Jorge Soler and Chadd Krist blasted solo home runs, and Marco Hernandez ripped a double and an RBI single, scored a run, and stole a base, leading the Cubs to an 8-3 victory over the Giants in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale.


Andrew Velazquez singled twice, doubled, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Jonathan Griffin doubled twice and knocked-in two runs, and Alex Glenn blasted a three-run home run, to lead a ferocious 20-hit attack as the Diamondbacks crushed the Cubs 17-3 in Arizona Instructional League action Saturday night at the Main Stadium at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale.


The game was halted for about 25 minutes with two outs in the top of the 5th after Cubs outfielder Trey Martin was hit in the head with a pitch. Paramedics from the Salt River Fire Department were called by the Diamondbacks team trainer, and the ambulance responded directly to home plate where Martin was laying on his back.

Rafael Lopez ripped a bases-loaded two-run line-drive single to key a four-run 4th, and Ben Carhart drove-in a run with an RBI single and Chadd Krist followed with a sacrifice fly to highlight a two-run 6th, as the Cubs defeated the Diamondbacks 6-3 in Arizona Instructional League Opening Day action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


The Twitterverse says the Cubs have finalized plans with Kane County to move their Class A player development contract a little closer to home. With guys like Almora, Vogelbach, Amaya, Candelario, Dunston Jr. and so on possibly playing there next season, there should be some good crowds. The dirty, rotten Cardinals have already taken up the void left by the Cubs in Peoria. I haven't seen where the Royals affiliate (formely Kane County) will end up at yet. Player development contracts in Boise and Daytona were also set to expire, but the Cubs say they've renewed the contracts with those two minor league franchises. The contracts with Boise, Kane County and Daytona run through 2014.

Cubs get another shot tonight at delaying the Reds from clinching the NL Central (magic number is 4). They'll go DeJesus 9, Barney 4, Rizzo 3, Soriano 7, Castro 6, Valbuena 5, Castillo 2, Jackson 8, Rusin 1.

If you haven't been paying attention to the #2 Draft Spot Derby (lower left sidebar), the Cubs have a half game "lead" over the Rockies and 3 games over the Twins and Indians. Rockies are in the midst of a series at San Francisco at the moment. In the race to avoid 100 losses, Cubs need to go 5-11 (or better) the rest of the way.

 

First off, I got a new MacBook Air this weekend. I'm hoping this helps with keeping the blog up-to-date better as my old laptop was on its last legs and seriously annoying me so much that I didn't even want to surf the net much.

As for the site, Disqus has been a bit of a disappointment. Not quite what I thought was advertised. While there are features I like, my biggest disappointments so far are:

  • lack of new comment notifications when re-visiting site
  • lack of real-time updating
  • odd thread structure when putting in new comments

I think the "Latest Comments" sidebar helps with the lack of new comment notifications. I just go there and see what I missed, but it doesn't seem to update too quickly and I feel like I'm missing comments. Granted, things are slow right now and interest is at pathetically low levels this time of year, but when the news starts coming again in the offseason, I think it will get even more annoying.


So, I'm going to try upgrading to what they call Disqus 2012. We'll see if it's any better. This requires nothing on any of your parts, but by tomorrow morning, the comments will look a little different. We'll see how we like that after a few weeks. If I/we are still unhappy with the comments, I'll see about getting the native Drupal comment system working again.

Tags: 

It's the most exciting thing to happen in Cubdom all month...the 2013 schedule release!!! They actually have the entire thing up at cubs.com already, but here are some of the highlights.

The season begins at Pittsburgh on Monday, April 1st followed by a trip to Atlanta. The home schedule begins the following Monday, April 8th versus the Brewers. We'll get an immediate feel for the new interleague schedule with a 3-game series versus the Rangers during that same homestand (April 16-18). The customary city rivalry versus the White Sox has been reduced to 4 games and will be back-to-back 2-game series at each home park (May 27-May 30) starting at Comiskey. Then in a horrific bit of traveling, the Cubs head to Anaheim against the Angels for a 2-game set on June 3rd and 4th. They have an off day before and after, but it's sandwiched between two homestands and that "away" series at Comiskey.

They're next interleague match-up will be versus the Astros at Wrigley from June 21-June 23. That's sandwiched between 2 road trips of 7 and 10 games culminating at Oakland to start off July. Then they come home for a 9-game homestand versus the Pirates, Angels and Cardinals before the All-Star break. The 2nd half starts with a 10-game roadtrip to Colorado, Arizona and San Francisco. Their Southern California trip through San Diego and then Los Angeles will be from August 23-August 28th. By September, they could be playing the role of spoiler with a 11-game roadtrip versus Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. They end the season at St. Louis on Septemeber 29th.

As for 2012, Anthony Rizzo is out after a nasty collision with Brett Wallace yesterday and Brett Jackson misses his 5th straight game. That means folks will witness this: Mather CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Castillo C, Vitters 3B, Sappelt RF, Recker 1B, Wood P

MILB.com gets the gold star for getting their homework done first and has put out a Top 20 Cubs prospect list based off the end of the 2012 season. It's actually a fairly in-depth look at the system so I encourage folks to check it out. But as for the names, check after the jump...

I waded through about 5 minutes of clips from "The Benchwarmers" trying to find something funny for this post. 5 minutes I'll never recover...

Anyway, the Cubs are taking advantage of the roster expansion with a few call-ups. The lucky bastards so far include:

(Drumroll)

  • Dave Sappelt, OF
  • Crazy Legs Campana, OF
  • Adrian Cardenas, INF
  • Miguel Socolovich, RHP
  • Jaye Chapman, RHP
  • Rafael Dolis, RHP
  • Anthony Recker, C
  • Chris Rusin, LHP

Rusin is actually taking Brooks Raley spot in the rotation as Raley hit some innings limit on the season and has been shutdown.

In the minors, the Arizona League Cubs lost to the A's team in the one-and-done semifinal playoffs last Thursday (15-3). Boise is the only other affiliate in the playoffs and lost Game 1 to Yakima (Diamondbacks affiliate) last night 5-4 (despite an early 4-1 lead on a Rock Shoulders grand slam). 1st round supplemental pick from this year's draft, Pierce Johnson pitched 3 innings, giving up an unearned run in the losing effort. They play again tonight in a must-win game for Boise.

Cubs vs. Nats tonight; Rusin vs. E. Jackson; Cubs lineup - DeJesus, Valbuena, Rizzo, Soriano, Castro, Castillo, Jackson, Barney.

I've added the Draft pick standings to the left sidebar...might as well do some scoreboard watching.

By my rough count - and I suppose Christian would be a better authority on it - this is the 7th major incarnation of the site. If I recall, there was its inception, then its days on all-baseball.com, then the buyout by mvp.com which is about the time I joined, then the move to a whole new mvp.com website, then the move to our own site so we could use profanities, I'm then going to count the last year when the old site design failed and I've been running the default theme for far too long and now this.

(Fancy hand gestures, lights go out, puff of smoke...lights go back on)

Voila!!!!

I can't apologize enough for how long this took, I pretty much had it ready in April and did something terribly stupid and had to start from scratch. Life and work tend to get in the way too much for me to devote the time I once did, but luckily a kind reader helped me this time around and we were able to get it going after Thursday's crash. I still have some tweaks to make and I'll share those in a bit. I've checked the site on Firefox, Safari and Chrome and seems to be all working. I don't have Internet Explorer and you shouldn't either, but if you do, let me know if you have any problems and then I'll suggest to you to try a better browser.

Enough of the boring stuff...here's a quick rundown of the new stuff and other supremely important things.

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Sorry about the site hiccup yesterday, I have no idea what happened...but I took it as a sign that I needed to upgrade the site immediately. A kind reader volunteered to help me and we took advantage of the downtime by upgrading the site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7...the upgrade before the upgrade. Now I need to make the comment and theme modifications. Hopefully by Tuesday, the actual new site will be up and running, but I'm sure there will be some hiccups along the way.

So expect the site to be up and down periodically throughout the weekend. Feel free to leave comments when it is up. Thanks for your patience and enjoy the holiday weekend.

Carlos Penalver and Shawon Dunston smacked back-to-back two-out doubles and Ben Carhart followed with an RBI single to plate the first two runs in the top of the 5th, and Jeffrey Baez poked an opposite-field RBI single to drive-in the final run in the 8th, leading the AZL Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action at Papago Park Baseball Complex Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field" ) in Phoenix this evening. 


Ben Carhart muscled a walk-off RBI single to center with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to drive-in Garrett Schlecht from 3rd base with the winning run, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Giants 8-7 to clinch the AZL Wild Card berth tonight in Mesa, AZ.

Blackmon RF, Herrera SS, Pachecho 1B, Gonzalez LF, Hernandez C, Colvin CF, Nelson 3B, LeMahieu 2B, Pomeranz P

vs.

Mather RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, B. Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

The Rockies recent 5-game win streak and the Cubs continued excellence in losing has earned the Cubs a 3-game lead for the #2 spot in next year's draft for the time being (4 games over the Twins). The Cubs still "trail" the Astros by 9 games for the top spot and doubtful they can tank enough to get there.

As for the lineups, two ex-Cubs start for the Rockies. The thin air of Colvin has certainly helped his power and probably his confidence and he's enjoying a solid season with an .884 OPS through 319 PA's. His home/road splits are about as extreme as you'd expect out of a Rockie (.991 vs. .775). He had an amazing June with an OPS north of 1.000, gave back a little in July(.720), but is enjoying another fine month in August (.985).

LeMahieu (still just 23), hasn't quite reaped the benefits of the Mile High city, but has been taking advantage of the Rockies' injury bug with some playing time and a solid .789 OPS in the second half.

As for the Cubs, Joe Mather is leading off, an image of that lineup card should be the cover art for the Cubs year-end review.

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