Minor League Musings

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby craig » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:07 pm

Great points, bertz. Pitchers should be able to keep practicing and developing. The plate is the exact same size and distance in a warehouse as on the field, and pitching is entirely initiated by the pitcher. So a guy should be able to keep practicing his pitches just fine in the warehouse. To some degree, perhaps a little better, without the pressure of success. For example, suppose Burl needs to develop his slider; he can throw it a million times in the pitch lab and improve it. As a hyper-competitive guy, if he tried that in games, but it was inconsistent and getting hammered more often than his more established pitches, the competitive instincts makes a guy reluctant to keep practicing it. Likewise I think practicing on a consistent schedule is easier in the pitch lab. You set the schedule, you set the number of pitches that are healthy and appropriate. In a season, there are rainouts; a relief pitcher doesn't always get scheduled usage, depending on how games are going and how other pitchers are doing; maybe you're scheduled for two innings, but hitters are hacking and your first inning only takes 7 pitches? So to some degree, I wonder if the pitch-lab practicing might not almost be BETTER for development, in several ways? Obviously repeating delivery and tunneling in pitch lab is one thing; repeating delivery and tunneling and locating when adrenalin is rushing in a game, when pressure is high, emotions, when it's 90 degrees or 51 with drizzle and wind, when you're on the road and each mound is a little different than the last, it's obviously a lot harder.

Pitchers are the initiators, with a fixed plate size and distance. But way worse for batters. They are responders, so how can they practice and improve their ability to recognize and respond to real professional pitching without facing real, professional pitching? I think developmentally this will really be a wasted year for those poor guys.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Cubswin11 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:49 am

Getting some later career Lackey vibes with the motion/stuff, which isn’t a bad thing.

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:55 am

Cubswin11 wrote:Getting some later career Lackey vibes, which isn’t a bad thing.




The realest SP prospect they have right now and not a bad thing!
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:53 am

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:21 pm

This is mortifying



No 40 man salary until the season starts
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby craig » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:51 pm

Wow, that is unbelievable. I also think it's weird that Alzolay is there in the first place. Why isn't he up with the big-league summer camp with an opportunity to impress the new manager, the not-so-long pitching coach, and to compete for a job on the expanded roster where Ross and Hotovy keep talking about how guys might need to be pitching a couple of innings early on? Or competing for a rotation spot in absence of Quintana? It just seemed like a weird thing, I can understand why Alzolay is in complaint mode these days.

I think he might be better served to try to become a good pitcher that belongs in the majors than to be whining about things, yes; but it's understandable.

I wonder how much the taxi-squad conditions are determined by the Cubs admin, versus mlb agreement? If the Cubs are choosing this, Theo and all of his "take care of players" talk ought to be paying out of his own big salary.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Brian » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:27 pm



hopefully working it out was more than him being told to delete the original tweets

also, on him being in Chicago v. South Bend. This is just a guess but is it possible that it's better (for development and being ready for ML innings) that he's in South Bend? For mound time he'd be pretty far down the line in Wrigley, but in South Bend he'd probably be the number one guy getting live BP and intersquad starts.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:47 pm

Brian wrote:

hopefully working it out was more than him being told to delete the original tweets

also, on him being in Chicago v. South Bend. This is just a guess but is it possible that it's better (for development and being ready for ML innings) that he's in South Bend? For mound time he'd be pretty far down the line in Wrigley, but in South Bend he'd probably be the number one guy getting live BP and intersquad starts.




“I do know our players have heard the message loud and clear that we want them to express themselves and be themselves,” Epstein said on a Zoom call Friday afternoon. “And that we see them as people and as citizens, not just as players.”

Whether it’s talking about racial injustice, how to conduct oneself in the time of coronavirus or minor-league player rights, Epstein wants an open dialogue.

“The concept of shutting up and dribbling, or shutting up and playing baseball, does not apply in this organization,” he said. “It’s important we pass on that message loud and clear.”

Alzolay eventually deleted the tweets and followed up with a simple “we worked it out,” indicating that his previous concerns had been allayed.

“I didn’t ask him to delete them at all,” Epstein said. “And I do want our players to speak their mind. Sometimes there are other steps that can be taken first. I’m happy that he felt comfortable enough to tweet that.”

Epstein called it a “misunderstanding” and a source indicated that a clubbie had incorrectly sought clubhouse dues. According to Epstein, much of what Alzolay originally tweeted was inaccurate.


“Clubhouse dues are not taken out of pay, clubhouse dues are not expected to be paid for the players right now,” Epstein said. “He was off on the amount of meal money players are receiving. At the alternate sites, players are being provided with furnished apartments literally right across the street, right on the grounds of the ballpark itself at no cost to them during (summer camp).”
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:49 pm



Really quality Cubs thread about stuff I don't get
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby craig » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:08 am

Thanks, Tom, interesting stuff in that.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:06 pm

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"It was met with, basically, he didn't want to talk about that. He didn't want me to tell him that. I just basically said, 'Well that's why we want an electronic strike zone.'" -- Ben Zobrist

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:50 pm

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:17 pm

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:38 pm

There's probably some kind of reptilian Illuminati ritual or symbolism behind DBU's greatest draft pick leaving the Cubs only for probably their best prospect since to get drafted by the Cubs, right? If it only leads to Carraway being some kind of Wagner/Kimbrel hybrid ASAP then yay
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby JudasIscariotTheBird » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:33 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:There's probably some kind of reptilian Illuminati ritual or symbolism behind DBU's greatest draft pick leaving the Cubs only for probably their best prospect since to get drafted by the Cubs, right? If it only leads to Carraway being some kind of Wagner/Kimbrel hybrid ASAP then yay

Mad libs are fun. This one didn't really come together though.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:31 pm

This was from earlier this week when Brennen Davis, Christopher Morel and Miguel Amaya were up at Wrigley:



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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:59 pm

With Godley on MLBTR alot lately and Hatch's debut today, I checked on Alex Lange and Paul Richan:



Couldn't really find an update on Richan...Good stuff from Lange though, my favorite of the traded bunch, hopefully he gets to debut this year. Maybe within a few short years, the whole cantz developz the pitchingz narrative takes a hike again and the Cubs have competent pitchers throughout the league including their own staff
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:09 pm

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/sunday-note ... -pandemic/

Really good read on player development during the pandemic...

Guys on 60 man rosters:

“I’m not going to say it’s the same as professional games, because it’s not,” the Pirates GM said on Thursday. “But through video and technology, and the need for our pitchers in Altoona to get actual game experience, we do have an opportunity to evaluate pitchers and hitters in a way that’s not too different than a game setting. We have professional pitchers facing professional hitters [and] we can measure that through high speed video, through Rapsodo and TrackMan. We can pretty much measure all of the things we would in a in a normal minor-league game… we just don’t have a box score at the end of the night.”

Matt Blood, Baltimore’s first-year farm director, sounded somewhat less enthusiastic when addressing the subject earlier in the week.

“It’s really hard to replicate live competition, live speed-of-the-game adrenaline, in an offseason type of mode,” said Blood. “Hitters not getting live at bats, pitchers not getting live hitters to face with runners on base when it matters, with stats being kept. All of that is definitely not ideal. We’ve done everything we can to help the players get better, both on the field and off the field, but you just can’t replicate what a season is without a season.”


Off 60:

Blood went on to say that progress is being made “in some areas that would have been more difficult to make if there had been a season.” When I asked if he was referring to tech-based strides, he said that wasn’t the case. Blood pointed to video group discussions —“educational-webinar type of stuff” — with mental skills among the topics. (Unlike Cherington, Blood was likely referring to players outside of the 60-man player pool; his comments coming via a Zoom conference call — hello 2020 media sessions — so following up for clarification wasn’t practical.)

...

“Look, there’s no way that I could, with a straight face, say that losing a full season of minor-league games is is helpful for development,” said Cherington, who once served as Boston’s farm director. “I think we can all agree that presents a challenge. On the other hand, improvement doesn’t just happen during the minor-league season. Games need to happen, players need to face competition — that’s part of getting better — but improvement can happen in all kinds of ways, at all kinds of time, in all kinds of places.

“Aside from the guys who are in Altoona right now, who are a part of formal programming, we have players all over the states, in the Dominican and Venezuela… and we’re still coaching them. They’re still training. In some cases that’s in an environment where they’re facing close to game-like competition. In some cases it’s probably not — they’re not getting that kind of challenge — so we’ll have to make up for it somehow down the road. We just have to be committed to not letting this have a long-term negative impact on any player in our system.”


We probably got a look at a more successful off screen development in 2019 with Brennen Davis. Davis was a different hitter in 2019 from 2018, though that year showed a ton of promise, and most of those improvements happened off the field due to injuries and then an offseason.

I'm fingers crossed on Richard Gallardo making huge gains during 2020. He would be 18 all season, 19 in September, and even coming into this year I was a little confused about how they'd manage his 2020. Like I was openly rooting for him to pitch in SB, before the pandemic, but that was more for entertainment and show than super necessary for a big Future. Off the top of my head, Felix Hernandez and Carlos Martinez are the only TOR guys who threw major innings in full season ball at 18. Padres had Luis Patino do it too. Felix is a legend but he's also really young, only like 33, and has pitched with diminished stuff for years already. Hell, now that we're here maybe it's OK to entertain the idea that Gallardo's a guy who had more to lose pitching in MiL games under a traditional schedule this year than gain!...BA mentioned the Cubs loved his work ethic in the weight room, it's a good time to bulk up. I think there are parralels to Davis in the development - both showing high ceiling potential in Rk/SS ball but not quite enough for national radars, high draft pick and high ranked IFA, similar signing bonuses (don't remember Davis' signing bonus but his slot value was a little over $1 million), and now lined up for SB at 19 instead....The dream for me has always been Gallardo throwing ML innings at 20, or at least in the upper minors and a phone call away, and don't really think the shutdown crushes that
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:16 am





This will be very painful for people who wanted the Cubs to take Nate Pearson back in 2017. I wanted Pearson and I thought he wouldn't last and be available with our 2 picks at the back of the 1st round... we should always remember we took Brendon Little over this guy.

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Probably the top rated pitching prospect in MLB now and he should've broke with the big league team, but he needed to "work on his defense" or some dumb horsefeathers reason.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Hrubes20 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:50 pm

Regular Show wrote:



This will be very painful for people who wanted the Cubs to take Nate Pearson back in 2017. I wanted Pearson and I thought he wouldn't last and be available with our 2 picks at the back of the 1st round... we should always remember we took Brendon Little over this guy.

Image

Probably the top rated pitching prospect in MLB now and he should've broke with the big league team, but he needed to "work on his defense" or some dumb horsefeathers reason.


I hated that damn draft at the time and it looks even worse in retrospect.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:56 pm

Off Topic
Some other debuts I've noticed:

David Peterson - Getting the start for the Mets tonight. He's kind of a model for the MLB player of The Future, not so different from an optimistic NFL track: great NCAA SP including a 20K game and IIRC a Freshman All American, lost in the shuffle once in the pros despite being pretty good, SP tools and skills but not necessarily easily marketable as a MiL prospect, more competent than star...Here's to him helping the Mets beat the Braves...

Tyler Stephenson - Crushed it last night, one of the C prospects I like more than Amaya

Brady Singer - Struck out 7 in a 5 inning debut against Cleveland

Not a ML debut but Luzardo came out of the pen off the injury list WWE style for the A's and laid waste to foes
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:50 pm

Kris Bubic getting the call from the Royals. That's yet another debut I'm glad to see, FOs seem to be pretty aggressive with top performing prospects in the upper minors so far hopefully top prospects in general as the season plays out
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