Tomorrow night the Cubs will pick fourth overall in this year’s draft, but last year’s No. 2 overall pick, third baseman Kris Bryant, is already banging down the door to the big leagues.
Or at least he could be, based on the damage he’s done against Double-A pitching with a .353 batting average, 19 homers, 15 doubles, and a 1.160 OPS in 57 games at age 22.
However, when asked about simply promoting Bryant from Double-A to Triple-A–and not even to the majors–in the near future Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer indicated that’s not in the plans, telling Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com:
Certainly, we tell every prospect to go dominate, and he’s obviously doing that. I think we probably want to see it for a little bit longer. It’s only been two months at that level. He’s been sort of skipping up through the system without really a lot of time at one level. But everything from defense to base-running to what he’s done offensively–I know he’s everything we had hoped for and hopefully he’ll keep it up.
It’s worth noting that most teams don’t really consider Triple-A a whole lot different than Double-A and in fact many teams prefer to keep prospects at Double-A before promoting them to the majors. However, it certainly doesn’t sound like the Cubs are close to letting Bryant make his big-league debut, which means he might put up some ridiculous numbers at Double-A this season.
Counting what he did at Single-A last season after signing Bryant has now hit .346 with 28 homers, 29 doubles, and 47 walks in 93 games as a professional, producing a .434 on-base percentage, .696 slugging percentage, and 1.130 OPS.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.