Rank the Bullpen Potential...

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Tim
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Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby Tim » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:50 pm

Rank these guys on their potential bullpen impact in 2018 (and 2019 if you get ambitious)

AAA:

Matt Swarmer
Tommy Thorpe
Matt Carasiti
Alec Mlls
Zac Rosscup
Jack Leathersich
David Berg
Dillon Maples
Jen-Ho Tseng
Brad Markey
Rob Zastryzny

AA:

Pedro Araujo
Adbert Alzolay
Jake Stinnett
Craig Brooks
David Garner
Trevor Clifton
Duane Underwood

A+:

Dakota Mekkes
Michael Rucker
Duncan Robinson
Scott Effross
James Norwood
Thomas Hatch
Oscar de la Cruz

On listing most of the starters here - I think the Cubs are going to be buying their SP and trying to fill parts of the pen with the homegrown guys. So I think most of the guys currently starters will be traded or converted to bullpen. Hopefully the stuff can play up for some of these guys there.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:28 pm

I think Butler, Tseng, Mills, and Zastryzny are the 7th-10th starters, but I don't think they'd impact the bullpen beyond a September callup and eating a few innings in long relief.

Leathersich is Rosscup is every LHRP with good K rates and terrible control. Maybe you get lucky but I don't anticipate any meaningful MLB contribution.

Carasiti and Maples I see as first in line for the Iowa shuttle. Maybe one of them makes the team depending on how the pitching staff shakes out, injuries, and spring performance, but hopefully not both.

I think Garner has flown under the radar a bit. He didn't fare so well in his first AAA stint, but he was very strong at AA and they clearly think something of him since he went to the AFL. He's another Grimm in the best case scenario, but that's far better a possibility than his zero hype suggests.

I don't think they'll mess around with Alzolay in the pen, he's too young to give up on as a meaningful SP and his stuff doesn't exactly scream impact reliever.

Clifton I can see getting moved to the pen and doing well there, if that happens sooner than later he could be a factor.

Mekkes and Araujo should both start at AA, and both could be in the hunt for a September callup and squarely in the conversation for the 2019 pen. Araujo is the best relief prospect no one talks about. In full-season ball: 119.2 IP, 80 H, 2.26 ERA, 154/42 K/BB, 6 HR, and he was better in every way at his highest level yet this year.

Craig Brooks is also worth keeping a side eye on to see if he can throw strikes like he did at Myrtle Beach, he's probably closer to Garner than Mekkes/Araujo.

Underwood should be shot into the sun.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby sweetpeteman » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:42 pm

First off, Leathersich now plays for the Pirates and Rosscup was traded to the Rockies for Carasiti.

Carasiti and Maples are going to be competing for a slot in the pen to start the year.

Butler and Zastryzny are AAA starters/MLB spot starters/emergency BP usage. I'm holding out hope that Mills can still turn into something, but it's not likely.

Markey, Berg, Swarmer and Thorpe all still need innings at AAA before they can be rightly judged, as do the AA and A+ guys.

Tseng and Alzolay need to stay as starters. I expect Tseng to compete for the 5th starter spot, with the Cubs going after a veteran/high risk arm for the other spot.

Alzolay hopefully starts at AAA and does well.


Also, this is a good year to be shopping for BP help. There are a bunch of solid BP arms that could be available: Shaw, Reed, Cishek, Davis, Hunter, Morrow, Nicasio, for example. Plus they could go after a couple former starters to convert, signing them to either minor league deals/ST invites or low cost major league deals, like Ubaldo Jimenez.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby CyHawk_Cub » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:59 pm

I SMH every damn time I see Stinnett's name since learning of how the F.O. brought in Brent Honeywell before that draft, were blown away but decided to stick w/ their pre-draft evaluations & picked Stinnett, hoping Honeywell would fall to the 3rd. Of course, Tampa grabbed him w/ their comp pick after the 2nd (I think).
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby Cubswin11 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:42 am

Dillon Maples is going to be elite, that is all
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby Some Guy » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:42 am

Butler has no options, so he either makes the bullpen or he leaves. Might be better than Grimm at this point?

Mills, Tseng and Underwood all hopefully are healthy and starting at Iowa, possibly contributing to the 2018 Cubs as spot starters or long relievers. We've seen Tseng's stuff play up in relief. I'd like to see Zastryzny just be a fulltime reliever.

Maples and Carasiti both figure to see mlb innings I would think. Could even be good.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby davell » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:49 am

I figure Alzolay probably gets dealt, before he winds up in the pen. I'll be surprised if he's still in our organization by the next trade deadline myself.

I figure we'll add 1/2 depth starting pitchers in the Butler mode over the off season and figure that Butler himself takes on Monty's swing role, since he can't go back down.(a bad spring and he's likely DFA'd though) I think Tseng probably is our 7th or 8th guy next year and I don't see him being used out of the pen regularly yet.

I see Carasiti getting some innings next year, maybe like Pena. I think Maples is a fulltime major leaguer next year personally.

I can see Rob Z getting innings next year, but he's not guaranteed to still be on the 40 man either, as far as I'm concerned. Mills will likely still be tried as a starter, in my opinion, and doesn't really have the stuff to be special out of the pen anyway.

The rest of the AAA guys mentioned, I just don't see them making the majors.


Clifton is intriguing out of the pen, Underwood too, in my mind. Don't think either makes their major league debut in 2018 though.

Araujo and Stinnett, particularly Araujo, are intriguing enough. Araujo would be my sleeper to pitch in the majors at some point in 2018.

Mekkes obviously has everyone's attention, he's got a shot to move quickly, like Maples did this year, even with control issues. de la Cruz probably SHOULD be put in the pen. If so, he could move extremely quick too.

I figure Rucker, Robinson, and Hatch all stick as starters next year, because they're more valuable to us in that role currently.

If I failed to mention any others, its because I just don't see them being real factors.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:53 am

I'm really interested in seeing how Clifton and Underwood Jr do when they're moved to the bullpen. I think there's a good reliever in there between those two.

Also think de la Cruz is destined for the bullpen given his health issues but he could be a really good high leverage late inning reliever.

For some reason, I really like Craig Brooks.

Ricky Tyler Thomas (2017 7th rounder out of Fresno State) should move fast and might be knocking on the door by 2019. He's the only lefty reliever I really find interesting in the system right now.

Obviously Maples has all the potential in the world but that control is iffy and I'm really annoyed by all the walks in the bullpen right now.

They'e gonna have to buy some relief help this offseason. Shaw would be nice but will be expensive. Nicasio, Reed and Kintzler seem like nice, cheaper options (and obviously they have to re-sign Davis).
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby UK » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:42 am

I want them to not give up flexibility beyond 2018 so they can be a player for Harper.

Maples should make the 25 out of ST with Carasiti filling in for injuries.

Mekkes is obviously the primary guy for 2019.

I want them to see what the market is for AJ Ramos before going after a 3yr 42mil contract for Davis and Nicasio as a cheaper FA as Navin mentioned

Same thing with the SP, maybe it would be wiser to see what Toronto wants for Happ instead of the FA market.

Use the savings towards locking up some of Hendricks, Contreras, Baez, Russell, (or if there's any god) Bryant to long-term deals as well as previously mentioned Harper.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:52 pm

UK wrote:I want them to not give up flexibility beyond 2018 so they can be a player for Harper.

Maples should make the 25 out of ST with Carasiti filling in for injuries.

Mekkes is obviously the primary guy for 2019.

I want them to see what the market is for AJ Ramos before going after a 3yr 42mil contract for Davis and Nicasio as a cheaper FA as Navin mentioned

Same thing with the SP, maybe it would be wiser to see what Toronto wants for Happ instead of the FA market.

Use the savings towards locking up some of Hendricks, Contreras, Baez, Russell, (or if there's any god) Bryant to long-term deals as well as previously mentioned Harper.


This is getting beyond the intent of the thread, but they don't need to be stingy with both the rotation and the bullpen to maintain a shot at Harper. Especially since there's a 0% chance Russell or Bryant entertain an extension, and any extension to Hendricks, Contreras, or Baez wouldn't move the needle on their current costs much unless they manage to extend 2 or all 3 of them(extremely unlikely).
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby UK » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:17 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
UK wrote:I want them to not give up flexibility beyond 2018 so they can be a player for Harper.

Maples should make the 25 out of ST with Carasiti filling in for injuries.

Mekkes is obviously the primary guy for 2019.

I want them to see what the market is for AJ Ramos before going after a 3yr 42mil contract for Davis and Nicasio as a cheaper FA as Navin mentioned

Same thing with the SP, maybe it would be wiser to see what Toronto wants for Happ instead of the FA market.

Use the savings towards locking up some of Hendricks, Contreras, Baez, Russell, (or if there's any god) Bryant to long-term deals as well as previously mentioned Harper.


This is getting beyond the intent of the thread, but they don't need to be stingy with both the rotation and the bullpen to maintain a shot at Harper. Especially since there's a 0% chance Russell or Bryant entertain an extension, and any extension to Hendricks, Contreras, or Baez wouldn't move the needle on their current costs much unless they manage to extend 2 or all 3 of them(extremely unlikely).


They've already shown that they will be more frugal with the pen than most of the large market teams. Whether that involves trading for Ramos or allocating a lot of resources for Britton. That seems more likely than a 4/60 deal for Davis.

I don't think getting Happ on his final year as their #4 from a team likely selling is on the cheap. It's a weak SP market with pitchers on the wrong side of 30.

At some point, locking some of them up is a priority.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:58 pm

Mills, Tseng, Zastrzny, Alzolay, Hatch, and Rucker will all start next year. I have doubts Butler is in the org.

Maples and Carasiti will each have their shot next year one way or another, maybe one even makes an impact. Clifton could do well with a move to the pen. Mekkes, Brooks, and Ricky Tyler Thomas are arms I think have some shot. I don't know anything about Swarmer, the rapid promotions and 105 Ks in 101 IP is noteable during his first pro season. Araujo seems like a good mention by TT.

I suggest Brandon Morrow as a FA signing for the bullpen, always have really liked the arm warts and all. Oh and Britton please.
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Re: Rank the Bullpen Potential...

Postby toonsterwu » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:27 pm

I don't see them shifting Alzolay to the pen full-time (although I could see a scenario where he starts 2018 as a starter in AA, and if he does well, gets promoted (AAA or bigs) as a pen arm as he reaches his innings limits, and then he starts 2019 getting some more seasoning in AAA, or maybe gets a crack at the 5th starters job. Again, that'd be a very positive scenario, with a lot of things going right.

All that said, I'm surprised at the notion above that Alzolay might not be a good pen arm. I would actually think strike throwing capability, mid and maybe upper 90's out of the pen, and a solid breaking ball would be an excellent menu for a dominating late inning arm.
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