us and go forward."

I actually know a guy that's part of the new ownership group and we had a pretty long talk about how this whole thing needs to be marketed properly. The person I know is not Mark Schlenker, but I'm a little surprised they're even thinking of going in this direction. If it goes, I'd be genuinely pissed off.
I want them to keep the numbers since the year after they win a world series every single Cubs fan will love seeing the 00's in all of those numbers. I will never want to put the past behind since that past is the reason that if they win a championship will be the best day for Cubs fans then any day for any sports fan in the world.

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Paul Maholm.

I like him a lot for this year. Nothing spectacular, just a solid under-the-radar type of pitcher.

Edited by Encyclopedia Brown

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Nationals and Braves interested in Marlon Byrd. Take him. I assume this would get Brett Jackson called up.

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Nationals and Braves interested in Marlon Byrd. Take him. I assume this would get Brett Jackson called up.

Unless they want to delay his clock. We could see a Campana/Sappelt/Johnson platoon if that is the case.

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Nationals and Braves interested in Marlon Byrd. Take him. I assume this would get Brett Jackson called up.

This tells me the Nats aren't all that ready to call Harper up.

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Nationals and Braves interested in Marlon Byrd. Take him. I assume this would get Brett Jackson called up.

Trade everyone over the age of 29.

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Barring trades in the next week it looks like we have our opening day Cubs almost figured out.

RF DeJesus

CF Byrd

LF Soriano

SS Castro

3B Stewart

2B Barney

1B LaHair

C Soto

BENCH - Clevenger, Mather, Baker, Dewitt, Johnson

SP - Dempster, Garza, Samardzija, Maholm, Volstad

RP - Marmol, Wood, Dolis, Russell

That leaves 3 spots probably all in the bullpen. Rodrigo Lopez looks like the long man. Corpas is probably in. That leaves one among Camp, De La Cruz, and Castillo. More roster moves too come since they need to create 40 man space (currently at 39) for Mather, Dewitt, and possibly a RP.

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Dale Sveum said this afternoon's Chicago Cubs lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers is likely a preview of his Opening Day lineup next Thursday against Washington.

DeJesus RF

Barney 2B

Castro SS

LaHair 1B

Soriano LF

Stewart 3B

Byrd CF

Soto C

Dempster P

I hope Soto proves quickly that he should be hitting higher in the lineup.

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I don't know too much about LaHair, but I know I like him better than Carlos Pena.

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I don't know too much about LaHair, but I know I like him better than Carlos Pena.

Wait a month

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I don't know too much about LaHair, but I know I like him better than Carlos Pena.

Wait a month
We'll see. My Carlos Pena hatred runs pretty deep. Sadly, now I have to watch him every day again instead of only once in a while on WGN.

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I don't know too much about LaHair, but I know I like him better than Carlos Pena.

Wait a month
I think LaHair could have a similar OPS. Everybody seems to think Pena is the better defender but only one side of that concerns me. Pena was a bad ball hit fielder and LaHair might actually be better. Yet Pena's ability to stab bad throws from his teammates could be a big loss. I expect Castro to improve and Stewart will be an upgrade of ARam but Pena saved a lot of errors last year. From what I have seen of LaHair, I don't him doing the same. We will have to wait for Rizzo for that to happen.

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I don't know too much about LaHair, but I know I like him better than Carlos Pena.

Wait a month
I think LaHair could have a similar OPS. Everybody seems to think Pena is the better defender but only one side of that concerns me. Pena was a bad ball hit fielder and LaHair might actually be better. Yet Pena's ability to stab bad throws from his teammates could be a big loss. I expect Castro to improve and Stewart will be an upgrade of ARam but Pena saved a lot of errors last year. From what I have seen of LaHair, I don't him doing the same. We will have to wait for Rizzo for that to happen.
LaHair is a nice story and I hope he succeeds for all the other late 20s bats trapped in AAAA purgatory. His strikeout rate against big league pitching is a concern. It won't take much for him to slip into Pena-territory.No matter what his makeup is, there's got to be tremendous pressure on him for his first real opportunity after over 2700 AAA PAs. Plus, there's Rizzo over his shoulder.

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I don't know too much about LaHair, but I know I like him better than Carlos Pena.

Wait a month
I think LaHair could have a similar OPS. Everybody seems to think Pena is the better defender but only one side of that concerns me. Pena was a bad ball hit fielder and LaHair might actually be better. Yet Pena's ability to stab bad throws from his teammates could be a big loss. I expect Castro to improve and Stewart will be an upgrade of ARam but Pena saved a lot of errors last year. From what I have seen of LaHair, I don't him doing the same. We will have to wait for Rizzo for that to happen.
LaHair is a nice story and I hope he succeeds for all the other late 20s bats trapped in AAAA purgatory. His strikeout rate against big league pitching is a concern. It won't take much for him to slip into Pena-territory.No matter what his makeup is, there's got to be tremendous pressure on him for his first real opportunity after over 2700 AAA PAs. Plus, there's Rizzo over his shoulder.
Yeah, he has to know if that he isn't hitting by June, his major league career could be over.

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I don't know too much about LaHair, but I know I like him better than Carlos Pena.

Wait a month
I think LaHair could have a similar OPS. Everybody seems to think Pena is the better defender but only one side of that concerns me. Pena was a bad ball hit fielder and LaHair might actually be better. Yet Pena's ability to stab bad throws from his teammates could be a big loss. I expect Castro to improve and Stewart will be an upgrade of ARam but Pena saved a lot of errors last year. From what I have seen of LaHair, I don't him doing the same. We will have to wait for Rizzo for that to happen.
LaHair is a nice story and I hope he succeeds for all the other late 20s bats trapped in AAAA purgatory. His strikeout rate against big league pitching is a concern. It won't take much for him to slip into Pena-territory.No matter what his makeup is, there's got to be tremendous pressure on him for his first real opportunity after over 2700 AAA PAs. Plus, there's Rizzo over his shoulder.
Yeah, he has to know if that he isn't hitting by June, his major league career could be over.
His name could be mispronounced in Japan by this time next year

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this is the year

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I love the Cubs, but really, they haven't been this bad since the Jerry Morales years. This season will be brutal.

"In Theo I trust" for the future though.

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I really feel bad for LaHair. The guy spends six years in AAA and then his back starts aching the week before his first MLB Opening Day. The guy can't catch a break.

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