Uelmen Back on the Bump at Riverview

Erich Uelmen made his first game appearance of 2019, firing three innings of one-hit shutout ball in an Extended Spring Training intrasquad game Thursday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

Throwing with a low three-quarters delivery that had some of the RH hitters bailing out, Uelmen combined a 91-92 (T-93) two-seam FB with a hard-breaking slider. Once he's stretched out, Uelmen should fit nicely in the Myrtle Beach starting rotation.   

Uelmen was shut-down at Minor League Camp about six weeks ago and has been in the Rehab Throwing Program for the past three weeks. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game: 

CUBS "B" TEAM LINEUP
1. Richard Nunez, C: 1-2 (F-7, 2B)
2. Raymond Pena, DH: 0-1 (K, BB)
3. Caleb Knight, 1B: 0-2 (6-3, 5-3 DP)
4. Widimer Joaquin, SS: 0-1 (L-8, BB)
5. Fabian Pertuz, 3B: 1-2 (1B, K)
6. Kevin Moreno, LF: 0-1 (L-4, BB)
7. Jose Gutierrez, CF: 0-1 (L-7, BB)
8. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 0-2 (K, K)
9. Brandon Vicens, RF: 0-1 (F-7)

CUBS "A" TEAM LINEUP:
1. Orian Nunez, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, SB, CS)
2. Danny Zardon, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, K)
3. Luis Diaz, DH: 0-1 (K) 
4. Luis Vazquez, SS: 0-0 (BB)
5. Jake Slaughter, 3B: 0-0 (BB, R)
6. Albert Hinirio, LF: 0-1 (K) 
7. Ezequiel Pagan, CF: 0-0 (F-9 SF, RBI)
8. Dalton Hurd, RF: 0-1 (6-3)
9. Herson Perez, 2B: 0-1 (K) 

CUBS "B" TEAM PITCHERS
1. Jose Albertos: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 3 WP, 1/2 GO/AO, 37 pitches (18 strikes) 
2. Jake Stinnett: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 13 pitches (9 strikes) 
3. Luis Rodriguez: 1.1 IP, 1 H. 0 R, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 39 pitches (18 strikes)

CUBS "A" TEAM PITCHER
Erich Uelmen: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/5 GO/AO, 26 pitches (17 strikes) 

CUBS "B" TEAM ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS "A" TEAM ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS "B" TEAM CATCHERS DEFENSE
Richard Nunez: 1-2 CS, 1 PB 

CUBS "A" TEAM OUTFIELD ASSIST
RF Dalton Hurd - batter (Fabian Pertuz) thrown out 9-6 attempting to stretch single into double

ATTENDANCE: 4 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 

Comments

tommy lastella has 8 homers for LAA as of tonight with a bit under a week left in april.

he had 9 total for the cubs over 4 seasons.

He might make for a good case study in the juiced ball theory.

AZ Phil.

Is "Caratini to the 60" or "player gets DFAd" more likely when Russell and De La Cruz return to the active 40?

Webster looks "in the crosshairs", either way with Montgomery and Barnette about ready for return. As he'd get likely claimed on waivers, would he fetch something/anything in trade instead?

#NotAZPhil...   Morrow still isn't on the 60, so there is one slot. Also maybe Alzolay to 60 if they want to give him an extra few weeks in ExtST... about a week ago Phil said: 

"Adbert Alzolay threw 1.2 IP  and 34 pitches in his first EXST game outing on Wednesday, so depending on whether the Cubs want to rush him up to Iowa before he's stretched-out (as they did with Alec Mills) or have him get gradually stretched-out at EXST will be the determining factor. And of course that presumes there will be no medical setbacks along the way. So if he remains at EXST until he's stretched-out to throw five innings and 75-80 pitches, it probably will be no earlier than the first week of May (or maybe even the second week) before he's moved-up to Iowa. " 

FIRST.PITCH.120: The reason the Cubs would probably be reluctant to place Adbert Alzolay on the MLB 60-day IL is that he is on Optional Assignmernt to the minors and is on the Iowa 7-day IL, so he is making the minor league split salary (about $90,000) and he is not accruing MLB Service Time.

In order to place Alzolay on the MLB 60-day IL, the Cubs would first have to recall him from his Optional Assignment and then place him on the 60 (and time spent on the Iowa IL would not count toward the 60 days he would need to spend on the Cubs 60-day IL before he could be reinstated), and so Alzolay would makes $555K (pro-rated) for 60 days (presuming there are no medical setbacks during the 60 days he is on the MLB 60-day IL that would preclude him from being reinstated and optioned to the minors) and he would also accrue MLB Service Time while on the MLB 60-day IL.

Recalling a player from an Optional Assignment and then placing him on the MLB 60-day IL is the kind of move a club might make in August or September to open up a slot on the 40, but probably not in late April - early May. 

You never cease to amaze me!

TIM: I'm thinking Morrow and Caratini to the 60 when Russell and de la Cruz are reinstated from the Restricted List are the best bets, unless a DFA or two just happens to coincide with the return of Russell and ODLC to the 40 (like Barnette and/or Cedeno getting dropped because there is simply no room for them in the Cubs MLB pen), unless Chatwood or Montgomery get traded sometime in the next week.   

The Cubs also could try and outright Tim Collins to Iowa (he could probably get through waivers without being claimed), unless there is a "gentlemen's agreement" in place where Collins accepted a minor league assignment (which he did not have to do) in return for a guarantee that he would remain on the 40. 

I suspect Allen Webster is probably safe for a while, but he could very well be the DFA victim if and when Morrow returns in June (?) because Webster is the most-similar Cubs reliever to Morrow (in terms of repertoire). That said, because Webster has not been able to replicate his early Spring Training electric high-velo numbers (95-97 T-98 FB with an 89-91 SL) lately, it's possible he could get through waivers without being claimed. And remember that if waivers can be secured and Webster is outrighted, he does - NOT - have Article XX-D rights (the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted), because while he has been released and non-tendered previously in his career, he has never been outrighted.  

TIM: Something else to keep in mind about Russell and de la Cruz coming off the Restricted List next weekend: 

A player who is reinstated from a club's Restricted List does not count against the club's MLB 40-man roster for up to 30 days or until he is placed on an MLB or minor league active list (whichever comes first). 

So for example, if Russell or de la Cruz were to get hurt sometime in the next week while on a conditioning assignment, they would be reinstated from the Restricted List when the suspension ends (and they would get paid), but they would not necessarily immediately count against the Cubs MLB 40-man roster.

Same thing if the Cubs believe one or the other is not in condition to provide service ("playing shape").  

It's still TBD. 

An interesting thing about Addison Russell's DV suspension as it relates to reinstatement from the Restricted List and 2019 roster bonuses is that Russell must miss the first 29 games of the Cubs regular season before his suspension ends and he can be reinstated from the Restricted List. 

The Cubs 29th game was originally scheduled to be next Wednesday's game at Seattle, meaning Russell could have been reinstated from the Restricted List next Thursday (which is an off day) and make his MLB regular season roster debut on Friday May 3rd at Wrigley Field vs STL.

However, because the game at Wrigley Field vs LAA on Sunday April 14th was postponed and won't be made up until June, the Cubs 29th game is now next Friday's game at Wrigley Field (- NOT - next Wednesday's game at Seattle), and so Russell will not be eligible to be reinstated from the Restricted List until next Saturday (5/4). 

Why that matters is that Russell has roster bonuses in his contract related to time spent on the Cubs MLB active roster ($100K each if 30, 60, 90, and 120 days and $200K if 150 days), and so the last and final bonus ($200K) requires Russell to spend at least 150 days on the Cubs active roster in 2019. However, if Russell is reinstated next Saturday (the first day he can be reinstated beause of the postponement on 4/14), there will be only 149 days left in the MLB regular season - UNLESS - there is a game #163 tie-breaker or rain out-out make-up game played by MLB clubs on the Monday after the scheduled conclusion of the 2019 MLB regular season (the game doesn't necessarily have to involve the Cubs, there just has to be an MLB regular season game played that day).

So without an extra game being played on the Monday after the conclusion of the 2019 MLB regular season (and that of course will remain a "TBD" until the end of the season), there is no way Russell can earn that final $200K roster bonus, even if he is reinstated as soon as he can be reinstated (which now is next Saturday instead of next Thursday or Friday).

With Scott Boras being Russell's agent, I smell a grievance coming, related to the Cubs postponing the game on 4/14 and not rescheduling it prior to May 3rd (the Cubs and Angels have a common off day on Monday 4/29, even though that would have required the Cubs flying back to Chicago for one day while on a road trip to Phoenix and Seattle). 

To counter that possibility, the Cubs might option Russell to Iowa for a few days after he is reinstated from the Restricted List because ("ahem") there isn't room for him on the Cubs MLB 25-man roster just yet and/or the Cubs don't believe Russell is fully conditioned to play in MLB as of next weekend. (Russell participated fully in MLB Spring Training and then was at Extended Spring Training until last Wednesday, when he began a Restricted List "conditioning assignment" at AAA Iowa).  

As far as Oscar de la Cruz is concerned, he is serving an 80-game suspension for violation of the JDPTP that commenced last July 6th while he was on Optional Assignment to AA Tennessee, and he ended up missing the final 54 games of the Tennessee Smokies 2018 regular season, meaning if he was optioned to the minors prior to 2019 MLB Opening Day (which he was), he had to miss the first 26 games of the Tennessee regular season in 2019. The Smokies have played 21 games so far, so ODLC will be eligible to be reinstated from the Restricted List next Saturday (5/4) - UNLESS - there is a postponement involving the Tennessee Smokies sometime in the next week and the game is not made-up prior to 5/4. (ODLC participated fully in MLB Spring Training before being optioned to AA Tennessee on March 9th, and then he was at Minor League Camp followed by Extended Spring Training before beginning a Restricted List "conditioning assignment" at Myrtle Beach on 4/18).  

MLB ended up counting the postponed game from 4/14 as part of Addison Russell's 40-game suspension (including the first 29 games of 2019), so he was reinstated from the Restricted List today and optioned to AAA Iowa.

Russell must remain on Optional Assignment for at least ten days (unless he is recalled to replace a player on the Cubs MLB 25-man roster who is placed on an MLB inactive list - IL, Paternity, Bereavement, etc), so if he stays at Iowa for the full ten days he would be eligible to be reinstated on Sunday 5/12 (which is the last day of the ten-day homestand that starts tomorrow, but with a seven day road trip starting on Monday 5/13), so maybe the Cubs will recall him for the road trip.  

If you're wondering if any MLB clubs are in need of a SS where Russell would be an upgrade, that list would probably be limited to TB and BAL (at this time).

Current Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde was a Cubs coach during Russell's years in Chicago, and Orioles coach Tim Cossins was Cubs Minor League Field Coordinator and Orioles coach Jose Flores was Cubs Minor League Infield Coordinator while Russell was in the Cubs minor league system, so there could be potential interest on the part of the Orioles (Russell is under club control through 2021). 

Baltimore INF Jonathan Villar and RHRP Mychal Givens would be the closest contract & MLB Service Time matches to Russell, but the Cubs would probably have to include a prospect or two in the deal if it's for Givens. And nobody knows the Cubs farm system better than Tim Cossins. 

Tennessee has now played 26 games in 2019 (they made up a suspended game from last month tonight), so Oscar de la Cruz is eligible to be reinstated from the Restricted List tomorrow (Friday).

The Cubs will need to make a corresponding 40-man roster move when ODLC is reinstated, probably by transferring Victor Caratini to the 60-day IL, or they could DFA Tim Collins or one of the rehabbing relievers (Xavier Cedeno or Tony Barnette). 

Also, Mike Montgomery might be ready to be reinstated from the 10-day IL tomorrow. He last pitched this past Sunday for Iowa (4.0 IP - 68 pitches), and would provide a second lefty in the pen as well as someone who is stretched out to pitch multiple innings. Probably Dillon Maples back to AAA Iowa when Montgomery is reinstated from the IL. 

Oscar de la Cruz was reinstated from the Restricted List on Friday (he has finished serving his 80-game JDPTP suspension), and he has been assigned to Tennessee.

RHP Tony Barnette (right shoulder inflammation) was transferred from the Cubs MLB 10-day IL to the 60-day IL to make room on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster for ODLC, and Barnette's Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment at Iowa has been canceled. 

Meanwhile, Mike Montgomery made another rehab start for AAA Iowa, throwing six innings (79 pitches) of one-hit ball, and retiring 18 of the last 19 batters he faced. 

Recent comments

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  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    j.girardi did a 2nd interview with PHI on Monday and he's supposedly the favorite for the job.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    The draft over the ASB and the trade deadline pushed back until August 15th or so would make sense. Otherwise, I don't know how scouting departments are going to handle the draft lead up and the trade deadline running almost simultaneously.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    One other thing about MLB player development that is very different from NFL, NBA, and NHL player development is that most MLB clubs have upwards of 300 minor league players under contract (not including players on their MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs presently have 301 minor leaguers under contract on nine minor league affiliates).

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    JUST SAYIN: MLB is the only one of the four major North American professional sports that holds its draft and signs its draft picks during the season.

     

  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    umpire eric cooper has died...complications from knee surgery (blood clot)...52 years old

     

  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    "MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."

    espada's had 2 interviews.  for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work.  SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

     That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter.  MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent.  They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players.  In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted.  For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Mr. Phil.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll. 

     

  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    The discussions on this matter have been quite varried.  There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.

    It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.

     

  • crunch 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic.  wow.

    altuve continues to build his astros legend.

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen. 

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab. 

     

  • JustSayin' 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday?  Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?)  Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back? 

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.