NL Central Notes: Rizzo, Pirates, Appel, Cardinals

The Cardinals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-6 win over the Cubs this afternoon.  Yadier Molina was the hero for St. Louis, delivering a walkoff RBI single to cinch the victory.  Here's the latest from around the NL Central…

  • Theo Epstein was hesitant to make the trade that brought Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs since Epstein didn't want to give up Andrew Cashner, reports Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago.  It was Cubs GM Jed Hoyer who "aggressively pushed" for the deal.  Levine covers a number of different Cubs (and White Sox) topics in this online chat with readers.
  • The Pirates aren't likely to make a trade to address their hitting problems, GM Neal Huntington told reporters (including Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).  “There are very, very few trades of substance made in May and there are few trades of substance made in June, so our solutions are going to have to come internally unless we’re willing to be less than intelligent and dramatically overpay. That’s just the way it is," Huntington said.  “We’re certainly looking externally, but the extra wild card has made it that much more of a challenge. There are fewer sellers out there, and we’re going to have to be creative.”
  • ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required) has released his first 2012 mock draft and he projects the Astros to take Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the first overall pick.  "The general feeling is that they'll take the college arm over the higher-upside, higher-risk outfielder, Byron Buxton," Law writes, though he notes that Houston's decision could also be determined by which player is willing to sign for the lowest price beneath the $7.2MM slot figure for the first pick.
  • Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal's hot starts have fueled the Cardinals' big offensive numbers, writes Scott Miller for CBS Sports.

21 Responses to NL Central Notes: Rizzo, Pirates, Appel, Cardinals Leave a Reply

  1. 0vercast 3 years ago

    I don’t know if the Twins would take Buxton with the number two pick.  They need help quick, and a college arm will likely make it to the majors much faster than a high school outfielder will.  The Twins already have Aaron Hicks as an example of that.  It seems like he’s been lingering in the Twins minor league system forever, but he’s still only 22 and in AA.

    • twins33 3 years ago

      While I don’t necessarily like taking an OF (because we have so many, though most are a few years away), these college arms have been scaring me lately.  Lots of pitches per game.  Lots of overuse.  Appel doesn’t seem capable of K-ing people and I just keep hearing more bad things about him as time goes on.

      We do need an ace, but I’d be completely okay with taking whoever the best player available is regardless of position.  Our last two top picks have already torn their UCL’s.  We can’t be whiffing on the #2 pick, especially when it looks like we’ll be getting another top five pick next year.  Let’s stock the minors with the best guys.

      I doubt we will be contending before 2014, so taking the best player available every time could help us.  And we could always trade them, or someone else in our system.

      • 0vercast 3 years ago

        You’re right, it’s definitely less risky taking a position player than a pitcher, especially with the top few picks in a draft it seems.  I’d personally like to see them draft Carlos Correa, the young 6′ 4″ shortstop.  I’m actually pretty excited to see the Twins get a couple super prospects in the next two drafts.  Even Zunino would have his upside, as it would eventually force Mauer to give up on his fantasy of catching the rest of his career.

        • twins33 3 years ago

          Right, either of those players (Correa/Zunino), came to my mind too.  The Twins can select pitchers with the many other picks they have. 

          I wouldn’t be mad if they select a pitcher at #2 since it’s a huge need, it just makes me very nervous.  It sucks that there is really no clear top 5 this year.  No clear #1 or #2 in this draft.  Not sure what next year will look like…

          • baseballz 3 years ago

             Next year has a lot of good pitching at the top, Ryne Stanek and Karsten Whitson (#9 pick2010 draft), and some good college position players like Austin Wilson and Kris Bryant so this years draft looks a bit weaker by comparison I’d say.

      • Sky14 3 years ago

        I am hoping the Twins draft Giolito because he seems to be the opposite of the type of pitchers in our system. The only problem is that he strained his UCL and like you mentioned, I doubt the Twins want to have 3 straight pitchers go down with UCL tears.

        • dwarfcatt 3 years ago

          I suspect the Twins’ medical staff doesn’t even know what a UCL is

  2. Lastings 3 years ago

    Byron Buxton sounds more like a Marvel villain than a baseball player…

    • thesultanofswingandmiss 3 years ago

      And Mark Appel sounds like a fruit.

  3. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    Not really crazy about the Lance McCullers pick for the A’s because while he does have some crazy heat, there are too many ?’s of whether he’ll stay in the rotation. If they go the high school route, a few guys I’d prefer them to take someone like Fried, Almora, or Cecchini if they’re still around. If they go the college route, I’m hoping they can land Shaffer or Heaney. Broad range of players, I know, but it’s not a guarantee they’ll all be there for #11

  4. sourbob 3 years ago

    I wonder if that 1:1 SO/BB ratio of Cashner’s is easing Theo’s mind.

    • Dylan Ramirez 3 years ago

      What about the fact that Cashner is leading the majors in fastball velocity at 98 mph. Remember Smardjzia’s BB of 12% last season? that’s something that can be coached averaging a 98 mph is something that can’t be coached.

  5. bucsws2014 3 years ago

    Dear Neal: Thanks for giving up. Again. Actually there IS a trade you can make, and you will be overpaying, but it’s a smart deal. Take Vernon Wells off the Angels hands if they’re willing to eat 40% of his salary AND send Trumbo with him. Send the Angels Jones, Gorkys, Justin Wilson and another lower pitching prospect.

    You’d only be stuck with Wells for 2.5 years at $12+ mill but you’ll have a 1b for years and you’ll be protecting Pedro with 2 additional power bats. Wells will produce more than Presley. Your amazing pitching staff will appreciate extra runs. The Halos get salary relief to go find a catcher and other parts.

  6. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

    Did the Cubs have any Idea Lahair would be so amazing at 1st? What are the plans for Rizzo if Lahair just keeps raking? Can either guy play LF? 

    • Thomas Dennis 3 years ago

       LaHair will play left field when Rizzo comes up. He has some experience there.

  7. bigpat 3 years ago

    If I were Neal Huntington, I would be on the phone with Chicago and LA every day asking about LaHair and Trumbo until they block my number, then I’d buy a new phone and keep calling. 

    • Ptk123 3 years ago

      Good luck with that, you are going to have to give up a ton to get Lahair. He is making 482,000$

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Right.. Career minor leaguers who have played well at the MLB level for 30 days sure do get a premium in trades.. Will be sure to remember that one..

        • Ptk123 3 years ago

          Regardless of where he has spent the majority of his career up to this point he is tearing it up in the majors right now, and like I said he is making nothing. So why would the cubs trade him if they aren’t getting a great offer?

          • why would the cubs trade him you ask??? they have Rizzo in triple A tearing it up at the plate, thats why. and theres no where else to put LaHair. I  win

  8. Rabbitov 3 years ago

    Drew was a lot better than serviceable. 

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