The Rundown: Roster Crunch Coming, Field of Dreams Game One Week Away, Padres Obviously Win Deadline
The Cubs and Cardinals were rained out yesterday and I’m baseballed out after Tuesday’s frenzied deadline, so excuse today’s truncated column.
Now that everything has settled, Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins might have a bit of a roster crunch on their hands this winter. When it comes to the 40-man, guys who might otherwise be protected could be part of the churn. In fact, the front office acquired three players eligible to be promoted – Ben Brown, Hayden Wesneski, and Saúl González.
Poll of the Week
The Cubs are going to be combing through their MiLB Free Agent List and Rule 5 List the next two months to come up with who to protect from the Rule 5 draft. https://t.co/QenxMzeUcBhttps://t.co/i0bcX6fRwj
How many do you think they will protect?
— Todd ⚾️🐻🦌 (@CubsCentral08) August 4, 2022
The Cubs have a boatload of minor leaguers who are eligible for selection in this year’s Rule 5 draft, including Brennen Davis, Kohl Franklin, Luis Devers, Yohendrick Pinango, Cole Roederer, Ryan Jensen, Jake Slaughter, and Kevin Alcantara. That means major league players like Frank Schwindel, Adrian Sampson, Michael Rucker, David Bote, Alfonso Rivas, and Mark Leiter Jr. could be casualties this November. I’d add Jason Heyward to that list but it’s just not happening. Rowan Wick should be looking over his shoulder. Brad Wieck, too. Winter trade candidates include Patrick Wisdom, Rafael Ortega, and Zach McKinstry.
There is also the minor league portion of the draft to consider, too. I don’t understand all the machinations of protecting players, but suffice to say, the Cubs have a number of decisions to make this winter.
Cubs News & Notes
- Our own Greg Huss did an excellent job of analyzing Chicago’s new minor league acquisitions. Wesneski, Brown, and González have similarities that indicate the types of pitchers the front office seeks when adding to the organization’s minor league depth.
- It’s hard to believe but this year marks the 10-year anniversary that the Cubs acquired Kyle Hendricks in a deadline deal with the Rangers for Ryan Dempster. At the time, most fans were actually more excited that Texas included third baseman Christian Villanueva.
- He wasn’t acquired in a trade, but waiver wire pickup Kervin Castro was recalled on Wednesday.
- Castro is excited about the opportunity to play for the Cubs.
- Brown drew a Tyler Glasnow comparison from Brendan Miller on Twitter. That should make Cubs fans happy.
- The Cubs were listed by Bleacher Report as one of nine MLB teams that blew the trade deadline.
- The Field of Dreams game is just a week away. The Cubs will play the Reds in the titular classic on August 11, and it will be interesting to see which weakling kicks sand in the face of the other. The league is probably ecstatic that Ian Happ and Willson Contreras were not traded.
- Hoyer explained his deadline day thought process with regard to his two All-Stars. The president of baseball operations even hinted that he has been in communication with Contreras’ agent throughout the month, though he declined to say if they discussed an extension.
- In fact, an extension for the All-Star catcher could be more likely now that Contreras has survived Hoyer’s two-year roster purge.
Odds & Sods
I think I may have mentioned this previously, but Mike Trout was a pretty good amateur pitcher.
Mike Trout threw an 18 strikeout no-hitter in high school.
But the mythical performance is something of a footnote in the story of what Mike Trout means to his hometown of Millville.
📝 @JoeRiveraSN https://t.co/JLV2gLBoh7
— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) August 4, 2022
How About That!
Juan Soto and A.J. Preller were among the big winners this week.
The Soto deal may alter the balance of power for years to come. The outfielder is already drawing comparisons to Ted Williams and Hank Aaron, but it will be interesting to see if San Diego can afford to extend his contract.
The Mets may have hurt their World Series chances by clinging too tightly to their prospects. That alone makes last year’s Javier Báez – Pete Crow-Armstrong trade an unadulterated win for Cubs fans. As an old-school fan, I still hate the Metroploitans as much as I do the Cardinals.
Sandy Alcantara threw his major league-leading third complete game on Wednesday. I sure would like to see how Nolan Ryan would react to that news. Ryan used to throw at least three per month.
The Nationals have released infielder Alcides Escobar.
Believe it or not, it has been almost 10 seasons since MLB’s last perfect game.
A nice start for the post-deadline Padres.
Last night, in their first game for San Diego, Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury each reached base multiple times.
Per @EliasSports, the Padres are the first MLB team since 1900 to have 3 midseason acquisitions all reach base safely multiple times in their team debut. pic.twitter.com/W2AMlwh6g0
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 4, 2022
Thursday Morning Six-Pack
- The Bears play the Chiefs on August 13 in their first exhibition tilt, and head coach Matt Eberlus said his starters will see a decent amount of action.
- Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker, and Velus Jones, Jr. get most of the hype, but nearly all of Chicago’s rookies have stepped up this summer, including undrafted free agent linebacker Jack Sanborn of Wisconsin.
- Vin Scully once spun a yarn about rattlesnakes while not missing a single pitch of the game he was calling.
- The national average gas price has fallen for 50 straight days after another drop on Wednesday to $4.16 a gallon, per AAA. It’s down a full 86 cents, or 17%, from the record high of $5.02 hit on June 14. It’s still outrageously high.
- PETA says Gordon Ramsay’s kids should go vegan and “disown him” after his controversial social media video mocked those who have a professed distaste for animal-derived food choices.
- Canned cat food brand Fancy Feast plans to serve humans feline-inspired food dishes at an exclusive NYC pop-up restaurant. Check, please!
They Said It
- “I think that maybe there was just an assumption that we would definitely move [Contreras]. There was never anything said by us. We’re not gonna talk about contract negotiations, but obviously, I’ve been in communication with his agents throughout the month, and we never gave any message to anyone that was like, you know, we’re gonna trade him at all costs. We were obviously going to discuss him with teams and if it makes sense for the Cubs, we’ll do it. So, I think he knew that but obviously, I think there was the assumption based on last year that we would do it.” – Hoyer
Thursday Walk-Up Song
Sorry. I couldn’t resist.