September 2013

Gustavo Cabrera singled twice, doubled, and drove-in two runs, Jarrett Parker, Angel Villalona, and Tyler Horan contributed RBI singles to a four-run 3rd, and Giants hitters collectively belted out 17 hits, en route to a 9-7 victory over the Cubs in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Indian School Park Field #1 in Scottsdale.


In a move that everyone should have expected, Dale Sveum was removed of his duties as the Cubs lineup filler-outer. Some new lucky schlub will now get that honor with a very nice paycheck, posssibly $3M or more if their name is Joe Girardi.

In the official statement, TheJedi were their normal political correct selves, wishing Dale good luck in his future endeavors and taking the blame for the record the last 2 years...while not really taking the blame though. Because if they were really upset about it, they'd Samurai Futaba themselves like any honorable G.M.

It's all just P.R. rhetoric, but if there's a statement of hope to hang our hats on, it would probably be this paragraph.

Soon, our organization will transition from a phase in which we have been primarily acquiring young talent to a phase in which we will promote many of our best prospects and actually field a very young, very talented club at the major league level. The losing has been hard on all of us, but we now have one of the top farm systems in baseball, some of the very best prospects in the game, and a clear path forward. In order for us to win with this group - and win consistently - we must have the best possible environment for young players to learn, develop and thrive at the major league level. We must have clear and cohesive communication with our players about the most important parts of the game. And - even while the organization takes a patient, long view - we must somehow establish and maintain a galvanized, winning culture around the major league club.

So far Girardi and Brad Ausmus have been the only names mentioned, certainly more will follow. TheJedi says they'll start the formal process tomorrow morning asking for permissions and so forth. Girardi is technically under contract until November 1st with the Yankees, so they'll certainly get first crack to retain him. The press release says they plan to have a manager in place by the GM meetings in early November, if not sooner, and will be stressing the development of young talent in any hire.

Today was last day of the 2013 MLB regular season, so starting tomorrow and continuing for several weeks, there are a number of roster issues that will need to be addressed:  

Tyler Roberts blasted a solo HR over the LF fence and onto 8th Street to ignite a two-run 9th inning, as the Brewers scored two in the 8th and two in the 9th to overcome a 3-0 deficit and edge the Cubs 4-3 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa. 

- 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...

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