Cubs Claim T-Daddy Off Waivers

Carrie Muskat reports that the Cubs have claimed 25-year old RH hitting LF-RF-1B Thomas Neal off waivers from the New York Yankees. Neal had been Designated for Assignment by the Yankees last Friday to make room on their 40-man roster for OF Curtis Granderson, who was reinstated from the 60-day DL.

The beefy (6'2 220) Neal was a 36th round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants out of Riverside CC in 2005 and was signed as a "Draft & Follow" the following May, receiving a $220K bonus (equivalent to what was 4th round money at the time) just a week prior to the 2006 June draft. He missed most of the 2007 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. 

Neal is a lifetime 301/377/459 hitter in 701 minor league games over eight seasons (2006-13), belting 40+ doubles twice (2009-10) while a member of the Giants organization. He was rated the Giants #4 prospect (behind only Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, and Zach Wheeler) and #96 overall by Baseball America pre-2010 after hitting 337/431/579 with 22 HR & 90 RBI and 41 doubles for A+ San Jose (California League) in 2009, and then he was rated the Giants' #7 prospect by BA pre-2011 after hitting 291/359/440 for AA Richmond (Eastern) in 2010.

Neal was traded to the Cleveland Indians for INF Orlando Cabrera in a deadline deal on July 30, 2011, and he received a brief trial with the Tribe last September, hitting 217/250/261 in nine MLB games (24 PA). He was released by Cleveland last January 12th, and was signed to a minor league contract by the Yankees six days later. 

Neal hit 325/391/411 (albeit with only with only two HR) in 72 games (297 PA) at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (International) in 2013. His contract was selected by the Yankees on June 14th, but he was optioned back to AAA ten days later. Neal will be out of minor league options next season, but he won't be eligible for salary arbitration until post-2016 and he is under club control through the 2019 season.

To make room for Neal on the MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs have transferred RHP Rafael Dolis from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. This move is a "no brainer," because Dolis has already spent 60+ days on the 15-day DL, and time spent on the 15-day DL is applied to the required sixty days needed to complete a 60-day DL stint. So Dolis could actually be reinstated from the 60-day DL at any time, even as early as tomorrow (if the Cubs wiish to do that). 

Dolis was placed on the 15-day DL on June 1st (retro to May 27th) with what was reported at the time as a "mild forearm strain," but he hasn't pitched since (not even a minor league rehab outing). Doliss was eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2013 (and it has been used), so he will be out of minor league options next season. 

The Cubs will also need to make a 25-man roster move when Neal is activated. They are presently operating with 13 pitchers, so they may opt to cut back to 12.

BTW, Scott Baker's minor league rehab assignment must conclude no later than next Monday (August 12th), so the Cubs will need to decide by next Tuesday (August 13th) whether to activate him from the 60-day DL (and presumably put him in the MLB starting rotation) or just shut him down for the rest of the season. Baker has not pitched very well (so far) in his minor league rehab outings at Kane County and Daytona (12.0 IP - 20 H - 15 R - 14 ER - 8 BB - 7 K - 3 HR - 10.80 ERA - 2.33 WHIP in four GS).




Does this hint of moving Lake to third, or will Neal just be a fourth (fifth) outfielder?

BOB R: While Junior Lake might get some playing time at 3B while Luis Valbuena is on the DL, his future is as an outfielder.

I would expect Thomas Neal to play LF against LHP (with Lake playing CF versus LHP and LF vs RHP), and Neal could give Rizzo an occasional day off at 1B, too.

Arod may get to finish the season (plus possible post-season)

"Players association chief Michael Weiner said Monday that he doesn't expect a ruling on Alex Rodriguez's appeal until November or December."

personally...though he deserves a suspension, the extreme and seemingly arbitrary punishment length seems a bit heavy given that he's never actually been punished before. the 2nd time limit is 100 games and though he's never tested positive, he's admitted to it only once in the past. i dunno if they'll be able to make a 211 game ban stand.

Aren't the extra days for hampering the investigation and lying to MLB, and of course having a big contract and being A-Rod.

pretty much...

"based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years...for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."

Well Weiner may say that, but for drug violations like this a case has to be he heard within 10 days of appeal, and arbitrator Fredric Horowitz has 25 days to render a decision -- uphold, strike down or reduce the suspension. There may be reasons why this doesn't apply in this case, but my guess would be that the appeals process takes the normal 30-45 days or so to complete and this is resolved in mid-late September.

The penalty will probably be reduced some (just my guess) so MLB probably hopes that it is not decided until late this season or after the season is over. If it was reduced to say 175 games, but settled in a few weeks, then that would mean he would be back in July next year. If it is reduced to 175 games but not decided until October, well then no A-Rod for all of 2014.

He'll just keep taking PEDs. As long as baseball allows him to play...

A-roid takes the spoon out the mouth of an ex-cubs player to make room for his return...

"Yankees designated INF Brent Lillibridge for assignment."

I have a feeling that spoon is going to be disappearing a lot over what's left of his career. A-roid, or somebody else, doesn't much matter.

When does Theo pull the plug on the Daytona Cubs? What do they get in -- about 95 games a year? Great place to develope pitchers.

games played by Daytona since 2012 going backwards:

133, 137, 139, 135, 132, 137, 137

102 games played so far this year, 26 left on the schedule including 2 makeup games on doubleheaders. Looks like they've lost 6 games to rainbover this past week. Nothing too egregious before that though.

How many of those games are 7 inning doubleheaders? I'm too lazy to do the research, but it seems a lot. The lost innings could be the equivalent of a middle inning reliever. I would be seriously trying to make a move to the California or Carolina league after 2014.

I do know that the previous regime (Hendry/Fleita) wanted to move the Cubs Hi-A affiliate from the Florida State League to the California League when the Player Development Contract (PDC) with Daytona expired after the 2012 season, but the new regime (Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod) renewed the Cubs PDC with Daytona for two more years after last season.  

There are presently ten teams in the California League, and all but one parent oirganization (the Houston Astros) have their Spring Training (including Minor League Camp & Minor League HQ) in Arizona. The California League is considered the #1 "hitters league" in minor league baseball, but that doesn't seem to inhibit AZ, CIN, COL, HOU, LAD, LAA, OAK, SD, SEA, and SF from developing both position players and pitchers.  

There are twelve teams in the Florida State League, and all but two of the parent organizations (the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs) have their Spring Training (including Minor League Camp & Minor League HQ) in Florida. The FSL is considered to be more of a "pitchers league." Most of the affiliates in the FSL are owned outright by the MLB club (the exceptions being Daytona, Brevard County, Charlotte, and Ft. Myers), and play their games in the parent club's MLB Spring Training stadiums.

The third Hi-A league (the Carolina League) has only eight teams, and it is more of a middle ground between CAL and the FSL, not the extreme hitters league that is CAL or more of a pitchers league like the FSL. Of the eight teams in the Carolina League, four parent organizations (ATL, BAl, BOS, and WAS) have Spring Training (including Minor League Camp & Minor League HQ) in Florida, and the other four (CHW, CLE, KC, and TEX) have their Spring Training base (including Minor League Camp & Minor League HQ) in Arizona.     

Not including club-owned "complex teams" located at MLB minor league bases in the AZL, GCL, DSL, and VSL (like the AZL Cubs, DSL Cubs, and VSL Cubs), most MLB clubs have "working agreements" with their minor league affilates, where the affiliate is owned and operated by a third party. Some clubs do own one or more of their minor league affiliates (the Braves own all of their minor league teams except one), but the Cubs do not own any of their's (other than the AZL Cubs, DSL Cubs, and VSL Cubs).

The Red Sox had their H-A affiliate in the California League (Lancaster) when Theo Epstein was GM, and Lancaster is probably the #1 most hitter-friendly park in minor league baseball. As soon as arrangements could be made (after the 2008  season), the Red Sox made the somewhat rare move of purchasing a team in the Carolina League (Salem, VA) for themselves (it's the only Red Sox minor league affilate other than the GCL Red Sox and DSL Red Sox that is owned by the Sox, and Salem is the only club in the Carolina League that is owned outright by an MLB club),and moving their Hi-A team there. 

The PDCs between the Cubs and all of their minor affiliates owned by third parties except Iowa expire after the 2014 season (the Cubs-Iowa PDC runs through 2016), and seven of the eight PDCs involving Carolina League clubs (except the Red Sox-Salem marriage that involves an affiliate owned outright by the MLB club) also expire after the 2014 season, so it's very possible that the Cubs will look into moving their Hi-A affiliate to the Carolina League post-2014, even if they have to purchase the team themselves (and run the club at a financial loss if necessary) to do it. 

BTW, the Cubs have had their Hi-A affilate at Daytona for 21 seaons (since 1993), but prior to that their Hi-A affiliate was in the Carolina League (Winston-Salem).


GEORGE A: The Daytona Cubs have played nine seven-inning doublheaders (so far) in 2013 (all as the result of rain-outs), so that's 18 innings lost right there.

Conversely, the Salem Red Sox (Boston Hi-A affiliate in the Carolina League) has played seven seven-inning doubleheaders so far in 2013 (somewhat better than Daytona). 

However, the Lancaster JetHawks (Astros Hi-A affiliate in the California League and former Hi-A affiiiate of the Red Sox) has had only one rain-out in 2013, and as a result has played just one seven-inning doubleheader. So if you want your Hi-A pitchers to get their innings and stay on a predictable schedule, the California League is the place to be. 


NC/SC/VA (Salem is in VA) experienced an extremely wet May/June this year...especially June.

wet summers aren't uncommon in this area, but May was heavy with rain days and June was ridiculous.

Thanks, Phil......great update and hoping for a move to the Carolina League in 2015.

Kane County, Daytona, Tennessee, Iowa is a lot easier on the traveling though then putting a team in California.

Contract runs through 2014.

soriano hitting 2nd for the yanks tonight...alright, then.

Justin Grimm getting SLAMMED around in the first inning:

1.0ip 3r 2er 4h 2k

2nd inning isn't better. Iowa scored 2 in the first, Grimm gave up 3. Iowa scores 1 in the 2nd to tie the game 3-3, Grimm gives up 2 more...Tacoma Raniers ahead 5-3.

Just a ton of singles (7)

Just saw that ... any idea if they are spraying line drives, or if they are just rolling them through etc?

BP has a weekly writeup on 10 minor leaguers (Monday Morning 10 Pack) and the Cubs got two mentions in Almora and Bryant:

Albert Almora, OF, Cubs (Low-A Kane County)
Almora just continues to perform for Low-A Kane County. Through 270 plate appearances the standout center fielder is hitting .332/.379/.470, showcasing an aggressive approach at the plate backed by an advanced feel for the barrel. As Almora progresses through the Cubs’ system, he will likely need to tone down the aggressiveness some. Midwest League arms, however, have proven incapable of getting the ball by the Cubs’ top prospect, with Almora striking out in just 11 percent of his plate appearances.

Perhaps most importantly, in his first year of full-season baseball Almora appears to be getting stronger through the season, rather than tiring, and is already showing an emphasis on putting together more patient at-bats. Over his past 10 games he’s hitting .368/.429/.447, and in the month of July he saw his on-base percentage jump 60 points from June, in spite of a slight downtick in batting average. Almora won’t turn 20 until April, and he continues to show a feel for game well beyond his years. He is an elite prospect who could move quickly should the Cubs decide to let him loose. –Nick J. Faleris

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Short-Season A Boise)
The Cubs grabbed Bryant with the second overall selection in this June’s draft, inking the former Torero for $6.7 million. Bryant has been eased into pro ball, with two complex-league games before a promotion to the short-season Northwest League. Through his first 15 professional contests, Bryant is already showing the advanced power that wowed evaluators this spring, as 60 percent of his hits have gone for extras. It’s too early to start digging into the production, but the numbers to watch for Bryant will be his strikeout rate and walk rate as he progresses up the chain. There is no doubt the young slugger has the raw power to stand out in the middle of any major-league lineup, but his ability to make contact will be paramount in making sure that raw power is reachable in game. Bryant draws mixed reviews for his projected hit tool, so his on-base ability will be an important component of his overall offensive value. Thus far the defense has shown adequate, and evaluators generally give Bryant a fair shot to stick at the hot corner. Right field remains an enticing back-up option, and Bryant’s athleticism and arm strength would play. –Nick J. Faleris

MIL playing another epic-fail defense game tonight vs SF...falling apart in the 8th.

for every error they make they double that on defensive plays that aren't errors that lead to baserunners or runs. it's crazy.

2 errors in tonight's game...and a few more "bonehead" defensive blunders that aren't officially errors.

they're down 4-1...3 of those runs were directly caused by their defense.

@billplunkettocr Asked Nick Punto if he just "assumed" Yasiel Puig would overthrow cutoff man on play in 5th inning. "Well, yeah -- wouldn't you?"

you can see the play there...

Minor league round-up:

0-for-Olt: 0/4 (6/52 with 16 K/2 BB since joining Iowa)

Grimm Reaper: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, no XBH's...BABIP'd to death

Baez: 2/4, 1 BB, 1 2B, 2 K

B. Jackson: 0/5, 3 K's

M. Loosen: 3 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR

Candelario: 1/4 with a HR

G. Concepcion: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 BB, 1 K

Ian Olt with another gem!

Arizona Phil: Have you heard/seen any scouting regarding Adonis Paula now playing 3B for the DSL Cubs. He seems to be hitting. I've gotta root for having a Cub someday making it to the 40 man roster named Adonis!

CUBSTER: I'm familiar with the name, but I haven't heard anything about him.

BTW, VSL Cubs switch-hitting 3B-1B Roney Alcala won the VSL Batting Championship with a .353 batting average, and finished third in SLG. 1B-OF Delbis Arcila led the VSL in doubles and was third in HR. And 18-year old RHP Adbert Alzolay led the VSL in ERA (1.07) and WHIP (0.88) and finished third in strikeouts. (The VSL Cubs are currently engaged in a best 2-out-of-3 series with the VSL Mariners for the VSL Championship).

mlbtr reverse standings...

Cubs charging hard this past week and now in the #5 spot. Based on how they played last week they have their sights on the Brewers

It's on the left sidebar and the Cubs currently have the 6th pick.  Those seem old.

Thanks Rob...gotta read more sidebar!

I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more sidebar.

Going to the game tonight at Phillies and having a fucker of a time giving away my spare ticket. #TheseTeamsSuck

In Philadelphia? Let me know ASAP and I will give you a ticket in the nosebleeds behind home plate.

Barret Loux and Albert Almora headed to the disabled list.

what's wrong with Almora (and Loux)?

Can't find any Almora health news on the KCC website.

groin injury

Wayne [email protected]
Albert Almora expected to miss a few games for @KCCougars with hip flexor injury. Came out early during Sunday's game. #Cubs

Sahadev [email protected]
Almora placed on 7-day DL with groin injury.

Tommy [email protected]
#IowaCubs RHP Barret Loux placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Third trip to the DL for him this season. #Cubs #PCL


Cubs have released 2010 9th round draft pick RHRP Kevin Rhoderick.

OF Julio Brobon cleared waivers without being claimed and has been assigned outright to AAA Iowa. He does not have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, so the Cubs will retain club control through the 2014 season. He will be eligible for selection in the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft.

And another Boise Hawk has been moved up to AAA Iowa, as 2013 16th round draft pick C-1B Cael Brockmeyer (Cal State - Bakerfield) joins INF Danny Lockhart. The I-Cubs ran out of catchers in yesterday's game (SS Edwin Maysonet had to finish the game behind the plate), so Brockmeyer provides an emergency filler (Boise had four catchers on their active roster). 

The Cubs have optioned RHRP Eduardo Sanchez to Iowa to make room for OF Thomas Neal on the 25-man roster 

So the Cubs are back to a 12-man pitching staff and five-man bench.

soriano batting 2nd for the yanks again tonight...i can't even comprehend the thought process there. he's not speed, he's not contact, and he's got a low chance of taking a fits no profile for a #2 guy even by the most general of standards.

i guess girardi thinks arod batting 3rd will get him more protection via more favorable pitching to see...but that has rarely played out in soriano's favor because pitchers tend to not care and pitch him to his weaknesses anyway.

2h 0bb...4 cubs runs.


- N. Schierholtz doubled to shallow right
- S. Castro flied out to right, N. Schierholtz to third
- W. Castillo reached on fielder's choice, N. Schierholtz scored
- D. Barney reached on catcher's interference, W. Castillo to second on catcher C. Ruiz's fielding error
- D. Murphy homered to deep left, W. Castillo and D. Barney scored

Jokisch with a no-no through 7 for Smokies, Baez started off the game 4/4.

Make it 8

109 pitch no-hitter for Jokisch. 4 bb/8 k

june 11th/13th is the last time h.rondon went 2 appearances in a row without giving up a run. 11 appearances since...7 where he gives up runs...10 runs total.

1ip 2h 0bb 1k, 1er tonight.

Villeueva snares a line drive for the 1st out. Baez dives full out to catch a liner to SS. 2 outs...

2 sterling plays. Then a walk. Jacksonville then sends the pitcher to bat? Whoa.

They were out of players.

Check the twitter box for a link on the Baez play, pretty awesome range.

Who does that focus and determination remind you of? And not in a good way. Clutch play late in the game, no hitter on the line. Starlin Castro, that pain in your heels is real.

the grass is always greener...

well, true, I haven't seen a highlight reel of Baez's errors yet.

5-3, NO HITTER for Jokisch

OK Crunch, you can come out and play.

lulz...i was following on gameday since the 7th, but leaving it to rob to relay.

Smokies were wearing their powder blues...reminds me of the Cubs circa Bill Buckner ('cept those were pinstripes)...

and Olt with a HR and 3 walks tonight for I-Cubs

and Lim had a shutout inning, might see him next bullpen move

Thanks for not doing your "evil hex" on this one :)

BA put out their "best tools" list (voted on by league managers)

...cubbies on the list

Best 2nd D - d.barney (ranked 2nd best out of 3)
AAA Best 3rd D - m.olt
AA Best Control - k.hendricks
AA Best 3rd D - c.villanueva
AA Best Infield Arm - a.alcantara
AA Best OF Arm - r.silva
A+ Best IF Arm - j.baez

fwiw, it seems this list was being sourced many weeks (to a month+) ago or held to some past criteria. guys like g.springer and k.jensen make the AA list though they've been in AAA for a while...and baez makes the A+ list. some guys make multiple m.santo. it's hard to peg down when these requests were made to rank the best.

i'm starting to suspect that a.sanchez would have been worth the extra $3m a year over ejax...sigh.

cubs about to lose their 5th in a row.

3 runs with 2 outs in the 9th...1 run game for PHI now...

...and the cubs lose.

i wonder how many "too little, too late" 9th inning rallies the cubs have had...seems like there's been a lot this year.

It's a race for the draft pick baby! That was a close one but we pulled out the loss. Whew!

DSL 3B, Adonis Paula another 3-4 game.

Who Mourns for Adonaïs...

3 more hits for Welly last night -- he has become an on-bsse machine -- OBP of over .400 since July 1 (with 12 BB).

WTF is this lineup? How did they get Ransom, Neal, Gillespie, and Murphy all into the game. Holy smurfs.

Ransom at 1b is proof they are tanking tonight.

If you can't win 90, better to lose 90. Lefty Hamels going, give Rizzo a break I guess. The bitching of the lineup is a guarantee it'll do we'll.

Neal's arm just exploded.

T Daddy Neal...per WGN radio broadcast, Ennett/Moreland: dislocated right shoulder. We hardly knew you.


wow navarro...also, wow, the chances of trading him any time soon just got knocked the hell out.

nailed blocking the plate at home for the out.

he's been down for a minute+ now...can't even sit up without shaking...looks like he took it hard in the knee+shoulder+chest.

Yep, he's done.

down for almost 5 minutes now.

being loaded onto a cart.

leg is obviously fuxd...this isn't a day-to-day thing.

Is J.C. Boscan there only real option?

him or luis flores...neither good options.

rafael lopez (AA) with an outside shot.

it seriously looks like navarro might be gone for the least a couple of weeks, and that would be a good diagnosis...dude was in some serious pain and i wouldn't be surprised to hear about something broken or ligament damage.

the cubs will probably look at the waiver wire for a backup replacement asap.

but yeah, i imagine it'll be boscan.

Flores probably not an option.

Tommy [email protected] Aug
#IowaCubs catcher Luis Flores places on the DL after suffering a concussion in last night's game. C Cael Brockmeyer called up from Boise.

Tommy [email protected] Aug
#IowaCubs now saying that C Luis Flores will now not be heading to the disabled list. C Cael Brockmeyer still joins the team. #Cubs #PCL

cubs catchers are dropping like flies in every level of the organization

good thing they drafted 4 new catchers this year...

in addition to Brockmeyer (rd 16)...Jordan Hankins (11), Will Remillard (19), Tyler Alamo (24)

alamo and remillard are barely ready for A ball (if at all)...i think remillard is still in AZ camp.

brock is already filling in as a backup in AAA. hankins is having a hard enough time in low-A.

understood...but they do serve as warm bodies as backups for the guys injured in the minors or the ones they move around to back up.

pretty much.

i imagine there's going to be some waiver play coming up soon...what happened to navarro doesn't look like a short DL stint...hopefully it will be, though.

Oh no doubt. This mgmt team are waiver hawks more than any group and DFA specialists than any group I have ever seen here. They will find a AAAA player that will plug in the hole.


it's his back leg, not the lead leg with the injury, btw.

Geez. Thanks for the link. seems the cubs opened up 2 roster spots tonight =p


sappelt and boscan, come on up.

if Navarro did break his leg, the shin guards are pretty effective temporary splints. He was moving both legs to a certain extent based on the video. Of course, he's a tough guy. No doubt. It looked like he hyperextended his left knee but the right leg did go under his body in the collision

Mark [email protected]
Navarro right ankle x-ray negative.

on WGN radio...Ankle contusion (basically saying no fracture with X-Rays negative). At least it localizes what they were worried about (knee, leg, ankle). Go Shinguards Go.

and Donnie Murphy blast...5-2 Cubs

Mark [email protected]
Plan for Navarro is to let swelling subside, get MRI and re-evaluate

welly stole 2nd off a lefty...that's just embarrassing for a pitcher...any pitcher.

...oops...not a lefty...still embarrassing.

donnie "junior lake sucks" murphy with his 3rd HR (2nd of the night) in 3 games...cubs with a 3 run lead.

bud selig just announced donnie murphy gone for 50 games

Donnie Murphy likes playing in Citizen's Bank, apparently.

Donnie Murphy: send him down! Hurry ...

k.gregg with an uneventful, 3-up-3-down, 1K save.


Chris Archer removed with some sort of injury. Radio guys didn't know why...

holding his arm while removed...didn't look serious, though.

-edit- "forearm tightness"

Mark Gonzales (taking Sullivan's role):

Cubs say Navarro day-to-day, will hold off on at least one roster move. Neal will go on DL

Sveum on Navarro: "He was able to do some things, squats and things like that. Everything is looking a little better than we thought.’’

sweet...considering he spent 5 minutes on the ground without even being able to sit up without help that's great.

i'm sure it won't feel awesome tomorrow, but at least he can put weight on it.

He had a big dinner just before the game.


Trey McNutt threw an inning in Arizona

CJ Edwards only threw an inning for Daytona (1 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB), not sure if planned or pulled early

Candelario 2/4 with a 3B

I just noticed that about CJ Edwards. 1ip 1 hit ... That's it. Anyone know the situation?

he was supposed to start on the 5th. he may have pitched a side session yesterday and gotten pushed back.

they've had a lot of delays and the pitching there is screwed...aug 1st/3rd/4th/5th rained day on the 6th. lot of guys trying to get their work in.

btw, the rained out games on the 4th and 5th were supposed to be double header makeup games for past rained out games.

fun times in florida.

Yup. Makes a lot of sense!

Rain delay after his first inning. Brought in a reliever and he now starts again on Sunday.

Didn't know Sutcliffes career was so uneventul

Kyle Hendricks to start for I-Cubs tonight.

Video Interview with Hendricks by Smokies announcer (and mlb radio from spring training) Mick Gillespie

(from Cubnut's/TCR's twitter feed above)

Cliff Murphy...

from Roto:

Murphy has certainly come out of the gate swinging. Since being recalled on August 3, Murphy is 4-for-9 with three home runs and seven RBI. He's got an extensive track record of performing well below his current level of production, so he's heading toward a cliff in the near future. But it's worth riding him while he's hot in NL-only leagues.

Cliff Valbuena, Cliff Ransom...

Strop has filthy stuff.

I was expecting a disaster from reading some of the comments about him when the Cubs traded for him, but if he improves his command just a notch, he could be a devastating pitcher out there. That fastball is insane. I can't remember even seeing one like it. There must be a comp out there, but I can't think of anyone off the top of my head. It looks like a 96 mph curveball. And then, last night, he throws this breaking pitch that supposedly missed the outside part of the plate after some 96 mph chin music? The ump should have given him that strike just for the sheer artistry of the pitch.

The team is becoming interesting to watch again. Still no good, but there is lots of promise.

Strop reminds me of a young Marmol. The thing that first struck me about Marmol and why he had early success is that he through a 95-96 mph running fastball that had a lot of late run on it. Batters couldn't take a pitch that looked like it would be 3 inches off the plate, because it would come back over. But if they swung at the pitch that looked like it would be on or just off the corner, they often looked silly going after a slider that ended up a foot out of the zone. It was deadly.

Jeff Samardzija - Ace

They could use the Hendry method of fixing Samardzija- sign him to a lucrative 5-year deal and call him an ace... then just hope it all works out in the end.

Lol... Nice Rob!

Sharkturdo today

This game went to shit quick. I just turned it on and down 10-1 in the 4th already.

Kris Bryant, 3b, Cubs: What happens when you take the best hitting prospect in the 2013 draft and plop him in the Northwest League? You get plenty of hits and signs that he’s a little too good for a short-season league.

Bryant hit a pair of doubles as part of a three-hit game on Wednesday. He’s working on a 10-game hitting streak and is now hitting .292/.352/.583 since joining Boise.

Considering his college experience, the Cubs could consider promoting Bryant to low Class A Kane County, but there are some factors working against such a move. Boise is in a pennant race in the Northwest League while Kane County is dead last in the Midwest League’s Western Division over the second half. The Cubs’ backlog of third basemen also works against a move. Jeimer Candelario is playing the position in Kane County, so unless the Cubs want to move Candelario up also, it makes more sense to keep Bryant where he is.

I guess I'll defer to McLeod and his people, but would sending Bryant to Daytona for a couple of weeks (rain/tropical storms notwithstanding) be a monumental stretch for his abilities?

could see it happening, Daytona is in first place in the 2nd half and they like to give their top prospects some playoff experience. AZ Phil's depth chart says Ben Carhart is the Daytona idea who that is, so probably not an obstacle.

You bastards!!! The Donnie Murphy era is NOT over yet!

Anyone know what's up with Haven't been able to load it in a day or two.

Here's an alternative site:

Thank you mr q. man! That will do nicely!

Thank Rob or Cubnut. That's where I first saw it.

As you may have noticed, stats have not been updating for the last few days. We had a serious server malfunction and are in the process of cleaning up the mess. Expect daily stats to resume shortly, thank you for bearing with us! - FirstInning

That message has been up for a month or more.

Daytona Cubs update...

Delayed Start: Rain


rosscup .1ip 2h 1bb 1k, 1er...send him back to A ball.

baez 1-5, single

szczur 4-5, 2 singles - double - HR

Dan Vogelbomb, Kris Bryant, solo HRs

Some nice pitching from Pierce Johnson and Kyle Hendricks tonight

Anyone know what's up with Pat Hughes missing the Phillies series?

At the end of the Dodger series, PH said it was just a scheduled road trip he wasn't going on. Must be in his contract to get a few days off. He said he would be back in the booth in St. Louis

saw hendricks last night & gonna try to check out arrieta tonight...then I'll give it to ya' straight

Will look forward to that Mike.

ph suffering from cub fatigue?

or over-exposure to km?

Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet:

11. Javier Baez, ss, Cubs
Team: Double-A Jackson (Southern)
Age: 20
Why He’s Here: .444/.483/.630 (12-for-27), 4 R, 5 2B, 7 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 3-for-3 SB

The Scoop: Southern League fans got the full Baez experience this week. He provided highlights all around with four multi-hit games, five extra-base hits, a strikeout per game on average and three errors. Those three errors give him 40 for the season. That’s a pretty large number, but it also comes as more scouts and coaches give Baez a chance to stick at shortstop then they did when he was drafted. Those who’ve seen him last year and this say he looks a little quicker at shortstop than he did last year, and his error count ought to decrease as he gains experience.

13. Kris Bryant, 3b, Cubs
Team: short-season Boise (Northwest)
Age: 21
Why He’s Here: .462/.533/1.077 (6-for-13), 2 HR, 2 2B, 5 RBIs, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 SO

The Scoop: We hope no one was actually worried when Bryant started his pro career 2-for-18. Now that the reigning College Player of the Year appears to have gotten his feet under him again, he’s hit .359/.422/.769 with four homers in his last 11 games, during which time he coincidentally has an 11-game hitting streak. Combining his college and pro home run totals, he’s up to 35 longballs in the 2013 calendar year.

BA Hotsheet Chat:

Q): I know Baez, Soler, Bryant, even Almora get all the attention in Chicago but I've slowly but surely fallen for Arismendy Alcantara. Do you see him as a June '14 call up and what do you project for him as a major leaguer?
Matt Eddy: Cubs Double-A middle infielder Arismendy Alcantara has the potential to be a first-division second baseman. He has a feel to hit and generates surprising power from a 5-foot-10 frame. I think your optimism is warranted.

Q): Where would you rank Kyle Hendricks, based on his performance this season. In both the Cubs system as well as overall, does he crack the top 100?
Matt Eddy: The Southern League leader in ERA, WHIP and walk rate, Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks will be a strong candidate for the Cubs top 10. He has sharp control but no standout pitch, so a development along the lines of Dillon Gee or Josh Tomlin (before he got hurt) could be a possibility. Hendricks was part of the Dempster deal with the Rangers in 2012.
A couple of other Cubs questions as well.

"Marlins purchased the contract of C Koyie Hill from Triple-A New Orleans."


We dodged that bullet.

Chuckle! But also true...

I'm withholding my applause because no one managed to work in a band saw reference yet.

Ernie Banks awarded the presidential medal of freedom:

Does that mean he is finally free of Cubbery?

Zac Rosscup promoted to Triple-A Iowa.

who the hell is that?

Guy from the Sam Fuld trade.

"David DeJesus will bat cleanup for the first time in his career Friday against the Cardinals."


Lake LF, Gillespie RF, Rizzo 1B, DeJesus CF, Murphy 3B, Castillo C, Castro SS, Barney 2B, Rusin P

This lineup sucks.

Average BA is near the Mendoza Line.

one less reliever...probably for the season...

"Carrie Muskat [email protected]
Guerrier has flexor mass in right elbow. Has to make a decision re surgery. Hoyer says he does not need Tommy John procedure."

also the fate of 2 weeks of k.bryant evidently needs a week to ponder...

"Gordon Wittenmyer @GDubCub
Cubs will discuss in next week whether to promote first-rounder Bryant to Kane County."

the most dramatic mild ankle sprain in the history of baseball award goes to...

"Diaoner Navarro is expected to avoid the disabled list after being diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain."

arod gets boo'd @home during the Dumbass Never-Were Jocks Roll Call Bleacher Creature Roll Call...quite heavily, too.

I think the next appropriate move in ARod's career is a filmed campaign endorsement for Anthony Weiner.

Sounded like a distinctly Bronx cheer . . .

daytona rained out again...5 rained out games this month...only 3 actually played.

Daytona just not cutting it. Cubs considering moving their 2014 High-A team to Mawsynram, India...with an extraordinarily rainy and lengthy monsoonal season

Gorgeous suicide squeeze by Texas; Gentry lays it down and Beltre scores. Garza on the mound tonight trying to beat the Astros.

Reddick with 3 HR thru 7 for Oakland (blowing out the Jays). Should have another AB . . .

is len high? =p

he's a bit weird tonight.

Arrieta only lasted 3IP due to 85 pitches. I-Cubs Game tied 2-2, bottom 4

Olt doubles in the 4th and Maysonet drives him in with a double of his own. 3-2 Iowa

Call him up.

Garza is pulling a Dempster in Houston: down 4-2 to the Astros.

cubs throw a shutout in STL...mad rare stuff.

Can't remember the last time I saw that. However that is the second time in the last month or so that I saw a Cardinal freak out over a close pitch in the 9th inning that gets Matheny ejected, they are HURTING! Frustration boiling over big time . . .

june 23, 1997

Saw the St.Louis feed on Card announcer said that Matheny doesn't use swear words so it was going to take him a little longer to get thrown out, which he was compelled to do to show support for his player.

As for the pitch itself, the St. Louis guy admitted it was a strike.

I don't know about frustration, just the typical MO of a LaRussa-inspired group that never goes quietly.

I was watching the St Louis feed too. I think they haven't put up a lot of W'a lately and with the injuries and Pitt pulling away a little the humiliation of a home shutout by the cubs AAAA team was probably a little frustrating.

Rangers and Astros just played an 8th inning that lasted over an hour AND looks like it will make Garza the winner.

Brian Bogusevich went 1-4 as DH for the AZ Cubs. At least he's back on the radar.

a couple of Patrick Mooney/CSN quotes...

Jorge Soler – who has been sidelined since mid-June with a stress fracture in his left tibia – will be examined on Monday in Chicago. That will give the Cubs a better feel for if the $30 million Cuban outfielder can return to Daytona this season and/or play in the Arizona Fall League.

“I stare at our minor-league system,” Hoyer said. “You look out and at almost every position on the diamond you can find a pretty good prospect. But catching is an area where we’re thin and we know it. We talk about it all the time: How do you acquire catching? It’s going to be a priority for us over the next couple years.‘-core’-kris-bryant’s-making-good-first-impression

Recent comments

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  • Saw Tito's comment in the last thread. Thought it was a joke.

    QuietMan 6 min 5 sec ago view
  • Bubble wrap the Cubs

    jacos 14 min 33 sec ago view
  • that's not important.

    the important thing is the cubs seem to have a new defensive whizz at 2nd base according to the stats...sample size warning and all that...but i have faith in him.

    imagine him having to do this 20 times a season. 6.2 innings played, 20 assists, DEFENSE GOLD!

    crunch 20 min 54 sec ago view
  • That little switcheroo with Zobrist and Rizzo cost me 2 points in the predictions game--damn it.

    CTSteve 28 min 5 sec ago view
  • We'll always have 1985. Nothing else, but we'll always have that.

    billybucks 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy likely to miss rest of regular season

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • RVIMPENY: It's raining today so the Cubs will probably play intrasquad game(s) tomorrow and/or Saturday, but it's pretty much a day-to-day proposition, and a lot of times it's decided at the last minute.

    Best bet is to check in at Riverview in the morning and ask somebody what's going on that day.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • Thanks Phil, I had the Salt River chart, but based on that, it looks like they hardly play and was not on the Surprise on 9/28...I assume they do not really want fans there anyway? Do you know if they play today, Friday or Sat? Sorry to be a pain, but I am only here until Sunday.

    rvimpeny 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • John Arguello at Cubs Den with observations & photos from Tuesday's Cubs instructs intrasquad game:


    Arizona Phil 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • jacos 3 hours 36 min ago view
  • Bear fans are so impatient! They signed that great All-American QB out of Columbia--Luckman--just a little while ago, didn't they? Now it's the Eagles' turn. After all, it's been almost ten years since McNabb.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • " . . . when he signed Edwin Jackson?"

    He makes a lot of moves, people remember the ones that pan out. Kind of like MJ's approach to shooting. When it all shakes out, you get a formidable 25-man roster.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • For the rookie hazing "dress up" day, the Mariners made him dress like the Farley Chippendales dancer.

    Tito 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • Steven Matz to undergo “imminent” elbow surgery.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • Just scroll by.

    Tito 4 hours 37 min ago view