TCR Friday Notes

...lightning round...go!

- David DeJesus ends up going to the Rays, essentially confirming hat the Nationals weren't all that interested in DeJesus afterall and claimed him only in a hope to block him from another team. Instead they ended up with $2.5M committment that they were able to shift to the Rays. The Rays will throw a player to be named later or cash (more likely cash) towards the Nats, which will then most likely get forwarded to the Cubs. You think they Western Union for that?

Looks like the Rays have use for DeJesus as they said he'll play against most righties, mostly instead of Kelly Johnson.

- The Cubs and Rangers completed their deal for Matt Garza today once the Cubs were awarded a waiver claim on RHP Neil Ramirez. The 24-year old right-hander is striking out over 11 per 9 this year in AA, but with a healthy walk rate of 3.8. Before the 2012 season, John Sickels had him as the Rangers #7 prospect, ahead of both Christian Villanueva and Justin Grimm and had this to say:

Held his own in Triple-A until sore shoulder issue sent him back to previously-skipped Double-A level for rehab. A breakout candidate who broke out.

2012 didn't go too well though, putting up a 6.28 ERA between AA and AAA and seeing a significant drop in his K rate. That dropped him to #18 on Sickels pre-2013 prospect list.

Tough to get a handle on after wildly erratic season, failed in Triple-A and was spotty after going down to Double-A though sometimes effective. I have been very high on him in the past but he might do better with a change of scenery. Trade bait?

And so they Rangers sent him back to AA for 2013 to try and master it, and he's put up good numbers going: 9-3, 3.84 ERA, 11.1 K/9 3.7 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9/. But as Sickels mentions in mid-season review, he'll have to get through AAA before folks get to excited about him.

- Cubs have moved to a game and a half behind the White Sox for the third pick in the draft, thanks to an unlikely 6-game winning streak for the South Siders. The Cubs have 35 left to play and are on pace for 93-94 losses. The remaining breakdown of the schedule for the Cubs look like this (All are 3 game series unless otherwise noted):

@ Padres, @ Dodgers, @ Cincinnati, @ Pittsburgh (4), @ Milwaukee (4)


Philadelphia, Miami, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis

Have a good weekend everyone.


doesn't feel like the Rays went all in on their gift to Mariano

Ptbnl = archer?

Baez already 2/2 with a HR tonight and CJ Edwards with 5 K's so far in 3 innings of 1 hit ball.

I live in Michigan so tons of Tiger news, and it has been a VERY rare day that Miggy or Baez has not homered. I'll have to look it up but it seems like it's been more likely that both of them homer, than neither. Baez is the AA Cabrera . . .

I don't ask for much just please let two or three of these guys be really good in Cubs uni's.


Amen. Please be seated.

After what we've been through as Cubs fans, we deserve a Bryant/Baez/Soler/Almora/Rizzo dynasty, with Starlin Castro almost a stud but not quite so we can have somebody to kick around.

Worst baseball card ever? I think so.

olt, cj edwards, grimm, and n.ramirez...for a bit more than 2 months of m.garza.

hell of a haul.

rizzo didn't try to pull the ball...and got a LF.


looks like he's working on something up there.

top 1st...cubs up by 4...0 outs.


make that up by 6...0 outs.

lulz...pen is up.

Cubs having a good series in first inning

Cubs having a good series in first inning

Olt is batting .121 in 28 games with Iowa. 99 AB 2 HR 4 RBI ...

Those are psychologist visit, and out of baseball in two years numbers. Not saying that's his fate, but better men than he ...

Murphy hbp twice

/Mad miggy respect


Anyone (AZ Phil etc.) explain to me why the Cubs had to claim their PTBNL off of waivers first? Does that transfer some financial burden to the Cubs? Why wouldn't another team claim him -- Houston for instance? (Talking Neil Ramirez of course).

Most likely Cubs didn't decide on Ramirez until after trade deadline. So to complete trade Ramirez had to go through waivers. If another team put a claim on Ramirez, Rangers would have pulled him back and they'd have to wait until the offseason to complete the deal. 

CARLITO: What ROB G said.

But just for further clarification, starting at 4 PM on July 31st and extending through the conclusion of the MLB regular season, Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before a player on an MLB 40-man roster (including players who are on Optional Assignment to the minors) can be traded. (This also would include a player who is a PTBNL from a trade that was executed prior to the July 31st deadline).

Trade Waivers are never required to trade players on minor league reserve lists, so (for example) the Cubs could have acquired a minor league player from Texas after July 31st without the player having to be first placed on Trade Waivers.

In the case of Neil Ramirez, the Cubs merely claimed him off Trade Waivers, although they could have waited until waivers were secured and then they could have acquired him as they would in any deal prior to the July 31st deadline. But by doing that the Cubs would have taken a chance that Ramirez would get claimed by another club with a higher waiver priority, and while a Trade Waiver request can be withdrawn if the player is claimed (and that would have happened if Ramirez had been claimed), the Cubs then would have had to wait until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season to get their hands on him. This way, they'll get to see him up close & personal at Tennessee for a couple of weeks.  

BTW, if a player is claimed off waivers and then the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn because the player is claimed, the player cannot be placed on Trade Waivers again for at least 30 days from the date the request was withdrawn, and the waivers become irrevocavble (the waiver request cannot be withdrawn) the second time a player is placed on waivers prior to the conclusion of the season.

In the case of David DeJesus (for example), he was placed on Trade Waivers twice this month, but the first waiver request was not wihdrawn (the Cubs traded him to the club that claimed him), so when the Nationals put him back on Trade Waivers immediately after acquiring him from the Cubs, the waivers were still revocable.


Vin Scully will be back next year.

Scullys first year was Connie Mack's last year.

Connie Mack was born the year before the Emancipation Proclamation .


i'm gonna miss vin...when he finally hangs em up.

as an east coast guy, he's been my favorite late night game caller in the business the past many years of the MLB EI era. ...that's before getting into the other sporadic games i heard him call growing up.

his call + "non-call" of the k.gibson HR is the stuff of legends. he let the broadcast silence + roar of the crowd tell the story. "High fly ball into RF...she is gone!" *insert a minute+ of broadcast silence + crowd roar* "In a year that has been so improbable...the impossible has happened!"


They should clone the guy for his voice alone.

One day when I was listening to a broadcast, my wife asked if I was watching Elmer Fudd.

Oh slam!

Was the divorce amicable?

Lol. Luckily I can't stand Scully, so no marital problems there.

Not there. Funny. I've always liked him a lot but I've not heard a lot of him.

I used to like him until I started to listen to him more this year (Puig). He gets too repetitive and is too much of a homer for my tastes.

There was a game this year where the umpire made a call in favor of the Dodgers. Scully was talking about the play, then the replay clearly showed that it was a bad call. He went silent for a moment then continued talking without mentioning the bad call. That was THE moment I decided I didn't like him. I prefer broadcasters who call what they see instead of trying to be too diplomatic.

Probably just getting old. Jack Brickhouse was painful in his waning years.

ejax has turned a 6 run lead into a 6-5 game in 5 innings.

$3m extra per year and an extra contract year for a.sanchez is looking like a hell of a deal right now.

ejax has great stuff, but i have no idea why he has to throw his slider almost exclusively once he gets 2 strikes on someone. it's a good slider...except when everyone knows it's coming.

make that a tie game in 6 innings.

"$3m extra per year"

crunch, I wonder if you believe your own assumption, that Sanchez would have signed with the Cubs for the same money he accepted from the Tigers. All the Cubs had to do was match the Tigers, and Sanchez would have said, "Ivy, here I come!"?

certainly Sanchez would have picked the smaller ballpark and the lesser team than the one coming off a World Series appearance...there's obviously no logic flaw there.

says Cubs offered 5/75, they took offer to Tigers and took 5/80...Tigers had low-balled Sanchez earlier and seems clear agent was just trying to find a club to up the Tigers offer. Cubs were the unwilling participant.  There's no reason for Cubs to get in a bidding war for players last offseason. Figure out what they feel comfortable with  and if it doesn't work out, move on quickly.

Pitchers are a weird and often inconsistent brew anyway, Jackson is nearly certain to have a much better year next year...Jackson's ERA is 5.00 versus a 3.60 FIP. Even if some readers don't believe in such things, I guarantee the Cubs front office is very aware of the discrepancy and will be counting on an improvement next year.

j.lake finally gets a bunt single right.

it's been a while since he got one right.

...and what the hell was he doing tagging and going to 2nd on a popout to shallow right-center? ...and wow, he got in safe even though the ball beat him there.

6-7 in the 7th...

unbelievable. just wow.

6-8 in the 8th...sigh.

6-8 in the 8th...sigh.
Dale's plan: Think fun 1st inning, then get them back to work on getting the #2 draft pick.

Kevin Encarnacion, Boise RF went 5-5 last night including a double/HR and is hitting .356

Az Phil: What is Encarnacion's upside given his RF competition in the organization. Also any comment on his defense relative to the others, or at least vs. Soler. Finally, what would be expected for KE this offseason? Do you expect him in the AZ Instructional League or Winter league play?

CUBSTER: Kevin Encarnacion was at Extended Spring Training in both 2012 & 2013, so I got to see a lot of him. Despite hitting 350/422/500 in 21 games (46 PA), he did not make the AZL Cubs out of EXST last season and he was sent back to the DSL for a third year, but he was OK (not great) at EXST this season (hitting 259/333/420 with a team-leading nine doubles in 90 PA), made the Boise squad, and then was promoted to Kane County in late June.   

He spent about a month at KC as the 4th OF, but he struggled offensively and was sent back to Boise where he has played very well. He is a little bit older than the average DSL/VSL graduate (he's 21), and so he will need to prove himself at KC next season.  

He is a gap hitter with slightly above average speed, he's an aggresive baserunner (he likes to gamble and try to take the extra base), and he is a decent defender who can play all three Of positions.  

I would be very surprised if Encarnacion gets invited to Instructs after the season, because I don't think he is much more of a prospect that Oliver Zapata (for example). He wlil probably play Winter Ball back home in Venezuela, though.

I do think he can move up through the system, but he probably projects as more of an organizational player (4th OF) than a prospect at this point. 

Interesting piece on the mental aspect of Ramirez's ups and downs:

Hello, Michael? Yeah it's Neil. Dude your batting .121 since coming over to the cubs and your whole year has been a disaster. Would you consider joining me on some mental workouts?

Jeff Francouer would like to remind you that this is a really, really hard game to get/stay good at, and that your current fascination with Olt's performance may be a bit of a waste of energy anyway, given his current medical report. Let's see how he looks next season. I'm more worried about Starlin Castro pulling a Francouer than I am Olt pulling a Gary Scott, if only cuz Olt isn't pulling in any real money.

So I take it you didn't like my attempt at a joke. Rough crowd. Slump...

I wouldn't call it an obsession, I was curious if anyone has seen him play and if he is having any good looks. Btw I'm curious what his medical report is as I know crunch was saying he had a clean bill of health a few months ago - and was on the upswing. I want the guy to succeed and currently i believe he is the worst player (statistically) getting regular atbats in AAA. Way worse than Gary Scott ever was. I thought it was worth discussion as we are talking about (potentially) 1/8 of next years position player lineup playing like a mannequin on offense. Maybe I'm crazy for giving a crap. I've been called worse!

after returning to round rock (AAA TEX) after his time off he wasn't exactly tearing the world up, but he was doing much better than before he took his time, ob%, and power were noticeably improved.

once he got to iowa, it's been consistent collapse...

Just giving you a hard time, no ill intent - anyway, his eye was supposed to have been messed up after getting beaned. I honestly think it's the only explanation for such awful numbers from a guy who has built up a pretty good reputation. I hope that's it, anyway, but I hope it's something that goes away if it IS it. I remember Dickie Thon never really getting over a beaning to the eye.

yeah, no ill intent...i mean, hell...i wanna know what's up with him.

it's weird to be this consistently bad. he's 2/30 in his last 10 games, both singles...and not much better in the 20 games before that.

coming back from his time off @RRock he was tailing a mini-slump leading up to the trade, but he was still hitting homers and had a .340+ ob% overall after returning...he got to iowa and fell apart.

last night's e.volquez performance was a tipping point...DFA'd.

"Carrie Muskat [email protected]

#Cubs Hoyer says there's still time for Scott Baker to pitch this year. "Our hope is that he can make it back.""


A (Kane) - 12.2ip 21h 8bb 8k - 9.95era 2.29whip (4 starts)
A+ (Daytona) - 6.1ip 6h 2bb 2k - 2.84era 1.26whip (2 starts)

ryno has a sense of humor...or is just odd...

PHI is bidding away "gift baskets" for charity full of stuff pertaining to certain players/coaches/manager/etc...

the ryno basket contains and autographed ball, a hat, fungo bat, bunch of other stuff...and for some reason an autographed garden hose that the charity runner couldn't explain. whatever.

do the cubs really have to keep giving d.mcdonald starts?

having him on the team is bad enough...especially after what he was doing in AAA.

Apparently he's our ringer. Guaranteed #3 draft pick if he gets enough AB!

MLB should change the rules and use a lottery to determine the draft-order of the first ten picks in the 1st round of the First-Year Player Draft.

mike olt HR in his 1st AB.

corner turned...sunny days ahead...bring him up.

baez 0-4...DFA him.

vogel 0-2, 3bb.

bryant 2-5, double. 5ip 3h 4bb 2k, 2er

Let's do this!!!!!

bring him up...the fans demand it...oltamatum!

Honestly I just want a 3/4 with a HR and a 2/4 with a couple doubles all in the same week. Just to know he hasn't been invaded by aliens.




olt raises his avg/ob% with iowa...

.119/.198 to .152/.226

d.barney solo shot...lulz

1-0 cubs, top 5th.

tie game...bottom 6.


d.barney with an easy double...d.mcdonald going home for NO F'N REASON EXCEPT STUPIDITY and would have been out by more than a few steps...except l.forsythe airmails the ball WAY off mark high and wide no where near a defender...ends up in the stands...

barney on 3rd...

cubs up 2-1, top 7

rizzo single...moving castro (HBP) to 3rd and scoring barney...

cubs up 3-1, top 7

ninja loads the bases in the 8th...still in the outs.

...sac fly

cubs 3-2

deep popout LF, walk, and a K...

ninja gets out of it after loading the bases twice. damn...

scrubbies win...gregg actually gets through the 9th without putting a man on base...or losing the lead...or the game...

d.barney 3-4 tonight, btw...single, double, HR

Does anyone think its a little eyebrow raising that the current Golden Boy Cubs GM a true ACE pitcher in Matt Latos for four cra-turds from the Reds? One that got DFA'd?


that latos trade was nuts.

latos was days away from turning 24 when he was traded in 2011 (offseason, started 2012 with the reds) and is under team control until 2016.

SD got some nice bats, but for an arm like that you want more than volq + grandal + y.alonso (and boxberger, decent non-closer type reliever, meh). grandal/alonso are nice bats, but neither were (or are) expected to be impact power bats...just contributor-type regulars.

volq had injury concerns along with a high walk rate he's always had.

...not to mention that the guys the reds gave up were guys they didn't even have room for. alonso can't play OF to save his life and they had an excess of young/adequate catching.

That was a Josh Byrnes trade, not Hoyer. Hoyer was hired in Oct '11, and Latos was traded in Dec.

Trevor Gretzky 9 for 21 (8 singles and a triple) since being called up to Kane County.


Barney now outslugging Castro.

pee into the cubcup

campana goes 1st to home on a double in the top 18th...1-5, 5bb for him on the night...and amazingly 0 sb.

another run scores shortly afterwards...followed by another 2 runs.

btw...casper wells is pitching...yes, the OF'r. btw, he has a 90mph fastball...and he threw 40 pitches for 2 outs.


...and now john mcdonald, the utility IF'r, is coming in from LF to pitch. he has a 81mph fastball.


ryne sandberg managing fail. to be fair, he did pull his starter after 0.2ip...still...this is a home game and those who stuck around are not very pleased about what they just saw after sticking around for 7 hours. btw, the fans aren't mad...just disappointed.

game is final 7h6m...both teams combined to use 44 different players.

AZ Phil: One more specific player question. As always your insight is greatly appreciated.

You've called him a strike throwing machine and clearly he is. Daury Torrez pitched 6 innings of shutout ball yesterday (3hits, 6K, No walks) for the AZL Cubs. For the season he's 4-2 in 49 innings with a 3.12 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 49K and amazingly only 5 walks. Yesterday, he piggybacked in the 2nd inning after an inning thrown by rehabbing R. Dollis.

Any comment on Daury Torrez as a prospect going forward given his performance this season?

Here is the last time I could find commentary by AZ Phil on Torrez (from May 27th):

RHP Daury Torrez followed Pugliese to the hill and hurled three shutout innings (needing only 31 pitches to do so), allowing two harmless singles. He struck out one and did not issue any walks. Torrez is a strike-throwing machine.

P.S. I noticed my personal favorite farmhand, DSL 3B, Adonis Paula went 2-4 with a double and a HR. Go Adonis Go.

CUBSTER: Not counting the guys who came through Mesa before moving up to Boise, Daury Torrez and Erick Leal are the two best pitching prospects presently at AZL Cubs,

Torrez doesn't throw particularly hard (I have never seen him throw harder than 91-92), but his fastball has sink & run, and it is difficult for hitters to make good solid contact against him. His slider doesn't break much so it stays in the strike zone (it's not a swing & miss "chase" pitch like it would be for somebody like Juan Carlos Paniagua), and he throws his change-up for strikes, too. So hitters can't just work the count against him because otherwise they'll find themselves sitting 0-2 more often than not. I think as he moves up the ladder he'll probably give up more hits than he does now, but he should be able to have success at the higher levels AS LONG AS he keeps trusting his stuff.   

I have never seen Leal throw harder than 89 MPH (and he usually sits 87-88), but he only uses his fastball to set-up his plus-curve and decent change-up. So Leal pitches "backwards" (as they say), in thart he is a breaking ball pitcher who throws his fastball to spots, and success depends on whether he can command his fastball to set-up his off-speed & breaking stuff. He doesn't get ground balls like Torrez does because his fastball doesn't have much movement and the curve ball and change-up are "fly ball" pitches.


per Muskat: Castillo nursing sore ribs but will be in the lineup Sunday.

Baez will not play in the Arizona Fall League, but top prospects Jorge Soler and Albert Almora will. The official AFL rosters were expected to be released later this month, and Hoyer said the Cubs will have an impressive group.

recent Bruce Levine chat with opinions on Choo and Navarro:

rodon throws hard...and easily hard...and is easily the best college pitching prospect in the draft. he was steal for NCSU recruiting.

that said, he's one of those 100-pitches-in-5-innings types. his control leaves a bit to be desired...which is even more concerning (imo) because his command of his pitches is good. aka, there's not a lot of "fix" except him growing into controlling where his pitches end up.

trea turner is a pure line drive hitter with a good eye...good D...speedy...that's about all you can say about him. he'll probably fast track to the bigs, but once there he'll probably be a role player rather than a leader.

both these guys are still young, have years left, and can use their college eligibility to their advantage if not picked high in the draft.

Crazy Legs Campana triples off Halladay in first AB of the game.

Smokies update...

WHAT’S AT STAKE: Thanks to Pensacola’s win last night, the Smokies can clinch the North Division tonight with a win and a Birmingham loss. A win or a Jackson loss would clinch them a playoff spot.

Today Archie Bradley vs Nick Struck

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 2 hours 22 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 5 hours 20 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 5 hours 41 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 5 hours 47 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 6 hours 41 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 6 hours 59 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 7 hours 57 sec ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 7 hours 18 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 8 hours 21 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 8 hours 39 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 9 hours 53 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 10 hours 32 min ago view