ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT: Brent Lillibridge, IF-OF Ian Stewart, 3B Hisanori Takahashi, LHP
MLB RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT:
SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT: Jeffry Antigua, LHP Brian Bogusevic, OF J. C. Boscan, C Kyler Burke, LHP Yeiper Castillo, RHP Jaye Chapman, RHP Johermyn Chavez, OF Dayan Diaz, RHP Jair Fernandez, C Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Marcos Mateo, RHP Edwin Maysonet, INF Darnell McDonald, OF Jose Morales, C-IF Guillermo Moscoso, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF Donnie Murphy, INF Brad Nelson, 1B Blake Parker, RHP Larry Suarez, RHP Tim Torres, OF Casey Weathers, RHP Ty Wright, OF
SECOND CONTRACT (PREVIOUSLY-RELEASED): Michael de la Cruz, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF Humberto Garcia, INF Nate Maldonado, C Zach Putnam, RHP Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP
1. A minor league player eligible to be an ARTICLE XX-D FREE-AGENT who accepts an Outright Assignment and defers free-agency until the end of the season is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season. If the player is not added back to a 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season, the player can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th.
2. A minor league player eligible to be an MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.
The Cubs made it official and removed the interim tag from hitting coach James Rowson, who took over for one of the last remaining Hendry scapegoats, Rudy Jamarillo. A bit surprising to me that they didn't end up hiring Dave Magadan, the Red Sox hitting coach during some of the Theo years, but Magadan must have decided that watching Texas Rangers baseball over the Cubs was a more bearable proposition. Not that the numbers matter at all from last season, but here's a bit of out-of-context theater to make you feel better if you're not a fan of the Theo regime so far:
When the Cubs fired Jaramillo they were hitting .247 with a .689 OPS while averaging 3.7 runs per game. After replacing him with Rowson they hit .235 with a .674 OPS while averaging 3.8 runs per game.
The Cubs also found a new third base coach, as Reds Triple A manager David Bell will take over those duties (not a very good manager by record at least). David is of course a member of the Ohioan Bell's (Buddy, Mike, Gus and David). Anyway, hopefully David has an Ipod and some good playlists as it can be lonely in the third base box with this Cubs offense.
And Randy Bush received a three year extension on his contract to round out today's really boring Cubs news.
Interesting tweet in the tweet box: z'Remember when Rizzo was striking out a lot? No K's in last 31 AB's..tied for 2nd longest active streak in majors"
Don't know if that includes last night, but it sure goes a long way to explaining his improved hitting. It's a curious thing, though, the difference between the way his season started and now. How does that happen?
The Cubs will wait to see how Matt Garza (lat) feels and how his bullpen session goes Saturday before they make a decision about activating him.
Garza declared himself ready to rejoin the Cubs' rotation after six scoreless innings during Thursday's rehab start. It's probably just a formality at this point before the team announces that he'll rejoin the rotation next week. Carlos Villanueva is the likeliest candidate to be demoted to the bullpen.
Remember Albert Almora? The Cubs’ first-round pick last June is almost all the way back after breaking his hamate bone in mid-March. He’s been playing center field and hitting in extended spring games in Arizona and should soon be assigned to the low-A Kane County Cougars. There’s no sign yet of Junior Lake, who suffered a stress fracture to the top rib on his right side in mid-March. Outfielder Reggie Golden, a second-round pick in 2010 recovering from two torn ligaments in his left knee, appears close to completing his recovery.
"Analysis: This is Appel or Gray, assuming one of them goes first, with Appel the preference. The Cubs are in the catbird seat in this draft -- they don't have to pay the premium that comes with picking first overall but are guaranteed to get one of the two huge arms in the class."
then maybe the greater story is that when he pitched here on the 6th the balls he was using, at least in the 1st inning that day, were PCL's...otherwise, as that Gilda Radner character used to say on SNL, 'never mind...'
MIKE: MLB rehab pitchers always get to use MLB baseballs when they pitch in a minor league game, even at Extended Spring Training. Healthy MLB pitchers use MLB baseballs when they pitch in a Minor League Spring Training game, too. You'll notice the home plate umpire changing out his baseballs every half-inning (unless two MLB pitchers are pitching against each other in the same minor league game).
However, MLB position players rehabbing in a minor league game or playing in a Minor League Spring Training game have to hit minor league baseballs.