October 2012

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.

First off, Darwin Barney is a "finalist" for a Gold Glove at second base...as if they dont' already know the winner. But they've decided to drum up interest by naming the top 3 or 4 at each position and then announcing the winner in a televised event on ESPN2 tomorrow. Holy overkill Batman!

As for the rumor, it's that the Angels are trying to ditch Dan Haren and Ervin Santana before picking up their options this week. Haren is owed $15.5M and Santana $13M. The Cubs aren't going to be giving too much in prospects for either, but they certainly could take on the salary. It's not much of a committment in my opinion and I'd certainly take flyers on either guy in hopes they could rebound in a walk year and a switch to the National League (or in Haren's case a switch back to the NL). And they'd certainly be worth something in a deadline trade if 2013 isn't working out.  Either one makes all kinds of sense for the Cubs in my opinion, as long as the Angels asking price is reasonable considering the salaries in question. For those not paying too close attention, Haren will be in his age 32 season after a 12-13, 4.33 ERA over 176.2 IP last year and Santana will be 30 after a 9-13, 5.16 ERA in 178 IP.  Haren sports a 116 ERA+ though for his career, while Santana rests at a meager 97 ERA+ with quite a few peaks and valleys to get that number.

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.

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. In about a month, he would have been very likely available and if not, there's gonna be a dozen or so other prospects that never fulfilled their potential floating around the free market. But you don't have 9 straight below .500 seasons (and 18 of 19) by doing things the smart way.

In other Cubs minutiae, Jason Berken, Adrian Cardens, Miguel Socolovich and Marcos Mateo all cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple A. And Phil Rogers tweets some stuff about Manny Corpas becoming a free agent and Justin Germano, Blake Parker and Joe Mather being removed from the roster and being sent to Triple A as well. Rogers claims the Cubs have cleared 9 spaces (the 10 above names minus 1 for adding Carlos Gutierrez) from the 40-man roster. A Bruce Miles tweet quoting the Cubs says the 40-man stands at 33 at the moment.

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. 


Findings on Carlos Gutierrez's shoulder arthroscopic surgery by Dr Yokum. Looks like a loose body to me. Missing a "key" component?

No wonder he got moved.

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. Hecht can elaborate on the surgery details.

Aaron Gleeman had him as the Twins #25 prospect heading into the season.

From the moment they took him 27th overall in the 2008 draft the Twins have talked up Carlos Gutierrez as a future late-inning reliever, touting his "power sinker" and closing experience at the University of Miami. Unfortunately there hasn't been much about his actual performance to match those high hopes, as his impressive ground-ball rate comes attached to terrible control...

He did boost a nifty 60% groundball rate though.

As for the 40-mam carousel, it was catcher Anthony Recker's turn to get off and he was DFA'd to make room for Gutierrez.

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.

In addition to the seven players (RHPs Dae-Eun Rhee, Kevin Rhoderick, Nick Struck, and Tony Zych, INF Javier Baez, IF-OF Rubi Silva, and OF Matt Silva) who are assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, there are 17 other Cubs or Cubs minor leaguers on the rosters of teams in the Latin winter Leagues:


The Mesa Solar Sox were drubbed by the Peoria Javelinas 9-2 yesterday in AFL action at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.


Only two Cubs played in the game, as Matt Szczur got the start in CF and batted lead-off, and Javier Baez hit 5th and played SS.


Here are the final statistics from the Cubs 2012 AZ Instructional League (AZIL) season.

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.


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.


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:


Five Cubs saw game action in tonight's AFL Opening Night at Salt River Fields between the Mesa Solar Sox and the Salt River Rafters:  


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.


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.


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.


Today is the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, so (among other things) these things happen:   

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.


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.


X
  • Sign in with Twitter