Nico Hoerner to start in AAA

CSF77

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They were too close. So that factor as equal then service time became a major player.

I'm not against this because we are talking about a #8 hitter. Both can man 2B fine. If Hoerner was crushing and Bote was not and they pulled this then I would be upset with Jed.
 

CSF77

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Adbert Alzolay took the mound against a Dodgers lineup full of World Series champions on Thursday night. The environment had a regular-season feel, with the lights on and pressure on Alzolay with every pitch.
"He went in there and kind of rolled through that lineup," Cubs manager David Ross said on Saturday. "That was impressive to see."
That performance helped seal Chicago's decision to not only put Alzolay on the Opening Day roster, but also to name him the fifth starter. The Cubs recently learned that Alzolay has a fourth Minor League option for this season, but the righty convinced the club to take him north.
As things currently stand, the Cubs' rotation will feature (in order): Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies, Trevor Williams and Alzolay. Right-hander Alec Mills will start the season in a multi-inning bullpen role, but he will be a candidate for starts as the season progresses.
Veteran Shelby Miller, who came to camp as a non-roster invitee, was reassigned to Minor League camp ahead of his start against the Reds on Saturday night. This spring, Miller has hovered around 93-95 mph with his fastball, while flashing an impressive slider. He worked three innings Saturday vs. the Reds, allowing one run on two hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
"I think Shelby's going to contribute to our team," Ross said. "I have no doubt about that. He's another guy that's had a great spring. I think he's going to be a big piece for us."
The 26-year-old Alzolay -- who arguably has the best "stuff" within the Cubs' contact-based rotation -- put on a show in the first few innings against the Dodgers. He struck out five in 3 2/3 innings, including punchouts against the likes of Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger.
The Cubs know they will have to manage Alzolay's innings carefully in the upcoming campaign, but the team did not want to deny him a spot in the Opening Day rotation.
"He was extremely happy when I told him the good news," Ross said. "Making that Opening Day [roster] and getting that news is big, and Adbert was fired up. It was nice to be able to deliver that news to somebody that you see put in real work."
 

CSF77

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I respect them going with Alozay. They did not have to do this.

Pen wise:

Kimbrel 1.22 WHIP 14.29 ERA Closer
Chafin 0.88 WHIP 4.50 ERA Main lefty
Workman 1.71 WHIP 1.29 ERA Main set up
Tepera 1.25 WHIP 2.25 ERA 2nd set up
Adam: 1.17 WHIP 3.00 ERA Mid inning guy
Winkler 1.13 WHIP 5.06 ERA Mid inning guy
Holder: 0.90 WHIP 8.10 ERA Bubble
Maples 1.39 WHIP 5.79 ERA Bubble
Wick DL
Mills 1.80 WHIP 5.40 ERA Swing man

I would have bumped Mills and made Miller my swing guy. Maples is a bubble guy and Holder has sucked. Rex Brothers should be the 2nd lefty.

I see Wick and Romine starting on the DL. PJ Higgins should get a spot. Brothers gets Wick's spot.

That leaves Holder and Mills. Holder got wrecked by Oak on March 9. He has not been used much this spring. After that ass rip he was not used until the 17th. Had a clean inning then has not been used for 10 days. I don't see him breaking camp and released.

They might as well roll out Maples at this point. They can't keep on dragging him along. Sink or swim.

So cutting Holder opens up a spot for Sogard. I do like Sogard on the team because he can lead off and move around. LF today leading off. Has played SS. Bats left hand. So he is a nice bench piece.

This might just be a numbers game on Miller. Kimbrel, Chafin, Workman, Tepera, Adams are locks. Maples it seems like they are giving him the opportunity to cut it as a major league player. Mills I see as not wanting to lose a asset. If it came down to Miller opting to F/A or Mills I believe Mills would be cut.
 

beckdawg

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I get why people are claiming this is about service time but I think those people are just flat out wrong. In my opinion the reason Nico was sent down is because he isn't ready to be a lead off hitter. Spring stats are great and all but in 200ish PAs in the majors Nico has hit .247/.309/.333. If you carry him on the roster you're having to start him because you want him playing but you can't plug that into the lead off spot. He's probably your #8 hitter and you hope he develops enough.

By contrast, your other option would probably start with Happ but I really don't love Happ leading off. In his "good" year of 2020 he had a 27.3% k rate. Call me old school if you want but I do believe in high walk rate high contact rate guys leading off. In a pinch yeah Happ has the walk rate but he's not your prototypical guy leading off who just spoils pitch after pitch until he gets something into play or walks. I believe that style of hitter has immense value.

Queue in Eric Sogard who is clearly playing instead of Hoerner. You're talking about a guy with a career 8.6%/13.5% bb/k rate. He is someone who is going to make the pitcher work in front of Rizzo and Bryant and that has value because if you get a pitcher up around 15-20 pitches going into the #3 hitter they wear down a bit in that burst and can make mistakes.

If you get that with the way Joc is hitting homers lately... that could lead to a lot of big innings.
 

beckdawg

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Also, I don't know if this is a consideration but I'd be interested to see if they play Nico in CF in AAA. Let's face facts here, Happ should be in LF or not on the team long term. He's fine as a stop gap but long term he's already average at best in CF and he'll start to slow down sooner or later.

If that is the case, Davis I don't see long term in CF. He's likely a strong defensive RF when Heyward leaves. Roederer isn't particularly strong in CF either. Based on statcast, Nico was #32 in sprint speed. Pache with Atlanta who's viewed as a crazy good CF prospect defensively had a sprint speed of 28.9 compared to Nico's 28.8.

Admittedly, Nico hasn't played CF and would need some work but if he's being sent down to AAA anyways it's an intriguing idea because you have Bote long term who can fill in at 3b/2b as needed. With Joc only here on a one year deal, you'd have the option of moving Happ to LF or trading him if you prefer to keep Joc next season. And the cubs have a number of strong SS prospects coming up who could easily shift to 3b/2b as needed.
 

CSF77

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I feel this is a reach on Nico. I don't see his send down as a CF or a lead off thing at all. Not seasoned enough I can buy that.

I'm pretty sure that this is a control issue. 35 days for 1 extra year. Yep Jed has and will do that every time it comes up.

Davis to RF? IDK about that. But it is too soon. He might bulk up and force that issue but as of today he is a CF.
 

beckdawg

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I feel this is a reach on Nico. I don't see his send down as a CF or a lead off thing at all. Not seasoned enough I can buy that.

I'm pretty sure that this is a control issue. 35 days for 1 extra year. Yep Jed has and will do that every time it comes up.

Davis to RF? IDK about that. But it is too soon. He might bulk up and force that issue but as of today he is a CF.
if it was purely a service time thing he wouldn't have been called up 2 years ago. And being sent down doesn't have to just be one thing. It could be multiple things. Like sure primarily getting more seasoning with the bat may be the biggest case but if he's down there anyways where is the harm in letting a gun with elite sprint speed try to play CF? If it works he's a big impact going forward.

As for Davis...believe what you want but the scouting indicates he's not long for staying in CF. And given his size he's going to add weight and lose speed. That's not to say he'll be a bad defender in RF at all however. In a lot of regards he reminds me of Heyward as a big CF with decent speed who became a RF when they were called up.
 

CSF77

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if it was purely a service time thing he wouldn't have been called up 2 years ago. And being sent down doesn't have to just be one thing. It could be multiple things. Like sure primarily getting more seasoning with the bat may be the biggest case but if he's down there anyways where is the harm in letting a gun with elite sprint speed try to play CF? If it works he's a big impact going forward.

As for Davis...believe what you want but the scouting indicates he's not long for staying in CF. And given his size he's going to add weight and lose speed. That's not to say he'll be a bad defender in RF at all however. In a lot of regards he reminds me of Heyward as a big CF with decent speed who became a RF when they were called up.

It is 1 year for 35 days. It buys back much of his service clock used.

I see it as they felt Bote and Nico were too close to judge. Nico they could gain back time. Bote is on a MLB deal. It was a easy choice. The back up SS was the hard part and that is why we saw Sogard used there in the spring. It was to see if the only issue created by sending Nico down could be a internal solve in an emergency.

Duffy made the team to take Bote's job.

As of now I wouldn't make much of it. Nico might end up at SS in Iowa because Jed didn't extend Javy yet and he wants to have all of his options available.
 

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