Posted on June 10, 2013 by Charlie Nehl
Thursday, at the Major League Baseball draft, the Chicago Cubs made a surprising move by not drafting the power arm of Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma after the Houston Astros chose Mark Appel from Stanford with their first overall pick. It was assumed by many that they would pick whomever the Astros would not take. They instead chose Kris Bryant from San Diego with their second pick.
I like them taking Bryant once Appel was off the board. While Gray is a great power arm that hits 100 mph with his fastball, Bryant has huge power and out homered a majority of the other Division I colleges by himself as he hit 31 home runs in only 228 ABs that will have an immediate impact in the middle of the lineup when his time is to be in Chicago.
It’s no secret the Cubs need some better arms in the organization. They’ve made some pretty picks in the last two years with Pierce Johnson and Duane Underwood last year and Dillon Maples in 2011. If you take out Maples couple of real bad starts, both he and Johnson have been pitching well. Underwood will be pitching for the short season Boise Hawks later this summer. It should be known that after the Bryant pick they did pick up pitchers with 19 of their draft picks this year. I haven’t had a lot of time to delve into those picks yet to see if there were any good arms in those picks, though it is worth noting a lot of these kids are college pitchers rather than kids being drafted out of high school. I like this move too.
What does this move mean for the Cubs? (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Albert Almora, Chicago Cubs, Cody Ransom, Darwin Barney, Dillon Maples, Duane Underwood, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Josh Vitters, Kris Bryant, Luis Valbuena, MLB Draft, Pierce Johnson, Prospects, Starlin Castro | 4 Comments »
Posted on February 25, 2013 by Andrew Martin
The impact of becoming a beloved player for the Boston Red Sox can’t be personified any better than Bill Mueller.
Mueller, a switch-hitting third baseman, is a native of Missouri. He attended Southwest Missouri State and graduated as perhaps their best player of all time, leaving as the school leader in hits, runs and stolen bases among a number of categories. He played both third and shortstop during his tenure and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2004. (more…)
Filed under: Baseball History, Down and Dirty - Interviews | Tagged: Bill Mueller, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Interview, San Francisco Giants | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 20, 2013 by Daniel Marino
Dan Marino continues his trek through each division in the major leagues and giving you one player he thinks is the: Rookie to Watch, Breakthrough Player, The Party’s Over, Non-Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick, and Just Not Seeing it.
Now, in part four of six, he brings you the National League Central:
Part 1: AL East Players to Watch.
Part 2: NL East Players to Watch.
Part 3: AL Central Players to Watch.
Chicago Cubs (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Alfredo Simon, Billy Hamilton, Bobby Crosby, Brandon Inge, Brent Lillibridge, Brett Jackson, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Clint Hurdle, Ian Stewart, Jake Westbrook, Jameson Taillon, Jeff Locke, Jon Jay, Josh Vitters, Martin Maldonado, Mat Gamel, Matt Garza, Michael McKenry, Miguel Olivo, Mike Leake, Milwaukee Brewers, Oscar Taveras, Pittsburgh Pirates, Rafael Furcal, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Scooter Gennett, St. Louis Cardinals, Zack Cozart | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 25, 2013 by Andrew Martin
Most top baseball pitching prospects starred as their high school ace before being drafted; no matter what role they ultimate assume in pro ball. Not James Pugliese.
The right-hander grew up in New Jersey and attended Steinert High School. Instead of starting, he was the team’s dominant closer.
Following graduation, Pugliese enrolled at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. His talent was so apparent that the team decided to convert him into a starter. It turned out to be a great decision for everyone involved.
Pugliese spent just one season with Mercer, but it was one for the ages. He went 6-2 in 65.2 innings with a 1.51 ERA in 2011. He also struck out 77 batters while walking 25. He seemed to get stronger as the season went on, as during one 40.1 inning stretch, he allowed just 16 hits and three earned runs.
Pugliese’s college repertoire included a low-90s fastball, changeup, slider and, surprisingly, a knuckleball. (more…)
Filed under: Down and Dirty - Interviews, On the Farm - Prospects | Tagged: Chicago Cubs, Interview, James Pugliese, Knuckleball, Mercer County Community College, Prospects, Theo Epstein | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 21, 2013 by Andrew Martin
With just three weeks until pitchers and catchers start reporting to spring training locations, the baseball offseason is winding down, but it’s not ending with a whimper. This has been one of the more eventful offseasons in recent memory, with constant activity, surprises, and even some quality free agents like Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn still available at this late date.
If the 2013 season can be half as eventful as this winter has been, fans should be in for quite a treat.
Unfortunately, this past week ended with some truly sad news about two baseball legends; considerably darkening this installment of notes. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Corey Hart, Earl Weaver, Free Agents, Kyle Lohse, Mark McGwire, Mat Gamel, Michael Bourne, Mike Napoli, Milwaukee Brewers, Mudcat Grant, PEDs, Sammy Sosa, St. Louis Cardinals, Stan Musial, WBC, World Baseball Classic | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 7, 2013 by Andrew Martin
It’s now less than two months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. We’ve finally gotten to the point of the offseason where teams are starting to scramble to fill the final holes on their rosters. Because the majority of the big-name free agents have already signed, the depths of the available player pool are starting to be plumbed. This makes the weeks leading up to spring training some of the most interesting to watch for diehard baseball fans.
***The Texas Rangers added another bat to their lineup by agreeing to a one-year contract with free-agent first baseman Lance Berkman. The switch-hitter will be 37 before the start of the season and played in only 32 games last year with the St. Louis Cardinals because of injuries. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Bobby Abreu, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Dontrelle Willis, Free Agents, J.P. Howell, Javier Vazquez, Lance Berkman, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Sergio Romo, Texas Rangers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 2, 2012 by Jonathan C. Mitchell
The Chicago Cubs have reportedly acquired starting pitcher Dan Haren from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for relief pitcher Carlos Marmol.
Haren comes with a price tag of $15.5M but Marmol, who had to waive his no-trade clause, relieves the Cubs of $9.1M in the final year of his contract. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs, Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels, Trades | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 31, 2012 by Andrew Martin
There are untold numbers of baseball players who had promising careers derailed by injuries; a sad reality in a sport so connected with the fulfillment of dreams. Pitcher Greg Hibbard, who once won 50 games in a four year period was one of those players, and saw his playing career come to an end by the time he was 30. (more…)
Filed under: Down and Dirty - Interviews | Tagged: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins, Floyd Bannister, Greg Hibbard, Interview, Kansas City Royals, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Melido Perez, Trades | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 23, 2012 by Daniel Marino
In 1983, this former major league player had seven at-bats with the Oakland A’s. He had one hit, and finished with a .143 batting average. It was his only season in the major leagues. The former player’s name is Dave Hudgens…the current New York Mets hitting coach. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Chicago Cubs, Dave Hudgens, Gregg Ritchie, Houston Astros, James Rowson, Joe Vavra, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ty Van Burkleo | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 31, 2012 by mlbdirtstaff
Reports first started to come in a week ago and it looked as if Ryan Dempster had been traded to the Braves for Randall Delgado. Turns out Dempster used his 10-and-5 rights and vetoed the deal that would send him to Atlanta. Following, Dempster made it clear that he wanted to go to the Cubs and the pressure was then on for a deal to get done. The deadline was quickly approaching and still nothing was done. The Dodgers were not willing to give up any of their big three pitching prospects and we started to hear other names start to step in. Then with just about a minute prior to the deadline, Buster Olney tweets that Ryan Dempster was traded to the Rangers. The pieces heading to Chicago will be third baseman Christian Villanueva and right hander Kyle Hendricks. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Chicago Cubs, Christian Villanueva, Kyle Hendricks, Ryan Dempster, Texas Rangers. Trades, Trade Deadline | Leave a Comment »