View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Thursday

17

October 2013

60

COMMENTS

Step 2- Have a plan

Written by , Posted in General

With the World Series coming up next week, Cubs fans can only watch with spite for another year. 105 seasons to be exact since the last time the Chicago Cubs won the holy grail of baseball.  I wish I could talk to someone who was alive then that could describe that feeling; too bad that won’t happen.

The Cubs are deep in the process of rebuilding and have a plethora of talent on the way to the majors.  There is exceptional quality when it comes to position players, and depth to boot too.  While there might not be a diamond on the farm when it comes to pitching, there are a lot of rocks that are being polished in to jewels.  You’ll remember the Cubs Way was introduced when Theo and Jed took over the reigns.  Here is what I would like to see.

Most of the successful teams continue to see a variety of young pitchers sprout out of their farms each year.  They consistently groom and develop pitchers that were scouted to be average to slightly above average in to something much shinier and effective.  Call me pessimistic but there must be some thing that is preventing the Cubs from doing this very same thing.

Throughout the years, the Cubs most prized pitching stars have seen their arms completely fall off.  This was from a combination of bad managing and bad luck.  Last year saw a turn for the better with our young pitchers, Smardzjia and Wood, taking a step forward in their development.  The issue is that the Cubs need more in place during their farm development to prepare the young guns for the majors.

Much can be said about having a plan.  Yet, to follow through with a plan is the key part to seeing sustained success.  I believe with addition of Minor League Pitching Coordinator Derek Johnson, the Cubs have found someone who can create a plan that drives sustained success.  The key here is to making sure that all of the minor league pitching coaches are on the same page.  The plan must be implemented through all six stops of system.  Johnson can’t be in six places at one time and will need coaches following a consistent and similar guide to develop our young pitchers.

There may be a plan in place now that is being used.  Unfortunately, to this point the Cubs have not seen results.

  • AC0000000

    The government is back in business, this blog is back is business. It’s good to be back.

  • Bones

    The minors this year compared with 3 years ago is amazing. The Cubs Way is working, though at a slower pace than we want it to. Next year will be around 70-75 wins for the MLB team with the minors moving forward with progress. 2015 is the first year we should go into with the expectations of .500 or even playoffs. From 2015 forward the fruit of the Cubs Way will be produced. Once again, slower pace than we wanted but nevertheless it is the right pace.
    Get it right and compete for years to come.

    • PLCB3

      Not according to Jedi. To him this is just another one of these doomed plans that was hyped up.

      • Jedi

        CAPS, I would love for Bones’ view of future to come to fruition. But unless we’re players in the free agent market, I don’t see 70 wins next year. 2015 is a long way off still, but if they don’t win 70 next year, that’s gonna to be a huge one-year jump to then be competitive in 18 months after a 3rd straight < 70 win season.

        I've never said it was doomed, I've never said it was over-hyped. I've said, quite repeatedly – so I'm not sure how you've managed to misinterpret it – that 1) I don't like how the MLB level has been completely ignored, and 2) this attribution of future success is rather generous considering what has actually happened in the last two years.

        Theo has carte blanche AND blanket immunity. His decisions are almost entirely unchallenged (and in most cases immediately endorsed, simply because they originated from his front office) and the results are always attributed to someone else's shortcomings.

      • PLCB3

        Fine, we need some free agents to be competitive and maybe more money could be spent on the MLB team. Fine. But who would you suggest going after? Because the half billion dollar spree put us in our current state of affairs. In your mind, are there any good players that can be had on the FA market to make this team competitive now and in the future without constraining the team down the road?

      • Jedi

        Spending money at the MLB level is why Hendry drafted a bunch of stiffs? Our current situation is because we ignored the minors and drafted badly.

      • PLCB3

        Yes, which no amount of money will fix. To fix all the neglect and poor drafting is going to take a few years. So when McJedEp comes aboard in 2011, the farm system is bare, and we have shit on the MLB team. To be competitive in 2012 and 2013 would have required a drunken spending spree, which they didn’t want to do. What’s the point in winning 75 games instead of 65 games when neither gets you to October? There’s no point in spending money for the sake of spending money. Again, I ask is there any way this team can spend money in FA to be good at the MLB level without going on a drunken spree?

        Doing this right will require a few lousy seasons whether you like it or not. We need to do this the right way, to build sustained success. This isn’t about 3 playoff trips in 10 years. It’s about 10 playoff trips in 10 years.

      • Jedi

        Focus CAPS, “the half billion dollar spree put us in our current state of affairs” – connect those dots.

  • Bones

    The minors this year compared with 3 years ago is amazing. The Cubs Way is working, though at a slower pace than we want it to. Next year will be around 70-75 wins for the MLB team with the minors moving forward with progress. 2015 is the first year we should go into with the expectations of .500 or even playoffs. From 2015 forward the fruit of the Cubs Way will be produced. Once again, slower pace than we wanted but nevertheless it is the right pace.
    Get it right and compete for years to come.

    • AC0000000

      Not according to Jedi. To him this is just another one of these doomed plans that was hyped up.

      • Jedi

        CAPS, I would love for Bones’ view of future to come to fruition. But unless we’re players in the free agent market, I don’t see 70 wins next year. 2015 is a long way off still, but if they don’t win 70 next year, that’s gonna to be a huge one-year jump to then be competitive in 18 months after a 3rd straight < 70 win season.

        I've never said it was doomed, I've never said it was over-hyped. I've said, quite repeatedly – so I'm not sure how you've managed to misinterpret it – that 1) I don't like how the MLB level has been completely ignored, and 2) this attribution of future success is rather generous considering what has actually happened in the last two years.

        Theo has carte blanche AND blanket immunity. His decisions are almost entirely unchallenged (and in most cases immediately endorsed, simply because they originated from his front office) and the results are always attributed to someone else's shortcomings.

      • AC0000000

        Fine, we need some free agents to be competitive and maybe more money could be spent on the MLB team. Fine. But who would you suggest going after? Because the half billion dollar spree put us in our current state of affairs. In your mind, are there any good players that can be had on the FA market to make this team competitive now and in the future without constraining the team down the road?

      • Jedi

        Spending money at the MLB level is why Hendry drafted a bunch of stiffs? Our current situation is because we ignored the minors and drafted badly.

      • AC0000000

        Yes, which no amount of money will fix. To fix all the neglect and poor drafting is going to take a few years. So when McJedEp comes aboard in 2011, the farm system is bare, and we have shit on the MLB team. To be competitive in 2012 and 2013 would have required a drunken spending spree, which they didn’t want to do. What’s the point in winning 75 games instead of 65 games when neither gets you to October? There’s no point in spending money for the sake of spending money. Again, I ask is there any way this team can spend money in FA to be good at the MLB level without going on a drunken spree?

        Doing this right will require a few lousy seasons whether you like it or not. We need to do this the right way, to build sustained success. This isn’t about 3 playoff trips in 10 years. It’s about 10 playoff trips in 10 years.

      • Jedi

        Focus CAPS, “the half billion dollar spree put us in our current state of affairs” – connect those dots.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I believe the plan is working, the only thing the Cubs will need to do is make sure they win the bidding when Max Scherzer is a free agent. Then we will have our #1 pitcher to go along with the collection of #3s we currently have.

  • Doc Raker

    I like what Nolan Ryan has done in Texas with pitchers. He has eradicated the pitch count within the Texas system so their pitchers build strength and polish. You also find out who will break down before getting to the bigs. What is the sense of babying prospects just to increase their work load in the bigs and then have them break down there?

    I hope the new Cubs Way addresses this pitch count issue in a Nolan Ryan type way. I really don’t know, anybody know about pitch counts within the Cubs system?

    The Cubs should have Cindy Sandberg infiltrate the Cardinals club house to see who they can pick up in a trade.

    • Seymour Butts

      The thing about the Cardinals roster is that it is generally filled with players other teams don’t want. Now they do have a few stars in Wainright, , Holiday, maybe Beltran, but the rest of the guys aren’t someone that other teams covet. Who was that d-bag we signed a few years ago that hit great ahead of Pujols, but pitifully in a Cub uni?
      The cards re somehow able to make marginal players preform well as a team. Not sure why (see: Damn Yankees).

      • AC0000000

        It’s Cardinals luck vs. Cubs luck

      • Eddie Von White

        Umm… You don’t become the second most successful franchise in baseball history by getting lucky. Just as you don’t go 105 years without winning it all by getting unlucky.

      • You forgot Yadi, and the rest of the pitching staff. And 14 dudes with the last name Carpenter who either hurl or rake.

      • Doc Raker

        Jim Edmunds? He hit well as a Cub didn’t he? The cardinals have 2 stud rookie pitchers in Kelly and Wacha, send Cindy over their way.

      • Doc Raker

        You are correct, as usual, Raker. Edmonds slugged .950 with 19 bombs in only 85 games with the Cubs in 2008.

      • Noah_I

        Yeah, Edmonds was a great pickup for the Cubs in ’08, and performed really well for them. I’m still kind of shocked no one picked up Edmonds in 2009. He was good again in 2010. Edmonds, by the way, should be considered at least a fringe Hall of Famer. He was a very good defensive CF for most of his career, had a .376 career OBP, and hit 393 home runs. Comparing him to Andre Dawson, Edmonds had a higher batting average, was a much better defender over the course of his career, and had an OBP 53 points higher. Dawson finished with 45 more home runs, but played much longer (he had 2800 more plate appearances than Edmonds), and played about half of his career in RF instead of CF.

      • Dusty Baylor

        Dawson also played 10 seasons in Montreal in a terrible hitting park, and in the mid 70’s-mid 80’s…it was a little different game. Edmonds defiinitely a borderline HOF though. good point Noah!

      • Jedi

        Dawson was one of the most feared hitters of his generation – no one, not even his mother, has ever said that about Edmonds.

      • Eddie Von White

        Sounds like you and Edmond’s mother were close.

      • Seymour Butts

        I was thinking od AA Erin Miles

      • His contract had a no-mullet clause, which was key to the success of tiny-ass Cubs middle infielders of that era.

      • Noah_I

        My theory is that the Cardinals have an alter where they perform human sacrifices beneath Busch Stadium where they conduct human sacrifices that are able to turn middling prospects into David Freese, Allen Craig, Jon Jay, and Matt Carpenter types of players.

    • Jedi

      Nolan required them to throw long-toss. Best way to build up arm strength – at least in my very not-medically-based opinion.

      • Doc Raker

        Long toss for sure builds arm strength.

      • AC0000000

        Why don’t more quarterbacks do this then?

      • Doc Raker

        Who says they don’t?

  • Noah_I

    The one warning I’d give Cubs fans is not expect the same from Travis Wood. Wood’s success is very much tied to limiting home runs. His walk and K rates are both pretty good, but neither are great, and he is a severe fly ball pitcher. He does have a history of limiting home runs most season, including his portions of two years in Great American Ballpark. But his first year with the Cubs that number jumped up. This isn’t to say Wood isn’t a solid pitcher. But he’s much more a solid 4 than someone with the upside to become a 2.

    • Jedi

      Totally agree – Travis is good, but he’s a middle of the rotation guy. If he’s our de facto ace again, it’ll be another mid-60s in the win column.

      • He can’t be our ace. Samardzija is, remember? GAG.