Bote Debut a Thing of Beauty at HoHoKam Park

In just his second AB in his first professional game, 19-year old SS David Bote (Cubs 2012 18th round draft pick out of Neosho CC) blasted a three-run home run off the LF scoreboard, carrying the AZL Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the AZL Angels in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.


Bote also walked and stole a base, and he made a nice defensive stop & gun from shortstop.


box score


In addition to Bote's heroics, Trey Martin singled twice, tripled, scored a run, and stole a base, and Bijan Rademacher (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick out of Orange Coast CC) singled twice, stole two bases, and scored a run, helping the Cubs to a hard-fought victory.


With his hitting, baserunning, and Gold Glove defense in CF, Martin is making a strong case to get a ticket punched to Boise (he actually should have been there from the gitgo), and Rademacher is definitely a cut above your average JC player in all phases of the game, and so he could get moved up to Boise sooner rather than later.


LHP Brian Smith started the game for the Cubs and threw four strong innings (47 pitches - 30 strikes, 6/5 GO/FO), allowing just one run on two hits and a walk, with one strikeout and one GIDP. Smith struggled to throw strikes at Extended Spring Training and was relegated mostly to low-pressure "sim" games on Fitch Park Field #2, but he has shown improved command in his first two AZL outings. 


6'5 245+ LHP Michael Heesch (Cubs 8th round draft pick out of USC - Beaufort by way of UIC) threw a 1-2-3 9th with two strikeouts to record the save. Although he didn't need to use all of his pitches to record his three outs, Heesch has a plus breaking ball and change-up, and is especially effective when he can spot his fastball for strikes. He led NAIA in IP in 2012, so he could be a rotation workhorse down-the-road once he gets settled in pro ball.  

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Comments

Fwiw, Boise Hawks radio twitter says some reinforcements are headed their way from Arizona with an announcement due by midday.

AZ Phil: how has Rashad Crawford looked so far? Think he'll shift from RF to CF when Martin is promoted?

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 6:20am — Eric S

AZ Phil: how has Rashad Crawford looked so far? Think he'll shift from RF to CF when Martin is promoted?

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

ERIC S: Rashad Crawford has the same tools as Trey Martin, but he's not as polished defensively. They are very similar type players.

Crawford is a switch-hitter and has gone deep into counts every AB I've seen so far, so he probably would project as a lead-off hitter.

No question Crawford would play CF if Martin was not here.

Crawford is probably right now about where Martin was last season.

BTW, both Martin and Crawford were scouted & signed by Cubs Georgia Area Scout Keith Lockhart, ex-MLB INF and father of AZL Cubs INF Danny Lockhart (who was also scouted & signed by Keith).

Appreciate it AZ Phil. Glad to see the Cubs making in-roads into Braves/GA territory -- they've done very well with the home grown talent.

Puig signs with Dodgers for an overall 40m deal.

keithlaw‏@keithlaw

No. Seems like it's not close. "@jasonsbaseball: @keithlaw was Puig considered a better prospect than Soler?"

One thing for sure, the Puig signing reaffirms that the McCourts have left the front office premises for the parking lot.

Jon Heyman‏@JonHeymanCBS

Yasiel Puig is considered a 5-tool player. #dodgers winning bid of $42M for 7 yrs apparently wasnt even his highest offer.

Vitters named to PCL All-star team. Certainly Rizzo would have been...

Signed: RHP Tony York (NDFA—UC San Diego)
Draft picks signed: OF Bijan Rademacher (13), RHP Pierce Johnson (1.5), RHP Trey Lang (6)
Released: 1B Jair Bogaerts, 1B Richard Jones, 2B Brain Inoa
Placed on 7-day DL: C Nathan Maldonado, SS Carlos Figueroa, LHP Hunter Ackerman, RHP Dillon Maples
Placed on 60-day DL: RHP Josh Conway, RHP Austin Urban
Reinstated from DL: LHP Zach Rosscup, RHP Zach Cates, RHP Su-Min Jung, RHP Casey Weathers

Like AZL Cubs C-IF-OF David Macias and Peoria INF Kenny Socorro, Tennessee C Nate Maldonado and Daytona INF Carlos Figueroa are coaches signed to minor league player contracts who go on the DL until their team needs a warm body. Meanwhile they coach first base, or warm up pitchers in the bullpen, or help with pre-game stretching.

LHP Hunter Ackerman was supposed to go to Boise, but he injured his right side/hip when reaching for a return throw from the catcher in an EXST game, and he has yet to return to the mound.

RHP Austin Urban (back surgery) and RHP Josh Conway (May 2012 TJS) are out indefinitely. Urban was selected out of an Iowa JC in the 2011 draft and got an over-slot bonus to sign, but he has yet to throw off the mound in a game (AZL or Instructs last year, or Minor League Camp, EXST, or AZL this season).

RHP Dillon Maples (Cubs 2011 14th round pick who signed for "1st round money") continues to rest his right elbow/forearm and hopes to make his 2012 game debut next month. Maybe. He made a couple of brief outings in AZ Instructs last fall (with zero command), but otherwise he has been unable to pitch.

Heyman mumbling something about Dempster, eating money and better prospects...

The Cubs' goal is to get players and not worry about money. The Cubs' new regime wants to re-stock a weak farm system with top prospects.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/...

Well, yeah - if the difference between a B or an A prospect is a few million, then of course they'll eat it. That's not exactly news in this, 2012, the year of our great rebuild.

no game...but currently 100F in chicago...wow.

But its a "dry heat" here.

being from a summer-humid hell (at least it's not GA/FL) here in NC, i welcome the 100 degree 20-ish% humidity days. shade actually works as it's intended for cooling purposes and i don't sweat through my clothes.

100F in chicago, though...ugg. there's probably people up there that flip out about that as much as there's Southerners who flip out about 1" of snow on the ground.

Topped out at 106 today in ft wayne. To make things worse, we've seen a total of 0.5" of rain in the past 2 1/2 months.

I took my 1.5 year old girl for a walk on the lakeshore this morning on her tricycle. Three minutes in she said "All done? Hot." Pretty much the most logical thing she's ever said.

Well, you should be proud she does not mince words. As I'm sure you are.

4 Roster Moves - LHP Michael Heesch, RHP Eddie Orozco, RHP Mike Hamann, OF Bijan Rademacher assigned to @BoiseHawks
---
Az Phil: can you give us your take on the 4 recent signee's that were sent to Boise today?

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 3:35pm — Cubster

4 Roster Moves - LHP Michael Heesch, RHP Eddie Orozco, RHP Mike Hamann, OF Bijan Rademacher assigned to @BoiseHawks
---
Az Phil: can you give us your take on the 4 recent signee's that were sent to Boise today?

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

CUBSTER: I have mentioned Rademacher a couple of times this week and Heesch last night:

BIJAN RADEMACHER: Just turned 21 last week. He spent freshman season "redshirting" at Cal State - Fullerton and then played redshirt-freshman year at Orange Coast CC. Reminds me a lot of Kyler Burke (two-way player where a lot of scouts liked him better as a LHP), but Rademacher is a better pure hitter while Burke had more HR power. Rademacher sprays line-drives all over the yard, and he does have some HR power. He has a plus-arm in RF, and he's a good defensive outfielder with average speed. Not fast but a savvy baserunner. Word is he wouldn't sign unless Cubs agreed in advance to let him play OF. He was going to transfer to Oral Roberts U. if he didn't sign with the Cubs. It was between Rademacher, Trey Martin, and Izaac Garsez as to who was going to Boise, and Rademacher got the ticket.

MICHAEL HEESCH: 22-year old college senior 6'5 245+ mountain of a LHP. Chicago-area kid. Workhorse starting pitcher who led NAIA in IP at USC - Beaufort in 2012 after transferring there from UIC. Plus breaking ball and change-up gets him lots of punch-outs, but he has trouble throwing fastball for strikes. He carved up the AZL Angels hitters in the 9th last night. WAY too advanced for AZL. Reminds me a lot of AA Tennessee LHP Eric Jokisch.

MIKE HAMANN: Three-year rotation starter at U. of Toledo. Throws strikes and doesn't mess around on the mound. High-velocity fastball-first pitcher. He was kind of an under-achiever at Toledo after getting drafted out of HS by the Indians and being named second-team all MAC as a freshman, but that's mainly because he had season-ending shoulder surgery in 2011 and spent the first half of 2012 getting back to where he was pre-surgery. Scouts concerns about the shoulder was supposedly why he fell to the 16th round, because he is a Top 10 Round talent when healthy. He was a starter in college but his stuff plays better out of the pen. If he can handle being a set-up guy or a closer he could move fast through the system.

EDDIE OROZCO: Was the #1 starter at UC - Riverside. He's a control-pitcher strike-throwing machine whose stuff appears to be kind of marginal. As a 23-year old 5th year senior, he is WAY too advanced for the AZL. He really had to go to Boise. He will have to make it as a starting pitcher, because "A"-ball middle-relievers (even effective ones) don't last long in pro ball.

EDDIE OROZCO is no relation to Jessie, right?

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 6:52pm — The E-Man

EDDIE OROZCO is no relation to Jessie, right?

=============================\

E-MAN: No relation.

AA Tennessee catcher Luis Flores has retired.

Flores was the Cubs 7th round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2008, and he struggled through his first three seasons of pro ball after receiving a couple of in-house disciplinary suspensions from the Cubs in 2009 and 2010.

He was (finally) having a nice season last year (275/372/578 with 7 HR in 40 games at AA Tennessee) when he got hit with a 50-game PED suspension from MLB that extended through April 2012.

Although he was on the Restricted List, Flores was at Cubs Minor League Camp at Fitch Park and was assigned to the Iowa squad for most of March, and then he broke camp with AA Tennessee and continued working out with the Smokies until he was reinstated from the Restricted List at the end of April.

But he just never got going this year (167/318/250 in 26 games), and apparently he finally decided he'd had enough.

Flores goes on the Voluntary Retired List, meaning if he changes his mind he cannot be reinstated for at least 60 days. A player does not get paid or accrue service time while on the VRL, and players on the VRL are not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.

Keith Law on Puig's deal from the Dodgers (and how do you really feel about Yasiel, Keith?)

Based on what I've heard about Puig, this is a bizarre overreaction to the upcoming international spending cap, and a huge bet that, despite a stiff swing and less athletic body than Soler, Puig's bat is good enough to justify an investment of this size. I've also heard that Puig was badly out of shape in his recent workouts in Mexico, and that his throwing arm is not as strong since it was last seen in games. And unlike Soler or Cespedes, Puig barely has played in games outside of Cuba, so major league scouts have not had much of an opportunity to evaluate him properly.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/la...

per Rotoworld...

Padres recalled RHP Andrew Cashner from Triple-A Tucson.
Cashner was called up to join the starting rotation Thursday against the Astros. The 25-year-old right-hander posted a dominant 1.88 ERA and 22/3 K/BB ratio over 14 1/3 innings with Double-A San Antonio while being stretched out in the minors. His command has been an issue at times

Colvin:?

BNightengale profile

"Tyler Colvin putting on a show for the #Rockies today, with a HR, triple, eight total bases and 5 RBI...And we're only in the 4th inning."

Marlon Byrd still f'ing the Cubs

http://m.deadspin.com/5922202/the-biggest-win...

trey mcimplosion...

0.2ip 6h 1bb 0k 4er (8r) 36 pitches.

g.concepcion

6ip 6h 1bb 2k 5er

from mlbtr...

The Padres franchise is still looking for its first no-hitter, as Andrew Cashner's no-hit bid was ended after 6 1/3 innings tonight. It still ended up being a good night for San Diego, however, as the Friars rallied for a six-run ninth inning in their 7-3 win over the Astros.

per rotoworld...

Andrew Cashner dominated the Astros in a no-decision on Thursday, allowing just two runs on two hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Cashner cruised through the first six innings without allowing a hit, until Carlos Lee lined a single in the seventh. Bogusevic immediately followed with a two-run shot, ending Cashner's evening on a sour note. He did manage to pile up nine strikeouts while walking just one in the game. He owns some of the most overpowering stuff in the game and should be added in all formats immediately. His next test will come when taking on the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Tuesday.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/rumblings...

Cubs using Ubaldo trade as framework, want 2 controllable players. O's in, but not moving Machado or Bundy for anyone.

Rogers must be leading all 40th round draft picks in home runs. Got to look hard for something to encourage Cub fans.

Tarp on the field. Rain on radar looks like it will clear before 3pm cst (estimated 2 hr delay).

http://www.weather.com/weather/map/interactiv...

Currently looking at a 2:15 start time.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are savvy in their understanding of these type of deals, and have probably already ran the numbers.

discusses Castro extension, not sure it's worth the read...but I'm really bored.

http://calltothepen.com/2012/06/25/contract-e...

Szczur tops BA's Prospect Hot Sheet. And Candelario gets a mention at the end.

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

BA Chat:

Itto (Aguadilla PR): Jorge Soler or Puig? Which one will be ranked higher at the end of the year?
J.J. Cooper: Soler.......yawning chasm........................still here?.............Puig. Soler would be in solid contention for a Top 50 spot in our midseason prospects rankings if he was eligible. Puig would not come close to the Top 100. I don't think he'd make numerous team's Top 10 lists. Yes he got an insane amount of money (largest first contract signed by a Cuban player), but our Ben Badler couldn't find a scout for another team who would go anywhere close to that kind of coin for Puig. And beyond everything else, it's almost impossible to get a decent read on Puig. He hasn't played in an actual game in a long, long time (over a year), and he didn't run a 60 or face live pitching at his recent workout. So that's a whole lot of money on a big gamble and one that has scouts almost everywhere else completely baffled.

Tommy (Virginia): Brett Jackson has above average tools. He has bat speed, a decent approach at the plate. He's not noted as a wild hacker. He's showing enough power that he should have enough power as a left fielder, but defensively, should be fine in CF for a few years. Bat speed is supposedly fine. So ... what exactly is his problem? Is it mechanics? There's reports of holes in his swing, but it doesn't sound major. Is it breaking balls? It's not like he can't recognize spin, though. Sveum noted recently that he had trouble with hard stuff earlier in the year, and was having problems with soft stuff. He's not a bad player, but it's just an ... odd package. Any ideas as to what his issues are?
J.J. Cooper: One of the things that I've heard is that he takes a whole lot of pitches, and he's yet to realize that he doesn't have the bat control and hand-eye to handle getting into two strike counts over and over while trying to work pitchers for the pitch he's looking for.

Al (NYC): Just noticed that the BA Prospect Report that had Javier Baez 11 for 11 in SBs in his first 24 games this year. Speed has never been mentioned as a strength for him. Is this just a case of the league not being terribly good at holding/throwing out runners, or are the SBs something that we can expect out of his game in the future?
J.J. Cooper: A little of both. Clearly he has some aptitude for stealing bases, but at the same time, Midwest League pitchers are often just learning how to speed up their deliveries, so you'll see a number of 1.5-second and slower guys where the bag is just there for the taking.

Hunter (VA): Gerardo Concepcion - buy or sell the Cubs arguing that he'd dominate A ball if they simply let him go with his secondary stuff (reportedly, he's "working on his fastball").
J.J. Cooper: Sell...Sell...Sell...Actually if you read Ben Badler's reports here at Baseball America you probably never bought him to begin with.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/chat/?1340988426

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/...

Heyman says Dodgers are favorites to land Dempster.

is this game cancelled or what?

-edit- nevermind, it's over...yahoo just hasn't caught up yet.

"Chris Carpenter (STL) was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome."

"Symptoms of the condition include pain in the neck and shoulder and a weak grip. The 36-year-old right-hander threw a bullpen session Friday and fully intends to pitch through the condition, but Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirmed that he will likely require a procedure during the offseason."

via rotowurld...also, CCarp's signed through 2013 ($10.5m next year).

holy crap...the amount of scouts in FLA watching j.thome (PHI) take BP is pretty astounding.

he might fetch something interesting via competition for his services, alone. i imagine it's an AL-only situation...which makes the amount of scouts even more interesting. he's owed a bit less than 700K-ish on his contract (1.25m total) currently.

Marwin Gonzalez is the starting SS for OK City vs Iowa tonight.

He was a rule 5 pick this past offseason from the Cubs, taken by Boston who traded him to Houston (for Marco Duarte). He made the Astros opening day roster, then I stopped tracking what happened to him. Looks like he went on the Astros DL June 8th with a bruised heel. I guess this is a rehab assignment otherwise he would have been offered back to the Cubs if he was demoted to AAA.

Does this make sense?

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 7:06pm — Cubster

Marwin Gonzalez is the starting SS for OK City vs Iowa tonight.

He was a rule 5 pick this past offseason from the Cubs, taken by Boston who traded him to Houston (for Marco Duarte). He made the Astros opening day roster, then I stopped tracking what happened to him. Looks like he went on the Astros DL June 8th with a bruised heel. I guess this is a rehab assignment otherwise he would have been offered back to the Cubs if he was demoted to AAA.

Does this make sense?

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

CUBSTER: Marwin Gonzalez went on a 20-day minor league rehab assignment at AAA Oklahome City on Tuesday.

Lendy Castillo will probably be doing a 30-day rehab asignment at Daytona or Tennessee next month. (Pitchers get a maximum 30 days on rehab, position players get 20).

It's called the Rule 5 Rumba.

"Gonzalez has been on the disabled list since June 7 with a painful right heel bruise."

BP Kevin Goldstein...Future Shock Blog:

Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 3-for-6, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 4 RBI. Could move to Double-A soon, as much because of age as performance; .280/.376/.401 in 54 games.
Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, BB. 18-for-38 in last ten games and up to .293/.344/.500 overall; suddenly a favorite for a September look.

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

a vitters/stewart platoon is inevitable, imo...probably not a strict platoon, but it's not like stewart is going to cost much more than $2m next year...if that.

i guess a lot depends on what vitters shows when/if he gets his chance.

My advice to anyone who is keeping an eye on Cub prospects: put Alcantara on your list (even if it means learning how to spell his full name).

In addition to being a 20-year-old SS who is hitting .300 at Daytona, he has speed and some pop.

With two so far tonight, he has 46 RBI.

Switch hitter.

(Szczur has been stealing his thunder lately.)

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 7:28pm — VirginiaPhil

My advice to anyone who is keeping an eye on Cub prospects: put Alcantara on your list (even if it means learning how to spell his full name).

In addition to being a 20-year-old SS who is hitting .300 at Daytona, he has speed and some pop.

With two so far tonight, he has 46 RBI.

Switch hitter.

(Szczur has been stealing his thunder lately.)

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

VA PHIL: Arismendy Alcantara is an acrobatic shortstop with a plus arm, plus-bat speed from both sides of the plate, and occasional HR power, and he's a fast runner and a good base-stealer.

If he can cut-down the careless errors (he's kind of a cocky show-off) he will be a Top 15 prospect.

Shouldn't be that hard with the first name - Arismendy.

His two issues are the lack of walks (and aggressive at the plate) and defensive consistency (well, Jackie Robinson isn't exactly the best park, IIRC). That said, in terms of defensive shortstop potential, he may be the most intriguing raw talent in the system if he ever gets consistent enough.

He's been a nice breakout this year in A+. Reminds me a bit of Marwin Gonzalez (not physically) in that, both guys had a fair amount of AB's in the lower levels, and their struggles led some fans to forget about them, but they really needed time to hone their skills. Alcantara's power has been impressive this year - consistent .130+ ISOP each month.

I think he's a top 20 prospect already for us, and could end up higher depending on how the 2nd half goes. With Alcantara/Baez/Hernandez/Penalver, the system's shortstop depth/options has really rebuilt itself after the Castro/Lee (to a lesser extent, Lake) grouping.

Vitters gets his 2nd hit of the evening and both were RBI hits, 2 run HR in the 7th for a 7-0 lead over OKC in the 7th.

Jim Bowden on ESPN...
http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-offic...

The big league club might be losing right now, but believe it or not, the Epstein-Hoyer tandem is off to an incredible start. In trading for Anthony Rizzo, drafting Albert Almora and signing outfielder Jorge Soler, they might have the future middle of the lineup to go along with shortstop Starlin Castro.

Their next move will be this year’s trade deadline, where they are equipped with as many trade weapons as any seller in this market. Starters Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster have been dangled in hopes of getting top pitching prospects as part of any return. Garza is young enough to keep if they don’t find a match, but Dempster will probably be dealt for the best package offered. The Cubs also have Reed Johnson and Darwin Barney who could net them some mid- to low-level prospects with players. Both Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus will probably be made available, although there doesn’t appear to be a healthy market for either one at this point.

The most unique player they have to offer is the emerging Bryan LaHair, who would be a perfect fit for contenders such as the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers or Miami Marlins.

cubs 2016!

also, screw you brett jackson....and congrats to MIA for being contenders who are 4 games from .500 and 8.5 games out of 1st.

seriously though...i'm interested to see how the garza situation is handled...and if they plan on signing another ace-type this offseason if they choose to trade him.

They ARE contenders.

They DID make the moves to become an "NL powerhouse."

Fans ARE enjoying the new ballpark.

You ARE buying their story.

Barney's one of those situations where it's tough to imagine his value to an opposing team being higher than his value to us UNLESS there's an opposing team that values him as a shortstop, as well as 2nd, or feels like his defensive upgrade could be a critical piece. Hard to see who fits that picture. Unless we get a ... decent deal for him, and to be honest, I don't know what that would be off the top (maybe an intriguing high A arm with upside?), we might be better off plugging him in at 2nd the next few years.

I don't know the 5-10 Prospects of either team in question, but Pittsburgh and Cleveland ought to be offering something in that range for Barney. They both should consider themselves 'in it', but seem to be in perpetual "we're a year away" mindset.

what did I miss about Clevelend and Barney? (Kipnis/Cabrera)

I figured Detroit is the only team that could really use him as most of his value is defensive w/o embarrassing you with his bat.

maybe a Garza/Barney or Dempster/Barney or even Garza/Barney/LaHair (they could use a DH) would get the Cubs Turner or Castellanos. Although I'm not that high on Castellanos.

From way back in April, but I heard it on the radio the other day and thought some baseball fans might like it. Didn't know if anyone posted this here before:

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/10/150283169/windi...

6/30 vs. LHP Happ: DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo, 1B, Soriano LF, LaHair RF, Soto C, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Garza P

what? no baker or mather...OMG

This lineup sucks.

As does every other Cubs lineup.

If LaHair flukes into a few good PAs against LHP over the next few weeks, maybe his trade value becomes acceptable.

Carrie Muskat‏@CarrieMuskat

Chris Volstad will start Tuesday for ‪#Cubs‬ in Atlanta

WELLS = L.

VOLSTAD = FUTILE

j.soler 9/30m official.

is there a front office that loves cubans any more than theo's?

Padilla blog says surgery likely for Stewart, will decide in a few days.

Link in the twitter box.

Padilla article actually adds some new info on Stewart:

Stewart has dealt with the issue for over a year without doctors finding anything specific to treat. In his latest examination after going on the disabled list, calcium deposits were found that might be affecting a nerve.

The press sure has had a difficult time getting the real information out, either they don't ask the right questions or the Cubs are not volunteering (or understanding) real information. The article quotes both Hoyer and Sveum but does not put the info on "calcium deposits" attributed to a specific source (but implies it was one of them).

Now we're hearing about calcium deposits near a nerve. Any calcium does show up on plain X-Rays and MRI too. The Cleveland Clinic exam supposedly diagnosed Dorsal Wrist Impingement which is a clinical diagnosis with no structural findings on the testing. Calcium deposits would fall into the structural category. So I'm not sure what to make of this info.

oh snap...

c.lee to LAD done...supposed to take place after the game with c.lee being pulled from today's game...

c.lee pulls his no-trade card...deal off...

dat ranch!

Soler signed, will be delivered to Mesa next week (per Padilla tweet).

https://twitter.com/ESPNChiCubs/status/219131...

Soler signed, sealed and delivered. Will report to Mesa in the next few days.

per Bruce Miles tweet...

Hoyer on Soler: "We think he provides a ton of power potential for us."

Bill Mitchell‏@billazbbphotog

Just watched Jorge Soler take BP and tonight will watch Michael Ynoa pitch. Great day in AZ! #Cubs #Athletics

Muskat with no news tweet...

GM Hoyer had no update on talks with 1st round pick Almora, except to say dialogue continues

lahair...you can't play him shallow or deep in RF...and it's looking more like you shouldn't play him there at all.

he does okay when it's hit near him. it's just getting to the ball...or anything near the wall or warning track...

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/6960

Bruce Miles blog has lots of tidbits.

Says it was Sveum that mentioned the calcium info on Stewart:

Third baseman Ian Stewart has come calcification in his sore left wrist, according to Sveum. It’s looking more and more like Stewart will have to opt for surgery.

Also Brett Jackson interview quoted from the Des Moines Register particularly about his high strikeout total (Randy Peterson)

"I believe to master your craft, you have to battle and struggle with it," Jackson told Peterson. "In the end, this is going to be a great experience for me."

"Obviously I've been striking out too much, so I'm cutting down on my swing and trying to be more of who I am," Jackson said to Peterson. "I was trying to be someone probably greater than who I am, and who I am is a player I think can help a team win, with the speed I have."

here is the link to the Des Moines original article...including BJax getting a buzz cut:
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/2012...

"I was trying to be someone probably greater than who I am . . ."

Rizzo-envy!

cubs lead!

rizzo's 1st homer.

Rizzobomb

Cubs lead 3-2

Keith Moreland:

"He just hit a majestic shot out of here"

Jim Thome to Orioles a done deal. (announced on Cub radio broadcast)

No details yet.

sounds like a fair deal. Simon seems like ... a Randy Wells in a best case scenario. Lino's intriguing in a Welington Castillo way, but he's so far away. For an O's team hanging around and with big offensive questions, adding Thome and having Markakis returning could really kick the offense up a notch (and potentially ... have them in the market for pitching in July - considering all the years of futility, if they are in it, I think they may make a push.).

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