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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  • Yes. That is something up with which we will not put.

    fullykräusened 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • Right, then. Moving forward lets focus on simple declarative sentences, subject-verb agreement, and watch out for punctuation. Avoid prepositions at the end of sentences.

    Jackstraw 1 hour 39 min ago view
  • I love sabremetrics and think FIP and WAR can definitely predict future success. For the Cy though which is an award for current success I do think ERA and WHIP have a place. Also while Hendricks doesn't have the strikeouts he does have the highest soft hit contact and second lowest hard hit contact which does a lot to take fielding skill out of it.

    To me if the ERA is close FIP and WAR should be used but right now its not. That said I agree with you Hendricks won't get it.

    johann 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • Can't get soft just because we have a big lead!

    billybucks 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • kershaw will be lucky to put in 160+ip. even though it projects to be an awesome 160+ip it's going to be extremely difficult for him to do much with that. he's still got minor league rehab game(s) to go through and he's only stretched out to 2ip with his last simulated rehab...it may take another couple weeks before he returns.

    the numbers are awesome, but he's lost the equivalent of a good chunk of a top-tier pen arm's season in innings of work compared to the rest of the lot.

    crunch 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • Kershaw, Fernandez and Syndergaard are your current leaders and all will be pitching meaningful games down the stretch that could make or break them. Hendricks will not be and his saber-numbers aren't anywhere close to those 3 and he'd split votes with Arrieta and Lester whom all are basically neck-and-neck for  WAR and FIP. If Kershaw pitches like just okay Kershaw in September he deserves to win in a landslide. Voters are pretty much saber-inclined now so it would take a crazy shutout streak or something for Hendricks to jump in the picture.

    Rob G. 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • AZ PHIL: With starters the likes of Edwin Jackson, even Chris Rusin or Michael Bowden could look good on their staff. At best, he is a #5-6. But as always, LH are at a premium.

    The E-Man 13 hours 5 min ago view
  • Sure we would all want consistency. He is not even 24, has played 5 (!) positions this year. Can you imagine what is in his head? He was only a part-time player at 2 spots last year. And THEN think about hitting?? Cut him some slack...You sure are picky lately. First wishing #6 NL RBI guy Russell have a better average, and now an "unncessarily fancy pick". Geez tough crowd!

    The E-Man 13 hours 9 min ago view
  • it's going to be hard to take down scherzer.

    kershaw is supposedly coming back soon, though he'll probably need a good amount of deep innings to match up with scherzer...probably too late at this point. tanner roark, bumgarner, and hendricks are probably going to steal some votes along with kershaw.

    crunch 13 hours 37 min ago view
  • I absolutely love Javy's game, and I love the way Maddon changed the perception of him as a ballplayer, but I really wish he would just make the routine plays routinely. On the ground ball in the 9th, he made an unnecessarily fancy pick. He made the play, but tried the same thing last night and made an error.

    billybucks 13 hours 59 min ago view
  • How many wins does Kyle need for serious Cy Young consideration? Would 17 be enough if he leads the league in ERA? My goodness, what a season -- makes a Dartmouth alum proud.

    billybucks 14 hours 1 min ago view
  • jacos 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • hendricks WHIP drops to 0.98 over 159 innings after throwing 7ip 3h 1bb 4k, 0r/er

    ERA down to 2.09 on the season.

    crazy good.

    crunch 14 hours 26 min ago view
  • I am pretty well fed up with the majority of home plate umps. Just terrible inconsistencies.

    The E-Man 14 hours 29 min ago view
  • Oh shit forgot about that
    Shark and Sczur right?

    jacos 14 hours 44 min ago view
  • Yes, football player?- check.

    The E-Man 14 hours 51 min ago view