2013 Cubs AZ Instructional League Roster

10/2 UPDATE: LHP Rob Zastryzny (Cubs 2013 2nd round draft pick) has been added to the Cubs AZ Instructional League roster.


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. 


Here is the preliminary 2013 Cubs Arizona Instructional League (AZIL) roster (subject to change):
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Jose Arias
Paul Blackburn
Johermyn Chavez (ex-OF)
Trevor Clifton
C. J. Edwards
Scott Frazier
David Garner
Zack Godley
Trevor Graham
* Tyler Ihrig
Trey Lang
Erick Leal
Dillon Maples
Jefferson Mejia
Juan Carlos Paniagua
Brad Renner
Jose Rosario
Tyler Skulina
Daury Torrez
Jen-Ho Tseng
Duane Underwood
Michael Wagner
* Sam Wilson
NOTES: A former Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospect as an outfielder and an outfielder throughout his pro career coming into the 2013 season, 24-year old 6'3 220 Johermyn Chavez was signed as a six-year minor league FA by the Cubs last off-season, got an NRI to Spring Training, and played RF at AA Tennessee through May 9th (hitting just 206/306/270 in 24 SL games) before going to Mesa (Fitch Park) and being converted to a RHP. He saw some game action for the AZL Cubs in August, and he will be a 6YFA again post-2013 if he does not re-sign with the Cubs... 23-year old RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua ($1.5M bonus in 2012) got a late start due to visa problems and then strugled at both Kane County and Boise... 24-year old RHP Jose Rosario struggled at KC in 2013, and since he will be a minor league FA (6YFA) post-2014, he really needs to get past low-"A" in 2014... 6'7 19-year old Dominican RHP Jefferson Mejia was signed by the Cubs in July ($850K bonus) and made his pro debut with the DSL Cubs (3 G - 9.0 IP) in August... 18-year old RHP Jen-Ho Tseng was rated by Baseball America as the #6 international pitching prospect in 2013 (and the #1 international prospect in Taiwan) prior to signing with the Cubs in August ("Signed for Future Service" - 2014 contract - $1.625M bonus) and he will be making his pro debut at Instructs... 

Tyler Alamo
Cael Brockmeyer
Ben Carhart (ex-3B)
# Erick Castillo
* Jordan Hankins (ex-3B)
# Mark Malave (ex-3B)
* Alberto Mineo
Giuseppe Papaccio (ex-INF)
# Wilfredo Petit
Will Remillard
NOTESJordan Hankins played 2B in college (Austin Peay) but his position was announced as "catcher" when the Cubs drafted him in the 11th round this past June. However, he played only 3B-2B-1B at AZL Cubs and Boise... Wiill Remillard was drafted by the Cubs out of Coastal Carolina U. in June (he was Josh Conway's catcher in college) and signed in July, but he did not play in the AZL due to a back injury, so he will be making his pro debut at Instructs... Alberto Mineo was signed as a 16-year old out of Italy in 2010 ($225K bonus), but he has yet to advance past rookie ball (AZL)... Although he was signed ($1.6M bonus) as a catcher as a 16-year old in July 2011, switch-hitting Mark Malave was moved to 3B when he made his pro debut at Instructs two years ago. (BTW, same thing happened with Willson Contreras, who was signed by the Cubs as a catcher in 2009, was immediately moved to 3B, and then was moved back to catcher after the 2011 season)...

Gioskar Amaya (2B)
# Jeimer Candelario (3B)
# Frandy de la Rosa (SS-2B)
Kelvin Freeman (1B)
Jesse Hodges (3B)
* Danny Lockhart (2B-SS-3B)
Carlos Penalver (SS)
Gleyber Torres (SS) 
16-year old Venezuelan SS Gleyber Torres was rated by Baseball America as the #2 International prospect this season. The Cubs signed him ("Signed for Future Service" - 2014 contract - $1.7M bonus) in July and he will be making his pro debut at Instructs... 17-year old switch-hitting Dominican SS-2B Frandy de la Rosa ($700K bonus in 2012) made his pro debut at Extended Spring Training in Mesa, but then spent the 2013 regular season with the DSL Cubs...  

Jeffrey Baez
Yasiel Balaguert
Charcer Burks
* Rashad Crawford
* Shawon Dunston Jr 
* Jose Dore (also 3B-2B-1B)
# Kevin Encarnacion
Trey Martin 
NOTES: One of the fastest players in the organization, Rashad Crawford gave-up switch-hitting in Extended Spring Training and is now hitting exclusively LH to take greater advantage of his speed... Trey Martin underwent surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in May and just started taking BP at Fitch Park a couple of weeks ago... Toolsy & athletic Jose Dore was acquired from SD during Spring Training and played 1B-2B-3B-LF-CF-RF at Extended Spring Training, so while he is listed as an outfielder, he can play just about anywhere in the INF or OF... Baseball America's top-rated 2013 international prospect (16-year old Dominican OF Eloy Jimenez) was signed by the Cubs in August ("Signed for Future Service" - 2014 contract - $2.8M bonus), and he is presently scheduled to make his pro debut at Dominican Academy Instructs in October and (probably) his U. S. debut at either Minor League Camp or Extended Spring Training in Mesa in 2014...  

In addition, pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Armando Rivero, and Arodys Vizcaino, infielders Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, and outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Soler will likely spend a few days with the AZIL squad at Fitch Park before they report to the Mesa Solar Sox (AFL) a half-mile up the street at HoHoKam Park.

Brandon Hyde

Tim Cossins (Catching)
Jose Flores (Infield/Bunting)
Anthony Iapoce (Hitting)
Derek Johnson (Pitching)
Carmelo Martinez (Assistant Hitting)
Lee Tinsley (Outfield/Baserunning)

Jimmy Gonzalez
Gary Van Tol 

Oscar Bernard (Hitting Coach)
Tom Beyers (Hitting Coach)
Juan Cabreja (Coach)
Storm Davis (Pitching Coach)
Mariano Duncan (Hitting Coach)
Dave Keller (Coach)
Nate Maldonado (Catching Coach)
Ricardo Medina (Hitting Coach)
Osmin Melendez (Coach)
Bobby Mitchell (Coach)
David Rosario (Pitching Coach)
Anderson Tavarez (Pitching Coach) 
Ron Villone (Pitching Coach) 



given that 2014 most likely (and sanely) doesn't involve r.cano...can we get someone playing 2nd not named d.barney who might be a better option for 600 PA there going forward? i really don't want to repeat this for a 4th season...i don't care how much money he makes (or doesn't make)...it's getting a bit old. donnie murphy's 2 starts didn't look bad...but it seems they want to mainly use him at 3rd. his power is most likely an illusion (especially at the rate he's going), but if he can play good 2nd and pop 30 doubles + 15-20 HR while hitting .250/.330 avg/ob% it's worlds better than sitting through more d.barney...who's already hitting 8th in the lineup anyway (when he's not hitting 2nd for some reason). d.barney does 2 things...flash the glove and not K...not much else going on there...doesn't hit, doesn't walk...hasn't had an ob% of .300 or more since 2011 (.313).


20 games...2 starting at 2nd...6 where he was doing more than just being a pinch hitter...28 total PA, 30.1 innings in the field. he's been up since Aug 4th and i don't really know what he's doing...maybe a lot of being coached pre-game or something.

I mean, when Barney's putting up a monster second half of .193/.270/.260...you can't really sit him?

Stop channeling the real Dusty!

unpossible...there is only 1 dusty and only he does dusty things. the 600-ish PA per season you've seen out of d.barney the past 2 years and all the hitting in the 2 slot he's done is an illusion. 1100 PA of d.barney over 2 years is still way better than 400 PA of j.macias over 2 years...that's blindingly obvious and not up for discussion. macias's 49 PA in the 2 slot over 2 years might as well have been all 400. rage! fwiw, dusty leads the NL (and probably MLB since there's no pitchers in the AL) in sac bunts this year...lulz...don mattingly #2.

Hi Phil, wish I could make it sown for some fall league action. I will be down for the month of April. Thanks for keeping us up to date on all the players. Looks like some of the young guys are coming around. Montana Bob

BOB: I'll look forward to seing you!

Remember, the Cubs will be at Riverview Park (Rio Salado Parkway & Dobson Road) starting next season.

The stadium at HoHoKam Park closes for renovation on December 1st, and I think the baseball facility at Fitch Park is supposed to close at about the same time.

a hit+run on an 0-2 count? ...really? really? ...of course that failed...with a swinging K and a caught stealing with valbuena trying to take 3rd.

Cashner with a perfect game through 6 vs. Pirates...Burnett pitching his own shutout though.

-edit- Burnett gives up a run in the 7th (so far)...

Tabata singles to start the 7th...Padres up 2-0 on Pirates though.

i can't even imagine who would be playing 1st for the cubs if rizzo wasn't around... it sucked to lose cashner, but it was a trade both clubs could afford to make. rarely does it make sense for a club to trade a #2-#3 quality SP for a 1st baseman, but this is one of those rare cases. vogelbomb might make for a good 1st option one day, but that day doesn't seem to be on the table until 2016 as it is. cubs needed power a bit more than they needed SP and SD needed SP a bit more than they needed a power 1st baseman.

Garza out without finishing the 5th...that trade not really working out for the Rangers (again).

I can't see them dealing for one of our starters again anytime soon. I guess pitching for the Cubs with no pressure is a little different than a pennant race in that little Texas matchbox.

wash has 0 patience with him...whereas we're used to garza having a bad string of hits/walks in a row and letting him pitch around/through it...usually with good results...garza is getting the quick hook for the pen as soon as he has a bad streak. i'm sure a lot has to do with the pressure of being in a numbers game for a playoff spot. garza's replacement immediately gave up a 2r double, but he locked down the last 2 outs (along with a walk in between them).

either the gun is off or w.peralta is having a hell of a night with his arm. he's throwing a lot of 96-98mph rather than his usual 94-96mph mix. he's hit 99mph a couple of times.

this chc/mil game is like watching teams of 1st year little leaguers trying to play the field 5 combined errors...0 outs in the top 5th. it should be 6 errors, but for some reason a ball that clunked off and out of the glove of scooter has been scored a double.

Phil, great update as always. Wondering if 'Signed for Future Service' - 2014 contract is a way to come under the 2013 international signing pool? Thanks!

GEORGE A: Unfortunately (for the Cubs), when a player is "Signed for Future Service," the player DOES count against the club's bonus pool for the season during which he actually signs the contract, even if he signs a contract for the following season.

However, when a player is Signed for Future Service, the player does not count against a minor league club's reserve list until Opening Day of the following season. This allows a club to avoid having to release too many players during the off season. (AAA clubs have a 38-man reserve list, AA clubs have a 37-man reserve list, and all other minor league clubs have a 35-man reserve list).  

Without getting too deep into the weeds, any first contract player signed on July 1st or later can be Signed for Future Service (meaning he can sign a contract for the following season), but first-contract players signed prior to July 1st cannot be Signed for Future Service.

Players who sign prior to July 1st count against the minor league club's Active List within 15 days after signing or when the player appears in a game (whichever comes first), but the same player does not count against the minor league affiliate's Reserve List until the minor league reserve lists are filed with the MLB office on November 20th. So (for example), OF Charcer Burks was selected by the Cubs in the 9th round of the 2013 June draft and signed prior to July 1st, so he could not be Signed for Future Service, and he counted against the AZL Cubs Active List when he appeared in a game, but he won't count against the AZL Cubs Reserve List until November 20th. Conversely, RHP Jen-Ho Tseng was Signed for Future Service (he signed in August, and he signed a 2014 contract), and so while he can participate in Instructs games post-2013 and Minor League Camp games and Extended Spring Training games in 2014, he won't count against the AZL Cubs 35-man Reserve List or Active List until AZL Opening Day next June.

So for every player who is Signed for Future Service, the club can keep one additional player it otherwise would have had to release prior to November 20th. 

Another effect of a player being Signed for Future Service is that the season during which the player signs the contract does not count toward the seven minor league seaons needed to qualify as a so-called "six-year minor league free-ageht." So because Jen-Ho Tseng was Signed for Future Service, he will not qualify to be a minor league 6YFA until post-2020.

However, the season the player actually signs his first contract (even if it's a contract for the following season) does count as far as Rule 5 Draft eligibility is concerned. Therefore, although Jen-Ho Tseng signed a 2014 contract when he signed in August, the 2013 season counts as his first season for Rule 5 Draft eligibity purposes because he signed his first contract prior to the conclusion of the AZL Cubs 2013 season. And therefore Tseng will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time after the 2017 season (same as Charcer Burks). 

So in summary, signing an international player for future service makes sense if the player signs after July 2nd, and either the player is only 16 years old (like Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres), or the player signs too late in the minor league season for the player to get ready to play in a game (as was the case with Tseng). 

Thanks, Phil....great info.

Phil: Could the Cubs add a second AZL team to create extra spots in the organization, the same way they have 2 DSL teams? It seems like they could share a facility, so for the minimal costs of coaches, equipment, and minor league player salaries, they could keep an extra X men in the organization.

JOHN B: The Cubs could do that.

At present, Minor League Baseball levels are grouped as follows:

Advanced-"A" (or "Hi-A")
Full Season-"A" (or "Lo=A")
Short Season-"A"
Foreign Rookie-"A"

NOTE: Rookie-"A" and Foreign Rookie-"A" are supposedly the same level, but in practice FR-"A" is below R-"A".

MLB Clubs are permitted to operate only one AAA, one AA, one Hi-A, and one Lo-A affiliate, but after that there is a variance

The Cubs minor league affiliates are: 

Iowa (AAA)
Tennessee (AA) 
Daytona (Hi-A)
Kane County (Lo-A)
Boise (SS-A)
AZL Cubs (R-A)
DSL Cubs (FR-A)
VSL Cubs (FR-A) 

Most MLB clubs operate seven minor league teams (typically one team each at the AAA, AA, Hi-A, Lo-A, SS-A, R-A, and FR-A levels), but the Cubs are one of ten clubs that operate eight minor league affiliates (the Cubs having added a second DSL affiliate in 2008 that was moved to the VSL this season). There are also four MLB clubs (NYM, NYY, SEA, and TB) that have nine minor league affiliates, with the Yankees operating two teams in Gulf Coast League (GCL), the Florida version of the AZL (similar to what you suggested the Cubs do). 

The Cubs wouldn't have to add a second team to the AZL in order to get to nine affiliates, however. They could just do what some MLB clubs do, which is to maintain one Rookie-A level team at the club's Spring Training base (that would be the club's GCL or AZL afiliate) and then a second Rookie-A level team in either the Appalachian Leagie or Pioneer League (the two Rookie-A leagues that are equivalent to the AZL and GCL). But to do that they would have to either take the place of another MLB club in a league (like if another club wants to cut-back from eight affiliates to seven and abandons its affiliate in the Pioneer League or Appalachian League). or petition MLB for an expansion team in that league.

In fact I'm surprised the Cubs haven't done that. It does cost money to operate an affiliate (they don't make money, and in fact they lose money), but the Cubs seem to be commited to building from within, and one part of that is to develop as many players as possible. And having an additional affiliate at the Rookie-A level (maybe in the Pioneer League or Appalachian League) would allow the Cubs to retain more of the players they sign for a longer period of time, and would make more slots available for players moving up from the DSL and VSL. 

Just as an aside, a change in work visa rules during the Bush Administration has allowed MLB clubs to bring more international players to the U. S. 

It used to be that MLB clubs had a fixed number of work visas available every year (somewhere around 50), and that included work visas for foreign players at the MLB level as well as in the minor leagues. So a club could promote only a certain number of players to a U. S.-based rookie level team (and to Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs) from the DSL and/or VSL every season, and it was difficult to move players back & forth between the U. S. and the DSL or VSL. But that has changed, and now there is no limit (presuming the visa gets approved -- see Juan Carlos Paniagua), so you see more international players at Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs, and they can be easily moved back & forth during the season between the AZL (for example) and the DSL and/or VSL, something that wasn't possible as recently as ten years ago.  


e.jackson replaced after 4ip in order to have a pinch hitter bat for him...with 1 out and a man on 3rd... 76 pitches and done. alright then...

...and dale/ejax have rather obviously harsh words with each other between innings in the dugout before ejax storms off into the clubhouse.

and 2 cubs pitching innings + 3 pitchers out of the pen later, a 1-2 game has turned into a 1-4 game. also, if lim was a SP it would take 3 hours to get to the 5th inning. his mound work and delivery is so slow segura stole 3rd off the pitcher (even though he was checking him) and was standing on 3rd (without a slide) by the time castillo caught the ball. it doesn't seem lim "does" pitching out of the stretch at all.

make that 4 pitchers in 3 innings...and a 1-6 game.

crunch, it's slightly misleading to imply that it was a one-run game when Jackson was lifted.

RE: The Punto GIF http://i.minus.com/iCXMs60qEL6xm.gif So. Much. Grit. I just can't.


“It happens,” Jackson said after he disagreed over Sveum’s decision to pull him for a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth inning with the Cubs trailing the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 with a runner at second base. “I was caught off guard a bit. But that’s the nature of the game. He’s the manager. He can make the calls when he needs to.”


“I don’t have a problem with (Sveum),” Jackson said. “I’m sure he don’t have a problem with me. It’s something that happened. But it’s not really a big deal. It might be made to be a bigger deal than it is.

I remember early in the season Jackson was in a bit of trouble early in the game and it looked like he was looking towards the bullpen and then towards the dugout like he was saying, "HELP! GET ME OUT OF HERE!!" but that of course may have just been my imagination. If the arg was just him wanting the ball, I'm sure Sveum is cool with it.

John Arguella/Cubs Den gives props to AZ Phil, a link to his TCR post, then adds his comments about the prospects... http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/09/in...

Here is an "Ask BA" article with some commentary regarding Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres by Ben Badler...
The two international prospects the Cubs signed this year who should make their (the Cubs) Top 30 are Dominican outfielder Eloy Jimenez and Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres. There wasn’t a clear-cut No. 1 prospect on the international market this year, but Jimenez and Torres were either at or near the top of the boards for several teams, and we ranked them as the top two international prospects available for July 2. Neither one of them should be Top 10 prospects in that organization, but they should both fit comfortably in the 11-30 range.
All of the players who become eligible to sign for the first time on July 2 are signing 2014 contracts, so they will make their pro debuts next season. Domincan righthander Jefferson Mejia signed when he was 18, so he was able to make a pair of starts this season in the Dominican Summer League. Jimenez and Torres are advanced enough that they should skip the DSL and head straight to the Rookie-level Arizona League next year.

CCO has a transcript of last week's (I think it was from Sept 11) Jason McLeod interview on WGN's David Kaplan show: http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/09...

Phil -- Giuseppe Papaccio is in your list of catchers, with the notation that he is an "ex-INF". He was playing SS and 3B for Kane County all the way up until the end of the season this year. Is this a being looked at as a permanent switch or is he just adding another position to his utility belt?

JOE P: It's not clear if the idea is to make Papaccio a catcher permanently, or if it's to just give him experience as a catcher because the Cubs project him as a utility player down the line. If I had to guess, I would say it's probably the latter.

The Cubs have a recent history of teaching minor league utility players the catching trade without actually moving the player to catcher on a permanent basis. Recent examples would be Brandon May, David Macias, Anthony Giansanti, Jonathon Mota, and Rony Rodriguez.

But then other times, the move is permanant (like with Steve Clevenger, Robinson Chirinos, and Willson Contreras).

I think because he was signed as a catcher, moving Mark Malave back to catcher is probably designed as a permanent move, but the others (Carhart, Hankins, and Papaccio) might be a matter of giving the player experience as a catcher to increase his versatility (and value). But if the player shows unusual dedication & aptitude for the position (as was the case with Clevenger, Chrinos, and Contreras), it could become a full-time gig and a whole new career!

The San Diego Padres are doing something interesting this year, and the Cubs might try it some day. 

Instead of fielding a squad in the AZ Instructional League, the Padres are sending their players to their DSL Academy for Instructs (DSL Instructs commences after the conclusion of AZ Instructs and Florida Instructs, running from mid-October to mid-November). The idea is to give the U. S. players some idea of what it's like for the Latin kids to play in the DR. 

About four or five years ago, the Cubs sent a group of U. S. players to their DSL Academy for DSL Instructs after the conclusion of the AZ Instructional League, but it was only about a half-dozen kids, not the entire squad.

In addition to the 14 MLB clubs that are fielding squads in the AZ Instructional League this year, there are also two teams (the NC Dinos and the SK Wyverns) from the Korean Baseball Association (KBA), and several teams from the Mexican Pacific League (the Mexican winter league), including Obregon, Hermosillo, and Mexicali.


j.loria and david samson are a plague upon the baseball world...a bit surprised samson didn't end up in that article, too.

It's as bad as Monday matinee Panthers pre-season hockey. http://deadspin.com/the-florida-panthers-real...

cue depressing music... "Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat #Cubs batting leaders for Sept so far: Castro .237, Sweeney .214, Rizzo .208, Barney .159. Minimum 50 plate appearances"

Worn out from all the hitting they did earlier in the season?

it's finally official...and somewhat unimpressive... "The Cubs have decided to move Josh Vitters from third base to left field." he just turned 24 a few weeks ago...so there is some hope. he actually had a rather impressive 1/5th of a season before injury took him down...but meh. if he can find the 20+ HR, 30+ double hitter inside him somewhere..it could be promising...or at least cheap filler.

Let's see - the player (often injured) who was drafted by the team at 17, as a top draft choice, who has been with the team 8 years now - is now going to finally become a Major League ballplayer because he gets moved to left field years after he should have? The odds are long, sir. Same holds true for Brett Jackson who I feel is gonna bust too. Don't be surprised when he is DFA'd (he is making nearly $500,000 to strike out).

Hey, come on now, Vitters has only been with the team SEVEN years, not eight.

Other than working for myself, I don't think I have ever held a job that long.

Quote-acopia from Theo in twitter sidebar...

"Theo looking ahead to offseason: “I don’t think we’re going to have the ability to add like multiple impact pieces in free agency.” fine...just add one...then go find more options in trade. there's a lot of money freed up this offseason, this team is owned by one of the richest ownership groups in baseball, the team is in chicago + has national appeal, etc etc etc...

Or they could go all Red Sox, spread the money around, sign a bunch of solid 2-3 WAR guys to fill the holes, and actually care about putting a respectable team on the field next year. We don't have to go straight from Shawn Camp to Robinson Cano.

I imagine a few more buy low SP and RP signings, if they spend any big money it'll be on a corner outfielder (Choo, Cruz, etc). Barney will likely keep his job to start the year until Baez or Alcantara pushes him out of the way (or pushes Castro over).

So, do the Nat's catch the Reds? With Dusty, anything is possible . . .

Reds closer to NL central lead than Nats are to them in WC standings. Reds also with third best run differential in NL. Anything is possible and all, but Pirates are a run of bad luck in one-run games from blowing it themselves.

Aramis Ramirez really hustled on that triple. Wow, can't believe I actually got to type that.

And this Wash is freakin' while the other Wash is streakin': http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking... Definitely sorry I typed that.

3 bad D plays (2 by ninja, 1 by sweeney) has led to the loss of 2 outs and caused a run so far into 2.1 inning. neat. only 1 error caused by the mess. cubs...quit playing bad D in front of MIL...they're supposed to be the masters of bad D this season.

...and add a castro baserunning mindfart to the tally in the top 4th.

Bought tickets to a White Sox game for a bachelor party in April. Today, they sent me a voucher for 2 free tickets to any home game for the rest of the year. Also, i'm a Cubs season ticket holder. Still waiting on my free anything this season.

ninja gets his 200th K of the season...good for him.

woo...sweeney sac fly, welly 2r HR...cubs lead 3-1, top 7th.

...and carlos "i have a stupidly high WAR which makes no sense" gomez ties it with his 20th HR. btw, a.simmons (ATL) and his .246/.294/.387 slash line with 11 errors is tied for 10th best WAR in all of MLB. he's tied with c.davis (BAL).

leadoff double in the top 9th of a tie game...K, infield ground-out, K...runner never leaves 2nd. 2013 cubs!

and j.grimm gives up a walk, a single, and blows a bunt (bobbling it) getting 0 outs and an error for himself...bases loaded, 0 out. bosio the clown out for a talk for some reason...maybe figuring out where they're going for dinner in a few minutes.

holy crap...MIL wins it on a suicide squeeze with 1 out...grimm fields the ball, brain farts, and doesn't even try for the double play or the play at home...yet, for some reason, he threw to 1st after the run scored. craptastic. 4 losses in a row.

Cubs within 3 games of WSux for 3rd spot in draft, 11 games left. 1.5 games ahead of Minnesota for 4th spot.

Cubs: 2 @ Brewers, 3 vs. Atlanta, 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 3 @ St. Louis

easily could go 2-9 there

WSux: vs. Twins, 3 @ Detroit, vs. Toronto, 2 @ Cleveland, 4 vs. Kansas City

easily could also go 2-9

Twins: @ WSux, 4 @ Oakland, 3 vs. Detroit, 4 vs. Cleveland

could easily go 0-12


there's a heavy need for some breakout performances from college and HS players. right now it's c.rondon all by himself rather than the appel/gray/bryant "any could rightfully go 1st" mix. jeff hoffman and trea turner are currently near-common consensus for picks 2 and 3 in the draft and they're kinda boring options. turner is a steady SS with doubles power and a touch of speed...hoffman is a power lefty pitching in the uninspiring Conference USA. hoffman's good showing this summer (along with being a mid-90s lefty) has people excited, though. there's guys people are keeping an eye on to rise like tyler beede at vandy...and then there's the highschool kids like tyler kolek (SP), alex jackson (C w/ bat+arm skills), and a slew of SP + SS guys with upside.

"[Baez is] most likely to break, next year, as our Triple-A shortstop," Epstein said. "If we start hearing the pounding on the door, we can get him more exposure to other positions." http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

11 pitches by the cubs for this game to start sucking... 2013 cubs...woo.

Offseason is always long, painful, boring, insufferable ... so I'm making myself watch every night right now, and maybe the first 4-6 weeks will be a comfortable relief.

...and on pitch 25 we get a grand slam. 0-5, chc/mil...bottom 1st, 2 outs. awesome.

all the niceties in the twitter sidebox about Rusin clearly jinxed him...5 spot in the first by Brewers.

most likely not being targeted by the cubs...nonetheless... "MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports that Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu has established residency in Haiti."

Padres are doing September roster expansion wrong...Cashner pinch runs for Gyorko representing tying run in the 9th.

naturally Cashner ends up scoring...Bud Black is a mad genius.

d.barney is getting dangerously close to having a sub-.300 slugging mark (.308 currently)...to go along with his .208/.268 avg/ob%. 529 PA for this guy...it's not getting any better. i mean, he's no doug flynn...but c'mon. i hope we see a lot of j.baez slotted in at 2nd this fall/winter...just saying.

FREE LOGAN WA.....ah the hell with it...

Not freed, but he gets a day pass.

b.hamilton just stole on a good throw from catcher to 2nd...on a pitchout. 4sb tonight on 3 hits and 2 walks (13 innings). btw, 1st player in the live ball era with 4 SB in his 1st MLB start.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/just-ho... Just how tough is it to throw out Billy Hamilton

I will quote CRUNCH who opined this years ago: "He's [Hamilton] only an injured leg away from being useless."

it isn't shown in any of the videos, but he's such a threat that i've twice seen (once last night) a ground ball to 3rd...with hamilton on 3rd...being checked before throwing the ball to 1st. not only do teams feel the need to check him on a ground ball to 3rd before throwing to 1st, they have to rifle the ball to 1st so he doesn't think of taking off on the throw to 1st. game changing, once every generation or two speed. we're not on a juan pierre level of speed...we're on a rickey henderson level...some would argue greater than henderson.

Cubs continue free fall toward finale, and to add insult to insult, the Braves and Pirates will probably both clinch playoff spots at Wrigley during the final homestand.

Strop to close for rest of season

Cubs to attempt to have a lead late in games for rest of season.

yet he was brought into the 8th with a 3r lead. cubs add another run in the top 9th on a bog HR.

Strop done for the season.

Castillo is the slowest guy in baseball; Sweeney just runs the bases like it. Groundballs to RF, goes 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. No runs scored in the inning.

Schier Shot, 3-0 Cubs, top3.

Boris Badanov pitching for the Brewers?

Castillo pulled his right hammy running to 1st, taken out of game. Didn't look too badly hurt, he walked back to the dugout on both legs, but with a hammy this late in a lost season, that might be the end of this year depending on the situation.

ESPN's game notes say it was due to "right knee soreness". Either way I wouldn't be shocked it he was given the rest of the season off.

Baez will skip the AFL, possible Almora gets bumped up from taxi squad and they find a replacement there.

apparently Vizcaino won't play either....

the "on paper" strongest team in the AFL is getting weaker by the hour. viz will at least stay in instructs to work.

C. J. Edwards has been dropped from the Cubs AZ Instructs roster, so perhaps he will get Vizcaino's slot in the AFL.

Edwards is an unusual case, because he is a 2011 HS draft pick who will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft after the 2014 season (Most HS draft picks aren't eligible for selection until the 5th Rule 5 Draft after signing). That's because Edwards was a 19-year old HS senior. So the Cubs may want to get Edwards ready for AA by getting him reps in the AFL this year, since he will very likely be added to the MLB 40-man roster after next season at the latest (if he doesn't get called up during the 2014 season). 

Same goes for Dillon Maples. He was drafted in 2011 out of HS but will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft after the 2014 season, because he turned 19 prior to the 2011 draft. So the Cubs will need to think seriously about adding Maples to the 40 after next season, too.   

Even without Javier Baez on the team, the Mesa Solar Sox have two 1st basemen (C. J. Cron and Max Muncy), two second basemen (Devon Travis and Taylor Lindsey), two shortstops (Addison Russell and Dixon Machado), and two third-basemen (Kris Bryant and Matt Skole), but they only had four outfielders on the primary roster (Zach Borenstein, Tyler Collins, Brian Goodwin, and Jorge Soler--and only Goodwin plays CF) plus two on the taxi squad (Albert Almora and Steve Souza--and only Almora is a full-time CF, Souza is an IF-OF utility guy), so the Cubs certainly don't need to send another infielder to the Solar Sox, and in fact assigning Almora to the primary roster instead of sending Baez back to the AFL for a second time (he was there last year) actually makes more sense than the original assignment configuration. 

Starlin Castro walked on the graves of Hall of Fame baseball players and killed the game as we know it.


just kidding...it was a white dude on the Cardinals, so brain farts are excused.

BAM. Racism called out.


Nationals gets LHP Matthew Spann from Rays to complete DeJesus deal.

the dodgers...who earlier this year hit 5 ARZ players in a single series...celebrated their division clinch by jumping in the pool @ARZ. ...this will not end well...and carry over to 2014 (today was last time they meet up this season).

ooo...it seems they were directly asked not to celebrate on the field...they do this instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-Dbye49Myc

LA/ARZ open the 2014 season vs each other...in australia. that might be fun...too bad it'll probably be on TV at like 5am EST or something stupid.

"Patrick Mooney @CSNMooney There are real questions inside Cubs organization about whether or not Dale Sveum should return to manage in 2014" http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/cubs-why-dale-... gwah. whatever. "Why has All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro regressed into a .242 hitter?" hell, let's fire the hitting coach. "Why does franchise first baseman Anthony Rizzo look so defeated with runners in scoring position?" hell, let's fire the hitting coach and hire a new team psychologist. "Why is Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney fighting just to stay above the Mendoza Line?" hell, why is Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney playing as much as he is? ...also, let's fire the hitting coach along with the manager. "Why does Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija have a 5.30 ERA since June?" hell, let's fire the pitching coach. if they do decide to put lipstick on this pig...actually, this team wouldn't spring for lipstick... if they do decide to apply red sharpie marker to the lips of this pig i hope they go cheap on their next manager if that's in the cards. if they're even thinking about sinking $2-3+ million into a lineup maker, peace maker, and butt-patter before sinking it into this team then bleh...

Keep Dale, he knows how the whole Cub thing works (fans,day games, stadium) which has freaked out the last couple of managers here.

Since this is all new, and the Cubs haven't played day games for a hundred years? Lol.

To clearify, I think Lou and Dusty came in thinking this would be an easy gig not fully knowing that this probably the most unique managerial position in MLB.

The whole day game thing is such a load of shit. All mon - wed games are at night, and even some thurs games this season. Even if it was true, it should be a huge advantage for the home team.

Welington Castillo MRI shows torn meniscus...out 4-6 weeks. C'ya next spring. Bos-canned. https://twitter.com/ESPNChiCubs/status/381091... Theo says WC part of the core, so far...that's been like a kiss of death. Cubs core: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_wmEjJKtJYHs/TFeTUjY...

Rob G's Favorite Radio after Seacrest- WSCR is reporting that "their insiders" saying the Girardi for manager "is real". Cubs looking "for shakeup" and Ricketts not liking "empty seats in stands." Yeah Girardi will bring them in.

If Yanks are done with Girardi, not a terrible idea, knows how to handle big media presence...did well enough with Miami youngsters. That all being said, why would he be leaving Yankees? That team had more on the disabled list this year than the total payroll of a third of the league combined.

Cubs will still mostly suck in 2014 though and if one person pays to see Girardi manage, I want that person's address to beat the shit out of them.


girardi is making $3m a year managing the yanks. taking $2-$2.5m from the product they put on the field would suck...much less $3m+...especially since girardi wouldn't be going for a year-to-year or cheap multi-year deal. we've already been through a multi-million-more-than-needed louapalooza...and everyone obviously loved dusty... the last thing i want to see is another "name brand" manager...at the very least until there's a "name brand" product on the field to actually manage. this team needs $2-$2.5+ million spent on the team before a 50-year old attitude and lineup card master. hell, i'd look at the james rowson + rob deer hitting coach combo before looking at the manager...especially with all the talk the front office has given rowson with support and praise. this gem from mlb.com almost 2 months ago seems practically cringe-worthy at this point... http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130...

" rob deer hitting coach" think about that. That's like Stevie Wonder driving instructor. I would get rid of some of Dale's cronies.

Girardi may be expensive, but at least he'll bring Rothschild with him.

h.rondon goes 5 outings in a row without giving up a run...career high. sweet. 5ip 0h 1bb 4k FUTURE CLOSER ALERT!

k.gregg gives up 2 runs in the top 9th in a tied game. FUTURE EX-CLOSER ALERT! (this time...seriously) ...make that 4 runs in the top 9th.

heh, Gregg being pissy about Strop given closer role for last 10 days in twitter sidebar....funny stuff.

He threw the game!!!

Patrick Mooney‏@CSNMooney Cubbie Occurrence: Kevin Gregg actually reached a $500,000 performance bonus today for his 50th game finished.

Theo said he's considering releasing Gregg for public rant, will sleep on it.

FWIW, if a player is given his Outright Release anytime from September 1st up until MLB Opening Day of the following the season, the club that released the player cannot re-sign the player to a Major League contract (and add the player to the club's MLB 40-man roster and MLB 25-man roster) until May 15th. That's why clubs prefer to outright a player to the minors (even if the player can decline the assignment and elect to be a free-agent) or non-tender a player or allow the player to leave as a Article XX-B MLB FA rather than give the player his Outright Release. So there is a certain element of "bridge burning" involved with an Outright Release that is not the case when a club and a player separate by other means.

On Sveum vs. Girardi I sort of agree with Jacos on how Sveum knows how it all works now. I was pretty sure I wanted to see him go early in the season, and I'm still not thrilled with the progress of Castro and Rizzo, but I'm not sure Girardi brings anything to the table that Sveum doesn't. They both will make in game managing decisions that piss people off, it's what managers do. And the Cubs, for a team with such a lousy record, has not been an automatic win for teams. They've been in most of the games they've played this year, at least by the box score, although it's fair to say that their hitting has been so bad sometimes that the weren't in many 2-0 type games. I agree with crunch, too. Fire the batting coach. He's worthless. On the other hand, if they do fire Sveum? Yawn. Get some players on this roster, and let's end the Darwin Barney Gold Glove Experiment.

Ryno gets a 3 yr extension with the Phils and an option year. No longer interim.

Damn! Wow ... What their record since he took over? (Edit: 18-16 since Ryne took over).

ata boy Ryno.

Justin Maxwell with a walk off two out grand slam in the bottom of the 10th of a scoreless game between Rangers and Royals. The ball never came down ... still orbiting earth. 3-2 count and Rangers lose another tough one. Maxwell who came to KC from Astros at the deadline also had a legit diving grab early in the game. Royals keeping the dream alive.

champagne ready to pop in the clubhouse...plastic over the lockers... ah, the joys of someone getting to celebrate @wrigley...too bad it's the visiting team. sigh.

h, the joys of someone getting to celebrate @wrigley...too bad it's the visiting team. --- that's why they shouldn't remodel the visitors clubhouse...damn messes they leave.

Cubs Den/John Arugello ranks Cubs top 10 prospects. No surprises. http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/09/cu...