- Dale Sveum's ass must be pretty chapped from the hot seat he's been sitting in over the last week. Although he hasn't been fired yet, rumors earlier in the week had the Cubs targeting Joe Girardi and now another catcher is in the fold. Peter Gammons is saying that Brad Ausmus would be a person of interest if the Cubs do indeed decide to go another direction. Ausmus hasn't been given a major league managing job yet, but he did manage Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualification round and was a candidate for the Boston Red Sox job last offseason before the Red Sox traded for John Farrell. Also, if he would lead the Cubs to the promised land, he could help turn this leaflet into possibly a pamphlet.

- Baseball America has been putting out their top 20 prospects for each minor league. The Cubs didn't land anyone on the top Arizona League prospect list, but 6 made the Northwest League including Kris Bryant at #1. The other 5 are Paul Blackburn(#7), Yasiel Balaguert (#9), Dillon Maples (#10), Shawon Dunston Jr. (#12) and Kevin Encarnacion (#17). You can see how the Cubs have fared in the past over at Wiklifield.

The Cubs have been playing out the string since about May...maybe June, but they can 'eff with the Pirates and Cardinals playoff jockeying this week. More importantly though, they're trying to at the very least maintain the 4th pick in the draft. The Astros clinched the #1 spot for the third year running yesterday and Miami and the White Sox should wrap up the #2 spot here by mid-week with a 4.5 game lead over the White Sox, who are 3.5 ahead of the Cubs. The Cubs could very well drop to the 5th spot in the draft as they own just a half game lead over the Twins, although the Cubs do own the tiebreaker against both the Twins and White Sox. Mathematically they could drop farther than the 5th spot, but that seems unlikely at this point (full draft pick standings in the left sidebar).

Remaining schedules for the candidates after the break...

10/2 UPDATE: LHP Rob Zastryzny (Cubs 2013 2nd round draft pick) has been added to the Cubs AZ Instructional League roster.

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9/19 UPDATE: Carrie Muskat posted the updated 2013 Cubs AZ Instructional League roster yesterday at MLBBlogs Network, and that roster shows that RHP C. J. Edwards and OF Kevin Encarnacion have been deleted from last week's AZIL preliminary roster, and 16-year old OF Eloy Jimenez (the top-rated international prospect from 2013) has been added. 


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Here is the preliminary 2013 Cubs Arizona Instructional League (AZIL) roster (subject to change):

Well, that was an impressive homer.
Easy to mistake it for something else...

The most exciting thing around the Cubsverse right now is the minor leagues competing in the playoffs. Meaningless as a victory may be to the big league club down the line, it's fun to follow and have a rooting interest in something, other than the Cubs losing for a better draft pick slot.

Theo was on the WSCR radio this morning for an interview during the program "Hit & Run" hosted by Barry Rosner and Connor McKnight. I was able to make a full transcript which you can read right after the jump...

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.

It seemed a lot of you liked it when WISCGRAD did a brief rundown of the 2013 draft and how the draftees are doing so far, so WISCGRAD just went ahead and did the 2012 draft as well. What a guy...

...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.

There's a lot of talk lately on what the Cubs future will look like and many of us are curious on just how young the Cubs will look in 2014. TheJedi have already hinted that a lot of youngsters will break camp with the team in 2014, but they say a lot of things and doesn't necessarily mean it's true. That being said, let's take a quick look at some possible options for the 25-man roster next year. Per usual, trades are nearly impossible to predict, so I don't really bother.

This is the time of the year when MLB clubs begin to rearrange the deck-chairs, as contenders look to solidify their post-season rosters with a last minute waiver deal or two prior to the August 31st post-season roster eligibility deadline, and clubs that are out of contention bring up players from the minors to get a look at guys who might (or might not) have a future with the club.   

Cubs possible September call-ups and roster additions: 

The Cubs have traded outfielder David DeJesus to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later....hopefully one that can do as well as what the Cubs got for Scott Hairston. Since joining the Daytona Cubs, Ivan Pineyro has a 3.18 ERA in 6 starts over 34 IP, giving up just 1 HR, 4 BB's and striking out 27.

A bit of a surprise move, moreso that the Nationals are still trying this year. The Cubs are off the hook for the rest of what DeJesus was owed this season (about $1M) as well as the $1.5M buyout on his 2014 contract...so a guaranteed savings of at least $2.5M. Had they picked up the option, it was worth $6.5M

This should make for an interesting offseason and spring. Nate Schierholtz could be the only veteran still around, that is if he's not moved as well. Or they may go with three fresh faces. I don't by any means think Junior Lake is guaranteed anything, although I certainly think he'll be in competition for a spot. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Kris Bryant makes a run at a spot, although more likely a mid-season call-up.

As for what it means this year, well I think Brian Bogusevic should be close to returning, otherwise it means the quest for a better draft pick spot continues.

- The Dodgers have won 40 of their last 48. This has nothing to do with the Cubs right now except it gives me an opportunity to post this gif of our old friend LaTroy Hawkins after serving up the game tying home run.

- Back to the Cubs, they've lost 13 of their last 17 and have moved into a tie for the 4th draft pick with the Brewers, in which they own the tiebreaker.

Pick Team .PCT GB
1 Houston .328 --
2 Miami .387 7.0
3 White Sox .387 7.0
4 Cubs .433 12.5
5 Milwaukee .433 12.5
6 San Francisco .437 13.0
7 Philadelphia .442 13.5
8 Angels .445 14.0
9 Minnesota .449 14.5
10 San Diego .450 14.5

You can always find that table on the left sidebar by the way. While I'm mostly wrong in my predictions, I didn't do too badly this year. I surmised that the Cubs could probably make a run at .500, but once they start trading off pieces, they'll be near the bottom again. Now they never quite got to .500, but their run differential was pretty close for awhile and then once the trading began, the freefall was inevitable. Of course at this point, they're a lot closer to the 13th spot (3.5 ahead), then the 2nd spot (5.5 behind), but I think we're all confident in their ability to tank the rest of the season. I think the 4th or 5th spot is the most likely, although I wouldn't put it past the Marlins to make a decent run...they have some decent youth that's been playing much better of late.

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