Cubs Notes: Castro, Baez, Bryant, Kalish

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is likely done for the season, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters today (including MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat). Castro suffered a high ankle sprain in yesterday’s game, and while the Cubs aren’t going to officially shut him down, Hoyer says they’re treating the injury as though it’s season-ending. Castro, on the other hand, is of the mind that he can recover sooner than the team’s four-week projected recovery time and rejoin the roster before season’s end. The Cubs’ plan is to play Javier Baez at shortstop for the remainder of the season, Hoyer said (via Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com). If Castro’s season is over, it will go down as a strong rebound from a surprisingly disappointing 2013 season. Castro hit .292/.339/.438 and tied his career-high in homers (14) despite totaling 135 fewer plate appearances than the 704 he averaged over the past three seasons. It will also give the highly touted Baez an extended look at his natural position. Both Baez and Castro have seen their names bandied about in trade speculation, so Baez’s shortstop audition could be worth monitoring.

Here’s more on the Cubs…

  • Many Cubs fans are disappointed not to get a look at Kris Bryant in September, and Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras, voiced his disappointment to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times as well. “[I]f this is a performance-driven industry as it should be, Bryant deserves the callup, based on performance,” said Boras. What’s best for the player, what’s best for the team in 2015? The goal here is trying to make the team the best it can be in 2015. And what can you do to ready him for that?” Boras argues that a month of MLB experience would prepare Bryant for 2015, and club officials from other teams agreed when speaking to Wittenmyer. One official pointed back to Mike Trout‘s promotion in 2011, noting that even though he struggled, he broke out in a monstrous fashion the following season. Of course, there are also prospects who experience great success in September callups only to struggle the following season, and prospects who thrive from day one when being promoted early in a season.
  • The Cubs announced that Ryan Kalish‘s contract has been selected and he will join the team as a September callup in the wake of the decision that the injured Ryan Sweeney‘s season is now over. Sweeney has been placed on the 60-day DL, thereby opening a roster spot for Kalish. Kalish was outrighted earlier this season and could suffer the same fate after September, though the Sweeney injury has at least opened a door for him to impress the organization.


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32 Comments on "Cubs Notes: Castro, Baez, Bryant, Kalish"


Jim Johnson
11 months 10 hours ago

Castro is a 3x All Star!!!!

Jasonzx3
10 months 30 days ago

Yes, yes he is. But so what? Should the Cubs not trade him? They have Baez and Russell who both profile as better players than Castro will ever be. And Bryant who looks like he might actually stick at 3rd. So why not trade Castro and get your self a legit top of the rotation, or close to top, caliber pitching prospect??

Tyler
10 months 29 days ago

Or you could just hold on to Castro and shift him to 2nd base. All while going after a top end rotation guy in FA. Why give up someone when you don’t have too???

Jim Johnson
10 months 29 days ago

It was a joke. I’ve noticed on this site that Cubs fans love to point out in any convo about Castro that he is a 3X all star. Probably the only player I’ve ever heard fans routinely refer to how many All Star appearances someone has. Which is a pretty meaningless stat. So now I enjoy doing it.
And I’m not sure how legit of a TOR prospect they are going to get for a guy who has been pretty average for 2 years now.

10 months 27 days ago

Castro is a 3X All-Star, but a more telling stat is that he has the 8th most hits in MLB since he came up in 2010. He’s gotten better defensively and his 2013 season has been an outlier so far. I’d need to see a season of Javy Baez not striking out 280 times (like his current pace indicates) before dealing a guy who has been a proven performer.

11 months 10 hours ago

If the Cubs were going to seriously go for it in 2015, a promotion would make sense. But even if they do, they won’t live or die by Bryant’s April performance so it’s hard to blame the Cubs for holding off.

11 months 10 hours ago

I’m one of the Cub fans that thinks Theo is doing it right and keeping Bryant down this year. We will need that extra year of cost control. Theo didn’t get hired to be “non-forward looking” like some of the armchair fans.

Ryman5000
11 months 9 hours ago

And of course Boras is going to argue that his client’s service clock should be started sooner. He likes money.

Texon
10 months 30 days ago

Boras is an agent. His clients and his bank account are the his concerns, not the Chicago team. While there is a good case for a call up there is also a case to be made about how it falls into the financial aspects of the game. Let the Cubs decide how they want to utilize a valuable human resource.

jb226
11 months 9 hours ago

I’m a Cubs fan too, but I’m torn.

On the one hand, I absolutely hate service time manipulation. Bryant dominated the entirety of the minor leagues. I can’t think of a better demonstration that he’s ready for the show, and given that I couldn’t care less if it hurts the team financially. I have zero support for these games or any worldview where artificially limiting your employees’ performances to avoid paying them is considered good business.

On the other, our 40 man roster situation is a mess. We’re already going to need to open up two spots for Sweeney and Ruggiano this offseason, and I assume I can see where those spots are going to come from — but I don’t see an obvious third candidate to make room for a hypothetical Bryant promotion.

The Cubs have promoted a lot of guys early this season to where I don’t think holding Bryant down is a service time issue so much as a roster issue, but there’s still just part of me that doesn’t like it.

11 months 8 hours ago

Well said, but I don’t think it’s limited exclusively to service time, though I believe that should be the main consideration. The man still has work to do at 3rd, especially being so tall, and we have no idea how the infield is going to shape up in the next year or 3. He had a great year, has great acclaim, but no reason for him to get injured mentally or physically at this point in my humble opinion.

Curt Green
11 months 7 hours ago

“artificially limiting your employees’ performances to avoid paying them is considered good business.” Sure has been good business for the Rays but I get your point.

Tesseract
10 months 30 days ago

Specially when you are the cubs. 2nd largest baseball market

petrie000
11 months 9 hours ago

if Boras has a problem with service clock considerations… maybe he should take a shot or two at the MLBPA as well so they can get rid of the silly super-2 rule in the next CBA.

Until then he needs to realize the more money the Cubs don’t spend on Bryant they can, potentially, spend on one of his other clients… unless, of course, they decide one of his clients is headache enough…

WillGio
11 months 8 hours ago

I was just thinking the other day how the Cubs could easily contend in 2015. They was they’ve played since they brought up some bats has been amazing. If they sign a couple of FA Pitchers and/or trade for an SP/Relief they might make a run.

11 months 8 hours ago

The cost of acquiring that much SP in one offseason would be rather dangerous. There won’t be a ton of impact arms beyond the top 3, though I think they’ll sign Lester.

bobbybaseball
11 months 6 hours ago

I think it’s too soon for the Cubs to get a big-named starting pitcher in the FA pool. It’s going to take these kids a couple years to be ready and not all of them will make it of course. The Cubs will contend in 2017 perhaps so why pay for declining years?

Jim Johnson
10 months 30 days ago

I wouldn’t say “easily” contend. Their young bats has played well. But it’s common for players to come into the league, get their feet wet, and hit really well initially. Then the league adjusts. See Wil Myers. I’m not sure that the Cubs should go all in with their pitching yet when they still don’t really know what they have with their young bats. The sample size is too small.

WillGio
10 months 30 days ago

Sure. I guess my point is they aren’t as far away as a lot of would think. They may be able to grab a wildcard spot in 2015 if they get an upgrade at pitching. But once again, their bats would have to produce at the same or higher level.

jp1198
11 months 7 hours ago

I remember when Kalish was on the Red Sox… he was so exciting. Was sad to see him leave because I really like him, but I don’t know if he actually has anything left. I’m really rooting for him because he’s had a very tough career (lots of injuries) so far and he is such a talented and hard-working guy.

bobbybaseball
11 months 6 hours ago

I haven’t seen Baez’ name in trade speculation, except in the vein that the Cubs will likely need to move at least one bat to get some pitching. Castro speculation has been out there, however. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go at some point.

Tyler
10 months 30 days ago

I’d have to disagree. Castro can easily transition to 2B, with him being a SS and the Cubs have an over abundance of SS is a great thing. SS are the most versatile players in the game. Also he is on a very team friendly deal.

FrankRoo
11 months 1 hour ago

The other issue, albeit one that has been argued doesn’t matter, is that of a protected 1st round pick in 2015. The Cubs could potentially get pushed out of the protected pick zone if they keep winning and Bryant would only make them better. link to mlbtraderumors.com

Granted Bryant would have to kill it for a month to matter, but we are already seeing the impact of Soler and he’s only played a handful of games.

If they really are going to go after a QO pitcher, having that pick protected isn’t trivial.

Bill Gilbert
10 months 30 days ago

FA pitchers list seems to be better stocked for ’16 than ’15. Lester kinda scares me because he will be past the age most pitchers go downhill. Zimmerman, Price, Cueto, Leake, Porcello are all UFA in ’16. Maybe Arrietta, Turner or Hendricks take ’15 to prove that one of them can be a front of rotation guy.

tenncub
10 months 30 days ago

Between the need to keep 40-man roster spots open for guys who need to be protected from being lost in the draft, and the need to guarantee Bryant’s services for 2020 season, rather than for one month of a season that is already lost, I’d be disappointed if Theo and Jed did anything else. Boras is his clients worst enemy in situations like this. Teams know that Boras specializes in making FA deals for his clients, not in signing extensions where he can’t play one team against several others. Good move Cubs!

Who is in your 2-hole?
10 months 26 days ago

It’s all about the 40 man spot and the fact that Bryant isn’t rule 5 eligible. Having the deepest farm system means too many pieces with value to protect.
It is a business decision but the team control is only a secondary concern.

NRD1138
10 months 30 days ago

Would it benefit Bryant to be up with the major league club? Who knows.
To be sure, he still needs to work on his fielding (I think people
forget he is a third baseman, and still needs seasoning playing third). I mean, who
cares if you hit a 2 run homer when your fielding error provided the
other club with 2 or more runs?
My guess is work on his fielding in
the minors, and in the Arizona Fall league and be ready for the Spring (or next June).
Is this a blatant move by the Cubs to delay his arbitration for a year?
Yes. Does Boras know this and will use any excuse to complain about his
client’s stagnation at AAA? Yes. Both parties doing whats best for them.
Plus the Cubs can also say that Valbuena has not exactly been hurting them in the field or with his bat at this moment.

hub 312
10 months 30 days ago

I wonder how much Boras pays Wittenmeyer to be his mouthpiece?

“[I]f this is a performance-driven industry as it should be, Bryant deserves the callup, based on performance,” said Boras.

You just can’t make this stuff up, folks. News flash to Boras: if this was a performance-driven industry, there would be no guaranteed contracts in baseball and you’d be selling shoes at Payless.

“The goal here is trying to make the team the best it can be in 2015.”

Err, no, Scott, the goal here is to make this the best team in baseball for the next 20 years.

Real_American78
10 months 29 days ago

If Scott Boras wants to know why Bryant wasn’t called up he should look in the mirror.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
11 months 9 hours ago

Now what you typed shows a certain sense of style!

Ryan It's T-Time Tripicchio
11 months 9 hours ago

Normally I try to be somewhat classy but I just really can’t stand it when Boras tries to come off as trying to make the game better. I know that he’s a player agent and acting in his clients interest but I just cannot stand him.