Chat with Doug Padilla
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Chicago Cubs beat reporter Doug Padilla stops by Thursday to chat.
Padilla covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Doug Padilla (1:03 PM)
Welcome to today's chat. Tigers are taking BP now and there is a lot of orange in the grandstands.
Is it possible that we don't see Brett Jackson in the majors this year?
Doug Padilla (1:05 PM)
Without any injuries he looks like a September call up. So yeah, you probably do see him but only as a part time player over the final 31 games or so.
Are the Ricketts family happy with the way Theo and Jed are building a foundation? I know some fans are unhappy with all the loses and are calling for their heads but I think they've done a fantastic job so far given the new collective bargaining agreement.
Doug Padilla (1:07 PM)
Who is calling for their heads? Certainly nobody in baseball. The plan was to rebuild, wich takes some time. If this was a 20-mile bike ride we're basically on Mile 3. Hang in there. Lots of ride left. Nobody with the Ricketts family is fretting since the plan is being followed.
BOB (BURR RIDGE)
Possible trade piece is Dejesus , we need to free up some space in the outfield, due to no one is going to take Soriano, that was a proven in the offseason, move Lahair to right does this seem more plausible?
Doug Padilla (1:09 PM)
DeJesus probably has a little value, but if he was dealt it would really be more of a salary dump than anything. They don't seem curious to see LaHair in right. Not saying they won't try it at some point down the road (if he isn't moved), but left is the only thing being considered right now.
BOB (BURR RIDGE)
Why is braintrust calling up Valbuena instead of Vitters, when he is their future third baseman and first round draft pick in 2007, if he's not ready now, he never will be
Doug Padilla (1:12 PM)
Both are on the 40-man roster so that isn't the issue. Valbuena just brings more of a veteran presence and his play at Iowa was worthy of a reward. Sveum mentioned recently that Vitters' defense is still not up to par to be at this level every day.
Paul (Denver, CO)
Doug, is there any chance the Cubs might talk to Koyie Hill about accepting an outright to Iowa?
Doug Padilla (1:13 PM)
Sveum said they want to keep him in the organization but would be happy for him if was claimed and got another big-league chance. Odds are he gets through waivers and if he wants to keep playing the Cubs will find a spot for him in the minors.
Hey Doug! Although it seems like there are many anxious fans (and who could blame them). I think Theo is doing a pretty good job of staying patient in this long process... What's your mid season grade on the admin so far this season? (Considering what they've been dealt)
Doug Padilla (1:15 PM)
It really is a tough one. It's hard to give high marks for having a team that gets pounded on nightly. That being said, they are doing a good job of rebuilding the system and staying with the plan of developing a solid core. How long it takes for that core to get here is the big question. But high marks so far. Soler was a big signing and getting Almora in the system soon will be huge too.
Do you know how long Stewart's wrist has been bothering him? Did that cause his struggles at the plate? Also do you expect him to be out for at least 15 days?
Doug Padilla (1:17 PM)
Stewart's wrist issues date back to last season with the Rockies. He missed most of the year with a pair of injuries, the wrist being one. He will go to the Cleveland Clinic for an exam this weekend. Surgery isn't out of the question which might cost him the rest of the season.
Could you see Lake, Castro, and Baez in the same infield? What would be the best position for each?
Doug Padilla (1:20 PM)
It's certainly not out of the question. Lake is getting big, but not in a bad way. He's starting to project as more of a third baseman. Castro probably stays at short with Baez at second, but that could change as Baez progresses.
How many drafted players do the Cubs actually expect to sign?
Doug Padilla (1:21 PM)
They did their homework and think they all can be signed, otherwise it was a wasted pick. As of now only six lower-round picks have signed. I was told today that two upper-round picks are close to signing but plenty more remain to get under contract.
C.Williamson (Robinson, IL)
Has Jorge Soler passed his physical?
Doug Padilla (1:22 PM)
Nothing official but that is expected to be finalized soon. Nobody is worried that it will be an issue.
Who gets traded from this list: Dempster, Garza, Soriano, Marmol, Soto, Lahair, Dejesus
Doug Padilla (1:24 PM)
I'd go with Dempster first and then Garza. Gonna put Soriano third on this list. LaHair has interest. Not sure the others get moved.
Josh (Downers Grove)
What is is about Tony Campana's play that does not allow him to play everyday? I understand that they want to inject some power in the lineup by playing Mather in center, but it seems like Tony creates more havoc and opportunity to score runs then Mather. Can we look forward to Tony Campana in the lineup more often?
Doug Padilla (1:26 PM)
He just needs to do a better job of having quality at-bats and getting on base. Campana needs to get deep in counts which is a huge point of emphasis for this coaching staff and front office group. Strikeouts need to be low and fly balls and popups need to be near nonexistent. It's a tall order, but it's needed for them to get the most out of his speed.
C.Williamson (Robinson, IL)
Since the Tigers seen Garza and the RedSox will see Dempster this week, what team do you trading for one of them first?
Doug Padilla (1:28 PM)
It is interesting since the Tigers are one of the teams rumpored to have interest in Dempster and much of Garza's value is in the AL East where he did well when pitching for the Rays. Garza doesn't pitch in the Red Sox series, though. Ultimately it doesn't matter that the Cubs are playing those teams. There are enough scouting reports on them regardless.
C.Williamson (Robinson, IL)
When do see the Cubs spending big money in the Free-Agent market?
Doug Padilla (1:31 PM)
Mentioned it a little on the radio today, but a big-time free agent signing probably doesn't happen for a couple of years until the young core starts to emerge. It doesn't help to have a big-time signee come in next year and the team wastes all that money on him while development is still taking place and the losses pile up. Rebuilding is hard, but if it's done right it will be well worth it.
Do you think DeJesus will be the fill in right fielder until one of the younger guys is ready down the road, and then maybe even keep him as a fourth outfielder? I really enjoy how he plays and I think it brings a good veteran presence.
Doug Padilla (1:33 PM)
That was the plan all along. He might not be in the plans once this team becomes an annual contender, but he plays the game right and that's what management wanted the younger players to see. DeJesus is a solid clubhouse presence. About as down to earth of a guy as you could hope for and willing to help any younger player that asks.
Leroy K (England)
What did Dempster and Theo talk about yesterday?
Doug Padilla (1:35 PM)
The extent of what we could gather is that they just wanted to make sure they are on the same page as the July 31 trade deadline draws near. Demp has no-trade rights but is willing to be moved to a contender if it helps the Cubs. For those who didn't know, the two were in the stands having an extended chat about four hours before game time yesterday.
Do you think Starlin Castro is a building block to be rebuilt with or a trade chip to get more prospects?
Doug Padilla (1:37 PM)
Theo is solidly in Castro's corner and views him as a guy to rebuild around. He is showing himself to be a great hitter and at 22 there is still room to improve his defense and his mental approach. Theo probably likes him more watching him up close than he did watching him from afar.
Is Lahair in the cubs long term plans? Or will he definitely be traded.
Doug Padilla (1:40 PM)
There remains some uncertainty on where LaHair stands in the long-term plans. As a first baseman there is plenty to like, but Rizzo is coming. As a left fielder there are many question marks. Not saying he will be traded this season, but it's hard to see him and Rizzo in the same lineup for the long term. Too bad, because that would be pretty darn exciting.
Tyler Hendrix (Island Lake)
I know in a Garza trade the Cubs can expect something like a Jacob Turner back, but do you think the Cubs will be targeting major-league ready pitching (in a Garza trade and in other trades), and, if so, what's out there?
Doug Padilla (1:44 PM)
Not sure they will be looking for guys with major-league experience in a Garza deal but certainly guys who are ready to break through by late next season, which is basically what you said. Some solid Double-A talent on the rise would be about right. As for specifics on guys they have in mind, nothing has been revealed so far. Still 6 1/2 weeks to the trade deadline.
Out of the current roster, who is their core they value and expect to keep?
Doug Padilla (1:46 PM)
I'd put Castro and Samardzija on that list. They really don't have anything else that resembles an untouchable. My word, not theirs, since they are avoiding the untouchable tag.
Packard (Normal, IL)
what do you think about vitters chances being an everyday third basemen and his potential he has still
Doug Padilla (1:49 PM)
It certanly is taking longer than expected. He had to be added to the 40-man this winter after five years in the minors and finally touched Triple-A this season. He's on the depth chart, but until he can show improved defense there will always be questions.
Thomas (Chicago )
How long does Theo's honeymoon last with Cub nation?
Doug Padilla (1:55 PM)
Depends on who you ask. It's over for some people already. Next season could be a wash too. Realistically, they need to start inching over .500 by 2014 and show some serious competivive stretches while doing it. But in certain quarters the grumbling will always be loud. It all goes ack to the fact that rebuilding takes time no matter how much pain is caused by watching a club lose 100 games.
What are the chances that Albert Almora doesn't end up signing and decides to go to Miami?
Doug Padilla (1:58 PM)
There is always a chance, but despite him saying that he hasn't written off going to school, the Cubs were fairly confident they could sign him before they selected him. All indications are that a deal gets done.
How valuable is the top pick in the MLB draft...especially with the new CBA rules? I have always felt that it was less valuable than a #1 pick in the other 3 major sports.
Doug Padilla (2:01 PM)
If you ask a baseball exec. they could care less about the other sports. Having a chance to pick whoever they want on the amateur level has its advantages. The guy might not impact your team for a few years like other sports, and we don't see them play in college as much as we see guys in football or basketball, but there is no doubt that top pick is huge. Just as long as you aren't thinking about the bad season that got you the pick.
DOUUUUG, DOUUUUUG, OOOOHHH DOUUUUG, DOUGIE dougie doug doug. Go Cubs.
Doug Padilla (2:02 PM)
On that note, well close out this chat. Nearly game time. Thanks for the questions and until next week ...