Baseball

#26 Quintana trade

I have been very critical of the Cubs choices this year, and you can add this trade for Jose Quintana to the list. I’m not really sure what they were thinking to be honest. I get that they wanted a controllable starter, which Quintana has 3 years of club control left, but they were better options out there especially for the package the Cubs gave up. Just to sum it up the Cubs gave up their two best prospects for a 28 year old left hander with a career record under .500, a 4.33 era at the time of the trade, and he walked 40 guys in 100 innings. Before I hear the “he pitched good in his debut though” just know it was the Orioles and he was obviously excited, I believe he hit 98 mph on the gun he won’t do that again.

I think the Cubs gave up way too much in this trade and that’s what I’m going to dig into. First of all there were two prospects dealt from the Cubs to the White Sox who’ll be lucky to make it to the majors so those guys aren’t worth me writing about. No offense. The lesser of the two big time prospects was 21 year old Dylan Cease, I have less to say about him so let’s start there. While I wouldn’t put the “future ace” label on Cease he has a good arm and is number 63 in the top 100. That’s really good. Kind of ironic he was a Cub because if I had to throw a comp out there it’d be Carl Edwards Jr. Cease has a good fastball and a plus curveball with shaky command, like Edwards they might try him as a starter but if it doesn’t work move him to the bullpen and you’ll have a dominant reliever. Now the big boy the Cubs traded away, 20 year old Eloy Jimenez. I couldn’t believe the Cubs traded this kid for Quintana. I saw him with my own two eyes down in the Arizona fall league and he impressed me. The size and the bat speed are very similar to the former Cub Jorge Soler, but he swing didn’t look quite as long as Soler’s so he has a lesser chance of striking out. He might be over a year away from the majors but he was already a top 10 prospect at just 20 years old. Jimenez looks to have a special bat and they traded him, I’m sure the Sox are extremely happy they got him from the cross town rivals. Just to put his bat speed into perception, only 3 people have had an exit velocity over 119 mph in the stat cast era Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Eloy Jimenez.

Standard
Baseball

#25 all star week

So today instead of writing about each individual all star topic/game I’m just going to lump them all together. And because it’s my only legit week off I will be taking all star week off, well at least Tuesday I’m not sure if I’ll have enough to write about on Thursday or not but we will see. Kind of ironic that it comes a week after I took the Fourth of July off but it is what it is you know.

I’m not particularly excited for any of 3 all star events so I’ll just start with the one happening the soonest, that’s the futures game on Sunday. And like every year both teams, the world and the USA, are absolutely stacked. To be perfectly honest I already forgot the majority of each roster, so there isn’t too much I can say. But I remember one player from the world team that I’m really really excited to see, that’s the 5 tool player in the Nats organization Victor Robles. This 19 year old is having a great year in A ball and literally has all 5 tools and is already a top notch prospect, did I mention he’s only 19? Because he’s only 19. Might of just turned 20 but still he’s young, I hope he at least shows off one of his great tools.

Now onto the event I’m somewhat excited for, the home run derby. Giancarlo Stanton will be defending his title and the all star game is in Miami this year so he has home field advantage. Plus the big boy Aaron Judge will be competing as well, he hits the ball just as hard and just as far as Stanton. There’s another big boy competing who hits the ball hard, the Twins third baseman Miguel Sano. Plus the 21 year old Dodger with the huge uppercut, Cody Bellinger. Those big boys alone should hit some bombs. The only player I don’t think should be there is Gary Sanchez, I know he can swing the bat but the dude only has 13 homers cmon. I would not bet on this event should be a very good derby, everyone has a real chance to win. My pick to win is Stanton, I really like Sano’s chances but you just can’t bet against Giancarlo Stanton in a home run derby.

Now the part I’m least excited for, the actual all star game. Of course I’ll still tune in it’s still baseball so I’ll watch it no matter what. But I am so glad that the winner doesn’t get him field advantage in the World Series anymore, if you want it to be fan vote then it shouldn’t matter one bit. Because Joe Schmo from South Dakota isn’t voting for the best players is he? Of course not he’s voting for his favorite players, and Joe Schmo’s vote should in no way influence home field advantage. That’s why I don’t vote for the all star game it’s not about who’s playing the best it’s just a popularity contest, I’m so glad it’s not important anymore.

Standard
Baseball

#24 Montero’s comments

Yes I know it seems like I’m writing about the Cubs at least once a week, right now the Cubs are simply giving me the most to talk about. Miguel Montero got DFAed (designated for assignment) by the Cubs yesterday, he’s only the backup catcher but it’s still pretty interesting. DFAed basically means the Cubs didn’t want him on the team anymore, he will most likely be traded soon he’s not technically a free agent he doesn’t have much say where he goes. Technically he’s still a property of the Cubs so if he passes through waivers he can be sent to the minors, like I said he’ll probably get claimed off waivers and traded to that team.

It’s not really that interesting when a backup catcher gets cut. But it was Miguel Montero’s comments after Tuesday’s game that sparked some controversy and ultimately led to him getting DFAed. After the game, which he allowed 7 stolen bases, he said to reporters “why do I get blamed for the stolen bases? Look at the tape most of the time the pitcher (Jake Arrieta) doesn’t give me time to throw anyone out” or something like that. He’s 100 percent right no question Arrieta takes awhile to get the ball to the plate but he threw another player under the bus and that’s a no no. He could’ve kept it vague but he specifically said the pitcher, everyone knows he meant Arrieta, wasn’t giving him any time to throw them out. Miguel Montero has not thrown out a base runner all year, he’s 0-31 on the year, Arrieta has allowed 15 steals this year you do the math. I’ve had a day to think this over and I’ve came to the conclusion, Montero is just tired of being the backup on a .500 team. He’s a veteran he knows you don’t throw a teammate under the bus, he knew what would happen he just wanted out.

Standard
Baseball

#23 Cubs v Nats

Today I feel like talking about the 4 game series going on in D.C., mainly because I’m glued to my tv. Call me a homer or biased or whatever you want but I’m not denying that I’m a Nationals fan. I think the Nats are playing some of the best baseball in the majors this year, I’m glued to the tv because I know a lot of Cub fans and I don’t think the Cubs are slouches. I didn’t think this was ever going to be an easy sweep for the Nats. Before I get started I just have to say I’m not feeling 100 percent today so this might be kind of short.

First I just have to mention how well Javy Baez played on defense last night, seriously wow. He absolutely robbed Bryce Harper on a line drive that actually made my jaw drop, he was at shortstop last night. Because Harper is left handed Baez was slightly shifted towards second base Harper hit a liner, not softly either, right to where the shortstop usually would be and somehow Baez dove to his left (and a little towards the outfield too) and caught it. Obviously a little bummed because it should of been a hit but whatever I was impressed. Tonight will be Scherzer for the Nats and Strasburg tomorrow, the Cubs could be in trouble no doubt. I said this last week and I seriously mean it, sending Schwarber down to AAA could be the start of the turn around for the Cubs. Schwarber is a career .204 hitter, let me say that again .204 CAREER HITTER. And he was the leadoff hitter? Yes, he had a good World Series but that was a very small sample size and he was DHing. He’s not as good as some seem to think, he never overly impressed me when he was a prospect. Now is your chance Cubs if a turn around is coming nows the time, more playing time for Baez and Almora.

Just realized I started this post planning on writing about the Nats too but it turned into a Cubs only. Oh well.

Standard
Baseball

#22 no hitter Wednesdays

First there actually were no no hitters yesterday/last night but there were two “close” ones that I’d like to talk about. The two I would like to write about today is Max Scherzer’s game against the Marlins and Justin Verlander against the Mariners. I might get into a little rant about Verlander’s start just a fair warning. Just a funny tidbit, I’m sure Tiger fans will love this, just a few years ago the Tigers had both Scherzer and Verlander.

Before I get into that I read earlier today that the Cubs are sending Kyle Schwarber down to AAA. Jason Heyward is heading to the DL also, means more playing time for Almora and Baez. This might be the chance the Cubs need to start turning it around.

I’ll start with Max Scherzer because there’s less of a chance of me going full rant mode. So Scherzer and the Nats were facing the Miami Marlins for the last game of the series yesterday afternoon in Miami. And I knew in the second inning Max had his A+ stuff, I knew something special could easily happen today. 6 batters 6 strikeouts in the first two innings, the fastball was coming out his hand easy at 96 mph he slider looked unhitable. He didn’t allow a hit through 7.1 innings, and a come backer that was a little too high and knicks off of Max’s glove and there goes the no hitter. It’s too bad he had no hit stuff but that’s baseball.

Now about Verlander, I’ll try to keep this short I promise. Verlander has his good stuff working as well, had a perfect game as a matter of fact, gets to the 6th inning and Jarrod Dyson bunts for a base hit. YOU DO NOT BUNT FOR A BASE HIT WHEN THE PITCHER HAS A NO HITTER. Baseball players get that. I get why he did it that’s part of his game and I’m not mad at Dyson what so ever but it doesn’t go down too easy, don’t really like it. If it was the ninth inning I’d be seriously mad but it was only the 6th inning so I can let it slide. But current and former baseball players will get it.

Standard
Baseball

#21 Torres time will have to wait

Today I want to write about how the Yankees top prospect (and currently MLB’s number 2 overall) Gleyber Torres got injured and will be out the rest of the year. It’s really too bad, before the injury I thought the 20 year old shortstop would be making his debut in the Bronx fairly soon. He was working on third base, where the Yankees struggle, so I thought it was coming a lot sooner than most expected. Before I get into Torres I want to mention a couple things, not really much to say so I guess you can consider them “notes.”

What was with that slide Rizzo? Last night Anthony Rizzo slid/ran over the catcher at home plate trying to score on a sac fly. And honestly I don’t care, that’s how the game use to be played until they changed the rules to protect the catcher. Usually Joe Maddon is considered a genius (this year not so much) but his comments last night were incredibly dumb and ill informed. I know he was just defending his player but Rizzo had a clean lane to slide he went out of his way to initiate contact. Go back and watch the tape if you don’t believe me.

Don’t you hate it when some players get more attention than others? Last year (and the beginning of this year) people would not shut up about Gary Sanchez and his power, “so fast to 20 homers” “among the best ever.” And then there’s Cody Bellinger who’s literally THE fastest ever to 21 homers in MLB history, and yet nobody is really talking about him. What’s up with that?

At just 19 years old he won the Arizona fall league MVP just last year, Gleyber Torres certainly has great potential. He has very quick feet and an excellent arm looking a lot older in the field, he simply knows where to be. He’s just one of those players where it just looks like everything comes super easy to him, especially on defense. I was in Arizona and witnessed him with my own two eyes and it still surprises me he was only 19. I personally believe in his power potential right now he’s more of a gap to gap doubles kind of hitter, but I think as he grows up a little more he can transition that to homerun power. The reason why I’m talking about him is because he injured himself sliding head first into home (always a bad idea) and needs Tommy john surgery which will unfortunately cut his season short. But the silver lining it’s his non throwing elbow so it shouldn’t effect his future arm strength any. It’s still funny the Cubs gave up Torres in the Aroldis Chapman trade last years and then the Yankees sign Chapman back in the offseason anyway, I think it’s safe to say the Yankees won that trade.

Standard
Baseball

#20 the struggling Cubs

Now that the draft has came and went I really have nothing planned to write about today. After I saw the Cubs lineup yesterday I got a little made so I feel a good rant coming on, is that ok? Before I start don’t come at me with “you’re just a Cub hater” no I’m really not I still believe they can win the NL central. I’m just a realist and I have some problems with the way the Cubs have constructed their lineup recently. And no this isn’t about batting Rizzo leadoff, that doesn’t bother me at all.

How to start? Ok, first Ian Happ needs to be sent back to AAA. He’s only hitting .200 yet he hits first, second, or cleanup in the lineup, he does have 7 homers but who cares when you’re only hitting .200? Speaking of Happ, because he’s the usual center fielder for whatever reason Albert Almora is just a bench player. Almora is hitting .286, the highest average on the Cubs, could win a gold glove and he’s just a bench player playing once every 3 or 4 games. Speaking of bench riders let’s talk about Javy Baez. Baez has gold glove potential like Almora and he also has 30 homer potential but yet he’s used sparingly too. Zobrist hitting .220 and Russell hitting .215 are so much better than Baez at .250 (sarcasm.) Russell playing through his struggles I understand because he’s a slick fielding shortstop, but Zobrist isn’t and he still plays more than Baez. Yes, Baez is going to strike out that’s just the kind of player he is but don’t act like you have such a problem with it and then turn a blind eye to Kris Bryant’s strikeouts. Now I saved the worst hitter for last because I got plenty to say, onto Kyle Schwarber. The dude is hitting .170 why is he still starting? Back in 2015 he only hit .240 yet every Cubs fan was impressed by him why? I didn’t see it he just looked like a strikeout or homer guy, nothing special those guys are a dime a dozen. Last year he tears his ACL which pretty much put the end to him possibly being a catcher, so now primarily an outfielder. An outfielder hitting .170. I’m not going to pretend he doesn’t have a pretty swing, its very quick and it creates plenty of power. When the Cubs drafted him fourth overall in 2014 everyone, including myself, thought that was an over reach they could’ve gotten someone more talented. You ever wondered why? Maybe he’s peaked, maybe the league has figured him out.

My point to this post, start Baez and Almora! The Cubs can still win if they actually make some legitimate changes, batting Rizzo leadoff is not enough.

Standard