The Chicago Cubs have been shaking things up as of late. I think the timing of where the prospects were at, as well as the Cubs place in the standings lined up perfectly for what we have been seeing in the last few weeks. Javier Baez is the exclamation point, but Kyle Hendricks and Arismendy Alcantara started it. The future is arriving in Chicago.
Not counting the Jose Veras release early in the season, which the Cubs front office quickly realized was a mistake and in not so many words fixed it, they continue to move forward this season in small steps. Small steps, but it’s happened quickly.
The Cubs got an early start on the trade season by moving Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland A’s for a nice package of players in Addison Russel, Dan Straily, Billy McKinney, and a player to be named later. This was just a continuation of what Epstein and Hoyer have been doing the past few seasons.
Stock the farm system with quality players, and in numbers. A much different story than in the past when we hoped the one or two top prospects would hit, and buy the rest. We know how that worked out.
Then the release of Darwin Barney (a fan favorite of mine), following his paternity leave and Arismendy Alcantara’s debut mixed in with the auditioning of young pitchers to fill the spots in the rotation vacated by the Samardzija/Hammel trade, and the youth movement was on.
When asked by the press, Hoyer and Epstein have consistently replied the prospects would be promoted “when ready”, and weren’t changing timetables.
Well played gents.
Apparently they kept those time-frames so close to the vest none of us really knew. Now the promotion of Javier Baez, who just crushed it in Colorado (Yes, I’m aware it’s Coors Field, but still a great series debut), and Kyle Hendricks continuing his masterful work early on and you can’t help but get a little giddy about the Cubs.
The release of a struggling Nate Schierholtz (Again, true professional like Barney, but not getting it done), and the Cubs are continuing to open up roster spots for the “New Cubs”. Kyuji Fujikawa got the promotion, and coming off Tommy John, is a wild card. But it’s one more of the “out with the old, in with the new” for Cubs baseball.
Now the Cubs have the opportunity to make a deal for Jacob Turner, claimed off waivers from the Miami Marlins. The Cubs wanted him before, as mentioned by editor Brandon Cain here. Falling in with the “reclamation”, or cast off projects that have played well for the Cubs.
I made this mention on Twitter, and it’s all in theory…
2015 #Cubs?LF Lake/Coghlan/Rugg CF Mendy RF Bryant 3B Olt SS Castro 2B Baez, 1B Rizzo C Castillo. Olt’s resurgence at Iowa is key.
— Nicholas Blazek (@blaze9497) August 8, 2014
But with the way Chris Cohlan and Justin Ruggiano have developed this year, and they weren’t terrible ballplayers before, the Cubs have options. Junior Lake is in a sophomore slump, but should not be cast out. I think a move to Iowa, similar to Mike Olt who is crushing it with everyday at-bats, may be the best medicine.
Allow a Coghlan/Ruggiano mix in left. I like Ryan Sweeney, but I’d rather see an everyday of Cog/Mendy/Ruggiano to be honest. Send Lake to Iowa to get some swings in. makes sense in my head at least.
And finally, with my Kris Bryant in RF theory, clearly he’s going to need to see some time there. That would allow some time for Olt to slide over to third to keep his hot corner skills sharp. Bryant playing the outfield will clearly need more time than Baez playing second. But now is the time to set that in motion. So let’s send Lake down, call-up Jorge Soler, see what he’s got, and we’ve got a great jump on the spring. Heck, maybe they surprise us and we win some to finish.
It’s that time of year, September call-ups are right around the corner, and the front office has got my wheels spinning with these moves as of late. Feel free to share your thoughts, as theories, conspiracy or otherwise, need more people to gain some traction.
Go Cubs Go!