Chat with Jesse Rogers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Friday, Jesse Rogers stops by to chat about the Cubs at noon CT/1 p.m. ET.
Rogers covers Chicago sports for both ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Friday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Jesse Rogers (1:00 PM)
Hi all, welcome to our weekly Fri cubs chat. Cubs in SD for the weekend after a rough home stand..but then again we have Donnie Baseball to entertain us as Donnie Murphy has been on fire...speaking of fire, fire away with questions!
Jesse how long of a leash does theo jed and Tom think they have with fans on this rebuild? We are seeing NO IMPROVEMENTS!!!
Jesse Rogers (1:02 PM)
In my opinion the improvements you will see (if they come) will come quickly...there are numerous players just holding spots for prospects while the cubs continue to draft high..if it all comes together they'll go from 90 losses to 90 wins and then stay there for a long time...so cant judge off big picture things..now, would like to see more from some core guys but there have been flashes of improvements from them..the leash goes for a couple years longer at least..
What is the difference defensively in what you are looking for in a short stop compared to a second basemen? Is there any reason to believe that Castro or Baez wouldn't be able to play second?
Jesse Rogers (1:03 PM)
Similiar skill set for sure...stronger arm goes to SS..I do believe either could play it..but not overnight..turning that double play is probably the biggest thing...
Riley, Dallas [via mobile]
Castro is finally starting to show frustration. I'm not ready to jump off of the bandwagon but His attitude of being more aggressive is worrisome considering his abysmal OBP. Why is the front office ok with his lack of walks but mandated it for Baez?
Jesse Rogers (1:06 PM)
I wrote about some of this today and should be up inte Cubs blog later...they arent satisfied with his walk totals..but he actually has been more patient than at any time in his career...thats the weird thing about his season..that patience hasnt paid off in any way so maybe he IS an exception the rule where seeing less pitches is best for him..I dont know the answer..as for the front office,they inherited Castro already here (and producing at the time)...they are in on the ground floor with Baez and trying to get him to be a complete hitter..
Riley, Dallas [via mobile]
It's frustrating to see Sveum contradict himself by saying he wants players to get on base more but then continue to not give Watkins a shot. I know you blogged about it recently but do you think we'll see him in any way other than a pinch hitter in the near future?
Jesse Rogers (1:09 PM)
It doesnt look like it but things do change witnout notice a lot...I dont see why he cant play the whole month of sept and have barney come off the bench..they seem to be deferring to barney out of respect but I absolutely agree with you.. NO ONE.. not the cubs or any expert can tell me for sure his OBP cant translate to the majors...not without him getting at-bats...in that blog i wrote he admitted his approach in pinch-hitting is all messed up...now, if he's destined to be a bench guy in the majors he'll have to get better at that but I dont see why they dont take that OBP in the minors out for a test drive in the majors...they can make it work if they want..
Any chance of Donnie "Baseball" Murphy moving over to 2nd base this offseason and keeping that spot warm until Alcantara is ready?
Jesse Rogers (1:11 PM)
Ha. I mean anything possible but Im sure they;re looking at this as just a hot streak..If he finishes strong and somehow there is an opening in the infield -- why not where he is at 3rd base ?? -- then sure he could get a look till someone is ready...like i wrote last night..someone has to play these positions and ransom etc arent cutting it..valbuena is ok but he and murphy are ultimately role players...I think
With the way Baez has taken AA by storm, is there even the smallest of chances he has a great spring and makes the team on day 1? Or is it a forgone conclusion that he will start the season in AAA?
Jesse Rogers (1:12 PM)
Smallest of chances? Yes. Prob need a perfect storm of things...he lights it up...castro is hurt maybe..or two guys go down and then maybe...but if he's just doing his thing then prob starts at AAA...lights that up..hes here by june like rizzo last year...if he starts slow...maybe its a sept thing..so small chance? sure
Dan (Elgin) [via mobile]
Are you going to the Under Armour game at Wrigley Field Saturday? Who you watching?
Jesse Rogers (1:13 PM)
I am not. Have a family affair..would like to though...enjoy if you are..we'll have ESPN peeps there
Can you explain why would anyone would want to change Starlin Hitting approach after being so successful?
Jesse Rogers (1:17 PM)
This is the $1,000,000,000 question but I dont think it was as simple as "change". If I put it to you, "why would anyone want to advance starlin as a hitter?" that wouldnt be a negative right? so its about perspective..and again..other than some bad ball hitters who were unbelievable (Vlad Guerrero) there SHOULD be nothing wrong with asking a player to be a little patient, make them come to you...that should have a positive affect...better pitches to hit means driving the ball more...that would be advancing him as a hitter..but maybe thats not right for him...or maybe pitchers adjusted to him and it has nothing to do with his approach...i dont think there is a cut and dry answer but I do agree with sveum (will be in my blog today) more "patience" USUALLY pays off in a good way..I put patience in quotes because i dont mean letting good picthes go by..i mean letting the bad ones go..so it's smart patience
Darshan (Mount Laurel, NJ)
With DeJesus gone and Lake playing left, no real CF on the horizon, any chance the Cubs give Grady Sizemore a deal. Last i read, he would get a minor league deal anyways..why not take a chance and sweeten the pot. Look how much they gave Baker
Jesse Rogers (1:18 PM)
There is always a chance they sign a stop gap till Almora is ready but with Lake in CF now..if they dont sign that stop gap I think he might play there next year...I think hes starting to look more comfortable than in left...he says he likes CF better...then again they might bring dejesus back
What are you talking about "no improvements"? Cubs farm system is top 5 or better in baseball for the first time in my memory. Cubs have Samardzija, Wood, and Arietta, and several decent major league pieces.
Jesse Rogers (1:20 PM)
Im pretty sure he meant record -wise...and those pitchers you metnioned are good but they arent "established" in the same way other teams have them...but I do agree they ORGANIZATION is taking good steps...at least it looks that way..these prospects have to pan out..
Henry A (DeLand FL)
Why can't Junior Lake play 2nd? He's quick and has good hands. If he can play 3rd I think 2nd would be an option.
Jesse Rogers (1:21 PM)
Now your're talking about a whole new skill set...and lankier guys like that dont usually work in the middle of the infield..their size gets in their way if that makes sense..I dont see him starting over at a tough, important position
We have heard who won't being called up in September. Any ideas as to who will?
Jesse Rogers (1:23 PM)
We were talking the other day with Sveum about it...not like there is a huge prospect waiting for rosters to expand..lake is here..sweeney and valbuena are due back so with murphy here and watkins as well its starting to get crowded for sept .1 ..Im sure Brook Raley and a couple of other arms will get a recall but unless Im missing someone there really isnt a "name" in waiting
When will the Cubs find out the PTBNLs that they receive in the Garza and DeJesus trades?
Jesse Rogers (1:24 PM)
Not sure on Garza and the DeJEsus thing is intersting..Bruce Levine reporter the other day they might just get some money back and not a player..there is something goofy there..still not sure if it was a straight claim or a trade...so dont hold breathe on a player
Michael B (Huntsville AL)
I would think to keep fans happy, they should call up Javier Baez. Why not give him a look at MLB action instead of watching from home?
Jesse Rogers (1:25 PM)
he's not on the 40-man so they would have to deal with that and i dont think they want to mess with his head, maybe...bunch of little reasons that avg fan or even myself dont care about right? they could bring him here in sept but then where does he play, etc. Prob just dont want the headache of it all..ha.
What happened to the Wellington Castillo posting? I never saw anything posted yesterday or today?
Jesse Rogers (1:26 PM)
Sorry..its coming..little delay in answering questions..with his day off yesterday he was getting some treatment, etc so we didnt finish..we will! Thanks
Jesse,Tell me what realistic expectations are to Teravainen! Just joking. How hard is it for Jed and Theo to keep Baez down in the minors when he is destroying the baseball? Also, how is his fielding coming along? Is he a SS, 2B, 3B, or what in the bigs?
Jesse Rogers (1:29 PM)
Its prob not hard for them cause they know he'll be here soon enough and they havent been waiting 105 years like the rest of us!! They just want every box checked on him before he gets here...fielding is coming but still makes a few sloppy errors from what I understand..sveum mentioned that yesterday..At this point I honestly dont know what he'll be..I doubt 3rd...2b or SS...maybe he is destined for 2nd..size wise--whether this is right or wrong -- I still pic castro at SS and Baez could be 2b..but man castro has to play that position smarter...can u imagine those mental mistakes on a contender..people will freak..starting with the manager...
Clearly, the Cubs expect to bring up some of the minors guys by summer 2014. Will they look to have any kind of team in April/May 2014?
Jesse Rogers (1:30 PM)
Not one you will love...
Barney has no future with the team. Is Jed going to have to trade him to give Watkins a shot? Honestly, I could see Valbuena, Murphy, and Watkins fighting it out for the 2nd base job next year.
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
Good question..I tend to agree with you..man I would love to have barneys glove but we kind of know what he is at the plate and I think the unknown might be better at this point..good question about who starts there next year...its possible those guys could be competing...I would give watkins a real shot..lead him off, play 2nd..see if that on-base can be .350 or higher...that's me...2014 is still about seeing what you have...then Baez or another higher rated prospect can take over there if need be..
Riley, Dallas [via mobile]
What's the feeling in the front office on signing Scott Baker to another 1 year deal?
Jesse Rogers (1:34 PM)
They paid him 5 mil to rehab so maybe they do it again but I would cut ties..this has taken a lot longer than expected..they said the right thigns about bringing him back..but you cant pay him that much money...not sure on this one
Jesse - What happened in the Dejesus trade? I just don't get it...
Jesse Rogers (1:35 PM)
Wash motivation is unclear..I get why the Cubs did it..dump salary and open up more playing time for others...obviously wash didnt want him too much cause they put him right back out there..I just dont have answer..
Hoyer said this week that the team will look hard at the offense in the off season. Do you think that means FA like Choo or FA like Schierholtz?
Jesse Rogers (1:37 PM)
Maybe..Schierholtz is their property..I think he meant approach, etc...they want ON-BASE guys! And I dont blame them..thats how you score runs...still think they sign almost all stop gap guys..maybe one longer term one but they mostly want to promote from within THEN when they see a need or weakness they'll target...
Billy F (chicago)
I'm a big cub fan and have noticed what the sox are doing with Conor Gillepsie... what are the cubs' plans for Olt/Bryant?
Jesse Rogers (1:38 PM)
Pretty simple right now...may the best man win the job..in spring or whenever...and if they both look great then bryant will move to OF
Billy f (Chicago)
Hey i grew up on the south side and still live there but am a huge cub fan.... can you show a fan some love for stayin true to my cubbie blue?
Jesse Rogers (1:38 PM)
Which minor league pitcher that we haven't seen yet this year has the best chance of being in the starting rotation in 2014?
Jesse Rogers (1:39 PM)
Probably none but Kyle Hendricks continues to impress...didnt mention him before as sept call up..i suppose he has a chance but he just got to AAA....as for next year he and Arrieta..not exactly sure the timetable on hendricks but hes making some big time noise
Cubs coaching has changed Brett Jackson's swing, Castro's approach and swing, Rizzo's swing, and Barney's approach (trying to get more slugging percentage). Hasn't worked out too well for any of them. Is it fair to question Rowson and Sveum about this?
Jesse Rogers (1:41 PM)
In a word: Yes. There is some gray area of course but yes. I think there is something goofy that you can lead the league in extra base hits including HR's (they are 2nd) and still be this bad on offense...slugging might be there but OBP is not!! Theo/Jed know this...I wrote this the other day and this year proves it with an excalamtion point. OBP = RUNS....nothing else translates!
Henry A (Deland FL)
Are Brett Jackson and matt szczur running outta time to grab that center field spot at wrigley?
Jesse Rogers (1:42 PM)
It does sound like Jackson is...baseball changes on a dime but he is no longer "next up"
Tom (Pingree Grove, Illinois)
Hi, Jesse: I would strongly argue that the Cubs should trade Jeff Samardzija during this upcoming off season. Granted, he is a solid pitcher, perhaps a genuine 2 or 3 in a rotation with flashes of brilliance. However, with the Cubs being, minimally, 2 to 3 years away from being competitive, Samardzija is more valuable to other teams now than he is to the Cubs. Also, other teams may overvalue him, and with Samardzija having 2 years of team control remaining, these same teams may offer a substantial package more worthy of a rotation ace, which I don't envision Samardzija becoming. When the Cubs become competitive, Samardzija will be 2 to 3 years older, probably still a 2 or 3 in the rotation, and under an excessive, multiyear deal. The Cubs could instead secure prime prospects and more organizaional depth now? What do you think? Thank you.
Jesse Rogers (1:44 PM)
Well, it's not crazy but then youre looking to replace him including his prescence in the room which is good for something I think...I still think if they are a yr or two away he could really blossom with the right team behind him..Pressure off if they could get a true No.1..hes not that...tough call but I think I would keep unless overwhelemed with the right deal..he's got more to give..better team should bring it out of him..i think
Paul M (Longmont, CO)
Do you see the Cubs going after left handed relievers this offseason?
Jesse Rogers (1:46 PM)
Yes, as Ive written and believe over use is the No.1 thing that hurts relievers effectiveness the following year..camp and russell are paying that price right now...I like young relievers
Paul M (Longmont, CO)
Is there a chance Murphy, Bogusevic and Sweeney are all brought back for next season?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
To start the year? Sure..I like Bogusevic..Sweeney could be the odd man out..though he hits lefties ok...again, a couple are stop-gaps
scott (los angeles)
what year do you think the cubs will be relevant again in august & september?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
Hmm...I guess 2015..but thats only relevant, not necessarily winning anything...I still think whenever it happens it will be a big jump from one year to the next
Baez is killing it right now as well as everyone knows, & the Cubs Organization wants him to develop more but why not take the chance of bringing him up like the Angels did with Trout, Nationals did with Harper and the Orioles did with Machado?
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
Again, little things...right now, he only plays short so castro would have to sit...plus, starting that arb/FA clock which I hate talking about...why are fans so worried about the cubs having to pay a player a few years down the line..they have money, if he's good they will pay him or they're frauds..I hate the clock talk...anyway, he'll be here soon enough (meaining a yr or less it looks like)
With the inconsistent play at SS for Castro, have you heard any talk or rumors about possibly moving him to 2nd base at some point? They have to have a plan when Baez is ready...which should be soon. Maybe trade Castro for a proven pitcher?
Jesse Rogers (1:51 PM)
Anything is on the table...those discussions will take place this offseason...as of now, if no one is moved, Baez will take balls at 3rd and 2nd overthe winter and/or spring...they just want to be reasy for all possibilities...could castro make a position switch over the winter? its possible..I dont think anything is off the table..I think jed/theo et all are locking their chops at these discussions...
Jesse Rogers (1:52 PM)
licking their chops..not locking!
Jacob (Arizona) [via mobile]
What will cubs do with Dan Vogelbach?
Jesse Rogers (1:52 PM)
Unless Rizzo flames out they will end up trading him..there is no other answer
Michael B (Huntsville AL)
Do you see Svuem being the manager after 2014? Some of his decisions and playing so much with the batting order can't be helping guys like castro and rizzo
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
Not sure little things like the batting order will matter...is he helping players advance their careers while managng the clubhouse and the dugout, those are the big questions...jury is out..but people arent wrong to think if NO young player advances under him then there is an issue..I still think a manager or coach bringing the best out of talented players us WAY WAY undertalked about..mostly cause there is no stat that really shows it.. anyway, if few progress you have to switch for change sake so we'll see..
Jesse Rogers (1:58 PM)
Thats it for today...thanks for the questions..good stuff...check out my blog later today...am putting up a piece why I think Castro does deserve more criticsm than rizzo..that seems to be a topic in cubs nation..follow me on twitter @espnchicubs...talk next friday..if you need something you can email me at email@example.com and spread the word about the blog!!