AZL Cubs Rally for Four in 8th to Defeat A's at HoHoKam

Mixing two singles with two walks, two wild pitches, an error, a stolen base, and two sacrifice flies, the AZL Cubs scored four in the 8th to break a 1-1 tie and defeat the AZL A's 5-1 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park Sunday night in Mesa.



box score


With the game tied at one, Blair Springfield drew a lead-off walk on a 3-2 pitch to get the Cubs 8th inning started. Speedy Vismeldy Bieneme was sent into the game as a pinch-runner, and proceeded to steal 2nd base and advance to 3rd on the catcher's E-2 overthrow. He then scored on a Wild Pitch. Cody Shields followed by reaching base on a strike out/WP, beating the throw to 1st by a step. Pin-Chieh Chen looped a single down the LF line to move Shields to 2nd base, and Elliot Soto followed by drilling an RBI single into the 5.5 hole, scoring Shields, as Chen moved up to 3rd and Soto advanced to 2nd on the throw to the plate. After Ryan Cuneo was walked intentionally to load the bases and set-up a force at any base, Anthony Giansanti and Sergio Burruel hit consecutive F-7 sacrifice flies to plate Chen and Soto with the 3rd and 4th runs of the inning.     


The Cubs had previously tied the game in the bottom of the 6th on consecutive two-out singles by Chen (a line drive sliced to LF), Soto (a high chopper that the 3rd baseman could not field cleanly), and Cuneo (a rocket ground ball through the box into CF). 


Two more Cubs made their pro debut tonight, and both 15th round pick (and Algonquin, IL native) SS Elliot Soto (Creighton) and 23rd round selection RHP Matt Loosen (Jacksonville U.) had a hand in the victory.


Soto (considered one of the top defensive shortstops in college baseball) had two hits (including an RBI single) and made two flashy plays at shortstop, one a rangy stop and no-look back-handed flip that started a 6-4-3 DP, and another a full-steam running pick-up and off-balance throw to 1st to nail the batter and keep the go-ahead run off base in the 8th.  


Loosen got credit for the victory, throwing 1.2 IP (20 pitches -15 strikes), allowing one hit (a single) while striking out one.


2009 16th round draft pick CF Cody Shields (AU - Montgomery) also made his "official" pro debut tonight (he missed the 2009 season recovering from TJS), although he had seen a lot of action in Extended Spring Training prior to breaking his hand in an intrasquad game about a month ago.


AA Tennessee LHP Casey Lambert (2009 TJS rehab) made his second AZL rehab start tonight, throwing two innings (25 pitches - 22 strikes) and allowing one run on three hits and no walks, while striking out three. RHP Eduardo Figueroa followed Lambert with five innings of one-hit shutout ball, walking one while striking out five (by far the best he's looked in his two years in Mesa), and RHP Jadel Mendez relieved Matt Loosen with a runner on base and two outs in the top of the 9th, before getting a strike out (swinging) to end the game.    


In AZL Cubs roster news, RHP Manolin DeLeon (2010 knee surgery) has moved up to Peoria (he was at Daytona last season), RHP Aaron Kurcz (2010 10th round pick out of the College of Southern Nevada), LHP Eric Jokisch (2010 11th round pick out of Northwestern), and INF Pierre LePage (2010 13th round pick out of the University of Connecticut) have ben promoted to Boise, RHP Jesse Ginley (2009 NDFA) has been moved down from Boise to the AZL Cubs, and 3B-1B-C Bobby Wagner (2009 38th round pick out of Panola JC) has been released. (Wagner tried to make the conversion to catcher in Extended Spring Training, but it just didn't work out).


As for the three who got their tickets punched to Boise, Kurcz may not have the stamina or repertoire to be a starter, but he does have the earmarks of a closer or 8th inning set-up man (he throws mid-90's gas), Jokisch is a polished college lefty who (if he can stay healthy) could move quickly through the system, and LePage began his pro career last week like a house afire, getting seven hits and two SB in his first two games before the promotion to Boise. (LePage struck out just three times in 278 PA at U-Conn in 2010).   

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Comments

Now that they don't own the team...actually telling fans to stop going to games if they want to send Ricketts a message.

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

Yeah, that really worked in the 50's...

I would target sending Zambrano to Texas, where he can get coaching from Mike Maddux and Nolan Ryan, and targeting Chris Davis in return.

Davis plays excellent defense, and you probably wont get a better talent like that in return. We don't plan on competing in the next few years with the roster we have so give Davis a shot over the next couple years, its better than watching the traveling sideshows of Ron Coomers try and fill out the position.

Texas has no money and are one of the teams that makes a big deal about "chemistry".

Oswalt is a better fit, and they probably can't afford him.

You're the best AZ Phil.

Draft rules question for you (or someone else with the knowledge). Now, if a player goes to a 4 yr. college, he isn't draftable until after his 3rd year or 21st birthday. Has that always been the rule? Or did they used to draft freshmen too?

I'll hang up and listen for my answer.

Submitted by QuietMan on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 9:42am.
You're the best AZ Phil.

Draft rules question for you (or someone else with the knowledge). Now, if a player goes to a 4 yr. college, he isn't draftable until after his 3rd year or 21st birthday. Has that always been the rule? Or did they used to draft freshmen too?

I'll hang up and listen for my answer.

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

QUIET MAN: It's been that way since the draft was instituted in 1965. A player attending a four-year college cannot be drafted until after his Junior year OR until he turns 21 (and he can be 20 on draft day, but he has to turn 21 within 45 days after the draft).

One change that did occur over the years is that there used to be two drafts, one in January and the "big one" in June. The January draft was mainly for Junior College players (JC players could be drafted every six month), and any HS player or player from a four-year college who did not enroll in a four-year college for the Fall term.

There also were two phases to each of the drafts, the "Secondary Phase" reserved for players who were selected in the previous draft but did not sign.

Az Phil -

With Ricketts in charge, the major league team being a total disaster this year, and a bunch of bad contracts looming for the coming 2 years do you envision the owner allowing an acutal "rebuilding process" to occur at Wrigley? I would envision the following: a) Trade all valuable commodities (some more valuable than others) such as Lilly, D.Lee, Nady, Silva, Theriot and b) Make an attempt to offload other players to save money (i.e. - we'll pay some/most of their salary if you take them) - Fukudome, Soriano (no chance), etc.

It seems to me that the best approach for this team would be to let the young kids play to see what we truly have and build towards 2012-13. This team needs to have Castro, Colvin, Cashner, Jay Jackson, HJ Lee and Brett Jackson (in 2 yrs) as the focal points of success if it is ever going to be good. May as well let Samardzija back up to see if he can hack it in the 2nd half of the season, right? Let Barney see if he can be a serviceable backup 2B/SS at the ML level. Let the kids play and then add 2-3 key FA's when we would have money to throw at them - I'd envision a 1B in 2012 (A.Gonzalez or Prince) to plug the middle of our lineup and a staff ace to support some young arms. Please give me your thoughts on the cubs best and likely approach this and the next 2 years. Thanks!

Submitted by Cubs Win on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 9:44am.
Az Phil -

With Ricketts in charge, the major league team being a total disaster this year, and a bunch of bad contracts looming for the coming 2 years do you envision the owner allowing an acutal "rebuilding process" to occur at Wrigley? I would envision the following: a) Trade all valuable commodities (some more valuable than others) such as Lilly, D.Lee, Nady, Silva, Theriot and b) Make an attempt to offload other players to save money (i.e. - we'll pay some/most of their salary if you take them) - Fukudome, Soriano (no chance), etc.

It seems to me that the best approach for this team would be to let the young kids play to see what we truly have and build towards 2012-13. This team needs to have Castro, Colvin, Cashner, Jay Jackson, HJ Lee and Brett Jackson (in 2 yrs) as the focal points of success if it is ever going to be good. May as well let Samardzija back up to see if he can hack it in the 2nd half of the season, right? Let Barney see if he can be a serviceable backup 2B/SS at the ML level. Let the kids play and then add 2-3 key FA's when we would have money to throw at them - I'd envision a 1B in 2012 (A.Gonzalez or Prince) to plug the middle of our lineup and a staff ace to support some young arms. Please give me your thoughts on the cubs best and likely approach this and the next 2 years. Thanks!

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

CUBS WIN: I think Ricketts wants to build the team mainly from within (through scouting and the farm system), and will want long-term replacements to come through the farm system whenever possible. That doesn't mean that the Cubs GM (Hendry or his replacement) won't be able to make a deal like the ones Hendry made for Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee a few years ago, but it does mean that FA signings like the ones where Soriano, Lilly, Fukudome, et al were signed to big bucks multi-year contracts will be a thing of the past. I also doubt that the Cubs will be giving out any more "player options." If the Cubs do sign a free-agent, the Marlon Byrd contract will probably become the template, and one-year deals ("rent-a-player") will become more common.

As for the Cubs immediate future, I can't see D-Lee or Lilly coming back in 2011, so if the Cubs can trade one or both (and Lilly will be a lot easier to trade than Lee), that will happen sometime in the next month. Then Tyler Colvin could be moved to 1B, leaving a spot open for Brett Jackson for whenever he's ready (probably sometime next season). Jackson has CF range but a below-average arm so he has to play CF, unless Soriano moves to 1B, in which case Colvin could play RF and B. Jackson could play CF or LF.

Geovany Soto is another possibility for 1B in 2011, with Welington Castillo taking over behind the plate. W. Castillo is still a bit raw (he's only 23) and he does strike out a lot, but he also has above-average power for a catcher (he's slugging .500+ at Iowa in 2010), and has thrown-out 40%+ of oppposing base-stealers 2009-10.

I doubt that Ricketts will want the Cubs to outright "eat" any of the "bad" contracts (Soriano, Zambrano, and Fukudome), instead preferring to trade one bad contract for another (like the Bradley-for-Silva deal). One possibility could be Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Theriot to the Mets for Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez (essentially a financial "wash" in 2010-11), even if O. Perez isn't the equal of Zambrano and even though L. Castillo is on the downside of his career.

I think it's not unlikely that if they can't find a taker, that the Cubs will keep Kosuke Fukudome and play him in RF (everyday or platoon) in 2011, especially if Colvin moves to 1B and Brett Jackson isn't ready.

Zambrano isn't a clubhouse cancer or a social outcast like Milton Bradley. He will fit in with any team in the major leagues.

The Rangers may be financially strapped but thats mainly because the Rangers have sucked since 1998, but nothing like a playoff run to bring people back to the ball park. You can credit Nolan Ryan for being an outstanding hands on president of baseball operations in Texas for starting that turn around.

Texas has a 70 million dollar payroll and Kinsler (28) and Young (33) aren't getting any younger. Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are both 29. There is about a 3-4 year window of opportunity to win a WS with the Rangers current roster.

They will try and add a big money pitcher this year.

Thanks for the breakdown Phil - As a follow up to how they rebuild, do you have an updated top 5-10 list of guys still in the minors now that our big 2 are in the bigs (Castro and Cashner). I'm guessing B.Jackson, Lee, J.Jackson and Vitters are top 4 but I am interested in who has shown big jumps this season thus far. Thanks!

Submitted by Cubs Win on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 10:45am.
Thanks for the breakdown Phil - As a follow up to how they rebuild, do you have an updated top 5-10 list of guys still in the minors now that our big 2 are in the bigs (Castro and Cashner). I'm guessing B.Jackson, Lee, J.Jackson and Vitters are top 4 but I am interested in who has shown big jumps this season thus far. Thanks!

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

CUBS WIN: While Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin no longer qualify for the list, Andrew Cashner does.

So I would have my Top 15 this way today:

1. Andrew Cashner, RHP
2. Jay Jackson, RHP
3. Brett Jackson, OF
4. Josh Vitters, 3B
5. Welington Castillo, C
6. Hak-Ju Lee, SS
7. Chris Carpenter, RHP
8. Trey McNutt, RHP
9. Darwin Barney, SS
10. Chris Archer, RHP
11. D. J. Lemahieu, INF
12. Brandon Guyer, OF
13. Ryan Flaherty, INF
14. Chris Rusin, LHP
15. Thomas Diamond, RHP

I'm really hoping McNutt and Jockisch are on the MLB Cubs at the same time at some point.

I wonder if McNutt is on that list now. . . I also wonder if this year's current first rounder will make that list by the end of the year.

I really like that you are so high on Jay Jackson....the Cubs will really need Cashner and Jackson to contribute (be front line starters) in the coming years to rebuild this thing. Do you see Castillo and Soto being able to platoon next season? There seems to be a significant drop off in top line talent after #6....it goes from core talent to possible contributors, is this an accurate assessment?

Submitted by Cubs Win on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 11:06am.
I really like that you are so high on Jay Jackson....the Cubs will really need Cashner and Jackson to contribute (be front line starters) in the coming years to rebuild this thing. Do you see Castillo and Soto being able to platoon next season? There seems to be a significant drop off in top line talent after #6....it goes from core talent to possible contributors, is this an accurate assessment?

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

CUBS WIN: I would agree that there is a drop-off after #6 (or maybe #8), but that is still a pretty decent group of top prospects, especially if you remember that Castro and Colvin just came off the list a few days ago after reaching 140 AB.

I believe Welington Castillo is a much better prospect than some others have claimed, and that he will be the Cubs #1 catcher eventually. He could be in the big leagues as early as next season, especially if Geovany Soto moves to 1B full-time (or even part-time). Bottom line is I believe W. Castillo will replace Soto as the Cubs primary catcher in the near future because Castillo shuts-down the running game, and that Soto will be playing a lot of 1B once D-Lee is gone. Whether Soto plays 1B full-time or in a platoon with a LH hitter is TBD, and it won't happen at all if the Cubs move Soriano to 1B next season.

Soriano to first base seems like a disaster to me. Do you have an opinion on Soriano's defensive potential at first base? I know he started his career in Japan as a 3B, but after watching him in LF for the past few years, I just see him losing his concentration and screwing up easy plays over there. But maybe being on the infield would help him?

no one ever likes putting a right handed guy on 1st because of how it effects the footwork, but it might be a necessity given what the cubs have vs. what new players need playing time...and the whole $$ thing restricting the movement of some players.

It's not just footwork, it's also throwing to second and applying tags on pickoffs.

I am not sure I could get onto the "the Fielders can play 1st but Soriano couldn't" bandwagon. I am sure he'd be fine, if a bit short.

yeah, it's more of a "i'd rather not do that" from a manager/GM/etc view than "this could be a disaster" thing.

you lose a bit of reach, you lose some of your angles, etc etc...but it's not like putting b.molina in CF or something. there's plenty of RH 1st who do it just fine.

Submitted by Charlie on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 1:40pm.
Soriano to first base seems like a disaster to me. Do you have an opinion on Soriano's defensive potential at first base? I know he started his career in Japan as a 3B, but after watching him in LF for the past few years, I just see him losing his concentration and screwing up easy plays over there. But maybe being on the infield would help him?

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

CHARLIE: It would probably be a disaster, but that doesn't mean the Cubs wouldn't try it.

Az -

Looking at the near term (the next 2-3 years), this is how I see this team taking shape:

C - Soto and Castillo
1B - Free Agent or Colvin (no in house options - probably need a big bat to help the young kids mature). Look for one year deal next year (LaRoche, Huff, even D.Lee again)
2B/SS - Castro/HJ Lee/Barney (may need a 2B FA for a year or two like Orlando Hudson due to his "Makeup" which is suddenly important for this team).
3B - Aramis / Vitters in a few years.
OF - Soriano, Byrd, Colvin, Brett Jackson

SP - Dempster, Cashner, Jay Jackson, Silva/Wells/Gorzallony. Most likely will add a FA starter at some point. Will need an ace but probably too soon to add Cliff Lee at year end. Will add someone in 2012 most likely.

RP - Marmol, Marshall and a bunch of young guys (Caridad, Guzman, Russell, Stevens, etc). We'll probably bargain hunt for veterans for the 8th inning role (Wood on the cheap next year). Cubs better lock up Marmol or they are a total mess in the pen.

Is this reasonable?

Since irresponsible provocative speculation is the life-blood of TCR, If I had to guess today on the Cubs 2011 Opening Day roster, I would say...

STARTING PITCHERS: Ryan Dempster, Carlos Silva, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells, and Tom Gorzelanny, with Jay Jackson, Thomas Diamond, Chris Carpenter, Casey Coleman, and Hung-Wen Chen at AAA.

BULLPEN: Carlos Marmol, Andrew Cashner, Sean Marshall, Jeff Stevens, Esmailin Caridad, John Grabow, and Jeff Samardzija, with David Cales, Brian Schlitter, John Gaub, Blake Parker, James Russell, Justin Berg, and Scott Maine at AAA.

CATCHERS: Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill (Soto also would play some 1B), with Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger, and Chris Robinson at AAA.

INFIELDERS: Jeff Baker, Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Mike Fontenot, Aramis Ramirez, and Ryan Theriot (Colvin also would play some OF), with Matt Spencer, Tony Thomas, Nate Samson, Marquez Smith, and Matt Camp at AAA.

OUTFIELDERS: Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome, Brad Snyder, and Alfonso Soriano, with Ty Wright, Brett Jackson, James Adduci, and Tony Campana at AAA.

The Cubs will probably try to trade Zambrano and Fukudome during the off-season (Soriano is virtually untradeable), and Theriot also could get moved (traded or even non-tendered). I would think that the Cubs will non-tender RHP Angel Guzman (shoulder surgery rehab) on 12/12 and then try and re-sign him to a minor league deal with a low base salary for 2011 so that he can contunue his rehab at Fitch Park.

Sam Fuld, Micah Hoffpauir, and Jeff Gray will be out of minor league options in 2011 and will likely get traded during the off-season, although one, two or even all three could survive into Spring Training and be given an opportunity to compete for a job on the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster, unless their slots on the 40-man roster are needed for younger prospects post-2010 (by the 11/20 pre-Rule 5 Draft roster freeze).

Unfortunately, the Cubs roster might not be very much different in 2011 than it is right now, with the only hope being that the three C's (Cashner, Castro, and Colvin) will continue to improve, and that two or three other prospects will surface in MLB sometime next season. I doubt that the Cubs will be much involved in the free-agent market post-2010.

It's also possible that the Cubs will be able to acquire one or two fairly good prospects (TBD) in exchange for Ted Lilly, and depending on how advanced the prospects are, a Lilly deal could affect the Cubs 2011 25-man roster (especially if one is a MLB-ready 1B, or a RH OF who could platoon with Fukudome, or an MLB-ready reliever). However, I suspect the guys the Cubs would get back for Lilly would be decent prospects, but they would be at the "A" ball level and so they would not surface for at least a couple of years.

Provocative speculation is always fun, but in reality, the likelihood of all of those young guys doing that well is pretty low. Some won't pan out. This post 2-3 years ago would show Felix Pie, Eric Patterson, etc. on this 2010 team, and probably wouldn't have had Colvin there. That's simply the nature of prospect development.

WISC: That's why it's called irresponsible provocative speculation.

Been going through fangraphs for pitchers and seeing what pitchers throw and the average velocity.

Just for fun i looked at Kerry Wood, whose fastball velocity is about as good as its ever been but he has abandoned his slider which he used to throw about 25% of the time, also he doesn't use his cut fastball or changeup anymore. He is relying more on his curveball but any scouting report would suggest just sit fastball and tee off.

Maybe due to injuries he can't throw those anymore, but maybe he needs to go back to throwing his slider, which he did have a pretty good one.

Just found it interesting.

kerry's still got his slider and it's rocking 87-90mph.

it doesn't have the movement it used to, but he throws it harder.

fangraphs used to be a lot more stable with info, but i think (because they're doing this with many players) they're seeing that high-80s slider and thinking it's something else.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/06/...

should be back this week

"Probably a four- or five-game suspension would suffice," he said. "As much attention as the incident received in Chicago, you really can't justify a suspension of more than that for acting like a goof and arguing with a teammate."

It was just another example of Hendry having awful timing as to when he gave that deal.

If you remember, the offseason before he signed Z to the extension. Supposedly Z would have extended for 4/42 or something along those lines? Surely someone other than me can recall.

Whether it was Zell or Hendry, waiting 6 months to extend Z almost doubled the total contract value.

You may have heard that somewhere, but the show me the list of guys who finished in the top 5 of Cy Young voting in two of three years at age 25 who were looking for a 4 year deals for a $2 million pay cut for the privalage of singing one.

At the time I said signing starting pitchers to long deals is always a bad idea, but there's no way in hell anyone who knew anything thought Z would take a contract close to what you mentioned there.

It was a 5th year of service time contract.

Usually you can get a pretty good discount by buying out arbitration and the first couple years of free agency.

Unfortunately when the cubs signed him. He was in the middle of his free agency season. The Cubs leverage had already expired.

List one comparable player. There's no way he was going to sign a contract that was that short for that cheap. In his sixth year he made $12.5 million...

Longoria, and Braun and Nate McLouth off the top of my head.

those guys were bought out before their first year of arbitration.

If I recall Oswalt is the best comparable...

# 5 years/$73M (2007-11), plus 2012 club option

* signed extension with Houston 8/06
* 07:$13M, 08:$13M, 09:$14M, 10:$15M, 11:$16M, 12:$16M club option ($2M buyout)

compared to

# 5 years/$91.5M (2008-12), plus 2013 vesting option

* signed extension with Cubs 8/17/07
* $5M signing bonus
* 08:$15M, 09:$17.75M, 10:$17.875M, 11:$17.875M, 12:$18M, 13:$19.25M vesting player option

Texas of course has no state tax so someone smarter than me can calculate what the take home pay actually is, on top of Z being younger when he signed the deal.

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/11...

Speculations had been Zambrano could have gotten a seven-year, $140M deal in free agency, but Zambrano said, “Not everything is about the money. … I feel comfortable [in Chicago].” Ginnetti noted the deal is “somewhat greater than the estimated five-year package the sides were close to signing in spring training before the Cubs’ sale was announced,"

and TCR reactions
http://www.thecubreporter.com/2007/08/17/appe...

I could be totally wrong. I just seem to remember that people were up in arms that Zell buying the club caused the Cubs to delay the extension. Which in turn drove up the price considerably.

My recollection was that before arbitration there was a 4 year 40 something contract on the table. Hendry had to pull the offer due to the Trib/Zell sale.

That team for 2011 does not excite me one bit.

What is the point in having Wells, Gorzo, Silva in the rotation and Cashner and Jackson out of it? Does Chicago think Cashner is going to stay in the pen or is that your general feel?

Submitted by Cubs Win on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 12:22pm.
That team for 2011 does not excite me one bit.

What is the point in having Wells, Gorzo, Silva in the rotation and Cashner and Jackson out of it? Does Chicago think Cashner is going to stay in the pen or is that your general feel?

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

CUBS WIN: I believe Andrew Cashner will remain in the bullpen for the forseeable future.

What's the word on Esmailin Caridad's injury?

Submitted by QuietMan on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 12:41pm.
What's the word on Esmailin Caridad's injury?

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

QUIET MAN: Last I heard a few weeks ago, he had a sprained elbow ligament.

He's probably a TJS candidate, but I don't think he's had surgery yet. If he can get better with just rest & exercise, he'll probably be back this season.

damn...darin downs (former cub farmhand) pitching for AAA durham (TB)...i thought he was done after fracturing his skull last year.

he had a decent "comeback" in AA and was moved to AAA recently for the first time.

More minor league moves today for the Cubs:

RHPs Chris Archer and Aaron Shafer move up to to Tennessee from Daytona, RHPs Alberto Cabrera and Alessandro Maestri go down to Daytona from Tennessee, C-IF-OF Jonathan Mota moves up to Daytona from Peoria, and C Luis Flores goes down to to Peoria from Daytona.

Archer replaces Cabrera in the Tennessee starting rotation, and Shafer can share the Smokies closer job with David Cales and possibly Rafael Dolis (if Dolis does not remain a starter at AA).

Cabrera is a good prospect but he really struggled at AA. Both Archer and Shafer need to be challenged at a higher level, and they should get that chance at AA.

Jonathan Mota gives the D-Cubs a third catcher who can play all over the diamond, while Flores should get more-regular playing time behind the plate at Peoria than he did at Daytona (where he had to share the backstop job with both Michael Brenly and Mark Reed, and none of the three have the versatility to play multiple positions).

Peoria is still playing with a 24-man roster, so another pitcher could get added there from Boise, probably a lefty for the bullpen (they don't have any), possibly Marcos Perez.

And LHP Casey Lambert (2009 TJS) should be ready to move up to a higher level (probably either Daytona or Tennessee) after rehabbing in Mesa (Extended Spring Training and AZL Cubs).

RHP David Patton is a release candidate at Daytona. He has had an atrocious year down there. And to think Casey McGehee was dropped from the 40-man roster to open up a spot on the 40 so that the Cubs could select Patton in the December 2008 Rule 5 Draft.

Jeez AZ PHIL - you had to remind us of another excellent management move with Patton? ugh.

Does Alessandro Maestri have a shot at making a MLB club down the road? Or, will he just punt and move to the "Pasta Circuit" in his own country?

Submitted by The E-Man on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 2:51pm.
Jeez AZ PHIL - you had to remind us of another excellent management move with Patton? ugh.

Does Alessandro Maestri have a shot at making a MLB club down the road? Or, will he just punt and move to the "Pasta Circuit" in his own country?

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

E-MAN: RHP Alessandro Maestri and 2B Dwayne Kemp were the two guys the Cubs signed out of the MLB Euro Academy, and while there were high hopes for both when they signed, it's beginning to look like snake eyes.

Kemp was released out of Minor League Camp this past March and is playing pro ball in the Netherlands (and will probably surface on the Dutch team in the next WBC), while Maestri is a likely post-2010 release candidate, before he pitches for Team Italy in the next WBC.

It was a good idea by the Cubs to try and get more International and get a beach-head in Europe, but there just wasn't much there.

Phil ~

Is there some reason that Shafer was moved to the bullpen this year after anchoring the starting staff at Peoria last year?

He has put up some pretty spectacular numbers out of the pen so far, but I really thought his future was in the rotation. His '09 numbers were somewhat pedestrian, but he seemed to have the stuff and the stamina necessary for success as a starter.

Thanks in advance.

Submitted by rob9999 on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 3:36pm.
Phil ~

Is there some reason that Shafer was moved to the bullpen this year after anchoring the starting staff at Peoria last year?

He has put up some pretty spectacular numbers out of the pen so far, but I really thought his future was in the rotation. His '09 numbers were somewhat pedestrian, but he seemed to have the stuff and the stamina necessary for success as a starter.

Thanks in advance.

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

ROB: Aaron Shafer was sent to the bullpen only because he failed to win a job in the Daytona starting rotation in Minor League Camp (the D-Cubs were overloaded with starters), and he really took to the bullpen gig. It doesn't mean he can't be a starter again somewhere down the road, but he has been outstanding working out of the pen, actually much better than he had been as a starter. If he pitches at Tennessee like he did at Daytona, he could get to the big leagues in a hurry, which probably would not be the case if he was a starter.

BTW, Shafer has allowed no runs (earned or unearned) in the month of June.

So you're sayin that you see McNutt coming in to relieve Jockitch?

Is Carlos Silva pitching well enough that the cubs could deal him?

What if we sent along the 5.5 that Seattle sent to us? If we are really going into rebuild mode. It would seem smart to get out from his deal while the getting is good.

Just sayin

silva's 2011 being under contract for 11.5m might scare off people.

we see awesomeness keep happening, but not too many are buying into it yet. it just seems silly more of us aren't won over, but i know a lot of people (including me) that still don't quite believe what we're seeing.

I don't believe it.

That is why I am advocating sending him out if possible.

Would the 5.5 Million that Seattle sent us, be enough to dump him on someone else?

Should be owed about 12-14 million for 1 1/2 Years if we included the money.

What's the point? Silva isn't a problem. If he slips as starter his control is still so good he should be useful in the pen where he and Z can fight over the pink bag.

The Cubs offense is what's killing us and given contract restrictions the only places it can be improved next year is at first, second, and the bench.

Fire Hendry.

Agreed on Fire Hendry,

I just hate to see us go into 2011 counting on Silva's a #3 Starter.

Better to use the good fortune to get out of 12-14 Million of bad contract and use even half that money in the draft or Latin America.

Even if we used that money on a LaRoche, Huff, or Encarnacion. It is likely better used there than on Silva going forward.

Why would we want to risk him regressing and have to put his $11.5 million salary in the pen? Deal him if you can. Maybe we get something useful for the next few years.

Nothing against Silva personally, I've been thrilled by his performance, but if we're rebuilding, and we have a fair amount of young starting pitching, it's time to start plugging those guys in.

I would think that if he keeps pitching like this into next month, and we offered to pay a chunk of his 2011 salary, we should be able to get some prospect. If we're going to start rebuilding and one of the young pitchers might be ready but have no spot in the rotation, I say deal Silva. I don't want to see Atkins or Coleman or Jackson or whomever not get their innings in because of a veteran we don't necessarily need.

Kind of my point as well. Beyond the money he costs next year.

Zambrano can't stay in the pen for 2 more years. At worst he is our #5 until his contract expires.

Cashner, Jackson, Carpenter are all knocking on the door. Marshall and Gorzy are still in the Pen.

Lilly is likely (Hopefully) dealt at the deadline.

It's really time to accept our fate this year and build for a future beyond 2010 and really 2011.

Just my opinion.

"Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Marlins are "strongly considering" D'Backs third base coach Bo Porter for their managerial vacancy."

ha.

that's ex-cub bo porter...of which i happen to have over 500 rookie cards for (don't ask, it was a bulk purchase for $5 back when he was still in A-ball).

Not following too much, but I heard that Valentine had the gig.

Wha' happened?

The only thing anyone will say is "philosophical differences". I don't know if that means Valentine wanted more say so in front office moves or asked for free hookers at the post-game spread.

German Nihilist.

FLA probably doesn't want to pay him the money it's worth to him to put up with all the plane travel...dunno, though.

Hard to belive you've kept the cards this long.

Hoping he's the next Tommy Lasorda?

sadly, i just have storage space and keep them for who knows what reason. those cards (and many other failed player lots) don't take up much space or weight even if there's a few hundred.

in my "ebay days" when people had expendable money i'd buy lots like this from "box/case breakers" who'd keep the hot cards of the moment and sell the rest off so they can get to opening another few hundred packs of cards.

when you get lucky you can sell your 1-5 cent per-card investment into 10 cents to a buck+. i'd usually sell lots of 10 of a player for $1-$10 depending on how hot of a player they were at the moment. you could get some surprising turn-around on these "penny stock" card lots if you're ready to sell in smaller bulk when the stock is on the rise.

Good god. Have you figured the time spend into your equation though? Unless you just really like going through baseball cards...

Not much time. I'd go to a card show and throw down $20-$100 on various card dealers or buy from "case breakers" online.

I'd have 50/100/200 etc. of something so it's not like i'm keeping track of 50/100/200 different things...one thing and a lot of it.

i put the cards into a shoe box with other cards...keep a list in the box and a master list of every box's list.

i'd check it every so often or when i hear someone's name blip on the sports shows and either sell or prepare to possibly sell.

i end up keeping 2/3rd of what i buy, but the 1/3rd that does sell gets a really nice premium. too bad the massive disposable income era of everyone living on massive debt is over.

Also in the month of June, 3B Marquez Smith is hitting 375/434/625 at AAA Iowa.

Smith was a late addition to the Iowa Cubs Opening Day roster, replacing Tony Thomas who literally played himself off the I-Cubs roster the last week of Minor League Camp with a cold bat, bad fielding, and erratic baserunning.

But Smith struggled at Iowa and was eventually sent down to AA Tennessee, where he continued to struggle in limited playing time. He got promoted back to Iowa when Chad Tracy was recalled by the Cubs, and he hasn't stopped hitting.

What to do with Zambrano? MLB Trade Rumors is floating a few trade possiblities (not so much rumors as speculation). They include:

==> Zambrano to Houston for Carlos Lee
==> Zambrano to the Giants for Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria
==> Zambrano to Mets for Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo
==> Zambrano to Braves for Derek Lowe
==> Zambrano to Indians for Travis Hafner, Kerry Wood, and Jake Westbrook
==> Zambrano to Royals for Gil Meche, Jose Guillen, and Kyle Farnsworth
==> Zambrano to Yankees for A.J. Burnett

A commenter also floated the idea of:

==> Zambrano to Baltimore for Brian Roberts

Is trading Zambrano the best course of action? If so, do any of these trade scenarios make sense?

Z for Burnett sounds like the only legitimate one, imo...not that i think it's gonna happen.

Z to restricted list, out until after ASB, will undergo anger management treatment

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/172854...

Chicago Tribune has an article up now:

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/06/...

"I think we all agree it's time he got help and address apologies later," Hendry said. "He will not meet formally or travel with the team before the (All-Star) break. "

Reliever Jeff Stevens will rejoin the team Wednesday."

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