Cubs Best and Worst of April

A look at the have and have-nots down on the farm.

Team The Good The Bad The Interesting
Iowa

A. Rizzo (86 AB's)

384/430/663

7 HR, 23 RBI, 6 BB, 18 K

Jay Jackson (20.1 IP)

1-2, 6.20 ERA

8 BB, 11 K, 2 HR

Chris Rusin (27.1 IP)

2-2, 2.63 ERA

6 BB, 13 K, 1 HR

Tennessee

N. Struck (27.1 IP)

2-2, 3.29 ERA

11 BB, 24 K, 2 HR

Jae-Hoon Ha (93 AB's)

247/311/312

0 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 3/5 SB, 7 BB, 20 K

K. Rhoderick (10 IP)

1-2, 2 Saves, 1.80 ERA

3 BB, 12 K, 1 HR

Daytona

Nelson Perez (69 AB's)

261/402/522

3 HR, 13 RBI, 3/4 SB, 16 BB, 22 K

H. Simpson (18.2 IP)

0-3, 8.20 ERA

15 BB, 7 K, 4 HR

A. Kirk (29.1 IP)

1-0, 1.53 ERA

7 BB, 15 K, 0 HR

Peoria

Michael Jensen (29 IP)

3-1, 2.79 ERA

8 BB, 22 K, 1 HR

T. Easterling (58 AB's)

172/273/207

0 HR,  5/7 SB, 3 BB, 20 K

K. Burke (21 IP)

0-1, 1.71 ERA

4 BB, 17 K, 0 HR

 

Honorable Mention:

W. Castillo 320/435/520 - 2 HR, 8 RBI, 8 BB, 12 K

G. Rohan 295/370/495 - 5 HR, 28 RBI, 12 BB, 11 K

R. Silva 342/398/461 - 7 XBH, 0/5 SB, 7 BB, 15 K

O. Zapata 304/391/446 - 2 HR, 4 RBI, 8 R, 3/5 SB, 7 BB, 15 K

P. Francescon: 2-1, 2.00 ERA, 27 IP, 26 K, 4 BB, 3 HR

The Top 16 Not Mentioned:

Brett Jackson (Iowa) - 236/343/416 in 89 AB's, 2 HR, 11 R, 8 RBI, 4/5 SB, 14 BB/28 K

Javier Baez (EXST Arizona) - (stats as of 4/29/12) 295/295/705 in 44 PA, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 9 R, 3/3 SB, 0 BB/13 K

Dan Vogelbach (EXST Arizona) - (stats as of 4/29/12) 189/286/459 in 42 PA, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB/8 K

Dillon Mapes - rehabbing in EXST, has yet to throw.

Trey McNutt (Tennessee) - 0-1, 0.61 ERA in 14.2 IP, 7 BB, 13 K, spent time on disabled list with blister problems.

Josh Vitters (Iowa) - 261/307/304 in 69 AB's, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R, 5 BB/10 K

Matt Szczur (Daytona) - 242/351/337, 13/16 SB, 24 R, 13 BB/18 K

Ronald Torreyes (Daytona) - 230/306/324, 3/3 SB, 6 BB/7 K...missed about a week with an injury

Junior Lake - been out all of April with a back problem, just started hitting at EXST in Arizona.

Rafael Dolis (Cubs) - 1-1, 2 H, 1 SV, 3.95 ERA in 13.2 IP, 8 BB/2 K/1 HR

Matt Cerda (Tennessee) - 273/333/500 in 22 AB's, 2 BB/7K...just activated from disabled list.

Reggie Golden(Peoria) - 192/250/192 in 25 AB's, 1 BB/9 K...on disabled list with left knee injury.

Jeff Beliveau (Iowa) - 0-1, 2.84 ERA in 12.2 IP, 5 BB, 10 K, 1 HR

Comments

Between Rizzo and LaHair, we seem to have one of those good kind of problems on our hands.

In that the only two legit power hitters in the organization play first base?

both should be good for 150Ks...woo.

i like rizzo...i like lahair...both get it done ugly, though. rizzo at least has room to improve and settle...and it seems he's making a bit of improvement this year while still playing over his talent level compared to age. lahair hopefully will cut down on the misses with regular ABs...hopefully.

I don't care about 150 strikeouts if he continues to have an OPS over 1000 (or even 900).

Though, of course, his ridiculous BABIP is completely unsustainable.

Rizzo's got too many errors, but he's a pretty good fielding first baseman overall with good instincts. He'll be fine given more experience. Where to put LaHair is a bigger issue. He seemed to do okay in left last year when put out there, so I guess that's it. It all depends on how and when the team cuts Soriano off I guess.

"Rays shortstop prospect Tim Beckham has been suspended 50 games for a positive drug test."

weed strikes again. it's time to get rid of this stupid rule.

oh, you got oxys, percs, and flexiril in you on prescription along with a developing alcohol problem...no problem til you get arrested, go play kid.

i'd be fine with a suspension...a week...whatever...but 50 days? hell, 20 days is too much.

some rain forecast for tonight in Cincy

Muskat tweets...
Tarp is partially off field at Great American Ball Park and radar shows more rain coming.

Rain washed out batting practice for Cubs in Cincy. Radar is very colorful, which isn't a good sign.

Cubs lineup vs #Reds: DeJesus rf, Campana cf, Castro ss, LaHair 1b, Soriano lf, Stewart 3b, DeWitt 2b, Soto c, Samardzija p

Levine or Padilla tweets...
Tentative start time is 7pm CST (8pm Eastern)
(translation, a 1 hr delay expected)

this rain delay is quickly becoming the most inconvenient thing to ever happen to me in my entire life.

i'm so bored...and tired...must...have...passive...entertainment...

Any updates on whether they will play or not?

looking at twitter it seems the rain has stopped, but no word about the tarp moving yet.

supposedly another weather cell might be close, too. *shrug*

i'm so bored...and tired...must...have...passive...entertainment...

Sorry if this sage advice is late, but have you considered turning "safe search" off on Google?

I mentioned it in a previous thread, but judging by his twitter and some of his teammates comments Pierre LePage has been released or retired.

‏ @pierrelepage1 Heading home to CT in the morning. Thank you everyone for all the support you've given me. I'm extremely blessed to have had this opportunity.

Anthony Giansanti ‏ @GianSanity @pierrelepage1 I hope everyone who had a chance to see you play or play with you recognized and appreciate everything you did. #godspeed

lulz...omar vizquel tossed from a game he's not playing for yelling at the ump over balls/strikes from the dugout.

Grumpy Old Men

rain leaving the cincy area but another wave just east of indy heading toward the ballpark

http://www.wcpo.com/subindex/weather

windows open, windows close, we doze...

David Kaplan on the rain delay theater mentioned that Hak Ju Lee is struggling this year so far

He's playing for the Montgomery Biscuits and in 111 PA:

.248 .315 .327 .642

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

probably not worth checking back until the all-star break but I'm thinking this isn't a big enough sample to say much about struggling.

he's also very young for the league and has been doing somewhat better recently after a very slow start.

chris archer is running out of excuses to keep himself in the rotation, though...early in the season or not.

I'll be honest, I don't think Hak-Ju will ever hit enough to be a major league regular. His defense and speed will get him to the majors, but a sub-700 OPS is hard to stomach in the modern game. Now, if Hak-Ju can just a find a time machine, he would be a primo SS in the 60s and 70s. All that was expected of shortstops then was exactly what Lee has, speed and defense.

Is Adrian Cardenas' apparently decent numbers at Iowa simply a result of the usual PCL inflation, or is he maybe a potential Barney replacement?

Cardenas is interesting to me. High School player of the year, 1st round draft pick, and has adapted at each level, in most cases at a young age.

As an 18-year old hit .318 .384 .442 in Rookie Ball.

As a 19-year old hit .295 .354 .417 in a full season of A-ball

As a 20-year old he was hitting .307 .371 .441 in High A before being traded mid-season to the A's in the Joe Blanton deal. He hit .278 .297 .333 in High-A for the A's before finishing the season with 26 games in AA at .279 .392 .326

He then started his 21-year old year in AA and hit .326 .392 .446; but struggled a bit in AAA to finish the year: .251 .317 .372

He had a very similar year the next year with success at AA (.345 .436 .469) but struggling a bit in AAA (.267 .320 .329).

But he played all of last year in AAA as a 23-year old and seemed to figure it out, with a line of: .314 .374 .418

So he mastered AA, had two half-seasons at AAA where he struggled, but then had a solid AAA season last year, and now is following that up with a great start to AAA in 2012.

He is very much like Barney in that he has very little power or speed. His defense is also not great, and Barney certainly has better range at SS and 2B, but Cardenas has more experience playing 3rd. Cardenas is 2 years younger, would be slightly cheaper, and is the better pure hitter with a better walk rate.

I could see in a couple of months a contender perhaps trading for Barney to fill a utility infielder role, and then Cardenas would get a shot.

Speaking of ex Cubs, Aramis is starting to heat up a bit.

...and the game is postponed

fart.

Watch and learn boys.....
/ducks

See, it's kinda fun, no?

The I-Cubs are pummelling Memphis tonight in Memphis, 11-3 in the bottom of the 6th.
A 6 run first: BJax double, Sappelt double, Cardenas Sac Fly, Rizzo rbi single, Wright single, Vitters Single, Tolbert rbi single, Apodaca single, JJax Sac Fly, BJax rbi double

BJax 4-4, 3 runs, 2 rbi
Cardenas 2-3, 3 rbi
Rizzo 1-3, rbi, walk
JJax 1-3, run and an rbi (and 5 innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 ER, 3BB, 6 K)
Vitters 2-4

Sveum and Co. contemplating how to get Rizzo and LaHair in the lineup.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/12259105-419/c...

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chicago/chat/...

mostly conjecture not worth repeating...they few that are.

Re: Barney
I think Valbuena is just a nice backup. Cardenas they feel has a chance to be an every day player but he has to improve his defense.

Re: Garza
I'vee said it all along and I'll continue to say it: if Garza is not signed to a long-term deal before July, he will be dealt. The Yanks are one of many teams that would be interested in Garza, and they have some minor league players that would be acceptable to the Cubs in a deal.

Re: Soler
I was told that the Soler situation is still a mystery to most, and that MLB is not the problem.

Re: Theo and Jed not telling him anything
As a reporter it's my job to communicate with whoever is in charge. That's [the] way they do business, and I have to work with that and around it. Both new executives are good guys with great track records. They just don't trust anybody yet, and that will take time.

Re: Cubs vs. White Sox series
According to the people I talk to, they will play each other 3 times a year, and every 3 years play each other 6 times a year when NL central plays AL central in interleague play.

Re: Marmol
Normally I have to eat a lot of peanuts to get 'Agita', however, Marmol is still learning and developing a new pitch, and that's the 2-seam fastball. I don't think he'll ever be the pitcher that strikes out 100 batters a season again, but that doesn't mean he can't be an effective closer. I just think he's still learning how to pitch and his stuff is good enough that I can be successful as a closer again.

folks berating Volstad pretty bad because T. Wood, R. Wells and C. Rusin are apparently such better options

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

Adrian Cardenas, INF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 3-for-5, R, 3 RBI, K. With all the talk of Rizzo and Jackson, don't be surprised if Cardenas gets the call first as utility guy; .354/.398/.585 in 22 games.

Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 4-for-5, 2 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, K. Snaps out of 6-for-36 slump; .266/.369/.457 in 23 games.

Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 2-for-5, 3B, R, RBI, 2 K. Third straight multi-hit game and sixth in last seven has lifted OPS more than 200 points in a week; .255/.319/.349 overall.

speaking of Hak-Ju Lee, Smokies are playing them right now and Smokies up 9-5 in the 8th

Lee 0/5 1 R, 1 RBI
Watkins, Bour, Ha and Mota with multi-hit games, Mota and Adduci with HR's

N. Struck with the start 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K

Casey Weathers with 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, ERA at 3.12 so far (12 BB/9 K on the year)

In taking a very quick look at one year later of trading for Matt Garza, I still have no problem with it.

Archer still walks 7+/9 innings and its anyone's guess if he will pan out.

Lee is still a solid prospect with the glove. I will take Baez over him and Castro with his myriad warts will be at the position for the foreseeable future.

Sammy is not playing this year. And, Campy is turning into the same guy anyway.

Guyer is not on the big club currently, and no great shakes.

Garza is a stud and now the team's best pitcher. I hope he is signed to a long-term deal.

So far, at least, Hendry did not blow this one.

garza is also an extreme "day person"

he's not a party guy. he's not staying out til 3am getting loaded.

hell, he's been tied down with kids since he was a kid, himself.

a legit SP who's young who has no issue with day games because he wakes up at dawn anyway...yeah, that's a good fit for this team.

Garza is a great fit and a superb pitcher. I think most people agree on that. The rub doesn't come from Garza's abilities, it had more to do with timing... giving up a lot to get a superb pitcher for a team that is going nowhere fast- seemed odd to me. Still seems odd.

you're going to be hard pressed to find anyone not in Oakland (or SD, arguably) who's going to gut a team and just cruise for a few years until you get a slew of cheap/productive kids.

he was very cheap on the wallet and though some like that package of kids given up or would rather have kids in return....i think garza was bought cheap and he's young enough to be the type of guy you give a 5 year contract to without sweating it too hard.

i'd be shocked if they weren't spending next year. i pretty much expect either garza or a.sanchez or c.hammels on the cubs next year (unless hams/sanch gets locked up before he hits FA).

as much as some people are down with a 2014/2015 resurgance, i doubt the fan base on whole are ready to put with another year that looks like this one...especially with the loot coming off the payroll.

DeJesus RF, Campana CF, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, DeWitt 2B, Soto C, Samardzija P

vs.

Cozart 6, Stubbs 8, Votto 3, Phillips 4, Bruce 9, Rolen 5, Heisey 7, Hanigan 2, Arroyo 1.

Ugh - DeWitt: The C Boozer of the Cubs.

Sure...except that Boozer is decent/good and DeWitt isn't.

I honestly don't get the comparison to Boozer (and I'm no fan of Boozer).

Just how I am feeling about the matter: Boozer sucks. DeWitt sucks.

OF course Booz is making only $13.5MM for this year, while DeWitt was DFA'd so he goes pretty cheap.

ugg...

sick of all the "wow, they paid THAT much for the dodgers" talk.

yeah, they did...along with 300 acres of los angeles real estate and buildings. c'mon...

When I was living in San Francisco, I think I paid about that much for a quarter acre one time.

Mark Prior signs minor league deal with Red Sox, headed to EXST or AAA.

and Wuertz signs minor league deal with Reds

not that one...

OF Adonis Garcia

headed for knee surgery

there's your window Cubs!!!!

Whoa!

Man I would have a hard time letting go of LaHair or Rizzo if that is what you're insinuating? Hmmmm. What chips they got?

window to win...humor...sad humor for a sad team.

I was insinuating an opportunity for Cubs to move up in the standings.

I'm in the camp of trade LaHair if an opportunity arises, god bless the guy, but his window of success will be small (2-3 years) and I think him in LF is about on par with Soriano in LF.

I say lock the guy up Evan Longoria style to a nine year contract. Now!!

Ugh - DeWitt: The C Boozer of the Cubs.
---
E-Man: There are so many different ways he (DeWitt) can score: on a sac fly, on a wild pitch, on a 2 run HR, on a Soto GIDP...

Thibodeau expects more from Boozer.
“[Boozer] just has to play his game, do his job,” Thibodeau said. “There’s so many different ways he can score.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/basketball/bul...

+1 CUBSTER. +1

sideshow bob makes that play, legit.

God I want replay. This love for the human element screwing up games in baseball continues to baffle me.

How do you not get fined or demoted for messing up a call that badly? Or why does another ump not get the opportunity to overrule that terrible, terrible call?

Will be at the game tonight. Freebie tix, so I got that going for me. Christian Moerlein, a local brewery, finally opened up their restaurant near the park. One of the Cincy tv stations was bitching about them running a promotion welcoming Cubs fans. Pretty funny how hyper sensitive the Reds fans can sometimes be. We live nearby and witness it every year. More to the point, CM is a great beer and the place is a little pricey, but definitely worth it.
Two hippies on the mound tonight. We have the advantage only in that category because we also have a hippie catching. Go (rebuilding) CUBS!!!

Don't really get the hippie label if you mean Arroyo? He's more like a Country Singer/Songwriter wannabe to me.

Have to try the CM beer. We have been picking up Graeters Ice Cream at our local Whole-in-the-Pocket Foods. It is quite incredible and great for my diet of course.

Other than that, they can have the city.

HAIR FLAPS!

also, he's got a (legit) crappy band that does crappy pop/acoustic covers (matchbox 20, etc) and a few originals.

Recent comments

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  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 30 min 14 sec ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 32 min 41 sec ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 1 hour 13 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 2 hours 58 sec ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 3 hours 5 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 5 hours 38 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 45 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 6 hours 21 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 6 hours 22 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 6 hours 24 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 6 hours 28 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 6 hours 28 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 6 hours 32 min ago view
  • i have no doubt at all you quit reading at that point. you're very enamored with outcomes without caring what it takes to get there.

    the fact it's exploitable, especially without someone to cover the running game for him, as well it's evolution in how people are testing possible exploits is interesting to some people...to me...i'm some people...hurrah.

    some people want to check the boxscore to see who won, some want to know how it went down.

    crunch 6 hours 45 min ago view