Jorge Soler Could Be Part of September Call-Ups, Kris Bryant to Finish Season in Iowa

With the promotion of Javier Baez to the big leagues, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant figure to be the next top prospects called up to The Show. And Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs plans for both players prior to Friday’s game against the Rays.

Jorge Soler had another huge game at the plate Friday. Soler went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, two walks, three RBI and three runs scored. Soler raised his slash line to .313/.431/.750. In 16 games with the I-Cubs, Soler has hit six doubles and five home runs while walking (10) almost has many times has he’s struck out (11). And his OPS is an impressive 1.181.

Jorge Soler is on the 40-man roster and as long as he stays healthy he is expected to be called up in September once Iowa has finished its season.

As for Kris Bryant, he was 1-for-4 on Friday night with two runs scored and his slash line after 48 games at the Triple-A level stands at .321/.433/.667. Bryant has hit 13 doubles and 15 home runs for a 1.100 OPS.

Theo Epstein reiterated Friday the team is looking for Kris Bryant to finish his first full season of pro ball with Iowa, and not in the majors.

Theo Epstein told the beat writers Friday, “I still don’t foresee a scenario where Kris would get called up this year. It would take extraordinary circumstances to call up anybody in his first full professional season. For us not only would the player have to be doing extraordinary things, but there would have to be unique circumstances with the big league team, where we were in a pennant race and we really needed that boost.”

PrintTheo Epstein assured the beat writers the Cubs decision to have Bryant finish the year with the I-Cubs was not a business decision but what they feel is best for the development of the player.

Epstein did not say when the front office expects Bryant will make his big league debut. But it would be safe to say that as long as he stays on his current development path, Bryant should be up with the big league team at some point in late April next season.

Kris Bryant still has work to do, both in the field and at the plate despite putting up video game-like numbers this season in the minors.

After a lull, it is hard to call what he went through a slump. Kris Bryant has heated back up. Bryant entered play Friday with the most home runs in the PCL (15) since his promotion on June 19 and tied for the minor league lead in home runs (37). Over his last ten games, Kris Bryant is hitting .355/.545/.742 with three doubles and three home runs with nine walks and 12 strikeouts for a 1.287 OPS.

Kris Bryant’s 15th Triple-A Home Run – Aug. 7

Theo Epstein did not say that Jorge Soler would be called up in September. But all signs are pointing to the Cubs doing so in order to continue his development.

Epstein explained, “Ever since he came off the disabled list the second time, he’s had consistent, high quality at bat. He’s not swinging at chase pitches. He’s focused throughout the at-bat. That’s not something we taught him, that’s something he’s shown up with.”

Jorge Soler’s 5th Triple-A Home Run – Aug. 8

While the buzz Javier Baez is creating for the Cubs right now is bringing an excitement to the team that has been missing for years, Jorge Soler should help bring the future a little more into focus in September going into the off-season, especially with the thought Kris Bryant could be up not long after the 2015 season begins.

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  • jtrain23

    This makes sense. Despite what we read and see with Bryant’s stats, he still needs to work on his game, especially defensively. He IS the real deal, so there is no need to rush him and possibly produce negative momentum.

    As for Soler, he has been on an absolute tear since finally getting healthy. However, he is a guy that, I think, the Cubs are still unsure on. As in, they still aren’t sure what he is going to be or…if he is going to be. Bringing him up in September would be a good litmus test for him.

    If I’m in the Bryant camp, I translate this as a blessing in disguise. This proves that the Cubs are sure about Bryant, where as they still have questions, maybe lots of them, about Soler. I know that seems backwards, but it is just how I decipher this possible turn of events.

    • Eugene Debs

      I’m not sure I follow the logic of throwing the guy you’re not sure of on the MLB active roster while keeping the sure thing in the minors.

      They are pretty sure of Soler. That’s why he’s going to come up.

      • Tony_H

        I think that is just stated wrong. No one is a sure thing, but I would put more on Bryant being successful than Baez, Soler as well. But this shows how the FO is not a cookie cutter system and that each player is on their own path for development and getting to the majors.

        • mutantbeast

          Tony, I personally think Soler , because he seems to have less swing/miss to his game, likely has the most upside of all the prospects, even Bryant. Solers talent or performance has never been a question, just his health.

          • Jeff Wilson

            Yes, Soler is very good at picking up the ball rotation, and he commands the strike zone. He is, imho, the real deal.

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

            I agree, but also because of defense. His BB/K numbers are not usual for a guy at his level, experience and age. I think if we wee a fly in the wall, we’d learn the brass thinks Soler is going to be a game-changer.

            If you were a fly on my wall you’d learn I think he’s going to be Puig-like. I think he will take the league by storm.

        • GaryLeeT

          I concede that Bryant has zero chance of coming up this year, and maybe not until the end of May in the next. But Nobody can convince me it’s because he’s less developed than Baez, or Soler. It truly is all about money, and control.

          • Scott

            In my opinion, it is about a popular topic on here-roster management. Soler is on the 40-man while Bryant is not. We would have to clear a spot for Bryant which could be done, but I think the FO wants as much roster flexibility going into the off-season as possible. In my opinion, as much as I want Bryant to come up, I agree with the decision.

          • GaryLeeT

            And that’s fine. I just don’t want to hear it’s because he needs more time to develop in Iowa.

          • Tony_H

            Explain why Baez is up then, because if it was truly all about money and control they would have kept Baez with Bryant. But Bryant was NEVER going to be called up in his 1st full professional season. I am sure it has been done, but it is very rare and very likely never been done with a Scott Boras client.

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

            Did you rea that guy that saw him love? The report was damning about his defense. He said that after seeing him play, he agreed he was totally not ready yet. His defense cost the ICubs the game.

          • Tony_H

            Won’t matter because he will be in RF or LF soon enough.

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

            I agree. From what I read, no matter his bat, he cannot be in a competitive team at 3rd base. Our pitchers won’t speak to him!

          • Tony_H

            I hate to say this, but you are being a little negative about Bryant’s defense today :)

            He is not as bad as you are making him out to be, but long term if we keep Castro, Baez, and Russell, he will be moved to the OF, or if Almora moves Alcantara from CF, he would likely come back to 2B if we have traded one of those 3. All of this will move Bryant to the OF.

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

            Lol! True…

            If they called him up tomorrow, I’d be excited. But I think given the totality of the situation the decision is to let him finish at Iowa.

            I’d imagine its soemthing like this:

            Baez: On 40 man. 4th pro season. Starting to dominate offensively. Average to above average defense. Takes time traditionally to adjust, but extensive minors experience. Easier to deal with agent = PROMOTE

            Soler: On 40 man. 2nd year pro in America but Cuban experience. Absolutely dominant this year when healthy, no slumps, no mini-slumps, immediate adjustment and raking at every level. Constant improvement. Great K/BB. Great defense. = PROMOTE

            Bryant: Dominant offense in 1st full season. High K, but decent OBp. Steady improvement with small adjustment period. Seems to be capable of MVP. Well below average defense at 3rd and not much experience elsewhere. Leaderhip, maturity. Has to be added to 40-man. Difficult agent. = HOLD

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

            And I’m not saying that, even if my assessment of these factors is correct, that it’s the right decision. I do think it probably is, but I wouldn’t really disagree if they went either way. I’d be happy to see him, but understand keeping him in Iowa too.

          • SirGladiator

            Don’t forget, if it’s the same game’s report I read, Bryant didn’t make any errors or miscues of any kind, the guy was complaining he didn’t like that Bryant didn’t dive for balls he couldn’t get. Diving for balls you can’t get isn’t exactly a requirement of being a big-leaguer, diving for balls you ‘can’ get is. The guy also complained that Bryant tagged up and was thrown out at the plate, as if the guy on 3rd base decides when to go home on a fly ball and not the 3rd base coach, so the person doing the analysis was just an anti-Bryant guy who didn’t put much thought into his criticisms. From all I’ve read Bryant is a good defender who’s only getting better, and that’s from fair minded folks who know what to look for and how to legitimately judge those sorts of things.

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

            You’re right Sir. I didn’t remember those details. But I think “anti-Bryant,” is a leap. He did say that his swing was a thing of beauty and the balls he hit were absolutely crushed.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Baez is more likely to sign the long term team friendly contract. That’s why he’s up. Theo doesn’t feel he will have to worry about service time with Baez

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

            I think it’s a variety of factors. As I explain below. Contract is absolutely a factor but not only.

          • Tony_H

            I know, I have been saying that for awhile. But if money and control were what the decision was ALL about, then they wouldn’t have brought him up. This FO is far too intelligent to use just one factor in making decisions.

          • GaryLeeT

            So his 3 years of college that culminated with player of the year, and the fact that he hasn’t struggled at any level, is completely excluded from consideration? I agree with you on the Boras factor, but the “only 1 year in the pros” is weak, especially with Bryan’t resume. When they are apparent superstars, they should get the David Price treatment.

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

            What do you think of my assessment above Gary? Tried to bring all factors into consideration. It’s up there somewhere with names and “:” after thm…

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

            Actually it’s below…:)

          • Tony_H

            Actually it depends on how each person sorts their feed.

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

            Foiled again by Tony and his dang understanding of everything!

          • GaryLeeT

            I agree with the assessment, and if the main reason for not calling up Bryant is Boras is his agent, then I agree with that too.

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

            It may be the main reason. Not sure. I’d imagine though if his K/BB rate was better. And he played above average defense, he’d probably be up regardless.

          • GaryLeeT

            Agree to disagree then, on Bryant.

          • GaryLeeT

            I just don’t see those 2 things as deal breakers. I doubt he could possibly strike out more than what Baez is doing now.

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

            Touche….

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

            I’m getting a little worried we oversold on Baez early. Not saying he won’t be good and good pretty soon, but I think the excitement from those first two games got us thinking he was the 2nd coming… His game still have many holes.

          • Tony_H

            Board – never knew you to overreact to a good outing and predict greatness before :)

          • GaryLeeT

            I am not worried at all. Just growing pains, but the sooner he gets through them the sooner he will be the player we all know he will be.

          • Tony_H

            Actually they factor in and is why they moved him up so fast. But nothing compares to the length of your first full professional season. Players have commented on it many times before that they are wore out after the first time playing every single day over a 5 month regular season after a full spring training.

          • GaryLeeT

            So you are just going to ignore my Cy Young winner David Price comparison to Bryant?

          • Tony_H

            I’m sorry, am I suppose to respond to everything you type?

            But pitchers are different and he was called up during a pennant race to try and win this year and used as a reliever. All factors that we don’t have with Bryant.

          • GaryLeeT

            “I’m sorry, am I suppose to respond to everything you type?”

            I ask you a question, and you respond with that? Like I said, you are ALWAYS the one to start the crap.

          • Tony_H

            You take offense pretty easy if that bothered you.

          • GaryLeeT

            You are the one who responded with indignation.

          • Tony_H

            I don’t see it that way. You have gotten mad in the past when we ask you if you are going to respond to something and you didn’t respond that nicely at all.

            My question back to you was, but you expect us to respond to everything you ask.

          • GaryLeeT

            Why would you need to ask like that? You could have written nothing at all, and made the same point. It was a smart ass response, and you know it. The fact that you are playing some childish game with semantics is no surprise to me. Enjoy.

          • Tony_H

            You know what Gary, I am sorry for the comment. I did not intend for it to be anywhere near the way you took it and yes it was a smarta$$ comment, but in a sarcastic way. More like, geez Gary, you expect us to respond to everything you ask? And then I answered your question in a straight forward manner.

            Again, I am sorry for the comment.

          • GaryLeeT

            And I accept your apology that it was my mistake for misunderstanding you.

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

            Come on fellas… You both make some good points. But you’re supposed to leave the getting sensitive and hurt feelings to me!

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

            Gary, I think you make a good comparison and certainly Price is an argument for bringing him up. But I would agree with Tony, and Theo has even said, that if we were in a pennant race the decision would likely be different.

            You still haven’t given me any feedback on my assessment? I worked really hard for 2 1/2 minutes on that and would like to know what you think!

          • BigJonLilJon

            Exactly correct

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

            I think it does involve his defense. A poster saw him live this week and said he was pretty awful in the field. That he cost the team runs.

            I think the contract does play a part too. But the FO cannot say that.

          • GaryLeeT

            Like Castro did, defense can be worked on in the Majors, especially on a team going nowhere.

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

            Good point. I just think there’s a series of factors behind these decisions. And yes, contract status and agent is one of them.

          • jtrain23

            Wait, Castro worked on his defense? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Castro has gotten better in the field. It has and still continues to be a work in progress. However, every season his fielding percentage has gone up and his errors have gone down. Unless he has a monumental melt down, he will continue that trend this year.

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

            I’d agree with that. He’s 24 now, I would imagine his defense can continue to improve for at least 3-4 more years before he is what he is.

            I still think there’s a good chance he moves to outfield or 3B at some point. Unless Russell really bulks up I see him as the best defensive SS.

          • SirGladiator

            I think it’s more a factor of what gets called an error and what doesn’t than anything, as Castro is still absolutely horrible at SS. Take the other day for example, he actually made 2 mistakes on one play, and wasn’t charged an error for either of them. The batter hits a popup to SS, Castro makes no real effort to get the ball, maybe he expected somebody else to get it, I don’t know, but the ball simply drops. OK, that’s bad enough, but wait, there’s more. There was a runner at 2nd, who foolishly decides to go to 3rd base after the ball drops, so Castro’s error can actually result in a BETTER result than if he’d caught the ball, this is great! So Castro reaches down to pick up the ball to throw to 3rd…AND FALLS DOWN, never managing to actually pick up the ball. So two incredible errors on one play, and the scoring of the play is…an infield single! So yeah, so long as plays like that don’t count as errors, Castro’s gonna look pretty good :) . But if you’re actually watching him with your eyes, you’re gonna wish you were watching Russell instead, and that goes double for whatever poor pitcher is on the mound at the time.

          • jtrain23

            Oh, I never said Castro “looks pretty good” defensively, quite the opposite actually. I just don’t notice him being as bad as he has been in the past. He is not good, he has just gotten better, lol.

      • jtrain23

        I just think that Soler has more to gain than Bryant. I think the F.O. feels like they know what they have with Bryant. I could be wrong, but I feel like he will be a good hitter upon arriving in Chicago. There is no advantage for either side to bring him up this year. Plus, he is still in his 1st full year of pro ball.

        I think that the Cubs are still a little uncertain about Soler. Can he stay healthy? Can he keep his head screwed on straight at the big league level? If they call him up in September then he can get a small taste. If he does well, then there is momentum going further. If he flounders, then he can “reset” at the end of the season without receiving a demoralizing demotion.

        I could be wrong, but I believe that once Bryant comes to the big leagues, he will stay here. So why not wait until next year? It doesn’t mean that he is “less ready” than Soler. Perhaps quite the opposite.

        • Tony_H

          Soler’s case is also about getting more AB’s from missing time this year and with no downside to the Sept call-up and he is already on the 40 man roster, it makes sense.

          • jtrain23

            Exactly. I just think that Soler has much more to gain from this than Bryant. I still don’t think that it has anything to do with performance or even that Soler is more “ready” than Bryant.

            It is all about timing. Soler is healthy and has been on a tear lately. If he can have a strong couple of weeks with the big league team, that rifles him into next year. If he struggles, it’s no big deal. The season ends. It is a much better scenario than holding out until next spring/summer. If he comes up then and struggles then the team would have to demote him, which can sometimes demoralize a guy.

  • triple

    I really love reading this last statement Neil… It’s worth reading again so I’ll re-quote it.

    “While the buzz Javier Baez is creating for the Cubs right now is bringing an excitement to the team that has been missing for years, Jorge Soler should help bring the future a little more into focus in September going into the off-season, especially with the thought Kris Bryantcould be up not long after the 2015 season begins.”

    -Neil

  • triple

    Kris Bryant really is impressive! Watching Bryant’s swing is really a thing of beauty. So balanced and smooth, and he doesn’t even look like he’s trying. It’s funny, I’m realizing it’s such a profound difference to Baez taking his cuts with the Cubs everyday now.

    • mutantbeast

      Id say its fairly likely both Baez and Bryant become 30+ HR hitters as big leaguers. Javy generates a ton of torque and Bryant is just plain country strong. Soler likely will also, maybe just take him a little longer. Cubs are cornering the market on power hitters.

    • mutantbeast

      Id say its fairly likely both Baez and Bryant become 30+ HR hitters as big leaguers. Javy generates a ton of torque and Bryant is just plain country strong. Soler likely will also, maybe just take him a little longer. Cubs are cornering the market on power hitters.

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

        I think Soler may hit 40 his first year…if healthy.

        • BigJonLilJon

          I think Sole has kind of been out of the lime light due to the attention on Baez, Bryant, Russell, etc. And due to his injuries. This probably has been good for him though. I think he is going to turn out to be a 300avg/30HR guy in the majors sooner rather than later.

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

            I haven’t seen him play much. But he’s got speed doesn’t he?

            Jon you think he could be a 30/30 guy? 40/40 outside chance?

            It seems I’ve heard he’s pretty dang fast. Similar skill set to his countryman Puig.

          • daverj

            Yes, similar skill set to Puig (Puig has 13 HR and 7 Steals so far this season). I think more like 10-20ish steal speed for Soler. Maybe he goes 30/20 in his prime years. I don’t see 40/40 speed at all and even 40 HR is unlikely.

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

            I’m calling 40HR as a distinct possibility! You’re probably right about steals. 30-40 is so rare these days.

            Not saying he will get 40HR. But I think it’s very possible at some point. I do think Soler can turn out best of all prospects.

            Also think Russell can be right up there.

          • daverj

            In terms of liklihood to be an All-Star, I think Soler is the most likely of all of our prospects. I like him better than Baez and Bryant.

            I agree on Russell too. I’d rank him below Soler and Bryant but above Baez.

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

            Thats my assessment too…

          • paCubsFan23

            I agree. I can see 40 hrs in a career year. but I think past leg injurieswill keep soler protectively entrenched on firstbase after singles and walks for the duration of his career.

          • Tony_H

            I saw Soler when he first came up. Not sure on stealing bases, as back then took awhile to get going, but had decent speed once he was going. He is a big man. I don’t think his style of game is anywhere close to Puig’s all out effort, out of control style.

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

            That’s a good thing. Love the effort but be smart. Puig will mature too. Someone needs to show him that video of the CF, blanking on name, from Sox and Phil’s that crashed into wall and rearranged his face.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Big lumbering guy.. like a freight train. Once he gets going though..lookout. Don’t think he is a sprinter.

      • daverj

        Yes, but the question with both of them, especially Baez, will be their strikeout rates the effect of that on their batting averages.

        If Baez hits, .230-.240 with 30 HR, he will still likely be a major league starter somewhere, but not the all-star we hope. He won’t hit for a higher average with the plate discipline he has showed in the minors.

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

          Indeed. But he’s got time to improve. I loved his quote about what Manny said to him about just stand there and let them walk you. If that sunk in with Baez that should help. He is pressing right now I’d imagine. Someday in future that may pop into his mind when he’s ready to just let his talent take over and not worry about staying in MLB or trying to impress.

    • GoCubs

      Don’t be surprised if Soler turns out to be as good or better than both.

      • daverj

        I agree.

  • Eugene Debs

    “there would have to be unique circumstances with the big league team, where we were in a pennant race and we really needed that boost.”

    Yeah, pennant race. How cute.

    • Tony_H

      Coming to your TV screen soon…….

  • J Daniel

    Alcantara in July, Baez in August, Soler in September, and Bryant in April/May. One at a time. I agree with jtrain in that Bryant is the real deal. If Baez (which looks promising) and Soler both are, the line up will be so much better. Might actually be able to score some runs.

    At this point, at least IMO, the sooner they get a couple of TOR type pitchers and a couple of vets the sooner they will be in contention. The way it starting to look I do not see why they can’t be good next year. How good will depend upon how good the young bats are under pressure.

  • mutantbeast

    Im guessing Ruggiano , Sweeney and Lake had better get used to the bench come September. Im guessing Soler power gets lots of Sept ABs.

    • GaryLeeT

      I agree, but I don’t think they are throwaway guys yet. I was very impressed with Sweeney’s AB in the bottom of the 9th yesterday.

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

        I think that’s a factor in some call-ups too. Not just Bryant, but Olt and Soler too. Ruggiano and Sweeney have both earned additional playing time lately.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    I don’t see anything wrong with Theo just admitting it is a business decision, as we have debated endlessly on the CCO: it is all about service time. By any measure, he has “dominated” at every level, and with Olt’s failure, a gaping hole at 3B exists, or you put him in the opposite corner as Soler.
    So just say it is a business decision, and establish that precedent and understanding. Or is there a concern the MLPA would go crazy and Cubs could get in trouble for treating their business like a business?

    • GaryLeeT

      That’s the frustrating part. When business trumps the spirit of sports.

      • daverj

        Does anyone think professional sports is anything but a business? The “game” part is the watered down version that kids play after school and adults play on the weekends. Business trumps the “spirit of sports” in many ways in professional sports, not just player call-ups.

    • dwalker

      Then its a griavance issue and boras will get to have a lot of fun and probably make extra money on the settlement.

      • Tom U

        Boras can try filing a grievance, but it won’t go anywhere. It is standard industry practice and the Cubs would be following the rules negotiated by the union.

    • GoCubs

      Defensively, Bryant is NOT ML ready to play 3rd base. But, he can play ML outfield today.

    • Tony_H

      First full professional season. They were never going to bring Bryant up this year.

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

      It’s not a good thing to make public. And supposedly Bryant’s defense has recently lost games in AAA.

    • SirGladiator

      You’re exactly right. Theo can’t say ‘we’re waiting until next year to save a year on his contract’ as that would cause the union to go nuts, but that’s the only reason they aren’t bringing him up, as he’s been in AAA far longer than Soler and dominanted far more than not just Soler but anybody in baseball. It’s just such a shame they’re making him wait because this is a guy who has a legitimate shot at breaking the all time home run record, and losing months of playoff time now could loom large 10-15 years down the road. To say nothing of the fact that it sure would be nice to be watching him hit homers and win games for us right now :) .

      • Tony_H

        That is not the only reason.

        • SirGladiator

          It’s possible it’s not the only reason, I can’t deny the possibility the waiting also has to do with trying to maximize losses to get as high a draft pick as possible. I like to pretend that isn’t a reason, but the more realistic part of me admits it probably is :) .

          • Tony_H

            Then why would they bring up Baez? He would be in the EXACT same service clock as Bryant. But they are treating them differently and he would go against everything you just said about getting a higher draft pick and maximizing losses.

            One is in his first full professional season, the other is in his 3rd. A college season is 60 games, where a minor league season is 120 games.

            The funny part is, if the FO treats them all the same, they are criticized for that, when they treat each one individually they are criticized for that.

          • GaryLeeT

            So by using your logic Bryant should be hitting a brick wall right about now.

          • GaryLeeT

            Especially since he played in the AFL last year too.

          • Tony_H

            Why? He should be working on his defense at 3B, as he would like to stay there long term. And offensively he is working on things as well, that HE wanted to work on before getting to the majors.

          • GaryLeeT

            We have had this discussion before. Bryant is the consummate pro that is towing the company line. So if you asked him right now if he would rather be in Iowa or The Show, he would say Iowa?

          • Tony_H

            Of course not, he wants to get to the majors. But he knew that unless the Cubs were in the playoff hunt AND he was dominating there was ZERO chance he would be in the majors this year. But he is using the time wisely and working on his game.

          • Tony_H

            I am sure he is looking forward to the September break before the AFL this year. Long season.

            Last year he did the college season of 60+ games, minors of 37 and AFL of 30ish. 130-140 total. This year he will do 120 minor and 30ish AFL for about 150 some games. Seems like a nice progression to get him ready for a full MLB season.

          • GaryLeeT

            Right, other than the issue of control, what’s difference between playing those games at Wrigley, or Iowa?

          • GaryLeeT

            Especially for a last place team where the games don’t matter.

          • Tony_H

            September dude! They want him to have a break after his 1st full pro season before going to the AFL. It all factors in and why most people see this as Baez call-up, Soler call-up, Bryant no.

            Read this on the comp.
            http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/26430/bryant-on-same-path-as-longoria

          • GaryLeeT

            Thanks for the article that backed my position. Longoria only had 2 years of college, and was not player of the year, but I do like his statements.
            “The earlier you can get that experience at the major league level I think it bodes well for you in the future,”

            And it was also noted that being a Boras client changes everything.

            Look, you won me over on the Boras is his agent issue, but I won’t budge on the other. For someone playing at Bryant’s level there is no developmental benefit for him to continue in the minors versus the Bigs.

          • Tony_H

            The article did have part of both sides, yet I still posted it.

            “It worked for me,” Longoria said before the Rays played the Cubs on Saturday. “I think they evaluate every individual differently.”

            Longoria played one full minor league season before getting the call in April of the next year.

            EXACTLY like Bryant!!

            Not sure how how many years of college 2 or 3 matters. They both were fast tracked due to college and ability, yet it still isn’t fast enough for some. Very, very rare to find a 1st round elite batter who gets called up to the majors during his first full professional season anymore.

            I agree on the development thing, except it is a lot easier to work on D when every game is scrutinized so much and he is working on inside pitches as pitchers have all been jamming him and it has been working to a degree.

          • Tony_H

            “Ever since Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant was drafted No. 2 overall in 2013, Cubs brass has used Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria as a template for him. Longoria was drafted third in 2006, made it as high as Double-A that season, then played at Double- and Triple-A in 2007 before getting called up early in 2008. That could be about the same path Bryant takes from 2013-2015. ”

            The quote you gave that backs up your side is from a player, who of course thinks they and others should be promoted.

          • GaryLeeT

            I also pointed out the difference between Longoria’s 2 years in college and Bryant’s award winning 3. Plus, Bryant’s minor league numbers are better than his too. Really, Rodgers is just surmising that’s what the Cubs would like to do, but it’s not a fact.

          • Tony_H

            I pointed the college years thing out, and don’t see the big deal there.

            I doubt Jesse just made this up all on his own, and I have heard this before as well.

            Find me a elite hitting prospect who has come up in their first full pro season in the last 5-6 years. Maybe there are lots and the Cubs are the anomaly.

          • GaryLeeT

            If Jesse heard it from one of the Cubs’ FO people, don’t you think he would name, and quote them? Elite means there aren’t many to choose from, and even fewer in the last 5 years, so you didn’t go out on a limb with that challenge. In fact, only Trout comes to mind. One things for sure, most elite hitters are in the Majors before they turn 23.

          • Tony_H

            Don’t believe what ever you want. I have heard it before.

            Mike Trout was drafted in 2009 and debut in 2011 only to go back to the minors and come up for good at the end of April 2012.

            Who would you want to compare him to a utility infielder who comes up to sit the bench?

            Bottom line there isn’t one that I know of out there as getting a position player like Bryant to the majors a little over a year after being drafted is very rare. Go back farther if you need to.

          • GaryLeeT

            Tulo spent 126 games in the minors.

          • Tony_H

            And it’s been 10 years…..

          • GaryLeeT

            “Go back farther if you need to.”

            It’s actually been 8, and as expected you are reliably NEVER wrong. Oh wait, I get it. You are wrong but are playing it off like a joke. HA HA got me.

          • Tony_H

            Yeah, you never start anything. I have admitted I am wrong many times before and people have changed my opinions on things. I don’t think I have ever seen you change an opinion or admit you were wrong.

            I was saying you went back 10 years of drafts, sorry for not clarifying.

            You know what Gary, you are right and I and all the experts and the Cubs FO are all wrong. They should call him up so that down the road, you can complain that he is leaving in FA, and the Cubs messed it up.

          • GaryLeeT

            “They should call him up so that down the road, you can complain that he is leaving in FA, and the Cubs messed it up.”

            Nice try. This discussion was not about control, that what I said was the reason for not bringing him up. It was if he’s ready or not. Then I prove you wrong with the Tulo example, and you decide to move the goal posts. Time to cut bait.

          • Tony_H

            This discussion was about the decisions and ALL of the factors that help lead to the answer. Let me break them down for 3 players.

            Arismendy Alcantara

            Control/contract – Could have gained an extra year by waiting until end of April 2015. Not expected to be a superstar, so not as big of deal to bring up early.

            Development – Has played one level at a time and has done better as he moves up.

            Minor league career – 6 years, 5 full seasons. 2214 PA’s.

            End result – Called up in summer 2014. AA had a lot of AB’s in the minors and improved as he moved up. No reason to wait to gain an extra year of control.

            Baez

            Control/contract – could have gained an extra year by waiting until end of April 2015, expected to be more receptive to signing an extension to provide for his family and specifically his sister.

            Development – Struggles at next level and needs adjustment period

            Minor league career – 4 years, 3 full seasons, 1350 PA’s, dominated each level after adjustment period

            End result – His development needs plus his 1350 PA’s lead the Cubs to IGNORE the extra year of control they could get by waiting until end of April. The idea that he will be receptive to a long term deal makes this easier to do.

            Soler

            Control/contract – Under contract through 2020, but could still gain an extra year of control by waiting until end of April 2015.

            Development – Has played well when healthy, needs more AB’s this year that he can get in Sept with the Cubs and in AFL.

            Minor league career – 3 years, 2 full years, 552 PA’s, dominating upper levels.

            End Result – Call up coming in September. He needs AB’s and can make up for lost PA’s with September call-up. Likely to go back to Iowa to start next year and they will still gain the extra year of control, unless he shows he is ready by his performance.

            Bryant

            Control – could gain an extra year by waiting until end of April 2015. Agent Scott Boras, not expected to be able to do a long term team friendly deal and pushes most everyone of his players to test FA.

            Development – Has dominated every level. Has things he wants to work on before going to the majors.

            Minor league career – 2 years, 1 full season 644 PA’s.

            End Result – Call up next end of April/early May. The Cubs never planned to bring up Bryant in his 1st full professional season unless the major league team needed him to win and he was dominating. Well he is dominating, but the Cubs don’t need him and add in the extra year of control and his agent his Scott Boras and only 644 PA’s in the minors and this is an absolute no brainer to let him finish the year in Iowa and likely go to AFL.

            And this is a short list of factors, the Cubs have a much more in depth list of factors in making these decisions. I am not going to change your mind (OBVIOUSLY!!!), but there is no way you will ever convince me that the control box is the only one on the check list when they have shown to ignore that with other players due to looking at all the factors for each player.

          • GaryLeeT

            “Has things he wants to work on before going to the majors.”

            Whether it be Minors or Majors, no player is ever done working on things. They continue to work on things their entire careers no matter what level they are playing at, so I don’t know why you continue to use that line. Oh, and your buddy Jesse Rodgers, is asking the same questions I am. He comes to the same conclusion. It’s all about money, control, and Boras.

            http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/26400/why-likely-call-up-soler-and-not-bryant

          • Tony_H

            I keep saying that, because Bryant said that.

            I will tell Jesse hi for you next time I see him.

            There is nothing wrong with asking the question and NO ONE is saying that control isn’t a factor. But it is not the ONLY factor, otherwise Baez would still be playing 2B in Iowa with Bryant.

            Why can’t you admit this?

            2 players, same elite status the only thing different is their minor league service time. Yet one got called up and one didn’t. If it was ONLY about control they wouldn’t have called up Baez at all or called up both of them.

          • GaryLeeT

            When a player has put up the numbers Bryant has over the last year (superior to Baez’s), and Baez gets called up, but Bryant doesn’t, then there is no other conclusion to draw. Is Baez’s agent Scott Boras? Did Baez have to be put on the 40 man roster? You can’t compare Baez’s situation to Bryant’s.
            Can I ask you a question? Have you ever taken a stance that wasn’t the popular consensus or conventional thinking? You never take risks with your positions. NEVER.

          • Tony_H

            I will take that as you do realize there is more than one factor in the decision.

            I don’t take risks???? The average fan who doesn’t understand much except the daily major league lineup wants Bryant up and I am saying that it won’t happen and doesn’t make sense. Not sure how I am following the popular consensus on this one.

            But outside of this, I don’t think you follow me much, if that is your thought.

            Have a nice day, this has been beaten to death.

          • GaryLeeT

            Who said there wasn’t more than one factor? It’s just that him being ready to hit in the Majors isn’t one of them.

          • Tony_H

            And I never said you couldn’t find someone, there has to have been some, but it is just not going to happen much in today’s game.

          • Tony_H

            So let me ask you, if you find 1 in 10, does that make what the Cubs are doing the normal way to do it.

            And I bet if you went through all 1st round hitters, it wouldn’t even be 1 in 20 that get called up the year after being drafted.

          • GaryLeeT

            Find me 10 Kris Bryants.

          • Tony_H

            There is only 1 Kris Bryant!

          • GaryLeeT

            And that’s the first player I checked.

          • Tony_H

            Also remember Bryant said he was ready for the majors when he signed his contract. Most players have confidence in their abilities. Yet Bryant has now learned that he did have things to work on.

  • BigJonLilJon

    Lets be serious now… It may be that Bryant needs to work on his defense at 3rd base. Doesn’t Baez need to work on is defense at 2nd base as it is a brand new position for him? But he’s up. Theo has stated that Bryant need more AB’s. Yet he has more AB’s than Soler this year than Soler has had in the past 2 years combined. And he’s hit every where he’s been. They are also the same age I believe. I could go on and on comparing the stats.
    We all know this is a service time thing. I get that, we all get that. I’d rather Theo come right out and say it rather than to outright lie to our faces about it though! It can make him lose trust from the fans in other areas, since we know we’ve been lied to before. In other words… how can I believe or trust you when you’ve lied to us with a straight face before? Just bugs the crap out of me.

    • Tony_H

      Baez is in his 4th season with the Cubs and 3rd full season. Dominated every where.

      Soler is in his 3rd season with the Cubs and 2nd full season (not that he has had a full season of AB’s but time) Has dominated the upper levels.

      Bryant is in his 2nd season, 1st full season and dominated every where.

      Of course service time is an issue, but barring a need to bring up an elite prospect for a run at the playoffs, I just don’t see this FO not giving a player one full season in the minors and the off-season to recover and build on that season before being called to the majors. Now role players, may come up faster, if that is all they will ever become, but not elite prospects.

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

      Bryant’s defense supposedly is still awful. Baez can improve, but he’s fine.

      • Tno13

        You continue to rag on Bryant’s defense based largely on what one poster said after seeing Who says this poster knows what he’s talking about?
        He’s one year into his career and you have him labeled as awful defensively, yet Baez after 4 years, can improve. I’ve read many reports that said his defense was not nearly as bad as advertised and improving with the work he is putting in.
        He may very we’ll end up in a corner outfield spot, but slow your roll with the “awful” comments . Baez was a poor defender all through the minors as well

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

          I didn’t say he can’t improve. And I’ve read it elsewhere too. But I listen when my CCO brethren post a live report from a game they were at.

          I think a lot of factors play into this decision. I outline some above for all 3 guys

      • paulcatanese

        I have noticed throughout this session that you continually bring up the lack of Bryant’s defense at third base. Could it be that you are a fan of Olt, and want him back ? It’s leaking out here Boarder. Don’t mind it, but give Bryant a break, he is working hard, and deserves the chance, at least half the chance that Olt has already had.
        Edit for spelling.

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

          I prefer Bryant to Olt. I think Olt can be good, but I’ve said I think Bryant will transcend. I didn’t consider Olt in any assessment today. Bryant, is already one of my favorites and I’d guess when he arrives that will be the jersey I purchase.

          I post a assessment of all factors below. May have left a few out. But it’s my best guess as to “all things considered.”

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

            Actually Paul it’s above. I know you don’t really care for me, but it’s there and I tried to be objective.

          • paulcatanese

            Not true that I don’t care for you. Although the constant rose colored glasses reminds me of my earlier years being Cub fan, they could do no wrong, no matter what.
            I just believe that jumping on the band wagon is a little premature, have seen these spurts a few times before, only to see them fizzle out.
            They are turning it around but t will take time, luck, and career seasons from players to do so.
            Although the Central Division lends to any team taking it all.
            I have opinions about many of the players they have, but my opinion means very little as I cannot control what happens.
            Keep up the good work, as it does keep you in a very positive frame ( needed as a Cub fan ).

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

            Sorry to jump to conclusions Paul. I can be a little sensitive sometimes and get my poor-little feelings hurt to easily :). Which is something I’m trying to work on.

            As I’ve told you I appreciate your perspective, passion and knowledge for baseball and the Cubs. I’ve been a Cubs fan for 30_ years, but I know you’ve been one for double that. So I feel lucky to have your perspective here. And I can imagine that after all that time it’s difficult to jump up and down until you’re more certain your heart won’t be broken once again.

            In 2003, when we were in the NLCS, I wore my same Cubs shirt everyday for over a week without washing it. And it’s a shirt I had since about 1987 to begin with! I was in college at the time and got my share of strange looks, and potentially turned up noses! I was so thrilled and I thought it was finally time. When we beat the Braves I was at my apartment with a, um, sorta girlfriend, watching the game. When it ended I started getting text messages from friends I hadn’t spoken to in years and emails from people that I didn’t even realized I was a fan! But I guess, as Cubs fans, we wear it on our sleeve and everyone pretty much notices. It felt awesome! Some of these guys were even Cardinal fans and they were congratulating me! It was surreal and although I was always a Cubs fan, at that point, I realized that I was not only a fan, I was a Cub! Part of something.

            I’d be out and strangers would come up to me and strike up conversations at the bar or dinner or wherever and just were curious about how I was feeling. It was a great little 3 week period.

            Then Bartman happened. Then we lost the series. And suddenly it was all over. I cried, cursed, I jumped up and down, went outside and screamed at at the sky “WHY?!” I told Gary, I remember seeing a little old woman in the stands in all her Cub gear when the series ended, and she was crying. I felt so bad for those older fans that had held on, to stay alive a few more years to witness a Cubs WS win. It really hurt me and even now typing about it I’m getting goose bumps because it’s taking me back. Outside my dad passing away, the love of my life leaving and humiliating me when I was 19, and then the lows of pre-sobriety, it was the worst night of my life. I didn’t realize I could hurt so bad because of a team. And I knew I wasn’t alone.

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

            Dang iPad wouldn’t allow me to type more on that post! Maybe a sign huh?

            I was more resigned than ever to see the Cubs win a championship and with Prior, Wood, Zambrano and the others I thought for sure it would happen in the next couple of seasons. And I was also more devoted than ever. Then we blew it again, and Dusty left in shame. Lout came and we looked good again, only to again be disappointed. IT was hard and I was reaching a low in my time as a Cubs fan. Teh. Then came those last Hendry years when things were such a collosal mess. I was disgusted and couldn’t believe how low we had sunk. Not a great team in Chicago and zero hope in the minors outside Baez and Castro.

            Then the Trib sold the team to a fan. And I started to get excited. Then rumors flew that Theo freaking Epstein was going to be our GM! The mastermind of Boston finally getting what we Cubs fans so craved. He announced he was tearing the whole thing down and starting from scratch. From day one I was like “heck yes.” That’s what I felt we needed. It’s going to be harder for the Cubs to finally break through, as we’ve seen every time we’ve been close. Black cats, Bartman, miracles in San Diego. Call them Cubby occurences or curses or whatever. But I believed that for us to win we had to do it different and better than anybody ever had before. I liked what I was hearing from Theo and thought that while it would take a while, it would eventually give us the best shot and stack the deck for us. I was 100% in.

            And here we are today. Hope springs eternal. I do believe that, likely by my 40th birthday, I will get to celebrate with the Cubs nation. Maybe my 41st, I’m 36 now. But I do believe as strongly as I’ve ever believed anything, that we will win soon. And once we do, I think we will win again soon after.

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

    Good, healthy debate today fellas! Like the way usually reserved usually save only for Ramblings! Which were a little slow yesterday so this is making up for it ;).

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

    Reminder to all! Nationally televised game in WGN today. Hope we can all get on and discuss. I haven’t been able to be real active during a Baez game yet and only yesterday was televise in my areas, so I hope most can be here. And all opinions can be represented.

    • paulcatanese

      Wow, and I get to watch Jackson again, I need more games televised out here to get to watch someone else pitch.

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

        Great, is it EJax? I didn’t realize that. Seems like I never have to miss an EJax start and few of Wood’s either. If Arietta or Hendricks are starting then of course it’s not on WGN or else it’s midday and I have to work. I did get to watch Hendricks against LA and that was a great game to see.

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  • Larry Cutler

    I hope they let these young guys get a few at-bats. Give them a taste of what playing at Clark & Addison is all about.