Minor League Musings

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:16 pm

David wrote:not that i care all that much about these minor league dorks, but it would seem that the fact that he's still active at all would be an indication that it's not that serious an injury


I'll pick on David since he's far from the worst offender, but the uptick of people in the minor league forum loudly proclaiming how much they don't care about the minor leaguers(or worse, loudly claiming no one should) is weird. It's okay to like prospects even when the team is good, and even if there isn't a system full of Kris Bryants to follow. If that's not your thing that's fine, the entire forum is partitioned off for your benefit!
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby David » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:34 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
David wrote:not that i care all that much about these minor league dorks, but it would seem that the fact that he's still active at all would be an indication that it's not that serious an injury


I'll pick on David since he's far from the worst offender, but the uptick of people in the minor league forum loudly proclaiming how much they don't care about the minor leaguers(or worse, loudly claiming no one should) is weird. It's okay to like prospects even when the team is good, and even if there isn't a system full of Kris Bryants to follow. If that's not your thing that's fine, the entire forum is partitioned off for your benefit!


active topics for life

if the prospects were actually good i wouldn't call them dorks

for now they are all dorks
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby jersey cubs fan » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:41 pm

David wrote:
Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
David wrote:not that i care all that much about these minor league dorks, but it would seem that the fact that he's still active at all would be an indication that it's not that serious an injury


I'll pick on David since he's far from the worst offender, but the uptick of people in the minor league forum loudly proclaiming how much they don't care about the minor leaguers(or worse, loudly claiming no one should) is weird. It's okay to like prospects even when the team is good, and even if there isn't a system full of Kris Bryants to follow. If that's not your thing that's fine, the entire forum is partitioned off for your benefit!


active topics for life

if the prospects were actually good i wouldn't call them dorks

for now they are all dorks
I think TT is conflating caring about with being excited about.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:36 pm

Random but Venezuelan LHP Joel Machado, the second highest rated IFA arm ($850K, initially 28th overall for MLB.com) the Cubs signed last year, could end up interesting pretty quickly too.

Here’s MLB.com’s bit along with a comment from Louis Eljaua after he signed:

Eljaua saw Machado face a Cuban team during a 15-and-under championship game in a tournament in Colombia, and he said the left-hander dominated, striking out nine or 10 over seven innings. He has a good changeup and an above-average curveball. Machado was ranked 28th among international prospects by MLB Pipeline.

"With the fastball, he's somebody who can settle at 92, 93 [mph] and potentially top out in the mid-90s," Eljaua said of Machado, who also is still growing, gaining more than 15 pounds in the past six months.


I’m not immediately turned off by how he throws a baseball:



and seems as if there’s a quality frame/build to work with as he’s not too bulky and not too thin right off the bat. The pitcher that came to mind almost immediately was CJ Wilson. Machado put on at least some really good weight between the video above and this one:



when he was 15 and looked like another Jose Paulino. He’s listed at 6’ 165 there and MLB.com stated he grew a couple inches and added about 15-20 pounds - so probably very roughly he’s 6’2” 180 these days. Seems as if there is a nice mix of ingredients with this one moreso than most but obviously there is plenty of time for things to go wrong.

——



I definitely got bored in 15 seconds but liked hearing Davis claim contact has always been a strength
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CubsWin » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:03 pm

The latest reactions to prospects at instructs from AZ Phil:

As far as the position players are concerned, I would say the top dozen at Instructs have been:

1. Miguel Amaya, C - outstanding all-around catching prospect with emerging plus HR power
2. Nico Hoerner, 2B-SS - plus bat-speed with a power-type swing-path, uses the entire field foul line-to-foul line, has above-average speed and is a savvy baserunner, is a solid middle-infielder but isn't throwing overhand at Instructs (has been tossing the ball underhanded only)
3 Cole Roederer, CF-LF - really good hitter with HR power and is OK in CF but is best in LF
NEXT THREE:
4. Brennen Davis, CF - raw five-tool OF needs reps (and must stay healthy) but he put on muscle during off-season
5. Aramis Ademan, SS - has plus bat speed and is a solid all-around defensive SS but was overmatched at Hi-A in 2018
6. Jared Young, 1B-LF - best pure hitter at Instructs but is limited to 1B-LF
NEXT THREE:
7. Nelson Velazquez, CF - has mechanical issues with stride & swing but has big-time HR power and can play all three OF slots
8. Christopher Morel, SS-3B - high-energy player with plus bat speed & plus arm but he has problems maintaining arm slot (tends to drop to sidearm)
9. Jimmy Herron, CF - rumored to need TJS last June but didn't and no problems with arm are evident now and he shows improved strength & HR pop
NEXT THREE:
10. Andy Weber, 2B - lanky infielder with soft hands and a good hitter, he has worked-out a bit at SS but 2B is his best position
11. Jonathan Soto, C - clearly the next-best catching prospect behind M. Amaya
12. Carlos Morfa, RF - EXTREMELY raw but combines speed, arm, and plus HR power

OTHER OBSERVATIONS:

Delvin Zinn and Levi Jordan project as utility infielders, but both work hard and are fundamentally sound in all phases of the game.

Alexander Guerra has plus HR power and is a solid receiver and should be the #1 catcher at South Bend in 2019

Edmond Americaan is a toolsy CF with a solid line-drive stroke and above-average arm and speed, and right now he is probably ahead of D. J. Wilson, Kelli, Artis, and Singleton but behind B. Davis, Roederer, Velazquez, and Herron as far as Cubs CF prospects are concerned

Yonathan Perlaza makes hard contact from both sides of the plate but struggles defensively (big-time) at both 2B and 3B, so probably should move to LF

Tyler Durna has one of those really pretty LH swings and he is a better hitter than what he showed at Eugene, although he is strictly a 1B defensively

Jhonny Bethencourt is a bat-first utility infielder but he can rake (albeit without much HR power)

Fernando Kelli is VERY fast but he has really struggled with his hitting at Instructs and defense in CF needs work as well
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:29 pm

Fernando Kelli isn’t really a prospect and the first big clue was repeating the DSL. That speed is loud but it really doesn’t seem like he does anything else or has any skills to build on

OTOH AZPhil’s been touting Soto for a while now and I’m intrigued. There’s alot of uncommon but interesting things about him - frame (listed at 5’9 which I have no issues with by itself), LHH catcher, really hit in the AZL last year, was liked enough that they initially threw him in the NWL (skipping the AZL) to open last summer...
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CubsWin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:06 am

ICYMI, here's an excellent, in depth article on Luke Hagerty's comeback. No subscription needed.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25893836/inside-37-year-old-pitcher-luke-hagerty-improbable-comeback-story
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:57 pm

CubsWin wrote:ICYMI, here's an excellent, in depth article on Luke Hagerty's comeback. No subscription needed.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25893836/inside-37-year-old-pitcher-luke-hagerty-improbable-comeback-story


Yeah, it's a cool story. I knew about his comeback before the ESPN story, but I didn't know all the details about his struggles after TJS. I thought his stuff didn't bounce back all the way or remember reading his fastball was down from what it was when he was first drafted by the Cubs. I didn't know he had a severe problem with his control.

Cool story no matter what happens. I'm rooting for the guy and hope he can become the next Rich Hill (probably more as an impact reliever than starter).
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby weis21 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:56 pm

Well yes they’re not going to build up his arm for three years when’s he’s 40 years old to be a starter
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:29 pm

weis21 wrote:Well yes they’re not going to build up his arm for three years when’s he’s 40 years old to be a starter


Umm, no... When Rich Hill came back in 2015 (at 35) he came back as a starter (a surprising impact starter) and finished with an ERA of 1.55. His IP total wasn't very large for that year, but there was no suggestion of making him a reliever if his control/command was good enough. The A's signed him the next season as a starter. He pitched a grand total of 94 IPs in 2015. And no, he didn't pitch much in years prior so his "arm wasn't built up" for a starter's workload.

Generally speaking, when a pitcher is attempting a comeback over 30 the signing team cares less about building the pitcher back up or making sure their arm can handle a starter's workload. The reasons being the body should be fully mature and that the signing club can maximize the return on the pitcher. Scott Kazmir made a successful comeback, but it only lasted for a short while. Most pitchers making a comeback at that age won't be successful and/or have a very brief window of effectiveness.

Also, in Luke Hagerty's case the main thing is he's already had problems with control in the past. When a pitcher has great stuff but so-so command/control you convert them to reliever and hope they can improve their control in short bursts. Also, watching him pitch he's max effort and I worry about that approach as a starter. Maybe he'll change once he's pitching in the Cubs' complex in AZ. I'm not really concerned about building his arm back up -- in three years he might be a coach/retired after an unsuccessful comeback.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby weis21 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:26 pm

what exactly (or, i guess, with who) are you arguing? we both think he's going to be a reliever.

you gave reasons out loud, but this player:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/play ... ri01.shtml

and this player:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/regi ... gert001luk

are clearly different. hagerty hasn't thrown a professional pitch in a decade. he's a reliever (more than likely one that won't ever pitch for the chicago cubs) and we both agree with that. quit arguing with nobody in particular.

ETA: here's hill's independent league innings. this isn't apples to apples. https://www.baseball-reference.com/regi ... ll--002ric
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:42 pm

weis21 wrote:what exactly (or, i guess, with who) are you arguing? we both think he's going to be a reliever.

you gave reasons out loud, but this player:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/play ... ri01.shtml

and this player:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/regi ... gert001luk

are clearly different. hagerty hasn't thrown a professional pitch in a decade. he's a reliever (more than likely one that won't ever pitch for the chicago cubs) and we both agree with that. quit arguing with nobody in particular.

ETA: here's hill's independent league innings. this isn't apples to apples. https://www.baseball-reference.com/regi ... ll--002ric


Image

I am arguing with your concept and that "Well yes they’re not going to build up his arm for three years when’s he’s 40 years old to be a starter" statement.

They don't care about building up his arm (to the point of having him work as a starter). Period. If he's good enough (miraculously) to hold his stuff over 4-5 innings, his control/command has improved significantly and the Cubs have a clear need for another starter at the end of the season then he's a SP. If injuries strike and they need another SP down the stretch (and most importantly) think Hagerty could do the job -- then they'll use him as a starter whether his "arm is built up enough" or not. The Cubs aren't going to "baby him" like what the Nats did with Stephen Strasburg back in 2012. I seriously doubt any of this will happen, but it has nothing to do with whether his arm/body has built up.

Reliever is just the most logical role for him at this point due to multiple factors (max-effort delivery, control/command issues, mindset/makeup).

EDIT: Also, it's important to note some pitchers have problems adapting to relief pitching. They have problems getting loose/warming up, get fatigued faster pitching every few days instead of every 4-5 days, and simply don't like the role. I doubt this is the case with Hagerty, but I honestly have no clue.
Last edited by Regular Show on Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:29 pm




Hagerty looks like he's in great shape. Great stuff. Command/control issues will probably be the biggest thing for him.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby weis21 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:16 am

I’m going to be honest. I had the day off and I wanted to see how little it took from me questioning anything you said for you to flip out.

I hope Hagerty does well.

Go Cubs and stuff.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:08 am

weis21 wrote:I’m going to be honest. I had the day off and I wanted to see how little it took from me questioning anything you said for you to flip out.

I hope Hagerty does well.

Go Cubs and stuff.


Lol. Flip out? Okay sure... Go back and read my posts.

I just pointed out you're wrong about your "build up his arm for three years when’s he’s 40 years old to be a starter" statement. The Cubs aren't going to handle him like how they're carefully handling Adbert Alzolay.

Again, if his command issues are gone, his stuff holds up, he's dominating the minors, and the Cubs have a clear need in the SR and he's the best option -- then they'll use him as a starter later this season.

Yes, I also hope Hagerty does well.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:47 pm


Interesting stuff in here regarding Nico:

“It looks like a reach,” one rival area scout texted me. “But I trust them on college position players, so let’s see.”

That scout said his amateur department had Hoerner near the back end of the top 100 draft-eligible prospects that summer. Another high-ranking official outside the Cubs organization expressed a similar sentiment, suggesting they weren’t high on Hoerner, but adding that they were intrigued given the Cubs’ amateur evaluation skills when it comes to position players.


The fascination in the Cubs’ amateur department only grew from there. They’d been watching so many players in the Cape Cod League that they weren’t sure exactly what Hoerner was.

Of course they love players doing well in the Cape Cod League.

Hoerner laughs when he hears all the talk about launch angle.

“Never in my life have I wanted to hit ground balls,” he said. “I don’t see it as a revolution. You want to hit home runs from the day you’re born. But it’s about understanding my body.”

What Hoerner has learned is that during college he spent a lot of time trying to adjust his swing rather than doing what naturally came to him. He ended up closing his stance a little bit in the fall in Arizona and he said the change has let his body move more freely.


Hoerner isn’t quite as advanced as previous college draft picks the Cubs have made, but he’s moving quicker than many expected. Despite making just 17 plate appearances at Low-A South Bend before having his season cut short, there’s a good chance he’ll start the season in High-A Myrtle Beach, where fellow shortstop and highly thought of prospect Aramis Ademan is expected to be as well.

I'm surprised about that assignment (if that's the plan). I think he's ready for AA and I was surprised by how well he did in the AFL.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:08 pm

That scout said his amateur department had Hoerner near the back end of the top 100 draft-eligible prospects that summer. Another high-ranking official outside the Cubs organization expressed a similar sentiment, suggesting they weren’t high on Hoerner, but adding that they were intrigued given the Cubs’ amateur evaluation skills when it comes to position players.


Make some cool trades, please!
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:01 pm

Regular Show wrote:
Hoerner isn’t quite as advanced as previous college draft picks the Cubs have made, but he’s moving quicker than many expected. Despite making just 17 plate appearances at Low-A South Bend before having his season cut short, there’s a good chance he’ll start the season in High-A Myrtle Beach, where fellow shortstop and highly thought of prospect Aramis Ademan is expected to be as well.

I'm surprised about that assignment (if that's the plan). I think he's ready for AA and I was surprised by how well he did in the AFL.


He only had 7 games in Eugene and 4 in South Bend, I think Myrtle Beach is a pretty good starting spot. He'll still be able to move quickly if he hits as expected.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Hrubes20 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:21 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
Regular Show wrote:
Hoerner isn’t quite as advanced as previous college draft picks the Cubs have made, but he’s moving quicker than many expected. Despite making just 17 plate appearances at Low-A South Bend before having his season cut short, there’s a good chance he’ll start the season in High-A Myrtle Beach, where fellow shortstop and highly thought of prospect Aramis Ademan is expected to be as well.

I'm surprised about that assignment (if that's the plan). I think he's ready for AA and I was surprised by how well he did in the AFL.


He only had 7 games in Eugene and 4 in South Bend, I think Myrtle Beach is a pretty good starting spot. He'll still be able to move quickly if he hits as expected.


And given that Hoerner isn't even throwing overhand right now yet, the presence of Ademan in MB doesn't mean much. Hoerner is probably going to DH for awhile.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:24 pm

Another new prospect I believe has lots of room to grow is Kohl Franklin. He’s replaced Jeremiah Estrada as my favorite teenaged domestic arm on hand because I really don’t care for TJ and feel Estrada became more generic post-surgery (slider became primary secondary, filled out significantly very quickly losing some of that looseness that made him appealing coming out). I think Franklin’s arm works similarly but he’s bigger and uses his lower body better:



The ML pitcher that came to mind after like soooo much thought is Trevor Rosenthal. While Franklin is not most particularly athletic or flexible in his delivery, he far from a stiff and can also cover some ground with other traits like size, length, and strength. He shows alot of aptitude here staying tight, up tempo, using his lower body, following through, and spin. I like that he seems comfortable with the changeup, probably the better offspeed in that clip, and the breaking ball is a curveball (albeit a below average one). I wouldn’t be stunned if he sees a big jump in velocity soon, say by 21.

——

So there was a piece, fluff by Mooney in The Athletic, claiming the Cubs believed they had found a future #1 (Gallardo) and future Quintana (Machado) among last year’s IFA crop. I also noted that the FanGraphs guys also were pretty complimentary of how Machado throws a baseball. While most paying attention probably know Gallardo is a potential yuge find, there does seem to be alot of positive vibes around Machado too. Luis Eljaua stated he was probably the top ranked LH available for that signing period, can throw strikes to either side of the plate (so maybe more an e/w guy to Gallardo’s n/s), and like all their signees was a very good athlete who is also a baseball player. Eljaua really seemed to want to emphasize how athletic, but also relatively polished at baseball, their top IFA signings were last year.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:57 pm

Tom, I still haven’t seen confirmation that Estrada had surgery.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:40 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:Tom, I still haven’t seen confirmation that Estrada had surgery.


Yeah, I don’t know why I keep doing that. I’m really reading poorly on him, basically going off this clip:



where he looks like he has taken a step back. I don’t even know when that’s from! Reacting to react/Doing the sensational nonsense I claim to hate
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:09 pm

@CubsProspects is replacing Luke Blaize at BN, which is fantastic. He unmasked himself too.

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Hrubes20 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:48 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:Tom, I still haven’t seen confirmation that Estrada had surgery.


If he did have surgery on the elbow, it wasn't TJS. He's participating down in Mesa right now, and I think he was throwing on the backfields as late as June last year before being shut down (perhaps later, but that's the latest I can confirm). I know the down time seems to get shorter and shorter on TJS recovery, but 8 months likely isn't possible.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Brian » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:05 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:@CubsProspects is replacing Luke Blaize at BN, which is fantastic. He unmasked himself too.




Power of the cat.

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