• joined Jul 23, 2009
  • last login Apr 19, 2014
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Cubs Photo Day 2014

One reason to watch the 2014 Cubs: Carlos Villanueva's mustache.

Mike Olt's vision issues haven't resolved

Bleacher Nation linked to this article today, and I think it's worth discussing. The short of it is that the eye drops he was using helped his performance but were only a short term fix (not safe long term) and when he stopped using them around the trade, his vision got bad again. On one hand, Olt's career is in severe jeopardy if there is not a long tern medical solution to his problem. On the other, it looks like the eye problems are largely to blame for last year as he had a solid stretch of play while he was taking the eye drops. If he can somehow get that resolved this winter, he could be in line for a nice bounce back. At the least, he sounds like he's keeping a good attitude about it.

Josh Vitters Moving to the Outfield

I've been saying for a while that moving to the outfield is probably his best shot to contribute in the majors. At least for the Cubs. I think he has a chance to at least be part of a L/R platoon in left field with Sweeney or Bogusevic next season. If he can handle the outfield, I think the bat can eventually play there, but we'll have to see how things go. I still think he can develop into an above average major league hitter.

Yahoo! story on Cubs standard contract language

The headline and theme of "trying to make their contracts non-guaranteed" is a bit misleading. This is more a cover your backside situation in my opinion. But it is interesting to me that the Cubs seem to have set a new standard for fighting PED use and age fraud through player contract language. If you were a PED user, and you had a choice between signing a theoretically non-guaranteed deal with the Cubs (if you were caught), wouldn't you look to sign elsewhere? I think this is actually a good thing for the Cubs to do, even if the enforceability of the clauses is uncertain and even if it costs us a big name FA who isn't clean and chooses another offer because of the clause. It doesn't guarantee the Cubs are a clean team, but it does protect then from an A-Rod situation.

Why the draft rules are terrible

I know that in theory it seems fair to cap draft spending so big market teams can't outspend small market teams for amateur talent. But this system is anything but beneficial to small market teams. If the Yankees, Red Sox, and, yes, the Cubs have more money to spend in the draft than the Rays, Indians, and Reds, the system is broken. I think baseball is in a good place and there is a lot of parity at the moment, but I'm afraid that parity was largely built with the old rules.

fWAR and bWAR to have unified replacement level

Al will be happy about this (and really so should you). Having the same baseline for these two WAR models will hopefully go a long way in clearing up confusion about their differences. It also shows a willingness on BB Ref and Fangraphs parts to work together. This is great news for baseball analytics.

Cubs focus-grouping uniform, logo changes?

From our friend Brett at Bleacher Nation. Fine with me as long as they leave the home uniforms alone.

Boys of Spring on Dan Vogelbach

Nice little update on Vogelbach's conditioning with video. Also, a little nugget about Vogelbach taking some grounders at 3b during instructs. I think he is more athletic than people give Jim credit for. May be too early to relegate him to DH.

Tom Tango is consulting exclusively with Cubs

Awesome news. Also, there's a job in it for somebody smart and talented.

5 Important Saber Concepts

A brief rundown of some key Sabermetric concepts. A good starting place if you're struggling with the purpose and process behind some of the modern baseball statistics and newer ways of analyzing the game.

A knuckleball in slow-motion

A thing of beauty, isn't it?

Antitrust Blackout Lawsuit Moves Forward

Sounds like there's some potential for this to result in some progress on the blackout rules. Here is the opinion as well. I haven't read it yet but it looks interesting:

Sports medicine gives Brewers edge

I hope the Cubs are looking into doing whatever it is the Brewers are doing. Seems like a great way to gain a competitive edge, both in terms of keeping existing talent on the field and in terms of draft and FA signing decisions. Not to mention it would be good to offer players the best possible medical staff.

Garza cleared to resume workouts

Good news on the elbow. Hope he can make a strong showing this spring and either be signed to an extension or traded for a boat load of prospects.

How about Jed Lowrie for 3B?

The Epstein connection is there. Comes with lots of injury risk, but that might mean he could be pried away for lesser prospects. Plays strong defense at 3B, has shown good power when healthy. It all depends on the Astros' asking price of course (and it doesn't seem they are highly motivated to move him without a big return), but still something to keep an eye on.

Cubs Submit Bid on Ryu Hyun-Jin

Scott Boras client, 25 years old, don't know anything about his stuff but left handed pitching is left handed pitching. Edit: changed the link to Phil Rogers' more informative writeup.


Should the Cubs Try "Sign-and-Trade" as a Rebuild Strategy?

This helpful rundown by Dave Cameron at Fangraphs on the changes to the CBA and their effect on the free agent market this winter contains an interesting theory about how something similar to the...

New Epstein Interview

Says the team will make acquisitions at the deadline if they are somehow contending, will look to add an outfielder this winter, still evaluating Ian Stewart's health and apparently is leaving that door open, if the team is out of it at the deadline they'll sell just like last season. Sounds good to me.

Stephen Bruno: Catcher?

Interesting read about Bruno getting some time at catcher during instructs (in the bullpen and during side sessions, not in games). Will be interesting to see if they give him a serious look there. Would slow down his progress through the system, but would definitely make him a very intriguing prospect if he can handle catching.

Boise Hawks Scouting Reports on Fangraphs

Nice writeup with some informative comments about several of the Cubs' intriguing low minor leaguers.


Fangraphs: 2012 Payroll and Wins

Regarding the ongoing payroll/rebuild debate (and I know, here we go again), I'm just throwing this Fangraphs article out there as containing some data relevant to the discussion. To summarize...

Cubs to Sign David DeJesus to be everyday RF

I like this, depending on the terms. After Sizemore and Murton, he was my next choice to upgrade the OF. Maybe indicates Byrd or Soriano will be moved?

Cubs Choose Astros' Quirk To Be Bench Coach

Jamie Quirk was the Rockies bench coach for six years, including their World Series year of 2007.

Matt Murton to Remain in Japan

My hopes and dreams crushed! Only in Japan, red-heads Are loved as should be.

Cubs Will Listen on Offers for Any Player

Now, I'm not sure why any team wouldn't at least listen to offers on any player, but this seems to be a little bit more than posturing. They appear to be inviting offers. This offseason may be about to get real interesting.

Yoenis Cespedes

With a promo video like that, we've gotta at least kick the tires on this guy, right?


OT - Social Media and Sports Infographic Two thoughts about this: 1)...

Logan Morrison Files Grievance Against Marlins

I had been doing some wishful thinking this morning, wondering if the Marlins relationship with Morrison could have soured enough for them to trade him like the Cardinals traded Colby Rasmus. Then I saw this story (which we knew was coming, but the timing is impeccable!). Important part: "It’s probably far more significant from a team/player relationship point of view. And that didn’t seem too hot to begin with." I've seen nothing in Morrison's "behavioral issues" to suggest he's a bad teammate or won't give 100% every night. He should get bonus points for taking Hanley Ramirez to task, and missing the season ticket holder event doesn't appear to have been intentional (see Amy Nelson's original article linked inside). All that to say, if the Marlins can't live with his tweets, it would be nice if the Cubs could swing a deal for him. I'd move anyone not named Castro or possibly Brett Jackson for him.

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