Cubs Organizational Report Week 23

Abbreviated organizational report this week since the minors league seasons are over except for the AA Jaxx. I'll get a post up with the final minor league numbers in the next few weeks. For more info on the Cubs' minor league system, check out Rudy Kamman, writing at Road to Wrigley. Team Records updated through 9/12/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10
Chicago Cubs71-72(Div)19.5/3rd
Iowa Cubs64-758.5/4th3-7
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx*39-31
Daytona Cubs34-34
Peoria Chiefs33-37
Boise Hawks34-423.0/3rd5-5
AZL Cubs9-19
Cubs Ex W/L: 72-71; (2003) 76-67; (2004) 79-64 * West Tennessee swept their first round series over the Carolina Mudcats and face the Jacksonville Suns for the Southern League championship starting on Tuesday, September 13th.
MLB NONE TO REPORT AAA/Iowa SEASON OVER AA/West Tennessee NONE TO REPORT Advanced A/Daytona SEASON OVER A/Peoria SEASON OVER Low A/Boise SEASON OVER Rookie Leauge/Arizona SEASON OVER Southern League Playoffs Game 1: Jaxx 3, Mudcats 0 Game 2: Jaxx 2, Mudcats 1 Game 3: Jaxx 11, Mudcats 2 Jaxx win series 3-0 Championship Series: Game 1 (Sept. 13th): @ Jacksonsville Suns Game 2 (Sept. 14th): @ Jacksonville Suns Game 3 (Sept. 16th): vs. Jacksonsville Suns Game 4 (Sept. 17th): vs. Jacksonville Suns (if necessary) Game 5 (Sept. 18th): vs. Jacksonville Suns (if necessary) GREG MADDUX WINS WATCH Needs 3 wins in 4 starts (possibly 5) to continue his streak of 15 or more wins a season for an 18th year. His projected starts: 09/12 vs. Cincinnati Reds 09/17 vs. St. Louis Cardinals 09/23 vs. Houston Astros 09/29 @ Houston Astros With off-days, they may skip some starts and go with the following: 09/12 vs. Cinicinnati Reds 09/17 vs. St. Louis Cardinals 09/22 @ Milwaukee Brewers 09/27 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates 10/02 @ Houston Astros 2005 ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE PARTICIPANTS RHP David Aardsma RHP Angel Guzman SS/OF Buck Coats OF Matt Murton 2B Eric Patterson 1B/OF Brandon Sing


Is there any reason in any universe that's sane in any way (I realize it's Dusty's world and we're all just living in it) that you wouldn't go with 5 starts for Maddux? Even if you're making the argument that they're pushing for a playoff spot (HA), isn't he still one of your 3 best pitchers? You don't have to skip Prior or Z, so what's to lose? Dusty made some noise today about "well, if he needs another start, we can get him one later", but if he's not rested, that doesn't work.

Is there any reason in any universe that's sane in any way (I realize it's Dusty's world and we're all just living in it) that you wouldn't go with 5 starts for Maddux? Even if you're making the argument that they're pushing for a playoff spot (HA), isn't he still one of your 3 best pitchers? You don't have to skip Prior or Z, so what's to lose? Dusty made some noise today about "well, if he needs another start, we can get him one later", but if he's not rested, that doesn't work.

Oh, and wouldn't the last start be on 10/2?

Right you are, my bad. Fixed!

"09/27 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates"

That sure does look familiar.

For the Dusty's fans and detractors on the TCR, here are Joe Sheehan's comments from his baseball notes column on today's baseballpropsectus web page. Joe, who is a real big Dusty fan (NOT!), is not to high on Cedeno who the Cubs are willing to dump Garcippara to make room for. He also does not understand that Dusty expects a rookie to earn his way into and up the line-up. At least that is my SWAG at Dusty's handling of Murton as nothing else makes sense.

"Dusty Baker continues to impress. He's finally found it in his heart to work Matt Murton into the lineup once in a while, but when he does, he bats him eighth. Murton is hitting .342/.424/.521, yet hits behind Neifi Perez on those rare occasions when he starts.
What's truly hilarious is comparing Murton to Ronny Cedeno. Murton out-hit Cedeno coming into '05, destroyed what Cedeno did at Double-A, and even matched Cedeno's BA-driven fluke season at Triple-A in limited time at that level. He's also out-hit Cedeno in the majors. Matt Murton is, by any reasonable standard, a better hitter than Ronny Cedeno.

And when they both start, Cedeno bats second, Murton bats eighth. Look, middle infielders bat second, mmmkay?

On the other hand, Baker has added another data point to the argument that any pitcher can be made into a closer. Ryan Dempster will reach 30 saves by the end of the season, the latest in a long line of mediocre pitchers to pick up the scarlet "C" and, likely, make million of dollars for it. His numbers in relief aren't terrible: 2.20 ERA in 49 innings, 40 strikeouts and 22 walks. By the standards of short relievers, those aren't exceptional, and Dempster has a critical flaw for a closer: lefties slap him around (.297/.417/.391 in 2005). This won't end well."

Cubs still in it? Stranger things have happened. Take it game by game. Win tonight and then see what happens. If by some stroke of luck we gain two games this week, then we are 3.5 out with two weeks to go. At that point, I would say we are definitely back in it.

Ron Galt asked me a couple of Chats back about the 2003 Prospectus Article that talked up Dusty's ability to get the most out of veterans. They had two tables in the article. One consisted of the veterans on the 2002 World Series team and second, bigger, table of players who had a least 350 plate appearances with Dusty and who had pre Dusty and Post Dusty careers. The vast majority were definetly better performers under Dusty. I am not at home, but will copy the smaller table in a follow-up Post.

is there any real heat behind this rumor that the cubs would let nomar walk to play cedeno instead?

that would be an atrocious move...

only sportswriters selling papers...

depending on what week it is, garciappara's coming back to start, neifi's coming back to start, furcal's coming to start, cedeno's ready to take over at SS, cedeno's gonna be the backup, or he's moving to 2nd when walker is traded while one of the other 3 starts at SS.


ps- adam dunn.

Did anyone read the articles about the possibility of Nomar playing left field?...Imagine....Barrett/Blanco at Catcher, DLEE, Walker, Cedeno, Ramirez from 1st to 3rd, Nomah in Left, Damon in Center and Burnie in Right....Cedeno would be practically free, and Damon would come from the "Sammy Savings"...resign burnie for your third outfielder, bench of Blanco, Perez, Hairston, Murton, and Grieve/McClain/whomever....Bullpen filled from within with Prior, Z, Wood, Maddux, and Williams filling the rotation. If Ramirez pulls a groin, put Nomar there and Murton in left...if Walker gets hurt or Cedeno, play Neifi...or move Nomar in and put Murton in left...I don't know the odds of Nomar playing left, but, boy do I like our lineup:


Doesn't sound too bad to me at all...

Damon's not coming. Get over your boner for that guy.

Jon at Work,

Wouldn't it make more sense to leave Nomar at short and let Murton start in left?


I suppose...I guess I figured this would plug two gaps at once...our need for a leftfielder and a decent SS(although the jury may still be out on Cedeno). And Cedeno would be really cheap...but I suppose Murton and Nomar would give us the same savings Murton's salary versus Cedeno's and Murton would fill the left field, either way, I suppose

I am glad to see I am not the only one Big John Stud harasses on here and adds nothing to the conversation but classless attacks.

ROB G: John Koronka has been added to the Cubs contingent that will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL starting next month. So it was a lefty, but not the lefty I thought it would be (I figured Ryan O'Malley).

thanks for the info az phil, I'll fix it for next week.

Joe Sheehan--"Matt Murton is, by any reasonable standard, a better hitter than Ronny Cedeno."

Of course, and so he's right that Murton should bat higher up the order, but I really don't appreciate his tone towards Cedeno. Writing off Cedeno's spell at Triple-A as a "BA-driven fluke" misses the point given that knocking off 80 points of average on balls in play leaves Cedeno's line at around .290/.340/.440, still extremely respectable for a 22-year old shortstop having his first go at a league, even if it is a hitter-friendly one. Furthermore, Cedeno is a good defensive shortstop, and while that doesn't mean Cedeno should bat second, it does mean you should try to avoid sounding like you think absolutely nothing of Cedeno.

It's also interesting that Sheehan doesn't see fit to point out that merely adequate left-field defender Murton's stint at Double-A (and everywhere else this year) also has "BA-driven fluke" written all over it in that Murton is no natural .340 hitter now, and he doesn't ever project as one either. Right now, until Murton's eye starts resulting in more walks and his power comes through, and I expect that it will, he's not so much superior a hitter relative to Cedeno that you need to have a massive go at Dusty over which way around they're batting. Rather you just have to be grateful they're in the lineup at all, and take the fact that they're the wrong way around as a slight inconvenience as opposed to something that's ruining our season. It's not as though Cedeno has a .304 OBP or anything.

I don't read Sheehan, I'm not a subscriber, but whenever he's quoted he seems to know an awful lot about what he's talking about. I'm just not sure what his problem is here. Dusty probably. Anyway, it's a moot point now, Cedeno's injured and Mr .304 is batting second again now. Now that's something I don't mind Sheehan vociferously complaining about.

its doubtful he's got a huge problem with cedeno, but cedeno's not exactly a guy who projects well with a bat.

he'll swing at a lotta stuff, make contact (mostly weak), and has an extremely straight swing.

if he had more power it would lead to line-drive gappers, but most of the time it leads to solid smacks and bloopers that dont go further than 200ft.

cedeno's not a guy who you have to pitch just pitch somewhere off/near the plate and eventually he'll swing at it and make contact somewhere.

he's not gonna wait for his pitch cuz everything is his pitch. he's not vlad-like in plate selection (bad) but he's not gonna sit around and wait for his ideal pitch for his stregnths.

Thanks for another repetition of your scouting report, Crunch. I still don't agree with it, and I probably still won't if you run it by me another hundred times.

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.