DeVoss Walk-off Debut a Hit for AZL Cubs

Making his pro debut, Cubs 2011 3rd round draft pick Zeke DeVoss (U. of Miami) laced a two-out walk-off RBI double off the RF fence in the bottom of the 10th inning to score PR Gregori Gonzalez with the winning run, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Rangers 4-3 in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park last night.

A speedy switch-hitting 2B-CF, DeVoss is the only Cubs 2011 draft pick selected in the first 15 rounds to sign so far. (He was a so-called "draft-eligible sophomore," because he turns 21 within 90 days of the draft).

DeVoss was the DH in his first professional game, hitting 7th in the order. He struck out (swinging) in his 1st and 3rd ABs, grounded out to short in his 2nd AB, and flied out to the warning track in RF in his 4th AB, before crushing his game-winning walk-off double off the RF fence in the 10th. DeVoss displayed more power and loft in his swing (at least hitting LH) than I had thought he would show.

Meanwhile, Cubs 2011 27th round draft pick Taiwan Easterling (Florida State) lined a single with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to extend his hitting streak to six games (he is now hitting 500/517/714 through his first seven pro games covering 29 PA). The 22-year old FSU Seminole also made a slick diving catch in CF for the first out in the top of the 3rd, and threw out a runner trying to advance from 2nd base to 3rd base on a pick-off attempt overthrow to end the top of the 3rd.

Easterling is clearly more advanced than might have been expected, considering he did not play baseball his first two years at Florida State. But he was named "Mr. Baseball" in Mississippi in his senior year at Oak Grove HS and played on several post-season HS All-Star teams and in showcase games, and was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 6th round of the 2007 June Draft, before deciding to enroll at FSU. So it's not like he's just now learning how to play baseball.

Easterling received a reported $200K signing bonus (about equivalent to "4th round money"), which can be spread over five years since he is a two-sport player (he is also a WR on the Seminole football team). It is unclear at this time whether Easteling will return for his senior season at FSU to play football (and if he does, he would be a 5th year redshirt senior).

The AZL Cubs actually should have won the game in regulation, which would have ended Easterling's hitting streak and left DeVoss with an 0-4 pro debut. But the defense fell apart with the Cubs leading 3-2 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the 9th, as SS Marco Hernandez bobbled a ground ball (which the official scorer generously ruled a hit), and then 2B Gioskar Amaya fell down fielding what should have been the 4th out of the inning (also ruled a single), before throwing the ball past the first-baseman, after-which catcher Yaniel Cabezas recovered the ball near home plate and proceeded to fire the ball into LF trying to nab the Ranger base-runner who was trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd, thus allowing the runner to score (Keystone Kubbery at its best!). Inexplicably, the only error charged in the inning was Amaya's bad throw, although it should have been obvious (even to the official scorer) that the only reason the runner scored from 3rd base with the tying run was because of the Cabezas errant overthrow at 3rd base.

AZL Rangers pitchers struck out 15 AZL Cubs in the game, with 13 out of 14 outs between the 4th and 8th innings coming via the punch-out, including Gioskar Amaya and Dustin Geiger three times a piece. One Cub hitter the Rangers pitchers could not get out (until striking him out with one out in the bottom of the 10th) was 19-year old Venezuelan LF Eduardo Gonzalez, who singled in each of his first four AB, scoring a run and driving-in another, while also stealing three bases (one CS).

The lefty swinging E. Gonzalez is a slash hitter who sprays the ball all over the field (he also had a bunt single last night), but he has no HR power (unless he manages to line the ball over the fence). While he's not a "burner" he does run well and seems to get a pretty good read when stealing bases, and he plays a passably-adequate defense at all three OF positions with a so-so arm.

18-year old LHP Brian Smith (Cubs 40th round draft pick - Canadian Junior National Team) got the start for the AZL Cubs and threw four innings of one hit shutout ball (57 pitches - 33 strikes), with two walks and a HBP (and no strikeouts and 4/7 GO/FO). Smith breezed through three of his four innings, but he labored in the top of the third, needing 29 pitches (while throwing only 14 strikes) to get through the inning.

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Comments

Thanks, Phil.
Seems like Easterling and Geiger are a bit out of place in the AZL, though the players in Boise haven't even been there for a month, so it may be hard to do anything with them at this point...

Submitted by Jace on Thu, 07/14/2011 - 11:45am.
Thanks, Phil.
Seems like Easterling and Geiger are a bit out of place in the AZL, though the players in Boise haven't even been there for a month, so it may be hard to do anything with them at this point...

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

JACE: True.

Although I would be VERY surprised if Taiwan Easterling and Dustin Geiger (and now Zeke DeVoss) aren't promoted at least to Boise (if not to Peoria) before much longer.

If Kenny Socorro can get moved up to Boise after playing only one AZL game, and if P. J. Francescon, Pete Levitt, and Ben Klafczynski can get a ticket to Peoria just a month after getting drafted, so can others with more upside.

Generally speaking, unless a player signs right after the draft and gets a week's worth of work-outs at Fitch Park prior to the start of the short seasons (as happened with Klafczyunski, Hoilman, and Zapenas), he will have to spend some time playing in the AZL, even if the player is clearly too advanced for "rookie ball."

Not sure we have the roster spots at either Boise or Peoria for all 3 of them to move. We need to cut off some of the dead weight here shortly as it is starting to block some legit talents.

Fun fact:

Easterling batting average .500 On Base....517

Geiger batting average .360 On Base.......385

Did those guys find the right organization for their skill sets or what?

Dunn batting average .160 On Base....292

Relevance?

You're bitching about guys with .517 and .385 OBP's, because you don't like how they got there.

Is .500 and .360 sustainable batting avgs?

No and yes, but that's not the point. The point is that if they were hitting .325 with a .517 OBP and .290 with a .385 OBP you would think they're better prospects, regardless of their chances to maintain those numbers.

Correct! I absolutely would.

At some point these kids will have to face better pitching than Ext AZ level. The guys who control the zone have a MUCH better shot at making adjustments going forward.

If you're hitting over .500, you're controlling the zone. You can't tell whether or not a guy is willing to take a walk during a stretch when he's hitting .500. He may be perfectly willing to take a walk, but if everything they throw up there is fat, he's going to hit it. I'll wait a while before I diagnose them hackers.

Geiger had a 244/312/358 slash line last year in the AZL with an 8.6 BB%

If he maintained an 8.6% walk rate, that'd be okay. Not very patient, but not super aggressive either. Pretty much in Aramis Ramirez territory there.

The guys who control the zone have a MUCH better shot at making adjustments going forward.

No they don't. The number of major leaguers who have had poor BB rates in the batter's box vastly outnumbers the ones who have had good ones. A batter's walk rate in AZ rookie league tells you basically nothing about his ability to hit major league pitching.

We've already done this argument?

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/...

Well that's certainly a large data pool to draw the conclusion from.

My wife and I are going to try a Taiwan Easterling on our anniversary.

She's a keeper.

Ménage à province?

It involves three yards of garden hose, a rickshaw and an 8x10 autograph picture of Rip Taylor.

You left out the live chicken. You have to have a live chicken.

Duly noted

mentioned in previous thread, but DeVoss got $500K

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/201...

$159K over slot

I've got 18 of 50 picks signed so far

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_201...

BTW, if they don't sign him by the 8/15 deadline, the Cubs will retain negotiating rights to 37th round pick RHP Steven Maxwell (TCU) until one week prior to the 2012 June Draft, because Maxwell is a 5th year college senior with no college eligibility left. (This is the only Cubs 2011 draft pick not yet signed who falls into this class of draft pick).

Maxwell was named Mountain West Pitcher of the Year and a 2nd team All-American in 2010 (and started a game in the 2010 College World Series), but has had his college career interrupted with TJS in 2008 and a sore arm in 2011. He turns 24 in September, so I hope he realizes that the meter is running.

24 year old prospect with a bad arm?

that bonus better be around $100. :)

Matt Harrington thinks this guy is slacking!

I'm always amazed at what I learn from Arizona Phil. Thanks. For those interested I attended a 3 day Peoria series in Cedar Rapids over the week end. People have been discussing Austin Kirk's fastball on this blog recently. He registered 87 pretty consistently which doesn't knock your eyes out but it's hard to knock success as he followed up a 9 inning no hitter with six shutout innings. Jokish pitched at 84-85 most of the time but hit 87-88 now and then. How accurate are ball park gun readings? Peralta ran it up to 91-92. Both Kirk and Jokish looked like they are getting some polish from coach Jeff Fassero. Other observations were that Alcantara can really pick it and throw it and that Sergio Burruel looks like a better hitter than indicated by his .220 average but what can you tell from seeing him in one game!

That's disappointing about Kirk's velocity. I was under the impression he was more 89-91. I had visions of Ted Lilly with him.

Apparently he's lost 8 MPH since he was drafted, that's not a good sign, even though he has been mostly effective.

That's not really accurate. He was more a 92 mph guy when drafted. He could touch 95. Now it appears he is sitting 87 and touching 91. Down 4-5 mph. Still not what you like to see.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/sports/base...

K-Rod switched agents last month and previous agent (Paul Kinzer) had never submitted to Mets the 10 teams on K-Rod's NTC. When he moved to Boras, he never got around to doing it either.

and then according to Heyman, the original list that I guess Kinzer had, did have Brewers on it, it was just never given to the Mets. And apparently why the Brewers made out like bandits in the deal cause the Mets wanted to move him to the first team they could.

My first thought is they could just nullify the deal, but apparently it's all on the up and up and nothing K-Rod can do.

No current Cubs' prospects.

But a certain Korean SS is listed at #7!

Not the article, but it lists the 50.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/7/14/2275...

Casey Kelly? At least Law is consistent in reminding us why he got shitcanned and the other 29 teams have no use for him.

Fukudome RF, Castro SS, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, Byrd CF, Soriano LF, Soto C, Barney 2B, Garza P

http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_ext...

Indians, Braves and Angels some teams looking for offensive help

all the reporters "breaking" the Cubs signed DeVoss news today on Twitter

~sigh~

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 2-for-4, R, K. Definite progress with .318 batting average and .491 slugging in 33 games since June 1; almost the anti TTO player with 11 walks and 31 strikeouts over 280 at-bats.

and

Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 1-for-3, 2 R, BB. High-A debut.

Byrd hit a HR to a kid wearing a Byrd jersey.

A. Kirk falls back to Earth
4 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Flaherty and Jackson each with doubles in their AAA debuts

Szczur 0/5 in Daytona, Ha with a double for the Smokies

Sczur's 0-fer comes with his Daytona team getting 2 runs on 15 hits and 2 BB! 17 baserunners leads to 2 runs? Sounds like the whole team has learned the Cub philosophy.

Clutch HBP by Barney there

You're a dick marmol

bleh

A down year for Marmol. At least it is meaningless, and maybe he'll get the shitty year out of his system?

Quade adding to the evidence that he has absolutely no clue how to handle a pitching staff. how the hell do you allow your closer to throw 4 BB?

Dempster got away with it once (walked 4 in row in fact) ... and still got the save, nearly blowing a 2 run lead. seems like yesterday, but not.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=250802122

My dislike of Quade aside, I am not sure I agree...most managers stick with their closer through struggles and leave them to win or lose the game.

most losing managers that is

fwiw, Moreland in his polite way, suggested that maybe they get Wood up after the 2nd walk and once again after the third walk.

Imagine what would have happened had he come in during the 7th!

When the ninth inning started I thought, 'Wow, Source Code is on.'

So this team is already dead and their only remaining value is to allow other teams to stay alive LOL

Untrue. They're still thrid in the league in overall attendance, so they're also helping stuff the coffers of those teams that beat them, ideally to pay for some of Fukudome's salary when Hendry converts him into a low A middle reliever on August 17th.

baseball organ donors...

Anti-examples, like Goofus and Gallant

Fart

they say who is going down when Z gets activated?

Yahoo shows Ramon Ortiz starting Monday, and I don't think they'll cut Lopez. Probably Cub Carpenter?

Tigers looking for a high end starter....do Z or Dempster qualify?

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/07/15/715-marm...

Marhsall or Wood may close today to give Marmol a break.

Fukudome, RF
Castro, SS
Ramirez, 3B
Pena, 1B
Byrd, CF
Soto, C
Soriano, LF
Barney, 2B
Dempster, P

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/6001

Marmol hasn't had a K in 5 straight appearances...

Colvin with his 7th HR for Iowa last night

writer speculation of Pena to Pirates....

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtri...

and Baker to Red Sox

http://www.csnne.com/07/13/11/Red-Sox-will-lo...

Fukudome starts the day at .270. Is this the highest his average will be the rest of the season? He's quietly fallen off of late, after quietly not producing all season, despite the decent avg/opb for most of it.

Yep..
May:.247/.389/.342
June: .229/.315/.385
July: .235/.278/.294

Fukudome sucks. I can't wait for him to be gone....

Those are his splits? Crap, he must have had one hell of an April. The last time I paid attention to his stats, he was hitting around .300 for the year. That was maybe a month ago?

Looked it up, Fukudome hit .383 in April/March, which allowed him to coast until June 16th, I think, at .301, but as Dusty Baylor posted, he's completely sucked once again after April.

yep....dead on:
April: .389/.486/.400 with a.451 BABIP....

If only we could hypnotize him into thinking it's April...for the entire season.

And of course, on cue, he walks to lead off the game.

and then singles

he usually puts up one decent month in the middle of the season, hopefully it's for another team.

also, he has a pretty good home split so far this year...

that all being said, I'm sure the Cubs would be playing someone else if it existed.

that all being said, I'm sure the Cubs would be playing someone else if it existed.

++++++

It would have been the perfect season to play Colvin every day and see how/if he fits in for the future, especially in a mostly meaningless season. If he's showing any signs of life at Iowa he should be up here long before September, IMO.

He's been pretty meh at Iowa, except that he's hit his fair share of homeruns there.

Yeah, striking out one in every four at bats doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

well they were trying to win in April and May and Fuku was playing decently at the time, I'm sure they're still trying to win now. I was all for playing Colvin when he was here, but he's doing himself no favors.

He's still showing the power, but I think he has a 35% K rate in July with 0 BB%. Of course that's probably promotion worthy for the Cubs.

Hopefully by August 1st, the vets start finding the bench, that's sort of what they did in 2006.

Cubs sign Dave Bush.

http://twitter.com/BruceMiles2112/status/9193...

Minor league deal.

fyi for anyone that cares, if you delete the /#! from a twitter link, it will autolink like other other links and it still works

Cubs do indeed sign Dave Bush, good call Paul Noce.

minor league deal, goes to Iowa this weekend.

Interesting.

Apparently this kid has upset the front office in Florida? I wonder what it would take to pry him loose?

Would it be worth trading Bjax and Szczur to have Logan Morrison and Ian Stewart manning the infield corners next summer?

no?

you don't give up your two best prospect for no-names. Even if you don't think they're all that good, generally the guys on the top of your prospect list should only be dealt for bigger deals. Maybe for Morrison, but hell no for Stewart.

I like Morrison, but they haven't shown a huge push to want to trade him.

I don't get why anyone would want to give up anything worthwhile for Ian Stewart.

anyway, neither Jackson or Szczur are going anywhere...

How good are Jackson and Szczur? Jackson is hitting .256 in AA and Szczur has a .791 OPS in Low A ball.

If those guys were in another system would you care about them?

you're so full of shit dude.

you rail on about guys skillsets and then just talk about Jackson's BA only to try and make your point. Jackson and Szczur are both in the top 50 of BA's midseason prospect list, the people you think should be running the Cubs draft.

Calm down, I'm just asking a question

Jackson seems to have taken a bit of a step back this year. Szczur hasn't put up any actual numbers to justify the hype.

If you could trade them to get a 23 year old budding star, do you do it? I'm just posing the question?

Calm down, I'm just asking a question

really, you weren't doing your passive-aggressive everything the Cubs do sucks routine?

I like Morrison as I said and getting out of Florida and his age, I think he'll find even more power. He might even be worth it for Brett Jackson ultimately, but as usual you're ignoring defense.

But I don't know if he's budding superstar, you thought Jeremy Hermida was...

I missed on Hermida. Absolutely correct.

I'm just bummed at the general state of the Cubs right now. Tough to get overly excited about anything going on with the franchise right now. Over hyping this crew of minor league talent is probably a by product of the terrible big league team.

I just want this thing to be turned around. I'm tired of bad cubbie baseball.

I'm excited that $50 million in payroll is going away after this season, and another big chunk the season after that.

I'm excited that $50 million in payroll is going away after this season, and another big chunk the season after that.

----

If they can Hendry they'll save at least that much on donuts. :)

How much DOES Hendry make?

Just out of curiousity, what would a guy have to do, playing his first full season of baseball in his life to impress you? Personally, I am impressed by striking out less than once per 10 PA's, stealing 18 bases and having 21 XBH against 28 strike outs, while playing against players who in general have thousands more innings of experience than he has. But what would he have to have done to be as good as budding star Logan Morrison?

Don't know if anyone could have said it better...judging Sczur just on the numbers is foolish due to his lack of experience, and his numbers themselves are impressive.

is he the tweeter?

Len and Bob were talking about Morrison being told by the front office to "be less honest publicly". And Bob said something about what happens in a clubhouse or team plane needs to stay private.

Morrison was very upset when they fired their hitting coach a while back. And made a big stink about it. There may have been other things as well.

Would it be worth trading Bjax and Szczur to have Logan Morrison and Ian Stewart manning the infield corners next summer?

-------

Stewart has really struggled. I could see the Cubs doing what AZ Phil has said for next year, running Flaherty and LaMaheui out there in a 3b platoon.

I know, but he really seems like a good "buy low" candidate. Still only 26 and has had some MLB success.

Would Colvin be enough to pry Stewart from Colorado? Colvin + a 1/2 season from Aramis?

Would BJackson be enough to pry Morrison from Florida? BJackson + Ceasar?

Jesus christ.

Jesus christ.

----

Yes, my son?

BJackson + Jesus Christ might be overpaying a bit

Morrison for Jackson in a fantasy trade? You trade a CF'er for a LF'er, but offensively probably about the same. Morrison is only a year older.

Cubs would never do it though. Can't say I would either, but I'd think about it.

Stewart isn't worth much imo, not particularly good defensively and never been able to get it together in Colorado, doubtful it would happen in Chicago. He's worth a low risk move maybe as competition for Flaherty or whomever they try for 3b next year.

You think Jackson will be as good offensively as Morrison? I'm starting to feel a little skittish about his prospects. I like that he seems to have some plate discipline. Starting to worry about the lack of contact or power though.

Just seems a little Corey Patterson-ish to me?

Corey Patterson in the minors: .288/.341/.493
Brett Jackson in the minors: .291/.393/.478
Isn't the difference between a .341 OBP, and a .393 OBP pretty significant? I'd like to see Jackson rebound with his average some...the hand injury I'm sure hasn't helped much this year.

But a bigger question would be where do you play Logan Morrison? If Soriano is still here, it isn't LF is it?

He's a natural first baseman. I'd stick him there.

currently he's a shitty hitting first basemen too

You really like comparing today's BA and BP Cubs prospects with what you believe are the club's past past failures in your view.

The comment, which AZ PHIL answered in detail when you went on the "Carlos Marmol was signed for too long" mantra (and you always close with a ?, as in, "But, he's still a good pitcher?) was directed at you.

Have you ever regularly spent time watchiing any of the Cubs top 15-20 prospects in the lower minors, or talked to scouts who evaluate them? I'd probably be on the side of "correct" if you said no, right?

Its great that you want to play arm chair GM. We all do.

But some of your shit is just crazy talk. What kind of Dr. are you anyway?

He's a Dr. of Love.

Who's going to close it out? It's not like Wood has been all that sharp this year, either.

Len and Bob were talking about Marshall, but also that Dempster might get to finish his own game. Scratch that, Marmol is now warming up.

Marmol in. Ball 1.

He doesn't have a strikeout in his last 5 appearances.

And only 3 over his last 44?

holy shit. marmol got someone out.

(and my entire fantasy team sighs in relief)

hanley ramirez = idiot?

Trying to get into scoring position with the tying run, seems like a good idea. What did he do?

Trying to get into scoring position with the tying run, seems like a good idea.

Sure... but...

What did he do?

He was way over-aggressive (or, another way to put it, stupid) and tried to stretch a single into a double. Not worth taking that chance on that play.

It still hard to not be happy when the Cubs win, even though I know it moves us from that #2 draft slot.

If Dempster keeps going like he is he may not pick up his option, then we'll really be fucked for 2012.

fwiw, from Joe Sheehan

H. Ramirez got NO jump out of the box and didn't bust to first, and therefore shouldn't have tried to stretch. Huge error.

15 straight scoreless by the starting staff vs. the 4th worse offense in the league.

Q-Ball's magic job saving powers may be back in play...

#Cubs Q says he'll use Marshall, Wood as closer and give Marmol chance to work on his mechanics for a couple days. No set timetable

speaking of Q-Nuts, Sheehan also brings up this point

Is Mike Quade this bad? If LoMo was going to be Marmol's last batter, why not just use Marshall? You're punting the platoon advantage 2x?

he's being a bit of a drama queen today...it was the 3rd out he was going for, no biggie.

then leave him in to face the next batter that is a righty

but you're probably right, Q-Nuts has shown such a deft touch with the pitching staff and bullpen this year that all his moves are no big deal.

/looks at standings

it was 2 outs down, 1 to go...up by 2 runs...gave him another batter...i don't see the huge deal.

Morrison has shitty splits numbers is the problem and Marmol hasn't had it going for a week and a half. If he's not committed to Marmol finishing the game, make the move at the right point.

so if I understand this right from what I heard on XM at lunch...

Boras got K-Rod's buyout to go up to $4M with Brewers paying the extra half million. In return, he gives up the vesting option.

Boras gets the commission on the buyout (or at least the half million bump) and can get him a new contract this offseason where he gets the commission. If the vesting option kicked in, the commission would go to his old agent. Plus, now the Brewers will be more willing to use him as a closer which would in theory up his value, at least a little.

Dan Bernstein, WSCR, claims #Cubs source tells him Hendry and Q are gone, day after the season ends.

cubnut heard it on the radio

as someone else noted, then just fire them now and start preparing for next season.

not a shock to see hendry go, imo...kinda expecting it.

i'm a little surprised they're not gonna try to ride quade for another season, though i don't find it shocking.

Agreed. At least put an acting GM in place so Hendry isn't making any more trades. Ask Maddux if he would run things for 2 months.

Isn't Maddux loyal to Hendry? I think I remember previous discussions on here stating that if Hendry is fired, Maddux would leave.

Also, not sure he is the best candidate anyway. I believe he was the impetus in asking for Blake Dewitt in the Lilly/Theriot deal.

He's been saying it for a couple if weeks

Callis doing a rundown of the top bonus money per round in the top 10 rounds so far, of which much will change.

but at this point Zeke DeVoss's $500K is the most of any 3rd rounders signed.

Not from Callis, but Neftali Rosario - $150k

From Baseball America's prospect chat:

Nick (Chicago): I saw ryan flaherty recently got promoted. whats your opinion on him

Ben Badler: I don't know where he plays, but he has huge power to the middle of the field, he has a good approach and he's a solid hitter. I don't know that his defense is ideal at second or third base so I'm not sure where he ends up playing, but I could see him being an offensive-oriented guy who moves around the field a la Ben Zobrist. I've seen that Tennessee club this year, and why the Cubs brought up D.J. Lemahieu when Flaherty was available was a bit puzzling.

puzzling indeed...

Would have made the team too left handed, of course

Flaherty hits one out for Iowa, Jackson 2/3 so far with a 2b and a 3b.

J. Jackson with 5 shutout innings and Caeser 2/4 on the night for Daytona

Let's bundle the three of them up with Marshall Castro for Logan Morison!

from Rotoworld...

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have no plans to trade utility man Jeff Baker.

Let me fix that
...the Cubs have no plans..

http://mlbbuzz.yardbarker.com/blog/mlbbuzz/cu...

article says Hendry has no pressure to shed payroll and other depressing stuff

looks like he's 3rd base insurance for 2012 if they plan to keep him.

It's interesting in that Baker could be a nice spare part for a playoff contender. At this point Hendry can't be trusted really to do anything correct, so the status quo with regards to players under club control for 2012 is the best thing. Let the new above 100 IQ GM deal baker in the offseasn if he thinks he's not needed.

baker's not a bad keep, imo...

Does keeping Baker speak to the Cubs plan on (not) keeping Ramirez for 2012?

Or is this just all talk to try to drive up his price a little bit?

I'm on board with a Flaherty / LeMahomilongindingdong platoon for 2012. Thinking project 500 may have a better shot then. Maybe they want half the platoon to have some real big league time in 2012. But I always think we have a better chance to win in the NEXT year.

Baker's trade value has to be considerably higher now than during the off season.

on my part it's pure speculation...you can hedge a bet on bringing up a youth or stop-gap with baker on board, and 3rd base is one of those places where that's likely to happen in 2012...plus he can play 2nd and a decent enough OF.

Submitted by QuietMan on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 9:18pm.

Does keeping Baker speak to the Cubs plan on (not) keeping Ramirez for 2012

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

Q-MAN: Even if they think they don't have a shot to sign Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, I still can't see the Cubs picking-up Aramis Ramirez's $16M option for 2012.

What I think will more-likely happen is that the Cubs will pay A-Ram the $2M buy-out after the season, and then offer him maybe a $10M one-year deal for 2012 IF they can't sign Pujols or Fielder (presuming Ramirez hasn't signed elsewhere by the time the Pujols and Fielder sweepstakes have concluded).

But I doubt very much that the Cubs will pay Aramis $16M in 2012, even if it means they end up with a Flaherty/Baker or Flaherty/LeMahieu platoon at 3B in 2012 (while waiting to see if Josh Vitters can develop into a big league third-baseman).

"At this point"? At what point was Hendry trusted to do anything correct?

2004.

He still doesn't hit righties, right?

17-year old DSL Cubs #1 RHP Yomar Morel gets nailed with a 50-game PED suspension.

In his last outing prior to the suspension (this past Wednesday), Morel threw 4.1 IP of no hit ball with six K.

There are currently five DSL Cubs serving PED suspensions (four with a 50-game suspension and one serving a 100-game suspension).

All players who are suspended for PED violations are automatically placed on the Restricted List.

AZ Phil -

How is Easterling once he reaches base? I know his first game he had some real problems. Has that continued?

Thanks! I'll hang up aand listen for my answer.

Submitted by QuietMan on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 9:27pm.

AZ Phil -

How is Easterling once he reaches base? I know his first game he had some real problems. Has that continued?

Thanks! I'll hang up aand listen for my answer

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

Q-MAN: Taiwan Easterling runs the bases like he does everything... like a hyper-aggressive gambler, like Devin Hester returning a punt. He likes to take chances on the bases and in the field. He's also a classic first-ball fastball hitter. He may have plate discipline, but I haven't seen it yet.

Easterling needs to refine all aspects of his game, but he absolutely has some baseball skills. He seems like a fairly sharp kid, too. From what I have seen of him, he is defintely coachable.

Over the past month, Iowa Cubs RHP Jay Jackson has gone 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in five GS, throwing at least six innings in each start.

33.1 IP, 37 H, 13 R (13 ER), 10 BB, 25 K, 2 HR

While that might not seem like eye-popping numbers, it is very good for the "hitter's league" that is the PCL. In fact a 3.51 ERA extended over a full-season would put him 2nd in ERA among PCL starting pitchers.

One of the best-hitting pitchers in minor league baseball, J-Jax is hitting .286 with three doubles, one HR, and five RBI so far in 2011 (career 266/284/456 in 91 PA).

J. Jackson is eligible for selection (first time) in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft, so he will very likely be added to the Cubs 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline (if not sooner), and if he doesn't rack up too many innings during the regular season, he would be a good candidate to pitch in the AFL post-2011. But if he continues to pitch as he has over the last month, he also could be the Cubs #5 starter by September.

Youngest players on Cubs minor league rosters (not including DSL):

IOWA:
1. Nick Struck, RHSP - 21
2. Marwin Gonzalez, IF-OF - 22
3. Alberto Cabrera, RHSP - 22
4. Brett Jackson, CF - 22
5. Jay Jackson, RHSP - 23

TENNESSEE:
1. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF - 20 (was also youngest at Daytona before promotion)
2. Junior Lake, SS - 21
3. Josh Vitters, 3B-1B - 21
4. Trey McNutt, RHSP - 21
5. Ryan Searle, RHSP - 22

DAYTONA:
1. Aaron Kurcz, RHRP - 20
2. Matt Cerda, 3B-2B - 21
3. Jeffry Antigua, LHRP - 21
4. Larry Suarez, RHRP - 21
5. Logan Watkins, SS-2B - 21

PEORIA:
1. Arismendy Alcantara, SS-2B - 19
2. Sergio Burruel, C - 19
3. Robinson Lopez, RHRP - 20
4. Starling Peralta, RHSP - 20
5. Austin Kirk, LHSP - 20

BOISE:
1. Ben Wells, RHSP - 18
2. Wilson Contreras, 3B - 19
3. Jin-Young Kim, RHSP - 19
4. Kyung-Min Na, OF - 19
5. Austin Reed, RHSP - 19

AZL CUBS (MESA):
1. Gioskar Amaya, 2B-3B - 18
2. Brian Smith, LHSP - 18
3. Oliver Zapata, OF - 18
4. Marco Hernandez, SS - 18
5. James Pugliese, RHSP - 18

If Marmol had converted his 7 blown saves, the Cubs would be 46-49. Still bad, but more respectable (and in contention).

Actually, that's not true. The Cubs came back and won 2 of his blown saves (4/20 and 6/29). So they'd be 44-51 if he'd converted all save opportunities.

I think you're off a bit.

I got 43-51 after the game yesterday.

Notable: The Pirates have a share of first place this morning.

It feels like 22-85.

Is Hendry actively involved with on-going negotiations with the remaining unsigned top 15 draft selections? If so, I would be surprised if he's relieved of his duties prior to the Aug 15th signing deadline.

That's a good point. I still can't believe he's around and is going to be allowed to screw up another trade deadline, but that is one reason in his favor.

Unless it involves a major league deal, I don't think hendry has a whole lot to do with signing draft picks. I recall when ninja was signed him mentioning that other than that deal he doesn't have much to do with the draft.

People tend to forget that Samardjiaja's and Szczur's big deals weren't draft signings.

People tend to forget that Samardjiaja's and Szczur's big deals weren't draft signings.

*******

Sure they were. We drafted them and had to pay them an exorbitant amount to give up football. If we didn't draft them we wouldn't of had to pay them.

So Geovany Soto's current contract would also be a draft day deal, got it.

Ah, back to being an ass for no reason to argue a technicality.

You know damn well that with two sport athletes like this that you are essentially drafting them and signing them the first time around to get the rights to negotiate and sign them for real the second time around after their last season of football.

Ah, back to being an ass for no reason to argue a technicality.
------

Exactly. TRN's home environment must be lovely, arguments over what color the sky is, what temperature tap water is, etc. It's reached the point that normally if I see who posted it I just don't even read the post. There is nothing of value to gain from neither reading nor responding to TRN's posts.

Damn Right!!! Glad to see another looking to phase TRN out completely!

Give me your lunch, bitch.

#172 goes for you as well, in case you didn't get it.

YOU FUCKTARD. THE POINT WAS THAT HENDRY DID MAKE THOSE TWO DEALS, AND IT WAS WELL AFTER THE DRAFT DEADLINE. WHAT A FUCKING -MOUTH BREATHING MORON. CONTEXT, RETARD, LEARN WHAT IT MEANS AND HOW TO APPLY IT.

I am inclined to think TRN is smarter and brighter than everyone else because, clearly, everyone else is stupid... myself included. I don't think anyone should have an opinion unless it agrees completely with his opinions.

He deserves this.

By the way, for my TRN fanclub membership gift I selected the "I <3 Neal" bumpersticker. Supposed to take 4-6 weeks and I ordered it back in May... I assume these are backordered?

Hendry was in on the first Samardzija contract (the draft signing, technically) and tried to get him to sign a 5-year 7.25 million deal, but he turned it down, opting instead for a short term deal and planning to renegotiate after his senior year--which he did.

Z up, Carp down

I missed the first inning, but I see I didn't "miss" anything.

Stanton mashing Z. Stanton's second HR woke up Quade. Ramon Ortiz in.

Taking some of the heat off Marmol, it looks like Z is very much on board with Project #2 over-all pick too.

AZ Phil, which Cubs minor leaguers do you think are most likely to get a September call-up? And are there any others who need to be added to the 40 man roster before November but likely won't get called up this year? I am eager to see Flaherty and Marquez Smith, and hopefully a few pitchers. Is Blake Parker still considered a prospect?

I'll hang up and listen to your answer. :)

Submitted by Paul Noce on Sat, 07/16/2011 - 1:25pm.

AZ Phil, which Cubs minor leaguers do you think are most likely to get a September call-up? And are there any others who need to be added to the 40 man roster before November but likely won't get called up this year? I am eager to see Flaherty and Marquez Smith, and hopefully a few pitchers. Is Blake Parker still considered a prospect?

I'll hang up and listen to your answer. :)

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

PAUL N: A lot depends on who gets traded during July and August, because a trade could mean an earlier call-up for some of these guys, but I think Welington Castillo, D. J. LeMahieu, Chris Carpenter, Casey Coleman, John Gaub, Scott Maine, Tyler Colvin, Ryan Flaherty, and Jay Jackson are likely to get a call-up to Chicago in September (Flaherty and J. Jackson will be eligible for the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft, and so even though they don't need to be added to the 40 until 11/20, both could get a look in September), and Bryan LaHair, Dave Bush, and Angel Guzman will probably get added to the 40-man roster and brought up to Chicago in September for a look. (Bush could be brought up even sooner, as would LaHair if Pena gets traded). So that's probably five additions to the 40-man roster in September (Flaherty, J. Jackson, LaHair, Bush, and A. Guzman).

Also, Marcos Mateo and Andrew Cashner will probably be reactivated on September 1st if they are healthy, so that might mean six slots on the 40 will be needed (because Cashner is on the 60-day DL).

Bush is eligible to be an Article XX-B MLB FA post-2011, but LaHair would probably remain on the 40-man roster during the off-season (at least until the Cubs sign or acquire a 1st baseman).

Guzman (who will be eligible for salary arbitration if added to the 40-man roster or else he will be a minor league FA if he's not added to the 40) will have to show something in September to remain on the 40-man roster into the off-season.

As for where the five or six 40-man roster slots neded in September will come from, Ramon Ortiz will probably be released by September (or even sooner), and it's likely that several players presently on the 25-man roster will be traded over the next few weeks, and that should open up some 40-man roster slots, too.

Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, Lou Montanez, and Kyle Smit are the most-likely to get outrighted if additional roster slots are needed in September.

After the season, Grabow, Johnson, Lopez, Ortiz, Pena, and Wood (if they aren't traded) are eligible to be Article XX-B MLB free-agents, Ramirez will be a FA if the Cubs choose not to exercise the 2012 $16M club option (and instead opt to pay him the $2M buy-out), Dempster could be a free-agent (player option with no buy-out), and Bush would be eligible to be an Article XX-B MLB FA if he is added to the 40-man roster or a Rule 55 Minor League FA if he isn't.

Unlike Pena, Wood, Grabow, et al, Kosuke Fukudome is not eligible to be an MLB Article XX-B free-agent after this season, but he does have the right to demand his Outright Release if he has not signed a contract extension by 11/15. And with 4+00 years of MLB Sevice Time accrued by the end of the season, Fukudome would be eligible for Salary Arbitration if he does not demand his release, but if that happens, the Cubs would almost certainly non-tender him on 12/2 rather than go to arbitration where the absolute minimum Fukudome would get in 2012 is $10.8M (that's the max 20% cut from his 2011 $13.5M salary).

Besides Flaherty and J. Jackson (who I suspect will be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster and brought up to Chicago in September), 3B-1B Josh Vitters, OF Matt Szczur, LHRP Jeff Beliveau, IF-OF Marwin Gonzalez, and C-1B Steve Clevenger (probably in that order) are the other Cub minor leaguers eligible for selection in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft most-likely to get added to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline, as things stand right now. (I didn't put Bush, LaHair, and Guzman in this group because they will be Rule 55 minor league 6YFA if they aren't added to the 40-man roster).

I suspect Jeff Beliveau will be assigned to the AFL so the Cubs can a better read on him prior to making their final decision (although he is VERY likely to get added to the 40-man roster post-2011), and Clevenger and Gonzalez will probably play Winter Ball in Latin America and the Cubs will evaluate them further down there, although both (especially Gonzalez) are likely to get added to the 40.

Besides Beliveau, I would say some combination of catcher Luis Flores, 1B-OF Matt Spencer, 1B Rebel Ridling, INF D. J. LeMahieu, 3B Marquez Smith, OF Brett Jackson, OF Matt Szczur, RHSP Trey McNutt, RHSP Nick Struck, LHSP Chris Rusin, and RHRP Kevin Rhoderick will be the Cubs prospects assigned to play in the AFL post-2011 (Flaherty played in the AFL last year, Gaub has been there once before, Vitters and Clevenger have played there twice, and J. Jackson would probably only be a possibility for the AFL if he doesn't get called-up to Chicago in September).

Thanks.

Taiwan Easterling hits a game-tying two-run HR in his Peoria debut.

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