Cub Juggernaut Alive & Well at Fitch Park

Marco Hernandez singled, doubled, tripled, and drove-in four runs, and Gioskar Amaya had two singles and a triple and drove-in three runs, leading the AZL Cubs to a 15-7 thrashing of the AZL Diamondbacks in Arizona League action at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternon in Mesa, AZ.



box score


All of the Cubs players in the starting lineup had at least one hit except clean-up hitter Ryan Durrence, who went 0-5, including two DP grounders and a strikeout looking.


But otherwise it was Full Speed Ahead for the AZL Cubs offense.


Los Tres Amigos (Oliver Zapata, Marco Hernandez, and Gioskar Amaya) hit 1-2-3 and had another big day today, reaching base a combined nine times and driving-in eight runs, while scoring four more


Zapata reached base three times (1B, HBP, IBB), stole a base, scored two runs, and knocked-in another with an RBI GO, Hernandez amassed his four RBI on an F-9 SF and a bases-loaded triple, and Amaya collected two of his RBI on a two-out two-run triple in 6th, and then another on an RBI single in the 7th.


18-year old Neftali Rosario (Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick - Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) was the DH today, and ripped a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 1st inning, tripled and scored in the 3rd, and walked and scored to lead-off a six-run 7th.


LF Dong-Yub Kim had two hits (a double and a single) and scored two runs, 2B Brian Inoa walked and scored in the 7th and doubled in the 8th, catcher Taylor Davis (2011 NDFA - Morehead State) reached base three times (two walks and a triple) and scored three runs, and supersub Gregori Gonzalez (who played RF today) smashed an RBI triple and then scored in the 2nd, reached base on an HBP and scored in the 6th, and blooped a bases-loaded RBI single into CF in the 7th. 


And speaking of Gregori Gonzalez, there is one very obvious mistake in the "official" box score from milb.com (see above link).


And that is that Gregori Gonzalez (not Eduardo Gonzalez) played RF and batted 9th today. 


Other than last their names both being "Gonzalez," there really isn't much similarity between them. Gregori bats & throws RH, and Eduardo bats & throws LH. And they actually wear different uniform numbers, too. 


But apparently as far as milb.com (and now posterity) is concerned, Eduardo Gonzalez went 2-3 with a triple, a single, an HBP, and a K, three runs scored, two RBI, an outfield assist, and a fielding error today, when actually it was Gregori Gonzalez doing all that.


Of course, it's not like this is the first time milb.com has screwed up a box score.


 

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Comments

Sounds like fun times in AZL. Thanks, Phil.

Thank you for the updates Phil -- your summaries and information truly give a better perspective on the Cubs team than any other source.

Dong-Yub Kim appears to really have turned it around and gotten red hot. Has his approach changed from his earlier struggles? Also, he is stealing bases...does he actually have pretty good speed (hard to believe at 6'4 200 listed on MILB) or is it just bad catchers?

Also, I hoped to get your thoughts on Brian Smith, today's starter for AZL Cubs. He has pretty good stats and is only 18, so I was wondering what type of pitcher he is and what pitches he relies on.

Thank you for this and thank you again for the summaries and insight.

Submitted by springs on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 3:51pm.
Thank you for the updates Phil -- your summaries and information truly give a better perspective on the Cubs team than any other source.

Dong-Yub Kim appears to really have turned it around and gotten red hot. Has his approach changed from his earlier struggles? Also, he is stealing bases...does he actually have pretty good speed (hard to believe at 6'4 200 listed on MILB) or is it just bad catchers?

Also, I hoped to get your thoughts on Brian Smith, today's starter for AZL Cubs. He has pretty good stats and is only 18, so I was wondering what type of pitcher he is and what pitches he relies on.

Thank you for this and thank you again for the summaries and insight.

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

SPRINGS: Dong-Yub Kim runs OK for a big guy, and he is VERY aggressive on the bases. He is a good hitter with plus-power (hasn't shown up in games yet, though). His defense in LF needs a LOT of work.

LHP Brian Smith (Cubs 2010 40th round draft pick - Canadian Junior National Team) labored today (3.0 IP - 57 pitches, including a 20-pitch 1st inning and a 21-pitch 2nd). He allowed two runs on five hits (although four of the five hits came with two outs), with two walks and a strikeout. He wasn't able to induce any ground balls, either.

But Smith has some promise. He looks a LOT better now than he did at AZ Instructs last October, that's for sure. He throws a fastball in the upper 80's with a good breaking ball and a decent off-speed pitch. He's only 18, so he has plenty of time to grow and develop.

The Cubs have signed yet another Cuban defector, RHP Yoannis Negrin (listed erroneously as Yoanner Negrin in Baseball America).

Negrin pitched for Matanzas in the Serie Nacional de Beisbol (the Cuban major leagues), and was a rotation starter prior to defecting with fellow Cub minor leaguer (and current Boise catcher) Yaniel Cabezas last year.

The Cubs have now signed eight Cuban defectors (RHP Juan Yasser Serrano, OF Rubi Silva, C Yaniel Cabezas, INF Rafael Valdes, OF Mayke Reyes, OF Eliecer Bonne, LHP Frank del Valle, and now RHP Yoannis Negrin) since the start of the 2010 season.

Are any of them any good?

del Valle is the monst exciting to me, but hopefully Negrin is worth getting excited about. What has happened to Garcia Speck? We were reportedly considering drafting him before he was ruled an international free agent but I haven't seen anywhere that he had signed. I was hoping this report of another Cuban signee was in fact Speck.

We out to be able to get a good prospect for him.

Or two crappy ones.

and the aram trade rumor turns again...for the 100th time...

---

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez appeared to show a newfound willingness to leave the Cubs on Thursday, telling Chicago reporters, “If they come to me with a trade, we’ll see.”

Ramirez’s comments, however, did not come out the way he intended, according to his agent, Paul Kinzer – and the player’s reluctance to waive his no-trade protection before Sunday’s non-waiver deadline remains unchanged.

“He doesn’t want to go anywhere,” Kinzer told FOXSports.com after speaking with Ramirez on Thursday night. “It didn’t come out the way he meant it to.”

via CM's twitter...

#Cubs Ramirez greets reporters in clubhouse saying he's not going anywhere.

of course he's not...he's a cub...the whole fuckin franchise is going nowhere...

edit...the franchise is already nowhere

LOL

years of whatever was causing him to drink so much finally caught up Hideki Irabu...dead at 42, believed to be suicide.

I'd say it's more than just believed to be a suicide, they say he hung himself. Sad stuff.

Since being moved to the bullpen last month, RHP Hung Wen Chen has gone:

0.98 ERA
0.92 WHIP
18.1 IP, 16 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 28 K, 8/8 SV

for Campeche (Mexican League)

BTW, Chen is still property of the Cubs (he was loaned to Campeche), and cannot be a minor league FA until post-2013, so an NRI to Spring Training 2012 might not be out of the question.

Would it be out of the question for the Cubs to "trade" one of their AAA pitchers for Chen now, and give him a shot (or maybe September), or is that a no-no?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 9:44pm.

Would it be out of the question for the Cubs to "trade" one of their AAA pitchers for Chen now, and give him a shot (or maybe September), or is that a no-no?

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

TRN: Last time the Cubs loaned a guy to a Mexican League club (RHP Oswaldo Martinez to Reynosa in 2009), he returned to the Cubs and was assigned to Daytona in August after the close of the Mexican League regular season.

The Mexican League regular season ended today, but Los Piratas de Campeche did qualify for the MEX playoffs, so Chen will stay there until Campeche's season is over. Then he will be returned to the Cubs, and the Cubs can assign him wherever they want.

Chen was a middle-reliever at AA Tennessee at the end of May, and was promised a starting job or closer role if he agreed to go to Campeche (which he did, and then that's what happened). So Chen might return to Tennessee once he returns to the U. S., or maybe after throwing like he did in the Mexican League, he could be assigned to Iowa, since Iowa really doesn't have a closer right now.

Thanks Phil. I see the Mexican league listed as AAA on milb.com, in your opinion is it closer to AA in difficulty?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Sat, 07/30/2011 - 4:31pm.

Thanks Phil. I see the Mexican league listed as AAA on milb.com, in your opinion is it closer to AA in difficulty?

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

REAL NEAL: Like Serie Nacional de Beisbol (Cuba), the Mexican League is actually an "Open Classification" league, meaning it has players from all different levels of the minor leagues playing together in the same league. So although it is rated a AAA league by Minor League Baseball, it really should not have a classification.

But I guess if you average it out the Mexican League is probably at the AA level, except with a lot more older "dead end" AA & AAA players than you would find in the U. S. minor leagues, and with virtually zero MLB prospects.

Cool, thanks again.

You know for all the praise Billy Beane gets, and all the talk about how a lot of people wish he would come to the Cubs, look at how awful the A's offense has been in recent years. He hasn't produced any homegrown stars in quite a few years, and this year's team is pure crap, lineup wise.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/OAK/2...

I think in a lot of cities a GM with a team like that would get fired.

theo in BOS was looking like the man beane should be...then he gave c.crawford a prime position slugger's pay for a zillion dollars and a bazillion years. ...that matsuzaka one wasn't too slick either...or jd drew...

still, he's managed to push some quality bats and arms through their system under his watch.

Was?

i still say that crawford deal was the worst contract handed to a guy since mo vaughn or albert belle...

i have no idea what was up with that crawford offer...

And walks are no good if you're just clogging the bases... Ever heard of Alfonso Soriano? Crawford was a better FA by advanced statistical analysis.

$20m a year...for someone who's never hit 20hr...for 7 years of age 29-35.

also, what does that nonsense you posted have to do with boston giving crawford a 7/$140m deal?

also, what the hell does soriano have to do with crawford? what does a cubs contract have to do with theo?

Jesus dude, read your own post before getting worked up.

"i still say that crawford deal was the worst contract handed to a guy since mo vaughn or albert belle..." You said that.

"Ever heard of Alfonso Soriano?" I said that, in response.

Where are you confused?

Discounting anything other than home runs when evaluating a player is on the same level of stupidity as saying "sometimes walks just clog the bases".

i understand where you're coming now...i was talking theo.

you lost me at "Ever heard of Alfonso Soriano? Crawford was a better FA by advanced statistical analysis"

I love the idea that a GM must be perfect in order to succeed. And JD Drew wasn't good in Boston? Really?

He earned his money two out of five year, that's not a good signing.

Anyway, I am pretty sure Boston is the best team in the AL, despite the Dice-K and Drew deals:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/powerRankings

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/...

Atleast Billy Beane has produced talent on a regular basis. Whether it be hitters early on to pitching now.....the A's still can develop talent.

If the Cubs tried to be like the A's with their current minor league system we might be the first team to go 0-162. Our minors is a wasteland of crap.

Problem being that most of the hitters were on 'roids. it's hard to decide whose reputation got the bigger boost from 'roids, jamarillo, beane, or dusty baker.

I keep hoping you'll do an in-depth piece about it.

Or did I miss it?

Art Howe, and then Tony LaRussa.

It's not like there were any clean teams, and guys no one suspected were users, so saying this team or that team had more, 10 years after the fact seems a bit of a stretch.

AZ Cubs on the road today, so not sure AZ Phil made the game, but his title of juggernaut is appropriate....AZ Cubs 24 AZ Red 4

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats...

I'm happy for AZ Phil that this year's squad of AZ Cubs have been playing pretty strong ball from the get-go. My recollection is that the AZ Cubs have not been competitive, and/or have had poor starts out of the gate, for a number of seasons.

Submitted by Eric S on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 4:21pm.

I'm happy for AZ Phil that this year's squad of AZ Cubs have been playing pretty strong ball from the get-go. My recollection is that the AZ Cubs have not been competitive, and/or have had poor starts out of the gate, for a number of seasons.

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

ERIC S: The Cubs have had a team in the AZL for only 15 years, but this is probably the best AZL Cubs team since the 2002 squad (the best AZL Cubs team ever) that featured AZL MVP CF Felix Pie, C Geovany Soto, 1B Matt Creighton, LHP Justin Jones, and RHP Billy Petrick (with Carlos Marmol playing LF and Randy Wells a back-up catcher!).

The 2008 team was the best offensive AZL Cubs team I've ever seen, with a lineup that typically went something like:

1. Tony Campana, CF (277/337/277 with 22/2 SB/CS)
2. Junior Lake, SS (285/335/417 with 6 3B and 12/2 SB/CS)
3. Starlin Castro, 2B (311/364/464 with 11 2B)
4. John Contreras, 3B (283/363/579 with 12 2B and 9 HR)
5. Nelson Perez, RF (305/341/656 with 10 3B and 9 HR)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B (388/479/713 with 9 2B)
7. Jericho Jones, LF (340/390/553)
8. Logan Watkins, DH (325/462/363)
9. Matt Cerda, C (263/341/338)

Man, that team could sure score some runs! (LHP Jeffry Antigua was the best pitcher).

I used to wonder what it meant that in your reporting, the AZ-Phil Cubs--I mean the AZ Cubs--seemed to lose every game. When I look at Peoria's record this year, I see what it meant.

So this is better.

@CarrieMuskat
Carrie Muskat #Cubs Cashner to throw off the mound Sat in Mesa. Will join team in Pittsburgh

Hoping for September return.
http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/681...

Better order extra towels...

I'm leaving my heart in sf

So what are the odds that Cashner still has soreness and ends up
needing surgery because rest did not work.

I would not be surprised this would be perfect Cubs.

If all he needs is rest why the hell bring him back this year?

So they know what they have for next year... where if he doesn't pitch and show he's healthy, then his spot on the team is in question going into the off-season.

Jackson and Vitters homered last night, and Ruskin pitched well for Iowa.

One guy I sort of liked coming out of the draft a couple years ago was Greg Rohan. He's old, and hasn't moved up nearly as quickly as you'd like a college senior to, never having displayed the HR power he did in college that he'll need to advance... but his OPS has gone up in each of his years in the organization, and, since his latest promotion, counting last night's HR he has 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 3 walks against 1 strikeout for Daytona. They're also playing him at third (drafted as first basemen, played some LF as well).

Peter Gammons says that the Pirates offered to pick up all of Ramirez's salary, the Braves were hot and heavy for Marlon Byrd and that the Indians and Red Sox both liked Baker, but Hendry wasn't interested in letting any of those building blocks go. I wouldn't have minded if he got an arm from Atlanta for Byrd then flipped him to the Astros for Bourne.

He's in the bad position where he trades all of those guys, he might sign his own pink slip. Better off finding a scapegoat and convincing the boss that it was "injuries."

So you want Hendry to flip the Astros the Byrd?

May as well, since he's doing it to all the Cubs fans.

If that is true, it of course depends on what was offered for those players, but that suggests that they should fire henry now!!!

"Li'l Abner" Abreu played left field and went one for four last night with Daytona, including an outfield assist at second base.

In other games, Jackson and Vitters homered and had three hits each.

kind of sad that Vitters was DHing. That will give him a lot of experience for his future in the AL.

also from that box score the Biscuits first baseman was Henry Wrigley. We gotta trade for that guy.

http://tennessee.smokies.milb.com/milb/stats/...

This is what passes for "player development" in the Cubs system.

Vitters' job is to hit like a 1B/LF/DH.

If you want a guy who can hit and play third base, you're asking for "toolsy." I haven't heard Vitters described that way.

Also not sure why people are interested in six-eight more years of Aramis-like defense at third.

Yeah, Matt Dominguez played DH this year too, so he's probably going to play 1st in the majors.

The problem there is Vitters' hitting...

And I think "people" would like a 3B for the next "six-eight more years", which is what Vitters was supposed to turn into...

Speaking of Wrigley (now a division of Mars Candies), who owns the Skittles brand:

Share the Rainbow, Skittles bootleg ad...

(Warning, content might be considered..."tasteless?")

http://www.vimeo.com/26753142

Skittles history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skittles_(confectionery)

(Warning, content might be considered..."tasteless?")

Well! I guess so...

http://baseballbytheletters.blogspot.com/2011...

submitted for your approval; check it out...

stage 4 colon cancer...damn

I remember going to a lot of Cub games back in 1961-62-63, and hardly a game went by where Bob Will did not pinch-hit. It was automatic. He was the Blake DeWitt of the '62 Cubs.

And you a-holes wanted to trade Soriano.

it's weird, it's like this team isn't very good or something...

Soriano wearing the Bozo suit today but he's just a pimple on the ass of Cubbery in this game.

Anyone else think the Holliday slide into Castro was dirty?

Was watching it with no volume. The batter should have been called out, since he started his slide after he passed the bag. I hope they put one in his ear, or hurt one of their middle infielders tomorrow.

yes.

I didn't watch it, but Zonk sounded pretty upset on the radio

Cubs didn't seem to think it was clean

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/681...

clip

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?co...

that's a shit play by Holliday, next time he runs at second base Castro should aim at his head instead of 1b.

Um, yeah, that was a bullshit play. The thing is, Holliday looks awkward as hell, almost like he forgot to even slide to make it look good until the last second, then you see him jab that foot out.

I second whoever said put one in his ear tomorrow. Fucker.

Kept waiting for Quade to steal Derryl Cousins' hat and run away with it. Disappointing.

@Buster_ESPN
Buster Olney Cubs informing other teams that they will not trade Carlos Pena before the deadline.

odd.

hendry gonna try to make PIT beg for him? d.lee...you suddenly have value.

D. Lee to the Pirates for an A ball hitter.

there goes one of only a few teams who could use a 1st baseman...too bad ARZ isn't an AL team that can carry a DH...they'll probably try to slide through with what they have at 1st.

Submitted by crunch on Sat, 07/30/2011 - 8:16pm.

there goes one of only a few teams who could use a 1st baseman...too bad ARZ isn't an AL team that can carry a DH...they'll probably try to slide through with what they have at 1st.

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

CRUNCH: I think the D'backs would probably have an interest in Carlos Pena, if the Cubs would take somebody like Brandon Allen back and pay some of Pena's remaining salary. Except the Cubs apparently don't want to trade him. Reed Johnson would be a good fit for the Diamondbacks, too.

Perhaps it's just a matter of the Cubs trying to pump-up demand for Pena, and then they'll trade him in August, like they did with Derrek Lee last year.

Clearly hendry is just baiting ricketts to fire him at this point.

if both r.johnson and c.pena make it til the end of the year as a cub my head will splode.

with campy around the need for a backup CF'r is filled...he can also cover corners well enough...lots of options to replace c.pena.

And no reason to keep this team together -- are we trying to arrange for the same exact run next year? Or is Hendry pushing the "we would've competed if not for injuries" hallucination?

Remember when the trade deadline was the time when Hendry used to shine? Ramirez/Lofton, Garciaparra, Harden, Lawton... it was the one time of year when he actually looked like an exceptional GM.

I don't know if we could have gotten Bourne for Byrd, but then Hendry of seven years ago probably would have.

Bourn traded to the Braves, btw. Jordan Shafer and three useful, if not stellar, minor league arms.

Hendry is good as a buyer, terrible as a seller. In fact, he is bad at letting players leave the team...either he keeps players who shouldn't be retained or loses them without compensation.

Not trading Pena is a good example. Unless we offer him arbitration for next year, we will lose him for nothing. And if we are going to try for Pujols/Fielder, we likely will not offer him arbitration (particularly because it is uncertain how many teams will be bidding for him if they have to give up a draft pick in the acquisition, so the offer of arbitration may be accepted). So we rent Pena for a year, still end up a terrible team (though not in anyway because of Pena), and lose him for nothing.

When Hendry is buying, he will gladly overpay, if necessary, to strengthen the team. But when he is selling, he is often unable to either pull the deal when he should or receive players that will have value to the major league team in return.

I doubt Pena is going to be a Type A guy, so Hendry could offer him Arbitration and trade him if he accepts, or use it as insurance/leverage in the Fielder negotiations. Hendry isn't that smart, though.

He hasn't reaaly overpaid as a buyer at the deadline. His one real clunker was the Pierre trade.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/elias-rankings/

the latest update shows Pena not being worth any compensation at the moment

somehow Marlon Byrd is a Type A and Fukudome would be a Type B.

If we are going to receive nothing (and in those rankings, Pena isn't close to getting ranked, so I think we can assume we won't) and we aren't going to resign him, there is no reason to keep him on this team.

Submitted by Rob G. on Sun, 07/31/2011 - 12:15pm.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/elias-rankings/

the latest update shows Pena not being worth any compensation at the moment

somehow Marlon Byrd is a Type A and Fukudome would be a Type B.

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

ROB G: Marlon Byrd is signed through the 2012 season, so being rated a Type "A" right now by Elias is interesting, but irrelevant.

And Kosuke Fukudome will have accrued only four years (4+000) of MLB Service Time through the 2011 season, so he is NOT eligible to be an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2011, either.

A club can receive compensation for losing a player only if the player is a free-agent by virtue of CBA Article XX-B (player has at least six years of MLB Service Time, player does not have a contract for the following season, and player's former club offers the player salary arbitration on 11/23).

However...

Even though he does not have the right to be an MLB Artcle XX-B FA post-2011, Kosuke does have the right (in his contract) to receive his Outright Release if he has not signed a contract extension by 11-15-2011, so that's how he can (and surely will) be a free-agent.

Otherwise he would be eligible for salary arbitration, and since the very least he would get in 2012 through arbitration would be $10.8M (that's the max 20% cut from his $13.5M 2011 salary), he would almost certainly be non-tendered on 12/2 even if he did not receive his Outright Release in November.

Rob, that's somehow sad and hilarious all at the same time.

It's only funny cuz it's true...

The only Cubbish-Hendryist thought I can get my head around about Pena is what he adds "to the clubhouse". Which, then, is the same thing to say about RJohnson, with his scrappiness and all.

What I can't for the life of me figure out is who, if anybody, should come back next year.

This team (money aside, although that just makes it worse) has the SECOND-F***ING-WORST record in ALL THE MAJOR LEAGUES.

The time to end your association with the people responsible is long past overdue.

I'm honestly sick and tired of hearing about players not playing 'the way they should'. What they, the reporters, JH, whoever mean, is that they don't play 'the way they ARE PAID'.

So stop f***ing paying them. I think it was Lou (God help us) who said it but it's still true, something to the effect of "every team wins 60 and loses 60, and it's what you do with the other 40 games blah blah drool".

So if that's roughly the case, and that's what the dear Cubs are going to do anyway, save the money and call up Iowa. No, no, I mean the whole team.

Some AL team 'on the cusp' (I'm looking at you, MacPhailure) will trade 1 (one) bag of balls for Soriano, if the Cubs pay 1/2 (one-half) his remaining salary. Does that suck? Yes. But you wouldn't have to look at him every f***ing day making a mockery of the fact that he makes more than the GNP of some small countries for playing half assed baseball to the level which I REFUSE to believe a hungry 18-22 y/o couldn't match.

And that is but one example.

The fact that the only thing the Cubs have managed this close to the trade deadline is paying Fukudome to piss off Cleveland fans for the rest of the year is atrocious.

I have been a pretty staunch Hendry apologist (except the whole Milton Bradley thing) for quite awhile, but we've moved to f***ing ludicrous speed.

Fire the whole damn lot of 'em and start over, and start with Hendry if you have to.

Find a housewife who's run at least one yard sale in her life and make her the interim GM until spring.

FIRE. SALE. NOW.

so there was a deal for Rich Harden to Red Sox for Lars Anderson and then deal fell through after medicals.

best tweet I've seen on it...

Trying to figure out what could be in Harden's medicals that could scare a team off at the last minute. Best guess: Rich Harden is dead.
@cwyers

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/p...

per the discussion of what deadline deals ever panned out

Verlander with a no-no going in the 8th, Angels doing some shady crap. Weaver went berserk when Maggs hr'd in the 7th, then yelled at him running the bases, then threw at the head of the next batter and got ejected. Angels came out and bunted to start the 8th and Verlander threw it away for an error. Announcers criticizing the Angels.

Game is on MLB Network if anyone is around.

No-hitter broke up with 2 outs in the 8th.

With the trade deadline fast approaching maybe we must accept the fact that we just don't have anyone that a contender might want.

certainly not what the rumors indicate...

i never even heard r.johnson's name mentioned...odd.

probably cause he's hurt all the time and really can only hit lefties.

OK. The trade deadline has passed and no one wanted any Cub--- except that we paid Cleveland to take Fukudome. Now they have to clear waivers. Do we have anyone worth the waiver price?

sounds like people wanted pena...but not the 6-7m owed.

he should be tradable after the deadline unless someone is stupid enough to actually claim him to block when he hits waivers.

According to georg offman

Amazing. Told the Rangers were interested in Marmol but the Cubs turned them down.

And why would we want to trade Marmol?

Lipstick on a pig?

Not give him away but if someone wants to over pay for him, send him on his way.

Yeah, why would you want to trade any of these guys? I mean, bring them back next year, and we can have a shot at the #1 overall pick!

Cant wait to see how bad Cubs look tonite on espn at least they will
be able to put out the same lineup that has 42 wins so far.

Also interested to see if someone throws at a Cardinal tonite maybe
Dumpster watched Jarred Weaver today.

that should have been taken care of with russell yesterday, imo.

If it was the other way Larussa would of.

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

Pena happy he wasn't traded because winning is for idiots...

"I'd rather have someone really working toward our common goal, instead of (trading players) just for show," he said. "Our GM is not like that. He's not trying to 'look' like he's working. He's working. It's totally different than (thinking) 'I can fool the world by switching a couple pieces here,' and it really looks like he's making moves, making changes. When in reality it's just all for show.

"He's not like that. He's doing something that's going to mean something at the end of it all, something substantial, and we're going to reap the benefits. I'd rather have that. We put all our heads together, all our energy together, and personally, I'm excited about the possibility of me being part of that team. Even with our record at this point, with our difficulties, I can say the same thing. I'm excited about what's coming."

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

"The days are gone when (a deal) has to be done by the deadline," Hendry said. "Everybody gets all (upset), 'If you didn't do something by 3 o'clock today, this is a disaster.' I don't put much stock into that. The guys we kept, for the most part, are guys that still have a chance to be involved next year. And if we do make a trade or two in August, that's no more or less significant than if we made them today."

~snip~

Whether fans accept the explanation is inconsequential. The only one Hendry has to answer to is his boss, Chairman Tom Ricketts. Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd drew some interest, but Pena may be in their plans for 2012, and Byrd is signed through next year at $6 million.

Sources said there was no interest in struggling reliever John Grabow, while the player who would've commanded the most attention, third baseman Aramis Ramirez, decided to exercise his rights to not be traded. A rumor that the Cubs spoke to Texas about Carlos Marmol proved to be false, as were rumors that anyone was interested in Carlos Zambrano.

There was no pressure on Hendry to shed payroll, or to make changes simply to pacify the angry mob of Cubs fans.

of course Pena could still be in their plans for 2012 even if they did trade him, but don't let that get in the way.

I do understand keeping a player because we don't have his in house replacement. You could easily Argue that Brett Jackson needs to start next year in the minors, and that is a good enough reason to keep Byrd. While this is no defense for keeping Pena and Reed Johnson, I wondered about needing spots on the 40 man roster. AZPhil's handy page shows that we'll open up spots from Grabow, Rodrigo Lopez, Ramon Ortiz and, if they don't return, Pena, Reed Johnson, Ramirez and Wood. I'm assuming that Dempster will be back.

There are a number of players up for the 40 man that we will need to protect:
Vitters
Szczur
Dae_Eun Rhee
Nelson Perez
Junior Lake
Jay Jackson
Marwin Gonzalez
Ryan Flaherty
Steve Clevenger
Hung-Wen Chen
Jeffrey Beliveau
Jeffry Antigua

There are a few others that are borderline to add or not to add, but the list above is 12.

We could stand to release a number of players currently on the 40 man:
Berg
Caridad
Schlitter
Smit?
Koyie Hill
Montanez

That's 6 spots, in addition to:
Grabow
R Lopez
R Ortiz

For 9 total new spots. Cashner is on the 60 day DL, so that leaves 8 spots assuming the return of:

Dempster
Ramirez
Pena/FA
Wood
Reed Johnson

Maybe Wood won't come back, and maybe Reed is let go, but I wouldn't be surprised to see either of them back next year.

It would be pretty easy to pick at least a few names off the 40 man from the list of prospects.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Lopez back as a swing man/AAA starter next season. The Cubs are damn short on starting pitching.

I'd really like to see the Cubs consider a return to the rotation for Sean Marshall next year. Who else is going to start? Samjay? Cashner may not be healthy enough.

I'm in the same camp on Rodrigo Lopez. I'd offer him a 1 year/1 million dollar contract to be the 6th starter, long pen man next year. Worst case is you release him if he stinks up the joint.

Of course I said the same thing about Glendon Rusch before and Hendry dropped the 2/5 on him. So who knows?

Jumbo,

I think you're being "over-protective."

Rhee and Antigua may be decent prospects, but they're pitching for Daytona. They're not going to make the jump to the majors for someone else, so you don't have to protect them. Nelson Perez was just demoted to Daytona. No worries about losing Chen. I doubt Gonzalez will go in the rule 5. Jackson, maybe.

Szczur has a .720 OPS in A ball right now. Doubt anyone tries to stash him for a year for that matter?

"Szczur has a .720 OPS in A ball right now."

He's .796 at Peoria, .752 at Daytona, .788 combined. (Baseball Reference)

2 for 5 with a triple last night. Rose it up from .720 to .752 overnight.

None the less. He isn't sticking on an MLB roster regardless. So no need to waste the 40 man spot and burn up his options until you need to.

Unless it's in his contract.

He's a top 50 prospect in the game, if he were eligble for the draft, some team would take him as a defensive replacement, pinch runner for a year, then send him back down.

I could see a small-market team taking a chance on him in a rebuilding year, and I could see his skills transferring to the majors well enough for him to manage a .600 or .650 OPS next year. That's Sam Fuld territory, right there.

A low 700 A ball OPS isn't translating to a .650 OPS in MLB.

If he was a gold glove Shortstop or a Molina-esque defensive catcher MAYBE someone would try to stash him. But nobody is going to waste a 25 man spot on a kid who you can't find 100 at bats for. He'd still have to spend 2 more years in the minors after 2012 to be remotely useful.

Haha. Like Castro need two years after high A, right?

No way.....He's obviously a finished product.

Not sure how Castro matters in this instance though?

Ok.....so you take a chance on leaving Szczur unprotected....who in his first full season of baseball plyed well enough to get promoted to Hi-A? Oh..and let's judge him on those 72 atbats at Hi-A? It's their own fault, but the Cubs may have to add him if they want to keep him.

I'm not saying the kid isn't a prospect. I'm saying he isn't anywhere good enough at this point for someone to roster him for a year to keep him. He isn't that highly thought of a prospect for someone to try that.

He didn't hit well enough in Low A Ball for someone to stash him. I suspect a real organization wouldn't be trying to push him so hard.

If the Cubs didn't give him that ridiculous contract and want the PR push. I doubt they would even consider it?

Felix Pie ran out of options before he was ever useful to the Cubs. You want Szczur to be out of options before he even gets to AAA?

I'm sure AZ Phil could clarify this, but I think Szczur gets an extra option year or something since this would be his first full year. I don't really know how that works. How long would Szczur have to be left in the minors to burn through all his options anyway? He'd be kinda old by that point.

The 4th option year would be helpful. I figure his next 3 years will be

2012- High A
2013- AA
2014- AAA

He better hit the ground running after that.

I think the Cubs would like to see him in the picture to start the 2014 season. That may be optimistic, though. I think it's possible he starts next year at AA or gets promoted to AA fairly early, unless his OBP drops off.

Submitted by Charlie on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 9:53am.
I'm sure AZ Phil could clarify this, but I think Szczur gets an extra option year or something since this would be his first full year. I don't really know how that works. How long would Szczur have to be left in the minors to burn through all his options anyway? He'd be kinda old by that point.

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

CHARLIE: If the Cubs add Matt Szczur to their 40-man roster post-2011, he will get four minor leaue option years, as long as the 4th option is used prior to completing five "full seasons" (which means he would have to use the 4th option year prior to the 2016 season).

A player accrues a "full season" when he spends at least 90 days on an MLB or full-season minor league team's Active List (time spent with Boise, AZL Cubs, and DSL Cubs doesn't count), or at least 60 days on an MLB or full-season minor league team's Active List prior to getting placed on the Disabled List, followed by time spent on the Disabled List where the total number of days accrued is at least 90.

Because 2011 is the first season where Szczur will accrue a "full season," he cannot accrue five "full seasons" until the end of the 2015 season at the earliest (or it could be even later than that if he misses most or all of a future season due to injury).

BTW, D. J. LeMahieu and Rafael Dolis also will get four minor league options during the course of their careers (LeMahieu used one this year but will have three left as of next season, and Dolis has used two but will still have two left as of next season), because each had completed only one "full season" (as defined by MLB) prior to being placed on an MLB 40-man roster.

Jeff Samardzija also used four minor league options (2007-10) prior to running out of options this season, because he was placed on the Cubs 40-man roster before he even completed one "full season."

Actually, ALL players get four minor league options, but a player can't use the 4th one if he has completed five "full seasons" prior to getting a chance to use it.

Pie...yeah that handled him well didnt they? Ugh....

And he was a high .800's low 900's OPS guy in AA before we put him on the 40 man roster.

I'd just rather we used the 40 man for people who can help the big club now. For people who are close to the MLB level. Not an A ball outfielder who isn't really doing all that well at the A ball level.

Ok..I get you don't think much of Szczur....but as former footballers go, he's performing pretty damn well in his first full season of baseball.

I like the kid just fine. It's a nice human interest story. He's apparently got some tools.

I just think the gushing hype some are placing on him is completely unwarranted. JMHO

Ok...I'm just not sure what "gushing hype" you're talking about. Discussing putting him on the 40 man roster to ensure they can keep him, which is due to the Cubs' mishandling of his contract, isn't really gushing hype.

"A low 700 A ball OPS isn't translating to a .650 OPS in MLB.

If he was a gold glove Shortstop or a Molina-esque defensive catcher MAYBE..."

Koyie Hill is laughing at you right now.

Could be. I might be confusing some players, too. A couple of the pen arms could easily get taken, but you're right about a guy like Nelson Perez. I guess the minor league portion of the rule 5 works differently.

and finally Wrongway

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

It was unrealistic to think the Cubs could unload Carlos Zambrano or Alfonso Soriano, but they said thanks but no thanks when contenders inquired about Carlos Pena, Marlon Byrd and even Jeff Baker, and it appears Hendry never considered moving the players with the most value, like Matt Garza, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol.

Rival executives are puzzled why Hendry did nothing other than open up a spot for Tyler Colvin. He takes responsibility for the stand-pat plan, but you wonder if this is a case of him being a good soldier for his bosses, Tom Ricketts and Crane Kenney. Their priority seems to be on attendance, not the won-loss record.

Rival executives are puzzled why Hendry did nothing other than open up a spot for Tyler Colvin.
-----
I'm puzzled why Hendry did nothing other than open up a spot for Reed Johnson? (Left handed hitting Colvin didn't play today vs righty Westbrook)

The real problem is that Hendry just doesn't seem to think the whole team needs to be blown apart. I guess that would be tantamount to saying that he himself has been utterly worthless over the last couple years. Both Marmol and Marshall are due for major injuries -- they're pitchers, after all, so trading them when their value is still high is an obvious temptation, you would think. Who knows, maybe what was offered was crap, though. I'm so tuned out of this team right now -- I see no hope on the horizon unless Ricketts does what any owner would do when watching bad management ruin the business.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/6072

if anyone thought LaHair or Matt Spencer were being considered for anything

The way Hendry put it, the rate of return the Cubs would get on a player like Carlos Pena wasn’t enough to make a trade attractive and that Pena is a possibility for next year.

“There’s not somebody waiting to take his place for next year in-house like Tyler is hopeful to do that in the outfield in moving Fuke,” Hendry said. You have to look at it that way, too.

“The other factor, if you get a second-tier or two prospect back and you already have people better than that in your own system, then you really haven’t done anything to help the organization, and then you’re also put in the spot where if you add minor-league players today, that means somebody’s going to be sent backwards in our system or eliminated. That’s just the way I looked at it.”

Couldn't we have gotten a second tier GM back? That would improve the organization.

Matt Spencer (.259/.329/.460) is Doc Aaron's lookout, but I do think that the Cubs are considering LaHair for something.

LaHair is plan B. If you trade Pena, there's no plan B.

that makes no sense

In his defense, it makes at least as much sense as Hendry's quotes above.

3rd crap jay jackson AAA start in a row...tonight...

4.1ip 8h 4er(5r) 4bb 2k

it was looking like he was rebounding in the 1st half of july, but that was then...

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

The Pittsburgh Pirates were the main player in trade talks for Pena. But it appeared Hendry and his staff made a decision that they will hold on to Pena for a couple of reasons. If Albert Pujols stays in St. Louis and Prince Fielder signs elsewhere, Pena would be coveted as the next-best first baseman on the free-agent market. The Cubs would be hard-pressed to bring in someone with Pena's ability and intangibles.

I so confused as to why anyone with the Cubs thinks that not trading Pena (whose agent is Boras) makes it any easier to retain Pena for next year.

So... does Hendry understand what free agency means? Really, the only benefit to keeping him is if he's traded you lose the ability to negotiate an extension for next year. If the Cubs want to sign him long-term, then it means they really aren't interested in Pujols or Fielder at all- and that would be alright with me.

I really have zero interest in Pena or Ramirez next year on this team. I want talent back in the minors.

But that is the catch 22, i firmly believe the scouts, the evaluation process, the development people are some of the worst in all of baseball. I wouldn't trust them to select or get any good talent in a trade.

And if anyone was remotely worth a damn in the minors we would move quickly to purge Marlon Byrd, Pena, and Ramirez, but no one is even remotely close. So whats a GM to do? With no help from the minors Hendry's only logical step is to stand pat.

It is further reinforced by the fact that the one player who the Cubs might want to play more was Tyler Colvin and the only player we moved was Fukudome to get him more playing time.

That was the best the Cubs could do to improve their hopes for next year to give playing time to guy with a hole in his swing larger than the hole in the titanic.

So yeah i get why Hendry did what he did. Pena is better, Byrd is better, Colvin is better than anything we got in the minors.

Been a fan since 1989 and the Cubs have never officially done a rebuilding phase where they purge the roster and restock the minors. Still waiting for that day, and I thought that is what Ricketts wanted. Apparently we are still business first, baseball 2nd on the priority list.

"Apparently we are still business first, baseball 2nd on the priority list"

Ricketts may be in for a little surprise from the business side next year when he starts trying to sell season tickets. Traditionally, you haven't needed a good Cubs team to fill the seats, but the days of WGN Superstation saturating the nation with Cubs games with little competition are over. I wouldn't be surprised if 8 and 9 year old kids, the kind of age I was when I became a Cubs fan, are becoming White Sox fans in Chicago right now, and the days of creating Cubs fans in other parts of the country are over.

Ricketts bought this team in a heavily leveraged way, much in the way Zell bought the Tribune. I realize all teams get debt financing, but this team, if I remember right, was about half financed by three big banks and another big chunk by institutional investors, presumably to help shore up Wrigley.

Rickett's margin for error is pretty small. If he doesn't field a winning team, soon, he's going to be looking at some serious financial issues because even Cubs fans, I think, are reaching their limit.

If the same core team shows up next year, you would hope that fans will tune out, much like I have this year.

If 2 million fans trot through the gates next year again with the same bunch of buffoons, then I guess we Cubs fans get what we deserve.

Mike C: Rebuild.

O & B: Field a winning team soon.

Well- Which is it? :) I'm okay with Pena returning, I think he's a fine 1B and gives good LH power (though I agree with MikeC on Ramirez... if they want an overpaid, free-swinging RH power hitter with no plate discipline, they already have Soriano locked up a few more years).

Here's the Ryno plan: To replace Ramirez, I would be more interested in a boring defensive-3b. I would also find a real big-league SS and move Castro to 2B or maybe Castro to 3B... the point is, the team needs to improve DRASTICALLY and MASSIVELY on the defense side. This should be the number one priority.

Once they do all that, they can find about three starting pitchers worth a damn to create some semblance of a big league pitching rotation and move Cashner, Wells, and Coleman to the minors to pitch and only call them up if someone gets hurt. This is how you create pitching depth and eliminate mid-year injury excuse-making.

If there was ever a team that could withstand the pain of a rebuilding process while still keeping attendance relatively high, it's the Cubs. If Ricketts/Hendry took the team down to a $75 million payroll (with the promise that it's only temporary), attendance would certainly drop, but the Cubs are in the unique position of drawing tourists to Wrigley, in addition to actual fans. Folks who come from all over the Midwest to Chicago for vacation in the summer will keep Wrigley on their itinerary, regardless of their record.

Here's how the numbers break down (please excuse the fact that this doesn't take into consideration revenue from TV/Radio, but those probably wouldn't be lower than this year's anyway).

If you look at the Cubs' average ticket price ($46.90) + avg concessions (~$20?) x attendance (roughly 3mil) - payroll ($126m) you get gross profit of $74mil. To keep the same gross profit on a $65mil payroll, attendance could drop all the way to 2.1mil fans.

Since that's unrealistic, maybe give them an $85mil payroll, and attendance could drop to 2.4mil and still keep the same gross profit. The last time attendance at Wrigley was that low was 1997.

Alternatively, they could drop avg ticket prices down to $37/ticket, draw 2.8mil fans, and still keep the same profit on an $85mil payroll.

As long as we're going to suffer through 70-win seasons, we might as well at least think mgmt is planning for the future.

You're missing a whole bunch of costs in your numbers, break down, fwiw. I am not sure if those extra costs are balanced by the missing broadcast revenues.

As long as we're going to suffer through 70-win seasons, we might as well at least think mgmt is planning for the future.

That's the rub, though isn't it?

The only possible explanation I can come up with is that he hopes the team goes on a pretty good hot streak from here on out to trick Ricketteses into thinking they had the potential to win, if not for some bad breaks... unfortunately the really bad break the Cubs had this year, was their GM.

I'll have to sit down and think about it, but I wonder if there really is a way to have this team a legitimate playoff contender for 2012, other than with a $150 million payroll.

Well yeah, there are tons of costs that aren't included, but I have a feeling broadcast revenues are going to be low next year whether it's Aramis Ramirez Carlos Pena leading the charge to 70 wins or some AAA scrubs.

Jim Hendry is a good example of moral hazard in action. His job is to have the club's best interests in mind, but he's running the system with his own short-term interests in mind. I think the only person who doesn't realize this is Tom Ricketts.

There's no silver bullet to make us a contender in 2012, so anything short of completely restocking the farm system just puts us further away from contention.

But you're not going to restock the farm system trading Carlos Pena, Kerry Wood and Jeff Reed. Aram-Ram was the only guy who could have brought back a premium prospect.

That's true, but you never know - some low A ball guy might turn into something. I guess I'd rather roll the dice with a bunch of unknowns than keep trotting out the same pile of shit.

I could be wrong about this, but I'm guessing broadcast revenues are guaranteed when they sign a deal and has little to do with viewership. WGN or someone else might lower the offer the next negotiations if they're not bringing the viewers, but it shouldn't affect the Cubs bottom line much. On the other hand, they do owe 25% of CSN Chicago. That presumably would be affected by ad sales and ratings.

I'm sure you're right, but I just don't know how often they renegotiate. Every year? Every 5 years? Whatever it is, if the team sucks it isn't going to matter if they suck with vets or if they suck with rookies.

Only problem is the guys in the Minors are equally as terrible. There isn't a frontline prospect ANYWHERE in the system.

This whole mess needs to be cleaned up by a new competent front office.

Some mind numbing qoutes there rob. Getting some 2nd tier prospects back would be great because it might shed some dead wood of talent we currently have. Our AAA roster has about 10 people that can easily be replaced.

The budget is bloated the farm system is junk the team isnt going to get better its time to sell and restock. But apparently with the 2nd worst record in baseball we still are not shitty enough to be sellers.

if this makes anyone feel better...

sorting by wRC+ (similar to OPS+ where 100 is average), White Sox have 4 guys in the majors among the worst 21...

Rios (44), Dunn(66), Pierre(77), Beckham(81)

yet somehow they're only the 4th worse offense in the AL.

Barney is the worst Cub at 85

Az Phil,

Can you give me a scouting report on Frank Batista? He seems to be putting together a solid season as a closer.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6822275/tra...

A summary of the Cubs' dead line moves.

"Now that," said one scout, "is a deadline loser if I ever saw one."

More mocking from national media
http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/po...

The franchise blames the curse?

Krane Kenney did have a Greek Orthodox priest bless the dugout in 2008 during playoffs.

Yes, and while that was indeed stupid, the line about the team blaming the curse is more stupid.

the billy goat line was a cheap shot, but this a good point.

(In case you're thinking a team shouldn't compromise and get 20 cents on the dollar for a player in a trade just because it has no leverage, you know what's worse than 20 cents on the dollar? Zero cents on the dollar.)

It's not really 0 cents on the dollar, though, since there is going to be some marginal revenue associated with a slightly better team. Maybe in Pena's case it helps take fielding pressure off of Castro and Barney and they develop into better players because of his presence. Maybe he helps Colvin learn to be a high walk, low contact slugger...maybe they feel like keeping him around gives them a better chance to sign him for less money next year, or maybe he really is headed towards being a type B free agent (assuming they're not properly weighing 2011 season stats in those Alias projections).

As I argued after the Fukudome trade, there's little to no reason to suspect Hendry could have gotten something useful back for Pena, so that part doesn't bother me so much. What bothers me is that the GM and apparently the owner think that the team is a tweak or two away from contention in 2012. It's detachment from reality that not trading him exhibits, moreso than a sketchy grasp of sunk costs.

All good points, but even if the Cubs got nothing back in return, maybe the cost savings could have gone toward signing a few big talent draftees over slot. Or, since finding good prospects seems to be a numbers game as much as talent evaluation, maybe they could have gotten lucky in a trade. When you know the prize behind door number 1 isn't anything special, why not at least try door number 2?

does anyone think c.pena (who even quade won't let face lefties most of the time, and is owed 6-7m) is going to bring anything more worthy than a courtesy golf clap?

even if the cubs suck up all the loot you're still dealing with a guy who's "2011 rebound" didn't come with a return to power surge.

yeah, it's better than doing nothing, but even mid-level curiosity talent coming in has to bump someone else out of a chance.

the biggest punch to the gut this trading deadline seems to be the 2 guys who refused to go...aram and wood.

that said, i wouldn't be surprised to see him traded later, but i still wouldn't expect much.

does anyone think c.pena (who even quade won't let face lefties most of the time, and is owed 6-7m) is going to bring anything more worthy than a courtesy golf clap?

Yes.

"Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma has hired a new agent and plans to sign with a MLB team this offseason."

snap.

take that oakland.

so now the 2011/2012 FA starter market is c.wilson, h.iwakuma, m.buehrle, and a 38 year old h.kurdoa followed by a slew of meh and ew.

...technically cc sab can opt out of his contract, but it's already huge and bloated...plus he has a damn big house in NY.

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