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.

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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#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.

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Baseball

#2 roadblock in Chicago

I’m still getting back into the groove of writing a full blog every couple days so this one might be a little short like Tuesday. I was racking my brain trying to think of something to write about about today and didn’t come up with anything. So I figured I’d just give my two cents on one of the few teams that are playing as I write this. Today I’ll write a little about the Chicago Cubs.

And more importantly a player that I don’t think is getting a fair shake from the Cubs, Javier Baez. Baez played great in the world baseball classic for Puerto Rico, was the MVP in the NLCS (or NLDS can’t remember which one). He really should be an everyday starter but he’s not in there today and still not 100% the starter at second base. He brings a good bat, crazy athleticism, and highlight plays on defense every day. For whatever reason the Cubs decided to sign Ben Zobrist last offseason and cause a bigger logjam at second base than what was already coming. Ian Happ was what I was talking about, he’s a top 25 prospect now, he was a top 10 pick a couple years back. Cubs fans might recognize Happ’s name because he had an outstanding spring training and was the talk of camp. Because of Schwarber being back they can’t just put Zobrist in left and start Baez at second like they did late/in the playoffs last year. Why don’t they just start Zobrist in right so Baez can play? That’s an option but you’re putting 180 million dollars, Jason Heyward, on the bench. Just start Heyward in center and bench Almora? Well you’re not gaining anything defensively, they’re both very good, and you’re forced to deal with Heyward not hitting anything playing him just because he’s a highly payed player. It’s a good problem to have, that’s why no one is complaining much, but it’s still a problem. Baez has proven his worth as a starter, Happ is knocking on the door, also Happ can play outfield too just like Zobrist. Don’t be surprised if Zobrist or Schwarber or even Heyward will be traded this year. The lineup has no leadoff hitter and the pitching staff is very old so they could trade for a leadoff guy and some young pitching. Just an idea.

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#50 last post of the season

This will be my final post of the season, I know there’s at least one game to be played but I’m going out of town on Thursday and will not be able to post after the finale. The only thing I can write about today is the World Series. We are through 5 games of the series and its 3-2 Cleveland. Not much else to say so let’s get into it.

I will still be rooting (somewhat) for the Cubs to win the series. Obviously they can’t win in 6 games like I predicted the most they can do tonight is tie the series 3-3. I think it’s a little too much of an uphill battle for the Cubs to win the series. Corey Kluber is scheduled/planned to go for game 7 and Chicago simply cannot touch the former cy young winner. And the pitcher for Cleveland tonight is Josh Tomlin who the Cubs struggled against in game 2. I thought the Cubs matched up well against the Indians starters and I also thought the offense would finally come out of the dark. But I was wrong this offense has been stagnant the entire postseason. I figured it was maybe because of all the leftys they were facing but when it was a right handed only staff, the Indians, the offense was nowhere to be found. Even the win in game 5 the offense only scored 3 runs so they squeaked by and got the W. Do I still think the Cubs have the firepower to pull it out? Yes I do but do I think it’ll happen? No, in my opinion I think it’ll be over tonight with Cleveland getting the rings.

Since it’s my last post of the year I just have to say Rest In Peace to Jose Fernandez again. His passing was just tragic. Dee Gordon deserves the ESPY for the best moment of the year with that lead off homer. #RIPJF16

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