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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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 4 hours 48 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 5 hours 41 sec ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 5 hours 9 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 5 hours 15 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 5 hours 33 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 6 hours 9 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 6 hours 27 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 6 hours 28 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 6 hours 46 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 6 hours 54 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 8 hours 7 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 8 hours 12 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 9 hours 21 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 10 hours 54 sec ago view