Finally … – Cubs 10, Brewers 0

Game Fifty-Five – Cubs 10, Brewers 0
WP – Ryan Dempster (1-3) LP – Yovani Gallardo (4-5) Save – None

wflag.jpgRyan Dempster picked up his first win of the season and his first victory since August 11, 2011 (18 starts). To accentuate how it’s been since Ryan Dempster won a game, Dempster’s last victory came a day before Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker and a week before Jim Hendry’s firing was announced.

Ryan Dempster was perfect through five innings and left after allowing just three hits in seven innings. Dempster did not walk a batter and struck out three (3:1 strikeout to walk ratio) and threw 101 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Not only did Ryan Dempster end his streak but the Cubs ended their 11-game road losing streak (May 14 in St. Louis). The Cubs scored 10 runs on Tuesday night after scoring only six runs in the four game series in San Francisco. The 10 runs Tuesday night equaled the run output from the Cubs previous five road games.

The Cubs scored runs in five of the nine innings despite the fact they struck out 14 times Tuesday night … and two of the Cubs three home runs on the night came off Yovani Gallardo.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and a walk) hit his ninth homer of the season in the first inning. Soriano’s three-run shot appeared to relax the team and gave Dempster all of the run support he would need. Alfonso Soriano became the first Cub to hit home runs in eight straight series since Corey Patterson and Derrek Lee accomplished the feat in 2004.

Bryan LaHair (2-for-5 with a home run) also got off the snide Tuesday. LaHair hit his first home run since May 15 (11th of the season), a solo shot in the fourth that gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. The Cubs were 3-16 in the 19 games since LaHair hit his tenth home run.

Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a double and a run scored) had a big night at the plate and in the field after one of the worst games of his young career. David DeJesus (0-for-2 with a RBI, a sac bunt, two walks and three runs scored), Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a RBI) and Steve Clevenger (1-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) drove in runs and helped take away any doubt that two streaks would end on Tuesday night. Jeff Baker hit his first longball of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth pinch hitting for Shawn Camp. Baker’s fourth career pinch-hit homer plated the Cubs final two runs.

Shawn Camp and Jairo Asencio pitched the final two innings and helped preserve Dempster’s shutout.

Tuesday also marked the first time the Cubs beat a team other than the Padres in three weeks.

With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 19-36 on the season …

Yovani Gallardo struck out Tony Campana swinging to start the ballgame. Starlin Castro followed with a single to left center. David DeJesus showed his patience again and worked a walk.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in with two on and one down. Soriano took a slider for strike one then drove a fastball over the wall in right. The Cubs took a 3-0 lead on Soriano’s ninth longball of the season.

Bryan LaHair singled to right center on a 3-1 pitch but was stranded. Steve Clevenger flied out to left and Darwin Barney looked at strike three to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster sat down the Brewers in order in the first on 16 pitches, 12 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the second … Gallardo struck out the side.

Starlin Castro fielded three groundballs in the second as Dempster retired the Brewers in order (28 pitches, 20 for strikes).

The Cubs struck out swinging two more times in the third and quickly went down in order. Yovani Gallardo struck out six of the seven batters he faced from the end of the first through the third.

The bottom of the Brewers order did nothing against Ryan Dempster in the third. Dempster sat down the first nine batters he faced on 40 pitches, 27 for strikes.

Bryan LaHair led off the fourth with the Cubs first hit since his single in the first. LaHair reached down and lifted a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right. LaHair’s first longball since May 15 gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Gallardo refocused and struck out both Clevenger and Barney swinging (ninth strikeout for Gallardo) and retired Stewart on a pop out to left center to end the inning.

The Brewers did nothing against Dempster in the fourth.

After Ryan Dempster popped out to center to start the fifth, Tony Campana reached on an infield single to first. The inexperienced Corey Hart fielded the ball and tried to toss to Gallardo but the speedy Campana dove into first with an infield base knock. Campana took off for second on a 2-2 pitch to Castro. Starlin Castro ripped Gallardo’s outside pitch into right. Campana ended up at third with one out.

David DeJesus dropped a perfect bunt in between the mound and first base. Campana scampered home with the Cubs’ fifth run. With Castro at second, Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster retired the Brewers in order in the fifth (64 pitches, 44 strikes).

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth.

Cody Ransom led off the sixth with a single to left center (1-2 pitch) … the Brewers’ first hit and baserunner of the night. Martin Maldonado popped out to Barney for the first out. Nyjer Morgan hit for Gallardo and flied out to left center for the second out. Carlos Gomez lined Dempster’s first pitch into left. Dempster collected himself and retired Norichika Aoki on a pop out to left. Dempster threw 80 pitches in six innings, 55 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh. Manny Parra struck out Stewart, Dempster and Campana in order.

Ryan Braun led off the Brewers’ seventh with a double to left (1-2 pitch). Ian Stewart made an excellent play on a grounder up the third base line off the bat of Corey Hart. Braun held at second. Taylor Green fouled out to Clevenger and Weeks grounded out to short (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Dempster threw 101 pitches over seven innings, 68 for strikes.

After seven, the Cubs led 5-0.

Starlin Castro led off the eighth with a double to left center off Manny Parra. David DeJesus hit a blooper to the hole at short. Cody Ransom fielded the ball and caught Castro too far off the bag. Castro was eventually tagged out. DeJesus advanced to second and Sveum came out to ask if Castro was tagged. After a meeting of the minds, the umps confirmed that Castro was tagged for the first out. Alfonso Soriano looked at Parra’s first two offerings. Parra’s third pitch got away from Maldonado. DeJesus advanced to third on a wild pitch and Parra issued ball four intentionally to Soriano. LaHair struck out swinging for the second out.

Steve Clevenger reached out and punched a 1-2 pitch from Parra into center. DeJesus scored the Cubs’ sixth run of the night. Ron Roenicke went to his pen and brought in Tim Dillard to face Darwin Barney.

With runners on first and second with two down, Barney blooped a single to right that fell in front of Aoki. Soriano scored as Clevenger appeared to be caught in a run down. Clevenger paused to make sure Soriano scored, then ran toward third. Taylor Green ran Clevenger back toward second. Green flipped the ball to Ransom. Clevenger realized no one was covering third and was called safe after he beat Ransom to third (replays showed Clevenger was indeed tagged by Ransom). With runners on second and third, Dillard intentionally walked Ian Stewart to load the bases.

Adrian Cardenas hit for Ryan Dempster and walked on four pitches. Clevenger scored the Cubs’ eighth run. Campana grounded out to first to end the inning.

Shawn Camp took over in the eighth. Cody Ransom singled to center. George Kottaras hit for Maldonado and drove a 2-1 pitch into left for a double. Camp retired the next three batters he faced … Brooks Conrad (struck out swinging), Carlos Gomez (popped out to second) and Norichika Aoki (grounded out to first) went down in order to end the inning.

Lefty Juan Perez took over for the Brewers in the ninth. Starlin Castro lined out to second for the first out. David DeJesus walked then trotted home when Jeff Baker crushed a 2-2 pitch from Perez into the second deck beyond the left field wall. Baker’s first homer of the season and fourth career pinch-hit homer put the Cubs up 10-0. LaHair and Clevenger grounded out to second to end the inning.

Jairo Asencio issued a one-out, four-pitch walk to Corey Hart in the ninth but that was all. Rickie Weeks popped out to Castro to end the game … Cubs Win!

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Paul Maholm is scheduled to face Zack Greinke in game two Wednesday night.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Aaron

    What  a tremendous start by Dempster….I was hoping for the no-no, but it was a tremendous start nonetheless.

    I wanted to comment on the draft though. I posted the stats of all of the college guys selected today in an earlier post….

    But what I wanted to point out was a majority of the pitchers selected are pitching low 90’s versus mid (what I consider 94-96) to upper (97+) 90’s. The stated goal was to grab “power arms” and “power bats”, and about the only guy that fits that description is Duane Underwood. A couple of the pitchers were said to have “touched” 96 mph, but “sat in the 92-94 mph range”. I do NOT classify that as a quote-unquote “power arm”. Power arms are guys like Jake Barrett, Kyle Zimmer, Mark Appel, Kevin Gausman, etc. 

    You really have to decode what scouts are really saying. They use such words as “raw power”, “raw talent”, “athletic body”, “can touch _____mph”…All they’re trying to say is, “I am completely shooting in the dark here with my projections….this guy could develop into a power hitter, an above average player, a stolen base guy, or he can develop velocity as he adds more muscle/weight”….that’s all they’re really saying. 

    One of the things I always blasted Hendry and his regime for was their propensity to draft/acquire/FA signings of guys that were coming off career years, and had no track record of success, or guys that had the so-called “athletic body”, and it usually ended in disaster. All they ever seemed to do was over-promise/over-project and under-deliver every single time. I do realize that most teams out there do the same things, but I have actually read other team’s projections for their own prospects/draftees in recent seasons, and I must say that they are generally more conservative with their projections than the Cubs ever have been. And a vast majority of teams out there go for the consistent performers. That’s why I was so excited with Theo’s original press conference when he was talking about going after those type of players, and how they wanted “grinders”, etc. But their draft picks and trades thus far have been lackluster at best, and egregious at worst.

    I really hope I’m wrong about this draft, and I hope I’m wrong about their trades/FA signings thus far, but just look at them….what trade has worked out for them thus far? Rizzo? Sorry, he’s still at AAA. Wood/Sappelt/Torreyes? Sorry….nope. DeJesus? Maybe…if you like his OBP, otherwise he’s not adding much of anything, and has come back to earth after finally catching fire a few weeks ago. Kerry Wood? Retired (though, I will agree with most out there that this was a Ricketts-driven signing). Re-upping with Baker, Johnson, and DeWitt? Sorry, Baker has been dreadful, DeWitt is injured and already been DFA’d, and Johnson has been about as dreadful as Baker. Byrd trade? Bowden already DFA’d (though Byrd clearly had to go). Maholm? Now has ERA in the 5+range. Am I making my point? 

    Trust but verify is what every single fan out there should be doing with this team. It is simply not a very good team, and you have to look hard at the Marshall trade as one of the primary culprits. With Wood and Marmol struggling early on, and Russell without any legitimate late-game experience, Marshall could’ve proved very useful for this team, and the record might very well be about .500 even at this point. The fact is, the Cubs were entering the season with Dempster, Garza, Maholm, Samardzija, Volstad, and a group consisting of Lopez/Rusin/Jay Jackson/etc. for added depth. Why was the trade for Wood/Sappelt/Torreyes needed?

    I’m just looking at a slew of highly questionable moves, and it has continued through this draft. I sincerely hope they get this right, and I will be the first to admit I made a mistake if the group of low 90’s pitchers they just selected pans out….I’m just not buying it

    Also, the only hitter to even get excited about outside of Almora might be Rashad Crawford, and supposedly he’s unlikely to sign. You could make the case for Stephen Bruno, but he’s yet another pint-sized player at 5’9″, and doesn’t project to give them much of anything with a lack of power and lack of high-end speed. 

    Again, I hope I’m wrong, but I’m just going off the facts (stats), scouting video, and scouting reports, and it doesn’t look that good.

    I was even blinded by the stats I posted on some of the guys, until I realized that a good portion of them transferred to lower divisions in college ball after failing in Division I ball. Combine that with their low 90’s stuff, and you begin to see that they were getting hammered with better competition, then when they went to JC, community college, or NAIA, they suddenly “dominated” (though that was debatable too). It’d be like a MLB guy or even a AAA guy struggling at that level, then going down to low-A ball, and crushing the competition.

    Research, baby!….That’s what I go off of, and history is on my side.

    • Michael

      You make valid points, but Marshall would have not helped us get anywhere near .500. He was a great late inning arm for us, but he was in a contract year and Cubs mgmt didn’t want to have to re-up w a late game lefty for big money.
      I liked Marshall a lot but in comparison his numbers are less adequate to Russell’s so far this year.

    • Tony_Hall

      What is the normal percentage of players that actually sign? 

      With the new CBA, rounds 7-10 became boring rounds, and starting with round 11, teams started to go for more upside.  I don’t expect the guys in 7-10 to be signed above slot, most likely the minimum if they sign.  As with all rule changes, teams try to figure out ways to make the system work for what they are trying to accomplish.

      As far as trades go, I’ll take Rizzo for Cashner again.
      Cashner – 26 IP – 3.81 ERA – 1.50 WHIP

      I would like Sean Marshall on my team, but the stats so far don’t say we lost this trade to date.

      Sean Marshall – 20.1 IP – 3.54 ERA – 1.328 WHIP
      Travis Wood – 23.2 IP – 4.56 ERA – 1.086 WHIP

      Wood has had one bad start, Marshall has blown a few saves.  Plus Russell has been a more than adequate replacement for Marshall.

      James Russell – 25 IP – 1.80 ERA – 1.320 WHIP

      • cubtex

        Again….another example on how stats don’t tell the story. James Russell is not even close to what Sean Marshall is. Small sample size.

        • paulcatanese

          Whats interesting is an article from the ESPN magazine I mentioned to you by Jim Caple.

          Closer’s are overated in his opinion. Pabelbon will earn 50 mil over the next four seasons and as Apr. 25 is tied for seventh among active closers. 86.6% conversion rate.

          Retrosheet founder Dave Smith points out that throughout baseball history, teams leading by one run after the eigth inning have won 85.7%
          of games. Rarely because of a closer.That was stats from 1944 to 2003.

          Yanks have won 97.2% of games it led in the 9th since 1997 with Rivera.
          Pirates have won 94.7% of those games with
          Article goes on to say it’s a waste of time.

          What was interesting to me was managers go with highly paid closers and use lower paid middle relievers when the game is truly on the line.
          Example; Phillies bring out a middle man paid 505,000 a year hoping to keep the game in check. Goes on to say that only then can Papelbon justify is$11 mil. Salary by saving a lead in the ninth.

          As the article say’s in recap; Good team or bad, overpaid closer or bullpen by committee,
          when you lead going into the ninth, you ususally win.

          That’s what the article indicated, but when one has a closer like Marmol, its all a waste of money.

          • Tony_Hall

            Good article on why it is so hard to justify spending big dollars on closers or set-up guys.

          • John_CC

             Good stuff, Paul.  Not having read the article seems like going with the dreaded committee of your best matchup relievers would actually be the best route if a team does not have a true shutdown closer i.e. Rivera.  Just let the best guy pitch in the situation and try to relieve the pressure of the almighty Save. It is that, or name one guy your “Closer” even though he is not close to a true Closer, i.e. Dolis, Russell etc.  That is putting a player in a position to fail, in my opinion by putting unnecessary pressure on him. 

        • Tony_Hall

          I believe I stated that it was a small sample size and that I preferred Marshall with statements like this:

          “I would like Sean Marshall on my team…”
          “the stats so far…”
          “…this trade to date”

          We have an image of Marshall from his last few years, but he has not been as successful with the Reds yet.

      • cubs1967

        last time i checked marshall was 8 for 9 in saves, so that would not be a few blown saves.  his xFIP is around 2.50, same as last 2 years plus over 12K/ per 9 IP.  wood did not even make it up here till a few weeks ago so we really have not got much out of him. it’s marshall be a landslide. (marshall also had 1 bad inning so let’s compare apples to apples).

        saffelt is barely hitting .225.  torreyes is freakin under .200 in high A so those 2 look like never gonna be major leaguers at this point.

        and marshall is 29, in his prime and home grown.  there was NO reason to move him.
        russell has been effective using him against lefties, he cannot get righties out like marshalll can.

        as far as rizzo goes, as soon as he comes up and does something we call judge that trade, right now he is only AAA roster filler.

        cashner and marshall were “assets’ to use team theo speak, the only asset back is rizzo. how is that making the team better?……….or wait; the cubs are on pace to win 50 some games……..maybe the goal was to tank the season.

        • Tony_Hall

          Sorry for saying saves, let’s call them blown games…

          Marshall had 1 bad inning…seems similar to a bad game.

          To say we lost the trades you mention at this point is premature…to say we won these trades is also premature.  

          Rizzo is AAA roster filler…tell that to Dave Bialas, I bet he will say he is a little more than AAA roster filler…guys like Edgar Gonzalez were AAA roster fillers.

        • daverj

          If you read the Padres fan boards, you will find that they are very upset about the Rizzo/Cashner deal and think that Theo swindled the Pads.  Of course, just because the Pads fans feel that the Cubs got the much better end of the deal, that doesn’t make it true … we won’t know for a couple years.  Way too early to judge that deal either way.

    • Guest

      The 2011 Cubs season was derailed when there was zero starting pitching depth. Theo increased the org’s pitching depth by acquiring T Wood which sacrificed bullpen depth. There is no way Sean Marshall would be worth 17 more wins this season…that would suggest he should be NL MVP. I will take Travis Wood and team control of him through 2016 or 2017 over one year of Sean Marshall any day. T Wood is not great by any means but he is a young lefty who has a mixture of success and failure at the MLB level. I am willing to take a chance that he can have some more success in the 5 years of team control and be able to provide some depth at the back end of the rotation on the cheap for years. You have to look beyond 2012 alone to evaluate the trade (in my opinion). Anything Torreyes and Sappelt can provide is gravy.

      I see a lot of criticism of the moves or draft picks but no suggestions on what would be better- except by listing Zimmer and Gausman (two players the Cubs didn’t have a chance to draft), Appel (one chance to draft) and Barrett. I also am open to the idea that some of the 18 year old pitchers will be able to throw harder at 22 than 18. I also think any player throwing high heat who projects well is not available much after the first couple of rounds. This management team has had some success in drafting major leaguers (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Lester Papelbon) and I will acknowledge there are plenty of no names they drafted over the past few years as well (including Michael Bowden). Given the track record, I am willing to give their in person evaluations some credence over looking at clips on the internet.

      • Tedtop16

        Neil: I think that it would be really interesting to see what the draft choices represented by Boras do in terms of signing and how much money they are asking and how much they are going to get over the slotted amounts. It seems that this draft is going to be a test between Boras and the slotting amounts that Reinsdorf and Bud Selig have set up. Excuse the spelling of names, but I hope that you get my idea. I know that other sports have done this, but I think baseball may have shot themselves in the foot on this one. There is not enough money allocated for the number of draft choices that baseball takes. What is it 40 rounds?  Think of the Phillies talking about taking their total pool of money and using it only on their top 10 draft choices. I wouldn’t want to be draft choice number 11 for the Phillies.

  • SuzyS

    Here’s a thought….what happens if they draft just one position…ie pitchers…and don’t have enough position players to field a team…say at low A ball???  Undrafted free agents????

    • Aaron

      Yes, plus you’re forgetting about the DSL teams 1 and 2 and EXST teams, which usually morph into the Mesa and Boise squads.

      I know I’m being a bit of a Debbie Downer, but given the fact Almora is represented by Boras, and how he’s screwed the system before with causing guys to not sign when they’re picked high, I wouldn’t put it past him that he’s advising Almora to go to Miami, which has been a powerhouse in the past, get more muscle/weight on, then go #1 overall in 3 years. Almora wasn’t exactly overjoyed being selected by the Cubs, and you could hear it in his answers. All he said was he’s just happy a MLB team selected him. Just about every first round pick we’ve had in recent years has said something about the Cubs, whether it be looking forward to play at Wrigley, or the rich history of the team, etc….Almora didn’t say any of that. In his initial interview, he didn’t even mention the Cubs by name. It was only after reporters questioned him the next day about his comments indicating he’d go to school.

      I also believe Boras intends to make an example out of the new CBA (much like Drew Rosenhaus…power agent in the NFL did when they switched the rules, when he pushed guys to hold out), which he despises, and he will, unfortunately, be using a young player like Almora to do so. The only possible way that Boras gets what he wants, is by doing exactly that….steering young men away from signing. Unfortunately, guys like Correa (I believe), Appel, and Almora are nothing but pawns in his overall end-game.

      If that happens, then this year will screw over the franchise more than anyone knows, because of the way the system is structured, and how you can’t go overslot, etc.

      The reason I say that, is if they had an inkling that he might not sign, they likely would’ve drafted some high ceiling position talent in the supplemental, and likely first few rounds after that, hoping to go $1 million plus with those guys and get them to forego college, or their senior years. But they settled for lesser talent in those rounds, because they knew they’d have to pay more for Almora. Hopefully I’m making sense. For a complete recap of the spending limits, and what that does to everyone, I’d suggest reading AZ Phil’s write-up from a couple days ago on TCR.

      Thus far, my predictions about a week ago for the way the draft would shake out are proving true. I said the high school guys and college juniors would be selected early, then from about the 10th rounds or so and on, you’d see almost exclusively college seniors, or guys they know beyond a shadow of a doubt would sign. The reason for that, again, is the penalties assessed if you go overslot past the 10th round. 

      I think it’s a very shady system, and you kind of wonder what is going on behind the scenes that will come out in future years. This hurts EVERYONE involved….from fans of MLB teams to fans of MiLB teams to organizations themselves to the players…The quality of competition is effected in ways I do not believe they really thought through. For instance, if you have a system full of college seniors without much upside, then the minor league system is effected, all the way up to the MLB team in a few years after that. The teams won’t have nearly as many “high ceiling” guys that generated excitement among fans both in the minors and majors, and thus, you’re watering down the entire game. Make sense? Couple that with the spending limits on international free agents, and it gets even worse, though if you were to make a case for spending limits, that would be the first place MLB should have gone, versus the amateur draft, because not only did you see a lot of fraud and abuse with international free agency, but you saw a decided advantage (which Bryce Harper correctly pointed out) that they could start their pro careers at age 16, when a majority of US-born kids couldn’t start until they were finished with high school, leaving them about 2 years short in pro development.

      If you want to talk about “fairness”, then the international spending is what should have been examined. What Selig and his cronies (meaning owners like Reinsdorf that he has in his back pocket) do NOT realize is that they are NOT the NFL. The amateur draft in baseball is unique. Why? Because in the NFL draft, the guys that get selected do not go back to school, thus they have no leverage. In baseball, you have two, and possibly three points of leverage (high school senior, college draft eligible sophomore, and college junior). In all 3 cases, the guys can claim they’re going back to school, and the MLB teams would believe them. Thus, by creating a slotting system like they just did, MLB is creating a headache for everyone involved…..EXCEPT for the NCAA (and don’t think for a minute they didn’t have a hand in all of this with all their cash/influence). High school guys like Dillon Maples will no longer be able to consider a pro career earlier than they otherwise might have, because they can’t get $1 million plus to sign. 

      Let me put this into layman’s terms for everyone:

      10th round slot for the Cubs was $125,000

      College costs=$120,000 for 4 years (using $30k/year as a baseline)

      NCAA baseball teams, if memory serves me correctly are allotted 11 full-rides to be used entirely or split up among their squads. Let’s just say they split up the full-rides in half to serve 22 guys on the team. That means the total value of the money for guys to go to college, or to finish college would be…

      College benefit=$60,000 for 4 years (using $15k/year as a baseline)

      If you knew that you could continue on with your college, possibly earn a degree, AND improve your draft stock for your sophomore year (if 21), junior, and senior years, then you have to examine the cost/benefit, and college clearly wins here.

      If you look at the Cubs draft this year, if they weren’t selecting college seniors, they were selecting guys that didn’t appear to have ties to any colleges, having attended multiple schools in some cases. What they probably determined was that they’d sign, rather than move to yet another school, and that was a calculated risk they made. However, if you have guys that have a UNC, Miami, Florida, Oregon State, Texas, etc. scholarship in their hands, and they know they’re only getting $100-200k from the 6th round on at most, then you can forget about signing them….it’s just not smart business to accept that money and forego a degree along with potentially improving draft stock.

      Also, if memory serves me correctly, teams will now have to factor in ALL benefits received, meaning if Almora wants the Cubs to pay for his education, then it’s now factored into the overall monetary allotment for that slot. So, if his slot is $3.25 million, it just became $3.37 million (using my example above)

      It completely changes the overall quality of the game, player development, etc.

      • cubs1967

        almora was on the Score yesterday; he kept saying over and over again……..i’m going to miami.

        in the end, the new draft system was not needed, but uncle bud is a clown and he listens to the fool on the south side, reinsdorf, who cannot field a minor league system to save his life, so this is the “mess? we are given.

        • Aaron

           The reason the system changed…and I mentioned this yesterday, was because the “fat cats” (ie.-Yankees, Red Sox, etc.) complained about the money they had to dish out to get some guys signed, in addition to their already bloated payrolls. To put it simply, what small market teams were doing is fielding teams—for the most part—that were in the $40-60 million range, then spending $20 million on the draft and international free agency. Big market teams, on the other hand were spending $140-200 million on payrolls, then in order to compete with the small market teams for amateur talent, you’d be asking them to take payrolls up to the $160-220 million range, and that’s not what they could do. While some may believe that teams make money hand over fist, that’s just not the case. When your payroll is already bloated, and you have maintenance costs with facilities, etc., you cannot afford to be spending that much on amateur talent every year. But with the revenue sharing, small market teams were able to skirt the system in ways big market teams couldn’t, and still make a huge profit.

      • Tony_Hall

        Do you know how long a team has to wait to give a new contract to a drafted player?  Or do they have to wait until they are on the 25 man roster?

        Are their any rules about players getting contracts with companies, like Nike, Adidas or TD Ameritrade? 

        I think the new rules are going to make for a lot of creative deals happening to get the money necessary to the players.

        • Aaron

           I think it’s July 17th or something like that…don’t have time to look-up, and as for “creative deals”, you can forget about that. I wouldn’t put it past some teams to do under-handed things like passing money along through other channels, but as for actual sponsors, etc., that ain’t gonna happen

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks, but that is not what I was asking.

            Player X gets drafted and signs by July 17th.  When can they give that player a “new” contract?  1 year? 2 years? upon being added to the 40 man?  upon being added to the 25 man?   

          • Aaron

             They can’t do that, and while the CBA rules don’t explicitly prohibit that, I don’t see any possible way you’d see that happen, because it’d have to be contractual (at least if I’m the player, that’s what I’m wanting…for it to be in writing, and that IS PROHIBITING in the new CBA), so what you’re inferring is a handshake agreement would be in place there, and there’s no player in his right mind that would agree to that, knowing the team could easily renege on the commitment, leaving the player with no recourse, and thus holding the bag.

        • John_CC

           It is July 17, as Aaron said.

          • Neil

            The deadline to have the draft picks signed this year is July 13. Beginning next year the deadline is July 15. The 15th is a Sunday this year

          • John_CC

             thanks for clarifying.

      • SuzyS

         Aaron, It seems to me that the implications of the new cba…in regards to draft rules/slotting were not well thought out….And I’m in agreement that the system will need tweaking…reformulation…as it really does hamstring ALL teams in talent acquisition…which is the life-blood of the game.

        What if they held a draft…and nobody signed??? (None of the TOP talent…anyway.)…How long would it take for mlb to react and change the rules???

        I believe the basic premise…the talent in the majors should be paid the most…far more than the minors…But the reality of large signing bonuses left the dock years ago…once out there…it is extremely hard to retrieve…(see pandora’s box).

        Right now, this is much larger than impacting the Cubs…but we are indeed heading into a maelstrom.

        • SuzyS

           Addendum…If I were an agent…I would test the system immediately for weaknesses…and advice ALL of my clients NOT to sign…in order to try and get thew cba changed.

  • paulcatanese

    The most perfect play I took out of yesterday’s game was DeJesus laying down a saftey squeeze bunt with Campana on third, executed beautifly by DeJesus, an easy score for Campana. Done by the book.

  • Aaron

    I like the pick the Cubs just made in the 18th round:
    David Bote, SS, JUCO-.419 avg, .475 OBP, 15 doubles, 4 triples, 6 hr, 50 RBI, 20 SB

  • John_CC

    Aaron, I read the stats of all the pitchers the Cubs took late in the draft, thanks for putting them altogether I would never have looked all that up.

    Anyway, I guess I read into it differently.  What I saw was a list of pitchers that all shared the same trait: control.  They all have very high K/BB ratios, gave up few hits and have resulting low WHIPS.  I’m not very familiar with scouting young pitchers or how teams look at young pitchers, maybe the stats all look like this list.  But it seems to me that McLeod et al have pursued a type of pitcher that they can further develop.  Maybe I’m all wrong, but if I’m not I see them going after pitchers that know how to pitch rather than kids that give an initial WOW impression because they are young and can throw a baseball very hard.  I personally would rather take a crop of 18 year old pitchers that throw 90 with excellent control than a bunch that throw 95 without command but piled up the Ks because not many HS kids can make contact with 95mph heaters.

    My take only.  Thanks again for the work, it’s been fun following this draft.

    • Aaron

       I’d agree that control matters…but just ask around baseball…see if anyone, including fans, actually values Coleman (who might be putting things together in the pen now at 94 mph I’ve seen him hit), or Shawn Camp, and the vast majority of people would look at you like you belong in an institution.

      Guys that throw 92-94 mph are a dime a dozen…seriously. Look around Division I programs, and just about every single one of their right-handers gets it up to the 92-94 mph range, and I’m not kidding you. Division II is less, and NAIA is even less than that, but how many Division I programs are there? Exactly….See what I’m saying? A pitching staff consists of about 13 guys or more at the college level (some two-way players account for that). If about 8 of them are righties, I’d bet 7 of the 8 can hit that range. How many of them will make it pro?

      The difference in velocity is HUGE, and I’ve experienced that myself. When I was sitting in the 86-88 mph range, guys were still tagging me pretty good in the summer leagues, then as I put on more muscle/weight the velocity jumped to 93 mph, and all of a sudden I was lights out in NAIA ball, but then I went back to summer ball and was playing with a bunch of Division I guys, and while I wasn’t getting lit up, they were putting a charge into my 93 mph fastball, and I had to throw more changeups (which I rarely had to do during the season…especially as the closer) and breaking balls just to keep them from getting extra base hits.

      Hopefully I’m making sense here drawing the correlation between velocity and the type of level you happen to be playing at.

      In fact, here’s how I would judge above average fastballs (for righties) in each league:
      JUCO/Community College-90+mph
      Division III-86+mph
      Division II-90+mph
      Division I-93+mph (range technically 92-94 from coaches I’ve talked to, including my own observations as player at NAIA level and pitching coach at the Division II level)

      If you look at quite a few of the pitchers they’ve selected, you’ll see that a good handful of them actually transferred to lower divisions. Can you see how that improves your stats just by looking at the mph I listed above?

      • John_CC

        I understand what you are saying, and I am not disagreeing about velocity. But a guy has to have control with his velocity or he won’t make it out of AA.  There are very few Starsburgs, Chapmans, Lincecum, etc. you get the point.  Heck, look at Shark, he could always light up the gun but before this year we were all ready to give up on him becoming a starter.

        I’ll take it that the majority of Div 1 pitchers are in the 92-94mph range, but so are the majority of MLB starters.  The guys that can throw 95-97 consistently as starters – and command it – are not the norm.  So if you stock your system with 18 year olds that can hit 90-92 with excellent control, the hope would be that as they mature and put on muscle in the pros that the velocity will go up a few ticks as it did with you. Now you have maybe a few guys that are 20-21 and hitting the 93-95 range and hopefully still commanding the pitches.

        Does that make sense from a development stand point?  I mean you are pitching coach, not me.

        • Aaron

           That makes sense…control does matter, but unless you have cases I outlined the other day  regarding velocity, you simply cannot teach size or velocity. A starter throwing 90-92 mph as a righty is going to get torched in MLB, unless he has an other-worldly changeup or cut fastball, etc., and those guys are rare.

          The Cubs have some guys in their system that can bring it….what they need to do is develop those guys further and refine their mechanics…they just released one of them I had high hopes for…the converted 3B Charles Thomas who routinely was throwing 96-98 mph.

          They need to stop signing the Rodrigo Lopez’s, Shawn Camp’s, etc. of this world that are righties throwing in the high 80’s. It’s a very rare occasion when you see guys like that have success at the MLB level.

          Did you notice how even the great Greg Maddux struggled late in his career, even though he still had pin-point control—because he could no longer hit low 90’s consistently with his fastball. How rare was Greg Maddux? Do you get my point as well?

          Starters that hit 94+mph consistently are a rare breed indeed, but yet those are precisely the guys at the top of nearly every rotation out there, and why the Cubs hold Garza and Samardzija in such high regard…guys like them just don’t grow on trees. My whole point in my review of the pitching they selected was to point out the fact that they could’ve…and should’ve done better with those selections, especially with their stated goal of getting “power arms”. Their picks just won’t cut the mustard in my opinion…again, it’s only my opinion, and I’ve been wrong before, but as I said…facts are facts (stats), and the fact that a lot of the pitching they selected dropped down to lesser divisions after getting lit up in the higher divisions…coupled with their lack of overall velocity (in my opinion, again)….really speaks volumes about the type of talent they’re getting (or lack thereof)

  • John_CC

    I hate to say it, but I agree with Rogers on this, his thinking makes sense!

    (point 1.),0,2680755.story

    • Tony_Hall

      The Cubs will sign Almora.  He could be in Peoria very soon, and go through the system in the next 3 years, developing against professional pitchers with a wood bad, versus facing college pitchers with an aluminum bat and then having to spend a couple of years in the minors.  

      In 3 years of college he can not make more money by going #1, then he can make by making the majors at a younger age.  The players that make the most money in MLB, usually hit FA while still in their late 20’s versus the guys that hit FA in their 30’s.  

      This is a no brainer for him, but kudos to using the leverage he has right now…smart kid…smart agent.

      • Aaron

         Tony, that’s not how arbitration works. Yes, he’d get there faster, assuming he makes it to MLB in 3 years, but the first 3 years a player is in MLB, he’s earning league minimum with minor raises, usually in the $425k-525k range. Spread that out over 3 years, and that equals about $1.5 million. Now, add that to the slotted amount at #6, and you’re at about $4.7 million.

        If I recall correctly, the #1-3 picks get slotted between $4-6 million…I could be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that’s the case.

        Therefore, if you get in the top 3, you’d earn between $5.7-7.7 million in that same time frame.

        Does that make sense? Yes, you’d be more advanced for your age if you signed now, and speed up the process of reaching arbitration, but you’d be foregoing about $1 million and more by signing now.

        I couldn’t disagree more with Rogers’ column. I read that earlier today and just shook my head. Does he even realize how powerful and egotistical Boras really is? I’ve had friends in baseball that have crossed paths with him, and to say that he’s a shyster would be an understatement. He could care less about the players themselves, which is why he’s lost a lot of high profile clients over the years. He’s all about himself…completely self-serving in EVERYTHING that he does.

        So don’t think for a moment that he wants to get all buddy-buddy with Ricketts based on a few years from now as Rogers suggests. That’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard. He said similar things a few years ago when the Cubs were spending big, and suggested the Cubs go after some of his lesser clients, anticipating “steering” from Boras with his other clients. That is NOT how Boras works at all…he’s looking to maximize his commission NOW…and if he screws over some kid’s life to prove a greater point–that he’s not to be messed with, then so be-it.

        NOTHING that Almora has said gives me any indication whatsoever that this is all about posturing. Hell, Correa is being advised by Boras, and you don’t hear him posturing. Now, if he doesn’t sign this week as has been indicated, then I’ll maybe believe Almora is posturing.

        What Boras does, according to friends of mine that have dealt with him is he sits down with player and family, and asks them about their goals. He’ll say, “where do you want to be 3,4,5 years from now?” Then, he asks a few more questions, then has his little lemmings put together a binder for the player and family, along with what they can do physically to reach their goals (ie.-adding velocity, muscle, power, etc.), including financials, and gives them the opportunity to train at his facilities. Then he puts together another binder for teams, and throws out RIDICULOUS comparisons to Hall of Famers, etc., and always uses height/weight/age and handedness for comparisons, and if the player has enough verifiable stats available, then he’ll include those (usually college players), then he’ll compare and contrast those players at the same age in their respective careers to the Hall of Famers and All-Stars.

        It’s absolutely ludicrous, as I mentioned, but teams actually buy into that, and when he doesn’t get his way, he bypasses, and goes up the chain directly to Presidents and owners (who must sign off anyhow, but he does it earlier)

        I hope I’m wrong, and Rogers is right here….but Rogers is almost never correct, which is how he’s earned the nickname “Wrong Way”

        • Tony_Hall

          If he signs now, he will get to arbitration sooner and then FA sooner then if he goes to college for 3 years and still has to spend a couple of years in the minors.  He will make more money, by signing now, then going to college.  

          Boras will do all that you say, but I really don’t believe Almora has been training to play college baseball as much as training to be a professional baseball player. 

          He will get over slot money from the Cubs (by savings on other  players who won’t require slot money), and in the end he will take the money and start his professional career.

          Also, I don’t buy into what Rogers said about gaining favor with the Cubs…Boras just don’t care about that.

          • Aaron

             I think the Cubs might’ve just given us an indication of what they think might happen with Almora.

            They just selected a CF that committed to Vanderbilt at the age of 15 in the 25th round….which is a next to impossible sign.

            Again…my opinion only, but couldn’t that possibly be the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” here, where after 3 days of speaking to Almora, his family, and Boras (which teams are already doing), they might’ve come to the realization that it is a very real possibility they won’t sign him. By selecting an “impossible sign” like Wiseman in the 25th round when they clearly are lacking in position players with this draft really says something….might be wrong, but who knows?

          • Neil

            Or they could try to blow him a way with a signing bonus. After the 10th round, teams are not penalized under the new rules.

            Take a look at what the Jays did yesterday.

            Also, I am hearing/reading Almora will sign but for overslot with the bonus starting with a 4.

          • cc002600

             could you imagine the PR “egg on their face” if cubs don’t sign this guy ?

            Holy cow

            can’t imagine it not happening

          • John_CC

             Blow who away?  The 25th rounder? The signing bonus for Almora certainly counts in the allotted slot limit, right?

          • Aaron

            Neil, I hate to correct you, but here are the rules:
            “Each Club will be assigned an aggregate Signing Bonus Pool prior to each draft. For the purpose of calculating the Signing Bonus Pools, each pick in the first 10 rounds of the draft has been assigned a value. (These values will grow each year with the rate of growth of industry revenue.) A Club’s Signing Bonus Pool equals the sum of the values of that Club’s selections in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Players selected after the 10th round do not count against a Club’s Signing Bonus Pool if they receive bonuses up to $100,000. Any amounts paid in excess of $100,000 will count against the Pool.”b. Penalties for exceeding the Signing Bonus Pool are:Excess of Pool Penalty – (Tax on Overage/Draft Picks)* 0-5% – 75% tax on overage* 5-10% – 75% tax on overage and loss of 1st round pick* 10-15% – 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st and 2nd round picks* 15%+ – 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st round picks in next two drafts

            The Cubs 2012 draft pool allotment for the first 10 rounds is a hair over $7.9 million. With possibly $4 million committed to Almora as you say, and an additional $4.55 million for the rest of the picks as per my calculations on slot money, you’re already above your $7.9 million limit, and thus you pay dollar for dollar over that, plus they’d be in the dangerous territory of exceeding that limit.

            Do they have to pay slot money to everyone? No. Will some not sign? Sure, but according to the rules, that money does NOT get added back, as per my understanding, and thus, it behooves a team to pre-determine if they’re signable, then try to sign everyone in their draft pool.

            The Cubs will NOT be able to offer Wiseman overslot, because his money would count against the pool for 1-10 rounds, so only the initial $100k in his bonus wouldn’t count against it, but you’re already looking at $8.5 million and some change to sign everyone else, so signing Wiseman would cost at least $1.5 million probably, which, in turn means that they’d be in the $10 million range, and they’d have exceeded the allotment by over 20%, which means they lose their next 2 first round picks, plus pay a dollar for dollar penalty.

          • Neil

            Aaron, no worries … you know me by now.

            That is the way I understood the rules worked as well. I am hearing rumblings that teams have found some loopholes in the new system to work with. I am curious if those rumblings are real or just made up.

            Thank you for posting in both threads.

        • daverj

          The Boras criticism (not from you specifically, but in general) always bugs me.  The man is successful at what he does and often gets huge (and sometimes unexpected) contracts for his clients.  On occasion his tactics backfire, but no strategy works 100% of the time, and it sure appears that on average, his clients do better financially.  Unless Boras has violated his duties of loyalty or care to his clients (like making or rejecting deals without a client’s consent) or broken laws, I will continue to admire his abilities to maximize returns for his clients.  He’s a hired gun and a good one … that’s his job and capitalists everywhere should admire him.

          • Aaron

            he’s like a snake oil salesman….and even worse, a politician because of his strong-arm tactics. I do NOT respect people like that

  • Aaron

    Just an FYI, while we’re dealing with lesser competition again, just like their selection with Bote that I mentioned, Damek Tomscha has a pretty intriguing line, even if it is community college:
    .377 avg, .444 OBP, 11 doubles, 5 triples, 14 hr, 59 RBI, and 7 SB (which for a 3B built like he is….lot of muscle) is pretty impressive. If you put his name in youtube, you’ll find some nice video on the kid, and he looks pretty good…also pitched