I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday! My wife and I had a nice meal with our daughter and dogs and we watched some movies, played some Uno Flip, and ate some homemade pie.

However, it is back to baseball today.

It’s getting close to that time of year when the Cubs would normally hold their annual convention over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. That is not going to happen next month for the second year in a row. 

It got me thinking about whether or not the Cubs could technically hold a minor league convention since the lockout does not affect the affiliates. The minors are going to be playing regardless of whether the major league squad does or not. So, I began to wonder what a minor league convention might look like. 

It probably wouldn’t look that much different. There would be sessions and panels, and there would also be games for the kids and mascots to take pictures with along with lots of gear to buy. About the only thing that would be different would be that there would be zero major league players or coaches. Pretty much everybody else could be there.

However, the logistics of such a convention would be hard because of the current pandemic and the affiliates are all spread out the eastern half of the country, Arizona, and the Dominican. 

Then again, what if it was held on TV and the Internet?

The Cubs could legitimately have their own minor league convention on the Marquee Sports Network. They already have the studios; they have content creators who are already familiar with the system. And they have all kinds of talent that has familiarity with the prospects. – a.k.a. the affiliate broadcasters. And most of the Cubs MiLB management are already in town.

I would love to see Craig Breslow do an interview and talk about pitching for an hour. The same could be true of Justin Stone and hitting. I would love to hear Dan Kantrovitz and some scouts talk for an hour about draft picks, scouting, and draft strategy. We could even learn more about the Cubs’ upcoming signings next month from the Cubs’ international scouting director Louie Eljaua. And we could also learn how some of those deals were put together.

I’d love to see the announcers for the minor league teams get some air time and interview players and managers. Even a virtual tour of each ballpark would be cool. We could even see some players at home in the offseason in some little get-to-know-you type segments. All those things would be great to see and the Cubs could do it over an entire weekend.

Article of the Week

Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic published an amazing article that looked at the Cubs MiLB pitching infrastructure and why so many pitchers were injured. It is a deep dive worth reading. I especially like this tidbit that helps to explain the injuries somewhat.

Kilian Gets Some Pub

MLB Pipeline labeled Caleb Killian as the Cubs breakout prospect of the year. Originally, back in March, they thought that Yeison Santana would be the one. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Poll of the Week

I have been thinking about my Top 21 Prospect List quite a bit lately. Usually, I want to redo them as soon as I publish them. Then I just end up waiting for 6 months because I realize I could change it every month if I let myself. However, this time, I am really looking hard at my list and whether I put it together the right way on November 1. I took a poll on some of those thoughts I have been having about it and I will flesh those out more fully on New Year’s Day.

Advanced ACL talk

I am also starting to hear some speculation that major league baseball it’s starting to put together plans to have a second league in Arizona this summer. The original Arizona complex league would stay as basically a rookie league. What some of the teams want to do is have a step in between the complex league and low A. Short season-A ball is basically what it would be, but it would actually be called advanced rookie league. There’s a bit of a steppingstone there and it’s unclear just exactly what the Cubs’ roster configurations would be if that comes to fruition. If so, that would be a great landing spot for college draft picks and nondrafted free agents. 

Currently, the Cubs can have 190 rostered players this winter but have to get down to 180 by opening day. If there is an advanced rookie (complex) league, those numbers will have to change greatly because that’s another 35 spots the teams are going to need. 

Remember, this is still all speculation. I’ll believe it when I see it. At the earliest, we will know something when the Cubs announce the coaching staff for each affiliate. That’s usually done between the middle of January and early February. I’d say we will know at that point.

Pic of the Week

I would love to go, but I need my arms and legs which is what it would cost to get in.

Jam of the Week

I am still in a Punch Brothers mood over winter break this week. This is an instrumental jam from their album “All Ashore” and it is filled with intricacies and some serious dynamics. It is quite the auditory journey! It is called ‘Three Dots and a Dash,’ a reference to Morse Code and the telegraph. Even though they’re playing typical bluegrass instruments, this is not your daddy’s bluegrass.