Our Stud's Better Than Your Stud

 

A betting man would have to like the Omaha Storm Chasers to successfully defend their title in the American North Division of the Pacific Coast League this year. The stretch drive of the season may be reminiscent of Secretariat’s in the Belmont Stakes. But just who are those also-rans way up the track behind the young Royals? Why, besides the I-Cubs it’s the young Cardinals and young Brewers! I like the affiliations of not only my hometown team but also their divisional opponents.


Who cares, one might ask, how our prospects stack up against the Royals’? St. Louis and Milwaukee are more immediate battlefronts than Kansas City. So, any clogs in those pipelines?

Whereas the Cubs’ system is lacking in high-end pitching prospects, both the Cardinals and Brewers feature starting pitchers as their crème de la crème and both Shelby Miller (STL) and Wily Peralta (MIL) have had sour seasons thus far.

As pleased and relieved as the Cardinals must be about the emergence of Lance Lynn, who this time a year ago was toiling in Memphis while Chris Carpenter was still going strong in St. Louis, they might be a little chagrined about Miller’s struggles so far in the PCL. In 2011, he was named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. Rick Ankiel was the last to accomplish that feat.

But  he’s recently been given a no-shake edict, meaning he’s to throw whatever pitch he’s told, and the organization’s pitching coordinator was dispatched to work directly with Miller in hopes of improving on his stat line which includes warts like a 6.00 ERA, 82 hits in 66 IP and a .306 BAA. 

In Nashville the touted Peralta has been similarly roughed up. He was originally signed by the Brewers as an outfielder in 2005 before being converted to pitcher. He had his Tommy John circumcision in 2007 so that’s out of the way. But he’s struggling at 2-8 with an ERA and other peripherals almost as stratospheric as Miller’s. Peralta’s built along the lines of Fartolo (typo intended) Colon at 6’2” and 240. 

So while the prime prospects of two of their NL Central rivals are scuffling at Triple A the Cubs are rearranging the deck chairs in their lineup to make room for their own. They may be short on topflight arms but they appear to have at least one bat riding to the rescue. Looks like he may arrive any day now.

Comments

Jacob Turner shutting out Cardinals through 4 innings.

They're certainly not gonna move him if he comes out of the gate pitching well.

Well they won't be too excited about 5 walks in 5 innings. They should trade him for Dempster. He'll clearly never throw strikes in the big leagues.

it hasn't been much of an issue until this season.

you'd probably need a garza type to get the guy, anyway. he's much loved in their system...well, was up until this season...no idea how they feel since he starting losing a touch of his control.

i love fernando tatis...so much...

http://deadspin.com/5918919/fernando-tatis-ha...

also, i love the power glove...it's so bad.

So do we do cartwheels when we get rid of Baker when Rizzo comes up or
is it oh well nice to see you Adrian Cardenas,welcome back to Iowa.

Oh, come on! How do you get rid of 'Bake'?

my guess is that, assuming no surprise trade happens in between, either Valbuena or Cardenas go down, so they can get consistent AB's, and Baker gets kept around as a "time-share" (not a platoon, though) guy with LaHair in RF.

Valbuena's out of options.

Interesting that he comes up and gets regular pt, while Cardenas sits.

One of those eternal baseball mysteries that is solved the minute you invoke the concept, "glove."

At SS in the minors, Valbuena's FP is .975, while Cardenas is at .945.

from Thursdays milb cub activity: Note J Lake played 3B, Torreyes flashes some extra base hits and H Simpson actually had a really good outing.

CHC AA Lake, Junior 3B 5 1 4 0 .318 2B (8), SB (7)

CHC AAA Vitters, Josh 3B 4 1 1 1 .280 HR (11)

CHC HiA Torreyes, Ronald 2B 4 2 2 1 .227 2B (10), HR (2), BB (15)

CHC SS Candelario, Jeimer 3B 4 1 3 2 .357 HR (2), BB (2)

CHC SS Simpson, Hayden 4 1 1 0 1 7 3.00 W (1-0)

Simpson did almost get the loss though....gave up the go ahead run in top of 9th, Boise Hawks scored two (with Candelario getting his third hit for the tying run) in the bottom half.

Nicholas Struck (6 IP, 7SO, 2BB, 2H, 1ER) and Austin Kirk (7 IP, 3SO, 2BB, 4H, 0ER) had nice days as well.

Kevin Goldstein on Kyler Burke in the MW league all star game:

Cubs left-hander Kyler Burke was a story for becoming the first player to make the league's All-Star game as both a position player and a pitcher. The former toolsy outfielder has a 2.31 ERA as a left-handed starter for Low-A Peoria, but he was hammered on Tuesday, and retired just two of the eight batters he faced while never getting out of the upper-80s with his fastball. As a 24-year-old in Low-A, he's already a long shot, and there wasn't much in this game to provide any room for optimism.

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

and Goldstein brief comments on J Candelario:

Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI. Challenged with assignment to Northwest League as an 18-year-old and responding; .292/.320/.458 in six games.

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

If only to hear people whine about him the way they do about Castro, expecting a guy who has had little time playing in the minors to play like he's had lots of time receiving instruction in the minors.

Dear Goldstein,

Every Cubs questions ever.

Sincerely,

Cubs fan twitter user

Fukudome designated for assignment by the White Sox.

He wasn't quite Ichiro, was he?

Who was the Japanese MLB player who had anal fissures ?

kaz matsui...around the same time felix pie had his testicular torsion

...a very tainted year.

You can hear an audible groin from the crowd

*high five*

Several of the rehab guys who pitched well over the first two AZL Cubs games have been moved up

LHP Zac Rosscup (!.1 IP with four strikeouts Wednesday night) and Su-Min Jung (three shutout inings of one-hit ball with three K's last night) go to Boise, and Zach Cates (3.1 IP allowing one run on four hits, a walk, and two HBP with five strikeouts Wednesday night) goes to Peoria.

SM Jung's outing last night was especially noteworthy, because he was probably on the verge of getting released about a month ago (absolutely could not throw his fastball for strikes) after walking nine and hitting two batters in 1.2 IP (6.60 WHIP - 27.00 ERA - .286 OpBA) in EXST games.

But he has worked hard to overcome the mental block, doing so while throwing mainly in Fitch Park "sim" games and a couple of intrasquad games over recent weeks.

Hendry' kid playing ball

http://m.deadspin.com/5920621/if-you-are-a-ca...

/cheap shot I know

Coincidence? The Rangers DFA'd Mark Hamburger today.

Bill Murray: Baseball's Best Boss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNKh6QrRxoY

murray cubs-love included...

Daytona's Frank Del Valle, goes 6 innings and, other than 2 HBP, is perfect with 11 k. This being the minor leagues where development is more important, he was replaced in the 7th.

Other than he came from Cuba, I don't know much about Del Valle's stuff. He's had a decent season (ERA slightly above 4), but nothing approaching anywhere near his performance in this game.

Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein
not a big prospect. “@OffAirOnPoint: @Kevin_Goldstein Frank Del Valle having good night for Daytona, what u know about him?”

AZ Phil,

What's the story on Scott Weismann and Luis Liria, who look to be having very good seasons out of the pen at Daytona and Peoria, respectively?

Thanks!

I'm sure AzPhil can provide a lot more info, but Weismann was a former Clemson closer whose fastball is in the low 90's and has a slider.

I had high hopes for Liria entering the year. Last year, there were some reports of him topping out mid-90's (granted, sitting more low-mid 90's), with a decent-solid breaking ball (want to say slider off the top), and a usable-decent change. I was really intrigued with him as a possible starter, but they've had him in the pen, and the reports on velo this year are more 89-92, I believe, and the command issues are still there. (as a side note, that whole Latin American grouping of Cruz, Liria, Peralta, Paulino have largely been disappointing so far ... but they are still young enough, particularly Paulino. Here's hoping Arias doesn't run into problems, and Rosario somehow develops (still think he's probably a pen arm long run).

I can't believe a team with Jeff Baker batting 4th had 1 run!!!!!!
WTf?!?!?

/drunk
// but not that drunk

I can't believe Sveum kept his lefty lineup despite a righty starting at the last minute.

/drunk Sveum

At least Soto is starting to hit

And if Soto can go on a streak here he might be able to bring something halfway decent in return before the trading deadline. Not that I've looked to see if anyone really needs a catcher.

Soto>>>> Castillo

Just saying.

Baker = failure
The most important at bat in game when it was still a game ,it was the 4 hole and we have Baker there.

Wells = L

some of Kevin Goldstein's notes on minor leaguers...

Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 3-for-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, BB. Home runs in back-to-back games and 17 total bases in seven games as a 18-year-old in college-heavy league.

Junior Lake, SS/3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 4-for-5, 2B, R, K, SB. Scouts have noted big progress offensively; 17-for-41 in last ten games and .318/.370/.480 overall.

Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 3-for-5, 2B, R, K, SB. Hitting .303 with 10 stolen bases in June; .249/.316/.319 overall, so need to stay hot.

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

Candelario homers again...back to back to back games.

That power potential seems to becoming less projection and more reality--or at least he's showing a flash of it this week.

He also homered to opposite field on Thursday and pulled one yesterday (not sure of Wednesday). I believe all three were hitting lefty, so it will be interesting to see if he is as consistent as a righty.

The other Boise Hawks of note:

Dong Yub-Kim (I am a big fan, so he is first) has been inconsistent, but has hit some hard outs (I have been watching a few games online). Looks like he is getting better, but still strikes out often.

Rock Shoulders: Showing a good eye at bad pitches, but missing some good ones. 32 plate appearances, 11 K and 10 BB (next highest number of walks on the team is 3) ]...and 4 hits (with a HR and a 2b).

Gioskar Amaya: Went 4 for 5 last night to raise his average to .375 (12 for 32). He may be one to watch for 2b.

Shawon Dunston Jr.: Hasn't done too much yet, 5 for 24 with a double, 3K, 2 BB and a CS.

Jose Arias: The opening day pitcher and he has done pretty well. 8 IP, 9 H, 2 runs (1 earned), 3K and 0 BB.

Taylor Scott: Dominated in his first game, struggled some last night. Looks like he has some issues being consistent with delivery at times. 8.2 IP, 7 H, 4 runs (3 earned), 6K and 4BB.

Rafael Diplan: Has come in as long reliever in three games and been dominant. 9 IP, 2 H, 0 runs, 10K and 4BB.

Willengton Cruz: He is someone I've been watching since 2010, when he pitched at DSL and had a 1.90 ERA with 52 IP and only 25 H and 59 K (but with 32 BB). He struggled quite a bit at Peoria earlier this year, but was strong in his first start at Boise (5 IP, 3 H, 1 unearned run, 6 K and 2 BB).

One of Candelario's homers was batting right handed.

http://www.minorleaguecentral.com/player.php?...

Jeimer Candelario hits OK RH, but he really mashes the ball when hitting LH.

Kind of similar to Lance Berkman in that respect.

So who gets bounced from the 25 man roster if Rizzo comes up on Monday?

Does Campana or Cardenas head back to Iowa? Is Baker given his walking papers? Or will Soriano finally be traded?

If I were a betting man - Cardenas optioned to Iowa

Ian Stewart is back later in the week too. So that's another spot.

Ugh.

Valbuena >>> Stewart

Just sayin'

Ian Stewart is back later in the week too. So that's another spot.
---
Stewart may be eligible to come off the DL around June 28th (he went on the DL Wed evening 6-13 but it might have been made official on the 14th) but I doubt he'll be ready then. He got his wrist cortisone injection, for the diagnosis of Dorsal Wrist Impingement, Monday 6-18 and they usually let that take effect for 2 weeks (July 2nd) before any serious activity will resume. I'd expect him to need a brief rehab stint to test the wrist out before he returns. At best, it makes sense to think he'll return after the All Star break. If he's not back by then, I'm pretty sure he will agree to the wrist arthroscopic surgery which probably ends his season (or a brief end of September test of his wrist).

Thanks Doc.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • "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 3 hours 1 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 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 3 hours 28 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 4 hours 29 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 6 hours 37 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 54 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 6 hours 55 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 15 hours 29 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 15 hours 59 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 16 hours 21 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 16 hours 54 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 17 hours 4 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 17 hours 14 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 17 hours 23 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 17 hours 30 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 17 hours 38 min ago view