October 2012

Cubs Hire New Minor League Pitching Coordinator

The Cubs hired Derek Johnson as their minor league pitching coordinator. Apparently this is a bit of a coup, but it might as well have been Bugs Bunny for all I know about amateur pitching coaches. But I'm supposed to pretend that I'm some sort of authority on these subjects, so here's what I uncovered on the man, the myth, the legend.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Wells

By outrighting eight players and losing two more off waivers over the past couple of days, the Cubs are beginning to clear some space on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).

The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 33 players, but three more players (RHP Matt Garza, 3B Ian Stewart, and RHP Arodys Vizcaino) are still on the 60-day Disabled List and they will need to be reinstated no later than the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series. So the Cubs essentially have a 36-man MLB Reserve List right now.

Royals Continue to Confound

The Cubs were obviously going to non-tender Chris Volstad, so they wisely outrighted him to give them some 40-man flexibility. He still may have resigned with the team, but at a much lower price, but it's pretty clear the Cubs were rather bearish on Volstad after the disastrous 2012 season. The Royals, for whatever reason, decided to clog up their 40-man by picking Volstad off waivers. While it does give them first rights to negotiate with him until the non-tender deadline, I can't possibly imagine why the rush.

Waiver Wire Rumba

Catcher Anthony Recker (Designated for Assignment yesterday to make room on the 40-man roster for RHP Carlos Gutierrez after Gutierrez was claimed off waivers from Minnesota) was claimed off waivers today by the New York Mets, and the Cubs have sent RHP Jason Berken (claimed off waivers from Baltimore in September), 2B Adrian Cardenas (claimed off waivers from Oakland last February), RHP Marcos Mateo (who was on the 60-day DL after undergoing TJS in June), and RHP Miguel Socolovich (claimed off waivers from Baltimore in August) outright to Iowa after the quartet cleared waivers. 

Cubs Continue Use of 40-Man Roster as Lotto Scratch-Off Ticket

Today the Cubs claimed former Twins first round pick (27th pick in 2008 draft) Carlos Gutierrez off waivers after he was outrighted.The 6-3" righty will be 26 next year and was in the midst of his third year at Triple A Rochester. Then his shoulder gave out, which led to arthriscopic surgery for a cleanup by Dr. Yocum in June. Claims are he will be ready for spring training and I'm sure our own Dr.

Cubs Fill Out Coaching Staff

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.

Almora, Soler, and Baez Shine under Arizona Sun

Albert Almora and Jorge Soler smacked back-to-back RBI doubles in the 3rd, Bijan Rademacher and Lance Rymel collected two hits and two RBI a piece, and Marco Hernandez belted a solo home run, leading the Cubs to an 8-7 victory over the Rockies in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale.

Then this afternoon, Cubs #1 prospect Javier Baez blasted a three-run home run (on a 3-0 pitch) over the LF wall and to the base of the fence adjacent to the scoreboard in the bottom of the 5th, propelling the Mesa Solar Sox to an 8-3 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs in Arizona Fall League (AFL) action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

Bums Score with Extra-Base Hits at Fitch Park

Jeremy Rathjen blasted a solo home run, Chris O’Brien belted an RBI triple, Scott Wingo laced an RBI double, and 2012 1st round draft pick (18th overall) Corey Seager doubled, scored a run, drove-in another, and stole a base, leading the Dodgers to a 6-2 victory over the Cubs in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Javier Baez Tries 3rd base at HoHoKam Park

The Mesa Solar Sox played their AFL home opener this afternoon at HoHoKam Park, but the Salt River Rafters drubbed the home team 11-3 thanks in no small part to four home runs.

Four Cubs saw action for the Solar Sox in today’s game:

Cubs Pitchers No Match for A's Fast Break Offense

Oakland A's 2012 1st round draft pick (#11 overall) Addison Russell walked, tripled, and belted a two-run home run, Vicmal de la Cruz clobbered a solo home run and an RBI double, Reynaldo Mateo blasted a two-run HR, and Matt Olson singled twice and drove-in two runs, as the Athletics out-slugged the Cubs 13-8 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Meanwhile, Jesse Hodges hammered a two-run home run and a double, Jorge Soler drilled a two-run triple, Marco Hernandez roped an opposite-field two run double, and Tim Saunders doubled, walked, stole a base, and drove-in a run, to help propel the Cub offense.

Candy Triple Not So Sweet for Angels

Jeimer Candelario belted a two-out game-tying bases-loaded three-run triple off the RF fence and Rafael Lopez followed with an RBI double into the RF corner to drive-in the go-ahead run, as the Cubs rallied for four runs in the bottom of the 6th en route to a 5-4 victory over the Angels in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Cubs Can't Solve Socratic Problem (Speed)

Socrates Brito rifled a line-drive into the RF corner and then raced around the bases for a two-run inside-the-park home run, and Ben Eckels threw three innings of one-hit ball and combined with four relievers to toss a shutout, as the Diamondbacks blanked the Cubs 2-0 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Cubs Triple Their Pleasure & Defeat A's at Fitch Park

Bijan Rademacher roped a two-run triple, walked twice, and scored three runs, and NWL batting champion Stephen Bruno drove-in three runs with a two-run triple and an RBI FC, propelling the Cubs to a 10-7 victory over Athletics in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Soler & Vogelbach Supply Cub Power at Papago Park

Jorge Soler and Dan Vogelbach blasted home runs, Chadd Krist singled, doubled, walked, and scored a run, Gioskar Amaya singled, walked, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Nathan Dorris collected his second save in successive games by throwing three innings of one-hit shutout ball, leading the Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the Athletics in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Papago Park Baseball Complex Field #2 (AKA “Connie Mack Field”) in Phoenix.

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