Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:cubs
Posted on: March 7, 2012 5:17 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 6:56 pm
 

Cubs may be closing in on Jorge Soler

Theo Epstein

By Dayn Perry

Power-hitting Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler may eventually sign with the Cubs for $27 million, MLB Network's Peter Gammons reports via Twitter

Soler is inevitably compared to his countryman Yoenis Cespedes, who signed a four-year, $36-million pact with the A's earlier this offseason, but there's one key difference: age. At 26, Cespedes is more major-league ready than the 19-year-old Soler. However, Soler, obviously, will have the opportunity to spend his formative baseball years under the aegis of a major-league organization, and he also boasts the higher ceiling. It's generally acknowledged that Soler is ready for High-A right now, so it's conceivable he could reach the highest level for good by late 2013. 

As for Soler's baseball skills, Baseball America's Jim Callis likens him to Royals uber-prospect Bubba Starling and suggests that, had he been eligible, Soler may have gone in the top five of last year's draft.

More from Callis: "Six-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Soler has explosive bat speed and power potential. He also has plus speed and arm strength and profiles as a classic right fielder, though he runs well enough to play center. Because of his youth, he'll need some time to develop, but he should be worth the wait."

After signing left-hander Gerardo Concepcion earlier this winter, Theo Epstein and the Cubs are obviously undaunted by the difficulties in vetting and projecting Cuban talent. Indeed, if the Soler rumors come to be realized, then this would amount to Epstein's boldest move since assuming control of the Cubs' baseball operations.  

​​​​For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.



Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:28 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 10:31 am
 

What a Cubs World Series title would look like

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Video games have gotten so good that they can make you believe anything can happen --  zombie takeover, intergalactic war, dinosaur hunting and, even more unrealistically, the Cubs winning the World Series.

Check out this new commercial from MLB 12 The Show.


Well done, Sony, well done.

Hat-tip: Getting Blanked

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.


Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:42 am
 

Alfonso Soriano leading off is a possibility

By Matt Snyder

I thought this ship had sailed a few years ago.

Instead, multiple Chicago papers have stories up Saturday morning about Alfonso Soriano being a possibility to lead off for the Cubs this season on occasion.

I'd be lying if I said only one word came to mind, but one word was most prominent: Why?

You can say the Cubs don't have a bonafide leadoff man, and that's true. But there are many better options than Soriano. In fact, he might be the worst option on the entire club. We're talking about a guy who hit .244 with a .289 on-base percentage last season. He struck out 113 times while walking 27. He had two stolen bases. He only scored 50 runs in 508 plate appearances.

Amazingly, with a putrid OBP, Soriano still managed 88 RBI and a .469 slugging percentage, due to his 27 doubles and 26 homers.

Basically, Soriano's only value is that he gets an extra-base hit every once in a while, which helped him drive home those 88 runs last season. That's not a guy you bat leadoff. Ever.

Fortunately, manager Dale Sveum's comments seem to be of a political nature, as to not dismiss anything.

‘‘During the season, a lot of things can come up to where, yeah, it can happen,’’ said Sveum (Chicago Sun-Times). ‘‘You really want Soriano just to be in an RBI spot. That’s what you really want.’’

Unfortunately, Soriano batted leadoff in an intrasquad game Friday. So it appears the possibility is realistic.

I can hear the collective groan from Wrigleyville already.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:31 pm
 

Fielding Bible projections for 2012 released



By Matt Snyder


Highly-respected defensive analysts John Dewan and Ben Jedlovec have released their Fielding Bible projections for the 2012 Major League Baseball season, with the Tampa Bay Rays being projected as the best defense in the majors and the Miami Marlins proejected to have the worst.

The system used in the Fielding Bible is "defensive runs saved," which doesn't only factor in errors, it also uses range and player placement to determine how many runs a defense either saves pitchers or costs them. Clubs with a positive score are said to have defensively saved pitchers runs while those with a negative score have cost their pitching stuff some runs.

Last season, the Rays were the best in the majors with a +85 score. That's quite a feat, saving 85 runs for your pitching staff. On the flip side, the Marlins checked in with a -75, which is flat-out atrocious.

This season, the projections have the Rays saving 42 runs and the Marlins at a -30.

The top five projected defenses for 2012, in order, in the projections: Rays, Mariners, Reds, Rangers and Angels.

The bottom five, listed from 26-30: Orioles, Cubs, Mets, Twins and Marlins.

The Phillies made the highest leap from last year's score to this year's projection, going from a -59 ('11 score) to +6. Losing Raul Ibanez from left field helps, as does having a full season of Hunter Pence and someone other than Ryan Howard manning first base for a few months, the press release for the Fielding Bible noted.

Other teams with projections showing a big improvement from last season were the Mariners, Rangers, Yankees and A's (though the A's are still projected in the negative).

The clubs expected to take the biggest hit defensively are the Astros (going from 12th ranked to 25th) and Dodgers (11th to 24th). Losing Pence and Michael Bourn for the first half of the season has to be a major part of the Astros slide. The Tigers -- with Miguel Cabrera shifting to third base -- Brewers, Padres and Rockies are also projected to fall down the Fielding Bible standings.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:36 am
 

Cubs players say they trust Braun's collector

Jeff BakerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

During his press conference following his successful appeal of a 50-game suspension, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun tried to cast doubt on specimen collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. Laurenzi later released a statement defending himself, then Thursday, Braun's lawyer shot back.

Laurenzi, though, doesn't just collect samples from the Brewers, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Laurenzi also collects samples from the Cubs. And while Braun has called Laurenzi's motives into doubt, several Cubs told the Sun-Times that they trust Laurenzi.

"Just from knowing Dino the three years I've been here, he's been nothing but professional," Cubs infielder Jeff Baker told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times. "He's been very, very thorough. I have no concerns and no qualms."

Alfonso Soriano also gave his thumbs up to Laurenzi.

"I'm not worried that it's the same guy," Soriano told the newspaper. "I'm not worried because I know what I take. It doesn't matter who takes the sample. If you don't take nothing, he can take [the specimen] home for a week, and nothing will come out."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 29, 2012 8:48 pm
 

Mariners' Gutierrez to start season on DL

Franklin GutierrezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will once again miss opening day, and he could miss all of April after the team announced he suffered a partially torn pectoral muscle.

The good news is he isn't expected to need surgery. He will need at least four weeks before he is able to participate in any baseball activities.

"At this point, we don't know," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. "Every body responds to things differently. We do't know wwhat he'll be able to do and at this point, we'll probably just ease him into things gradually."

Last season Gutierrez didn't play until May after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome during spring training.

Chone Figgins played center field in Wednesday's intrasquad game. Michael Suanders and Casper Wells, along with Figgins, are candidates to replace Gutierrez while he's gone.

Gutierrez played in just 92 games last season, hitting .224/.261/.273 with one home run.

He left Tuesday's workout with the pectoral injury and had an MRI the same day. He flew back to Seattle on Wednesday to see the team's doctor.

In other injury news from Wednesday:

• Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett was scheduled to return to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to have his right eye examined by team doctors after his bunt attempt hit him in the face.

According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Burnett joked, "Where did the bone go?" after the ball hit him in the face.

Burnett wasn't scheduled to throw on Wednesday.
 
• Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson threw his first bullpen session since suffering a concussion on Feb. 20. Hanson threw 30-pitches and told rpeorters he felt good.

"I think I threw a little better than I had expected," Hanson said (via MLB.com). "I've had some time to think about some mechanical stuff. I was surprised by how well I threw."

Hanson may throw live batting practice on Friday, but he still has to pass one more part of the concussion impact test.

•The Angels' Kendrys Morales is making progress from his 2010 ankle injury, hitting from both sides of the plate, something he didn't do last spring. He also added S-turns in his running -- another thing he never did last season.

"He's in a different position now because he's had nothing but a progression to the point where you can see that he'll progress to playing games in a couple of weeks," manager Mike Scioscia told reporters, including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

• Keeping with the theme of Angels displaced by Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo was cleared by doctors on Wednesday to return to the field.

Trumbo, who had a stress fracture in his right foot, is attempting to make the move to third base. [Orange County Register]

• Cubs catcher Geovany Soto will miss the start of the Cactus League with a sore groin, but told reporters it wasn't a big deal.

"It's spring training, and there's no hurry to get out there," Soto told reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I want to be there as much as I can, just to play. I've had four months off and you train hard all offseason, so you want to get every game possible to get ready for the season."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:30 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 2:44 pm
 

Reds sign Sean Marshall to 3-year extension

Sean MarshallBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Reds announced a three-year extension through 2015 with left-hander Sean Marshall on Monday. The deal is worth $16.5 million, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

Cincinnati acquired Marshall in December for left-hander Travis Wood, outfielder Dave Sappelt and infielder Ronald Torreyes. At the time, it seemed like maybe a tad too much for an admittedly very good reliever, but one who would be a free agent after the 2012 season. However, the idea that Marshall would be open to an extension makes the deal make more sense.

"We're obviously very excited about it," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "When we made the trade for him, we made it intending to extend him. We felt confident we would do that. We wanted to approach it sooner than later. Our goal was to try and get it done before the start of camp, or at least before we started playing games. We did get it done before the games."

Marhshall, 29, was 6-6 with a 2.26 ERA last season, appearing in 78 games and striking out 79 batters in 75 2/3 innings.

Marshall started his career as a starter, but has found his place as a reliever. In his two full seasons out of the bullpen, he's 13-11 with a 2.45 ERA and six saves with 169 strikeouts in 150 1/3 innings.

Last season, he was good against right-handers, but death to lefties. Right-handers hit .249/.302/.297 against him -- hardly All-Star numbers -- but lefties were limited to just .206/.245/.258 against him, as he struck out 31 of the 104 lefties that he faced. The only home run he surrendered was to right-handed hitting Cody Ross.

Marshall will make $3.1 million this season.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:07 pm
 

Report: Reds, Marshall close to extension

By Matt Snyder

The Cincinnati Reds and relief pitcher Sean Marshall are close to a contract extension, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“That’s one of the things we said we wanted to do when he traded for him,” Jocketty said (Cincinnati.com). “We want to get it done sooner than later. We’d like to get it done before games start.”

Marshall seems to believe it's even closer than that.

“We’re talking about it,” Marshall said (Cincinnati.com). “We might have something [Monday].”

 This makes too much sense from the Reds' point of view. Marshall is set to be a free agent after the 2012 season. They traded Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and prospect Ronald Torreyes for Marshall, so having him for only one year didn't seem like a great deal. If they extend him a few seasons, it could very well end up being a big win for the Reds.

Marshall, 29, is one of the better left-handed relievers in baseball. He was had a 2.26 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings last season. He had 34 holds, five saves and only four blown saves.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com