NL Notes: Hellweg, Cuddyer, Cubs, Espinosa

Fireballing Brewers prospect Johnny Hellweg, 25, has been diagnosed with a torn UCL and is headed to visit Dr. James Andrews, reports MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. Hellweg, the club’s 7th overall prospect in the eyes of MLB.com, has been working at Triple-A after briefly reaching the bigs last year with Milwaukee. He put up a 6.75 ERA in 30 2/3 big league frames in 2013, but had a 3.14 mark in 131 2/3 minor league innings (albeit with 6.4 K/9 against 5.7 BB/9).

Here’s more from the National League:

  • Michael Cuddyer and the Rockies are in no rush to consider a new deal, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Cuddyer, 35, is set to complete his three-year, $31.5MM deal this season, and says he hopes to play two or three more seasons. But he is planning to finish out his contract and consider his options down the line.
  • The Cubs plan to take the best player available with the fourth overall pick in the upcoming amateur draft, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Though the team is stocked with well-regarded field prospects, and somewhat less flush with young arms, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says they will “take the best player, regardless of position,” explaining that he will look to make “the best investment, the best bet on that player’s career.” The team is hopeful of building pitching depth from this year’s amateur pool, even if that does not come through the first choice. “There’s tremendous depth in this class,” said Epstein. “It’s more depth than elite, per se. But we should be coming out with a good pitching haul when it’s said and done.”
  • Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa is in the midst of a bounce-back campaign, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. After struggling mightily last year, and reportedly drawing significant trade interest from teams looking to take a chance on a turnaround for the 26-year-old switch-hitter, Espinosa is off to a .273/.333/.455 start through his first 59 plate appearances. He has taken over as the regular at second, with Anthony Rendon shifting to third while Ryan Zimmerman is on the DL. Espinosa’s rough 2013 was not without its benefits for the Nats, as his demotion allowed the team to pause his service clock: with just 2.113 years entering this season, Espinosa will not be eligible for free agency until 2018.


30 Responses to NL Notes: Hellweg, Cuddyer, Cubs, Espinosa Leave a Reply

  1. calabio 1 year ago

    Hope cubs take Hoffman What does everyone else think?

  2. Might be time for MLBTR to create a Tommy John tracker that follows both those currently on the DL and those who have resumed their careers

    • MB923 1 year ago

      Haha, said the same thing in another post. Seems like every week another 2 or 3 players need it.

  3. LazerTown 1 year ago

    I think you should usually take the best player anyways. You can get into a sticky situation when you are trying to draft to fill a need. Take the player you think will work out, so many prospects wash out that you don’t need to risk them on someone you don’t think was best, but fit your position. Bryant looks really good, but many prospects will take 3+ years to make it to the majors and many also end up moving positions, that it’s really hard to draft for your need.

    • Tko11 1 year ago

      Well said, in the NFL drafting based on need is fine but in baseball it is better to just draft the best overall talent.

      • Indeed. Same with the NBA, and to a lesser extent the NHL. But in the MLB a team should always just draft based on potential – regardless of position.

    • justinept 1 year ago

      Exactly. You take the best player available even if he doesn’t fill a need in the system. If he projects as expected, then you can always trade him at a later date for a player that DOES fill a need.

    • Trock 1 year ago

      I completely agree in baseball. It is kind of weird how in most other sports, kids out of college (and sometimes even out of HS) can have a huge impact at the big state of their given sport. But with baseball, it’s almost true that every player (with exceptions of course) take a few seasons of fine tuning things.

      • burnboll 1 year ago

        It’s weird that Lebron James makes less money from his team than Ryan Howard.

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      Hey bro, what do you think of the last couple of years of the draft in the top ten? I can only think of one blatant miss, and that’s Bubba Starling, who Kansas City way over slotted.

      But other than that, most picks have been pretty logical, and teams going for quality instead of position and/or sentimental value.

  4. burnboll 1 year ago

    Is Johnny Hellweg in some way related to the late great Ultimate Warrior?

    • Hills of Glenallen 1 year ago

      No. His name was Jim Hellwig, not Hellweg. Well, then his name was Warrior, but anyway.

      • burnboll 1 year ago

        Such a tragedy what happened to Ultimate warrior. I guess it’s good for Johnny he’s not related in this case.

        Rip Jim.

        • Hills of Glenallen 1 year ago

          Not much you can do about a bad heart. Had a history of it in his family. Plus his past drug abuse couldn’t have helped much. So long Warrior.

  5. raymondrobertkoenig 1 year ago

    Some think the BPA for the Cubs will be a pitcher. Time will tell.

    • justinept 1 year ago

      It probably will be. Between Rodon, Aiken, Hoffman, Kolek, Beede and a few others, it sure looks like the top players in this draft are all pitchers. There is still a chance the Cubs go with Jackson, though. They’ve scouted him extensively, and he reportedly looked quite impressive during his visit to Wrigley.

  6. Pei Kang 1 year ago

    ugh. Another injury to a young player…this has got to stop :(

  7. BYOP 1 year ago

    What’s that like 20 pitchers already this year that have had or about to have Tommy John surgery?

    • MB923 1 year ago

      If that’s true, I’m sure #21 will be announced by the end of the day, if not then by the end of the week.

  8. The Rockies’ have a lot of leverage with Cuddyer. If he has a pretty good year, he’ll get the QO. No reason to extend him now. They’ll likely want to negotiate a 2-3 year deal for him before that’s offered though.

    • SwingtimeInTheRockies 1 year ago

      He’s 35 so 36 next season. If the QO is $15mil next year, that’s probably too much to offer and a pretty safe bet that Cuddy would take it. If he has another big season this year, I’d definitely talk extension but otherwise, it would be fine to let Cuddy test the market.

  9. daveineg 1 year ago

    Tough news for the hard throwing but command challenged Hellweg. From Brewer perspective though, losing your 9th or 10th guy on the starter depth chart, is a lot better than what many teams are dealing with. Maybe it is their year.

  10. Balboa 1 year ago

    The BPA at #4 is going to be a pitcher anyways. The first 5 picks might all be pitchers this year.

  11. I think the best bet is to stockpile talent, provided you’re not loading your team at one or two positions. Ideally, the Cubs take a pitcher, but the MLB draft is unlike drafts in the other major pro sports, in which it is much easier to predict value at a particular draft slot.

    • Balboa 1 year ago

      I don’t think Cub fans need to worry this year. Currently BBA’s top 15 has 12 pitchers, two OF’s and a SS. The Cubs are not taking Nick Gordon SS at #4 even if they think he’s BPA, and I’m not entirely sure C/OF Alex Jackson will even make it to #4.

      Theo would have to go outta his way not to take a pitcher with 1.04 this year.

      • In this year’s draft, yes, it would be hard for Theo and Co. to not take a pitcher with the 4th pick. Unlike last year’s draft, this year’s draft will likely not see more than half of the first 15, 16 picks be position players. However, there are a few guys like Gettys, Zimmer and more than likely, Alex Jackson, who could be at least remotely appealing to the Cubs. With that said, I believe the Cubs will ultimately take a pitcher at #4.

  12. $21621694 1 year ago

    Dr. Andrews must be pocketing nice change

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      I’m not sure he’s paid per surgery. He could very well have a monthly salary.

      • $21621694 1 year ago

        Dr. Andrews does not have a monthly salary with every MLB organization out there. I’m pretty sure he gets paid per surgery. A TJ surgery is upward 20K. Sure there costs associated with it but I’m sure Dr. A pockets nice money on every procedure

  13. BENT_WOOKIE 1 year ago

    it’s just baseball, dude. either it works out or it doesn’t.

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