Promotion of the Roster Snatchers

Slowly, the infiltration has begun.

Marlon Byrd’s banishment from the nest cleared the way for Tony Campana’s
temporary custody of the roster spot reserved for Brett Jackson. If Soriano’s
reinvention as a singles hitter who doesn’t even manage many of those goes on,
how long might it be until LaHair takes his team-leading [no, it’s not saying
much] slugging totals to the outfield and defers to Raker Rizzo, the scourge of
PCL pitchers, at first base? We shall see.

In the meantime, today at Principal Park the Cubs-in waiting
wrapped up a four-game set with their Cardinal counterparts from Memphis, dropping a 4-0 yawner in front of a sun splashed crowd that couldn't have cared less. On
the mound for the Redbirds was their prized pitching prospect, Shelby Miller.
Miller’s stumbled a bit out of the PCL gate so far but remains highly touted [#8 prospect in baseball per BA last time I looked] and eagerly awaited in St. Lou as shadows lengthen on the careers of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.

Oneri Fleita's been in town for this series. I passed him on the concourse just before the anthem and asked if he were here for any particular reason just so he could feel recognized outside of the team offices. He smiled and said it's a routine trip.

Travis Wood took the mound opposite Miller and acquitted hinself nicely. He was saddled with the loss despite yielding only one earned run in six innings while walking two and fanning eight.

After four innings the linescores were identical at 0-4-0. The I-Cubs had a crack at Miller in the bottom of the first when they loaded the bases on two walks and a bloop single by Rizzo that came on Miller's 22nd pitch of the frame. It was the first one put in play and one of only two out of the 33 he threw in laying that first goose egg.

Miller needed just 58 more to hang four more zeroes before leaving after five scoreless innings and giving way to a violent bastard named Maikel Cleto who throws in the upper 90's and reminds of Bob Gibson, maybe 20 pounds heavy. It's not hard to imagine Miller facing a few of these I-Cubs many more times in the years to come. Today he got the best of them. Besides Rizzo's blooper, Wellington Castillo grounded a single to left and Josh [Junior Varsity] Vitters also dinked one safely and softly into the outfield, his fifth hit in his last almost 40 AB's. Brett Jackson drew a walk and fanned twice. He also stole a base and drew another free pass later from one of Miller's successors. He took himself into a couple of 0-2 counts and never stroked a ball fair until his fifth plate appearance when he grounded out in the 9th. He remains tied for the team lead in extra base hits with 10.

Rizzo made a careless error, his fourth, in the middle of a sequence in the top of the 5th that saw Memphis load the bases without nudging the ball beyond the infield grass. His miscue was sandwiched by a walk and Miller getting hit by a pitch while trying to sacrifice. All it took was a glancing single over a drawn-in infield to put the Redbirds in front 2-0 and send the I-Cubs to their seventh loss in eight tries.

Rizzo's splits are as wide as the aisle in Congress. He's now 4/23 against southpaws and hitting righties at damn near a .500 clip!

As for JV, jeez, when's the last time a touted prospect hit eighth in the lineup? It may be early yet in the season but his development is getting on now. Maybe Oneri can take him aside before he leaves town.



Comments

It didn't look like that on my laptop!

I don't want a platoon player at first, I want a superstar. Banish Rizzo until he ups the score on lefties! Free Lahair!!!

"Banish Rizzo until he ups the score on lefties!"

that's everyone's biggest fear...what he can actually do vs. lefties...the rest of his game is nearly MLB-ready.

Yeah, nobody wants Baker starting every third or fourth game at 1B. But how many young lefty sluggers held their own against southpaws from the get-go? That might be a skill that comes with (painful, ugly) exposure, which might come at the MLB level.

What a uniquely un-Cub problem we may have: two Power Hitting lefty first basemen! Actually it reminds me when Grace / Palmeiro came up. Accept LaHair wasn't really a prospect of late, and Grace never had any power. Still when pushed, will the Cubs keep the right one?

how was the cubs to know palmeiro would get on the TEX diet of roids, roids, and more roids when they let him go?

the 90s phillies, rangers, and A's teams have a lot to answer for in the way of "meds."

I liked the skinny Palmiero better than Grace too. Dude could crush line drives in his sleep.

I'm blanking on this, crunch. Who was crushing/roiding up on the Phillies?

dalton, dykstra, inky

Dykstra has pretty much just roided up on life itself.

and it's hard as hell to get j.kruk to talk about it though you can see on his face he'd love to rat out some of that locker room.

they're a long rumored/known roiding team. one of those "worst kept secret" type things...

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  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 5 hours 16 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 5 hours 31 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 5 hours 44 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 8 hours 53 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 9 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 10 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 17 hours 44 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 18 hours 15 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 18 hours 36 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 19 hours 9 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 19 hours 19 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 19 hours 38 min ago view