TCR Friday Notes

- Well, the Cubs let someone else hand out the stupid contract and the Red Sox are the winner. 6/72.5M for Rusney Castillo...a little over $12M per which isn't terrible , but I don't think the Cubs had a spot for him for 6 years (or even 3) and certainly not at a price higher than what Jose Abreu or Yasiel Puig got.

- Javier Baez watch: 5 Home Runs, 3 Golden Sombreros

I was curious, so maybe someone else was as well, but the starting pitcher in those golden sombrero games were Chris Archer, Mike Fiers and Madison Bumgarner. Welcome to the Show, Meat!

- Say ().

- The next wave went a combined 3/23 (Bryant, Soler, Almora, Russell, Schwarber & McKinney) in last night's games with Schwarber having the best day at 1/2 with a HR and 2 BB's. Soler and McKinney had the other hits.

- Orioles and Cubs for the weekend, Orioles get to see old friends Arrieta and Wada on Friday and Sunday with Maddux-lite going on Saturday, trying to continue his late season Rookie of the Year push. Speaking of the Orioles, it'll be interesting if teams follow their lead in future years. They've done an incredible job of scalping talent at the end of the offseason and off the bottom of the barrel (think Chris Davis). Cubs and many other teams are already doing the bottom of the barrel scraping, but how patient can an organization be? And if everyone is that patient, is the advantage lost?


Shame no Castro this week, with the top pitching going could've gave O's a series

So far so good.

Pretty sure those are golden sombreroez for Baez.

Alcantara well liked by the scouts

as well as major league pitchers at the moment...

If they would have sent him down last week like I said, he would have learned when he returned. /rhyme!

... no one has been surprised by [Baez's] early results. “If he hits 50 HR’s and has a 30+% K% in a season, it wouldn’t surprise me at all,” one scout said. “I think he’s the most fun hitter to watch in possibly all of baseball.”

"Most fun hitter to watch"--that's a great comment. The revival of attendance numbers at Wrigley has begun, thanks to Baez. Hendricks only plays every fifth day, but Baez is out there boosting the outdoor air conditioning every day. The other day, I watched the Mets broadcast because I thought Darling might have something interesting to say about Hendricks. He didn't--but at one point after a Baez swing and miss, Darling said that with that big swing, he would have trouble catching up with a fastball. So naturally, when Baez hits it into the second deck in left-center, Darling says the pitch was a slider. It was a 93-mph fastball.

Kris Bryant 1000 homer career in minor leagues Print media is dead example# 7283 from Rick Telander

Wow what a really bad article, but I guess this is why I get my baseball news from blogs.

Was 2003 that Rick Telander predicted with absolute certainty that the Cubs wouldn't make the playoffs? Then they did. That shit annoys me, because in April these jokers make predictions and are never held accountable to them. It's like they just say whatever they want because they know no one will hold them to it. And by the way, if he's trying to write that article like it's a blog, fine, but compared to most blogs, that article is complete shit.

Arrieta pitching, so there's a no-hitter happening...perfect through 3.

through 4

Baez Bash #6

don't leave offspeed stuff over the plate apparently, probably don't put anything over the plate with Baez

looked a bit out in front on side angle, but adjusted quickly....

There are no comps to Baez that I can think of. Except maybe the Wild Thing, in a way.

Smokies having a rough night ...

Schwarber hits one out again, 7-game hitting streak with 3 HR's, OBP is nice.

25 BB to 31 K's so far in Hi-A. (38 vs. 50 for the season)...

I saw a quote from some scout who said the Cubs have the best minor league system for position players in the history of the game as far as he knows. Unfortunately I read too many things on my iPad and don't bookmark them or forward them to this computer, so I don't have a link, but the scout mentioned "forgotten" but good prospects like Caesar, Vogelbomb, and another name that eludes me. He was very high on Caesar.

Fun stuff. I don't believe it- some of these guys won't work out- but the simple fact that scouts are talking with this level of hypobole tells you just how good the Cubs system is now.

Very true. Who was it earlier who was saying our heart pumps were tethered to the Jake Foxes of the world? There's just so many now. It's fun. Most of them won't pan out. Unlike others, I don't think Baez is gonna fall into that group but I did like Choi so don't listen to me. Talk about opposites though, huh?

We want a Sheffield comp, but I think Baez will more likely comp to Uggla when Uggla was decent.

Will be interesting to see if Baez is part of off season trade rumors, then you will know for sure what brain trust thinks of Baez.

I think you are referring to Peter Gammons recent quote from within the last few days, O&B? Ot was on his blog, then Tweeted about. That is almost verbatim from what you're describing...

Could be but if so I apologize because i ignore him and if he found his way into my Flipboard I should be shot, and tortured.

I remember talking to a couple of scouts at an Instructs game post-2011 (pre-Epstein/Hoyer), and even back then they both said they thought that within about five years there would be more players signed and/or developed by the Cubs playing in the big leagues than from any other MLB organization, but that the vast majority of them would be platoon guys, 5th starters, middle relievers, utility infielders, 4th or 5th outfielders, and back-up catchers.

There is obviously a lot more impact talent in the Cubs system now, but I fully expect a lot of the prospects who are considered "lesser-lights" now and who get cast aside to have solid MLB careers with other clubs. Some of them might even turn out to have the impact of a Josh Harrison.

The next wave go a combined 6/25...Schwarber and Soler with HR's.

  • Soler 1/4 with a HR
  • Bryant 1/4
  • Almora 1/4
  • Russell 0/4
  • Schwarber 2/5 with a HR
  • McKinney 1/4 with a BB 

Almora hitting .310 over his last 10 games, 0 BB, 8 K

Admit you guys. Anyone who has a bit of spiritual karma stuff going on has to admit that all our incantations are beginning to have some meaning. Anyone who is over 30 knows that if you push hard enough with your thoughts, things happen, miracles happen. People who were sick, suddenly, get better. I've always jested about bringing them up, but I have been trying to "visualize" a Cubs team that is like this. I doubt I"m alone here. If that sounds crazy, fine, it's just an internet forum.

just don't blame me if they go all Cleveland on you.

I've never seen the type of focus and 'attitude' that Baez and Hendricks display. I mean that in a good way. Hendricks looks like an assassin or British spy.

Not to be too disparaging but I see that a lot in the majors. I think you're bleeding a little Cubbie blue for them :-)

I'm sure I am - but I count myself as a Baez skeptic so at least with him it's not too blinded. But I think most would agree that at least up to now Hendricks has one of the best poker faces a rookie can have. I like the conversations above though because I think it's a mistake (though understandable) to think Baez or Bryant are gonna be saviors. And the press really exacerbates that attitude. But what we really have here is waves and waves of talented prospects. That's the beauty of it - this isn't about any one or two prospects - it's about the depth. I fear the casual fan will think Baez is our future when really he's just a talented figure head for the wave that's coming - hopefully for many years. Through to Jimenez and Torres and beyond ...

Good points. I'm actually a Baez über optimist. Mueller is going to do wicked stuff with those wrists, if only because he will wish he had had them. You don't want to "correct" a swing at this level, generally, but they will have to because, like housing prices a few years ago, that's just not sustainable. It's a hard thing for the coaches. They could have one of the best power hitters in baseball on their hands, or a total bomb. It's going to be very interesting, and their depth makes it not matter so much.

Jeimer Candelario went 3-5 with a double and triple yesterday.. I've noticed he's hitting well in the last few weeks/month and his average is now .249 up from the low .200's.. I didn't look up his short term slash line but it looks like he's finally "getting it' at KC level which is very encouraging. Any comments from someone who might have been watching closer. What is the ceiling at this point for him? He's a switch hitter, so if he is OK from both sides that's somewhat unique for a third baseman. He was always considered more of an offensive player than a defensive one. Is his defense improving?

I may have been reading between the lines but I thought he was another guy AZ Phil liked. Or maybe it was just I was reading a lot of AZ's arizona reports and he was always putting up a good line. I can't remember.

from BP...
Kyle Schwarber, DH, Cubs (Daytona, A+): 1-2, 2 R, HR, 2 BB, SB. There was an adjustment period for Schwarber upon reaching the Florida State League—his first adjustment in pro ball—but he’s made it, and we’re seeing the kind of production that we can expect from him down the road. That means a moderate batting average, strong on-base skills, and above-average power. Put it together, and that makes for a solid everyday player.

Rotoworld says the Jacob Turner will start in Cincy on Wed. replacing EJax in the rotation.

Yes! I'm really excited about letting these new young arms get going. To he honest I kind of wish they'd do something with Wood and go with: Arrieta Hendricks Turner Wada Doubront For the rest of the year. But they won't do that to Wood I don't think, especially because he's one of our best hitters! ;)

Wada is on a one-year minor league they have any sort of control beyond 2014? Baseball contracts confuse me.

yeah, according to AZ Phi's 40-man page, he should be under 2 years of service time, Cubs should have control for quite awhile.

Thanks Rob, that's what I was looking for...and that's good to hear.

when you can be replaced by a guy with a 5.77/1.60 ERA/WHIP in late-August and it makes sense...that's cubbery in action.

EJax is in a league of his own ... he transcends even Cubbery. I didn't think that was possible.

Billy McKinney is now 20 yrs old.

So, he's a bust, right?

Bring him up so we can find out.

Why are the KC Cougars 40 over? It isn't their hitting. Once again, I'm getting depth anxiety and not knowing who I should be keeping track of. Must be some good pitching over there.

Decent hitting....good starting pitching from Daury Torrez Paul Blackburn Jen Ho-Tseng Duane Underwood Tyler Skulina (promoted) Jonathan Martinez

Thanks - yeah, a couple of names there I am familiar with. Depth Anxiety is turning me into an even worse poster than I was.

Crazy how Baez rolls onto side of his left ankle on most swings.

His back foot does some weird s*** too.

Just crazy - definitely a young man's swing. A lot of veterans would start running into ankle issues pretty quick.

That's why comp with him isn't any other hitter, but Wild Thing. EDIT: Not because Wild Thing did anything freaky with his ankle, just that the swing is insane.

k.hendricks intentionally walked...dude wut. -edit- yahoo gameday error...K...that makes more sense.

Has the idea of a draft lottery been discussed for the top 8 picks? Similar to NBA. It just seems that with the way the Cubs and Astros etc have approached their rebuilds that something like that would at least come up for discussion.

Double play in a ground ball with a man at second and no outs? Was that just terrible base-running by Watkins?

He was actually safe. Didn't get tagged ... but there was no 'conclusive' camera angle supposedly. But he tried to head to 3rd after play at 1st. He is just a little jacked up. BUT I'll tell you he looks great. Really coming out if the gate well this year.

The new commissioner needs to get the DH thing figured out. By moving Houston to the AL, Selig guaranteed that there would be inter-league play on a daily basis, since there are now 15 teams in each league. The AL teams use big-time/big $$ hitters as DH, the NL teams use backup guys. As baseball is now effectively one league, everyone needs to play by the same rules.

I agree AND the even bigger issue currently is that all mega free agents go to the AL because they can afford to give them 7-10 year deals at an advanced age knowing they can arguably play them at DH: Hamilton Pujols Fielder Cano Ellsbury Cabrera (extension)

Round of applause for the boys and coaches of Jackie Robinson West -- guts, heart and desire overcome a more talented opponent.

Javy has a legit shot to finish 2nd among NL 2B in HR. Neil Walker leads with 17, Utley is 2nd with 11.

And first in the universe in K %

That depends somewhat on whether Olt gets healthy and gets called back up.

Don't make me do a comparison of both players with 78 AB. Because 1.) you know I will do it and 2.) it ain't gonna be pretty.

here you go: M Olt 78AB 10R 15H 1-2B 7HR 17RBI 7BB 29K 1HBP (took 40 days for Happy to give Olt 88PA/78AB) Baez 78AB 12R 17H 2-2B 7HR 11RBI 4BB 34K 0HBP (took 18 days for Happy to give Baez 82PA/78AB)

Bryant 2-2, HR + 4BB. Soler 5-5 + BB. Nice. On the other hand, Tenn has given up 33 runs in the last 2 days.

Whoah, poor Smokies playing the '27 Yankees or something? Wow.

BP's Hitter of the Day...
HITTER OF THE DAY: Jorge Soler, rf, Triple-A Iowa (Cubs). Whatever had been bothering Soler for the past 10 games, he shook off Saturday night. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Cuban was 5-for-5 with a single, double, triple and two RBIs in Iowa's 10-7 win over Reno. Evaluators project Soler just a notch below teammates Kris Bryant and Javier Baez in terms of power and one rival manager said Soler will need 300-400 more at-bats to stabilize his approach. Even with the five hits, Soler is just 9-for-43 in his past 10 games.

two interesting notes from Fred Mitchell's writeup of yesterday's game in the Tribune...
Extra Innings: ...Javier Baez has 7 HR, the most by a Cub in his first 19 career games since Mandy Brooks had eight in his first 19 in 1925. ...Rondon has 20 saves in 24 chances this season. "He continues to develop his slider, and he is mixing pitches to get guys off his fastball, " Renteria said.
Mandy Brooks had a 1 1/2 yr MLB career. Jonathan Joseph "Mandy" Brooks, (born Jonathan Joseph Brozek) (August 18, 1897 – December 6, 1976) was a right-handed outfielder in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs.
Brooks' major-league debut came at the relatively advanced age of 27 on May 30, 1925. He went on to be a regular for the Cubs that season, playing the second-most games of any outfielder. Every one of his defensive appearances came in center field. It was a rather successful rookie campaign; Brooks trailed only future Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett for the club's home run lead by slugging 14 round-trippers, good enough to finish tenth in the entire National League in that category. Brooks was also second on the Cubs in RBI (72) and slugging percentage (.513). He finished his first season with a respectable .281 batting average. Brooks, however, fell victim to the Cubs' acquisition of star outfielder Hack Wilson and found himself all but useless in the 1926 season. He played his final game for the Cubs on June 22 of that year, finishing his final big-league campaign with modest marks of 1 home run, a .188 batting average, and 6 RBI.

Reverse standings... Cubs in line for the 7-8 pick as of today (not sure how they decide ties (remember Astros get #2 based on their Aiken fiasco). With EJax out, we're sinking in these standings. The Cubs schedule from here on out has none of the bottom feeders. Reds (6). Cards (7). Brewers (6) Pirates (6). Blue Jays (3) Dodgers (4) 1. Texas 49-49 2. Colorado 51-77 3. Arizona 55-75 (T) 3. Houston 55-75 (T) 5. Boston 56-73 6. Cubs 57-72 (T) 6. Phil 57-72 (T) 8. Minnesota 58-71 9. CWS 59-70 10. San Diego 59-69

Tiebreaker is team with worse record year before gets the better pick.

Haha! The EJax = draft standings hero jokes have endless iterations!

imagine the trade value this offseason for another team looking to tank their team for a few years. the new baseball economy is awesome.

I would be OK with donating him to the Astros. They've really tumbled in those reverse standings, poor fella's.

Let's do this!

Good things happening in Chicago today...

Nice work, The Joe.

/crunched What, we can't even talk about it roundabout anymore?

Thanks The Joe. Thanks for nothing.

Well yes. Yes it does.

Then consider my debts paid.

Did the AL East leading Orioles just get swept by a Cubs team using two starters that Baltimore discarded (and a fine reliever too)?

Addison Russell and Schwarbs are on fire.

It hasn't been tweeted yet as we speak, but Schwarber has two HRs today. That's 10 at Daytona, 18 including Boise and KC, after being drafted in June.

Geovany Soto traded to A's.

"There is no such thing as the ex-Cubs factor," a front office source told me shortly before their historic late-season collapse.

Right now, I'm pretty happy with Captain Happy. I didn't see today's game, but this team plays well. It's gotta be the best bad team in the history of baseball. They do cutoffs right, generally run the bases pretty well, maybe the situational hitting has a little left to be desired but I don't think that's a Happy thing. I didn't see the game today but I'm actually looking forward to seeing it tonight. Capt Happy may have his peculiarities but overall I really think he has done a nice job. On a separate note, I owe an apology to Logan Watkins, since I'm sure he frequents this forum. I had said sarcastically earlier that I was excited about the beginning of the Logan Watkins era. But he's a player. I really like his game. So bad comment there. Just because he doesn't put up gaudy numbers I dissed him, but he's a keeper, in my book.

This shitty team has certainly given me a glimpse of a brighter future. I've enjoyed watching the them this year too.

Watkins made a nice grab today on a popup that blew fair, saved a no-hitter at the time.

Some of the numbers also say the defense is much better. A huge improvement in defense was a major reason Tampa Bay went from worst to first and -162 to +103 in run diff from 2007 to 2008.* It's a great precursor to things that are coming. This season is not dissimilar to watching the 2002 Cubs where it felt like they played much better than the record showed. *Going from 30th to 4th in pitching never hurts.

Watkins back to Iowa as Castro gets activated from Bereavement list. Schlitter off the DL and goes back to Iowa.

Watkins impressed me way more than his first trip up. Last year was it?

13-10 in August.

I got a chuckle O & B: "The best shittiest team in baseball..." Ha! Somehow - and this is my 2014 fate for owning tix - but my available night games have fallen on nights EJax has started. So I have enjoyed watching this team - except for those times.

" available night games have fallen on nights EJax has started" There are those among us who are meant to suffer.

As nasty as the Edwin Jackson deal tastes, it's still a better fit for the Cubs than B.J. Upton. Way better.

Yeah, I don't get the B.J. Upton love that earned him that contract. He is a terrible terrible baseball player. Is it the 'tools' element that tightens the pants of scouts and GM's? All that said, contracts being equal, I'd say sayonara Edwin.

"Is it the 'tools' element that tightens the pants of scouts and GM's?" Wording like that makes me feel proud to be a TCR regular.

I'm honored by your words.

In addition to Schwarber's 2 HR day, Bryant (#21 at Iowa, #22 at Tenn = #43) with a 2 run HR and Soler (#7 at Iowa) with a solo HR. Iowa ahead 3-0 in the 7th. Dallas Beeler with 6 shutout innings. 5 hits. No walks, 6 K's. I'd like to see him get a Sept start.

The Cubs should have a glut of #4-#5 types between Hendricks, Wada, Beeler, Straily, Doubront, and Turner in 2015 (not to mention the already entrenched Wood--or Jackson, who's more like a #8 or something at this point). It'll be interesting to see if they find somebody real to fill in as a #1 or #2 or whatever, aside from Arrieta, or if they just let those guys pitch it out and hope one turns into Arrieta Lite.

I've harped on it for two years, that a team shouldn't waste a lot of money or personnel on a TOR starter, but I'd bet good money that they will try to sign one this year. That's ok I guess, but I am also convinced that this will mean an albatross contract. Still, that's the cost of doing business these days.

AZ Phil, or someone else, does anyone know the exact details regarding Wada's contract status after this year? Seems he has minimal service time thus far (<3 yrs), so perhaps we could auto-renew him, or does the fact that he was signed from Japan make him a FA after this year, since he is just with the Cubs on a 1 yr contract.....

ANKEITH: The Cubs hold a club option on Wada for 2015, but the $$$ details have not been reported anywhere. There also have been no salary details reported anywhere regarding his original 2014 minor league contract (the one he signed in January) or the one he signed on 3/24 after being released the last week of Spring Training. 

The 2015 club option may involve a contract tender requirement on 12/2 (as was the case with Chang-Yom Lim last year) or the Cubs might have to exercise the club option immediately after the conclusion of the World Series (as was the case with Wada's contract with the Orioles). The 2015 salary could be a fixed amount pre-stated in the contract, and declining the club option might require a buy-out (as is the case with Kyuji Fujikawa post-2014). 

FWIW, the Orioles declined a $5M 2014 club option on Wada after the World Series last season, so his 2014 minor league salary must have been a lot less than that, although his 2014 MLB salary and the 2015 club option could very well be in the $5M neighborhood (with the $5M being pro-rated in 2014 to when he was added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster). If you remember, the Cubs added Wada to their 40-man roster on June 22nd and then immediately optioned him to Iowa, so he must have had a 7/1 opt-out that the Cubs did not want him to exercise. 

The Orioles declined to exercise their 2014 club option on Wada after the World Series last season, making him an Article XX-B FA (because he was a vested NPB player). As a result, when the Cubs signed Wada to a 2014 minor league contract in January, he had an automatic 6/1 opt-out and would receive a $100K retention bonus if he wasn't added to the Cubs 40-man roster or released at least five days prior to MLB Opening Day (because he had Article XX-B status). And that's why the Cubs released him six days prior to MLB Opening Day and then immediately resigned him. They did not want an automatic 6/1 opt out (it was apparently changed to 7/1 in the second contract), and they might not have wanted to pay the automatic $100K retention bonus, either. They also might have wanted a club option for 2015 that was not in the first contract.

Article XX-B players signed less than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day do not receive the automatic opt-out or $100K retention bonus, so when Wada signed the second minor league contract on March 24th after being released, he no longer was eligible to receive the $100K retention bonus or the automativc 6/1 opt out. So the Cubs didn't have to give him an automatic opt out in the second contract (the one signed on 3/24) at all, but they did (albeit a month later than what it would have been if he had not been released).

Wada must have been OK with the later opt-out or else he would not have agreed to sign the second contract, but he also may have been promised a larger 2014 MLB salary in the second contract (if he were to get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster prior to opting out) than was promised in the first 2014 minor league contract he signed in January.

I don't understand the Baez fastest home run tweets in the sidebar. Olt had 8 HR this year in 101 PA/91AB. I think Baseball Ref is wrong?

Is it becaused of Olt's 38 PA with the Rangers in 2012?

That's possible but Baez still wouldn't get 97 more PA. Olt definitely qualifies as a rookie this year ... and if we're talking 'Cubs' rookies he did 8 HR in 101 PA. Weird.

Maybe he doesn't qualify as a Cubs' rookie?

This article is excellent, research seems to confirm umpire bias on key pitches:

I'm looking forward to the time when humans don't call balls and strikes.

It's very noticeable to frequent viewers - the umps err towards avoiding dramatic pitch calls. You can almost see them twitch. I also hate when a pitcher is struggling and they give him a strike - it alters the momentum more than they realize.

I have very mixed feelings on this. Logically, it makes sense to just let a computer and camera do balls and strikes. But another part of me likes the human element. Watching Hendricks gain respect from umpires has been fun. He was not getting calls that he gets now. I sort of like how umpires screw over the Baez's of the world for not handling the strike zone well. Even he is starting to get some calls he wasn't getting early on (umpires apparently have scouting reports, too, on hot prospects). Although, I guess there aren't a lot of marginal calls in Baez's case, since he swings at anything with a foot of the zone.

Who is Andrew Ely? Organizational oddity: a 2014 32nd round draft pick has been playing 2B for Iowa the last three nights. He even hit a home run on Saturday. What's odd is that before Friday he had only played for the Arizona Cubs this season. I guess he's filling in for Watson (and Baez, Alcantara, etc.). KC is in the playoffs while Daytona and Tennessee are in the hunt, whereas Iowa has recused itself by losing a dozen or so in a row recently. So Iowa is a safe place for him to play. And maybe Reno was not that far from Mesa. Still, it's always interesting to see a player skip four levels, even temporarily.

VA PHIL: With Logan Watkins called up to Chicago to replace Starlin Castro while he is on the Bereavement List, and with Mike Olt (hamstring) and Josh Vitetrs (broken finger) on the I-Cubs 7-day DL, Andrerw Ely was called up as a temporary replacement. I do think moving 4-A 1B Lars Anderson back up to Iowa from Tennessee would have made sense, too, since both Olt and Vitters are probably done for the season.   

Ely was drafted from a D-1 school (U. of Washington), and given the temporary nature of the promotion and the other options available at Boise and AZL Cubs (and with the Cubs not wanting to disrupt Tennessee, Daytona, or KC), Ely was probably the best choice. Ely is a polished infielder who was hitting 326/363/535 and leading the AZL Cubs in HR, and so a better question might be why he wasn't promoted to Boise or KC a month ago.

BTW, the Cubs did this earlier in the season when they promoted pitchers Zak Hermans and Jasvir Rakkar temporarily to Iowa, and last season when 2B Gioskar Amaya was promoted to Iowa from Extended Spring Training for a few days (and collected a PH double). 


17-year old SS Gleyber Torres has been promoted to Boise from AZL Cubs for the last week of the NWL season.

Torres hit 279/372/377 with 14 errors in 43 AZL games after hitting 311/402/396 with 14 errors in 31 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games. He will very likely be the Opening Day SS at Kane County in 2014.

FWIW, I have Torres rated as the Cubs #10 prospect right now.

We need more SHORTSTOPS!! We'll rule them all!

FWIW, I've tried this in fantasy baseball and it didn't really work out all that great.

Phil, curious as to who are your Top 10-15 prospects??

AZ, I asked you about Torres a year ago and you said he sucked. I'm totally kidding.

The Cubs reinstated Brian Schlitter from the 15-day DL yesterday and optioned him to Iowa. 

Since he spent 14 days on Optional Assignment to Iowa in April, another six days on Optional Assignment and his second minor league option is burned. 

Not that big of a big deal because Schlitter isn't irreplacable, but on the other hand it's pointless to burn an option year if it isn't necessary. 

Also, Starlin Castro has returned from the Dominican Republic and will be reinstated from the Bereavement List prior to tomorrow's game at Cincinnati. IF-OF  Logan Watkins will be optioned back to Iowa to make room for Castro on the 25-man roster. 

BTW, both Schlitter and Watkins can be recalled from Iowa on Tuesday September 2nd (prior to the normal ten-day waiting period required before a player can be recalled after being optioned), because Iowa's last game is Monday 9/1 (they aren't going to the PCL playoffs), and a player can be recalled from an Optional Assignment if the player's minor league season is over even if the player has not spent ten days on Optional Assignment. 


Could the Cubs logically optioned anyone else to avoid this scenario? He's not irreplaceable like you say, but it's still ridiculous to burn an option on a guy who will literally be recalled a week from today.

AZ, can you explain Watkins? Talk about a guy under the radar but he looks like a player. There is no place for him on this team, but I hate to see him get traded for scratch and go ten years with the next team. EDIT: I'm not basing this on that one catch he made. That can be attributed to fluke and luck. EDIT #2:

JOHN B: This was actually kind of an odd move, particularly because it involves burning a minor league option year (presuming Schlitter isn't recalled sometime before Friday to replace a player who is placed on the 15-day DL). 

There are a number of players on the Cubs MLB 25-man roster with options left who could have been sent to Iowa instead of Schlitter, but realistically they could have optioned Zac Rosscup back to Iowa. (Rosscup's 2014 option has already been burned).

They also could have left Brian Schlitter on the 15-day DL and on a Minor League Rehab Assignment at Iowa until 9/1 (with Schlitter's approval), but for some reason they did not do that. (Players on a Minor League Rehab Assignment continue to be paid at the Major League rate and continue to accrue MLB Service Time, but a player who is optioned to the minors is paid at the minor league "split contract" rate and does not accrue MLB Service Time). 

I'm wondering if Schlitter may have made an issue (behind the scenes) of being placed on the DL in the first place (or about being asked to remain in Iowa until 9/1 on the Rehab Assignment) when his shoulder really wasn't that sore, and that the Cubs reinstating him and then immediately optioning him to Iowa was their response to his complaint? 

If there is something going on behind the scenes, it will interestng to see if the Cubs recall Schlitter in September or just leave him on Optional Assignment for the rest of the season (which would cost him about $85K in lost salary).

Or maybe he'll get traded.

Schlitter is another guy who has won me over. I don't think the Cubs should trade anybody. For any reason.

Grain of Salt they grew up together But Machado watches alot of games from side line so he would have a good opinion

Back in April I didn't think we would be talking about the Cubs' great pitching from the bullpen. Jose Veras who?

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  • cubbies.4ever 7 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 26 min ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 48 min ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years. 


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Vimael Machin can play anywhere in the infield & outfield, but he also went through the catcher conversion program at post-2015 Instructs so he can even catch in a pinch, too. He could be a very useful 26th man.

    Machin is bi-lingual (he is from Puerto Rico and went to college at Old Dominion), and was projected by the Cubs as a future coach or manager. He's a savvy & astute baseball guy. 


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 4 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Every year the Cubs convert two or three position players to pitcher (it was Galazin, Hughes, and Zardon in 2019), so it's very possible that Suiter will be given a chance to pitch. 


  • bradsbeard 11 hours 40 sec ago (view)

    Suiter, who pitched in HS and briefly in college and who doesn't appear to be much of a hitter, seems to me to be a good pitcher conversion candidate.


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 42 min ago (view)

    BTW, three of the four players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (Stewart, Suiter, and Masters) will be minor league free-agents post-2020, and the fourth one (Vance Vizcaino) is a second-contract player (he was previously released by KC) so he could be a post-2020 minor league free-agent, too (TBD).

    Incidentally, David Masters was selected by the Cubs after signing a minor league successor contract with the Nationals. 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 49 min ago (view)

    So LHSP Brailyn Marquez, INF Christopher Morel, RHSP Cory Abbott, SS Aramis Ademan, RHSP Erich Uelmen, RHSP Keegan Thompson, and LHSP Brendon Little stand-out among the Cubs 2020 first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles, and RHRP Oscar de la Cruz, LHSP Luis Lugo, and LHRP Jordan Minch are probably the ones to watch  among the Cubs post-2020 free-agent eligibles.    


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 49 min ago (view)

    For those of you who like to plan ahead, AS THINGS STAND NOW here is how the Rule 5 Draft and minor league free-agency shape up for the Cubs post-2020: 


  • bradsbeard 18 hours 31 min ago (view)

    You say that in jest, but just from the 2016 draft, which did not feature a first or second round pick, the Cubs drafted 4 players who were added to 40 man rosters this winter (Hatch, Miller, Rucker, Short) with Mekkes, Giambrone, and several others being potential mid-season additions.  


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 48 min ago (view)

    So I guess he's the first guy since Rondon we've taken in rule 5 with a shot at making the roster. That's kinda cool


  • crunch 18 hours 53 min ago (view)

    "Megill is a guy we tried to trade for, actually, prior to the Rule 5." - hoyer


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 19 hours 3 min ago (view)

    That's a bummer. He does what few on the big league club do: put the bat on the ball.

    Also hate to lose Rucker. He's a perfect type to be on AAA shuttle and cheap middle relief at minimum.


  • QuietMan 19 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Good stuff indeed.  


  • crunch 19 hours 5 min ago (view)

    A's trade for machin...probably not getting him back.


  • crunch 19 hours 17 min ago (view)

    cubs seem to be using the minor league phase of the rule5 to attempt to build a farm system...better than their recent non-1st-round draft record so far, i guess.