Hunter Ackerman, LHP Arismendy Alcantara, INF Gioskar Amaya, INF Jose Arias, RHP Frank Batista, RHP Xavier Batista, OF Dallas Beeler, RHP Justin Bour, 1B Sergio Burruel, C David Cales, RHP Esmailin Caridad, RHP Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Javier Castro, RHP Zach Cates, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP Pin-Chieh Chen, OF Casey Coleman, RHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Willson Contreras, C Wes Darvill, INF Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Luis Flores, C Anthony Giansanti, OF Enyel Gonzalez, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Jae-Hoon Ha, OF Eric Jokisch, LHP Dong-Yub Kim, OF Austin Kirk, LHP Luis Liria, RHP Matt Loosen, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP Eric Martinez, RHP A. J. Morris, RHP Chad Noble, C Loiger Padron, RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP (see NOTE) Amaury Paulino, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, RHP Greg Rohan, IF-OF Jose Rosario, RHP Zac Rosscup, LHP Victor Salazar, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Elliot Soto, INF Nick Struck, RHP Luis Villalba, LHP Yao-Lin Wang, RHP Oliver Zapata, OF NOTE: Player not eligible for selection if added to MLB 40-man roster by 11/20. Also, Juan Carlos Paniagua signed his first contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as "Juan Callado" on 5-8-2009 and pitched for the DSL Diamondbacks in the Dominican Summer League in 2009-10, but the contract was "pending" for almost two years and was never officially approved by MLB. The contract was eventually rejected by MLB due to "fraudulent paperwork" and Paniagua (Callado) was suspended for one year and then was declared a free-agent. He signed with the New York Yankees in March 2011 but then was suspended again and that contract was rejected, too, because his birth certificate could not be verified. Paniagua was cleared by MLB in 2012 and he signed with the Cubs on 7-9-2012. Therefore, Paniagua could be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in December 2013, since 2009 was his "first season" on the field and he was 18 on the June 5th immediately preceding the signing of his first contract, or he might not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time until December 2015, if 2012 is considered Paniagua's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.
Bruce Levine on ESPN1000 is reporting that the Cubs have come to terms with recently released Blue Jay Reed Johnson. Johnson was a 17th round pick of the Blue Jays in 1999, back when Tim Wilkin was running things over there and I'm sure the connection helped his cause with the Cubs. He's mostly played the corner outfield spots in his career, but has played 64 games in center in the majors. He had a great 2006, hitting 319/390/479, but has a career line of 281/342/410 with little ability to steal a base. He's also coming off a back injury that derailed his 2007 season. His scouting report on TSN.ca says:
Hustle is his strongest suit. He makes consistent contact and hits well
with runners in scoring position--especially against lefties.
Hustle? Mix that with a little grit and you've got yourself a ballpayer.
BP projected him at 262/324/387 this year which certainly isn't encouraging. On the other hand, he's hit 308/371/462 versus lefties over his career, and that'll likely be his primary role with the Cubs. It's a low-risk, high reward deal for the Cubs to fill out the need for a right-handed hitting center field option. If he stinks up the joint, he'll be easy to cut, and if he hits and plays "good enough" center field defense, it'll be a wise, low-cost move that didn't cost us any trade chips.
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I was listening to the "live" audio on mlb.com when the Cubs drafted Dustin Geiger back in 2010, and they announced him as an "outfielder" when they drafted him. So although he had played 3rd base in HS, the Cubs Area Scout projected Geiger as a corner outfielder. But to get him to sign (he had signed an NLI with Central Florida), the Cubs had to give him an overslot bonus and agree to let him play 3B (at least for a while).
So look for Geiger to be moved to a corner OF slot (probably LF, what with Soler holding down RF) sometime soon.
"Some of the best advice I've gotten is, I was sitting with Ian Stewart, talking about hitting and I was feeling for my swing as you do early in the season," Jackson recalled. "He asked if I was comfortable at the plate and I said I'm not very comfortable right now. He's like, 'You need to be yourself at the plate and be comfortable and be the type of hitter [you] want to be.'"
Interesting tweet in the tweet box: z'Remember when Rizzo was striking out a lot? No K's in last 31 AB's..tied for 2nd longest active streak in majors"
Don't know if that includes last night, but it sure goes a long way to explaining his improved hitting. It's a curious thing, though, the difference between the way his season started and now. How does that happen?