Tag:Chris Archer
Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 11:14 pm
 

Trout leads MLB.com's prospect list

Mike Trout MLB.com unveiled its Top 50 prospect list in a special on MLB Network with Angels outfielder Mike Trout, pictured, leading the list -- you can see the entire list here , plus video highlights for each player.

It's no surprise Trout led the list and even less of a surprise that the Royals had six prospects in the top 50, more than any other team. Tampa Bay had four, while the Braves, Reds, Rockies, Yankees, Mariners and Blue Jays had three prospects on the lsit.

Four teams -- the Mets, Marlins, Brewers and A's -- weren't represented, while 14 teams had one player on the list.

Jake Odorizzi, the right-hander sent to Kansas City in exchange for Zack Greinke, was No. 37 on the list, while Chris Archer, who was sent from the Cubs to the Rays in the Matt Garza deal, was ranked No. 47. Casey Kelly, one of the prospects sent from the Red Sox to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, was ranked No. 22.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 7, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:44 am
 

Rays, Cubs agree to Matt Garza deal

GarzaIn what is suddenly becoming an ultra-competitive NL Central, the Cubs are poised to add starter Matt Garza from the Rays, as CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports.

The deal is not yet 100 percent done as procedural matters (such as physical exams) have to be completed, but the players have been agreed upon. Chicago will essentially empty its farm by sending starting pitcher Chris Archer, who was the Cubs' minor league pitcher of the year along with shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, outfielder Brandon Guyer and catcher Robinson Chirinos.

Additional players may be part of the deal, with Knobler reporting the names of Sam Fuld from the Cubs and Fernando Perez from the Rays as the additional names. Both are outfielders. ESPN.com's Bruce Levine also adds that a minor-league pitcher from Tampa Bay may also be included in the deal.

Garza, who tossed a no-hitter and is eligible for arbitration for the third time (with another year of team control ahead), should sniff $5 million or more after making $3.35 million in 2010. The recently-turned 27-year-old hurled 204 2/3 innings for the Rays, posting a 3.91 ERA. His whiff rate dipped to 6.6 per nine off of a 8.38 K/9 showing in 2009, but also improved his command. His stuff should play up nicely in the National League with a mid-90s heater.

GM Jim Hendry has been of the opinion that the Cubs are only a few moves away from contending, and Garza would be the third such move after first baseman Carlos Pena and reliever Kerry Wood signed on. The cheap deal by Wood -- at just $1.5 million for a year -- likely freed up the money to pursue Garza.

Archer split 2010 between Double- and Triple-A, posting a cumulative 2.34 ERA in 142 1/3 innings, punching out 149. He was recently named the Cubs' top prospect by Baseball America. He profiles as a future No. 2 starter.

Lee, the No. 4 prospect in the system according to BA, was projected to bump Starlin Castro to second base upon promotion to the majors. Clearly, that has changed as Lee now has a clear path to the majors in Tampa as Reid Brignac can shift to second eventually. The left-hander is still a ways away, playing 2010 as a 19 year old for Class A and hitting .282/.354/.351 in 551 plate appearances.

Guyer ranked No. 10 on the top prospect lists as the 24-year-old (25 on Jan. 28) batted .344/.398/.588 in 410 plate appearances for Double-A, cranking 13 home runs. He could be part of the competition for the left- and right-field spots.

Chirinos is old for a top player, but the 26-year-old backstop hit .326/.416/.583 in 380 plate appearances between Double- and Triple-A. He could contend for a major-league spot, battling Kelly Shoppach for time behind the dish. Chirinos can hit, but he can also field, with BA tabbing him the best defensive catcher in the system.

Fuld (29-years-old) and Perez (28-years-old in late April) are old for the minors, but both are fleet of foot -- especially Perez. Fuld has a better stick, hitting .272/.383/.394 in 440 Triple-A PA while Perez hit an embarassing .223/.280/.299 in 429 Triple-A PA that seems like an aberration. Both figure to be backup outfielders, with the switch motivated by a change of scenery. 

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 20, 2010 10:47 am
 

Cubs to allow Archer to contend for starting spot

Padilla With only Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells certain to be part of the Cubs' rotation, that leaves two wide-open spots for competition.

If the Cubs get their way, one such spot will be filled by a veteran free-agent who wants to fill innings (in other news, 29 other teams would like the same) while the final spot will be battled out between internal candidates.

Of those there are plenty what with Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny drawing starts over the course of the past season. Chicago also has rookies Casey Coleman and Thomas Diamond who will battle for a starting spot along with top rookie prospect Chris Archer as ChicagoBreakingSports.com reports.

The 22-year-old finished up a sterling campaign in 2010, posting a 15-3 record and 2.34 ERA between high-Class A and Double A, hurling 142 1/3 innings with 149 whiffs and 65 walks and was just added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.

Archer, who was acquired in the Mark DeRosa trade with St. Louis two years ago, is long on potential but asking someone to pitch in a big-league bullpen who has yet to pitch above Double-A (without a full season there, no less) and has shaky control problems is asking a lot. While Archer's future absolutely belongs in the rotation, the Cubs are likely giving his contention mere lip service unless he arrives in spring training having learned a lesson or two from Silva and starts pumping strikes. With so much competition for a starting spot, there's no reason for the Cubs to start Archer's service-time clock if he's not head and shoulders over every other contender.

One contender Archer would have to get past could be one of Javier Vazquez, Aaron Harang or Vincente Padilla. These names are courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times , which reported that GM Jim Hendry met with the agents of these three pitchers at the GM meetings.

Vazquez is receiving heavy attention from several teams and the Cubs could be such a team that has already offered a lucrative deal , kicking the Marlins out of contention.

Meanwhile, the other two names that the Cubs contacted aren't exactly known for their durability, but Chicago may be viewing Harang as a reclamation project that would cost less dollars and allow the Cubs to spend more money elsewhere. Harang's innings and games started have decreased five years in a row (although the first two years were negligible in difference), hitting 20 starts and 111 2/3 innings this past season for the Reds.

Padilla (pictured), meanwhile, has rehabbed his image in Chavez Ravine, but is far from a durable pitcher. He pitched 200 innings exactly in 2006, making 33 starts. He also cracked the 200-inning barrier from 2002-03, but over the last four years has shown no indication he can ever get back to that barrier. What he could do is give the team 180 quality innings (assuming he does not get hurt) -- and sometimes, 180 quality innings is better than 200 "pretty good" innings.

Brandon Guyer, Kyle Smits and Alberto Cabrera were also added to Chicago's 40-man roster and cannot be selected in the Rule 5 draft.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 5:54 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2010 6:58 pm
 

Cubs' 2011 rotation up in air

Carlos Silva The Cubs expect to enter 2011 with Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster atop the rotation, but past that is anyone's guess.

Current starters Carlos Silva (pictured), Randy Wells and Tom Gorzelanny stand a good chance of locking up the final three spots but will receive competition from Jeff Samardzija, Casey Coleman, Andrew Cashner and Chris Archer, reports the Chicago Tribune .

Silva will be entering the final year of a contract that pays out $6 million from the Cubs coffers (and $5.5 million from Seattle) and pitched impressively before being sidelined with heart problems. In 21 starts, Silva has a 4.22 ERA and should have no trouble locking down a spot.

Wells followed up an impressive rookie season with a less-impressive but still solid 4.46 ERA over 30 starts as a 27-year-old. Wells has pitched better than his ERA, so should also find the going easy to retain his rotation spot.

When it comes to Gorzelanny, things are less simple. The lefty has a 3.90 ERA in 21 starts and six relief appearances, but questions remain if his future is in the rotation or bullpen.

It's possible one of the assorted candidates could overtake Gorzelanny.

Samardzija is out of options for 2011 so will need to stick on the big-league team. He split the season between starting and relieving in Triple-A and is struggling to find his footing in the majors. It's not likely Chicago will hand him a rotation spot, so look for the former Fighting Irish wide receiver to kick the season off in the bullpen.

Coleman, at 22, probably is ticketed for the Triple-A rotation. He posted a 4.07 ERA in 117 1/3 innings over 20 starts at the level in 2010 and has a 5.11 mark through 37 innings. He demonstrates zero aptitude for whiffing batters and doesn't have strong command.

Archer was the organization's minor league player of the year, splitting the year between advanced-Class A and Double-A as a starter. He totaled a 2.34 mark in 27 starts and one relief appearances, striking out 149 and walking 65 in 142 1/3 innings. The 21-year-old has electric stuff and could make a big case in spring training but it's hard to imagine the Cubs rushing him to the bigs.

That leaves Cashner, who is unsure of his future role with the Cubs. The 23-year-old earned a promotion to the majors by being near-unhittable in the minors early on. He has a 5.37 mark in the bigs over 47 relief appearances and has shown the stuff to be a top-tier setupman.

"I don't know if I'll be getting ready as a starter or a reliever," he told the Tribune . "And I don't care. Pitching is pitching, As long as I get to do a little hunting this winter, I'm happy."

The Cubs could elect to move Cashner back to the rotation and evaluate him in spring training. That's completely fine with the righty.

"I said three weeks ago I have six weeks to make the team, and that's what I'm going to do," the 2008 first-rounder said. "Showcase that I can pitch here and worry about next year during spring training ."

It's more likely you see the current starting five open 2011 still in the rotation, but the stable of young pitching on the way up means things may be changing in the next few years. Silva and Dempster's deals are done after 2011 while Zambrano follows the year after.

-- Evan Brunell

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