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:

ATTENDANCE

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.

Comments

"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.

http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/7/1/4483594/jef...

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.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/9442602/carlos-marmol-chicago-...

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.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/jason-kipnis-cleveland-indians-second...

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

http://tinyurl.com/nyk7n7v

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seventh_Seal

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 [email protected] ( 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 [email protected]
That said, Marmol/Dodgers sounds imminent & don't think LAD would dump int'l money unless its a bigger deal.

Kiley [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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.

http://www.mikesciosciastragicillness.com/2013/07/...

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.

http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2013/7/1/4485138/cubs-...

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:

http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-office/pos...

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

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/int...

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.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/domin...

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.

mlbtr...
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...

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-06-17/sports...

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.

https://twitter.com/GDubCub/status/352125636455825410

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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  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 12 min 46 sec ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 13 min 14 sec ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 22 min 3 sec ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 42 min 13 sec ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 39 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?

    And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.

    Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place. 

    CTSteve 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout)  he was seen as a long-term project.  

    I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • I'm with Rob G and Johann here. It's not about Chapman as a pitcher. I just don't want to have to block out a real problem (the domestic violence) in order to try to enjoy the frivolous ball and stick game.

    Charlie 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • ROB G & BOB R: You're right. The QO can only be extended if the player spends the entire previous season with one club, so only the Yankees could have offered one to Chapman (if he wasn't traded). If an Article XX-B FA is traded during the season, the new club can't offer a QO. .

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 13 min ago view