Hey all, welcome to our weekly friday baseball chat. Im here for the first half hour to talk Cubs then Doug Padilla talks Sox at 12:30 pm. Cubs play their first night game of the spring tonight in Goodyear, Az. against the Reds...Cubs havent won since Sunday, 5-9. The Reds are 2-11...its cold -- for AZ. -- about 60! Fire away with questions
Jesse, my man. Are you worried at all with Soler's high strikeout rate this spring? And do you think BJax's new swing has really helped or will he still be a high strikeout guy.
Good questions..I would say no to Soler..he's a big kid, with a big swing and working his way in pro ball for the first time...if there was no good that came with those strikeouts that might be something else...but there has been plenty of good, in fact, he's shown a decent eye at the plate drawing some walks or working counts...hard to put any stock in results for him right now, but you have to like the process he has at such a young age....and the new swing is working for B-Jaz--right now...lets see it carries over to April..jury still out but looks good
What are the odds Soriano plays out his contract in Chicago and retires a Cub? Never thought it would happen, but if he gets hurt or has a down year nobody will want him next year!
I still dont buy it happening but Bruce Levine keeps telling me it could be reality...I would think the Yanks would come calling now if they want any ahcne of surviving early on, but maybe they think its a longshot they can win anyway...plus they dont want the money even if the cubs pick up a lot so, as usual, the fit, etc has to be perfect--for the cubs, for sori, for the other team...and thats prob why it hasnt happened yet..too many parts to it all starting with $$...so yeah, thinking it might go down that way but by next year at this time or july or whatever, I have to think he goes if he's still hitting. have to. but wont get much back at that point
Hey Jesse, appreciate all of the spring training updates! We hear a lot of different rankings for the Cubs "Big Three". What order do you have Baez, Almora, and Soler?
I havent seen much of Almora but in my opinon the only reason Soler was behind those guys is there was less to asses in terms of games played,etc. Still think he's No. 1 then Almora then Baez...that's just my "amateur" opinion...we'll learn alot this year with all 3 in the system for a full season
Assuming Stewart doesn't make the team, is there any chance Junior Lake does?
No. Cause he would have to start to make the team and he's not going to start...hes not ready at the plate or in the field...no way he makes the jump from Double A unless something crazy happens
Marmol, DeJesus, Soriano. What is the likelihood for each of these players getting traded by the July deadline this season?
I think Dejesus will be...Marmol has to show something here in spring and of course he really hasnt in my opinion but still think people are so desperate that if he goes on a run and/or cubs pick up some salary, he's gone...sori is a tough call as I wrote before...Just not sure..how these guys do during the year makes a difference as well..
Everyone likes to project when our prospects make the majors, can you predict where Baez, Soler and Almora start the season?
I think Baez and Soler will start in Daytona and Almora at Kane county....could be wrong.possible but doubtful one of them (soler IMO) starts at AA but I dont think so..
Hey Jesse, With Marmol not doing so well, what could Cubs realistically expect in return for him? Would they be better off holding onto him until he improves, if he does improve?
Yeah, as I wrote, he'll have those moments when he looks lights out..we've all seen it, so strike then, I guess....Not sure that time is right now but lets see how he looks later in March..this could be an eve of the season type thing or obviously in-season if thats when he gets hot
Hey Jesse, Love the chats miss you on the Hawks chats though. Do you see the cubs trying to build the way that hawks did with good scouting, high draft picks, and some luck. Right now I am having trouble seeing the cubs being competitive in 3 years because they have no pitching prospects. What are they going to have to do to aquire some of those prospects so that they can be competitive in 3 years?
I think its all a math equation to them...heck even scouting is a lot of math now...but simply put, if 10% of prospects make it and you have 10 prospects then you'll get one player....if you have 100 prospects you'll have 10 prospects....they are sinmply acauiring as much young talent as a "rebuilding" process allows then hopefully they've hired the right coaches to develop them...then you hope the percentages work out and you have your contending team...no mystery or secret...they just have the time to do it like never before for the cubs
I meant you'll have 10 players
There is a lot of talk of the possibility of trading guys, but not much on what we would get back. What level of prospects would be available for a guy like Garza (I realize this is hard to project given his injury)? Soriano (assuming we eat the majority of his salary)?
Everyone is downplaying Garza's value because of the injuries and that might be the case IF he's hurt come july..he only needs a handful of prodcutive starts to entice someone..the bigger issue is that he's a free agent and unless he's signing with his new team right away then he's just a two month rental and you dont get as much for that...so he can bring you back a pitching prospect or two...the better he pitches, the better the market, the better the prospect...but it wont be a boatload....and if he is hurting in june/july then all best are off....but march/april/may doesnt mean much to teams come july 31
Is Vogelbach a real big league prospect or have the stories about his big bat and talent been inflated? If he is, where do you see him fitting in with the Cubs' distant plans with Rizzo playing his positon?
Trade bait..thats about the only answer there is
Can you give a feel for how Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, and any other young guys have looked so far this spring?
Vitters has been hurt, no feel for him...B. Jackson reminds me of Samardzija. On a mission. One way or another he wont be denied...Im sure thats what he's thinking...he knows the path is there for him..Dejesus wont keep in the minors, only he will...Soler started out the hot shot in camp but hes come back to earth a little...most of these guys have shown flashes but then you see why they;re not ready..from baez to lake...to any of the pitchers...Barrett Loux is a good example...great stuff but just hasnt put it together, etc.
Jesse, with the starting staff looking extremely weak so far this spring, do you see the Cubs moving Marmol for a starter before opening day?
No, not for a major league starter...they've done their fortifying in the rotation..now lets let the chips fall where they may...plus baker/garza arent out forever..well, never know with garza..marmol is going for prospects and prospects only
Hey Jesse, do you see Brent Lillibridge making the team and platooning at third base with Luis Valbuena ?
Platoon is a little strong...Valbunea gets first crack if Stewart is toast and if he struggles maybe that changes but yeah, lillibridge is in...
Have you seen Arodys Vizcaino in camp? How's he look? Where is he projected to start to season? Are we using him as a starter or reliever this year? I haven't seen anyone even mention him this spring.
Yes, good arm but not ready...AAA starter I believe..
Ok, thats it for Cubs talk, now going to hand it off to Doug Padilla for Sox conversation...follow me on twitter @espnchicubs and check out the cubs blog...talk next week...all yours Doug
Hello. And welcome to the White Sox portion of the chat.
In case you didn't see it, the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is putting a Paul Konerko jersey on display. They are doing it today, in fact. Check out the story in the White Sox blog at ESPNChicago.com
Mr. Padilla, have there been any changes this last week in how you view the Sox 25 man roster shaking out?
Probably not. Morel's early struggles don't change anything there. Veal is getting a lot of early use to gear him up for the final bullpen spot. he hasn't been sharp, but results aren't of vital importance right now. There will have to be some major developments to happen for any significant roster changes to happen.
What do you think the Sox' line-up answer to Konerko's departure for the 2014 season will be?
Assuming Konerko is gone, Dunn could take over at first base. But that leaves a DH void, which isn't the worst thing ever. What really could happen is that Viciedo takes over at 1B, Dunn stays at DH and Jared Mitchell gets his shot in left. But those are just the in-house options. Trades and free agents are a possibility too but the in-house stuff probably has a better chance of happening.
Huge move with Sale! Talk about a new GM stepping up to the plate. What kind of batting order can we expect from Ventura for the opener?
We will take the Sale/Hahn stuff first. Hahn was always the contract numbers-crunching guy under Kenny Williams anyway, so a deal like this is right up his alley. All around baseball the deal is viewed as a win-win for both parties. The White Sox have locked in a potential ace at a good price and Sale gets some guaranteed money before others with less than three years of service time.
As for the bating order, it still looks like Keppinger is the best bet for the No. 2 spot. That means De Aza, Keppinger and possibly Rios in the 3 hole. Konerko is next followed by Dunn then Viciedo. It could go Ramirez, Flowers, Beckham after that. Still think Robin experiments with that 3 hole. Rios some days, Dunn on others until one runs away with it.
What are your expectations for Viciedo, Quintana and Carlos Sanchez this year?
Expecting another jump forward for Viciedo, and that's saying something after the young guy put up 25 HRs and 78 RBIs last year. Quintana will be interesting in his second full season. Going to be tough to live up to what he did last year, but the White Sox would be happy if he matched it. As for Carlos Sanchez, he still has some growing to do so a start in the minor leagues looks in order. Angel Sanchez is expected to be the utility man at the start of the year.
Jake Peavy accepted less money to stay with the Sox, and Sale signed a very reasonable deal as well. Is there something to be said about the working relationship between Rick Hahn and the players that Kenny Williams maybe didn't have?
I don't think that's it. Peavy likes it in Chicago and didn't seem interested in going through the free agent process. Peavy and Dunn are tight and this puts them both on the same team through next season. As for Sale, yeah he risks leaving $$ on the table, but that much guaranteed money at this point of his career is hard to pass up. Hahn has been at the forefront of these types of deals in the past, under Kenny, with the Buehrle and Danks deals coming to mind.
Between the Danks deal and now Sale, is it safe to say that the old three year pitching contract maximum is out the window with Rick Hahn as GM?
It does look that way, but when you have such a team-friendly deal like the Sale contract is viewed to be, you take the risks sometimes. If Sale does pan out he will be making $12 million and $13 million in the last two years of the deal. That makes much more sense for a club than paying $20 million or more for a guy they are projecting him to become. Call it a calculated gamble that's less of a risk that grabbing a guy off the open market.
Does hector gimenez still have the inside track for back up catcher role or is there open competion for this role perhaps sox bring in another veteran catcher
Looks like Hector will be the guy for now but I don't think a vet catcher from outside of the organization is out of the question. More will be known in a few weeks when teams start cutting players loose. Veterans, especially backup catcher types, are usually cut before most to give them the time to catch on with another team. I'm sure the White Sox will look at the list and give it some thought, but they have no reservations about bringing Gimenez along despite his inexperience.
Any Nate Jones' (i.e. big surprises) in camp this year?
Nobody to that level so far. The difference is that there was a roster spot for Jones to grab last year. Spots aren't that readily available this year. Mitchell has looked good in the OF and at the plate during the early going. Omogrosso has pitched 6 scoreless. Gotta like Matt Lindstrom not giving up so much as a hit after 3 innings of work, but he isn't a surprise by any means, just good to see from a newcomer.
Thanks for the questions. Looking forward to doing this again next week. Remember to go to espnchicago.com for all of your White Sox coverage.