I-Cubs' Summer Begins With Lake Stay

For the first time this season the best farm system in organized baseball comes to town as the suddenly first place Iowa Cubs scoot home from Omaha for a three-game set with the Memphis Redbirds that culminates with a pyrotechnic exclamation of patriotism on Independence Day Eve.

After an 0-6 stumble from the gate and falling to the nadir of nine games below .500 a couple of times during a soggy spring the I-Cubs have warmed and ripened with the coming of summer, playing at a .680 clip over their last 25 games to reach the .500 mark at 42-42.

This series with Memphis sets up as a showdown for the top spot in the PCL’s American North Division, if anyone cares. The visitors will arrive two games behind their hosts. A sweep would result in the teams swapping places in the standings but the chances for it are lessened by the return of uber-prospect Elvis Pres…er, Oscar Taveras to the DL last week after the recurrence of an ankle injury that’s nagged him all year.

Given the recent call-up of Brian Bogusevic and the twin fades of Josh (JV) Vitters and Brett (K) Jackson I suppose Junior Lake ranks as the local top prospect du jour. After 25 Triple A games and an even 100 AB’s Lake is hitting at a promising .320 clip though that rate has slowed to just .230 over his last 10 games. Random or not, the I-Cubs’ summer surge has coincided with Lake’s arrival. So far he’s logged 22 games at the hot corner and three in RF. Most of his eight errors have sprayed from a strong but erratic arm.

Here’s a nugget I panned from the team’s game notes prior to yesterday’s blanking at the hands of Omaha:


Home Total......... 237,255 / 39 dates Average - 6,083

Road Total......... 237,276 / 39 dates Average - 6,084


That’s pretty close. If you pencil out the actual difference between the home/road averages it’s closer to .5 persons per game. I got to thinking that if I were counted every time I visit those averages might reverse. I’m still maybe half the man I used to be. So Wednesday night six of us are going through the turnstiles as paid admissions for the fireworks gala. It figures to be the biggest crowd of the year, what with, you know, first place on the line and all. Sometimes the bush leagues are the place to be.


"I’m still maybe half the man I used to be."

Unlike Paul McCartney...

tomorrow never knows...

*clap* *clap*

Logan Watkins seems like he has been hitting lately. How has he looked when you have been watching? Unlike Vitters and Jackson, he does seem to have a prospect pulse, even if only for a utility reserve/pinch hitter.

LW's best asset is selectivity...

Let's hope the cautionary tale of Jeff Francoeur does not become the cautionary tale of Starlin Castro.


Good read. So...I should trade Puig?

no way but down for him...

Seems like Castro has been trouble hitting the fastball, of all things, for some reason, from what little I've been able to watch. Sometimes he just really swings at piss poor pitches, too, but I honestly think that can work itself out in his case, cuz I've seen him make adjustments.

And in other Cub news, Brian Roberts has indeed just been activated just in time for the trading season.

Marmol headed to Dodgers it looks like.


claims Dodgers are absorbing some of the money owed Marmol, so I expect absolutely nothing in return for the Cubs.

I'm surprised someone was will to absorb any of the contract.

Dodgers are clearly swimming in piles of gold these days.

I'm guessing this ends up being for a PTBNL that ends up just being cash, maybe based on Marmol's performance.

The Dodgers DFA'd Matt Guerrier yesterday. They still owe him about $2 million.

Maybe Marmol and $3 million for Matt Guerrier? And the Shawn Camp experience would come to and end.

Camp was ok last year, until he got Dusty'd.

looks like you're on to something...

If LA gets Carlos Marmol, the Cubs would pay most, if not all, of $5M salary owed and might get back player recently removed from LA roster.

Marmol for Puig. Believe in it.

If anyone is on Twitter and doesn't already follow Baseball's Best Fans, do it now. With the Cardinals-Angels series this week it's pure gold.

Lol, is there frequent use of the word, "moran"?

Rosenthal saying the same thing as Sullivan, that Cubs are inclined to keep Schierholtz and DeJesus.


Garza, Gregg, Feldman all very likely to be death.

Haha. Death is being traded to the Cubs not from the cubs :)

possibly my greatest typo ever...

Pic of Jedstein and Ned Coletti working on the Marmol deal


Great scene, great movie, great director, but absolutely crying out for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment. Also, it's 3/44, but you could also use Downfall for this situation. "What? He has a limited NTC?"

Edit: Apparently many other satirists have used The Seventh Seal already. Check out the Wikipedia page:

Clevenger re-injured, leaving Iowa...Sappelt on his way back to the Cubs.

Witty says Cubs would just get pro-rated minimum in a deal (about $250K)...which if I understand this correctly, they'd be off the hook for anyway as long as he signed somehwere (if that's what he signed for of course).

so maybe they will get a player....otherwise I don't understand why the Cubs would bother.

Yovani Gallardo roughed up by the Nationals tonight.

Wow. MAtt Guerrier added would be like TWO Shawn Camps! What could be bad about that?

Kiley McDaniel‏@kileymcd ( National Baseball Analyst for Fox Sports )
Speculation on my part, but Cubs telling Clevenger to go home from stadium & wait for trade jives with midnight deal for needed Int'l pool $

Kiley McDaniel‏@kileymcd
That said, Marmol/Dodgers sounds imminent & don't think LAD would dump int'l money unless its a bigger deal.

Kiley McDaniel‏@kileymcd
Just like that I'm told Marlins were one of a few teams on Steve Clevenger. MIA-CHC trade w/Int'l pool money involved makes tons of sense.

Kiley McDaniel‏@kileymcd
And the weird timing/wording of the initial Clevenger report makes a lot more sense if its a deal that can't happen for three more hours.

Ah, Feel the love for Ned Colletti.

Being better than something really dumb

blog commentary on the possibility of Dodgers getting Marmol...

If Marmol does end up in Los Angeles, I won’t really like it, and neither will you. But I also can’t say that taking a flier on a DFA’d reliever is really that much more egregious than giving three-year deals to Guerrier and League in the first place, right? Unfortunately, “being better than something really dumb” isn’t the same thing as “actually being a good idea or worth the effort,” and that’s where I’m worried we end up here.


Too bad Dodgers can't find a closer , I mean jeez even the Cubs gave Gregg

Dave Kaplan on the radio saying there are 5 teams in on Marmol. So not a done deal with the Dodgers.

Clevenger was placed on the trading block within the last 24 hours after a disagreement with the Cubs over his medical situation, a source has confirmed to MLBDailyDish's Chris Cotillo. Clevenger, who was recently activated from the 60-day disabled list, asked for a second opinion on the injury (which he is entitled to as a 40-man roster player) within the last 24 hours and was immediately put on the trading block and told to pack up his gear.


Why would they send a guy packing because he wants a second opinion?

was Ian Stewart contagious?

We'll need to see Clevenger's swing to know for sure.

Wrongway Jim Bowden (Dempster traded to Dodgers a done deal), spouts 5 possible Garza trades:


5. Colorado Rockies

LHP Drew Pomeranz and C Will Swanner

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

RHPs Stephen Fife and Matt Magill

3. San Diego Padres

LHP Robbie Erlin and RHP Keyvius Sampson

2. Texas Rangers

LHP Robbie Ross and IF Drew Robinson

1. Cleveland Indians

RHPs Cody Allen and Dylan Baker

A little retrospective on Yusiel Puig


gosh, clevenger v. cubs almost like a-rod v. yankees...starless i-cubs pad pcl lead!

International NON-Signing Day

So far I have heard nothing on any deals the Cubs are doing. Just the usual excellent suspects: Cards, Rangers, Red Sox...

They just signed JR Richards. I mean, Jefferson Mejia. 6-7, 220.

He's another guy with questionable documents.


At least his arm isn't dangling by a thread.

Thanks. Here you go (BA, Ben Badler)

In fact, it's not even clear how Mejia is allowed to be pitching here. MLB declared Mejia ineligible to sign until April 4. When MLB suspends a player or declares him ineligible to sign for one year, the player is not allowed to enter a team's Dominican complex. An MLB official said the league was aware that Mejia participated in the IPL game and that no violations took place, but there is no explanation why it's not a violation if he's not allowed to be at a team's academy.

Regardless, Mejia has to be one of the biggest human beings on the island and his talent is clear. He was listed at 6-foot-7, 190 pounds at this time last year. Now the roster has him at 220, but he looks heavier with a thick lower half. Last year his fastball sat in the high-80s and scraped the low-90s. Today he's sitting at 91-93 mph and getting both lefties and righties to swing through a good-looking 77-79 mph changeup, with a solid 75-76 mph curveball as well. For a guy with Mejia's size, usually there are a lot of arms, legs, elbows and knees flying all over the place. His mechanics are fairly solid for someone with his length and he seems to have the athleticism to repeat his delivery.

Javier Baez, you better watch out. No, I mean, Starlin Castro, you better get out of your slump! I mean, no, I really mean, you can't have too many shortstops.

MLBTR/Roto's all over it...

Keith Law of ESPN reports that the Orioles have acquired right-hander Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger from the Cubs in exchange for right-handers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop, and international bonus money.

The Orioles sent international bonus slots 3 and 4 to the Cubs, according to the team. That should amount to an additional $388,100 for the Cubs, who had an international bonus pool of $4,557,200. This is the first MLB trade involving international bonus pool money.

Orioles...Clevenger has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Not overly exciting, but certainly more than I expected Feldman to provide when we signed him. Both Strop and Arrieta and good stuff, though control can be an issue for both. Assuming a good amount of international cash, this could be quite beneficial.

Indeed Cubster - MLBTR the O's fans comments are pretty complimentary towards TheoCorp. The pool, money as you state is the key. This may enable them to sign one of the top Intl. prospects - for a one-year-pitching-over-his-head rental.

Doesn't seem like much.

who starts tonight in Feldman's spot...Vanilla Wafers?

roto answers the question:

Cubs recalled LHP Chris Rusin from Triple-A Iowa.
He'll start Tuesday against the A's in place of Scott Feldman

rusin recently tossed i-cubs' first CG shutout in a decade; 2nd in pcl in bb/9 innings...efficiency expert?

one of the last articles from the Baltimore Sun on Arrieta from June 17th...


and mlbtr confirms...

Marmol to LA for Guerrier. Now we have Shawn Camps even more evil twin? Not sure about why they gave up Int'l slot money though.

the Cubs announced they have acquired Matt Guerrier from the Dodgers for Carlos Marmol and Chicago's fourth international signing bonus slot. That slot is worth $209,700 in pool money. The Cubs acquired $388,100 in pool money from the Orioles minutes ago, so Chicago still adds $178,400 to their pool.

Anyone who can figure out the reconfigured roster/pitching staff...please post.

Added: Guerrier, Rusin

Limbo: Arrieta, Strop

Gone: Feldman, Sweeney

Callup interuptus: Sappelt

just like popcorn poppin'...per Wittenmeyer/Sun-Times:

Cubs also get two of Houston's international slots/pool$$ for minor league infielder Ronald Torreyes.


The Astros must have wanted someone to make Altuve feel tall.

Very weird to give the Dodgers any of the international bonus money.

Recent comments

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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.