39 players are on 40-MAN ROSTER (roster is full)
One player has been DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT(does not count against 40-man roster)
Three players are on 60-DAY DL (do not count against 40-man roster)
14 players have been optioned to the minors
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* James Russell
* Travis Wood
# Dioner Navarro
* Anthony Rizzo
* Luis Valbuena
* Julio Borbon
* David DeJesus
* Nate Schierholtz
* Ryan Sweeney
15-DAY DL (0):
60-DAY DL (3):
Scott Baker, P
* Steve Clevenger, C-IF
Arodys Vizcaino, P
Alberto Cabrera, P
Rafael Dolis, P
* Brett Jackson, OF
Junior Lake, IF-OF
Trey McNutt, P
* Brooks Raley, P
* Chris Rusin, P
Eduardo Sanchez, P
Dave Sappelt, OF
Jorge Soler, OF
Matt Szczur, OF
Christian Villanueva, 3B
Josh Vitters, 3B-1B
* Logan Watkins, INF
The Gist: The odds were pretty low heading into the game that the Cubs could win it with the Astros best pitcher going and the Cubs going with a guy on a 45-50 pitch count limit. At least they didn't waste our time making it suspenseful. It started with the first batter for the Astros with Michael Bourne taking advantage of the lefty making his first major league start. Knowing that he's going to be falling off to the third base side of the mound and probably just worried about throwing strikes with that pitch count limit, Bourne executed a perfect bunt to the first basemen that Russell had no chance to get to the base in time. And then they did the exact same thing with the next batter. Give 'em some props for the smart baseball.
The Gist: The first three times through the order, the Cubs one through three hitters went 7/8 with a walk and the Cubs first stolen base on the season(overall 7/13 with 2 BB's). The 4-9 hitters went 1/21 with 4 BB's for the night. The lesson learned? Try to bunch your hot/good hitters together if possible. It's insightful anaylsis like this that keeps you folks coming back for more. Castro, Barney (with a sweet hit'n run triple) and Byrd did the most damage with an assist by Soriano on a clutch 2-out double in the first (that being the 1 of the 1/21 from above). In all seriousness though, managers do tend to worry about protection and putting guys in front of other hitters to see good pitches. It does seem - and I'm sure there have been studies on this - that just putting your 3-4 best hitters next to each other is the better plan.
The Gist: I didn't watch anything of the game, so not much to add. It's disappointing the Cubs couldn't get the win after getting to Yovani Gallardo, but disappointment and the Cubs go together like fire and gasoline. The bullpen blew it's second lead of the season, this time Kerry Wood being the culprit, leaving a fastball over the plate with Soto set up low and inside. Aramis and Byrd had the big days with the bat. Fukudome left after a few innings with a mild hamstring strain and is listed day to day. The Mendoza Line has been activated for Carlos Pena. I think I've found my new nickname for him.
The Gist: Chris Narveson pitched a gem, Matt Garza did not. Not much else to say. I believe the first two times through the Brewers lineup, the top 4 hitters had all reached base safely, somethingl ike 6/6 with a BB and a sac bunt and the bottom 5 were 0/10. Space that out and the Cubs are probaly not down 4-0, but such is the game. The big hits came from Prince Fielder of course who knocked in 4 of the 5 runs off Garza all on a bunch of lousy pitches and lousy location.
The Gist: They took away streaming video or music from my day job which means these recaps are gonna be a lot shorter and lot less interesting. I think I got home just in time to see Kerry finish his inning and the Cubs finishing it off in the 9th. The big day obviously went to Jeff Baker who clubbed a two out, 3-run home run off Randy Wolf in the 4th off a cookie that Wolf left up in the zone. Unearned runs at that, as Rickie Weeks muffed a pop-up to start the inning. Baker then later tagged Wolf again in the 6th for the Cubs sixth run and scored the seventh run in the 9th when Byrd doubled. He ended up with 4 hits on the day, all off lefties. There's something reassuring when a platoon split works out like that.
We'll see how this works. I created an account at First Inning and it allows you to track certain minor leaguers. I thought I'd try to keep up with my top 16 prospects on a nearly daily basis. You may be interested in others, but it's my list, so go get your own. They haven't made Hayden Simpson available yet, so I will add him once they do to replace Darwin Barney, who of course is with the major league club.
The Good: Ramirez and Soriano hit home runs, Marlon Byrd had two more hits today and Fukudome got on-base three times out of the leadoff spot and could have been a fourth if not for Chris Young's first amazing catch of the day. I think that about covers that section.
The Bad: ...started in thethirdinning. Willie Bloomquist continued to annoy himself to Cubs fans by singling and then easily stealing a base. Chris Young hit a liner just to the left of center that Marlon Byrd decided he needed to try and emulate Young's glove witchcraft and completely whiffed on. Bloomquist was gonna score anyway on the play if Byrd lets it drop, but now the ball is careening towards center with Soriano rushing over and the speedy Young easily going to make it to third. Soriano though fumbles the ball and then skips the relay throw and as the Diamondback announcer called it, "a little league home run". During the play, I thought Byrd missed it by a mile, but the replay looked like he just missed it by a whisker. And it did happen with 2 outs, which is when you should try and take those chances in my opinion.
Patrick Mooney of CSN is reporting on his twitter account that Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are both going to the disabled list.
Wells goes down with a forearm strain that no one knew anything about, Cashner's injury is his rotator cuff. I'm sure more details will be forthcoming. Mooney reports neither will throw for 2 weeks with the Cubs being cautious in April and Casey Coleman is sure to be one of the pitchers to join the rotation.
The Gist: It seems the weekday recaps are gonna be a little harder to get to for me. Andrew Cashner got his first major league start and threw quite well except for a 3rd inning home run to Ryan Roberts. He made it into the 6th on just 72 pitches (43 for strikes) and 10 groundballs to 5 flyballs. Then the bad news...he felt something in his shoulder and left the game with a 4-1 lead and went for an MRI, which we should hear the results tomorrow.
Something to keep in mind about Michael Bowden, is that even if he clears waivers, he can refuse an Outright Assignment to the minors & elect free-ageny because he has been outrighted previously in his career.
JOHN B: Exactly. I think if the Cubs make a deal with the Rangers, it's Texas who would want some of the Cubs ISBP value, not the other-way around.
And remember too that the best 16-year old international prospects usually sign right at the start of the ISP on July 2nd, so there could be a flurry of trades on July 2 that would allow a club like the Rangers to add ISBP values that would enable them to sign the #1 Venezuelan or Dominican prospect.
JOHN B: 2012-13 International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) values ($2.9M per club) CANNOT be traded, and 2013-14 ISBP values (which are divided into 1/4 values of unequal amounts and which vary depending on the club's 2012 winning percentage ranking) cannot be traded until the start of the 2013-14 International Signing Period (ISP) on July 2nd. (The 2012-13 ISP closes on June 15th, and no international players can be signed during the period of time extending from June 16 to July 1.
Thank you. It sounds like the Cubs could maybe even be more logical sellers of an ISBP share than buyers. Packaging a share with Garza or Feldman might increase the eliteness of the in-system prospect(s) coming back to the Cubs.
"A fastball and slider specialist, Sanchez has been a lights-out reliever in the minors and now appears fully cooked and ready to help with an MLB squad. He didn't look his best during a stint with the team in 2012, but if he stays healthy, he can still be a nasty late-inning weapon for the Cardinals in 2013, and probably for many years to come."
How is it that the best organization, with Dave Duncan, would waive this guy?
He seems to be a solid prospect. As good, or better than any bullpen shit the Cubs have currently. Oh wait...
from CBS sports and Tribune...
CBS...To make room for Garza on the roster, the Cubs earlier Tuesday designated RHP Michael Bowden for assignment. Also Tuesday, Chicago claimed RHP Eduardo Sanchez off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals and assigned him to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
Trib...The 24-year-old Sanchez had a 3.72 earned-run average in nine appearances at Triple-A Memphis. He made 43 appearances for the Cardinals in 2011 and '12, compiling a 3.40 earned-run average. Last year he had a 6.60 ERA in 17 outings for the Cardinals.