Soler Broken and Other Cubs News

A few weeks back, Jorge Soler fouled a ball of his shin...a seemingly common occurrence in baseball that carries little consequence past the few moments of stinging pain for the offending party. This being the Cubs and all, the foul ball sent Soler to the 7-day disabled list of which he returned off of this week. The leg still hurt though and now it's being reported that he has a stress fracture and will be out 4-6 walks and possibly the rest of the season. Oh Cubbery...you strike in mysterious ways! Soler will of course miss the Futures Game as well over the All-Star Break, which him and Arismendy Alcantara were named to the World rosters.

In other news, Alderman Tom Tunney did what he does best last night, and sent out a letter demanding how the Ricketts spend their $500M improving their ballpark.  Some aren't too terribly unreasonable (smaller jumbotron, smaller right field ad sign) and some are just dumb (get rid of a beer garden in the new hotel as if they aren't 300 of those in Wrigleyville already and no walkway from the hotel to the park which harms no one). There's a meeting with the Landmark Commission this morning to discuss any changes to Wrigley Field and I'll keep it updated in the comments.

In rumors news, apparently Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers is pretty close to happening...seems a 5-game winning streak is enough to convince the Dodgers they didn't eff up their team too badly. There's also a rumor that the Braves will be in on Kevin Gregg, but so will many other teams and the Braves are quite set at closer and their relievers own the best ERA in baseball, so I find it hard to imagine they'll be offering the most.

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Muskat says Dodgers, Nats, Blue Jays, Orioles, Phillies (wtf?) have scouts watching Garza today...

It's Muskat, grains of salt...

Gordon Wittenmyer‏@GDubCub
Add Phillies today to the 12 teams represented with scouts for Tuesday's Feldman showcase event.

George Ofman‏@georgeofman
If Garza pitches well today, don't be shocked if he's traded over the weekend. Rangers really want him.

Gregg, Garza, Feldman, Soriano for D. Brown & J. Biddle....seems perfectly reasonable.

Pass.

But the Phillies started 7 and 11. They're 31-30 since. Braves 32-29 Nats 29-30 over that same span. Still have ground to make up. Perhaps they're just being prepared in case they're closer later. Or maybe they're thinking of a free aganet bid at years end.

what are you passing on?

Multiple things in life. But in this case, the trade idea you made in jest.

I think D. Brown became untouchable around home run #15 or so....the Cubs won't get any pitcher with nearly as much promise as Biddle in any of these trades unless they catch the O's in a moment of weakness and somehow land Bundy or Gausman.

"George Ofman‏@georgeofman
If Garza pitches well today, don't be shocked if he's traded over the weekend. Rangers really want him."

M. Garza 7.0 8 1 1 1 10

Was this good enough?

Martin Perez and Mike Olt come on down :)

Plus, he got 2 hits!

I think that gets the Cubs Profar!!

Does anyone know the Cubs record against sub-500 teams?

against teams currently under .500, they have gone

19-17...20-17 if they win today, that counts Rockies, Padres, Giants.

Discount those 3 and they are

14-11 against sub .500's.

I don't know the record against teams that were under .500 when they played them, but may have gone over since...

their biggest problem has been the NL central

10 - 25

Thanks.

4 IP...8 K for Garza on just 58 pitches...watch out Kerry Wood.

Former All-Star catcher Darren Daulton has been diagnosed with two brain tumors and will undergo surgery next week.

Daulton, who played 14 1/2 of his 15 seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies, has hosted ''Talking Baseball with Dutch'' at 97.5 The Fanatic the last four years.

The station released a statement Thursday saying Daulton, after not feeling well the past two weeks, saw a doctor who made the discovery.

Tin foil hat must have been too tight

Why is Blake Parker pulled after 2 batters and we are wasting Russell when up by 5 runs?

super important game in the standings....


fwiw, just 10 pitches for Russell last night, 7 today...hadn't pitched since Sunday and had a week between outings before the Sunday appearance.

Becoming less of a fan of Sveum by the week.

Why mess with Parker's head by yanking him after a solo HR with a 5-run lead in the 8th? Let him pitch the 8th and let Russell pitch the 9th.

Hey Dale -- develop the kids. Getting Camp some work should not be a priority.

The development of the young Cubs on this team doesn't make me look at Sveum and think, "Now, THIS is how it's done."

rather self-evident, but Theo already suggesting that Soler could see the AFL to make up some of the AB's he'll miss...

am i missing anyone here?

...obvious trade candidates

garza, feldman, gregg, sureholds, navarro...maybe soriano.

technically anyone can be lumped in, including guys like vanillawafers/harriston, but i don't see those guys going. the 6 listed just seem obvious targets for movement and attractive to other teams. i'm also not counting guys with control that the team is likely to hang onto like t.wood/russell.

Sweeney. DeJesus.

SF has lost Pagan. So a Sweeney & Feldman package could work.

At this point Sam Ninja is probably the only actual untouchable. Considering the SS and fatty 1b prospects in the minors, I'm sure they would unload Starlin Rizzo for the right arms.

I don't really get the idea behind not trading Russell. He's good and he's in demand. Yes, he wouldn't be a FA for a few more years, but is a LH reliever who really can't go more than 1 IP a key piece that you're saving for the future? If he could bring back a quality prospect back, then definitely trade him.

gotta have someone in the pen worth a damn...it looks like we're not getting our future japanese closer back until mid-season and russell is the only dependable guy around, though russell isn't a closer type.

it's a shame he's a "mostly loogie" type rather than a solid 2-sided attack, but he's not inept vs righties.

as it stands it seems the pen is russell + "can blake parker keep it up?" + "cross your fingers for henry rodriguez" going into 2014. there's nothing attractive going on in AAA aside from m.bowden, b.schlitter, c.coleman, and z.putnam...which aren't that attractive right now. i do have faith in m.bowden, though...and that's about it out of that list of guys. also, r.dolis exists...which is about all i care to say.

But that's what I mean. If he were a cost-controlled closer or even a multi-inning guy, I could understand it, but he's not. If they're gonna suck for another year or two, I'd think relievers are the last thing that Theo & Jed are worried with. Maybe the return wouldn't really be as high as I'm thinking, but if a team were willing to give up a top 10 prospect for him, I'd do that deal.

they traded Marshall, they'll trade Russell if the right deal shows up....

Not the Stanley Cup Final recap you were expecting...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_gaXwHz6MjQ

Awesome.

For the Boston fans right

30.2ip 19h 13bb 46k

...can rosscup get moved up to AAA already?

1ip 1h 0bb 1k last night.

He has certainly earned the promotion, but at this point, if he's coming up at the end of July or Sept. 1, there's almost no point in moving him just for a couple of weeks. And he should probably be on the very short list of guys who are ready for bullpen work once Gregg is traded, Camp is DFA'd, and Villanueva is a starter again.

Ok, here's the thing. I can understand trading Dejesus, Feldman, and maybe Navarro. They're FAs after the season anyway. But why trade Garza unless it's a top 10 prospect? Why trade him for flotsam that burns out at AA or AAA if the Cubs are lucky? Same with Schierholtz. You offer Garza the 1-yr $13M deal or take the supplemental round pick. Wouldn't the best college pitcher at pick 33-38 be better than a couple Top 15-25 prospects from the Rangers or Dodgers? As for Schierholtz, what's the likely return? Less than what they get for Garza, right? Isn't a LH RF/LF who can put up his numbers worth more than a future Rosscup or Torreyes?

I don't know but I don't think there's that many out-of-town stupid GMs now that Hendry was fired who are going to give up any real value for Garza and Schierholtz. As for Gregg, why trade a guy making the minimum just to help some other pennant contender?

Just my random thoughts as the trade deadline approaches.

Well, they're not paying Theo's princely sum to keep a 33-44 team intact. I'd say this is a good opportunity for Theo to earn his money, and get something good in return for these guys. They're all flawed and some of them are at sell high moments. Gregg, especially, whose WHIP is about 40 points below his career average.

You think those other GMs don't know just exactly what Kevin Gregg is worth?

Baseball is littered with contracts for players who have had one good year and GMs buy into it. Certainly screwed the Cubs over enough times. Especially for teams trying to make it now, GMs don't always think long term.

R.A. Dickey anyone?:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/dicker...

He was prety darn good in 2010-2011 wasn't he? Not 20-win good, but still very good.

He had not very good peripherals that were never supportable imo. Plus, whenever I see an older player suddenly play well when traded, I have to ask why and what will happen when they are traded again. In 2010 at least his home/road splits were pretty large.

Interesting Splits those 2 years...
2010:
Home: 7-3,1.99 ERA, 1.094 WHIP,5.4 K/9, 2.45 K/BB
Road: 4-6,3.58 ERA, 1.269 WHIP, 5.3 K/9, 2.50 K/BB
2011:
Home: 2-9,3.51 ERA,1.110 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 2.92 K/BB
Road: 6-4,2.99 ERA,1.371 WHIP, 5.6 K/9, 2.07 K/BB

He's a no-quit relief pitcher with just enough stuff left to be the medium-leverage RHP on a contender's bullpen. He has a 0.99 WHIP so far this season. If a GM thinks he's weak at that spot and thinks 2013 Gregg is the answer, he will trade a talented but low-level prospect for him. That's all Gregg is and as much as he ever will get. No secret. But for the Cubs, that's still a trade you make.

best hope for Cubs is they can package Gregg + Feldman or Garza for a "A" prospect + spares imo...but doesn't mean it will happen.

You think those other GMs don't know just exactly what Kevin Gregg is worth?

I think a GM of a contending team in need of an emergency closer will go with a hot hand if, and this is the key, if, Gregg can keep it up until the trading deadline.

fwiw...which historically means nothing...but compounded with a good season means retribution...he had an awesome spring, too.

11ip 3h 0bb 5k, 1er/r

guess it depends on the system, but I'd be surprised if Cubs don't land a top 5 prospect for Garza and a second high quality prospect, teams want to win and Garza can be lights out at times and has done well in the playoffs. Not as well as they would have done last season when a team would have had Garza for over a year, but still decent. Getting Mike Olt would be good enough for me to be honest...

Schierholtz (bless his wonderful platoon splits), isn't worth a 1/$13-14M deal imo and certainly not a guy anyone would think about giving up a draft pick for...I don't know what he'll get in a trade, but since the rest of his contract is only about $1M, should be quite a few suitors. 

As for Gregg, the term "sell high" comes to mind.

TheJedi did well enough in their deals last offseason I thought, so I presume they'll continue to know what they're doing and if a trade isn't beneficial, they won't make it. I don't get the sense they'll trade just to trade.

LAD and TOR have recently taken on huge money burden contracts for actual prospects while trading recently. while garza probably won't fetch a team's top overall prospect, it's not that hard to believe there's more than a few teams out there willing to trade something worth a damn even for a 3 month + hopeful playoff rental...along with the supplemental pick.

garza's gotta be worth at least some team's top-10 organizational talent as a starting point...maybe multiple guys...but probably not a top 1-2 talent unless bidding gets crazy.

"ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Yankees are considering signing Ian Stewart to a minor league contract."

I see a book in Stewart's future. The Single Plane and my 4A Career

Will Cashman insist on a stfu clause?

i.stewart has already deleted his twitter...for the 2nd time in his cubs career.

Note that Ryan Sweeney is a free agent at the end of the season while Nate Schierholz is only arbitration eligible.

I should pay more attention, well 1+ year of control for Schierholtz, even if he's arb-eligible, has to have some appeal. He's not gonna get a crazy raise off of $2.25M no matter how well he does.

RICK:

It's been noted.

link

rumor be D'Backs interested in Samardzija...

Bradley or Skaggs would have to be in play, plus Eaton, Davidson or Chafin you'd think?

Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, only could be had for an “overwhelming” package — and the two clubs have not engaged in discussions, sources say.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/arizona-diamond...

buzzkill.

Sorry.

How about Skaggs, Holmberg, Eaton, & Davidson for Samardzija & Brett Jackson

Darwin Barney seems like a gritty and white Kevin Towers player....throw him in and get Archie Bradley :)

By white, i assume you mean hawaiiann/japanese/korean.

With Thursday's win in Milwaukee, the Cubs have started a winning streak of at least two games for just the sixth time this year. The 5-game win streak a few weeks ago is the only one that's been above 3.

Heyman on Garza:

they realized a while ago that there's no long-term deal to be made with the free-agent-to-be Garza. In fact, Cubs brass realized this as far back as two springs ago when multiyear talks never got traction.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/22560...

that's been my guess for a long time....

but still, Cubs have the 1-year qualifying offer as leverage.

Twitterverse says Rockies interested in Gregg as well as looking at SP's

Feldman and Gregg make a lot of sense for them.

Rockies interested...
---
Righty Eddie Butler and Lefty Tyler Matzak (or Tyler Anderson)? They owe us some karma for Stewart.

http://www.purplerow.com/2013/5/24/4362270/eddie-b...

They're in on Garza too.

might be easier to just list the teams not interested in Garza...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/06/matt-garza-rumors-friday.html?utm_...

Dodgers, O's, Rangers, Giants, Padres, Rockies, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Nationals, Phillies all mentioned.

FanGraphs takes another crack at downgrading Garza's trade value. Second time in two weeks.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/matt-garzas-last-th...

NWL notes: Cubs' Blackburn bulks up

Right-hander dominating for Hawks after adding 30 pounds

http://m.milb.com/news/article/2013062852033822/cu...

From Rotoworld:

Reds released RHP Mark Prior.
Prior had been on Triple-A Louisville's disabled list since April 25 with a right shoulder strain, and evidently the club wasn't optimistic about his chances of recovering and contributing. Though he's still just 32, you've got to wonder if this is finally the end of the line for the former No. 2 overall pick.

...awaiting word from tom house to see who's fault this is besides mark prior.

i'd love to go watch prior pitch @ pp one more time...i remember the night he fanned 10 & jacked 2...(didn't he?)

i think i was aroused there in our seats right behind the plate on that magical night in may...

BA Prospect Hot Sheet:
6. Alberto Cabera, rhp, Cubs
Team: Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
Age: 24.
Why He’s Here: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER. 3 BB, 13 Ks.

The Scoop: If the Cubs were less desperate for starting pitching and playing more for today, Cabrera might be pitching in their big league bullpen now. That’s the role he filled throughout 2012, when he was pegged as a reliever and made his major league debut in August. But the front office moved him back to the rotation and returned him to Double-A this year and it has paid off, as Cabrera has posted a career-best strikeout rate as a starter as well as a reduced walk rate.

IN THE TEAM PHOTO
Paul Blackburn, rhp, Cubs: When the Cubs drafted Blackburn in the supplemental first round last year, they knew he had better feel than the average high school arm. That has been apparent in his first three starts at short-season Boise. The 19-year-old has walked two while striking out 20 and has yet to allow an earned run. He was 0-1, 0.00 this week with 12 strikeouts in 10 innings.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-hot...

BA Prospect Chat:

Is Arismendy Alcantara the Cubs Second Baseman after the All-Star game next year? And is he a viable lead-off option in the future?

Jim Shonerd: At the earliest, and he hasn’t exactly mastered Double-A yet. He didn’t look like a leadoff guy coming into the year, but he’s showing a lot more patience (his 32 walks are already a career high), so you could see him in a leadoff role, though he’s been hitting second or third with Tennessee.

Is Alberto Cabrera more of a back-end guy or might he be a mid-rotation candidate?

Jim Shonerd: He can be more than a No. 4 or 5 guy. It’s a power arm and he’s shown effective secondary stuff enough to believe he can be a quality big league starter.

Dan Vogelbach looks like one of the sweetest pure hitters I've seen in a long time. do you think his bat can carry him to the majors, and do you see him being a great hitter in the majors, maybe a .300+ avg hitter, maybe another prince fielder? Thanks

Jim Shonerd: .300 might be a stretch, but he’ll be more than a one-dimensional power hitter. He doesn’t just swing for the downs and will use the whole field, so he should be able to hit for solid averages, not to mention his patience that leads to walks.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/85051/

doh...

"Carlos Zambrano left Friday's start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley with right shoulder tightness."

s.baker exists...

"Scott Baker (elbow) will throw his second simulated game on Saturday.

Baker has been slowly building up his arm strength since he was shut down at the end of spring training. Assuming he stays on schedule, Baker believes that he'll be ready to rejoin the Cubs' rotation at the end of August."

If he can actually throw some, maybe someone rolls the dice in August. I remember Peavy got traded while on the DL. It's certainly possible, but with the 1-year deal, he'll definitely have to show teams something.

"Former major league pitcher Justin Miller was found dead Wednesday evening, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's office."

damn.

he was that guy with all the awful tattoos in case you don't remember...infamously the "I (heart) Billy Koch" tattoo on his ass that Koch told him he'd give him $1000 if he'd do it.

Cubs activated C Steve Clevenger from 15-day disabled list; optioned him to Triple-A Iowa.

Zach Putnam transfered to 60 day DL.

McCready on a Fender! So 20 years ago, Mariners...

Ricky Nolasco 5 IP tonight. 11H 5 ER

The Jeff Samardzija rumors were surprising, but the more I think about it, the more I am in favor. If Samardzija can bring a group of top prospects (Bradley would be a nice anchor of that group), I am all for it. While the Ninja is significantly younger than Garza in terms of free agency status, he is only 14 months younger in years. If we believe 2015 is when the Cubs might start getting good, that would be Samardzija at 30 and getting older as the young prospects come (hopefully) to the majors.

As for Travis Wood, we haven't heard much about him but he definitely should be trade bait as well. Assuming there is an offer of a good (but not great, bottom of top 10-12 of teams prospects perhaps) value, I would make the trade; I don't think that we can count on Wood's success being long-term and getting value for him would be quite beneficial.

If we were able to trade Samardzija, Wood, Garza, Feldman, Gregg and, if we get decent value, Russell, it would seem like a very dramatic move. But this could add incredible value to rebuilding and we will have about the same chance of success now while a greater chance of future success.

That rotation of Jackson and 4 prospects would be amazing!

Same chance of making the postseason as we have now....just gives a better chance of making postseason (in my opinion) in 2016 and later than we have without the trades.

I imagine most front offices understand BABIP by this point and aren't ready to cough up toyon for Wood unless he can pitch like this for multipe seasons.

Ninja would have to get you a top 30 prospect (in all of baseball) and  another top 100 I would think.

It's true that his BABIP is freakishly low this year, but he's 26, get's the ball over the plate, and the fact that his BABIP is under .270 tells me that there is some spin on his ball that makes it just a smidge harder to hit than the average average pitcher. So to me, he may not be a guy you build around, but at his age he seems like a good, steady starter that you only trade if somebody offers at least a little more than he seems to be worth. Last night I was really noticing how often he gets the ball to where Navarro framed it - even if he was framing high and outside he wasn't making Navarro reach for it. I'm really starting to take to this guy.

He's too young to be the stereotype "grizzled veteran innings-eater," but that's what he'll be known as from 2016-23.

there is a lot more nirvana and alice in chains than i thought len would push on us tonight...especially for a guy into indie-pop.

also, soriano HR.

also, navarro HR...cubs lead 4-1, top 7th.

well, so much for that lead...tie game, bottom 8th.

cubs lose in 10...awesome.

They will go deeper in the Seattle Music Catalog for tomorrow's game.

knowing len's taste i'm a bit surprised he didn't tell the crew to drop some 'green apple quick step' or 'fastbacks'

...was a bit shocked he didn't lay a bunch of 'pearl jam' on us, too.

Danny Knobler‏@DannyKnoblerCBS
I'm told Cubs were "heavily represented" at Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez start tonight in Tijuana.

All of those people will have diarrhea shortly.

Rebuilding done right...

Pirates best record in baseball.

cubs 2028...i can't wait.

i get it...well, i don't get jeff locke's success...but it'd be nice to see a few kids come along in syngergy with some under-the-radar support signings + longterm commitments to kids on the cheap (i hope the cubs rizzo/castro turns out to be as smart as PIT's mccutchen signing).

at least theocorp seems to be getting some of the under-the-radar parts right...that bodes well for the future.

about locke...the dude throws an average fastball, an average curve, and an average change...throws a TON outside the zone...and no one seems to be able to make good contact on any of it. he works outside the zone as effectively this season as marmol has in some of his better stints...only without a single plus pitch or high-end velocity. guys are offering at out of the zone trash on the guy and doing a good amount of nothing with it. i have no idea how he's getting some of these guys to offer at it, nor how long it will continue. he's not as wild as marmol, though...not trying to paint that picture. while he's got control issues, it seems like he's getting in the area he wants rather than just tossing it up there.

a bit 3/44 but BP's transaction analysis on Marmol and Stewart...

There was a period of time not too long ago when Marmol was an elite reliever. Now the expectation is he will go unclaimed through waivers, because of his remaining salary (somewhere around $5 million), before being released. From there Marmol will find another opportunity. He might be as frustrating as any reliever in the league, but he still misses bats at a good enough rate to merit work. Here's the most interesting thing about Marmol nowadays: despite being a fastball-slider pitcher he's had a reverse platoon split for a few years running. Could a team try him as a right-handed left-handed specialist? Probably not. It's funner to think about than his downfall anyway.

Stewart's release comes on the heels of a late-night Twitter rant, which led to a two-week suspension. The irony in the whole mess is Stewart wanted his release because he felt boxed out from the big leagues with the Cubs. Yet by taking to social media to air his qualms it's possible Stewart poisoned the wells of 29 other teams. Maybe not, and a team will view this as a one-time public venting—the Cubs, after all, traded for and later re-signed Stewart—but he's at the point in his career where he's closer to organizational depth than impact player, and that means he cannot afford to make noise.

a bit 3/44 but BP's transaction analysis on Marmol and Stewart...

There was a period of time not too long ago when Marmol was an elite reliever. Now the expectation is he will go unclaimed through waivers, because of his remaining salary (somewhere around $5 million), before being released. From there Marmol will find another opportunity. He might be as frustrating as any reliever in the league, but he still misses bats at a good enough rate to merit work. Here's the most interesting thing about Marmol nowadays: despite being a fastball-slider pitcher he's had a reverse platoon split for a few years running. Could a team try him as a right-handed left-handed specialist? Probably not. It's funner to think about than his downfall anyway.

Stewart's release comes on the heels of a late-night Twitter rant, which led to a two-week suspension. The irony in the whole mess is Stewart wanted his release because he felt boxed out from the big leagues with the Cubs. Yet by taking to social media to air his qualms it's possible Stewart poisoned the wells of 29 other teams. Maybe not, and a team will view this as a one-time public venting—the Cubs, after all, traded for and later re-signed Stewart—but he's at the point in his career where he's closer to organizational depth than impact player, and that means he cannot afford to make noise.

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

Buster Olney‏@Buster_ESPN
Rival execs believe the Cubs should be able to get more than the value of a first-round draft pick for Matt Garza; trade expected soon.

Buster Olney‏@Buster_ESPN
The Giants are looking around for a RHed hitting outfielder.
----

Think Soriano would change his mind about SF (and you know play better)?

The Giants are looking around for a RHed hitting outfielder.
-----
when I first read the above I thought it meant red-headed hitting outfielder and thought immediately they wanted Matt Murton.

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