Cubs Announce 2013 Arizona Fall League Guests of Honor

And the winners are...

SS Javier Baez, RF Jorge Soler, 3B Kris Bryant, RHP Matt Loosen, RHP Dallas Beeler, RHP Armando Rivera, RHP Arodyz Vizcaino and OF Albert Almora will be a member of the taxi squad.

Arizona Phil is going to have all kinds of fun.

You can peruse past AFL rosters over at Wiklifield.

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Comments

sweet...was hoping a.viz would be on that squad. he's late getting back into action this year and i was wondering if he'd even be considered.

also -z +s on viz and -a +o on rivero.

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130826&content_id=58488978&fe...


no surprise, but no Iowa Cubs on the post-season PCL All-Star squad

Mets get iNF Dilson Herrera (#9 pirates prospect according to Sickels) and a what's deemed a good player to be named later by Neil Huntington for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/pirates-ship-dilson-herrera-to-met...

Imagine Cubs could have done a litle better for Schierholtz and Navarro, but both might have been claimed before getting to Pirates. I think I read the other day that Navarro was claimed by Cardinals and a deal couldn't be worked out (this is beyond the July 31st chatter).

i cannot figure out how navarro is still on this team.

the only downside to his game (especially this year) is he's not all that great at getting in front of wild pitches...which isn't exactly something that happens every game. even though it's the pitcher's fault, he's got a pretty bad rate of stopping them.

Tonight is “Marlon Byrd t-shirt night” at Citi Field.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/a-heartfelt-goodbye-to-baseball-am...

Jim Callis leaving Baseball America for MLB.com (and I'm guessing MLB network facetime as well).

Wonder if that means Jonathan Mayo is out at MLB.com...which would be fine with me.

Ditto........especially if Jim takes over the Top 20 prospects for each team on MLB.com..........I wonder if Mayo has ever done anything but read a scouting report on these guys.

under the heading of "Why Bother?"

Royals sign Carlos Pena to a minor league contract and assigned him to Omaha. Was Warren Buffett the mover and shaker on this one...or Jimmy (Marguerita in Omahaville?)

mlb.com writeup on the AZ Fall League rosters...

"It's really exciting for us," Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod said. "Javier has had a great year, and he didn't get to play as much last year in the AFL because of the injury. Kris is ready to be pushed. Soler was going to go [to make up for lost time]. Albert missed time, so he'll go to the instructional league and then the taxi squad, which will be good for him.

"It's good for them to spend time with each other, push each other in the fall, then hopefully push each other in the spring. It's exciting to have these four guys going together. It'll be great if we can get to see them all playing together on the same field."

"I'm new to this whole process, but I know there are lot of good players who have gone to the [Arizona] Fall League," Bryant said. "I'm excited I get to continue playing baseball. The games will only help me in my development against some very good competition.

"The progress I've made so far in my time with Boise and Daytona has been pretty good. I'm very pleased with how things have gone. Obviously, there are still adjustments that need to be made. I'm excited to continue to learn and compete with guys who are close to the big leagues."

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130827&c...

in my haste, I missed Dallas Beeler...the post has since been updated.

Dallas Beeler and Rob Whitenack were at the Cubs convention last January. I'm a big fan of Beeler after that session. He's also in recovery mode from a torn flexor tendon, middle finger of his pitching hand from May. He's already had TJ surgery in college (2009).

http://smokiesonradio.com/2013/08/03/dallas-beeler...

http://www.csnchicago.com/article/cubs-prospect-be...

The comp I found from a MLB pitcher with a similar finger injury is Jorge DeLa Rosa from the Rockies from 2010. I'm not sure of other problems DeLa Rosa had but he's finally back with a 14-6 and 3.28 ERA this year.

http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_14972355?sourc...

2 more HR for soriano tonight, 11 HR and 33 RBI in the month since the trade; I guess getting out of the pressure cooker of the NL central worked wonders

He did the same thing last year . . . He's that good he just had few base runners, was on a crap team, and now he gets NY press. He really stepped up his game last year somehow, and I think they'll get one more year like this next year. A SERIOUS second half hitter...

Edit: he has a combined 1 HR over the 2012 march/april and 2013 march/april months. Then he explodes. If there was a way to rest him until May 1st and get the same production you'd have a bionic hitter!

That makes an even 400 for Sori -- well done.

B. Wells 1 IP, K. Burke 5 IP, Z. Cates 1 IP combine for 7-inning no-hitter vs Dunedin (Toronto affiliate) in a game resumed after rain suspended it.

BP has a writeup called "Positive Regression Candidates" for next year (seems fantasy league related). Others are Hellickson, Lynn, Kennedy and Volquez:

Edwin Jackson, Cubs
Last week, a friend and Cubs fan asked what was wrong with Jackson. Admittedly, I hadn’t been paying a ton of attention to Jackson’s season, but a cursory look at everything but his win-loss record and his ERA said everything was fine. While many have learned to look past one bad year or even just ugly surface stats, there are plenty of owners who still cling to the basics, as I found out when discussing Matt Cain in an NL-Only league recently.

Jackson has one of the larger discrepancies between his ERA (5.00) and his FIP (3.58), and that alone should get your value-senses tingling. Add in the fact that he’s generating ground balls at 52.5 percent (1.92 GB/FB rate), and limiting home runs (0.69 HR/9) and this appears to more a case of bad luck for a consistently-inconsistent-but-talented starter. His K% has dipped to just under 18 percent from 21 percent in 2012, but he’s right in line with his career rate, and posted a similar FIP in 2011 when he had almost identical walk and strikeout rates. To top it all off, Jackon’s LOB rate is a dismal 61 percent. Compare that to his career 70.5 percent clip, or even better, to the league average 72 percent rate, and all signs point to better surface stats for Jackson in 2014.

Always a guy that has been available, if not in free agency, then cheaply in trade, Jackson has the ability to provide league average or better statistics in bulk innings. That’s not something that should be overlooked when building depth on one’s pitching staff in deep leagues. He’s someone to target in 14-team leagues or deeper, and a solid FA/stream option in shallower leagues.

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

I wrote something simillar in the comments a few days ago. 

But whatever the Cubs gain in Jackson next year, they'll most likely lose with Travis Wood whose peripherals show a good chance for regression next year. We're already starting to see it over the last few starts.

m.olt 1-3 (single), 2bb

grimm 5ip 6h 2bb 2k, 1er (89 pitches)

rosscup 0.2ip 1h 1bb 1k (2 errors in different ABs by e.gonzalez(2nd) + olt leading to an unearned run)...he threw 26 pitches, he would have finished an entire inning with 19 pitches and 0 hits given up if not for the errors.

rosscup has been pitching a lot more than usual down in the zone lately...odd for him...a lot like a "poor man's cingrani (CIN)", rosscup loves to work high in the zone. they might be trying to get him to mix it up a bit more.

daytona game 2 - postponed (that never happens)

Olt is drawing walks like crazy. Interesting. That's 2 or 3 starts in a row for Grimm with decent numbers too, no?

So that is four solid starts in a row for Grimm. Nothing to write home about but nothing over 3ER in last four starts. I'll take it . . .

tonight's lineup is just...wow.

d.murphy hitting cleanup...the slowest man in baseball, navarro hitting 3rd...cody ransom playing 1st...darnell mcdonald getting another start for some unknown reason...and cole gillespie is still a cub for some reason, and playing in RF.

d.barney hitting 2nd (100 posts about how dusty baker is killing the cubs) is 1-1 at least.

Agreed all around, HOWEVER, this team sucks ass. If they had the talent of the 2004 Dusty team and were turning in lineup cards like this, trust me Dale would be getting some heat (I think Rob holds him accountable even now). On top of that Dusty was a very contentious and defensive personality.

And for the record Barney is 1/1 -- can you imagine the whole 'sinking towards Mendoza' lineup if Barney batted between Castro and Rizzo at the top of the order?

i just want d.mcdonald to go away...still don't know how he even got a call up from AAA.

...and c.gilespie has no reason to still wear a cubs uniform.

Yes they are this year's Joe Mather. But worse. Total roster fodder.

Edit.

I think Navarro beats Paul Konerko and Yadier Molina in the 100. You could use a sundial to time it, though.

I could not care less about McDonald, but going into last night's game, he did have an HR and two BBs in six career plate appearances vs. Kershaw. So that might explain it.

Jim Callis leaves Baseball America

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/a-heartfelt-...

3/44

Junior is striking out at a Jacksonian pace against Dodger pitching.

"you loved him as a player...his flag flies above wrigley..."

awesome.

nothing like a cubs team so shitty that WGN commercials for upcoming games are advertising to cubs fans telling us the manager of the Phillies will be in town. sigh...

k.gregg vs a 1 run lead.

hopefully this will be quick/painless.

scrubbies win!

only 20 games from .500!

remember when some odd number crunchers predicted mid-season that the cubs would win 75+ games? yeah, i thought that was funny, too.

They would be close to .500 without the annual firesale. Sometimes number crunchers don't figure that into their crunching, crunch.

wow...bud black went micro-manage overdrive in tonight's 10 inning SD/ARZ game.

crazy amount of position changes including shuffling the OF + 1st/2nd/3rd multiple times during the course of the game.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_...

Rafael Dolis (forarm strain), Ryan Sweeney (cracked ribs), and Luis Valbuena (oblique strain) saw action for the AZL Cubs Tuesday night. All three looked very good (Swewney and Valbuena had two hits a piece, and Dolis was throwing a 94 MPH sinker).

Both Dolis and Valbuena can be reinstated from the DL at anytime (and both probably will be when rosters expand on on 9/1), but Sweeney isn't eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL until Thursday 8/29, so that's the first day he can be placed on Trade Assignment Waivers (players cannot be placed on waivers until they are eligible to be reinstated from the DL). If the Cubs do place Sweeney on Trade Waivers, there would still be time for a club to put in a claim and acquire him before the midnight Saturday (8/31) deadline for playoff roster eligibility. Like Kevin Gregg, Dioner Navarro, Scott Baker, and Matt Guerrier, Sweeney is eligible to be an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2013, so the Cubs might be looking to move him if they get a decent offer (salary relief would not be a factor).  


Also 18-year old switch-hitting Venezuelan 3B-1B-2B Mark Malave ($1.6M signing bonus in 2011) had two doubles and two RBI in the AZL Cubs game and got some reps at catcher, noteworthy because that'a a position he hasn't played in two years. (Malave was signed as a catcher, but was moved to 3B when he made his pro debut at AZ Instructs post-2011).


It wouldn't be too much of a surprise if the Cubs move Malave back to catcher. He's blocked in the pipeline at both 3B and 1B, and the Cubs have said that they are looking to upgrade the catcher position in their system by converting a few position players to catcher. And of course it's easier to convert an ex-catcher to catcher than it would be a player who had no previous experience working as a catcher. 


BTW, the Cubs signed another 16-year old Venezuelan catcher (Willson Contreras) to a substantial bonus in 2009 and then almost immediately moved him to 3B. Then he was moved back to catcher 2-1/2 years later, and he was the #1 catcher at Kane County this past season.   


 

If Sweeney isn't traded and they decide to add Dolis, Lim and Baker, some guys are going to have to be DFA'd off the 40-man.

some guys are going to have to be DFA'd off the 40-man.

oh, where to begin

Neal, McDonald, Sappelt, Gillespie, Ransom, McNutt, Sanchez, Bowden...

Sullivan in his new roving role interviews Lou Piniella...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

not to be out done, Wittenmeyer interviews Quade...

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/22197203-419/quade-...

Should Gregg still be closing? Not sure I really see the point - the rest of the league has made it clear they have no interest in him, and he's not going to help the team in the future. Maybe give the young guys a chance? At least occasionally?

Parker's been working in high-leverage situations. The only reasons I can produce why he's not the closer are 1) respect to the veteran, and 2) driving down his arbitration prices. Probably a combination of those two. Pretty good chance that Parker opens next season as the closer, with Strop setting up and Fuji possibly in the mix once he gets back.

Parker's stats look good, but part of that is because a lot of the runs he has allowed have not been charged to him. He has been working in high leverage situations, but he has allowed 43% of inherited runners to score (6 of 14) and he really hasn't show that ability to come in and put out a fire. Ironically, that probably suits him better for the closer role when he would most likely be pitching with the bases empty and a fresh start in the 9th, but he's certainly not pushing the issue. Strop is knocking on the door much harder than Parker and I would guess he has in the inside edge on the closer job next year.

I think you made a much better argument that Parker should be the closer and Strop should be the fireman. The other point to consider is I think Parker is much more likely to show up next year and continue to be good-not-great, while Strop is going to show up next year and who knows what happens with him after that. If he's dynamite again he might win the job, but he's so inconsistent even for a relief pitcher. That's why I like him better as a fireman - either he "saves" the game in a non-save situation or blows a game that was about to blown anyways.

Oh, I'd use Strop in the 8th and Parker in the 9th for those reasons. I just think managers in baseball in general (not just Sveum) are misguided on the closer position and there is a sense that you come in and be a fireman in the 8th and if you impress there you are next in line for the 9th and earn the right to take it over. You perform well in high leverage situations and earn the right to pitch in low leverage situations. It's dumb.

So I just don't see Dale saying next year "Strop was lights out for us in the 8th and we'd like to keep him there because those outs are often more difficult to get, and we plan to shift Parker to the 9th."

Strop has been in beast mode as a Cub, he had one awful game which happened to be his third game in a row where he gave up 5 runs in a third of an inning against the Brewers and probably got left in longer than he should have because the bullpen was being used up a lot over the course of that last week. Otherwise, he's given up 1 run beyond that and that was last night and that runner that scored reached on a play that Barney probably should have had (imo).

Discounting the Brewers game, 22.1 IP, 13 H, 1 ER, 8 BB, 25 K

even with the Brewers game, he has a 2.38 ERA as a Cub

bullpen pitchers are fickle beasts, but that's about as good as it gets for right now.

Dude will easily enter the spring training as the favorite for closer unless Cubs find a buy low candidate on the free agent market (looking at you Joel Hanrahan).

Yeah, I'd personally like that performance in the 8th, or whenever the fire is or the tough outs are, rather than just the 9th automatically, but that's my sense too, that he is next in line.

Also, just turned on the game and Dale is ejected and the Cubs are already down 1-0. Awesome. How do you get ejected after the first batter? Seriously.

Horrible call by home and then 1st base umps on a failed check swing by Puig on what should have been strike 4.

and puig is later removed by mattingly for not sliding to break up a double play. he probably didn't want to chance getting dirt on the 20lb bling pendant around his neck.

dunno if they'll want to use him in the closer slot..but chang-yong lim should (hopefully) be joining the team in Sept.

they probably won't hand him the closer role right off the bat, but if he can control his walks he's a candidate.

Darwin Barney batting second again.
Sigh....

Cubs lose, if Sale can beat Astros tonight, Cubs take over 3rd pick in the draft with 29 games left to play.

the problem with this upcoming draft is aside from rondon (who's got more tools than control of them) the talent pool is extremely lame unless some kids step up their game in the upcoming season.

hoffman is interesting...and had a great cape cod performance...but he's got control issues, too.

rondon, hoffman, and t.turner seem to be the hot guys right now...and the cubs probably don't need another SS (turner) in their system...though i can't imagine them passing on turner if rondon/hoffman are gone unless other talent comes to the forefront. i dunno much about tyler kolek, but he seems to be the best HS arm in the draft class and might be on the cubs radar. the need for pitching sure as hell outweighs a need for another middle IF'r.

bat power (both college and highschool) is severely lacking in this draft...so are pitchers who have plus tools that have demonstrated control and command.

if this upcoming draft crew was lumped into this season's draft class, i doubt a single guy aside from rondon would go top-5, and maybe only 2-3 of them would go top 10 overall.

still, the higher the cubs slot in the draft...the more overall slot $$ they'll have to spend...so that's a plus.

hopefully, some of these fringe guys will step up their game and value to separate themselves from the pack before draft time.

MLB Slows Down Process For Cuban Signings

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/mlb-slows-do...

k.bryant with another homer...if he keeps this up and does well in AFL, he could start fast-tracked in AA next season rather than continuing A+.

Certainly a scenario that I can foresee happening...

10m

Think that's best bet. : I see Olt as utilty ... Baez as 3B with Bryant to LF. Almora CF and Soler RF. How's that?

 

with olt's power and how well he plays 3rd, the cubs would be better off trading him before dooming him to 300-400 PA off the bench playing corner OF/IF whenever he can.

it shouldn't be an issue until 2015 or post-2015 offseason, anyway...giving the cubs 2014 + most of 2015 to gauge what they want to do with him.

olt 1-2 (single), 2bb

he's walking a lot recently (7 in his last 3 games). ob% near .500 in his last 10 games...only 1 double and 1 HR, though.

...now if he can turn some of those hits into doubles and HRs...

speaking of Sale, 7 K's through 4 IP

if he sets any records, won't count though because it's against the Astros.

dodgers sign e.volquez to a major league deal for the minimum...because i dunno.

from BP Minor league update:

Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, RBI. Candelario relies on his bat to keep himself on the prospect radar. He has plus bat speed and plus power potential. The rest of his game is not exactly glowing, and if he wants to ever be a real prospect, he will have to make hard contact regularly.

and on cue, tonight at KC, Candelaria goes 2-4, HR, double, 3RBI, 3Runs

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

Lucas Harrell loses it in the 7th against Team Garcia, from a 1-1 game; it's now WSux 5-1. Lookie who's moving into the #3 draft spot!

Nothing like a bad team getting hot for the last month. That's the upside? Well, for the Cubs...That' how we got a full year of manager Mike Quade.

Kyle Hendricks is 3-0 with Iowa. Tonight, 8 IP, 6H, 2R, 4K, 1BB. AAA ERA is 2.38

who's got who on september callups?

who i'm expecting...

s.baker (60 day DL), d.sappelt, m.olt, chang-yong lim (not on 40-man)

...maybe list - j.grimm, e.sanchez, b.schlitter (not on 40-man)

s.baker + c.lim would need roster punts to make their slots happen. i'm not really sure how much the cubs would want to punt a roster spot for schlitter (91-93mph fastball, change, serviceable slider) though he's probably ready for another crack at the bigs. he's been closing (successfully) in AAA and pen is a major need going into 2014. either way, he's most likely not a closer candidate in the bigs.

Over his last ten games, Olt is .321 / .500 / .464 for a .964 OPS, so perhaps starting to break out of the funk.

And Lim now has 20.1 IP across 4 levels in the minors and has a 1.77 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 21 strikeouts, and he is 37 years old, so he will definitely get a view in September in the bigs.

What are you going to do,dude? You know what I mean?

http://deadspin.com/brandon-phillips-curses-out-ci...

to be fair, rosecrans is a fat fuck.

also, the lulz are heavy. datdude is a big boy, he can take care of himself with ego and focus intact.

vogel 1-3, double
bryant - night off

c.black 6ip 3h 0bb 6k, 1 r/er

baez 0-2 , ibb + sac fly scoring a run

n.ramirez 4.1ip 1h 2bb 5k 0 r/er (debut, 71 pitches)

olt 0-3, 2K + sac fly scoring a run

Astros go from most profitable team ever, to...well, Forbes writes a 2nd article refuting the first one. At least they understand what Grandstand means:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2013/08/29/...

Forbes can be kinda dangerous these days. it's a name brand that one would seem you should trust, but the past couple of years almost anyone can start an account there and be a contributor.

i don't know how one becomes a contributor to the online Forbes, but it seems about as difficult as signing up for the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstake.

John Arugella's minor league update from yesterday:

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/08/cubs-mi...

I-Cubs not eliminated yet, per the Des Moines Register:

The win moved the Cubs (65-75) to just two games behind the Storm Chasers and Memphis Redbirds, who are tied for first place in the Pacific Coast League’s American Northern Division.

To get to the playoffs, Iowa will have to leapfrog both teams during a four-game series at Nashville to end the season.

“We’ve got to win out,” Iowa manager Marty Pevey said.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20130829/...

Hottest hitter in organization right now has to be Boise's Kevin Encarnacion. In last 10 games he's 21 for 46 with three doubles and four HRs (.457/.490/.783/1.272).

Boise lost a high-scoring game last night to Salem-Kaizer, thus creating a 3-way tie for first with four games to go in the second half. First-half winner S-K is already in the playoffs, so the other spot will go to Boise or Hillsboro. Boise is at home to S-K tonight and then to Hillsboro, Sat-Mon.

5 Smokies named to Post-Season All-Star team

http://smokiesonradio.com/2013/08/30/five-smokies-named-to-southern-leag...

Alcantara, Baez, Villanueva, Szczur, Hendricks

best I could find was 4 post-season All-Stars in 2005 (Murton, Sing, Nolasco, Pinto)

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/2005_Cubs_Minor_League_All-Stars

a once comfortable 5-0 lead, becomes 5-3 and no outs...go draft choice! Ryno's managing the hell out of this one. Or maybe not.

if the cubs have to go extras maybe ryno will use 2 position players to pitch again.

btw, casper wells has a 90mph fastball.

Shark remains a maddening mix of high potential nad mediocre performance. Interesting to see how TheoJed handle him.

My thought is they will let him play out his contract and then see if another team wants to take a chance on a 30 year old trying to figure it out.

Using Gregg in a non-save situation is basically the same as forfeiting the game.

m.olt 3-4, all singles

c.lim 1ip 0h 0bb 2k

baez 0-4, 1bb

k.bryant 1-4, HR (5th)

I just got back from the TB -OAK game which the Athletics won 4 - 3. Fernando Rodney got trapped in the dugout toilet, and they had to call stadium staff to pry the door open.

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