Cubs Organizational Report Week 17

Team Records updated through 7/31/05; Individual Stats updated through 7/31/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10
Chicago Cubs53-52(Div)13.5/3rd
(WC)4.0/5th
5-5
Iowa Cubs48-5810.5/3rd2-8
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx*22-140.0/1st6-4
Daytona Cubs14-229.0/5th5-5
Peoria Chiefs17-206.0/5th6-4
Boise Hawks19-210.0/1st6-4
AZL Cubs0-33.0/9th0-3
Cubs Ex W/L: 53-52; (2003) 53-52; (2004) 57-48 * West Tennessee clinched the first half North Division title of the Southern League
TRANSACTIONS
MLB OF Matt Lawton and cash acquired from Pittsburgh Pirates on 07/31/05 for OF Jody Gerut RHP Kerry Wood placed on 15 day DL with right shoulder inflammation on 07/25/05 LHP Rich Hill promoted from AAA on 07/25/05 AAA/Iowa NONE TO REPORT AA/West Tennessee OF Adam Greenberg assigned for rehab on 07/28/05 Advanced A/Daytona LHP Chris Shaver promoted from A ball on 07/26/05 A/Peoria RHP Mike Billek officially promoted from Low A on 07/25/05 Low A/Boise NONE TO REPORT Rookie Leauge/Arizona RHP Jason Wylie reassigned for further rehab on his shoulder on 07/26/05
INJURY UPDATES
(BOLD indicates an update to a pre-existing injury) MLB P Kerry Wood left game early on 07/20/05 with right shoulder stiffnes; Received cortisone shot on 07/21/05 and placed on 15 day DL on 07/25/05; Began rehab stint in Peoria be relegated to bullpen work the rest of the season; Arthroscopic surgery expected in off-season; Should be activated this Friday OF Adam Greenberg on DL after suffering concussion from being hit in the head by a pitch in his first major league at-bat; Has been sent to West Tenn. for rehab SS ñ Nomar Garciaparra out with left groin avulsion of the adductor longus muscle; placed on 15 day DL 04/21/05; Transferred to 60 day DL on 05/29/05; Has rehabbed at Rookie League in Arizona, Peoria and currently at West. Tenn; Should be activated Friday P - Chad Fox transferred to 60 day DL on 05/17/05; Has "nerve issues" in his right elbow; Still undetermined whether he'll attempt another comeback P - Scott Williamson placed on 60 day DL 3/31/05; Recovering from October 2004 Tommy John surgery; Is now in Iowa on a rehab stint; Should be activated Friday AAA/Iowa NONE TO REPORT AA/West Tennessee LHP Sean Marshall placed on DL on 07/24/04; Complaining of shoulder and bicep soreness, tests to be done INF Mat Craig is day-to-day with a quad injury OF - Felix Pie sprained ankle on 06/16/05; Placed on 7 day DL on 06/21/05; Diagnosed with bone bruise during rehab and is still not 100%; Still a week away from playing LHP - Jon Connolly placed on DL on 07/16/05 with "recurring" shoulder injury; Will be out all season INF - Jemel Spearman out sine 04/26/05 because of wrist injury; Had surgery at some point and it should cost him the season P- Angel Guzman out with forearm stiffness and inflammation in pitching elbow; Rehabbing in Arizona and scheduled to pitch on Aug. 15th; If all goes well, he'll be assigned to the Arizona Fall League P ñ Rocky Cherry left game on 4/21/05 after 1/3 of an inning. Tommy John surgery performed on 05/05/05 Advanced A/Daytona P Billy Petrick placed on DL on 06/24/05 with shoulder woes; Had season ending shoulder surgery A/Peoria 1b Alberto Garcia out for season with fractured fibula; Occurred on June 15th while sliding back into first base LHP Ed Campusano placed on DL, reason and date unknown Low A/Boise NONE TO REPORT Rookie Leauge/Arizona NONE TO REPORT Other Notable Injuries OF - Nic Jackson had more surgery to clean out his shoulder; Probably out until 2006 P - Chadd Blasko - shoulder surgery; Probably out until 2006 P - Matt Clanton - shoulder surgery; Had 2nd shoulder surgery during off-season, probably out all season PROSPECT WATCH LIST (BOLD indicates injury, * bats lefty, # switch-hitter) Hitters: 3B *Mike Fontenot (AAA) .283/.388/.444 2B Richard Lewis (AAA) .207/.279/.257(AA) .246/.373/.333 OF *Corey Patterson(AAA) .224/.278/.418 C Geovany Soto (AAA) .258/.369/330 SS/CF *Buck Coats (AA) .284/.348/.397 3B Casey McGehee (AA) .304/.352/.423 OF Luis Montanez (AA) .305/.349/.475 (A) .305/.384/.521 OF Felix Pie(AA) .304/.349/.554 13/22 SB opportunities 1B/OF Brandon Sing (AA) .304/.416/.602 2B Ryan Theriot (AA) .303/.356/.406 1B Brian Dopirak (High A) .247/.304/.387 OF *Kevin Collins (High A) .265/.346/.507 3B *Scott Moore (High A) .275/.348/.489 C Tony Richie (High A) .301/.346/.449 C Jake Fox (High A) .289/.360/.469 OF Ryan Harvey (A) .275/.325/.510 2B *Eric Patterson (A) .336/.413/.512 30/40 SB opportunities C *Mark Reed (Low A) .257/.318/.406 (A) .135/.167/.192 Pitchers: RHP Bobby Brownlie(AAA) 5-4 4.48ERA/32 BB/43 K/8 HR/70.1 IP LHP John Koronka (AAA) 7-10 4.85 ERA/34 BB/77 K/8 HR/102.0 IP RHP Jon Leicester (AAA) 1-5 1 Save 6.84 ERA/25 BB/37 K/10 HR/51.1 IP LHP Russ Rohlicek (AAA) 3-1 3 Saves/4.14 ERA/33 BB/43 K/3 HR/50.0 IP LHP Carmen Pignatiello (AAA) 0-1 4.94 ERA/10 BB/27 K/4HR/23.2 IP (AA) 5-4 2.68 ERA/28 BB/77 K RHP Todd Wellemeyer (AAA) 2-2 3.16 ERA/20 BB/40 K/1 HR/42.2 IP RHP Jermaine Van Buren (AAA) 1-2 18 Saves/1.91 ERA/17 BB/53 K/5 HR/42.1 IP RHP David Aardsma (AA) 4-0 2 Saves/2.55 ERA/19 BB/29 K/1 HR/35.1 IP (Norwich) 6-2 2.93 ERA/13 BB/30 K RHP Carlos Marmol (AA)3-2 2.97 ERA/23 BB/33 K/6 HR/39.1 IP (High A) 6-2 2.99 ERA/37 BB/71 K LHP Sean Marshall (AA) 0-1 2.52 ERA/5 BB/24 K/1 HR/25.0 IP (High A) 4-4 2.74 ERA/26 BB/61 K RHP Ricky Nolasco (AA) 10-1 3.22 ERA/37 BB/126 K/10 HR/117.1 IP LHP Reynel Pinto (AA) 7-2 2.10 ERA/43 BB/88 K/2 HR/94.1 IP (AAA) 1-2 9.93 ERA/24 BB/24 K RHP Jae-kuk Ryu (AA) 8-6 3.38 ERA/41 BB/94 K/11 HR/125.1 IP RHP Sean Gallagher (A) 11-4 2.28 ERA/39 BB/113 K/4 HR/118.2 IP RHP Grant Johnson (A) 2-4 4.06 ERA/15 BB/34 K/5 HR/44.1 IP RHP Mike Billek (A) 1-0 4.50 ERA/3 BB/7 K/8.0 IP (Low A) 0-1 2.65 ERA/6 BB/20 K/0 HR/17.0 IP LHP Darin Downs (Low A) 4-2 1.88 ERA/10 BB/38 K/3 HR/38.1 IP LHP Luke Hagerty (Low A) 0-1 21.94 ERA/21 BB/3 K/0 HR/5.1 IP RHP Michael Hyle (Low A) 2-4 2.37 ERA/12 BB/25 K/0 HR/30.1 IP LHP Mark Pawelek (RL) 0-3 2.45 ERA/12 BB/32 K/0 HR/22.0 IP LHP Donald Veal (RL) 0-1 8.10 ERA/4 BB/9 K/2 HR/6.2 IP OTHERS NOTABLES: 3B Scott McClain (AAA).283/.350/.582 INF Nate Frese (AAA) .288/.362/.471 OF Ben Grieve (AAA) .253/.374/.489 RHP Talley Haines (AAA) 1-1 1.88 ERA/0 BB/18 K/1 HR/14.1 IP (AA)4-2 13 Saves/ 1.78 ERA/2 BB/20 K/0 HR/25.1 IP RHP Andy Shipman (AA) 3-4 6 Saves/3.18 ERA/25 BB/52 K/0 HR/51.0 IP OF *Sam Fuld (A) .288/.371/.408 OF *Davy Gregg(Low A) .307/.369/.359 28/36 SB opportunities GREG MADDUX INNINGS WATCH 355.1 IP over the last 2 years; Needs to pitch 44.2 IP over the rest of the season for his $9 million 2006 option to vest; Assuming he starts 33 games (like last year), needs to average roughly 4 and a half innings per start over the rest of the season. KOREY WATCH (Career) K/PA - .236 (2005) K/PA - .247 (2005 AAA) K/PA - .183 (estimated but can only go lower) (Career) BB/SO - .21 (2005) BB/SO - .20 (2005 AAA) BB/SO - .31 MINOR LEAGUE LEADERS Hitting HR - Scott McClain (24) RBI - Ryan Harvey (77) AVG - Eric Patterson (.336) OBP - Eric Patterson (.413) SLG - Brandon Sing (.602) SB - Chris Walker (42) Pitching IP - Jae-kuk Ryu (125.1) ERA - Sean Gallagher (2.28) WINS - Sean Gallagher (11) SAVES -Jermain Van Buren (18) K - Ricky Nolasco (126)
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Comments

The Minor League system that Jim Hendry built has yet to produce a position player who stuck with the Cubs.

Yesterday he said they had a ten year plan that resulted in the system we're looking at here. Nada..not much.

"The Minor League system that Jim Hendry built has yet to produce a position player who stuck with the Cubs.Yesterday he said they had a ten year plan that resulted in the system we're looking at here. Nada..not much."

CWTP, That is unfair to say because the 10 year plan is likely in year 6 or 7. Next year Cedeno could be at short, and Pie in center. Murton will be the LF next year for sure unless we land a stud like Dunn or Matsui. Are minor league system is strong and got us 5 out of the 9 starters in the opening day line-up if you count trades.

Actually Hendry has been in charge of player development since 1995 Chifan. And he was made Chief Scout in '96. That's ten years.

The snapshot taken of the Cubs minor league system shows mostly mediocrity with the Diamond Jaxx being the notable exception, while the Iowa Cubs are an enigmatic collection of players destined for jobs selling insurance.

That said our farm system looks better than other high payroll team east of LA. If they had ratings for systems under the AA level I am sure we would be in the top 5. On the AAA roster if you look at box scores of AAA games we are not the only team that looks like what you described in your post. Today it seems like most teams use their AAA roster for veteran back-ups guys in case of injury on the big club. Then use AA for their advanced premier prospects.

CubsWin - Double A tends to be the "prospects" league, while AAA is, as you say, a collection of former MLB journeymen, never-made-it types, and "almost ready" young players.

That's how it is in every organization. If you want to judge the health of the system, look to AA first. The fact that the Diamond Jaxx are so good bodes well for the Cubs.

its a bit premature to fill in Pie in CF seeing as he can barely hit on the level he's in...i true hope the cubs dont "pull a patterson" with Pie...he's just simply not ready to play on a major league level with anything but his glove.

we will see Pie at some point next year...i just hope its in sept. for 20-30ab's insted of 200-300 off the bench.

and cedeno has a bit of work to do, himself. hopefully murton can find his power stroke soon.

"its a bit premature to fill in Pie in CF seeing as he can barely hit on the level he's in"

Crunch

Pie at West Tenn 304/349/554

I would like him to strike out less and walk more, but Pie appears to be able to handle AA pitching.

Any news on what has gotten into Luis Montanez. I had left him for dead, what happened?

our mediocre system that hasn't resulted in anything the last 10 years has PRODUCED....

Derrek Lee
Aramis Ramirez
Nomar Garciaparra
Matt Murton
Carlos Zambrano
Mark Prior
Kerry Wood
Corey Patterson
Matt Clement
Kyle Farnsworth
Matt Lawton

I gotta think I'm forgetting a few....not too bad.

no idea what happened to montanez and I doubt he'll be anything more than a utility OF'er, but he's still ONLY 23. There's a slim ray of hope still there that he'll be worth something, even if it's a trade component.

im aware of Pie's numbers and his ability (and inability) to hit off of 21-25 year olds who dont have refined offspeed stuff.

dont get drawn in my ob% #s in the minors or slugging% in the PCL for that matter...

pie's power is turning on...his using his speed better...his D is decent...he's still got a chunk of batwork to go unless he truely is a high-K high-production player and i dunno if he's played enough to go ahead and chalk him up as that kinda player.

Agreed Crunch I just thought you were being a little hard on the kid saying he can barely hit on the level he's in. Certainly he still needs work, and I hope they make him focus on working the count before he is promoted.

I was also amazed to see that Louis was still only 23. It seems like he has been around forever.

I don't think Pie will be the starting CF next year, but if they do not sign Damon or resign Burny,Hairston or Lawton and C-pat still can not hit a lick. Then they most likely and should give Pie the job instead of signing a crappy vet.

"our mediocre system that hasn't resulted in anything the last 10 years has PRODUCED...."

That's not fair. I sure didn't say that.

Hendry said he had a ten year plan to rejuvenate the CCubs minor leagues. So here we are ten years later and when you look at the records and talent on these teams you are looking at losers.

But nobody is saying the system hasn't produced pitchers. Quite the contrary. It seems to exist to give pitchers simulated game situations.

However, the last real Cub regular position player to emerge home-grown and stick with the team was Mark Grace and that was pre-Hendry of course.

CWTP,

What Rob was trying to say is that the system produced guys that got most of our postional players through trades.

for anyone not impressed with the cubs farm system the past 3-4 years i highly suggest you check out what looked like for over 10 years before that...

farm systems are built on projectable prospects and the cubs have been loaded for quite a while.

even guys that some of you may not like, such as mitre, have a lot of worth and if he was dangled out there, he would fetch a wide variety of offers.

I believe that Hendry is on the record saying that he was primarily trying to produce pitching prospects, which could then be turned into position players through trade, because it is easier to develop pitching prospects.

I don't believe Hendry that it is easier to develop pitching prospects, in fact it seems to be quite the opposite since pitchers are so much more susseptable to injury because they rely primarily on one part of their body. Hense Baseball Prospectus' TINSSAAPP(There's no such thing as a pitching prospect).

The Cubs could have a better coaching staff in the minors, and it would make sense to specialize in one thing and then trade to fill the weaknesses. Which seems to be what the Cubs are doing. It helps to have inept trading partners too, there aren't many Major League clubs who would give up Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton for Bobby Hill and...? (was there anyone else?)

It seems our best players we got in trade were for our position prospects, which seems to go against Hendry's plan. (Nomar we got for a pitcher, Barrett too. That's it, really.)

Our farm system seems stronger right now than it has been in a while.

I'm sorry, but if the Cubs start Cedeno at shortstop, Murton in left and Pie in center next year . . . well, it won't be good. One of the three maybe. But more than that and it's a sign you've resigned to not being very successful for a while. I'm not saying all three couldn't be solid major leaguers, but I am saying that: a) it probably won't happen in the same year; and b)this team is going to need more than solid major leaguers to get to an elite level and take down St. Louis next year. I'm like anybody in that I want to see youngsters get a shot. Just not all at once. What are we, Kansas City?

If you look at the current 25-man, the Cubs have developed eight pitchers (Ohman, Prior, Zambrano, Hill, Wood, Wuertz, Remlinger, Maddux) and one position player (Cedeno).

Compare that to the team with the best record in baseball, the White Sox, who have developed just one pitcher (Buerhle) and just two position players (Crede and Rowand) on their current 25-man.

It's not how many homegrown players the parent club can field, it's how well you can build a team drawing talent from every available source.

Oops, how did Remlinger sneak into the previous post? I meant Mitre.

There you go, SaxFax. That's the answer. I think sometimes those who follow the farm system so closely have a bias. Of course they want to see the guys they've been following get a shot. But you have to keep all avenues open, and to suggest a team at the Cubs' financial level should start three rooks with next to nothing in big-league experience when there are proven talents to be found is embarassing. By all means, start your best prospect. But go out and surround him with the best talent you can afford, too.

"I'm sorry, but if the Cubs start Cedeno at shortstop, Murton in left and Pie in center next year . . . well, it won't be good."

why?

as of now none of those kids are at their prime or project above average in mlb...murton's the closest but he dont have his power yet...

yankees have produced a hell of a lot of tallent, but theyve ended up selling it all out cuz they hire guys to play for 10 years at 20 million a year and etc.

we have no pujols...hell, we dont even have a david wright or a grady sizemore. we do have murton who's close to ready, though...be nice if he can make his power click.

there's a lot in the lower levels that look great, but just arent mlb projectable yet based on what theyre showing.

basically...no one's getting cockblocked, yet.

i deleted my setup paragraph after 'why?'..cuz im dumb..hehe

sumation...i dont think we gotta worry about having anyone but murton or cedeno starting next year...and the cubs would have to lose out on some things to have cedeno take it. there's 4 slots to decide next year as of now...OF+SS

Heh, it looked like you answered your own question there.

Next year we will not have all three of those guys starting. I agree that one of our prospects should be starting, maybe two.

Not Cedeno though. I don't understand people's fascination with him. He's better than Macias, yes, but if he's starting full time next year for us we have a major problem. Until this year he's been pretty terrible, even in the minors. He hit .279/.328/.401 in WT last year, which is fine for a 21 year old, and .211/.257/.295 in A the year before. He needs a couple more years before he should be starting for any big league club, even if his defense is great. He has been a nice fill in bench short stop, but he needs to go back to the minors next year. He hasn't been much better than Neifi this year, despite everyone's clamoring that he should be starting over Neifi. He's a .250/.300/.350 hitter right now at best, which is not good enough. He could win a starting job in a couple years, if he continues to develop. But until then, we need to re-sign Nomar, or some other free-agent shortstop.

Murton and Pie would probobaly be below average for their position if they start next year, which is alright if we have good players starting at other positions, with a good 4th outfielder, and good pitching.

I don't see our 2006 NLCS lineup containing Murton, Pie and Cedeno.

I can see Murton starting in left and the Cubs doing well if a number of things happen: First, they've got to sign another big bat, hopefully in right, where Burnitz has been better than expected, which, given the rest of this offense, isn't good enough. Second, they've got to make a play for Johnny Damon, who brings the experience of hitting leadoff for a contender, but better yet, some freaking energy (which is a necessity if the Cubs ever want to compete). Third, they've got to keep Walker around. And fourth, they've got to find a shortstop who is going to produce at an above-average level. Nomar? I don't know. He worries me. But somebody who can post a league-average OBP and drive in a few runs. If all that happens, then Murton is a viable option in left, because he'll only have to be a complimentary hitter in what would be an otherwise stellar lineup.

On the other hand, if they hand shortstop over to Cedeno, then they have to go out and get a much more productive left fielder in addition to the aforementioned moves. The Boston paper reported a while back that Nomar's building a house in the suburbs, which means he could have some kind of handshake with the Cubs for '06. In that case, I start Murton. Otherwise I start Cedeno, and completely rebuild the outfield, looking for OBP guys with some pop in both corners. (I know, I know. Some of you will say, "But that's exactly what Murton's going to be.") Maybe so, but I think with Sammy's money off the books, the Cubs can go out and find a PROVEN commidity.

I will say I'm deathly afraid of a quiet winter again. If the Cubs do as little as they did last offseason, I might go nuts.

As I posted on another thread recently, Bobby Brownlie is pitching "lights out" at Iowa since being moved to the bullpen. It looks like his future will be in middle relief, which is fine, because the Cubs need effective middle relievers more than they need starting pitchers right now.

I think the Cubs have two "can't miss" prospects (which doesn't mean they literally "can't miss," it's just an expression), and those two are Felix Pie and Matt Murton.

From what I've seen of Pie, he is a "crash & burn" CF (that means he takes risks, but makes big plays) who should be a #3 hitter in the big leagues. He is not patient/passive enough to hit lead-off, and he doesn't have the bat control and ability to hit with two strikes needed to be a #2 hitter. But he reminds me of a young Tony Oliva at the plate. He has a much larger frame than Corey Patterson, and looks he could grow into a big-time power hitter. Right now, he is impatient at the plate, but he also hits line drives to all fields. He runs well, but he is not a good base stealer and takes foolish risks.

Matt Murton is the protypical #2 hitter. He has good bat control, and can hit with two strikes. He can execute the back end of a hit & run. He also has the speed needed to go from 1st to 3rd on a single, to score from second on a single to the outfield, and from first on a double, all desirable traits in a #2 hitter. He reminds me of Paul Molitor at the plate. I get the impression from what I've read about him that he eats, drinks, and sleeps baseball, and is a hard worker and a good teammate.

I also believe Ronny Cedeno will be an everyday SS in the big leagues. I don't think he will be an all-star, but I believe he will have a good career. He has above average speed and has a strong arm. He has worked very hard to improve. I can see him putting up numbers like those of Alex Gonzalez (the one with the Marlins). If you hit Cedeno 7th or 8th, he will do just fine.

Besides Pie, there are several players at West Tenn who should have productive careers as role players or extra men in the major leagues, though maybe not with the Cubs:

1. Buck Coats (IF-OF, "good hit/no field" left-handed hitter, another Gary Varsho perhaps)
2. Adam Greenberg (4th outfielder, solid fundamentals, like Doug Dascenzo)
3. Casey McGehee (C-3B, good line drive stroke)
4. Luis Montanez (IF-OF, finally developing as a hitter after move to OF last year)
5. Brandon Sing 1B-OF (like Matt Stairs, was a high school SS - he's more agile & versatile than you might think)
6. Ryan Theriot (utility INF with speed)

And at Iowa:

1. Mike Fontenot (2B-3B, left-handed hitter with good plate discipline and a good hitter, hustles, could possibly make it as a starter in the big leagues, but more likely as a Geoff Blum-type back-up player).
1. Micah Hoffpauir (1B, has a nice line-drive stroke and could be a Mark Sweeney/John Mabry/Ross Gload-type left-handed bat off the bench in another two or three years).
2. Geovany Soto (solid back-up catcher-type with decent stroke, albeit no power)

Again, besides Pie and Murton and probably Cedeno, I don't see anybody at AA or AAA with the potential to be an everyday player in the major leagues. But that doesn't mean a lot of the players can't play in the big leagues and have lengthy and productive careers.

I don't think Cedeno should be penciled in for the 2006 starting job either, but we certainly don't know now if its even an option.

Cedeno should be starting over Neifi for that reason alone. Worst case, he does just as good as Neifi and you know for certain he can't be counted on as a major league starter next year. Best case, he exceeds expectations and we've got a guy whose going to be as good as any free agent ss available in the off season for a whole lot less money, freeing up more funds for another top level free agent.

I'll say this. I could see Pie as next year's '03 Miguel Cabrera -- starts the season in the minors and is a complete stud after a midseason callup. I hadn't heard much about Pie's approach as far as using all fields, etc.

Thanks for that, Arizona Phil.

Another area where the Cubs could improve quite a bit is on the bench. Depth is supposed to be the area where bigger-market teams can truly pull away from average and smaller-market teams. I'll be interested to see what kind John Mabry or B.J. Surhoff-type guys we can come up with this offseason.

Matt Lawton would make a hell of a 4th outfielder. If he's cheap enough or not, I don't know... I think Fontenot will be a good bench guy, but other than him I think we have to look outside the organization to strengthen our bench. I'm sure there will be options. We just need to utilize them

Kinanik,

Although Cedeno does not have a long history of success as a hitter, the fact that he has improved with the bat in both AA and AAA, is a sign of his maturation with the bat.

Although he has just a half of a season of playing time (194 abs) at AAA, a .371 batting average doesnot translate to "he needs a couple more years before he should be starting for any big league club"

In my book, ha has earned the right to compete for a back up role in 06, especially since his presence would signal the end of the Perez era in Chicago after this season.

I am not advocating that he will be hitting .300 in the bigs anytime soon, but .371 at AAA as a 22 year old warrants attention.

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