Kubs Korean Konnection Keeps Klickin'

Hak-Ju Lee stroked RBI singles in the 6th and the 8th to help carry the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the A’s Split Squad #1 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.


Korean bonus baby Jin-Yeong Kim got the start for the Cubs, making his professional debut. The 18-year old right-hander showed no evidence of nervousness or inexperience, as he displayed pinpoint control while mixing a 91 MPH two-seam sinking fastball with a curve and a change-up, keeping the A’s hitters off-balance through the first two innings (K-s, K-s, 1-3 in the 1st, then K-s, 2B, 3-1, 4-3 in the 2nd). Kim received a reported $1.2M signing bonus earlier this year, believed to be the second-largest bonus ever given to an international player to date by the Cubs. (Only RHP Jae-Kuk Ryu got more)


Cubs 2010 9th round pick RHP Kevin Rhoderick also made his professional debut this morning, pumping mid-90’s gas and a killer slider at the A’s while striking out the first four men he faced, the first two after he entered the game with runners at 2nd & 3rd and one out in the 6th. Rhoderick was the closer at Oregon State the past three seasons, and was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2008. He suffered from inconsistency this past season, but If he can continue to throw the ball in subsequent outings as he did today, he will be racing fellow fireballin’ 2010 draft pick RHP Aaron Kurcz (10th round selection out of the College of Southern Nevada) to see who can move up the pipeline the fastest.


In addition to the fine debut outings by Kim and Rhoderick, RHPs Austin Reed (Cubs 2010 12th round pick out of Rancho Cucamonga HS - Rancho Cucamonga, CA) and Matt Loosen (Cubs 2010 23rd round pick out of Jacksonville U.) threw two shutout innings a piece. Reed was recently named one of the Top 20 Prospects (#11) in the Arizona League (AZL) by Baseball America, the only AZL Cub to make the list.


The Cub defensive play of the day was a run-saving running catch on the warning track in the right-centerfield alley by CF Evan Crawford to close out the top of the 4th. (Possibly the fastest player currently in the Cubs system, Crawford was the gazelle the Cubs got back from the Giants in exchange for Mike Fontenot this past August).


17-year old 3B Dustin Geiger (2010 24th round pick out of Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL) was hit on the hand by a pitch in the bottom of the 5th and had to leave the game. Hopefully nothing is broken.


Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):


LINEUP:
1. Evan Crawford, CF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, K, 1-5 FC, R)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, SS-DH: 2-4 (L-5, K, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI, 2 R)
3. Justin Bour, 1B: 2-4 (K, K, 1B, 1B, RBI)
4. Max Kwan, C-DH: 0-3 (K, HBP, L-4, K, CS)
5a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-1 (K, HBP)
5b. Willson Contreras, PR-3B: 0-2 (4-3, E4, R)
6. Micah Gibbs, DH-C: 1-3 (K, 1B, BB, K)
7a. Wes Darvill, 2B: 0-2 (6-3, 6-4 FC, RBI, SB)
7b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (F-8, 5-3)
8. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, K, K, CS)
9a. Chris Huseby, LF: 1-3 (6-3, K, 1B)
9b. Pin-Chieh Chen, PH: 0-1 (5-3)
10. Marco Hernandez, DH-SS: 1-3 (K, E4, 1B, 2 R)


PITCHERS:
1. Jin-Yeong Kim: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (20 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 31 pitches (19 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Matt Loosen: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO


ERRORS: NONE


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Max Kwan: 0-1 CS


=================================================


ATTENDANCE: 28


WEATHER: Hot and sunny, with temperatures in the 90’s


==================================================


2010 CUBS INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER:


FIELD COORDINATOR:
Dave Bialas


INSTRUCTORS:
Jeff Fassero
Franklin Font
Dave Keller
Greg Maddux
Carmelo Martinez
Marty Pevey
Tom Pratt
Mark Riggins
Min-Kyu Sung


GAME MANAGER:
Juan Cabreja


ACTIVE LIST (47):


* bats or throws left
# bats both


PITCHERS (22):
* Hunter Ackerman
* Brent Ebinger
Dustin Fitzgerald
* Cam Greathouse
* Casey Harman
Ryan Hartman
Jin-Yeong Kim
Aaron Kurcz
Luis Liria
Matt Loosen
Robinson Lopez
* Jeff Lorick
Tarlandus Mitchell
Amaury Paulino
Starling Peralta
Austin Reed
Kevin Rhoderick
Jhon Rodriguez
* Brian Smith
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
Ben Wells


CATCHERS (5):
* Sergio Burruel
# Micah Gibbs
Max Kwan
Chad Noble
# Engel Santana


INFIELDERS (12):
Gioskar Amaya
* Justin Bour
Willson Contreras
* Ryan Cuneo
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
Dustin Geiger
* Marco Hernandez
* Hak-Ju Lee
D. J. Lemahieu
Josh Vitters
* Logan Watkins


OUTFIELDERS (8):
* Delbis Arcila
Xavier Batista
Evan Crawford
Reggie Golden
Jae-Hoon Ha
Chris Huseby (ex-P)
* Kyung-Min Na
# Oliver Zapata

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Comments

Really appreciate your reports. Keep 'em coming as often as possible.

Phil, I know Juan Cabreja has been working in the Cubs organization for a few years now, but I've been unable to find out anything about his previous background. Where did he play ball? When? What position did he play? After retirement, what other organizations (if any) has he worked for? In what capacities? Thanx!

Submitted by Hook on Sat, 09/25/2010 - 6:03pm.
Phil, I know Juan Cabreja has been working in the Cubs organization for a few years now, but I've been unable to find out anything about his previous background. Where did he play ball? When? What position did he play? After retirement, what other organizations (if any) has he worked for? In what capacities? Thanx!

==================================================

HOOK: Juan Cabreja did not play pro ball. He began coaching at the Cubs Dominican Academy when he was about 25 and he was down there for several years before he was moved up to Fitch Park in 2009. He wasn't with any other MLB organization prior to that. I don't know what position he played prior to coaching.

Thanks, AZ Phil.

How does Jin-Yeong Kim compare to Dae-Eun Rhee and Su-Min Jung in their initial Instructs debut? Is he further along?

Submitted by Raisin101 on Sat, 09/25/2010 - 6:28pm.
Thanks, AZ Phil.

How does Jin-Yeong Kim compare to Dae-Eun Rhee and Su-Min Jung in their initial Instructs debut? Is he further along?

============================================

RAISIN: Dae-Eun Rhee had an eye-popping pro debut at Instructs in 2007. His slider/splitter was Bugs Bunny unhittable, and the scouts who were seeing him for the first time were projecting him as possibly a big league closer down the line just because of that pitch. But then Rhee had TJS in 2008, and when he came back at Instructs last year he wasn't throwing the splitter, and he wasn't throwing it in Minor League Camp this past March, either. Instead he was throwing a straight-change and a curve. I don't know if he has completely junked the slider-splitter, but if he has he probably isn't anything more than a run-of-the-mill minor league pitching prospect. His fastball tops out at about 89 and it probably isn't going to get him to the big leagues.

Su-Min Jung has similar stuff as Jin-Yeong Kim, but just based upon the one game I saw him pitch, Kim is more polished and poised, and has better command. He can throw all of his pitches for strikes. And it's not like Kim "pitches-to-contact," either, because he got eight or nine swings & misses (including Michael Choice, who is one of the best hitting prospects I have seen down here in a while) during the course of his outing yesterday.

Kim just seems to be more mature and more polished than one would expect an 18-year old to be. I would compare him more to how I remember Jae-Kuk Ryu when I first saw him at Fitch Park, rather than to Su-Min Jung at a similar point in development. But I do like Jung and think he could develop into an MLB pitcher. It's just that Kim is probably a tick better, mainly because of the polish and the command.

AZ Phil,

Ricketts quoted today as saying Cubs 2011 payroll will 'dip slightly' from the $144m in 2010. How would you read that? What amount is a dip? Also, if Dunn re-signs with Washington, would Adam LaRoche be a more likely 1B replacement? Thanks!

Submitted by George Altman on Sun, 09/26/2010 - 3:30pm.
AZ Phil,

Ricketts quoted today as saying Cubs 2011 payroll will 'dip slightly' from the $144m in 2010. How would you read that? What amount is a dip? Also, if Dunn re-signs with Washington, would Adam LaRoche be a more likely 1B replacement? Thanks

==================================

GEORGE A: Because the Cubs saved about $7M in payroll this season by restructuring Dempster's contract and trading D. Lee, Lilly, and Theriot, I would think that Hendry will have about a $130M payroll in 2011.

At present, including players who are already signed, projected likely salaries for the arbitration-eligibles, and the salaries (including split salaries) for auto-renewals, the Cubs presently have an estimated projected $118M payroll for 2011, minus somewhere around $1.5M if Guzman and K. Hill get non-tendered on 12/12, and perhaps another $4.5M if the Cubs can find a taker for Fukudome (this is presuming the Cubs would have to eat 2/3 of his 2011 salary).

So if the payroll is at $130M and salary commitments are presently at $118M, that would leave only $12M in 2011 payroll for players added to the team during the off-season. But if the additional $6M in savings from non-tendering Guzman and K. Hill and trading Fukudome is added to that $12M in available payroll, Hendry would have about $18M to spend, enough to sign a FA 1B and a RH 8th inning set-up guy/back-up closer.

As for who Hendry would target if Dunn is not available, I would think Aubrey Huff and Adam LaRoche would be next on the list. And I don't think Ricketts would allow Hendry to offer any FA contracts longer than three years (for Dunn) or two years (for Huff or LaRoche).

Phil can I assume that you think that the Cubs basically stand pat with only minor free agent signings?

Submitted by Rob Richardson on Mon, 09/27/2010 - 10:33am.
Phil can I assume that you think that the Cubs basically stand pat with only minor free agent signings?

======================================

ROB: Yes. Other than signing a FA 1B and RHRP, I think the Cubs will sign a few players (including 2010 MLB players) to minor league contracts with an NRI to ST.

But there really isn't much need for FA "roster filler" at the minor league level. Perhaps a SS with MLB experience to compete with Darwin Barney for the back-up middle-infield back-up job (with the ST loser becoming the starting SS at Iowa), and maybe an OF with MLB experience who can play at Iowa.

Sam Fuld, Jeff Gray, Micah Hoffpauir, Jeff Samardzija, and Brad Snyder are the auto-renewal guys who will be out of options next season, so it's very possible that the Cubs will trade one or more of them (but probably not Samardzija, because he has "no trade" rights) during the off-season. Also, James Adduci and Bobby Scales are likely outright candidates post-2010 (and if they get outrighted, both can be a 6YFA), and Jason Dubois and Bryan Lahair are minor league free-agents, so with Fuld, Hoffpauir, and Snyder out of options, Adduci and Scales likely to get outrighted (and probably become FA), and Dubois and Lahair eligible to be minor league FA, roster slots will be opened up at Iowa for Tony Campana, Brandon Guyer, Matt Spencer, and Tony Thomas next season.

BTW, Guyer, Campana, and Wright will be playing Winter Ball in Venezuela on a team with Jody Davis as the manager, Barbaro Garbey as hitting coach, and David Rosario the pitching coach. (Davis was the manager at Boise in 2010, and Garbey and Rosario were coaches at Peoria). Robinson Chirinos will also likely be playing winter ball in Venezuela.

Phil: This isn't the first time you've mentioned LaRoche and Huff are Dunn alternates, presumably because of their power and lefthandedness. (And unlike trade candidate Prince Fielder, they're much more affordable.)

But what about Carlos Pena, whose batting average is likely going to scare away some teams? Any chance he's one of those Dunn alternates? I don't even know who this guy's free agent comparables would be, and I have no idea what he's going to earn, but he does sport a good SLG and OBP (relative to his BA). Coming off a bad 2010 and in a crowded 1B market, my presumption is he might end up being a bargain and that the league switch could benefit him.

Carlos Pena's agent is Scott Boras. Not likely to get a bargain there.

Supply and demand - number of FA 1B's who expect to get $10M+ guaranteed this winter > number of teams who have that money to spend (and that ratio is further proven by two teams - SD and MIL - who might trade their $$ 1B and not spend a lot replacing them)

Someone's going to get Abreu'd - you don't think it's possible that it might end up being the guy with the .199 batting average?

he'll be a DH in OAK for 4-5m soon enough.

if you're going to be over-the-hill at least hit the weight room and do some jogging with your 32+ year old ass. the guy is in worse baseball shape than his frame lets on...the injuries don't help i'm sure.

I had a wonder as I was out running a few days ago whether one of the reasons Nady is getting so much play at 1B and so much consideration from the Cubs re: bonuses is they already have some kind of handshake deal in place for next year. Cubs are trying to get as much rust knocked off of Nady as possible with eyes towards bringing him back as part of a 1B by committee (Colvin? Hoffpauir? Soto?) with an occasional RF and some PH as well.

Thanks, Phil....one last question: Is Soriano completely untradeable? If not, any guess on the max amount Ricketts would be willing to pick up?

My thoughts would be to unload him at almost any cost and keep Fukudome. At least he can play the OF and what you loose in SLG you pick up in OBA.

Submitted by George Altman on Mon, 09/27/2010 - 1:32pm.
Thanks, Phil....one last question: Is Soriano completely untradeable? If not, any guess on the max amount Ricketts would be willing to pick up?

My thoughts would be to unload him at almost any cost and keep Fukudome. At least he can play the OF and what you loose in SLG you pick up in OBA
====================================

GEORGE ALTMAN: The only way the Cubs trade Alfonso Soriano is maybe to Toronto for Vernon Wells, who has a similar contract as Soriano's (worse, actually). But for that to happen, Soriano and Wells would both have to agree to waive their NTCs, plus the Cubs would probably have to send a second player of some value (probably somebody who can play CF, like Tyler Colvin or Brett Jackson) to the Jays as part of the deal. FWIW, Alfonso Soriano plus Marlon Byrd for Vernon Wells would actually be an almost exact salary-wash over the next four years (Wells makes $86M 2011-14, while Soriano+Byrd make a combined $84M)...

Thanks again, Phil........that's what I was afraid of. Looks like the Cubs have the most expensive 4th outfielder in baseball thru 2014.

That's the problem when you sign guys for tools over production. If Soriano ran in 2006 like he does in 2010. Hendry nor Hughes wouldn't have had any interest.

Soriano had 362 total bases in 2006. In four of the last five seasons (not counting this year), Pujols had fewer TBs than that. This year, Pujols is at 346, so I guess this weekend he's likely to go over 362.

Anyway, Soriano had pretty good production back then. Everything is slipping away, not just his speed.

Age is the problem. I wouldn't want Holliday's contract in my safe, and I might even feel the same way next year about Pujols' new contract.

The dumbest thing Hendry ever said had to do with Neifi and latching onto guys who could catch the ball; but the second dumbest might have been when he said that wristy hitters age well. I'm not sure who he meant, but my recollection is that Banks aged quickly. I notice that the last time he hit 40 HRs, he was 29.

Soriano always had poor plate discipline. His whole game was wrist and bat speed. So you could reasonably expect that any slippage would be quite noticeable.

The thing is, Soriano is STILL a good player. Just not worth 18 Million dollars. He wasn't worth that kind of money in 2007 really either though. He had a career year and we bought at the highest possible value. The guy Lost his arbitration battle with Washington heading into 2006. He asked for 12 and the arbitrator have him 10. How that equaled 18 over 8 just 9 months later I don't really know?

It may have something to do with the fact that he moved to a position where his defense didn't hurt the team so much and he hit 46 HR's and stole 41 bases - just a hunch.

Show me your list of free agents coming off 40/40 years who got $10 million in 2006 dollars.

Hank Aaron is probably the most commonly pointed to example of a "wrist hitter" and he aged well. Eric Davis was another guy, hard to say with him, but he did have a very nice year late in his career.

yeesh...lineup...of course we'll win, though

fuld/castro/dewitt/nady/fuku/sori/scales/w.castillo

yow...blake hawksworth needed 30 lip/mouth stitches.

Did he lose any teeth? I'd be shocked if he didn't have a few at least loosened up.

Did they sew his mouth shut? Cardinals never say anything of value anyway.

3 batters, 0 outs, 1 HR, 3-0 STL top 1st.

awesome.

BB, wild pitch, BB, holliday steals 3rd on the pitch.

corners, 0 outs.

infield popout, infield popout, basehit to left/center...

2 outs, 4-0...pitcher up before he throws a pitch...awesome.

-edit- finally, 3 outs. go ninja. where you're going i don't care.

Brad Snyder hits the ball pretty hard.

I wonder if there isn't some way we could see more Snyder and less Nady. Or at least more Hoffpauir--give him a chance to demonstrate some sort of value to the club.

I'd like to see more Castillo and less Hill while we're at it.

broken bat (by cardinal) hits alan trammel...he seems okay, though. he got the blunt end of the bat.

8-7 stl/chc in the bottom 7th...it's getting interesting.

and so ends the last wrigley field game of 2010...with a loss.

3.5 from catching Nats for 7th spot this week, 3 up on Brewers from falling to 9th spot

Sure, that sounds fine now, but weren't we looking at the #5 overall not too long ago? Freaking Quade.

Not much point in worrying about our draft spot since there is nothing in recent history to suggest we are going to draft anyone in the consensus top 100 anyway. This isn't meant to knock Wilken--our drafts sure have improved from the pre Wilken days.

Vitters was generally considered to be the best HS bat in the draft... maybe we should have gone "outside the top 100" then too.

Thanks a ton for these reports, AZ Phil. I couldn't wait to hear some more news about Reggie Golden and Kim. Good stuff. It's nice to see Rhoderick show some flashes as well. He and Kurcz would look awfully nice in the 7th and 8th innings, setting up Marmol.

"According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Rangers have inked a 20-year, $3 billion television extension with FOX Sports Southwest."

WTF really?

150m a year for baseball TV rights to a medium-sized market with in-state competition?

woah.

More like a $3 million annual extension.

Reports are coming out that is more like $1.5-$1.6B. Even if that is true, it is a helluva' lot of money.

And I'm not sure what TRN.

via ye olde liberal brainwashing illuminati-controlled media, aka Reuters:

"SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- A jury convicted a drunken driver of murder Monday in the deaths of promising rookie Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two of his friends.

Andrew Gallo, 23, held white rosary beads and occasionally looked up at jurors as they returned convictions on three counts of second-degree murder and single counts of drunken driving, hit-and-run driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol and causing great bodily injury."

he's looking at 50 years to life...Dec. 10 sentencing...appeals expected

Obviously a tragedy for all involved.

I wonder if he'd be looking at that much time if he'd hit a non-celebrity though? Donte Stallworth got 30 days for killing pedestrian.

I don't think killing a "celebrity" has much to do with it. Stallorth was only charged with DUI and manslaughter; this guy was charged with much more (and killed three people).

Life in Prison just seems a bit harsh on a 23 year old. All I'm saying.

The guy got loaded, got behind the wheel, killed three people and, as a bonus, fled the scene. Granted, we all make mistakes, but...

What's the appropriate punishment for this crime then?

Not sure what appropriate punishment is? But it was obviously not pre-meditated. So a 1st degree murder punishment just seems a little steep.

Not saying it wasn't a horrible event.

"Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion" or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life."

Not a lawyer, but #2 would seem to fit here.

All around sad. That is all I was saying.

How the hell did Donte Stallworth skate with only 30 days?

better lawyer?

Stallworth pleaded guilty and his insurance company made a nice payment to the family and the prosecution seemed willing to accept a lower sentence. Also, the victim allegedly wasn't in a crosswalk when struck as he was trying to catch a bus, and the entire burden of the accident wasn't on Stallworth. I believe this is somewhat unique to Florida law that if the lawyers can partially blame the victim for the accident, there's a lesser sentence.

Not really justifying that he got just 30 days, but that appears to be what happened.

he's a repeat DWI offender. that helped along with being charged with 2nd degree murder rather than manslaughter.

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