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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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Probably a good idea to give Rizz a couple of days off (slumps happen to the best -- Harper just broke a 4-for-33 with a HR yesterday). Never been a big fan of an all-RH lineup. The pitcher has the same look and same target for every hitter. At least, as a mediocre HS pitcher, facing a mixture of LH/RH hitters messed me up. A lack of talent and weak-ass stuff may have also been contributing factors.

    billybucks 25 min 46 sec ago view
  • Would you say Brooks doesn't have any upside going forward? Seems like he could be one of those hybrid starter reliever types maddon seems to like having in his bullpen. But I haven't seen a ton of him, and he got hit around pretty good last year in mlb

    Koyies Bansaw 27 min 21 sec ago view
  • Thanks, Phil!

    Charlie 1 hour 1 min ago view
  • Well executed!

    I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.

    JoePepitone 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.

    Cubster 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.

    Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.

    South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.

    The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.

    CTSteve 3 hours 30 min ago view
  • Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.

    However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.  

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?

    The E-Man 4 hours 47 min ago view
  • Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.

    John Beasley 8 hours 4 min ago view
  • Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.

    Hagsag 8 hours 22 min ago view
  • Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.

    Hagsag 8 hours 27 min ago view