Yesterday it was announced that Addison Russell was being sent home from the Arizona Fall League (AFL), after just 10 games. Immediately, fans everywhere worry about an injury that derails everything and causes the whole rebuild process to fly wildly off the track. You can relax. Everything is just fine. After playing 11 games in the AFL, the Cubs simply want Russell to shut it down and begin his off-season plan. Rest easy Cub fans, everything will be just fine.
For the record, in his time in the AFL this year, Russell posted a line of .196 / .260 / .348 with 2 HR in 11 games. It’s not the best, but it’s such a small sample. Russell finished his time in AA very strong in 2014, and I think he’s primed to potentially see Wrigley Field late in 2015 if all goes well. Most likely it will be very similar in situation to the 2014 Javier Baez call up, though I’d be fine with him spending the entire year in the minors due to his age.
The Cubs also announced that they were planning on keeping the most recent first round pick, Kyle Schwarber behind the plate for the immediate future. Whether or not that is where he ultimately ends up is still in question, as I would guess that his hitting far out paces his development behind the plate, which would force a move to another spot, but for now it’s encouraging as the catcher position is a weak one in the organization right now.
There is going to be a lot of power in the lineup in the very new future, which has some worried that the Cubs will have tons of bats, but no pitching to back it up. Fan Graphs posted a nice piece about how, perhaps, it’s hitting that is more likely to win championships and not pitching. It’s a debate about as old as the chicken or the egg debate, but if they are right, then the Cubs should be in an unpresidented position given the bats they have and the recent success Theo and Jed have had with piecing together a rotation on the cheap. Add to that the fact that payroll flexibility is going to be there with contracts now off the books and the majority of the core being paid near league minimum and things are getting very exciting. Take a look at the piece and be excited.
Finally, there is a note coming out of Bleacher Nation that the Cubs have recently scouted Korean shortstop, Jung-Ho Kang, who is 27 years old and could potentially be posted by his current team in Korea. The story seems more like fishing for readers, but it bears watching. My guess is that the Cubs are simply doing their due dilligence in the international market, which is a market they have invested heavily in the recent years. You can never have too many shortstops in the organization, but at this point I would guess the odds of an offer on him would be slim.
I wanted to do something a little different today and run a top five list. Most likely when I do these, it will be random things (no, there will not be a return of condiment fingers), but there may be times where we do more sports themed ones. With that said, here are my top five, in no particular order, movies of all time. They may not be the best movies of all time, but they are ones I consider my favorite.
- 12 Angry Men (1957)
- Life is Beautiful (1997)
- American History X (1998)
- American Beauty (1999)
- Moneyball (2011)