Game 75 Thread - Samardzija vs. Niese

Cubs go for the sweep!!!

Mets
Cubs
#Torres, CF
Mather, CF
Tejada, SS
Castro, SS
Wright, 3B
*Rizzo, 1B
*Duda, RF
Soriano, LF
*Davis, 1B
Baker, RF
Hairston, LF
Soto, C
*Murphy, 2B
Barney, 2B
*Thole, C
*Valbuena, 3B
*Niese, P
Wells, P

A solid debut for Rizzo yesterday, going 2/4 with a double and the game-winning RBI, even if the official scorer was a little kind to him on the extra-base hit and possibly even the single in his first at-bat. Regardless, the kid looked like he belonged in game 1.

In roster manuevering, Randy Wells has been DFA'd and Rafael Dolis called back up. I believe with an off-day coming up, the Cubs can skip the spot Wells was taking up in the rotation, since it doesn't sound like Ryan Dempster will be ready. Much like yesterday, I'll try and stop by Parachat for the Castro/Rizzo at-bats.

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Fwiw, Cubs could have just optioned Wells, but apparently are going to use his 40-man spot for Soler.

Heh... Rizzo gone from playing 9 positions to 2?

After getting Wells off the team, Rizzo's next trick is to move Soriano. :)

Thanks for catching that.

While it's very possible that the Cubs will place Randy Wells on Outright Assignment Waivers and then will allocate his spot on the 40-man roster to Jorge Soler (once he offiially signs), they might have DFA'd Wells because he can't be optioned to the minors until Optional Assignment Waivers have been secured, and it takes two days to get a player through waivers. (If the Cubs need a slot on the 40-man roster for Soler and it's not Wells slot, Lendy Castillo could be transferred to the 60-day DL, or a different player could get outrighted, like maybe Blake Lalli).

BTW, because he has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time (and also because he has been outrighted previously in his career), Wells can elect to be a free-agent immediately or defer FA until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season if he is outrighted to the minors.

If he is outrighted and then elects free-agency immediately, his contract is terminated and he receives no termination pay (which would cost him about $1.3M in 2012 salary), so I can't see him electing free-agency immediately if he gets outrighted, even though he probably wants out of the Cubs organization at this point. He'll just wait until the conclusion of the MLB regular season (although if he opts to wait to be a FA until post-2012 and then in the meantime the Cubs add him back to their 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, he can't be a FA post-2012 unless the Cubs release him or non-tender him).

And of course if he were to get claimed off waivers, the Cubs would be off the hook for the $1.3M (or so) remaining on his 2012 contract.

I can't imagine they were in a rush to call up Dolis today that they couldn't wait the 2 days.

Rizzo up with 2 on.

Swings at first 3 pitches and lifts one to shallow center, not deep enough to score Mather.

Cubs released their Bogaerts, throw-in on the Epstein trade.

Also R. Jones.

Meh, Castro picked off, gets caught in rundown but Mather stays put.

Mather should force the issue there IMO. Mets D has been bad and even if he's thrown out Castro is in scoring position. Mather being at 3rd with 2 outs doesn't get you much.

Rizzo just misses a HR in his second AB

AZ PHIL: Do you ever see Kevin Goldstein other than at Spring Training out in your parts?

The guy is certainly very opinionated about Cubs prospects and I truly wonder if he sees them with his own eyes or not.

Or does he just watch tape and look at boxes?

Just curious.

He sees some, but has been very clear that he thinks it's more useful to get a variety of reports from multiple scouts in and out of the organization.

Thanks PHIL! i mean Rob.

fwiw, Goldstein lives in DeKalb I believe, goes to Kane County games and the Midwest League for the most part, although he's certainly known to travel on occasion, but not often.

I think Keith Law lives in Arizona or near there, I know he goes to a lot of AFL games.

"...when someone asks me how this all happened, I just kind of shrug my shoulders with embarrassment. Way back in the day, when years still started with 1s instead of 2s, I did some consulting work with BA to get their website off the ground. I continued to do some tech work for them here and there, while also starting an email-based newsletter called The Prospect Report on my own time. It was free, and just a hobby, but thanks to people like Jim Callis and Ron Shandler mentioning it, it started to grow and all of a sudden I had 2- 3,000 subscribers and people knew who I was … at least a few.

Then things kind of took a turn as I noticed scouts and front office people and GMs subscribing, and with that, I started to actually make contacts will people in the industry who would help me with my stupid little newsletter. Things got crazy when Peter Gammons, who I basically owe my career to, wrote about it, and all of a sudden I had like 10,000+ subscribers. Baseball America then bought the report, and hired me. I was there for three years, and learned a lot about how to write about prospects and scouting and the draft, and Baseball Prospectus offered me a position. It was an opportunity to really lead the prospect coverage for a big name, and that wasn’t going to happen at Baseball America, so it was a better opportunity, and I jumped at it. From there came the opportunity to also be a columnist at ESPN and now the weekly national show on Sirius."

http://productiveouts.com/post/8089999013/dri...

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 1:41pm — The E-Man

AZ PHIL: Do you ever see Kevin Goldstein other than at Spring Training out in your parts?

The guy is certainly very opinionated about Cubs prospects and I truly wonder if he sees them with his own eyes or not.

Or does he just watch tape and look at boxes?

Just curious.

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

E-MAN: I have never seen Kevin Goldstein in person.

He tweeted that he was at a Peoria game when Javier Baez first got there and saw him hit a HR, and he also tweeted that he was at the MWL All-Star Game and saw Kyler Burke throw his worst game of the season, so he has seen some of the Cubs minor leaguers in person.

One of the interesting things about scouts is that they will watch a player once or twice and then develop a semi-permanent opinion of the player off that observation. So that's why clubs sometimes miss big on a player in the draft, or have an unusually high or low opinion of a prospect that might not match the way other organizations view the very same player.

It's funny when the scouts get together (like at an AFL game) and one will say (about some pitcher who has turned out to be pretty good) "I turned him in after I saw him throw in a game but the cross-checker saw him a month later and his velocity was down so my scouting director wouldn't draft him" and another will say "I never even saw that guy throw."

Brian Cashman's interest in both Dempster and Garza just skyrocketed...
-------------
Andy Petittitte out 6 weeks with Ankle fracture (replaced in rotation with Sweaty Freddy Garcia)

Andy Pettitte left Wednesday's start against the Indians in the fifth inning after being hit in the lower left leg with a comebacker off the bat of Casey Kotchman.

CC Sabathia put on DL with Groin Strain

Sabathia was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left adductor muscle. He suffered the injury in the fourth inning of Sunday's start and told the team following a bullpen session Tuesday.

I can't imagine they'll panic. They have the best record in the league and neither injury should have long term implications.

Also their 2 big pitching prospects have been hurt or sucked. Maybe they can talk Sanchez the catcher out of them.

Woo... this is fun.

15-run rally coming at any point

Did they switch over to 12" softball today?

I haven't seen a beating like that since someone put a banana down my pants and turned a monkey loose.

Wells Grain of salt alert:
This from the comments section of NBC News, but caught my interest:
"this guy is from my hometown, near st. louis and boy is he an asshole. see him at bars all the time hammered and he is just such a prick. karma’s a bitch, good to see him getting sent down."
http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/27/...

after all the Rizzo fun, the Cubs are single-mindedly back on track in the Quest for #1 draft pick

such dedication.

Ethier out with an oblique injury, team in desperate need of bats that the Cubs do not have to offer.

Maybe they'd get something good in a Dempster/LaHair package or by sheer miracle, Dempster/Soriano package.

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

piece on what NL West teams have to offer in trades

says Dodgers mostly looking for corner infielders..
The Dodgers’ system has some depth, but there are few must-have prospects in the system. Teams looking for instant fixes might take a look at Triple-A tease Jerry Sands, as well as right-handed reliever Josh Wall, who has the ability to miss bats. Teams looking for more risky upside could have an eye on right-hander Ralston Cash or outfielder James Baldwin at Low-A, as well as Jarrett Martin, an inconsistent left-hander who shows power stuff. Other relievers with good scouting reports include Yimi Garcia and Logan Bawcom.

It sure seems there is going to be more buyers than sellers this trade deadline, and I can't believe a number of contenders wouldn't dearly love Dempster and Garza. I can't pretend to know what value other GMs put on these two, but I can't see them ever worth more than they are right now.

With the Cubs system a veritable 'Death Valley' of starting pitchers, I would hold out for a Top 15 starting pitcher prospect for Dempster, and two Top 15 SP prospects for Garza. If I was Theo and didn't get what I wanted for Garza, I would keep him for 2013. As for Dempster, I would keep him until post season waiver deadline of 8/31.

speaking of LaHair and the Dodgers, Olney tweet

Dodgers have scouted Bryan LaHair, and like other teams, they have concerns about defense. Maybe that won't matter, because they need help.

Defense matters to good teams.

So you're saying the Dodgers are interested?

RT @baseballpro "Starlin Castro Will Probably Make the Hall of Fame"; http://goo.gl/ZhFE7

and D. Hudson now out with torn UCL

DBacks have T. Bauer and Corbin, so doubtful they're going to panic into a move there.

They could use a 3b-man as well, but so could the Cubs.

Cubs making a run at another Cuban OF, Yasel Puig according to Wrongway

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

most of the prospect dudes on twitter disagree vehemently with the assertion from the agent in that article that Puig is anywhere close to Soler or Cespedes. Some said he wouldn't be a top 10 prospect in most systems.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

Re: Candle-in-the-wind
Cubs Top 10 if he keeps this up. Not too many short-season guys make the Top 100 Prospects list, so he's probably at least a year away from that.

Re: Brett Hackson
His swing isn't as long as it was in college but it gets too mechanical at times and he always has had some swing-and-miss issues—though not to the extent he has shown in 2012. I think you sum it up well by calling it an odd package. He's going to draw some walks but he's always going to strike out and probably won't hit for a high average. I like him as a prospect, but he's always been more of a solid player than a superstar, and the excessive strikeouts this year have knocked down my opinion of him some.

Re: Chris Archer
He definitely has an intriguing arm. I wouldn't say he's fixing his control woes based on his first two big league starts, because before that he was averaging 5.3 BB/9 in Triple-A. If he can improve his control and command, he's a late-inning reliever in the long run. And might be anyway on Tampa Bay's deep staff.

Re: Mi Almora
I wouldn't say he has elite tools, but he has good tools that play up because of great instincts. His ceiling may not be quite as high as some of the guys at the top of this draft, but his floor isn't as low as theirs either.

but Utley homers in his first at-bat off the disabled list.

Vitters 2 run double in a 4 run 3rd inning vs OKC (and scores on a Ty Wright back to back double). Iowa now down only 5-4 in the 4th.

Javier Baez is back in the lineup but DH-ing, 0-3. The Chiefs are losing to the Clinton Lumberkings, 3-1 in the 6th.

and the Smokies are losing 11-0 to Birmingham in the 8th. (ugh)

and the good news is... Daytona won 12-1 over St. Lucie. Greg Rohan went 5-5. Szczur went 3-6 with a HR and a double. Austin Kirk is 4-1 and went 6 shutout innings.

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