The Ever Evolving World of Stats

I have always loved statistics.

I first got started with stats by reading the back of baseball cards, whether they were the current year or years past. I always liked the older 1960s cards because the backs had multiple years. The 70s started to go just one year at a time.

As a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to check the Sunday Rockford Register-Star to see the weekly stats of major league players. Every. Single. One. You were really lucky if you subscribed to The Sporting News or Baseball Digest which had even more stats.

In addition, those magazines had ads in the back. Beginning in junior high in the spring of 1977, I started cutting out one particular ad and then I would run to the post office to get a money order to send away for the product – Strat-O-Matic Baseball. The card game was amazing to play, if I could find anyone to play with. Occasionally, I did find people here and there to play.

But it was in those cards that I learned what made a good Strat-O-Matic player wasn’t necessarily what made an All-Star in the eyes of the public. I did begin to look at players differently because of that game. The last time I played the game was probably about 1996 or 1997. Still, the game based on pure statistics changed how I looked at stats.

I have always used a variety of stats to evaluate a player’s performance. Average, On Base Percentage, ERA, K rates and BB rates are things I constantly use. I think those are accepted stats by the majority of people following baseball.

Then again, there are stats I abhor. OPS is one of them (Either the O or S can hog the stat). The other is pitcher wins. But in the past few years, I have come to love weighted runs created plus (wRC+) by Fangraphs. It is almost the perfect stat to me to evaluate a hitter’s overall offensive performance compared to the league. I am using it judiciously when discussing prospects and I am trying to break it in and use it properly.

While it might be similar to slugging percentage, in it’s premise, wRC+ takes into account how a hitter hits in certain parks and “the value of that hit.” Is it a single that is just a single, or is it a single that moves a runner over, or one that plates a run. It looks at how the hit impacts the game.

Fangraphs said this about their own stat:

Using wRC+ is even easier because league average for position players is always 100. If a player has a 110 wRC+, you know they are ten percentage points better than league average offensively. This is a great tool for comparing the at bat by at bat offensive performance of any two players in the league.

I think it is best when using it over an extended time, like a half or whole season. So, when I say that Brennen Davis of Cubs 2 had a wRC+ of 138, here is what the scale means according to Frangraphs:

Ratings for wRC+
Excellent – 160
Great – 140
Above Average – 115
Average 100
Below Average – 80
Poor – 75
Awful – 60

Then again, Davis’ performance was over just 18 games. Every stat has some context to it. Most stats don’t exist in a vacuum. That’s where I come in.

And this week saw the release of a new stat. Baseball Prospectus released its Deserved Runs Created Plus (DRC+). Here I thought I found the perfect stat in wRC+ and BP says theirs is better and more reliable. I am not so sure about that…right now.

According to BP, DRC+ also takes into account the quality of the pitcher the hitter is facing. I kind of like that. Basically, you get a bump for hitting a dinger off of Chris Sale versus Greg Holland. It also has a scale, like wRC+, that begins somewhere close to 100 and is easy to understand.

BP added:

DRC+ measures all of a player’s contributions at the plate. The model digs beneath play outcomes to isolate how much of the outcome should be credited to the hitter, then weighs those contributions on the value he provided to the team. Then, the DRC+ model adjusts for context, which include factors like which park the hitter played in and how good the opposing pitcher is.

However, in looking at 2018 stats, Kyle Schwarber wound up with a higher DRC+ than Javy Baez at 118-115. In fact, Schwarber was tied for second on the Cubs with Ben Zobrist behind Anthony Rizzo’s spectacular 133, and Rizzo was horrible until July.

I am sure they will be more stats in the future. DRC+ is not the last nor should it be. Trying to lump everything into one stat might seem to be a futile attempt to quantify something that doesn’t need to be quantified. Then again, I like the idea of having 1 stat to evaluate a certain type of hitter or performance, but is not the best idea for every player.

On the surface, that one stat might seem like a great idea. However, several stats should be used to show what a player can do. Not every player fits into a specific cell on a spreadsheet.  Not every player needs to be evaluated in the same way every time.

I think the key to using to stats is to find ones that shows how a player far exceeds his peers and the resulting number demonstrates dominance at a specific skill. wRC+ still does that so do many more stats.

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Position Breakdown Series: Second Base As Deep As Ever

By Todd Johnson

It’s amazing how much change can happen in one year. Last year, this is how I ranked the second baseman in the Cubs’ minor-league system:
1. Carlos Sepulveda, 2. David Bote, 3. Jared Young/Austin Upshaw, 5. Chesny Young, and 6. Trent Giambrone.

What a difference a year makes. Sepulveda never played a day in 2018. Bote is now on the major-league roster while Jared Young is now the number one first baseman in the system. Austin Upshaw surprisingly struggled all year at two levels of class A. On the other hand, Chesney Young is still hanging around after having a more up year than down.

However, only two of last year’s top six are on this year‘s list.

1. To move up from number six to number one is quite an achievement for Trent Giambrone but he earned it through plate discipline and power (17 HRS at AA). He also began branching out to play more shortstop and third base and that will increase his ability to move up in the system. He even played right field once in the AFL. Playing in the PCL should increase his HR totals over 20 next year.

2. I really really like 2018 fifth round pick Andy Weber. He is 6’2” was drafted as a second baseman but also played shortstop, third, and first at Eugene. He reminds me a lot of Jared Young but is a little bit skinnier. One thing I think he has over Young is a bit more patience. Then again, his power could change with off-season conditioning. I’m really excited to see what he can do in 2019, and also where he’s going to be to start the year. He could be a guy that could skip South Bend with his patience at the plate.

3. Last year, Carlos Sepulveda was the number one second baseman on this list. He missed all of 2018 after missing most of 2017. He’s gotten some action down in the Caribbean this winter, which is a good sign. Hopefully he can come back in 2019 as a 21-year-old, which is really strange to say after missing two years. But what Sepulveda had was the ability to put the bat on the ball. Not really a power guy, but he could turn on an inside pitch and take it right down the line.

4. When I hung out with South Bend for about 10 days last summer, one of the highlights every day was just saying hey to Christian Donahue. The non-drafted free agent out of Oregon State was enjoying every single second of playing pro ball. And not only was his attitude infectious off the field, it was infectious on the field. He played multiple positions, but mostly second. He showed the ability to hit the ball all over and to take a walk. He was one of my favorite players to watch play in person last year. He should start 2019 at Myrtle Beach.

5. When Jonathan Perlaza signed in 2015, the then 16-year-old ranked not too far behind Aramis Ademan. Injuries slowed his development, but last year saw him really come on at Mesa and I got a sneak peek of him in the playoffs at Eugene. He should be at South Bend with his solid hit tool as a left-handed bat in the middle of the infield.

6. One of the fun things about August last year was the somewhat breakout performance of Delvin Zinn in an every day role. The two time Cub draftee finally got over a nagging finger injury and played almost every day throughout the infield in August as he hit .322 with a .406 OBP for the month. He’s still got some small issues on defense he’s working on. But like Donahue, he’s an infectious player to watch and to be around.

Still Some Work to Do
Jhonny Bethencourt’s bat is one of the top young bats in the system. The issue is he has a long ways to go on defense. A wrist injury caused him to miss most of final three months of 2018. Hopefully he spends his winter working on his fielding skills as well as his decision making in game situations. I don’t see him repeating South Bend. He should be at Myrtle Beach with the quality of his bat.

The One to Watch in 2019
Reivaj Garcia
hit very well for most of the season in Mesa. At 17-18 years old, he was probably playing two years above where he should’ve been. Still, the second baseman out of Mexico displayed a mature approach for such a young kid in a stateside league. Eugene will be the beneficiary of his expertise in 2019.

What If…
With Javy Baez at shortstop, the likely landing point for Nico Hoerner in the majors is at second base as a Cub. It’ll be interesting to see how much time he puts in there this year as he gets closer and closer to Chicago. If the Chicago Cubs moved him to second, he would easily be number one on this list. In spring training, we will see how many looks Hoerner gets with the big league club and just exactly where he plays.

The 5 Series: Ryan Williams Is Close to Full Strength

By Todd Johnson

If there was an award for best beard in the Cubs’ system, I would give it to Ryan Williams every year. His has the right amount of length, size, and color to be fierce yet not overbearing. However, I am not here to write about Ryan Williams’ magnificent facial hair and grooming techniques. Instead, it is all about his comeback. It has been a rough two years dealing with a shoulder injury.

Williams initially skyrocketed through the Cubs system going from college closer at East Carolina in 2014 to starter as a pro. In 2015, he dominated at South Bend, skipped Myrtle Beach entirely (which is almost never done) and went straight to AA where he had a 2.76 ERA in 16 starts. I thought he was on the verge of heading to Chicago at some point in 2016, if all went well.

Unfortunately, things did not go well. The Cubs tried rehabbing the shoulder and then surgery took place after a brief comeback try to start 2017.

The 6’4” 220 lb. right-hander underwent shoulder surgery and made it back to do some pitching in 2018 at Eugene and South Bend. I got to talk to him informally about his rehab last summer when South Bend was at Kane County. For Ryan, 2018 was about strengthening the shoulder and all his outings were geared toward that.

He began last summer throwing his fastball in the mid 80s at Eugene and by the end of the summer he had jacked it up to the mid-to-upper 80s at South Bend.

Now that 2019 is on the horizon, Williams is at a key point in his career and comeback. Here are five things I am thinking.

1. He’s still got time. He will be 27-years-old for all of next season. He’s not a spring chicken but he’s not an old man, either. Drafted in 2014, Williams was close to making it before the injury and the Cubs stuck by Williams the last two years. 2019 is not a do-or-die year for him as there is not really an opening in Chicago yet.
2. Plan B. Ideally, Williams wants to be a starter. Considering he was a closer in college, Williams could come out of the pen. He has the mentality of a reliever even as a starter. He attacks the lower part of the zone and relies on being a ground ball machine. The Cubs have to keep that reliever option open for him.
3. Work Ethic. When I go to a game to cover it as a member of the press, I get there about 2 to 2.5 hours before game. I get to see the players warm up, stretch, get some running and throwing in, BP, and bullpens. For several days last summer, I saw Ryan get his long toss in, his bullpen, and running. Every day, there was always something extra that he did. It was not the same every time. Some days, he was working with pitching coach Brian Lawrence. While others. it was doing stuff with Jake Steffens. I never knew what he was going to do, but it was never going back to the dugout.
4. Glimpses. Even after missing most of two seasons, Williams’ pitching profile has not changed. He attacked the bottom part of the zone last summer like he did in the past.
5. This Off-Season. Part of rehabbing a shoulder is that rehab seems like it never ends. It can wear a pitcher out both mentally and physically. The body needs to heal. The mind needs to rest. He also needs to keep rebuilding the shoulder. It’s a fine line to balance all three.

Listen to Williams talk about his comeback in this great interview with South Bend announcer Brendan King,

As for 2019, Williams could be placed anywhere. He could be in Iowa, Tennessee, or Myrtle Beach. How ready that shoulder is come March will determine where he lands. Wherever he goes, his shoulder’s performance is what is going to move him forward. Let’s hope that shoulder is ready.

Williams is.

The 5 Series: Can Jose Albertos Get “It” Back?

By Todd Johnson

Some days, I don’t know where to begin. Such is the case today. How do you start an article about a guy who, a year ago, was your #1 ranked prospect in the organization and now is not even on your top 21 list?

Let’s just cut to the chase. MLB Pipeline summed up the problems of Jose Albertos the best. They understatedly said, “His delivery has gotten out of sync and he lost confidence once his troubles snowballed.”

Jose made 20 appearances in 2018. He had an ERA of 14.84 in 30.1 IP. He struck out 38 and walked 65 while giving up 36 hits for a WHIP of 3.33.

It was sad to watch him disintegrate so quickly. The problems with his delivery began in spring training with his release point and a new curve grip. Then they carried over to South Bend and never ended. You could see it get in his head. By the time he went to Eugene, I thought, “What’s the point of this. Shut him down and rebuild him later.” You could tell he was beaten down by it all by the look on his face.

But here’s the thing for me…

I still believe in Jose Albertos.

I really do.

I think he still has “it” somewhere deep inside. Here’s why.

The Five
#1. He’s just 20. He will be that age all next summer. Albertos is way too young to give up on. The Cubs can rebuild him. When Steve Blass and Rick Ankiel developed their throwing problems, they were much older and at a much higher level of baseball. Albertos is young enough that he can come out the other side.
#2. Time. There’s no rush to get him back and the Cubs can take their time in 2019 getting him on track. They can work with him slowly and rebuild him physically and mentally next year in due time at extended spring training and, if need be, at rehab in Mesa. When he’s ready, the less pressure he has, the better.
#3. 95. Even with all his control and command issues last year, Albertos was getting the ball up there at 95 mph with ease. The ball was coming out of his hand like it was in 2017. He just could not get it in the strike zone on a consistent basis.
#4. He never hit the bull. It might seem a little strange, but Albertos’ lack of command was not the worst case scenario. The scene in Bull Durham where Nuke hits the bull never happened for Jose. No matter how wild he was or how painful it was to watch, he was not going to be that bad.
#5. Mental Skills Program. The Cubs minor league players talk about how they train their brains as much as they do their bodies. For Albertos, this has to happen for him to come back. To be able to stand and the mound and not freak out in front of a crowd has to be an issue he overcomes first. He needs to feel that confidence in real situations. The Cubs have to do that kind of rehab with him just as much, if not more so, than fixing his release point and grip on his curve.

If ever there was a time to have this issue, that time is now for Jose Albertos. The Cubs and their staff in Mesa and the minors are best equipped to fix his release point and to prepare him to pitch to live hitters in his head long before he ever does so on the mound. That is going to be the key. Justin Steele attributes a lot of his success the past two years to visualization – the practice of daydreaming your physical movements in a successful manner as a form of meditation.

When Jose Albertos gets on the mound in a game that matters next year, he has to believe that when he lets go of the ball that he knows where it is going to go pitch after pitch after pitch.

Once he gets that confidence back, he will be just fine.

The Weekly: 40 Man Spots, Jhonny Pereda, and Upcoming News

By Todd Johnson

Monday is a big day. On the 19th, the Cubs’ 40-man roster could contain  a few new names to protect them from being taken in the Rule V Draft slated for December 13. Expect to see Trevor Clifton, Justin Steele, and Jason Vosler get added. PJ Higgins, Erick Leal, and Jhonny Pereda are longshots to be put on the roster. The Cubs will likely roll the dice by leaving the last three off. A year from now, Pereda probably will get added and the same for Leal, if 2019 goes well.

I am really starting to dig Jhonny Pereda more and more. He had a great first half at Myrtle Beach this year. Like most catchers, he slipped a little in the second half as the grind begans to wear the catcher down. However, Pereda’s season wasn’t done as he was assigned to the Arizona Fall League. Pereda only played in 8 games there but hit a reasonable .278 with a .354 OBP..

While some may be focusing on his bat, Pereda handles a pitching staff fairly well. He caught some of the Cubs’ best prospects in 2018 and managed their games in an excellent fashion. He also caught an outstanding 38% of base runners stealing this year.

Pereda will be at Tennessee in 2019. It should be interesting to see how he does at AA. Considering he held his own in the AFL, the odds are in his favor. Hopefully Pereda can stay strong all year and see some more time at first to keep him a little fresher down the stretch.

Prospects Lists Getting Closer – I saw where Baseball Prospectus will be publishing their top 10 Cubs prospects on December 11, Baseball America started releasing their lists this past week, and Minor League Baseball has 4 done and more to come. I don’t have any idea about Fangraphs while MLB Pipeline is going for January 1 for their top 30, the same date as my new Top 21.

As well, Baseball America released their Draft Grades for the Cubs. I did very well in my predictions. I only whiffed on a couple, but then again, I might be right.

MiLB Transactions – The Cubs did have two transactions this week of the minor league variety. The Cubs re-signed speedy outfielder Wynton Bernard and reliever Jose Rosario, who was injured most of the past two summers.

The Mailbag – Those posts are going well. I have one I am working on about the developmental process in the system based on a question from Rikk Carlson. Then, after that, I have questions about pitching in the last draft and a Zach Hedges query. Still, I could go for more questions to write about and more posts. Those questions help beat the doldrums of winter and writer’s block. They actually make me energized! The next mailbag will be the week of the 26th. It would not bother me in the slightest to answer them all winter long!!!

Position Breakdown Series – This popular yearly series returns with its debut on Friday, the day after Turkey Day. I am read to get the catchers out there first. 

Other Stuff on the Web – I am trying to write more original content for Cubs Insider this winter. This past week, I wrote about Erick Leal and Trent Giambrone. Over at BP Wrigleyville, my last two articles were on the Arizona Fall League and the 2015 International Free Agent Class.

The 5 Series – Originally, Levi Jordan was going to be the first player profiled in this off season series. Instead, I changed my mind and decided to go with Jimmy Herron, whom I have a lot of questions about. I haven’t written one word on Herron. Then again, on Saturday (yesterday), I was watching the snow come down and all I could think of was Jose Albertos. Who knows what I will do? The 5 Series debuts on the 27th. Stay tuned!

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The Weekly: Hot and Cold Stove, Fall Awards, AFL News, Lists, and Things to Come

By Todd Johnson

The “MLB Hot Stove” is just not very hot this week during the GM Meetings. The Cubs have not signed any free agents nor have they have made any trades. The only thing coming out of the meeting is that it appears pitching coach Jim Hickey will also not be returning in 2019. I thought he was outstanding in keeping the rotation afloat and the young bullpen arms productive last summer. Theo also said that he was not going to comment at this time as it was not appropriate. So, it looks like more information will be coming down the pike later.

On Friday, Buster Olney of ESPN floated that the Cubs were open to trading Kris Bryant based on comments Theo made that there were no untouchables. Buster made a bit of a stretch putting Kris Bryant on the block. Kris is going to be a Cubs through 2020 and into 2021 and hopefully beyond.

In the awards section, Anthony Rizzo won his second Gold Glove and Mr. Javier Baez won his first Silver Slugger award. I doubt if Javy wins MVP, but it was such a thrilling season to watch him day in and day out.

AFL Action
While Nico continues to hit well along with Trent Giambrone, pitcher Erick Leal is beginning to draw praise as he is the only starting pitcher in the Arizona Fall League who has yet to allow an earned run. Leal’s streak reached 17 innings this week and his curveball has been getting rave reviews for its ability to miss baseball bats. Erick should be at AA Tennessee to begin 2019. Unless the Cubs put them on the 40 man roster by November 20, he is eligible to be selected in the next month’s Rule V Draft. I will have a full fledged post on him for Tuesday.

In addition, catcher Johnny Pereda is trending upwards as this AFL season comes to a close. It’s hard to believe that next week is the sixth week and final week of the season. Pereda’s average at one point hit .273 this week. On the other hand, pitcher Bailey Clark has struggled a little bit in the second half. He gave up a monster home run to White Sox product Louis Robert the other day. However, he is still looking good sitting around 95 most days. Last night, he was in trouble as he gave up 4 hits in 2 innings but did not allow a run. This has been a great experience for him going up against some of the top talent in MILB. Bailey’s ERA is at 2.45 in 11 innings.

Then there’s this guy…

Lists Are Coming
Baseball America it’s getting closer to putting out their draft grade on the Cubs and their latest top 10 prospect list. I will analyze that list as soon as it arrives sometime in the next two weeks. As well, John Sickel’s Minor League Ball began releasing their prospect lists this week but have yet to get to the Cubs.

The 5 Series
Starting the day after Turkey Day, my two offseason series will officially begin. As per usual, the position breakdown series will begin with catchers that day. And then I’m going to do something a little bit different this year in my offseason look at prospects. Rather than do a whole historical write up and talent evaluation of prospects, this year’s series is going to be brief and to the point. It is called the “Five Series” and each profile contains five things and the theme will change for each prospect.

In addition, it’s going to be class A centric. Not too many players above either Eugene, South Bend or Myrtle Beach are going to get examined. The first prospect on the clock is shortstop Levi Jordan, the Cubs 29th round pick out of the University of Washington in 2018 who played at Eugene after signing with the Cubs. After that, third round pick OF Jimmy Herron out of Duke has been piquing my interest.

Mailbag
I want to do a few mailbag posts like I did last year. So, send me your Cub MiLB questions you have this offseason about next year. It can be about any level, the draft, international free agency, the AFL, or trades. You can do it on Twitter or you can email me at CubsCentral2016@gmail.com. I advertised for some on Twitter yesterday and a few of the Qs I am thinking about actually turning into full fledged posts about Erick Leal, South Bend’s OF in 2019, Adbert Alzolay’s future (Probably at BPW), and Trent Giambrone’s amazing AFL experience (at Cubs Insider).

Acquisitions This Week
MiLB Free Agents – Corey Black
IFA – Edwin Castillo, INF , Darling Grullon, P,  Orlando Guzman, OF – That brings their 2018/19 total to 11.
MiLB Re-signed to 6th year/Successor contract (per Arizona Phil)– Erick Leal, Roberto Caro, Gioskar Amaya, Anderson Acevedo, James Buckelew, Yan de la Cruz, Dalton Geekie, Danny Hultzen, Ryan Lawlor, Yasiel Balaguert, Erick Castillo, and Chris Pieters

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The Weekly: Affiliates Inked, Upcoming Lists, Travel Plans, the 40 Man, and MiLB Free Agency

By Todd Johnson

Affiliates Get All Inked
It was a bit strange to see, but the Cubs put to rest any chances of affiliate roulette by extending their five major affiliate PDCs through 2022. The Cubs extended Iowa, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend by two more years as Tennessee and Eugene just had their PDCs extended in recent months. I like the fact that the Cubs synced them up to expire all at the same time. That ends the bi-yearly carousel that has been taking place the past 6 years.

Here Come the Lists
It is getting to be that time of year as publications begin to put out their winter top prospect lists. Baseball America started with the American League East. It’ll be fun to see who has which prospect where on a list. The differentiation between the lists and who some outliers might be are also of interest.

In addition, Baseball America will also be publishing their draft grade for the Cubs for 2018. The Cubs should do alright. I look forward to seeing how they evaluate the pitching the Cubs took this year.

I was thinking of changing my Top 21 list when the AFL ends but I think I will just let it be for awhile until the trades are all done this winter.

AFL All-Star Game
Last night, Nico Hoerner played in the Arizona Fall League All-Star game. The shortstop earned his way onto the squad through fan voting. On the night, he went 1 for 2. In addition reliever Bailey Clark also saw some action out of the bullpen as he was charged with 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning. There are now just 10 games left in the AFL season

Travel Dates…
I started planning out my travel calendar to go see some ball games next spring and summer. I’ve set a tentative schedule and it looks like I will be seeing much more baseball in 2019 than I did in 2018. My trips begin in early May as I go over to Clinton, Iowa for two days. It is a little over an hour for me and I will be getting back from Illinois History Day in Springfield just in time.

Then it looks like I’ll be out in Des Moines the first week in June for a couple of days. Later that month, I will be heading over to South Bend. In July, I’ll be up in Appleton, Wisconsin for three days. After that, I will see South Bend in Beloit for three games, which is only 35-40 minutes from my house.

I am pretty excited about seeing some of the more elite players in South Bend in early May before they get promoted to Myrtle Beach. Over the past couple of summers I haven’t been to games until June or July. This next year will be fun as I get to see players before and after the draft.

Upcoming Dates – 40 Man Deadline Coming Fast
I’m going to keep an eye on November 20 which is when the Cubs have to set their 40 man roster or expose some prospects to the Rule V Draft. The two names I am keeping a lookout for are catchers PJ Higgins and Ian Rice. If either one is left off the 40 man, I feel pretty confident in saying some other team is going to snag them up on December 13th, the day of the draft.

Several things could change who the Cubs select to add to the 40 man roster and most of them will be because of who they add to be on the 25 man roster by then.

Back in August, I thought Trevor Clifton, Justin Steele, and Justin Vosler looked to be locks. I am not straying from those selections. I just wonder if the Cubs will add anyone else besides the aforementioned catchers. Lefty reliever Jordan Minch could be taken if unprotected as could fellow lefty Manny Rondon.

MiLB Free Agency Begins
The Cubs resigned a few of their own players to MiLB contracts for 2019. They inked (per Arizona Phil) Erick Castillo, Gioskar Amaya, Yasiel Balaguert, Roberto Caro, Erick Leal, Chris Pieters, and Danny Hultzen. However, the Cubs let go of Jeffrey Baez, Alberto Baldonado, Wynton Bernard, Corey Black, Stephen Bruno, Chris Coghlan, Casey Coleman, Ryan Court, Mike Freeman, Terrance Gore, Trey Martin, Cory Mazzoni, Jose Paulino, Bijan Rademacher, Jose Rosario, Kyle Ryan, and Daury Torrez. Considering the depth of the system now, letting this many players go is not surprising. Many were hanging on for a chance to get to Chicago or the big leagues. These guys still can re-sign with the Cubs.

Coming Up
There are no big plans this week. I was just going let trades and free agency drive the website for a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving. I do have a couple ideas floating around my head that I may give words to today or tomorrow to put out on Tuesday or Thursday. We shall see.

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