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Chicago Cubs Fact Pack, October 1st

October 1st, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

1. Even after the major league debuts of Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler in 2014, the Chicago Cubs still have five prospects ranked in the top 100 by MLB.com; Kris Bryant (3), Addison Russell (5), Albert Almora (36), CJ Edwards (53) & Kyle Schwarber (72).

2. Anthony Rizzo finished the 2014 season with 32 home runs. The last time a Cubs’ player had more than 32 home runs in a season was when Derek Lee hit 35 back in 2009 (Alfonso Soriano hit 32 in 2012).

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Players the Cubs Should Cut Ties with in 2015

October 1st, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

When your team finishes the season 16 games under .500, there are plenty of changes that can and should be made. The Chicago Cubs will have a number of players cement their roles as starters in 2015 and they have their eye on a number of high-profile free agents, so in order to keep their roster at 25 they’re going to have to cut the fat. Here are five players who the Cubs should cut ties with before the 2015 season.

John Baker:

This is an easy one. The Cubs’ have had notoriously underperforming backup catchers for years now, between guys like Koyie Hill, Steve Clevenger, and J.C. Boscan, and it’s time for a change. Baker, 33, hit just .192 with 0 home runs and 15 RBI’s in 68 games this year, which culminated in at WAR of -1.0 (according to baseball-reference.com). To be fair, Baker is an above average defensive catcher and it’s not necessary for a backup catcher to hit .300, but is too much to ask that he hit his weight? A backup who is strong defensively and isn’t an automatic out would be a solid upgrade for 2015.

Edwin Jackson:

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Potential Free-Agent Targets Duel in AL Wild Card Game

September 30th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Two of the most common names thrown around when discussing the Chicago Cubs’ potential free-agent targets are, Oakland Athletics starter, Jon Lester and, Kansas City Royals starter, James Shields and tonight we have the opportunity to get a look at both of them. Both Lester and Shields will start in tonight’s American League Wild Card game, which is scheduled to start at 8 PM on TBS.

Pitcher

W-L

ERA

WHIP

WAR

IP

2015 age

Lester

16-11

2.46

1.102

4.6

219.2

31

Shields

14-8

3.21

1.181

3.3

227.0

33

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

Both aces have very impressive resumes and both have been fantastic in 2014. Jon Lester projects to be a much more expensive option, but it makes sense given his .634 career winning percentage and seven consecutive seasons of more than 190.0 innings pitched. Shields should be a little more of a “bargain” due to his age and his slightly worse numbers but he is no consolation prize. Shields has thrown more than 200.0 innings in eight consecutive seasons (seven of which have been over 215.0 innings) and is a proven winner on teams that struggle offensively.

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Chicago Cubs Fact Pack, September 30th

September 30th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

1. According to Ace of MLB Stats (@Aceballstats): Cincinnati Reds Closer, Aroldis Chapman struck out 85 of the first 239 batters he faced this season. Atlanta Braves Closer, Craig Kimbrel struck out 94 of the first 239 batters he faced this season. Chicago Cubs shortstop, Javier Baez struck out in 95 of his first 239 plate appearances this season.

2. Chicago Cubs’ top prospect, Kris Bryant has been named to MLB.com’s 2014 All-Prospect team. The team consists of 12 players, one at all eight positions plus a DH, LHP, RHP and a reliever.

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Minor League Wrap-Up: Cubs’ Top Prospects

September 30th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Yesterday we discussed the Cubs’ rookies who made their major league debut in 2014; today we discuss the Cubs’ top prospects to are on the verge. It was a great year for the Cubs’ minor league teams; the Kane County Cougars (A) won the Midwest League championship, the Daytona Cubs (A+) finished second in the Florida State League and the Tennessee Smokies (AA) and Iowa Cubs (AAA) had a number of fantastic individual performances. Let’s start with the Cubs’ top hitting prospects.

Player

Level

2015 Age

.ave

.obp

HR

RBI

Kris Bryant

AA/AAA

23

.325

.438

43

110

Addison Russell

A+/AA

21

.295

.350

13

45

Albert Almora

A+, AA

21

.270

.291

9

60

Kyle Schwarber

A-, A, A+

22

.344

.428

18

53

(stats per baseball-reference.com)

*all are ranked in top 100 prospects in baseball by MLB.com

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