Friday, April 05, 2013

Cubs Hit and Run: Marmol. Reds, Wrigley, and the DH

· So the Cubs are 2-1 and that makes me happy. Just thought I would get that out there.
· Carlos Marmol is still the closer (which I understand why) despite having a 20.50 ERA but it he continues down this road he will lose his spot and all of his trade value.
· The Reds have lost Ryan Ludwick for at least 3 months to which I say the Reds should look at Soriano or DeJesus to replace him.
· Trading away Soriano or DeJesus at this point would have to make sense in the form of prospects. The Cubs are not going to give either away although the addition of Ryan Sweeney on a minor league deal does make it easier to trade one while Brett Jackson continues to get ABs in Iowa.
· It looks like the Wrigley Renovation deal is completed and will be announced before Monday’s home Opener at Wrigley.
· I exchanged emails with a scout friend of mine today who told me that Starlin Castro would be better suited moving from SS to 2b than SS to 3rd when Baez is ready for majors. He did add he can see Baez moving to 3rd but moving him away for SS would be a “shame” given the high ceiling he as in that part of his game.

Now the latest from Jesse Rogers-

· Scherholtz is more of a Theo type hitter and he looks like he will get more early playing time especially if his production continues.
· Brett Jackson will get called up for sure if he produces in AAA Iowa.
· Edwin Jackson is not likely to be traded unless someone gives up the farm.

The DH has been in the news and passionately discussed recently. So I want to say that I come out completely in favor of having the DH in the both leagues. Here is why-

· Having a DH protects your pitchers.
The last thing you want is your pitcher who is getting paid to pitch to get hurt while batting or running the bases. The pitcher does not get paid to hit; they get paid to pitch.

· Adding a DH brings bat the balance of power among the two leagues.
Right now in interleague play and the World Series the AL has a huge advantage in their ballpark. While teams in the AL have players like David Ortiz, Jim Thome, Travis Hafner, etc.. for their DH; teams in the NL get to put out utility players and 4th outfielders in that spot. The balance of power needs to be more equal and adding the DH to the NL does that.

· Balancing the “perks” of signing a player to a big contract favors having a DH.
Right now the NL is at a huge disadvantage because a team in the AL can hand out mega deals to the best hitters in the game regardless of defense and age. If a dynamic hitter in the American League can no longer play the field in year 3 of a 7 year deal it is not an issue because they can still plug that player in the DH spot. Where as in the NL you are stuck to either trading, releasing, benching, or letting the player play the field even though he is a defensive liability.

· Making the game more exciting.
So many pitchers get off the hook with the pitcher hitting. It is essentially a free spot for the opposing team when that pitcher comes up to bat. By adding an actual hitter to the lineup you have more big opportunities in a game which makes the game more exciting.

· Veterans/Hitters have more places to play and more options.
There is the potential of 15 more spots for aging veteran ball players or players that simply can hit but not play the field. Players like Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Lee, etc.. who are still free agents would likely be a part of the MLB right now if the DH existed in the National League. Not only that but players coming up through the minors (Dan Vogelbach) who are good hitters but maybe blocked by an All-Star at their position have more of an opportunity to stay with that team because of the DH option. Furthermore it would allow all players access to all 30 teams through free agency. Because lets be honest a player like Adam Dunn does not have 30 options for several reason but not having a DH in both leagues should not be one of them. Fact is Adam Dunn wanted to sign with the Cubs at a discounted when he was a free agent. It went even as far as hearing speculation that he may accept a one year deal to play for the Cubbies. But because the Cubs were so worried about his defense at 1st and did not have a spot in the outfield they passed on him. If the Cubs had the DH he would have been signed by the them. I have a feeling this is the not a rare occurrence either, we just don’t hear about it.

All in all I am not sure how you argue against the Designated Hitter at this point. The game basics are the same but baseball overall has dramatically changed over time. The average fan likes the long ball, 8 to 7 final scores, and offense overall. Hardcore and traditional fans do love the strategy and tidbits of the game which I respect (and do not discount) but most average fans do not understand that portion of the game. I have evolved on this issue and now firmly support the National League adopting the Designated Hitter.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Cubs Hit and Run: Marmol, Roster, Bleacher Nation, and Levine Speaks

Here is the latest talk and much respect to one website in particular-

· After yesterday’s game Dale Sveum still says that Marmol is their closer. I agree he should remain the closer for mental and trade value reasons. If you demote Marmol in the first game of the season he may never get “it” back. He is a closer and closer’s by nature are a different kind of person. You just hope Marmol goes on one of his streaks to bring his trade value up.
· Brett at Bleacher Nation has done a tremendous job of updating everyone on the Wrigley Renovation process. This has been a huge undertaking and one frankly that I was not willing to take on. The amount of time and energy that Brett has put into it should be commended. You should check it out if you have not already. In fact he has a new update hot off the presses today here.
· Click this link found here and in the middle part of the page on the right side you can find the updated rosters of the Cubs minor league affiliates. Some good players at all levels but Daytona’s team is stacked!

Here is the latest from Levine-

· Levine speaks up for Marmol and says in a roundabout way it is best to have him stay as closer.
· The Cubs are going with Lillibridge and Gonzalez for the next two weeks while Barney is out.
· No reason to trade for David Price now on both ends. The Cubs are never going to trade Baez at this point and the Rays are trying to win a World Series and cannot do that without Price.
· Ricketts is making it seem they are willing to move from Wrigley Field but they won’t because that have too much invested in the current area.
· The Cubs are not going to trade Jeff Samardzija.
· Cubs lineup is better this year although run production will be a challenge.
· The Cubs will go after the best free agents available but they have to make sense and Cano may not make sense next year.
· No reason to trade a younger cost controlled lefty like James Russell.
· The Cubs tried trading for Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Olt in the offseason but were unsuccessful.

Until Next Time…