The Daily CCO: It’s Time for Mendy to Play and Other Cubs News and Notes

Not only did the Cubs begin a 10-game homestand with a win that snapped the team’s five-game skid, but there was a lot of change at the big league level and down on the farm. The Cubs designated Darwin Barney for assignment, activated Emilio Bonifacio from the DL and committed to Arismendy Alcantara playing every day in the majors for the rest of the season. And that was before the game.

Kyle Hendricks called Tuesday, the best day of his life after he picked up his first big league victory in his Wrigley Field debut. After the Cubs shutout the Padres behind Hendricks and homers from Anthony Rizzo and Arismendy Alcantara, the team announced Jorge Soler and Albert Almora were being promoted. And a report from Comcast SportsNet indicated Soler could be called up in September. The Cubs then announced Mike Olt had been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

What was supposed to be a two-day call-up has turned into an extended stay in the big leagues for Arismendy Alcantara. After the Cubs announced the team had designated Darwin Barney for assignment, the Cubs’ GM addressed the plans for Arismendy Alcantara.

PrintJed Hoyer told the beat writers, “It’s time for ‘Mendy’ to play. He’ll play second, he’ll play center. I think he’ll be in the lineup every day. One of the things we feel strongly about is that when we do bring guys up, they are here to play. We’re not going to bring up these guys who are part of our future to share time on the bench.”

It appears Alcantara and Emilio Bonifacio will split time at second base and in centerfield while Bonifacio is still with the team.

The front office realizes Alcantara will have his good days and not-so-good days. Hoyer cautioned that a player’s successes and failures are a part of the process and development for players is not linear.

The organization is moving forward and more changes are on the horizon as the non-waiver trade deadline nears.

Kyuji Fujikawa

According to reports from the Des Moines Register, Kyuji Fujikawa will pitch again Wednesday for Iowa. Fujikawa was transferred to the I-Cubs to continue his rehab assignment Monday. Fujikawa pitched one inning and said Tuesday he felt good. Marty Pevey told the Des Moines Register that Fujikawa would pitch Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Jed Hoyer was asked about a timeframe on Fujikawa returning to the big league team. Hoyer told Comcast SportsNet, “Um, not necessarily to be here. Any rehab assignment has a finite timetable and he’s throwing in Iowa. He’s certainly moving in the right direction.”

A pitcher can be on a rehab assignment for 30 days. According to the transactions page on Cubs.com, Kyuji Fujikawa began his rehab assignment with the AZL Cubs on July 6.

Competitive Balance Lottery

Major League Baseball’s Competitive Balance Lottery is Wednesday (July 23) at 1:00pm CDT at the Commissioner’s Office in New York.

Introduced when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement came into play in December 2011, the Competitive Balance Lottery gives teams who have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools one of six additional choices after each of the first and second rounds. Additionally, any other clubs that are eligible to receive revenue-sharing funds are eligible for the supplemental second-round selections.

This year, the Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals, D-backs, Indians, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Rockies and Royals have a shot at the supplemental first-round picks. Whichever teams from that group don’t get one of those will be eligible for the supplemental second-rounders, as will the Mariners and Twins.

The Cubs are not eligible for the competitive balance pick, but every other team in the NL Central receives an extra pick in the draft.

News, Notes and Rumors

According to a report from Bruce Miles, Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada will “hold down the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation for the foreseeable future.”

Jake Arrieta said Tuesday he was feeling better after dealing being sick over the weekend in Arizona. Arrieta ran for 25 minutes and was able to eat without any side effects for the first time in a week according to a report from Mark Gonzales.

Jed Hoyer said Tuesday the front office is receiving calls on players and will probably continue receiving calls for the remainder of the month and into August according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

According to a report from Peter Gammons, don’t look for players to give hometown discounts to their current teams, and that includes LHP Jon Lester. The Players’ Union “is more involved in contracts than any time in years and they are driving them for the greater good of all.”

WGN-TV and WGN America will air “Chicago’s Call to the Hall” special this Saturday (July 26) at 5:30pm CDT on the eve of Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dan Roan hosts the half-hour special.

The pitching staff recorded its seventh shutout of the season Tuesday night. The Cubs staff managed six shutouts in 2013.

Justin Ruggiano appeared to hurt a hamstring while he was running the bases in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game. Ruggiano scored on Welington Castillo’s double. Nate Schierholtz replaced him in right field in the eighth. The Cubs said he was fine after the game and was just removed from the game.

Rob Neyer on the Meaning of Darwin Barney.

Minor News and Notes

C.J. Edwards is expected to make his return to the mound Wednesday. The Cubs have not said where Edwards would be pitching. But Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that it is a “strong possibility” that Edwards could pitch in the Arizona Fall League.

The Cubs have the best system in baseball according to Keith Law.

This Day In Cubstory

2003 – Cubs acquired Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton and cash from the Pirates for Matt Bruback, Jose Hernandez and a PTBNL. Bobby Hill was sent to Pittsburgh and the PTNBL on Aug. 15

1987 – Red Sox released Bill Buckner

1982 – Joe Mather, born

1979 – The Cubs beat the Reds 9-8 in 18 innings at Wrigley Field. The first nine innings of the game was actually played on May 10. The game was suspended because the Cubs had to catch a plane. Steve Ontiveros drove in the tying run with two outs in the 11th inning and the winning run in the 18th inning. The Cubs won the regularly scheduled game 2-1 on Dave Kingman’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.

1973 – Nomar Garciaparra, born

1970 – Milt Pappas shutout the Reds 1-0 at Wrigley Field. It was the only time during the 1970 season the Reds did not score a run.

1957 – Dick Drott struck out 14 batters, Bob Speake homered and Moose Moryn hit a two-run double in the Cubs 4-0 victory over the Giants at Wrigley Field.

1944 – After hitting one homer in the first game and three in the second game, Giants’ manager Mel Ott intentionally walked Bill Nicholson intentionally with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. The New Yorkers won the game 12-10 after the Cubs took the first game 7-4.

1923 – The Cubs exploded for nine runs in the top of the 12th inning, with the Otto Vogel delivering a three-run triple and beat the Pirates 12-3 in Pittsburgh. The nine runs in a Cubs record for the most runs scored in an extra inning.

1922 – 1B Ray Grimes homers in the Cubs 4-1 over the Robins. The homer gave Grimes at least one RBI in 17 straight games, a Major League record. Grimes would go onto drive in at least one run in 24 straight games.

1912 – Cubs purchased Tom Downey from the Phillies

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Intersecting comment from Hoyer on bringing young guys up and wantin them to play. What it says to me is that Olt was a shot in the dark more than anything and not neccesarly a part of long term plans. Wonder if they hoped he would turn into a trade candidate? I still think he has a good future. If he can get on track at AAA, with the power he showed there will be hitting coaches that will want to get their hands on him. Time will tell and I hope he can pull it together.

    • Tom U

      It was also a backhanded stab at former manager Dale Sveum.

      • J Daniel

        Agree, but Dale also knew he probably had to win in order to continue. Also, the young guys that he was given have proven not to be really good.

        • cubtex

          Really? I never heard that. He had no pressure to win. His job was to develop the Castro’s, and Rizzo’s etc. It was extremely hard to screw up the hand he was dealt….but he somehow did :)

    • John_CC

      I always thought he was a gamble for a potential trade.

    • Tony_H

      Same thing I thought. I think the key thing he said was “…who are part of our future to share time on the bench.” Tells you that in Lake, Olt, Vitters, BJAX, etc, that they were given a chance, but were never thought of as guys they are counting on being a part of the future.

  • BillyFinT

    Neil, had you reported that Cubbie minor pitcher Zeke DeVoss was signed by the A’s to a minor deal? He was the last of GM Hendry’s draft class, round 3 of 2011.

    • Tony_H

      DeVoss was a 2B/OF.

      • BillyFinT

        somwhr on mlbtr listd him as pitchr (must b syantx problm); not findn that articlw since

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Very exciting time I can’t wait for these guys to come up. I have to control the enthusiasm some because some win make it and some won’t. I guess Bonifacio Is the backup 3rd baseman? Watkins may be here soon in a bench roll to back up several positions or Vitters. Valbuena is our everyday 3rd baseman for the time being.

  • cubtex

    and that is your cup of coffee in the major leagues Mike Olt. I bet he will never wear a Cubs uniform again.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Your wrong…. will wear an Iowa Cubs uniform by tomorrow

    • J Daniel

      Maybe only as a September call up to take another look after being in Iowa. But with that said it is going to be difficult to crack the lineup in Iowa.

      • Tony_H

        I agree, no doubt they call him back up once Iowa’s season is over.

  • cubtex

    For you Rider- I have to admit that Anthony Rizzo has far exceeded my expectations this year. His HR total is outstanding and he is blossoming into one of the top HR hitters in baseball. That being said……there is no way(thus far) any MVP talk should be associated to Rizzo. Gary mentioned his lack of RBI and that is totally accurate. When you come up to bat with RISP….a middle of the order bat should be the one for the team to drive in the run. Sac fly, base hit,HR, etc. This is the one area that Rizzo is below average in. Lets just put his numbers up to the first 3 first baseman I looked up.
    Rizzo
    RISP .235 average 103 PA with RISP with only 26 RBI
    one other area that he needs to improve is that he is only hitting .213 with 2 outs in the inning.
    Freddie Freeman
    RISP .301 average 104 PA with RISP with 35 RBI
    Goldschmidt
    RISP .310 average 110 PA with RISP with 45 RBI
    LaRoche
    RISP .276 average 112 PA with RISP with 38 RBI

    This is the area that Rizzo needs to improve on big time to be considered a MVP PlayerCan he? Sure. He has improved a ton from last year to this year.

    • Scott

      My question would be, who is protecting each player in the lineup? Just looking at Castro with RISP in 2013 vs. 2014 (where Rizzo has protected him most of the time), his numbers have improved from .235/.291/.301/.592 to .299/.374/.437/.811. I think Rizzo has had quite a bit to do with that. No one has been able to protect Rizzo so he has probably gone after pitches he shouldn’t and won’t when there is someone behind him that actually scares a pitcher (Bryant maybe?). Rizzo has also shown a lot of improvement with RISP from 2013 to 2014 going from .191/.306/.309/.615 to .235/.379/.432/.811 – still not great, but raising the average 40+ and OPS almost 200 points is significant.

      • cubtex

        So you think having only 26 RBI in 103 PA is a result of Castro hitting behind him? Who is protecting Goldschmidt? I haven’t watched a lot of Cubs games this year but what I did see…I saw a hitter take pitches with runners on base instead of looking to drive in runs. Can he improve on this? LIke I said….yes. But there is no question that his RBI totals are not up to par.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          He’s also not got the best guys in front to get in base. No reason to fault Rizzo for anything. He’s absolutely an MVP type. People across country say tha. Just not some Cubs fans.

          • cubtex

            Just look at the numbers is all I am saying. I have said he has come a long long way and is exceeding what I ever thought he would be…but the RISP and lack of clutch hitting cannot be ignored as far as being considered MVP.

          • Denver Mike

            I think he could be an MVP at some point in his career, but I can’t imagine where this is the year.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            He probably won’t this season. If the Cubs were in the race I think he absolutely would be.

          • Denver Mike

            I agree, and in the coming years I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him in the running.

            I personally think his lack of RBI’s is a combination of lack or runners on base in front of him as you mentioned, and still over-thinking a bit with RISP as ‘tex eluded to. Based on the advances he’s made this year I fully expect him to improve in that area as well.

      • cubtex

        and Scott. Rizzo is hitting in front of Castro…not behind him. That is another good example to prove my point. Who is protecting Castro? Schierholtz? Valbuena? Olt?
        Castro
        RISP 99 PA .299 average with 37 RBI

        • Scott

          I will admit that I had those two backwards. That is my bad. But I don’t think that it “proves” your point. Rizzo is improving and I think he will continue to improve. Just the fact that the people (who shall not be called out…ahem) that were saying that it was a horrible trade to get Rizzo are very silent on the matter anymore “proves” that they were wrong. But to take a small sample size and state that it “proves” something is ridiculous. Because tell me which of these players you would rather have – and these are all numbers with RISP. A) 150PA, .267/.361/.366.727 52RBI B) 183PA, .219/.326/.406/.733 68RBI C) 164PA .443/.541/.695/1.236 84RBI or D) 100PA, .301/.423/.482/.905 35RBI. Clearly you would choose player C. But they are ALL Freddie Freeman from 2011 to 2014. Those numbers are all over the place and aren’t exactly huge sample sizes. So what do they really “prove”?

          • cubtex

            I never “hoped” Rizzo would be a bust but you cannot deny the talent that Cashner has. When healthy(and I realize that is a big ?) he is a dominant TOR starter and would be the Cubs #1. This year went to Rizzo. Last year went to Cashner. I hope Rizzo continues to grow as a hitter and the trade works out. I was against trading Cashner looking at who we had in our system…and as Keith Law mentioned in the article Neil posted….don’t expect to see any TOR arms coming in the next year or 2 either. Many pitchers go on the DL early in their career and battle injuries and come back and have long productive careers( Roy Halladay is a perect example) and Cashner could still have one.

          • Scott

            Cashner is a great talent, but comes with enormous question marks. I don’t have a comprehensive list, but I am willing to bet that the number of young, power arms derailed by shoulder problems far exceeds the list of young, power arms that have had shoulder problems and rebounded to have excellent careers (Prior anyone?) In the 90’s and 2000’s, offense was easy to come by and pitching was enormously difficult to find. Now, that pendulum has swung the other way. A great offense isn’t easy to put together anymore, and servicable (not TOR) pitching isn’t hard to find and Bosio seems to do a great job (Jackson excluded) on squeezing the most out of a pitcher’s ability.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Maybe Cashner won last year. But he wasn’t dominant. He was the lesser of two evils. This year Cashner can’t stay healthy and Rizzo is proving to be one of the best players in the game. It’s so far a big win for te Cubs. Cash may come back and be good at some point but his clock is ticking. And you called it a “BLUNDER!” C’mon Tex, that comment was one of the most inaccurate things I’ve read or heard this year about any topic.

          • J Daniel

            Tex, I think Rizzo has still a lot of room to grow but has answered critics. At this point, at his age, see him continuing to get better. He may never be great but he should be very good for a long time.

          • cubtex

            I agree 100% with that statement.

          • cc002600

            LOL !!!!
            TOR starter ????????
            Based on what ?
            Hope ?

          • Tony_H

            Stats at Petco…definitely not on the road.

          • cc002600

            even that is a huge stretch. The guy has accomplished zero so fa, and he’s already 28

          • Tony_H

            I agree, but that is the only way it can be based on.

          • cc002600

            sure. But if a guy can’t stay on the field, its meaningless. The guy has a bum arm. He will never be able to stay healthy.

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      For as much as you say this, you do realize the difference between Rizzo and those guys is 2, 6, and 8 hits so far, right?

      • cubtex

        driving in runs is not just about hits. you do realize this?

        • No Baseball In Indiana

          Driving in runs depends on people being on base, how is that so hard to understand?
          Rizzo has 4 2B & 4 HRs with RISP, Freeman 7 2B & 2 HRs, LaRoche 2 2B & 4 HRs, & Goldschmidt has 9 2B & 6 HRs.
          So thats 8 XBHs for Rizzo, 9 XBHs for Freeman, 6 XBHs for LaRoche, & and 15 XBHs for Goldschmidt. Clearly, Rizzo doesn’t have as many base runners as two of those three players.

          • cubtex

            you are right.
            Laroche has 112 PA with RISP
            Freeman has 104
            Goldy has 110
            Rizzo has 103.

            That stat RISP….means runners in scoring position. I didn’t look up how many more each had with a runner at 3rd and less than 2 outs but I doubt it is a huge difference. The other stat is how poorly Rizzo is hitting with 2 outs in an inning. It is about driving in runs.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            I’m confused by what you’re trying to say. You can have runners at 1st & 2nd, 1st & 3rd, 2nd, 2nd & 3rd, and at 3rd. At bats with RISP isn’t very informative, what’s needed are total base-runners on per at bat with RISP. I’m betting that Rizzo has fewer total base-runners.

          • cubtex

            If you are willing to look it up…I doubt it is a big difference. He has had at least 1 runner at 2nd base in 103 at bats and has only 26 RBI. Some of those at bats could have been 2nd and 3rd. Some just a runner at 3rd and some just one runner at 2nd. Can’t you see that number is too low? He should have driven in many more runs to be considered an MVP. Many got on Sammy Sosa for hitting so many solo HR’s. How many solo HR’s does Rizzo have. What does he have? 25 HR with 55 RBI? I am thrilled with the way he is playing this year and am not knocking him and how far he has come….this was to discredit the MVP talk.

          • triple

            I dug a little deeper, you know, just trying to manipulate some stats. While I found that Rizzo had the least amount of PA with more than one runner on base, thus having less runners available to drive in, I found that the percentage of RBIs he earns in these situations were substantially less than the others. IMO, these are times when you have to get that hit and drive in runs. When there is just a runner on 2nd or 3rd base, it’s an opportunity to score a run, but when multiple runners are on base, that’s when you really need to get that hit and help the team put some crooked numbers up on the scoreboard.

            Player: RBI/PA w/ 2 or more runners on base
            Goldy: 25/49
            LaRoche: 31/56
            Freeman: 22/53
            Rizzo: 13/43

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Yep, he’s had the game winning RBI for us quite a few times.

          • triple

            You are right about that! I’m not complaining about Rizzo at all as he has come up big time for the Cubs this year. But he can (and most likely will) improve still. He’s got a high ceiling for sure!

          • cubtex

            so what you are saying is that Goldschmidt had 6 more opportunities than Rizzo with 2 or more runners on base and 7 more PA overall but has driven in 45 RBI compared to 26 for Rizzo.

          • triple

            Yes, I guess you can draw that conclusion. And while what I stated does show that Goldie is obviously a superior clutch hitter than Rizzo, it does show that Goldie has also gotten more chances with pitchers in tight situations to drive in his runs. With a guy like Rizzo who is less consistent than Goldie, if he gets 6 more opportunities to hit with multiple runners on base over the next week while he is hot, he may close that gap a little bit, but of course that is also me being an optimist.

          • cc002600

            Goldie also plays in one of the best hitters parks in baseball. Much more hitter friendly then Wrigley.

          • cubtex

            Goldy
            Home .301 10 HR 36 RBI
            Away .315 8 HR 29 RBI

            doesn’t really matter to him.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Thanks I was too lazy.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        I’ll take his .924 OPS and be happy with it.

        Early in the year it seemed that he took a lot of walks with RISP. I think partly because RH pitchers would rather pitch to Castro than Rizzo.

        The Cubs are going to need another LH bat in the lineup.

    • triple

      I agree with Cubtex on this one. There have been many a game where Rizzo has left the ducks on the pond. The upside to all of this is that Rizzo is 24, and playing in only his 2nd full season in the majors. I gotta think he will advance in these areas over the next couple years. He’ll have a lot more chances to succeed at this and the averages will play itself out. The worse case scenario is that he ends up being a power hitter batting behind the 3-4-5 guys, and still probably hit about 30 HR/year. Or they can bat him second, but I don’t see the point in putting a guy with that much power that high in the lineup. I do believe there will be a time when there is legitimate MVP talk about this kid though. Right now he is locked in and we are seeing what his potential is. Yesterday, his first HR was one of those slow curveballs from a left-hander that he would have whiffed badly on last year, he just stayed back and crushed it. His second HR, he just went with the pitch and took it opposite field. He wasn’t even swinging for homerun, but just going with the pitch.

      • cubtex

        why thank you Triple. He is locked in and has improved a ton in one year. We should all be thrilled with that. I was just pointing out his glaring weakness to discredit the MVP talk from last night between Rider and Gary. And….I hope there is a day where we could all campaign for Rizzo as a MVP candidate with the Cubs making the playoffs and winning a WS.

        • triple

          That sure would be nice. In fact, it would really be something if Rizzo and World Series MVP were used in the same sentence at some point!

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          He’s definitely got the stats to be in the discussion.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Will he win it? No. Is he the best candidate? No. But he’s absolutely in the discussion. Top 10 and maybe even 5.

          • cubtex

            not a chance this year Rider. I like your enthusiasm on players but there is a thing called reality. Tulowitski is way above Rizzo in any discussion if a candidate from a losing team will be voted in this year.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            For sure. But he’s in the discussion. Probably top 5.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            My two cents. Rizzo is somewhere in the 10-15 best players in the NL, mostly because he plays a slightly below average 1B and is an average base-runner (note not base stealer). His bat alone is Top 5 though.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Interesting. I’ve always felt he was one of the best. I’ve seen him make 1 error, not that I always get go watch but I do when I can. Or listen. Dot remember more than 1.

            And I feel he makes a lot of plays look routine.

            But I’ll watch with your opinion in mind and see if I notice otherwise.

          • cubtex
          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I only remember 1. But maybe some where he got to balls but wasn’t able to make the play got scored E and I presumed it would be a hit.

            Man you sure do keep bringing in all these stats to tear him down. I see you try to give him a tiny credit just to maintain your credibility that you’re not against him.

            He’s got so many pluses. Age, OBP, HR, adjustments, handling pressure. Bein one of few great players on team, and in 2nd full year. It takes a special player to overcome everything stacked against him.

            I’m done debating him. I know you don’t like him. I’ve still never heard you eat any crow about that “blunder,” comment. I’m wrong sometimes and I always come right out and take my lumps. Id love to hear you take credit for just that one. And don’t say the jury is still out or anything else. That is true and Cashner may end up great, although at 28 the clock is ticking. But at the very least, “blunder,” was biased and dead wrong. Throw me a bone Tex. Give me te shock of the day. Admit you were wrong and you just said tht because giving him any credit makes your skin crawl because you equate it to approval for Theo.

          • cubtex

            I don’t just blindly follow players and sweep everything under the rug. It is extremely tough to make it in this game(take it from someone who knows) There is not much that separates players. Some get opportunities and some never do. To say he has 8 errors(but they were all tough plays and I thought should have been scored a hit) is to ignore the truth. You said he has 1 error that you saw. I showed you he has 8. only Garrett Jones has more. Throw you a bone? I thought I did. I said Rizzo has exceeded my expectations and has improved a great deal from last year. Does that mean that he has his ticket already punched for the HOF. Throw me a bone Rider. Tell me one time that you always exaggerate the ceilings of players like Valbuena(borderline all star) Ruggiano 285 30 HR and 100 RBI, Olt(rookie of the year candidate) Kalish(another rookie of the year candidate) you were wrong on. I don’t put these unrealistic expectations on players like that. Whatever floats your boat is fine with me…but this is a hard game and there are no guarantees for next year.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I’ve been wrong on some. Right in some, Rizzo as Arietta Jump to mind.

            And by throw me a bone. All I want is you to admit your extreme assessment of the trade was wrong. You don’t seem to be capable of admitting it. Your ego seems to be unable to.

          • cubtex

            Has Rizzo been good this year? Yes. Do the Cubs need an arm like Cashner? Again Yes. I get a kick out of you Rider…You say every player will be great so…….the old saying…If you throw enough sh## against a wall…some is bound to stick :) Keep the faith Rider. Hopefully some of these prospects make it and they can get some pitching from somewhere. They should start to win some games in 2016 and hopefully be in at least the WC talk by 2017.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I appreciate the sentiment Tex.

            But you still haven’t said it… C’mon. Nobody will think less of you. In fact some may think more. I dont think you’ll combust or turn into a frog.

          • triple

            In all fairness cubtex, we don’t need a power arm that spends as much time on the DL, in doctors rooms and rehab, more than we need Rizzo. So while we need an arm like Cashners, we don’t need his arm as it wouldn’t being doing much for us right now, and Rizzo is providing a lot more than Cashner to their respective teams.

          • cubtex

            So you are saying we didn’t need Tanaka or Vizcaino? I hear you. I just wish they had several Cashner’s in the minors. Unfortunately they don’t.

          • triple

            Well having the perspective of hindsight over the last 2.5 years, it certainly looks like Tanaka and Cashner were not and are not good pieces to collect, unless you enjoy reading the injury reports. I just read an update on Tanaka that was published today that says he is still feeling pain in his elbow. Here’s an excert:

            “He’s improved, but he still feels it on a daily basis,” Cashman said. “It’s not good that he’s still feeling it at this stage. (But we’ll just) go day by day, week by week and adjust accordingly.”

            http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2014/07/not_good_that_yankees_masahiro_tanaka_still_feels_elbow_pain_brian_cashman_says.html

            I’d say the jury is still out on Vizcaino, since he is only 23 years old. And if he can stay healthy and effectively contribute as an 8th or 9th inning guy by the time this team is competitive, then he will be worth the time and rehab. Why would you want several Cashner’s (i.e. pitchers with multiple injury problems) in the minors? I think we need several Randy Johnsons, Greg Madduxes, and Felix Hernandezes! Only 3 of them would have to pan out to fill the top of our rotation.

            p.s. what is the plural of Madduxes? Maddi? Maddeux?

          • paulcatanese

            At the risk of being chastised (again) I agree with you. I have not posted much either way about Rizzo, one, because I don’t care either way. But he is a slightly below defender over there. Has had quite a few mental lapses on decisions where to throw the ball or when to leave the base for a throw. His hitting though has vastly shown improvement over last year, about all I can say on Rizzo. My theory is why praise any of these guys now and continue to dream about what may come, when and if it does is plenty of time to do it then.

          • cubtex

            Rizzo is the most protected Teflon player the Cubs have had in recent times. If you point out a stat that he is weak at…the excuses come out. He has improved tremendously(no doubt) but god forbid if you say he is below average in any area :))))

          • cc002600

            he’s leading the league in HR’s, hitting .280, and an OBP close to .400 all year and he’s hitting lefties….all this and he is 24 years old !! We told you all winter that 1 year doesn’t make a career and that he will improve, but you didn’t want to listen. and yet now you realize you were wrong, so you cherrypick things like RBI to try and make your weak arguments. Never mind that he and Castro are the only ones in that lineup worth a dime, which obviously contributes to his lower RBI totals.

            Let me know when you find the perfect player.

            Also, told you that the cubs would win the rizz-cash trade going away. You couldn’t possibly disagree with that at this point, could you ? LOL. Its not even close.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I just want him to admit his statement was way off. Tex refuses to ever admit an error. Never seen it even once. He always makes comments at people tht include little veiled insults but usually doesn’t go all the way so he can justify himself. I know some egomaniacs but Tex is right there with the worst. Never wrong, everyone who disagrees is an idiot. Zero acknowledging of a different opinion as having any basis.

            I just want him to admit that comment was wrong. But I kind of hope he doesn’t because it’s more fun being able to get a kick out of the auperiority.

            And whats funny is I do like the guy. An respect his opinion and knowledge of te game. And I’ve come to realize that it won’t ever really be reciprocated in a sincere way. Only in the way like patting a hold in te head and sayin “isn’t that cute.”

          • cubtex

            I was wrooo. I was wron. I was wr. Right. I can’t do it :))

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            You never disappoint Tex :))))

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Chastised again?

    • SirGladiator

      RBI is an interesting statistic, but it’s just one of many. Rizzo has as many home runs as anybody in the NL, that’s a really interesting statistic. RBI could be analyzed any number of ways, for example how often was that runner at 3rd as opposed to 2nd? How many times were there runners on both 3rd and 2nd? How many times was it a runner at 3rd but there were two outs? Another interesting statistic would be GWRBI, but that isn’t officially tracked anymore even though it’s the single most important category. Rizzo is a clutch hitter, I imagine he would be quite strong in that extremely important category. But I don’t really believe in focusing on any one stat when talking MVP, it’s the total package, and that’s why Rizzo will always be in on that, because he’s the total package. He gets the hits, the homers, tons of walks, plays the bigtime D, he does everything, so he will always be an MVP contender.

    • Tony_H

      Dig into stats deep enough and you can find someplace that every single hitter is below average in, especially for a season.

      • cubtex

        even Anthony Rizzo???? Say it ain’t so :)

        • Tony_H

          Even Mike Trout! But that is what is nice about having you around, no matter how well a player is playing, you will point out what he has done poorly.

          • cubtex

            why thank you for that. I think it is important to be informed. As a voter, As a fan, In business, Investing your money, etc. I dig deep into those areas to make sure I am making wise decisions. To ignore stats and information is reckless.

          • Tony_H

            LOL!

          • cc002600

            but you seem to ignore the fact that Cashner lands on the DL every year, like clockwork. LOL.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Tex don’t hurt your hand. Studies show repeatedly patting yourself on th back can lead to arthritis. :))))

          • G

            Blind Republican.
            RBI>WAR
            Lended Mortgages in the mid 2000s.
            This guys got it all figured out!

          • cubtex

            Not a blind Republican. I see very well. RBI greater than WAR? Check. Lended mortgages? Nah…Paid off my house and office building in cash. 1 out of 3 ain’t bad.

  • cc002600

    really like what I saw from Hendricks last night. I’ve always said you don’t have to throw 98 to win baseball games. If you don’t believe that, just take a look at who’s going into the HOF this weekend. Plus, your chances of staying healthy are much better as the stress is much less on the shoulder and elbow. No reason in the world he couldn’t be a decent #3 or #4.

    • cubtex

      yes but you need that power arm to win in the playoffs and WS.

      • cc002600

        where does it say that ? What power arms did Braves have when they winning 13 straight division championships ?

        • cubtex

          Did you forget about Smoltz?

      • cubtex

        to expand on that…..what happens in October? The weather usually gets chilly in many areas of the country. What is tougher to hit in cold weather? Someone who throws heat….or a soft tosser?

        • cc002600

          understand, but it can be done. And I’m not talking about just “soft tossers”. There are tons of great pitchers out there that I wouldn’t consider “soft -tossers” or power arms either. They just know how to pitch with command and movement. Like a Wainwright, Tim Hudson, Lester, Anibel Sanchez, Lincecum, Cain, Kershaw, Shields, Jerod Weaver, Sonny Gray, Liriano, Greinke, etc,etc….

          • cubtex

            so let me get this straight. Do you not consider those pitchers you listed to be power guys? All of them are.

          • cc002600

            Power arms ????? Wainwright and Tim Hudson are power arms ? What are you smoking ? How do you define a “power arm” ? My definition is someone who throws 95+ consistently. Like a Chris Sale, Verlander, Jose Fernandez. If Tim Hudson, a sinkerballer, is a power arm then I am Nolan Ryan. LOL.

          • cc002600

            Power arms ????? Wainwright and Tim Hudson are power arms ? What are you smoking ? How do you define a “power arm” ? My definition is someone who throws 95+ consistently. Like a Chris Sale, Verlander, Jose Fernandez. If Tim Hudson, a sinkerballer, is a power arm then I am Nolan Ryan. LOL.

          • cubtex

            First off. Can we have a conversation without an insult?
            Secondly….Hudson threw mid 90’s his entire career until he started to age and adjusted with lesser stuff. As did Lincecum. Jerod Weaver is the one guy who never threw 95…but his windup and deception makes it seem like he did. The ball gets on the batter much faster than expected. But…to think that Kershaw,Cain,Wainwright,Sanchez etc….aren’t power arms? That is a big LOL

          • cc002600

            I didn’t insult you, jeez. I just wanted to make sure you were feeling ok ? :-)

            I have no idea how can call those guys “power arms”…..They don’t blow anyone away with raw gas like Chris Sale or Verlander does. Kershaw and Wainwright for example have incredible sharp breaking curves and sliders, which makes them unhittable at times. Plus, they know how to attack hitter’s weaknesses. Sorry, but their fastballs do NOT light up any radar guns. They sit anywhere from 92-94 most of the time. That is not blowing ANYBODY away.

          • cubtex

            you and I have a different definition of who is considered a power arm. If you think Kershaw 93-96 is not a power arm…then you are 100% right. I will take 3 guys who throw 93-96 leading my rotation and be just fine.

          • cc002600

            I guess so. Under your definition just about every pitcher in baseball is a power arm then, because very few don’t throw at least 93. Kershaw very rarely hits 96.

            Not really sure how you can put guys like Sale / Verlander in the same category as Wainwright / Hudson. They are nothing alike. They are completely different pitchers. But oh well.

          • cubtex

            you and I have a different definition of who is considered a power arm. If you think Kershaw 93-96 is not a power arm…then you are 100% right. I will take 3 guys who throw 93-96 leading my rotation and be just fine.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Hendricks has been hitting 95 this year and can fill out more. His change is special. No reason to assume what he can’t do.

          • cc002600

            That would make him a “power arm” under Cubtex’s definition. If you throw 93 according to him, you are power arm.

          • cubtex

            hahaha. By your definition there are only about 4 power arms in all of baseball.

          • Cubbiemacg

            I can name 15 players that throw 100+ that is today’s definition of a power arm. If your over 97 consistently that’s a big arm. But just because they can move a 93mph a lil doesn’t make them a power arm. Maybe 20 years ago but this is a new age

          • cc002600

            exactly right. Guys who throw 93 are just average in terms of velo.

          • cc002600

            what are you talking about ? Every team in baseball has 2 to 3 arms out of the bullpen that throw 95+ now. Just look at cubs for example – Rondon, Ramirez, Strop. You are living in the 80’s my friend.

          • cubtex

            aren’t we discussing starting pitching? who is bringing bullpen arms to this party?

          • cc002600

            I wasn’t aware that bullpen guys aren’t pitchers. I must have missed that memo. And I could easily name 15-20 starting pitchers that throw 95+

          • cubtex

            sure…you named about 5 already who you said weren’t. lol. Look at my post. I said you need that power arm to win in the postseason. Did you take that to mean a Lee Smith type coming out of the bullpen :) C’mon man! We are talking starting pitching here. At least one of us was

          • cc002600

            whatever. Bullpens are just as vital as starting pitchers. Ask the white sox how that bad bullpen thingy is working for them. :-)

          • cubtex

            then how did your argument about the Braves winning 13 division titles without a power arm hold any credibility since they had Mark Wohlers and John Rocker in the pen?

          • cc002600

            uh, ever hear of Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux ? and I didn’t say power arms don’t win. I just said there are multiple ways to skin a cat. You can win with guys that know how to pitch and throw 93. You DON’T have to throw 98 to be a winner.

          • cubtex

            and how many WS did that powerhouse Braves dynasty win over those 13 years. You can make it to the postseason but it is tough to win. I believe Maddux’s postseason record wasn’t very good. Now Smoltz had an excellent one(if I recall)

          • cubtex

            had a little time so I looked it up.

            Postseason
            Maddux
            11-14 3.27

            Smoltz
            15-4 2.67

          • cc002600

            we all know that wins and losses for pitchers are extremely misleading. but an ERA of 3.27 is awfully good…..and Glavine’s was 3.30. So again your arguments fall short.

          • cubtex

            a win for a pitcher is misleading in a postseason? Really? This saber talk is more and more ridiculous. Not trying to knock Maddux….but it is absolutely about wins for a starting pitcher in the postseason. Curt Schilling was average (for the most part during his career) but was dominant during the postseason. Is that misleading?

          • cc002600

            ok, if wins are so important, let me ask you this. Your boy cashner, who you call a “TOR starter” is a mighty 17-25 in his HOF career. Can you square that one for me ? LOL

          • cc002600

            ugh. What a dumb point. That’s like saying Fergie, Billy, Ernie weren’t any good because they never won a world series. Come on, dude.

          • cubtex

            I am with you. I want to make the postseason every year but the talk has been that people nowadays don’t just want to make the postseason and not win a WS. I will take a postseason every year…2nd WC or whatever. Again…I was talking about winning in the playoffs and WS

          • Denver Mike

            This entire debate is dumb….and annoying.

          • cubtex

            This is Matt Cain’s scouting report from 2002. Take note of the last sentence.

            Scouting report
            Cain was raw when drafted, but has made tremendous (and rapid) strides developing his talent. Tall and projectable, he is filling out his body and should increase velocity as he matures. Because he already throws 92 to 96 mph, additional speed on his heater would make him dominant. Cain’s breaking ball was inconsistent in high school, but he’s refined it into two different pitches, a traditional slider and a hard curveball, both of which have the potential to be out pitches. Cain’s changeup was weak in 2002 and mediocre last year, but has been more effective in 2004. Another area of improvement is his mechanics. They were somewhat unpolished when he signed, which hurt his control. But he’s cleaned up his delivery and has repeated it very well this year, leading to improved command. Cain has a good feel for pitching and has adapted well to the professional environment. If he continues to improve his changeup and keeps his mechanics in gear, he will be a complete power/precision pitcher.

          • cc002600

            exactly. Notice it says “if” he improves his mechanics he can become a power pitcher, since he throws 92-96 now, which implies that if he can improve he can be considered a power pitcher. Thanks for proving my point again. Again, if every pitcher that throws 92 is a power pitcher than 90% of MLB pitchers are power pitchers.

          • gary3411

            No starting pitcher in all of baseball even averages close to 97mph on their heater. What are you smoking? Best is 96.3 Third is 95.5. Hardly anyone is averaging 95 or better. 93mph is a power pitcher.

          • Denver Mike

            You are arguing semantics, which is dumb.

            FYI…I also consider someone who throws 95 a “power arm”, and for every person who agrees with you I could find one who agrees with me. Just move on.

          • cubtex

            First off. Can we have a conversation without an insult?
            Secondly….Hudson threw mid 90’s his entire career until he started to age and adjusted with lesser stuff. As did Lincecum. Jerod Weaver is the one guy who never threw 95…but his windup and deception makes it seem like he did. The ball gets on the batter much faster than expected. But…to think that Kershaw,Cain,Wainwright,Sanchez etc….aren’t power arms? That is a big LOL

        • mutantbeast

          Tex, Im betting the Cubs make a huge push on Lester this offseason. Hopefully he becomes your TOR for the next 2-3 years. If notg, wed better hope Arrieta isnt a mirage. Hes certainly been pitching like a #1 since he came off the DL.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Nothing to take away from Hendricks. His k/9
            Is above Maddux and not far from Clemens. He can K plenty of guys. He’s capable of a lot and can be as good as anybody thy has thrown at his speeds. His number have always been great.

          • Denver Mike

            I agree anything is possible, but it is waaaay to early to be mentioning Hendrick, Clemens, and Maddux in the same sentence.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I’m not really comparing Hendricks to those guys in terms of how great he’ll be. A few days ago someone mentioned that he was similar to Travis Wood. So I went and pulled both of their minor league numbers and I was surprised at how much better Hendricks were. It wasn’t really even close when you looked at the K/9, K/BB and those. If you just looked at those you’d think you were looking at a strikeout pitcher with a big arm. To me this is a result of a devastating change up, a la Cole Hamels. I think that within a year or two he’ll have the #2 change in MLB behind Hamels.

            So yesterday I was just curious where his K/9 stacked up. I found it was between Clemens and Maddux. Not bad company.

          • Eugene Debs

            Mike Maddux maybe.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        I agree with this. But I don’t really consider velocity as power. I consider K/9 the best way to define power. Some guys throw 95+ but their stuff is flat and gets put in play alot. Some guys throw 90 with move movement and/or have a great slider or change up that can put guys away with two strikes.

      • Thomas D

        One name Kyle Farnsworth does that ring a bell he was a power arm but sucked. It’s hard to find a power arm with control cause most of them have a so called violent delivery which is bad for control and health

        • Jeffrey Rogers

          I don’t think he TOTALLY sucked. He was very inconsistent but he had a long career. I believe he was still pitching for the Mets earlier this year. He had some decent success with the Rays. I seemed to remember he had at least one very good season for the Cubs out of the pen, then, as you say, he sucked the next year. He is one of those “throws hard but no movement” kind of pitchers I thinnk.

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      Greg Maddux threw pretty hard for the first 10 years of his career. Mid 90’s when he wanted too. low 90s consistently. He also struck a lot of guys out, but not always with heat. He was a totally different, but still effective pitcher later on.

      • cc002600

        he relied on movement and smarts. He was a real pitcher that knew how to pitch. That is my only point to Cubtex. There is more to pitching then just throwing hard and trying strike everyone out. You can absolutely be successful by throwing only 92, like someone like Hendricks. Not saying he will be an ace, but he certainly be a good #3 / #4.

    • Eugene Debs

      He’s already more valuable to the Cubs than Dempster ever was for the Rangers.

      The Cubs have really fleeced those guys lately. Paying them back for the Palmeiro deal.

  • Tony_H

    There is a long drawn out debate on this thread, that after reading a few posts it seemed like a waste of my time, so I just decided to skip the rest. I don’t think anything less of the guys in the discussion, they obviously believe in what they are saying.

    • Denver Mike

      I’m not sure what’s more annoying, debating if 1 MPH makes a pitcher “power” vs. “precision”, or having to hear about every fantasy player on a certain poster’s roster. I’m in 4 fantasy leagues and never post a single word about them, because I know nobody else cares. :)

      BTW Tony, you are not the poster I am referring to.

      • John_CC

        It’s right up there with talking about how you slept … no one cares!

        • Tony_H

          I didn’t sleep well last night…..but that was because I was still debating the trade I made…

      • Tony_H

        Yeah, he has been a little over zealous about his team this year.
        Rookies :)

        • Denver Mike

          Like you said re: the debate above, nothing personal against those that do it. But I was happy when I saw there would be fantasy dedicated threads so that the discussion can stay there and I can ignore it, haha.

  • Tom U

    To complete the outfielder merry-go-round, Jacob Hannemann promoted to the Daytona Cubs while Jeffrey Baez is promoted to Kane County.

    • SuzyS

      I was wondering about that today…Thanks Tom.