Good Theo Talk

Cubs & Angels but, let’s not get in to the final score of that one.  Hey it was rough but, it’s still Spring.

The interesting part of the game for me on ESPN was the conversation with Theo Epstein.

As I write this, I’m watching as the Cubs mess with Jeff Samardzija in the 1st inning with a Jorge Soler two run HR as the Cubs – White Sox contest has a go on MLB.tv.

Getting back to the ESPN broadcast of the late innings of the Cubs – Angels game interview with Theo Epstein, I was very much impressed with his comments on player development.

‘Not until they’re ready!’  That was the answer when the conversation began about Kris Bryant appearing at Wrigley on opening day. 

Epstein seemed genuinely concerned for proper player development.  Epstein was sincere in priorities being priorities, and it wasn’t all the business of baseball.

You knew the business of baseball would become center stage in this conversation because it is true that if Bryant started at Wrigley, he could become a free agent one season sooner.

Epstein reiterated the level of play necessary at the MLB level for a grueling schedule.

It would be silly to think that the business of baseball doesn’t enter in to it but, it seemed Epstein was genuinely concerned in timely, proper player development.

It is my hope, Epstein doesn’t lose his head becoming exasperated sending 50 players through the clubhouse in a season.  That won’t work, either.  We know, we’ve seen it.

Epstein pointed to his track record of never bringing the kids to opening day in his entire career.

I have championed that as I’ve felt all the components making up an MLB schedule at an MLB level are by no means, Minor League.

Maybe we’re seeing a once in a life time scenario where one of your biggest star players is ready, right now.  Kris Bryant is not letting up.  9 HRs, 15 Hs for a .406 BA, and a .472 OB% this Spring.

Does Epstein make an exception to his rule for the first time in his career or, does he send Bryant to Iowa for opening day?

Strictly on baseball development, I would put Bryant in Iowa, and see how he does on a grueling AAA level.  Give him 3-4 weeks to play every day at that level for the final checks, and balances at AAA. 

As for the business side of baseball, Bryant stays long enough at AAA for the Cubs to retain control over his contract for one more season.

ESPN tried to cover both sides of the line with Epstein.  His answer, not totally discounting the business side of baseball centered around proper player development.

I must admit, I was encouraged by what Theo had to say.  I only hope he walks the talk.

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