Welcome Back, Augie!

Man, when you see that Augie Ojeda is 36 you know it’s getting late.


Last night my son was megabussing home from college when he e-mailed me the news about Augie inking a minor league deal with the Cubs. A decade ago Augie was our favorite player in Des Moines. Eventually he would hit three homers playing for the Chicagoans. We saw one of them in a game at Wrigley the only other aspect of which I can recall is that the Cubs lost. The rest of the details aren’t important enough to go looking for. Later Augie came back to annoy if not exactly haunt the Cubs when he hit .444 for the Diamondbacks while they were sweeping us out of the 2007 playoffs. Ojeda’s real first name is Octavio. His initials have more potential than he ever did.


Todd Wellemeyer is a yawn. But Augie Ojeda is like magic words that reopen a closed passageway.


His playing days are numbered. Mine are long gone. The kid’s just hitting his stride. Hard to believe we were all part of the same ballclub in 2001. And now we are again.

Comments

The Augie father & son team...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3502/322631814...

When Cub sign Sam Fuld in 8 years the circle will be complete.

The Augie signing tells me that the Cubs weren't willing to let Cabrera or any of the other available veteran middle infielders compete for the starting 2B job,only a back-up spot.

It also tells me that someone on the Cubs staff has a really weird sense of humor.

more like any of the available middle infielders didn't want to compete for a bench job/possibl starter and wanted a guaranteed deal that the Cubs didn't want to give out.

21 non-roster players invited to ST...

http://m.mlb.com/chc/news/article/20110127165...

i keep forgetting angel guzman exists...

slow day...

anyone wanna bitch about the bears or matt garza or something?

He was faking the injury, obviously.

Photographic evidence:
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_s...

ken griffey jr. traded to the reds

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb...

i can't believe CIN gave up antonio perez in the trade...yow. you don't just give up a hotshot young middle IF'r like him.

also, lol...antonio perez was traded with randy winn for lou pinella at one point...and he was traded with milton bradley to OAK for andre either.

and he was traded with milton bradley to OAK for andre either.
---
why trade for Bradley when you can buy him for 3/30?

Bruce Miles with some info on the Cubans:

The Cubs aren’t commenting because all of the visa issues aren’t finalized, but they’re expecting outfielder Ruby Silva and catcher Yaniel Cabezas at their minor-league minicamp in February. Both players currently are in the Dominican Republic....

Cubs people I’ve talked with say Silva is a left-handed hitter who still could play some middle infield as well as center field. They like his athleticism, arm and speed. The Cubs seem to like Cabezas as a “catch-and-throw” guy, reminiscent of Yadier Molina, at least at this early stage and in that respect. The players’ contracts have been approved by MLB, sources said.

... Expect both of the new players to break camp with Class A Peoria.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5136

One thing I have noticed with the Cuban defectors signed by the Cubs over the past five years (Sotolongo, Tuero, Sabates, Borges, and Serrano) is that they tend to be older and more set in their ways than other Cubs Latin minor leaguers, and they seem to believe that the best instruction they're ever going to get they got in Cuba, and now they just want to play and don't really want to be bothered by the Cubs coaches.

Radio job down to Moreland or Otto.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Help me Zonk ... you're my only hope.

Thanks, that made my day. At least Plesac and Sutcliffe are out. Otto was much better on the radio in recent years when he filled in for Santo than he was with regular TV work. I do prefer Moreland, though.

I may be dumb, but I ain't stupid: Have the Cubs released the date for individual ticket sales for the regular season? The 13-pack/whatever "deal" is a no-go here.Any info kind folks?

Normally around the end/third week of February.

Yeah, that much I know. They usually provide a date by now . Thankee all the same.

Article says late Feb., IIRC, it's usually on a Friday; I'd bet 2/25 or maybe 2/18.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

It was 2/19 last year shrug

Baseball America's Top 30 Cubs Prospects from their Handbook. (Someone posted it elsewhere, I don't have it.)

1. Chris Archer
2. Brett Jackson (1)
3. Trey McNutt (2)
4. Hak-Ju Lee
5. Josh Vitters (3)
6. Chris Carpenter (4)
7. Matt Szczur (5)
8. Hayden Simpson (6)
9. Rafael Dolis (7)
10. Brandon Guyer
11. Alberto Cabrera (8)
12. Darwin Barney (9)
13. DJ LeMahieu (10)
14. Scott Maine (11)
15. Jay Jackson (12)
16. Robinson Chirinos
17. Welington Castillo (13)
18. Marcos Mateo (14)
19. Robinson Lopez (15)
20. Kyle Smit (16)
21. Logan Watkins (17)
22. Ryan Flaherty (18)
23. Reggie Golden (19)
24. Ben Wells (20)
25. Aaron Kurcz (21)
26. Brooks Raley (22)
27. Junior Lake (23)
28. Jae-Hoon Ha (24)
29. Esmailin Caridad (25)
30. Dae-Eun Rhee (26)
31. Matt Cerda (27)

Dolis, Cabrera, Barney, Mateo all rated too generously. Watkins, Golden and Raley rated too low (Golden would sneak into my top 10 post-Garza trade).

Dae-Eun Rhee, is he still around? I thought he blew out his elbow and was finished.

Austin Kirk raped Jim Callis's wife and his dog.

HAs Golden done anything to be rated that high besides his draft #?
Keep an eye on Jae-Hoon Ha and Junior Lake to move up...both making strides at young ages. Cabrera is a little high...but was solid at Daytona before faltering at AA. He's only 22..let's see what he does this year. I'd rather see Jackson or Carpenter in the pen than wasting time on Wellemeyer.

Golden struck out 7 times in 15 professional league at bats, so I can see why people are excited. Seriously though, getting into the system gives him more exposure to more people who can give their opinions on him, so his highish ranking may be valid. I would want to see some more numbers though, and some better ones, since it will probably be a couple years before I get a chance to see him play.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Sun, 01/30/2011 - 10:14am.
Golden struck out 7 times in 15 professional league at bats, so I can see why people are excited. Seriously though, getting into the system gives him more exposure to more people who can give their opinions on him, so his highish ranking may be valid. I would want to see some more numbers though, and some better ones, since it will probably be a couple years before I get a chance to see him play.

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

REAL NEAL: Although it's not a large sample size, here are Reggie Golden's numbers from AZ Instructs:

263/364/500
14 GAMES
44 PA (10-38, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R, 5 BB, 14 K, 1 HBP, 1 SB, 3 CS, 1 PO)
DEFENSE (RF-CF-LF): 3 E, 2 ASSISTS

I can tell you from having watched him that he has plus-power to all fields, he isn't afraid to take a walk (or get called out on strikes), and he has a RF arm. On the negative side he strikes out a lot (although some of that is attributable to called third strikes as the result of the very inconsistent umpiring he has to deal with in A-ball), he has (at best) just average speed, he is a poor baserunner, and he is below-average defensively. The baserunning and defense can be improved with work, but the high K-total and speed are what they are.

Also, just last season alone he suffered from a hamstring injury (HS), a sore wrist (AZL Cubs), and a strained oblique (AZ Instructs).

That said, I ranked Golden #14 in my post-2010 Cubs Top 15, and he moved up to #11 after the Garza trade. I still think he has a good chance to open the 2011 season at Peoria (if he can stay healthy).

Thanks Phil, I had forgotten that you keep track of the instruct games. What kind of swings is he taking to generate that power? You mention he has power to all fields, which makes it sound a little more controlled.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Sun, 01/30/2011 - 5:29pm.
Thanks Phil, I had forgotten that you keep track of the instruct games. What kind of swings is he taking to generate that power? You mention he has power to all fields, which makes it sound a little more controlled.

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

REAL NEAL: Reggie Golden is the classic power hitter. He's a strong kid with an elevated swing and a really good pull stroke, but he will hammer the pitch to straight away CF or to RF (even down the RF line) if he is pitched that way. He also grunts (loudly) when he swings. And he knows the strike zone, too. He gets mad when umpires miss pitches.

Sounds good - will be nice if the Cubs could actually develop a high power/OBP hitter...

Plus, his name is gold!!

Yeah, I can't help but wonder if he didn't have a HoF'ers first name and his surname if he'd be a little less well liked.

You think he would be rated lower if his name was Fred Stinkbottom?

Submitted by Dusty Baylor on Sun, 01/30/2011 - 9:29am.
HAs Golden done anything to be rated that high besides his draft #?
Keep an eye on Jae-Hoon Ha and Junior Lake to move up...both making strides at young ages. Cabrera is a little high...but was solid at Daytona before faltering at AA. He's only 22..let's see what he does this year. I'd rather see Jackson or Carpenter in the pen than wasting time on Wellemeyer.

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

DUSTY B: I like Jay Jackson more as a starting pitcher because he has four pitches in his arsenal (including an above-average fastball and a plus slider), he is a well-conditioned all-around athlete, and he is one of the best-hitting pitchers in minor league baseball. You can't take advantage of his bat if he works out of the pen. He's probably the one pitcher in the Cubs systenm who could be successfully moved to CF (a la Rick Ankiel) if things don't work out on the mound. I suspect J. Jackson might be used as a trading chip if the Cubs can't find a spot for him in the starting rotation.

Chris Carpenter throws about 4 MPH harder when working out of the pen than when he is used as a starter and he doesn't have J. Jackson's bat or athleticism, so I would say Carpenter's future (presuming he stays with the Cubs) is probably in the bullpen, although he could start if needed, and he probably will be used as a startter at Iowa in 2011 to get him more innings of minor league experience and to force him to keep using his secondary stuff (which he probably would not do if working out of the pen).

There are some pitchers who are developed as relievers from the git-go, either because they have one or two pitches with no likelihood that they will develop a third, or because they are effective but just don't have the stamina to throw multiple innings. Most minor league starters can work out of the bullpen at the big league level if necessary (and most MLB relievers were starting pitchers in the minors), the one exception being soft-tossing lefties, who make their bones pitching to contact and working hitters over the course of three ABs (this would also apply to some RHP, too). And then there are the good hitting pitchers (like Jay Jackson) who can give an N. L. club an edge by providing a 9th bat in the lineup. But most managers like relievers who throw hard and who can get strikeouts and pop ups, at least in the 7-8-9 inning roles.

jay jackson can't get any love from the prospect list makers...a lot has to do with that whole "relief or starter?" thing i'd imagine.

i find the kid and his stuff pretty damn interesting, especially given his age.

though not similar in size or style (yeah, i know...i know), i see him as a guy who's value in the cubs system is/was similar to jeff neimann from TB. neimann's value was a bit lost in the shuffle of other arms once his round-1 "wow factor" wore off, but he had/has great middle-rotation stuff, imo.

Another thing about Jay Jackson is that he is nearly two years younger than Chris Carpenter, and yet J. Jax spent the entire 2010 season at AAA (in what was just his second full minor league season), while Carp spent most of the year at AA after nursing a sore arm at Minor League Camp and EXST.

I wonder if Burgess or Morris would crack that list. Probably so since it's a top 27 currently.

via twooter...

"Braden Looper's deal w/ #Cubs pays him about $1M salary if he makes club. If he's fulltime starter, it can max out around $3M w/incentives"

via rotowurld: "We like (Freddie) Garcia better than the recently-signed Bartolo Colon, but that isn't saying much. As of now, he'll compete with Colon, Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre for one of the final two spots in the starting rotation."

man...$200 million don't buy what it used to, eh yanks?

Recent comments

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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 16 min 2 sec ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 24 min 1 sec ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 56 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 59 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 15 hours 2 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 15 hours 45 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 15 hours 56 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 16 hours 2 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 16 hours 6 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 16 hours 17 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 16 hours 23 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 16 hours 39 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 22 hours 3 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 22 hours 35 min ago view