TCR Friday Notes

Some quick hits...

- The pleasant news of Arismendy Alcantara staying with the team at least through the All-Star Break and hopefully longer, was a nice boost to the morale. With the break looming, the Cubs don't need to worry about their other 2 starting rotation spots, so Kyle Hendricks was optioned despite the solid start yesterday. Blake Parker will likely be sitting next to him on the train as he was optioned as well, with Zac Rosscup on his way back. Darwin Barney should be back today as well from paternity leave. Alcantara will bat leadoff and play 2b tonight and probably center field tomorrow.

- As for the next wave of youngsters: Baez 1/4 with 2 K's, Bryant 1/3 with a HR, a BB and a K and Arodys Vizcaino gave up for 3 ER in 1.1 IP on 4 H, 0 BB with 2 K's. At AA, Russell got his first 2 hits with the Cubs going 2/5, Soler went 2/4 with a HR and a BB. For Daytona, Vogelbach goes 0/4 with 2 K's, Almora 1/5. For Kane County, Schwarber had a 1/5 day.

Some other performances of note: R. Lopez had a nice day going 4/4 for Iowa and J. Candelario went 3/4 with a HR and 2 2B's for Kane County.

- Wrigley renovations are back in the news and it's hard to muster up the enthusiasm to care what the windbags are spewing to the media at this point. But the landmark commission did approve the Cubs revised plan for up to 7 advertising signs and a smaller left field video board. Allegedly the meeting or the vote was contingent on the Cubs still negotiating with the rooftops in good faith, but sounds like the Cubs are just going to press on, sending out an email last night that they intend to finish the signage and bleachers by Opening Day of next year. Essentially the bleachers will be torn down besides the scoreboard and brick from what I understand.

- Old pal Geovany Soto was picked up for possession of marijuana yesterday, this is not his first go-around with the herb. Clearly a move to the Rockies or Mariners would be best for all involved.


Damn it, you stole my Geo joke! :-)

If you haven't seen the Baez blast yet. He absolutely punishes this: That pitch deserved to be punished.

bases loaded, 1 out in the 6th...m.olt gets pinch hit for... cubs got 1 run on a walk from they have that going for them. still...they might as well just go ahead and trade him for an infield rake (something they actually use).

Treats him like a piece of shit. They should just DFA him. This isn't dictated by front office trade negotiations. Ricky treats him like a retarded puppy. Batting 8th too behind lake and caughlin why is lake batting 6th? His K with bases loaded and 0 out was a predictable thing of beauty.

i dont care how they use him as long as he gets used. everyday 3rd? sure. 3rd/1st/LF? sure. part-time getting a large chunk of a week's work? sure. AAA starter (3rd/LF/1st, even)? sure. he may never be an ob% monster, but there's 30+ potential homers + good D in a young guy that plays a semi-rare position quite well. it's okay to let a guy work on stuff over a period of time without playing much in order to get it together better, but eventually you got to let the dude play sink/swim and put it all into real games physically, mentally, and consistently.

on the Bulls front, some rumoring of 'Melo and Gasol both joining...not bad. Also looking at Dwayne Wade, him and Rose will look good together in suits on the bench.

I wonder how many years/games wade has left? But is was wondering if he'd come home to Chicago after the LeBron move. I had a feeling this morning that Melo might be Chicago bound! Fingers crossed. What a battle that would be with Cleveland Bulls and Indiana.

Why the fuck did Wade opt out of 2yrs/$40+ million?

Excellent point you make. Maybe he knew no one was staying in Miami?

Ramirez should have stayed in for the 9th. He only faced one batter in the 8th and should be the closer anyway based on his stats and performance. Rondon hasn't had it lately. This is one they should have won easily and closed out. Annoying.

Rondon has gone from a good thing to a questionable thing. The bullpen has been OK overall, but they have blown a lot of late leads.

Hector Rondon 10 games since returning from Paternity Leave: 8.2 IP, 13 H, 8 R (8 ER), 5 BB, 10 K

Fuckin' kids

Ricky makes Lou and Dusty look like the Mothers Theresa of rookies. He's just completely lost.

I actually thought the walk to get to Upton was a nice move. The PHing for Olt didn't even bug me in that situation, because they needed to keep things moving along and Valbuena puts up good at bats, whereas Ot can be a bit Oltish. Instead of worrying about pinch hitting him, I am more annoyed with the fact he doesn't play, but that is pretty well documented.

Addison 2 more hits tonight already ...

All Arismendy, all the time. However, I am baffled as to how pronounce his last name -- I have heard Pat Hughes say "AL-Cantra", while Len seems to say "Al-Can-TARA", which is what I always thought. Oh, to dream: 1. AA - CF 2. Russell -SS 3. Bryant - LF 4. Rizzo - 1B 5. Baez - 3B 6. Soler - RF 7. Castro - 2B 8. Castillo - C With Schwarber and Almora as well. Although, I don't really get the Theo love for Almora -- not much power, nor much speed, doesn't draw many walks -- his offensive contribution will rely almost exclusively on hitting singles and doubles. Not very Theo-esque.

I think I remember reading that he actually changed the pronunciation of his last name last year ... Which may have lead to the confusion and inconsistency. I'll see if I can fund a link.

It seems to me one of the shiniest bits about Almora is his "makeup", which I don't know how Cubs brass measures it, but they think he has lots of it. Also, since I've just recently looked through the evaluation of Cubs prospects, Almora's defense gets the single highest score (75) of any Cubs prospect specific tool.

Almora'a 20 years old in Hi-A, chill. Some injuries and a slow start is all...

But look at where Addison Russell is in his career!!!!!!! They were in the same draft class!!!!!!! Almora is a disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL CAPS NEEDED!!!!!!!!

It's funny though because his maturity and fast track baseball instincts were supposed to be his strengths and he's moving slower than anyone in the system. That said I realize he was a HS'er and that he had injury trouble. Still ... he is a curious case.

The accent is on the second syllable. al CAN ta ra. When the accent is on the second syllable, you can barely hear the third syllable "a", but it is there.

I believe he has told people this year he wants it pronounced: Al-KAHN-trah. That's how it is noted here in this article:

im just gonna call him "mike stanton"

Well, if all the prospects pan out, I think that might be the first time in baseball history that will have happened. So adjustments to that lineup will need to be made at some point. I normally like Arguello over on the Trib blog area, but he wants the Cubs to pursue Chase Headley for some reason. Which goes to show why bloggers, reporters, and writers don't run the teams.

Pretty damn great basketball piece:

I was at the Kane County games on Weds and Thurs. Hannemann played on Thursday. He has got to be the fastest player in the Cubs system. Paniagua needs to be promoted. Schwarber is a beast and a real nice guy. Az. Phil, do you agree about Hannemann's speed?

Can't believe Kane County is 60-30. They don't really have any top prospects on offense either. But their pitching has been ridiculously good. Also, shit, Bonifacio 3-4 in Arizona on rehab. I suppose he needs to get back before he can be traded, so I should be hoping he gets back soon, but I really don't want to see Alcantara sent down to watch Bonifacio get picked off twice a game. I also see Yorvit Torrealba played in another game in Arizona. I wonder what the plan is for him.

Shark got a 2 run lead before taking the mound but still snake bit and takes the loss. AL record now is 1-1. Complete game though with 98 pitches through 8 IP. Seattle 3 runs in 3 separate innings on a LoMo HR, a double, GO and SF, and back to back doubles with Cano getting the rbi.

On most days, a performance like that would mean a win for Oakland.

Agree. Also it was an "aces" matchup as he was going against King Felix. per Rotoworld...
Hernandez ended up going eight innings and striking out nine in the win. It's the 11th straight start in which he's lasted at least seven innings and allowed no more than two runs. He's 11-2 with a 2.12 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings this season. He's fanned at least nine in nine of his 20 starts.

AZ Phil, can you give us some scouting and background on AZL Cub pitchers Pedro Araujo, Yomar Morel and Jesus Castillo. Also your first impressions of Carson Sands. Thanks as always.

CUBSTER: Pedro Araujo reminds me of Yoanner Negrin... crafty junk-ball pitcher whio gets results... 86-88 MPH fastball, curve, slider, change, varies arm slots... Yomar Morel works fast & throws strikes... features a 89-91 MPH fastball & a decent curve (his best pitch)... he's the closer at AZL Cubs but probably projects as middle-reliever at higher levels... Carson Sands throws a 90-92 MPH fastball, a curve that he can throw for strikes, and a deceptive change-up (doesn't give it away like some young pitchers do)... Jesus Castillo works at 91-93 and touches 94-95... secondary pitches need work...

You didn't ask about him, but LHP Andin Diaz is a name to remember, He throws consistently 94-95 (four-seamer) and touched 96 last week. Now that James Norwood has been moved up to Boise, Diaz throws the highest-velocity fastball at AZL Cubs (although Norwood gets nasty sink & run on his mid-90's gas). Diaz had his career sidetracked by a PED suspesion a couple of years ago (that's probably why he throws so hard), but he looks like it's "full steam ahead" now. Alberto Diaz is another LHRP at AZL Cubs (just got sent down from Boise) so it's easy to confuse the two names (both of them were also at Extended Spring Training), but Alberto is from Venezuela (Andin is from the Dominican Republic), Alberto is year or two older than Andin, Alberto is about 5'8 while Andin is 6'0, and Alberto has zero command. 

BTW, the LHRP pipeline goes like this: Rosscup-Cervenka-McKirahan-Heesch-Wilson-Andin Diaz... all of them are decent prospects... 

No Rob Zastryzny or Tyler Ihrig?

Q-MAN: Although I guess it's possible that one or both could eventually be moved to the bullpen, I think both Rob Zastryzny and Tyler Ihrig will remain starting pitchers indefinitely. That would also apply to Chris Rusin, Eric Jokisch, Nathan Dorris, and a few other Cub LHSP prospects further down the pipeline.

Also, although they are LHRP, I don't believe that Jeffry Antigua, Jeff Lorick, Austin Kirk, Gerardo Concepcion, or Alberto Diaz have a long-term future in the organization.     

Thanks Phil. I completely missed that you were talking about lefty relievers not just lefties in general.

I'm starting to like Ruggiano. Was getting sold before yesterday's game, too. Wasn't sold on him at first at all, but he's growing on me. I hope if teams really come calling for him they don't just give him away for a second tier prospect. The Cubs right now really have no outfielders with legit power, so trading him without filling that hole would be a real drag when it comes to watching this year's team.

I don't know how WAR works, but shouldn't AA's be at like, +108?

Paul Gasol signing with Bulls it looks like, but 'Melo going back to Knicks. 


Whatever. The BIG news is Vince Carter chooses the Grizzlies!!!! #yeshe'sstillplaying

With Rose coming back and adding Gasol, McDermott, and Mirotic this has to be the most talented and deepest roster the Bulls have had during Thibodeau's tenure. I'm hoping Thibs can get in touch with his inner Popovich and ease back the minutes, particularly on Rose, Gasol, and Noah. A lot of new offensive talent, that I hope can play enough D that Thibodeau will at least let them see some court time.

If Cavs don't get Love, could be interesting. Doubts on Rose being Rose again though.

AZ Phil, is Roney Alcala injured? It seems he hasnt played in quite awhile.

Cubs brass may have made a little problem for themselves bringing AA up ... He's just tearing it up. If they wanted to send him back down it may get tricky.

Hopefully MRs. Barney has some sort of college degree or profession.

Haha no shit!!

Had tickets but gave away when I saw Edlose Jackson was pitching.

If you gave them away you got off cheap.

Took me a while to realize that wasn't a mistype. Awesome. That's one of my favorite nicknames now.

mike minor just hit a HR off ejax. yeah, the wind is blowing out, but damn. also, this game so far has been a shitty pitching exhibition for both sides.

EJax came into the game with the worst ERA of 50 starting NL pitchers with enough innings to qualify (TWood is 46th!) He is running away and hiding with the title. They were willing to cut ties with Veras -- how much longer will EJax plague us? This is an insult.

Edwin Jackson is terrible at baseball.

Wonder what Arismendy makes of all this? "This guy gets paid $13MM per year to be the worst starting pitcher in baseball, and I can't get called up to play on this team?"

Didn't he get called up?

Poor guy had to wait until age 22 to get called up.

Only got called up because Barney had a kid.....

I don't think eJax is even trying. He just wants to go home with a brandy snifter and some video games. Maybe go fishing. Gardening.

Time to organize an EJax boycott. Either that, or Theo needs to refund the cost of tickets when he pitches.

Shortly into his contract I remember him pitching a game where he was struggling. Okay, that's every game, so maybe that is not helpful. Anyway, it was still early in the game, and he looked into the dugout as if asking to be taken out. I've had a hard time warming up to him since. Contrast that to when Dennis Eckersley was a starting pitcher for the Cubs. I remember a game where he was struggling, too, and he just somehow reached down for something extra and got out of a jam as if his life depended on it, and it was not a critical game. There are guys in this game that are fun to watch, and there are those you want to see leave. I'm surprised TheoCorp signed this guy. He doesn't have the makeup I'd want in a starting pitcher. If nothing else, if he can't pitch, I wish he'd get pissed and kick a gatorade container at least once during his contract to show he cares.

okay len...someone's gonna send you to get piss tested if you make us sit through "take me out to the ballgame" on sitar again. i can deal with the replacements showing up 2-4 times a month, but not this.

Is it my imagination? Or does today's Iowa box score from both games of a double header have both Bryant AND Baez not playing??

I know. So weird to get a double header off x 2. Meanwhile Schwarber with 85 more hits tonight.

Bryant and Baez off to Minneapolis to play in Futures Game tomorrow.

Thanks, yeah, I saw that the Futures game was today after I posted that.

Sorry if this is old news, saw the following quote in the Futures game preview. Maybe the Cubs should sign Bryant's Dad and "bring him up" to be hitting coach. "I'm looking forward to seeing Joey Gallo," Bryant said. "We grew up in the same area and my dad taught us both how to hit. It's going to be fun."

That's really weird. But yes, bring him up!! To play left field.

My understanding is Bryants father played professionally, is this correct?

His mother,Anita, was singer

Not to mention a connoisseur of orange juice and a rabid homophobe.

His dad was a 9th round pick in 1980. Played 121 A ball games in the Red Sawks system over two years.

The Ball Busters 


Mike  Bryant ("The Bat Whisperer") is Kris Bryant's dad and Tony Gallo is Joey Gallo's dad. 

I'm not clicking on any link with "ballbusters" in the URL. Fool me once...

And I think Bryant said that his dad coached Gallo. It's crazy out there.

FWIW. ....I was at the KC game tonight and they lost 7-0 but here's some observations: Hanneman is fast but is fooled badly by off-speed stuff...0-4 w/ 2 Ks. Schwarber is a professional hitter....outstanding approach...has a plan each AB....can hit any type of pitch.....2-4 (2 singles) & K last AB on a 94mph moving 4-seam. Should be at Daytona or Tennessee. Candelario 2-4 (2B, 1B) & can really hit mediocre pitchers. Hard to miss the bat speed and decent skills at 3B.......still he's only 20 and probably at the right level. Skulina, Concepcion & Arias pitched and all three demonstrated how hard it is to pitch when you can't command your fastball. Add about 8 off-speed pitches all night being called strikes and it gets real hard to win. Skulina: 90-92mph 4-seam, 82mph slider, 80mph change....needs lots of work on secondary pitches. ...probably a bullpen arm is his ceiling. Concepcion: works 87-88 mph moving FB that hit 90 a few times....74-76mph curve that he couldn't throw for strikes. Arias: threw nothing but 91-93 fastballs that he couldn't command.

I like Ben Carhart's approach at the plate.

Edwin Jackson's xFIP is up to 4.01. This will not stand?

I don't know what the hell xFIP is, but if Edwin Jackson owns it, I do know it's a number pitchers don't want to approach.

So he's league average in number of home runs he *should* have given up? I'm really glad that the Cubs have moved into a stats-minded situation, but what is the purpose of a stat like that? I ask out of a combination of ignorance and a little bemusement.

Essentially Jackson's xFIP is saying that he has been extremely unlucky on things like BABIP and HR/FB this year, and that in reality, he has been slightly below average for all major league starters, not actually the worst starter in MLB.

What a bummer- to be average and unlucky at the same time.

Thanks for the explanation. I don't care too much how he does this year. Assuming the Cubs keep him, it would be nice to have have a turn around year next year, since he should be able to eat innings. If he could eat innings and just step it up a notch he wouldn't be bad rotation filler, even though obviously not worth the money.

UNLUCKY??? His ERA last year was 4.98. He ranked 42nd out of 43 NL qualifiers. He was also 42nd of of 43 in WHIP. This year his ERA is 5.64, which is a distant 50th out of 50. He is also dead last by a sizable margin in WHIP. That's not unlucky -- that's consistency over a year and a half.

That's actually what makes it all the stranger. His ERA last year was 4.98, his FIP was 3.79, and his xFIP was 3.86. In 2012, he also under-performed his peripherals, though not as dramatically. He appears to be quite unlucky for 2.5 years now, though it is unclear exactly what's happening.

It's perfectly clear...we're the unlucky ones....

AA is so good he causes an Upton error through sheer will.

Alcantara had better stay here...

Arismendy Alcantara is good at baseball.

He's like the hitting equivalent of not-Edwin Jackson

After that dinger, going to make myself an AA celebratory drink.

futures game pre-game starting on MLB Network. it's a lot like cubs baseball the past few's an exhibition that doesn't matter much. k.bryant interview (all fluff)...he seems to be amazed he's actually playing with m.ramirez.

Cubs score 6 runs Saturday and 7 runs Sunday and are not competitive in either game. EJax is 50th out of 50th (and a lot worse than #49) in NL starting pitcher ERA -- TWood is, I believe, 48th. Brutal to have them pitch back-to-back. Get ready for a fun second half!

Javy Baez with a Futures BOMB on a curveball. 2-1 World in the 6th off Lucas Giolito pregame JB interview

I've only seen AA bat a few times. He makes things look a little effortless. He almost knocked one against the wall in the ninth. Has anyone been able to tell if he is hitting breaking stuff?

JD said that they've been running the curve ball at him consistently, and obviously he's (so far) doing quite well regardless. His first game he looked horrible on a couple - but might just have been day 1 jitters.

Thanks, it looked like his HR was on one diving down from Teheran.

Good Prospect Watching in-person for the E-Man this week. O&B, to answer "Mendy's" handling of off speed stuff, he did not seemed fooled much when I was in attendance at Friday's game. The kid seems like a gamer. But 1st time through the league so we'll all see soon how he responds. Today I also had the pleasant experience of attending my first minor league game to see the Kane County Cougars. Schwarb DH'd today and while I couldnt see his defensive prowess, at the plate he hit everything on the nose with authority and went 2 for 3. They played a double header with two 7-inning games! Ernie would be pissed about that. Tseng got the start today and looked very good (at this level) hitting his spots in the low 90's with his fastball with movement. Was hoping to see Corey BlackPaul Blackburn, but we had to leave after game 1. Scary moment when the Beloit pitcher got nailed in the head with a line drive (inf single in the play), but the kid finished the inning. It was a beautiful day out there, and beers are $3.00 less than Wrigley. I only wish someone had bought my tickets for the Braves gave today to help pay for the good value.

I thought Corey Black was pitching for the Smokies?

May bad - Paul Blackburn. Both guys are a little Black...

Thanks a lot E-Man. One thing different between this callup and the last interesting one, Lake, is that when I saw Lake I thought, hmmm, some interesting raw tools there, doesn't seem quite ready for prime time but I won't complain because I'm always saying, "bring him up!". With Alcantara, he just seems ready. He certainly didn't let his first game bother him, I've seen a few more at bats and it doesn't seem like the breaking stuff is killing him, at all, but he will have a weakness. I see he's been in the system since he was 17 (time to start the Jimenez watch!!)

Soler 3/5 with two homers for the Smokies today. Starting to wonder just how good he might be if he can stay healthy for the rest of the season (mentally, I've all but written him off for not being on the field much).

RH power hitters are today's scarcity in MLB and with Bryant, Baez, & Soler the Cubs could have a killer lineup and/or some amazing trade chips for the TOR starters they don't have in the system.

Didn't AA homer in last year's future games?


I’ve seen the Cubs’ first round draft pick a few times at Low-A. At the plate he sets up in a low crouch with an open stance, his hands even with his shoulders and extended out away from his body. He has a simple load and takes a quick, efficient route to the ball and displays good swing plane for power. I didn’t see power in game but he barreled up a few pitches for hard line drives. His nose is always on the ball as he displays an advanced feel for tracking stuff. He spat on a few good changeups that lesser hitters would’ve swung over and he shows a solid understanding of the strike zone. Behind the plate, Schwarber sets up low in his crouch and stays quiet, creating a comfortable target for the pitcher. His framing skills could use some work, as he stabs at offerings. He has surprising mobility back there with good lateral movement on block attempts. I’ve noticed that he gets loose fundamentally late in games. He has an average arm and I did get a pop time in the 1.9 range but ultimately the catching skills are fringe and can improve. I don’t think the cost is worth delaying the bat. He’s a bat-first left fielder in my mind. —Mauricio Rubio

He spat on a few good changeups that lesser hitters would’ve swung over and he shows a solid understanding of the strike zone. I just fell in love. <3 Wouldn't mind Schwarber in LF circa 2016 to fill in a dangerous lineup that should feature Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Castro, and/or Russell(not to mention potential supporting cast-members Alcantara, Almora, Soler, free agents, trade targets, etc.). Now, to find some pitching *rifles through bargain bin*.

Sounds like a Pete Rose with power.

Hopefully he can get 4,000+ hits. I went to a Cougars game a couple weeks ago, my first thought was lefty Jeff Bagwell.

Yes! Bagwell hunched over too!

...displays good swing plane... Singular? As in, only one?! Great, another bust...

Schwarber called up to Daytona? Kyle Schwarber ‏@kschwarb12 5m Thank you to the @KCCougars players, coaches and fans for being great to me in my stay here at Kane County! #cougs Sahadev Sharma confirms that Schwarber is going to Daytona (brought to you by the letters: s, h & a...)

a month and 1/2 to prove he should (hopefully) be in AA to start 2015. sweet.

Good point. AFL maybe as well?

he's talented and worthy enough...dunno if they'll let him go or if they want him to take time off to get a chance to catch his breath after going pro, succeeding quickly, and becoming a multimillionaire...especially with so many games played at C. seems like it could be either/or at this point.

Bryant took a similar path last year so it wouldn't surprise me if they send Schwarber to AFL, especially to get some extra playing time at a new position.

That Daytona club should have a pretty potent lineup with Schwarber, Almora, Vogelbach, and McKinney supported by Amaya and Marco Hernandez. Good luck, A+ pitchers.

All kinds of A ball pitchers were hurting yesterday, as both Almora and 2014 3rd round draft pick Mark Zagunis (currently at Boise) hit for cycles. Can't imagine the last time two players in the same organization hit for cycles in the same day was all too recent.

Not to sound too much like Dana Carvey's old man character, but I remember when I was young, and I'd read the Sporting News to look at minor league stats, and I'd usually consider myself lucky if I could find one player in the Cubs system worth tracking regularly. Today, I honestly can't keep all the bona fide prospects in my head. I look through the MILB app, with each team, and they all seem to have a slew of them worth keeping track of. I have to say, it's pretty amazing.

the AZL Cubs had some nice pitching (from one who only sees box scores. Hopefully AZ Phil was in attendance to translate. Dillon Maples 3 shutout IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K Fujikawa with a shutout inning Carson Sands with a shutout inning and 2 K Justin Steele and Zack Hedges struck out the side in their 1 IP.

BA's "Adolf" of the day...
HITTER OF THE DAY: Albert Almora, of, high Class A Daytona (Cubs) Like Jorge Soler, Almora has gotten buried in the rise of Kris Bryant and Arismendy Alcantara in the Cubs organization. But on Monday night, he made a little history of his own, becoming the fourth Daytona player to hit for the cycle in a 5-for-7 night. Almora, 20, homered in the first, singled in the eighth (and the 11th), doubled in the ninth and tripled in the 13th in a 13-8 win over Jupiter. Almora has had a torrid July to raise his slash line to .276/.300/.395 overall.

Take THAT, Addison

The last of the Jimtown followers Want to scare ur kids? Read them Hendry's quotes

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  • Cubster 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Lefty Matz to Cardinals. 4/44. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 40 min ago (view)

    With the CBA expiring on December 1st, MLB owners and the MLBPA have jointly agreed to move the contract tender date up from Thursday December 2nd to Tuesday November 30th (that's a week from today). 

    Then (presumably) the lock-out will start the next day (Wednesday). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Not that TJS is ever necessarily a good thing, but taking a year off from catching could give Miguel Amaya a chance to work on his hitting.

    His glove & arm were probably a year ahead of his bat coming into 2021, so once he gets going again hopefully he will be able to spend a significant part of his rehab working in the cages. 

    Also, although he won't be able to throw for a while, he should be able to work on his receiving during the summer, once he is cleared to resume non-throwing baseball activities.  


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless you consider Erick Castillo and Tyler Payne as legit contenders to be the Cubs back-up catcher in 2022, the Cubs have no catcher who is projected to eventually play in MLB anywhere near MLB ready.


  • Cubster 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    With Amaya's 2022 year as a catcher essentially an non-factor and Robinson Chirinos and Austin Romaine again free agents, It looks like any rumors of moving Willson Contreras will go quiet. At least Chirinos could hit (for a backup catcher). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Matt Burch, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Marco Prieto,  RHP Jorge Remon, RHP Dawel Rodriguez, and OF Vance Vizcaino, so the off-season Cubs Minor League Domestic Reserve List is now at 169 (21 slots are open).  

    Six of the nine players who were released (Allen, Apostel, Joaquin, Kelly, Remon, and Vizcaino) were Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and all six had been left off the Iowa Reserve List when rosters were filed last Friday. 


  • Cubster 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    sorry, posted in other thread.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Also, Justin Steele gets a 4th minor league option in 2022 (must be used in 2022). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: Of all the TJS rehab types, a catcher TJS rehab is probably most similar to a pitcher's because of the laser pinpoint rifle throws a catcher needs to make to 2nd base.

    So I would expect Amaya will be able to DH by mid-season (hitting shouldn't be a problem by then), and then (hopefully) be able to throw normally in games (as a catcher) at post-season Instructs and then maybe in the AFL, with 2023 Spring Training being when he should be 100%. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Yes, except a position player only gets a maximum of 20 days on a minor league injury rehab assignment, so the 30 extra days allowed for a position player rehabbing from TJS would mean a maximum of 50 days, whereas it would be a maximum of 60 days for a pitcher (the original 30 days that pitchers get plus the additional 30 days in the form of three 10-day increments). And this also only applies to players on an MLB IL. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    DSJ: Exactly. Even though he was just acquired in a trade, the Cubs still might opt to non-tender Ramirez on 12/2, that is, as long as he goes along with the plan. I doubt that the Cubs would non-tender him if he declines (in advance) to sign a 2022 minor league contract.  


  • crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

    well...that's one hell of a forearm strain.


  • tim815 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Arizona Phil. Would Amaya, as a catcher, be eligible for the TJS exemption?


  • crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    w.franco (rays) extend 11y/185m

    not bad for a guy with 1/10th of a season service time.


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Miguel Amaya to have Tommy John surgery. Will likely miss most of next season. (I speculate that he could maybe DH a bit in the second half and throw towards August.)


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    When you add in the arb-eligibility, that's gotta make Ramirez a real contender for Hermosillo's "non-tender poster boy" title