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  #1  
Old Apr 19th 2012, 4:20 pm
Banks Banks is offline
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Curious Aspects of "The Plan"

I, like many Cubs fans, am prepared for the disaster that is the 2012 Cubs season. Also, like many Cubs fans, I am OK with the Chicago homicide-like amount of losses that we will endure. Why? Because the franchise finally seems to have a direction, opposed to the continuous compulsive free-agent signings, which only served to put a band aid over a bullet hole. The Cubs are shedding payroll, while simultaneously looking to improve their farm system. Infact, the Cubs are only a handfull of teams in baseball without a single finacial obligation on its payroll, for after the 2014 season. So with all of that said, what has me so confused? Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, Sean Camp and Rodrigo Lopez.. As in; Why are these players on the roster?

I am not anit-veteran. Hence, I am not bashing the signings of Kerry Wood and David DeJesus. Both players serve a valuable presence both in the clubhouse and on the field. On top of those two players, Marlon Byrd's presence is invaluable. But after that, what do the afor mentioned veterans bring to the team? I'll tell you what they do: They block the Cubs ability to accurately evaluate particular player's value, as it pertains to their future prospects with the franchise. Who am I referring to? The answer should be obvious to the Cubs new hierarchy.

Dave Sappelt(25) and Tony Campana(25) have both accomplished everything they can at the minor league level. Both are speedy, defensive outfielders, who have big league experience. Either one is a better option, as it pertains to this organization, than Reed Johnson.

Adrian Cardenas(24) is a solid player, who can play every infield position outside of catcher. He should have Joe Mather's spot.

Casey Coleman(24) is the ideal pitcher who deserves an extended audition. Colelman has over 130 innings of major league experience under his belt. There is no good reason why he shouldn't have one of the spots currently occupied by Rodrigo Lopez or Sean Camp.

Jay Jackson(24) is a long-time Cubs prospect, with a strong arm, who the Cubs can't seem to understand is a reliever, not a starter. Jackson would be ideal in either Camp's or Lopez's spot.

Why am I not mentioning Anthony Rizzo or Jay Jackson? Because I actually agree with the Cubs logic, as it stands with these two. Both are cases of the Cubs trying to extend their contractual control, over talented, young player's service time. Ultimately, it means both players become arbitration eligible a year later. Don't plan on seeing either of these players until mid-season.

In the mean time, the Cubs plan to build up the value of various veterans(Dempster, Byrd, LaHair, Soto) in order to clear up space for their younger counter parts(Wood/Wells, Jackson, Rizzo, Castillo), by August, and get back the most in return for them.

It's going to be a rough season. But, hopefully, we will have fun watching the future show us our future, in the present.
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  #2  
Old Apr 19th 2012, 11:55 pm
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IMO Those guys are placeholders.

Even though Campana, Sappelt, Coleman et. al are all probably part time/limited role players at their peak, I think the whole year is going to be a top down review, so as thin as the upper minor leagues are (thanks genius Tim Wilken), I don't think they want to necessarily put anything in motion yet. My evidence for this is the fact that the whole Hendry minor league coaching staff is still intact. Cub fans might as well consider this year 0.
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  #3  
Old Apr 20th 2012, 5:35 am
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I don't know if I would be so quick to put Wilken under the bus. If you look at what players are performing well , Castro , Barney , and all the others that went in trades , they are doing much better than the Hoyer- Epstien guys , Stewart , T. Wood , Rizzo looks like the only real prospect.

Remember , Epstien did his " magic " with a team that came off a 94 win season and an expanding payroll. Not a 71 win team and a team looking like it is shooting for a 64 million dollar payroll.

The " Plan ", I do like is instituting a playbook that outlines a development style for all Cub players. The idea of trading while there is still value and being strong with fundamentals. These are all great ideas with possible huge pay offs but it is so much like investing in penny stock , low irsk but forever to get a return worth anything.

It would look much more promising if we still had those young arms that Hendry threw away his last year .

This may be Epstiens first year but it is Ricketts third. I fear that Ricketts has no rudder and is too influenced by his employees , full stop !
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  #4  
Old Apr 20th 2012, 7:31 am
Banks Banks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bockstock80134
IMO Those guys are placeholders.

Even though Campana, Sappelt, Coleman et. al are all probably part time/limited role players at their peak
You're probably right. But why not use this entire season to find out for certain? What do you lose by putting them on the roster and giving them playing time? Why waste roster spots on journeyman veterans? It's not like the previously mentioned players are being rushed to the majors. They have all learned and accomplished everything they can at the minor league level. There is nothing for them to gain.

Everytime Johnson or Baker start a game, it's a wasted opportunity for the Cubs franchise to productively evaluate its future.
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  #5  
Old Apr 20th 2012, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by LeeEila's/rant View Post
I don't know if I would be so quick to put Wilken under the bus. If you look at what players are performing well , Castro , Barney , and all the others that went in trades , they are doing much better than the Hoyer- Epstien guys , Stewart , T. Wood , Rizzo looks like the only real
It's far too early to judge the productivity of trades made by the Cubs new brass. Let's allow the season to play out.

They obtained a nice amount of good, young talent. To limit their effectiveness to Rizzo, is to not accurately graze the plaines.

Furthermore, Darwin Barney is a role player; not a starter.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by LeeEila's/rant View Post
I don't know if I would be so quick to put Wilken under the bus. If you look at what players are performing well , Castro , Barney , and all the others that went in trades , they are doing much better than the Hoyer- Epstien guys , Stewart , T. Wood , Rizzo looks like the only real prospect.
I was speaking strictly in terms of the draft.

If Darwin Barney is the lone example of 5 years of Tim Wilken we are in bigger trouble than I thought. I do realize he had a limited budget for the two years, but the Cubs spent big $$$ on guys like Samardzija and Szczur when they could have put the money on bigger and more developed bats/arms earlier in the draft.

At least Cashner brought in Rizzo.

The market is quickly changing and more teams are locking up their young players earlier. I think the new 'inefficiecny' approach (I hate that word) Epstein/Hoyer is attempting is try to build around former top prospects who had poor or inconsistent early parts of their careers such as Stewart or Volstad, and smaller market teams can no longer want/afford or have cheaper replacements for. These guys aren't your 5 WAR player you build around, but its worth taking the chance that one of them will figure it out.
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Old Apr 21st 2012, 8:17 am
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What aspects of the plan have you seen being put in play so far ?

I have seen bad veterans being in the line up day after day. I have seen them all first pitch hacking . I have seen them not adjusting to the ballpark and swinging for the fences in 40 degree weather with a 30 MPH wind blowing straight in. I have seen six errors in one game.

When will they be something different than what we have all seen ?
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 8:35 am
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Furthermore, Darwin Barney is a role player; not a starter
I find what you see as starters , Campana , DeWitt (Two players that you can only hide in left. ) , very curious .
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 9:54 am
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The Byrd move is exactly what I thought would happen.

I don't know what you guys think, but to me it didn't make sense to have Campana, Sappelt, Coleman, etc. and the other marginal prospects/fringe major leaguers up at the same time.

I think as the year goes on, the front office will gradually replace the veterans with these guys as they develop better ideas of how to use them.
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 9:55 am
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I don't dislike Barney, but I feel the same way about him as I do Theriot.

He's not very young baseball-wise (I believe he turns 27 this year), but for league minimum and under team control he's fine for a couple of years while the Cubs figure out how to fill their larger holes.

I could see him being supplanted by Logan Watkins or Ronald Torreyes in a year or two, depending on their moves for moving Castro off short.
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