September 2012

Well, the good news is 2012 is almost over for the Chicago Cubs.

Dan Vogelbach crushed a towering three-run home run over the right-centerfield fence in the top of the 6th to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead, and a two-run Diamondback rally in the bottom of the 9th fell just a bit short as Nathan Dorris struck out Justin Bianco looking on a 3-2 pitch with the potential tying and winning runs on base, earning the Cubs a 5-4 victory in Arizona Instructional League action at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale this morning.


In addition to Vogelbach’s Big Fly, Shawon Dunston Jr drilled a double and an RBI single, stole a base, and recorded an outfield assist, and RHP Pierce Johnson threw three innings of one-hit ball.


Ronnie Freeman lined a two-out opposite-field RBI single to right to score B. J. Lopez with the go-ahead run, as the Diamondbacks rallied for three runs in the 8th and edged the Cubs 6-5 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Jorge Soler laced a three-run bases-loaded bases-clearing double down the LF line with two outs in the bottom of the 4th to break-open a close game, and the Cubs went on to defeat the Athletics 7-4 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


Soler also walked twice and scored a run.


Jacob Rogers singled twice, walked, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Gioskar Amaya ripped an RBI single and walked twice, to aid the Cub offense

Mitch Haniger belted a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the 4th to break a scoreless tie, and four pitchers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Brewers blanked the Cubs 3-0 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Maryvale Baseball Park Field #7 (AKA “Paul Molitor Field”) in Phoenix.


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.

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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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A minor league player can become a free-agent four ways:

1. Outright Release
2. Per Article XX-B of the CBA
3. Per Article XX-D of the CBA
4. Per MLB Rule 55

For the purpose of determining minor league roster limits & restrictions, a minor league player accrues a year of "service time" for every season where the player spends at least 30 days on an MLB and/or minor league active list and/or disabled list, unless the player spent the entire season on the Disabled List.

1. An MLB club can automatically renew a minor league player's contract no more than six times, so a club can unilaterally control a minor league player (that is, a player not on an MLB 40-man roster) for no more than seven minor league seasons.

There are two Japanese major leagues, the Pacific League and the Central League. Together they are known as "Nippon Professional Baseball" (or "NPB").

Unless the player is released or signed by an MLB club after being posted, all NPB players remain under club control (the player is "reserved") for nine seasons. After the 9th season, the player becomes an unrestricted free-gent.

1. An NPB player who is not under the control of an NPB club can sign with any MLB club.

There is a maximum limit on the aggregate amount of money each MLB club can pay as signing bonuses to international first-year players before penalties begin to accrue.

The "International Signing Period" extends from July 2nd through June 15th of the following year.

A Rule 4 Draft pick forfeited because a club exceeded its Rule 4 Draft bonus limit will be reassigned to another club by lottery held on the same day as the Competitive Balance draft pick lottery. All MLB clubs that did not exceed its SBP limit are eligible to participate in this lottery.

Six "Competitive Balance" Rule 4 Draft slots between the 1st and 2nd rounds and six more between the 2nd and 3rd rounds are awarded each year by lottery. 

The Competitive Balance Lottery (CBL) is held during the week following the Rule 4 Draft signing deadline in July. Only MLB clubs that receive revenue sharing and clubs from the ten smallest markets are eligible to participate in the lottery for the CBL draft slots.

A Rule 4 Draft compensation pick is available only if a club is unable to sign a player selected in one of the first three rounds (including supplemental compensation draft picks between rounds 1-2, 2-3, and 3-4).

A club must offer a drafted player at least 40% of the slot value in order to be eligible to receive a compensation draft pick if the player does not sign.

There is a maximum limit on the aggregate amount of money that each club can pay as signing bonuses to players selected in a First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) before penalties begin to accrue.

Players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) are placed on a club's Negotiation List.

An individual is eligible for selection in the First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) if the person has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract, and is either a resident of a U. S. state or territory or Canada, or is not a resident but was enrolled in a high school or college in a U. S. state or territory or Canada within the previous year, and...  

1. Has graduated from high school; or

2. High school athletic eligibility has expired; or

3. Dropped out of high school at least 365 days prior to the draft; or

The First-Year Player Draft (or "MLB Rule 4 Draft") is held annually over a three-day period in June.

There are 40 rounds (there were 50 rounds prior to 2012), and draft order is based upon the inverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. If the winning percentages of two or more clubs are the same, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season picks first. If two or more clubs are still tied, league standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.

The variety of ways that organizations can bring in talent domestically or internationally.

A club's Active List (25-man roster) must be submitted to the MLB Commissioner prior to the start of each post-season series (LDS, LCS, and World Series). 

1. All players on a club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to midnight (Eastern) on August 31st are eligible to be included on a post-season Active List (25-man roster).

The MLB Ineligible List is the "capital punishment" of baseball, reserved for individuals who have been indefinitely or permanently banned from baseball, usually related to throwing games, betting on baseball, or consorting with gamblers, but it also could involve something like embezzlement of funds, or a significant drug-related offense, or a hate crime, or some heinous activity.

Individuals are placed on the Ineligible List by the MLB Commissioner, and once placed on the Ineligible List a player must remain on the list for at least one year.

A player can be placed on the Disqualified List if he violates the terms of his contract (usually involving a refusal to render service and/or an unexcused absence).

A player can be placed on the Disqualified List only with the approval of the MLB Commissioner.

A player on the Disqualified List does not count against the club's Active List or Reserve List, and he does not accrue service time or get paid while on the list.

An MLB player on the Suspended List counts against both his club's Active List (25-man roster) and Reserve List (40-man roster), while a minor league player on the Suspended List counts against his club's Reserve List but does not count against his club's Active List. (A player on an MLB 40-man roster who is placed on the Suspended List while on Optional Assignment to the minors does not count against his club's MLB 25-man roster or the minor league club's Active List).

A player on the Suspended List continues to accrue service time.

Pages

Chicago Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
Pos. CUBS IOWA TENNESSEE DAYTONA PEORIA
C Welingto Castillo/Steve Clevenger/Anthony Recker Juan Apodaca/Brian Esposito Michael Brenly/Chad Noble Micah Gibbs/Rafael Lopez/Taylor Davis
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