Cubs 2013 Arizona Instructional League - Final Stats

Here are the final statistics from the Cubs 2013 AZ Instructional League (AZIL) season.

There is no official scorer at the games, so all stats are “unofficial.”

Stats from Instructs intra-squad games and “sim” game are not included.

13 AZIL games were originally scheduled, but one game was canceled. 



NOTE: Position Players are sorted by Plate Appearances (PA)

* bats left
# bats both

“Slash line” = AVG/OBP/SLG

JESSE HODGES (3B) - Age 19 - 2012 Non-Drafted Free-Agent 
9 GAMES (33 PA)
3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 4 RUNS, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 HBP, 1 SB (0 CS)

KELVIN FREEMAN (1B) - Age 22 - 2013 Draft (17th Round)
9 GAMES (31 PA)
2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 RUNS, 2 BB, 10 K, 3 GIDP

(RF) - Age 20 - 2011 International Free-Agent (Cuba)
7 GAMES (28 PA)
2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 3 RUNS, 0 BB, 4 K

* SHAWON DUNSTON JR (CF-LF) - Age 20 - 2011 Draft (11th Round)
7 GAMES (24 PA)
3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 RUNS, 4 BB, 6 K, 3 SB (0 CS)

* DANNY LOCKHART (2B)  - Age 20 - 2011 Draft (10th Round)
8 GAMES (23 PA)
2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3 RUNS, 1 BB, 3 K, 4 SB (0 CS)

(CF-LF) - Age 20 - 2011 Draft (13th Round)
7 GAMES (23 PA)
5 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 2 RUNS, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP, 1 SF, 1 SB (0 CS)

(2B) - Age 20 - 2009 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
7 GAMES (22 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 RUNS, 5 BB, 6 K, 3 SB (1 CS)

JEFFREY BAEZ (RF) - Age 19 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
5 GAMES (21 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4 RUNS, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 GIDP, 4 SB (0 CS)  

(1B-C) - Age 23 - 2012 Draft (35th Round)
7 GAMES (21 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 RUNS, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 SB (1 CS)
DEFENSE: 0-4 CS (0%), 2 PB

* RASHAD CRAWFORD (CF-LF) - Age 20 - 2012 Draft (11th Round)  
8 GAMES (21 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 RUN, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 SH

GLEYBER TORRES (SS) - Age 16 - 2013 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
7 GAMES (20 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 RUN, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 GIDP, 1 SB (0 CS), 1 PO

* JACOB HANNEMANN (CF) - Age 22 - 2013 Draft (3rd Round)
5 GAMES (19 PA)
1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 RUN, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 2 SB (0 CS)

(LF) - Age 18 - 2013 Draft (9th Round)  
6 GAMES (17 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 SB (1 CS), 1 PO

# JEIMER CANDELARIO (3B) - Age 19 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)
5 GAMES (16 PA)
0 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4 RUNS, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 GIDP

(SS) - Age 19 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
6 GAMES (16 PA)
0 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 RUNS, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SF, 1 SB (0 CS)

ERICK CASTILLO (C) - Age 20 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
6 GAMES (11 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 RUNS, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SF, 0 SB (1 CS)
DEFENSE: 3-11 CS (27%), 1 PB 

* JOSE DORE (RF-LF)  - Age 21 - Acquired from SD in a trade (March 2013)
5 GAMES (11 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 RUNS, 2 BB, 4 K

(C-1B) - Age 21 - 2013 Draft (16th Round)
5 GAMES (10 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 RUNS, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 1 GIDP
DEFENSE: 1-2 CS (50%)

WILFREDO PETIT (C) - Age 20 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
5 GAMES (10 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 RUN, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 SB (1 CS)
DEFENSE: 2-6 CS (33%), 1 PO, 1 ERROR  

(C) - Age 21 - 2013 Draft (19th Round)
3 GAMES (10 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 RUNS, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP

* JORDAN HANKINS (3B) - Age 21 - 2013 Draft (11th Round)
3 GAMES (9 PA)
1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 RUN, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 SF

# MARK MALAVE (C) - Age 18 - 2011 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
4 GAMES (9 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 RUN, 1 BB, 1 K
DEFENSE: 0-1  CS (0%)

TYLER ALAMO (C) - Age 18 - 2013 Draft (24th Round)
4 GAMES (8 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 RUNS, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP
DEFENSE: 1-3 CS (33%)

# FRANDY DE LA ROSA (SS) - Age 17 - 2012 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)
4 GAMES (7 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 RUN, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB (0 CS)

# KEVIN ENCARNACION (CF) - Age 21 -2010 International Free-Agent (Venezuela)
2 GAMES (7 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 RUNS, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP

GIUSEPPE PAPACCIO (SS) - Age 22 - 2013 Draft (18th Round)
3 GAMES (6 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 RUN, 0 BB, 1 K

* ALBERTO MINEO (C) - Age 19 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Italy)
2 GAMES (3 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 RUNS, 0 BB, 1 K
DEFENSE: 1-3 CS (33%), 1 PB  

(CF) - Age 19 - 2012 Draft (1st Round)  
1 GAME (3 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 RUNS, 0 BB, 1 K
NOTE: AFL prep 

(3B) - Age 21 - 2013 Draft (1st Round)
1 GAME (3 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 RUNS, 0 BB, 2 K 
NOTE: AFL prep

* WES DARVILL (2B)  - Age 22 - 2009 Draft (5th Round)
1 GAME (3 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 RUNS, 1 BB, 0 K
NOTE: AFL prep

(RF) - Age 21 - 2012 International Free-Agent (Cuba)
1 GAMES (3 PA)
0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 RUNS, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 PO 
NOTE: AFL prep 

(RF)  - Age 16 - 2013 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)
NOTE: DNP in AZIL games (played in intrasquad & "sim" games only)



NOTE: Pitchers are sorted by Innings Pitched (IP)

* throws left

JOSE ROSARIO - Age 23 - 2008 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)
3 GAMES (1 GS)
8.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP
2.25 ERA - 0.63 WHIP - .111 OppBA - 112 pitches (59% strikes) - 10/6 GO/FO   

Age 20 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)
3 GAMES (1 GS)
7.1 IP, 12 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP
6.14 ERA - 1.77 WHIP - .364 OppBA - 106 pitches (73% strikes) - 9/8 GO/FO

 - Age 22 - 2010 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)
3 GAMES (2 GS)
6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HBP, 1 PO 
0.00 ERA - 0.33 WHIP - .056 OppBA - 70 pitches (73% strikes) - 1/7 GO/FO

ERICK LEAL - Age 18 - Acquired from AZ in a trade (February 2013)
2 GAMES (1 GS)
5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 1 BALK, 1 PO
1.59 ERA - 1.24 WHIP - .310 OppBA - 72 pitches (67% strikes) - 5/7 GO/FO

* TYLER IHRIG - Age 22 - 2013 Draft (23rd Round)
5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 1 PO
1.69 ERA - 1.50 WHIP - .318 OppBA - 86 pitches (72% strikes) - 6/2 GO/FO

(ex-OF) - Age 24 - Minor League 6YFA post-2011
5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R (5 ER), 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 3 WP   
9.00 ERA - 2.20 WHIP - .333 OppBA - 106 pitches (50% strikes) - 4/7 GO/FO 

 - Age 23 - 2012 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)
2 GAMES (1 GS)
5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
5.40 ERA - 1.20 WHIP - .222 OppBA - 79 pitches (61% strikes) - 6/5 GO/FO

Age 21 - 2011 Draft (14th Round)  
5.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 4 K
7.20 ERA - 1.20 WHIP - .176 OppBA - 67 pitches (57% strikes) - 7/3 GO/FO

Age 22 - 2013 Draft (4th Round)
3 GAMES (1 GS)
5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP
0.00 ERA - 0.60 WHIP - .063 OppBA - 64 pitches (67% strikes) - 5/3 GO/FO 

MICHAEL WAGNER - Age 22 - 2013 Draft (15th Round)
2 GAMES (1 GS)
5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 5 K
3.60 ERA -  1.40 WHIP - .263 OppBA - 78 pitches (68% strikes) - 3/6 GO/FO

Age 21 - 2013 Draft (2nd Round)
5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 7 K
0.00 ERA - 1.20 WHIP - .222 OppBA - 66 pitches (68% strikes) - 3/4 GO/FO

Age 21 - 2013 Draft (7th Round)
4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 5 K, 2 WP
5.79 ERA - 1.29 WHIP - .200 OppBA - 80 pitches (53% strikes) - 5/2 GO/FO

- Age 19 - 2012 Draft (2nd Round)
2 GAMES (1 GS)
4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K
1.93 ERA - 1.29 WHIP - .222 OppBA - 75 pitches (57% strikes) - 3/6 GO/FO

* SAM WILSON - Age 22 - 2013 Draft (8th Round)
4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 5 BB, 8 K, 1 HR, 1 WP
8.31 ERA - 2.08 WHIP - .235 OppBA - 92 pitches (66% strikes) - 2/3 GO/FO 

PAUL BLACKBURN - Age 19 - 2012 Draft (!st Round Supplemental)
2 GAMES (1 GS)
4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 6 BB, 8 K, 1 PO
4.50 ERA - 2.50 WHIP - .286 OppBA - 86 pitches (51% strikes) - 2/0 GO/FO

TREVOR CLIFTON - Age 18 - 2013 Draft (12th Round)
4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP
0.00 ERA - 1.00 WHIP - .083 OppBA - 65 pitches (59% strikes) - 1/4 GO/FO

TREY LANG - Age 21 - 2012 Draft (6th Round)
4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 5 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 PO
9.00 ERA - 2.25 WHIP - .308 OppBA - 87 pitches (47% strikes) - 4/2 GO/FO

TREY MASEK - Age 21 - 2013 Draft (5th Round)
2 GAMES (1 GS)
3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP 
0.00 ERA - 1.24 WHIP - .154 OppBA - 54 pitches (67% strikes) - 3/4 GO/FO
ZACK GODLEY - Age 23 - 2013 Draft (10th Round)
3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WP
9.00 ERA - 2.00 WHIP - .357 OppBA - 55 pitches (65% strikes) - 4/0 GO/FO

JEN-HO TSENG - Age 19 - 2013 International Free-Agent (Taiwan)
3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP
0.00 ERA - 1.00 WHIP - .250 OppBA - 55 pitches (65% strikes) - 3/2 GO/FO  

ARMANDO RIVERO - Age 25 - 2013 International Free-Agent (Cuba)
2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
0.00 ERA - 0.50 WHIP - .167 OppBA - 28 pitches (61% strikes) - 3/1 GO/FO
NOTE: AFL prep

SCOTT FRAZIER - Age 22 - 2013 Draft (6th Round)
1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K
16.20 ERA - 2.40 WHIP - .444 OppBA - 34 pitches (68% strikes) - 3/0 GO/FO    

LENDY CASTILLO - Age 24 - Selected from PHI in Rule 5 Draft (December 2011) 
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP
0.00 ERA - 1.00 WHIP - .000 OppBA - 9 pitches (56% strikes) - 3/0 GO/FO
NOTE: AFL prep

TREVOR GRAHAM - Age 21 - 2013 Draft (13th Round)
1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K
27.00 ERA - 3.00 WHIP - .500 OppBA -  31 pitches (55% strikes) - 1/0 GO/FO

ARODYS VIZCAINO - Age 22 - Acquired from ATL in a trade (July 2012)
1 GAME (1 GS)
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
0.00 ERA - 1.00 WHIP - .000 OppBA - 18 pitches (67% strikes) - 1/1 GO/FO 
NOTE: MLB 60-day DL rehab assignment

Age 19 - 2013 International Free-Agent (Dominican Republic)   
NOTE: DNP in AZIL games (pitched in intrasquad & "sim" games only)




AZ Phil: Here is the obvious queston...who was your most interesting upside player and pitcher given a full month of Az Instructs (excluding those that played in the AFL)?

CUBSTER: No question Jose Arias was the most impressive Cub pitcher at Instructs. The 6'5 Dominican was virtually unhittable, mixing a 94 MPH 4-seam fastball, a slider, and a change-up, AND throwing all of his pitches for strikes (he threw the highest-percentage of strikes among Cub pitchers in AZIL games). He could begin the 2014 season in the Daytona starting rotation.  

6'6 225 RHP Tyler Skulina (2013 4th round pick - Kent State) looks like he could follow Pierce Johnson up the pipeline. Skulina was dominating at Instructs, throwing a heavy 92-MPH sinker, a power-slider, and a slow curve. While he will probably begin 2014 at Kane County, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him moved up to Daytona by mid-season (if not sooner).   

LHP Rob Zastryzny (2013 2nd round pick - U. of Missouri) was also impressive, changing speeds on his fastball and throwing a plus-breaking ball or balls (possibly both a slider AND a curve). As a college guy, he could mirror Skulina (they are best buddies) moving up the ladder (begin 2014 at KC, then move-up to Daytona at mid-season), 

RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua was throwing a 95-97 MPH fastball and a power-slider at Instructs. It looks like he has junked the change-up. I would think he will probably open the 2014 season at Daytona (presuming he gets his work visa on time), probably in the D-Cubs bullpen as the closer. If he is used as a reliever, Paniagua could move very fast through the system (like Cuban RHRP Armando Rivero did in 2013).    

At the other end of the spectrum is RHP Paul Blackburn, who just could not throw strikes consistently (only 51% strikes in AZIL games--only Trey Lang was worse), relegating him to mostly intrasquad & sim games. Blackburn has really good stuff, but he walked 27 in his last 31 IP at Boise (prior to pitching a gem in the NWL playoffs), so there are definite red flags with Blackburn going into 2014.   

Gioskar Amaya was the most impressive position-player at Instructs, showing HR power and making several outstanding plays at 2B. I read somewhere that the Cubs were thinking of moving him to catcher, but he played & worked-out only 2B at Instructs. He should be the starting 2B at Daytona in 2014 (with Amaya-Almora hitting 1-2 in the order).

Trey Martin missed most of the 2013 season after undergoing surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in April after multiple shoulder separations. But he looked outstanding at Instructs, playing his usual Gold Glove quality OF while actually driving the ball with authority (something he had never done before). I don't know if the surgery allowed him to swing more-freely and use his shoulders more, but his swing is much more power-driven than before the surgery, and I could see him developing into a genuine CF prospect now. He kind of reminds me of a young Torii Hunter (not saying he will be that good, just in terms of comp). 

Jesse Hodges had a very good Instructs and could possibly jump over Boise and make the Kane County 2014 Opening Day roster at 3B with a solid Minor League Camp (there is nobody blocking him at 3B, unless Jeimer Candelario repeats KC). Hodges has developed into an above-average defensive third-baseman, and he is improving as a hitter, too, with the potential to develop significant HR power. (He hits HR in BP, but now he needs ro convert that to game-usable power). Hodges was the star of the Canadian Junior National team before signing with the Cubs as a NDFA in September 2012.

Shawon Dunston Jr is everything his father wasn't... he plays OF, he hits LH, he has a below-average arm, and he takes walks. No question Dunston will begin 2014 at KC (barring injury), probably playing LF and hitting lead-off. Dunston has worked hard to develop as a top of the order "table-setter." (His inclination when he was drafted in 2011 was to try and pull everything and hit HR, but he has since changed his approach completely).

The biggest mystery to me is 2013 3rd round pick Jacob Hannemann. He had surgery on his non-throwing elbow in August and then missed the next two months, but he returned to action just in time to win the Instructs "Home Run Derby" contest. As former football players often do, Hannemann plays baseball with a high-energy hyper-aggressive style in all phases of the game. In most ways he remind me a lot of Brett Jackson ("crash & burn" defense in CF, outstanding baserunner and base-stealer, plus-XBH power). but he sits first-ball fastball and rarely takes a walk (the exact opposite of Brett Jackson). But then like B-Jax, Hannemann also has a very well below-average arm (one of the worst I've seen) that might relegate him to LF (although Juan Pierre did play CF with a rag arm). Because he went on a two-year LDS mission after HS, Hannemann played only one year of college ball at BYU (he was also a defensive back on the football team). But he is already 22, so I suspect he could begin 2014 at Daytona where he would play LF (with Albert Almora in CF and Reggie Golden or Yasiel Balaguert in RF), or he could start the season at Extended Spring Training to work on his "approach" at the plate and arm-strength. Just like Matt Szczur did before him, Hannemann really needs to develop OBP skills and be willing to be more selective as a hitter. Other than the OBP issues, though, Hannemann in every other way reminds me a lot of a young Johnny Damon. 

Awesome reply as always. Thanks much Phil.

Great stuff Phil. Thanks for all your reports.

Nick Cafardo's Sunday Baseball notes:
2. Torey Lovullo, bench coach, Red Sox — Once the postseason is over, Lovullo could get an interview for a managing job, unless they’re already filled. Bench coaches whose teams go far into the postseason are usually hot commodities and at least get interviews. The Cubs are going to determine in the next few days whether Lovullo could be a candidate. The Mariners could also be considering him.

Has anyone seen the bears' defense? Anyone?

they were on the sidelines...

that the Bears were even in the game with Josh McNown was surprising enough, but the officiating seemed pretty bad today.

I think I'm going to like Trestman, but he's gotta get that defense in order. In his defense, they're pretty beat up injury wise. It just seems like they have no line attack at all and you can't rely on your backfield to salvage games with interceptions when you your defensive line is pushed back into the secondary on every play. I said the same thing last year about the offensive line. He who controls the line of scrimmage wins the most games. Last year it was the offensive line and this year it's the defensive line. No super bowl this year, that's for sure. I'm not looking forward to the Green Bay game. I've never seen a game where a team scores 100 points, though, so maybe for the novelty of it I'll record it. But I don't think I can watch live.

wow, mesa (AFL) lost in weird style last night rj alvarez (LAA) came into the 9th with a 1 run lead...and gives up 7 runs (3 earned)...on 3 hits, 1bb, and 1 HBP (along with 2 errors). single, walk, single, error, single, error, HBP...pitching change...single, sac fly, sac fly, single, K.

AZ PHIL: Any difference? Phil - with 2 years of TheoCorp promoting "The Cubs Way", what are your feelings on the development side? It is great that you share the eye-witness reports on daily games and individual performances, but I am also wondering is there a perceived difference between what you are seeing with offense/defense/starter/reliever now, compared with the Hendry regime? Or - is it just business as usual? Since I (and others) can chiefly see more of the finished product (used loosely) at Wrigley, you are one person whose discussions I have been enjoying for a long time now, that may be able to give the longer view on this matter. Thanks and don't forget the sunscreen!

E-MAN: I would say the main difference between the previous regime and the current regime is with clearly communicating the organization's philosophy to the player and then being consistent with instruction. 

For example, the Cubs had a minor league manager at Extended Spring Training a few years ago who got tired of watching hitters get called out on strikes, so he decided (on his own) to teach players to "swing the bat" by having any player who was called out on strikes forfeit his next AB (which they can do in EXST). The problem with that tactic (besides it being just that particular manager's approach to what he believed was a problem) was that it made the players involved feel like they were under pressure to swing with two strikes even if they didn't get a good pitch to hit.

That just wouldn't happen now.

The new regime has gone to great lengths to establish "best practice" (known as "The Cubs Way") as far as each element of instruction is concerned, so that a player won't hear one thing from one coach and then something completely opposite from a different coach later in the year or the next season. Also, because each player has a unique "development plan" created just for him (determined in advance in concert by the player and the organization), a coach can't just decide on his own to try and "fix" a problem with a particular player or players. If there is a deficiency or a problem that needs ro be addressed, the player must be made aware of it (in advance) and a plan must be established (in writing) to address the issue, so that all of the coaches and instructors who work with that player know the plan, too.

If I could give any advice to the Cubs about their current instructional approach, it would be that sometimes they try and do too much, and that it might be best to recognize that some players just are what they are, and if they have success doing what they do a certain way, that it might be best to just let the player be himself, even if the player isn't perfect. I know that it would be nice to be able to make all players everything they can be, but perhaps the best time to have a player make changes and try new things is when the player is found wanting or experiences failure in a particlular area, because most players are probably going to be more receptive to instruction when they are struggling. 


gonna miss jim leyland...hard not to miss a guy who loves the game so much he's not afraid to show his emotions in relation to the game. i've called him jim "there is crying in baseball" leyland more than once, but it wasn't to pick on him. ...and of course...leyland in 1991 telling bonds who the manager is (NSFW)...

Anybody who smokes cigarettes in the dugout is okay by me.

The same guy who quit his job with Arizona when Bob Melvin was fired has no problem taking the job from Dusty Baker after Dusty was fired. To the rest of us ... insightful. To Dusty ... probably racist.

Lincecum 2-year deal with Giants, one less guy on the buy-low pile.

2/$ $17.5m a year. also, a full no-trade. i didn't think he would get more than $15m a year, myself...even on a short contract.

Age premium, 2 Cy Young premium, short contract premium, exclusive negotiating period premium ... too many premiums were paid, and unless he gets a third trophy (Cy Young or World Series), a bad deal was signed.

High price for a middle reliever

dodgers nix their bench coach + their main advance scout and a few other scouts. mattingly having a bench coach fired out from underneath him without his say is sketchy.

k.bryant has triple crown leading stats in the AFL...3 weeks left to play, like...whatever leads by 1hr, 1rbi, and 0.09 average. also, has 3 doubles (along with about 10 others)...the doubles leaders ( of which is a.almora) have 4.

Don't get too worked up about AFL. Here are former MVP's 2002-2012: Year Player Organization Position Team 2002 Ken Harvey Kansas City Royals First baseman Scottsdale Scorpions 2003 Jason Dubois Chicago Cubs Outfielder Mesa Solar Sox 2004 Chris Shelton Detroit Tigers Designated hitter Grand Canyon Rafters 2005 Eric Duncan New York Yankees Third baseman Grand Canyon Rafters 2006 Chip Cannon Toronto Blue Jays First baseman Phoenix Desert Dogs 2007 Sam Fuld Chicago Cubs Outfielder Mesa Solar Sox 2008 Tommy Hanson Atlanta Braves Pitcher Mesa Solar Sox 2009 Grant Desme Oakland Athletics Outfielder Phoenix Desert Dogs 2010 Dustin Ackley Seattle Mariners Second baseman Peoria Javelinas 2011 Nolan Arenado Colorado Rockies Third baseman Salt River Rafters 2012 Chris McGuiness Texas Rangers First baseman Surprise Saguaros Stenson Award

Over 1.200 future MLB players and many future MLB managers played or managed in the AFL over its first 21 years of operation.

Also, 36 of the 78 players named to the N. L. and A. L. All-Star teams in 2013 played in the AFL before graduating to the big leagues.

Grant Balfour, P 
Domonic Brown, OF
Clay Buchholtz, P
Jason Castro, C
Aroldis Chapman, P
Jesse Crain, P
Michael Cuddyer, OF
Chris Davis, 1B 
Prince Fielder, 1B
Freddie Freeman, 1B
Alex Gordon, OF
Jason Grilli, P
J. J. Hardy, SS 
Bryce Harper, OF
Torii Hunter, OF
Adam Jones, OF
Craig Kimbrel, P
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Joe Mauer, C 
Brian McCann, C
Andrew McCutcheon, OF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Jhonny Peralta, SS  
Salvador Perez, C
Glen Perkins, P 
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Buster Posey, C
Sergio Romo, P
Max Scherzer, P 
Jean Segura, SS
Mike Trout, OF 
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Joey Votto, 1B
Adam Wainwright, P
David Wright, 3B
Ben Zobrist, IF-OF

This is an impressive list. However, you may see there is not one Cub on it. I guess that needs no explanation (sad face).

Besides Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, and Jorge Soler this year and Javier Baez last year, Starlin Castro, Welington Castillo, Junior Lake, James Russell, Darwin Barney, Blake Parker, Zac Rosscup, Sean Marshall (later traded for Travis Wood), Andrew Cashner (later traded for Anthony Rizzo), Steve Clevenger (later traded to Baltimore with Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop), D. J. LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin (later traded for Ian Stewart),and Ryan Flaherty (lost in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft), plus Nate Schierholtz (when he was with SF), Donnie Murphy (when he was with KC), Jake Arrieta (when he was with the Orioles), and Ryan Sweeney (when he was with the White Sox), are AFL alumni.

Thank you PHIL. Hopefully, you will be able to say "...and 5 of the last 7 All Star Games had Cubs AFL graduates in them", sooner than later.

E-MAN: i think the primary reason why the AFL MVP Award can be misleading is because it isn't a "Best Prospect Award." and sometimes an organization with a lousy farm system will send a AAA position player to the AFL, and because of his experience (the AFL is aproximately equivalent to AA), the AAA guy might dominate and win the MVP, but it might not reflect the player's actual value as an MLB prospect. .   

BTW, one name on the AFL MVP list that kind of stands out because he was actually a Baseball America Oakland A's Top 10 Prospect at the time is OF Grant Desme, who won the AFL MVP in 2009 and then immediately retired from baseball to become a Catholic priest.

desme hit 11hr in his AFL MVP season (after hitting 31 during his A/A+ stint while stealing 40 bases). it was (and still is) very "woah" that he walked away from the game. he still needed work...and the scary thing is he probably could hit for more power if he straightened out his body mechanics in his swing...but he was a hell of a prospect.

(the AFL is aproximately equivalent to AA) Given that, what are the chances Bryant starts at AAA next spring?

Villanueva is also in the mix and probably deserves a shot at that job, although Bryant's development is certainly a higher organizational priority.

Olt would be in the mix as well unless you've already penciled him in for the big club.

ideally, olt should be the starting 3rd...or at least platooning with valbuena...or platooning with valbuena and occasionally subbing in the corner OF/1st... ...but, he may end up back in AAA with valbuena + d.murphy manning 3rd if olt doesn't show something this spring. spring "means nothing"...but to olt's placement in the club hierarchy for april 2014, it means a lot. according to age/development he should be MLB-ready, but the MLB club already has position redundancy built in that doesn't make him breaking with the team a necessity.

I see Villanueva starting at AAA, Bryant starting at AA and spending the whole season there unless he gets called up to the majors, and Olt and Valbuena sharing 3rd unless one of them takes a big step forward or backward. Donnie Murphy's bat will determine how much he'll play, but if he hits they'll try to use him as a utility guy. Barney gone or on the bench by the end of 2014.

bryant at AA is most likely...his swing is sweet, his power is awesome, but there's a combo of excessive 3rd talent up the ladder along with bryant's K concerns outside of his awesomeness (especially vs the prospect core in AFL so far, 11K - 37AB). plus, there's not an immediate need for him to make the bigs. i wouldn't be surprised at all to see him in AAA by mid-end season, though. that said, villanueva doesn't look AAA ready (age or AA results). he could end up there playing a bit "over his head" until bryant takes his slot and they swap out...or bryant could break with AAA, though it seems doubtful. they could step villanueva back to A+, but i think that's less likely than him going to AAA. it's going to be kinda interesting if villanueva, olt, and bryant are all legit MLB candidates come end-of-2014 going into 2015...and a bit of a logjammed mess if olt has to return to AAA in 2014 to start the season. if olt has to return to AAA, bryant could start it up in A+. i wouldn't be too shocked to see olt or villanueva traded this off-season...though it seems getting rid of olt right now would be a case of selling low on a guy with potentially big upside (especially given his club control years). far as barney goes...i'm a bit sick of seeing him get 600pa a year. bench...injury replacement...sure, why not. the starting job for him is getting a bit old.

If Kris Bryant is called up to Chicago prior to June 1st he would likely be arbitration-eligible as a "Super Two" post-2016, so I wouldn't expect him to get called up any earlier than June 15th no matter how well he might be doing. Same goes for Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur, Christian Villanueva, or any of the other prospects with no previous MLB Service Time.

And as I've mentioned before, Soler and Szczur are in a different situation than Bryant, Baez, Almora, Alcantara, Vogelbach, et al, because even with a 4th minor league option in 2015 (which both Soler and Szczur will get), both will be out of minor league options by Spring Training 2016, so the Cubs need to make sure that Soler and Szczur get maximum minor league reps in 2014 & 2015 AND move along quickly. You especially wouldn't want Soler to another have a year next year like he did this year. He needs to stay healthy, get lots of ABs, and move along through the system ASAP. 

Mike Olt is another type of case (same as Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters), because he already has accrued MLB Service Time (0+063), so the Cubs would have to wait until about August 15th if they want to be sure to keep him from being "Super Two" eligible post-2016. But I don't think that will be a factor in Olt's case. Either he makes the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster out of Spring Training (either as the everyday 3B or as a RH platoon at 3B with Valbuena), or (if his eye issue hasn't been fully resolved), he starts the season on the DL and stays at Extended Spring Training, and then maybe moves up to Daytona to DH until he's ready for MLB.

I think it's likely that Baez, Villanueva, Watkins, Vitters, Alcantara, Szczur, B. Jackson , Ha, and R. Lopez will all be at AAA in 2014, with Bryant, Soler, Geiger, Darvill, DeVoss, Andreoli, and Silva starting out at AA, and with Almora, Vogelbach, Candelario, Amaya, and M. Hernandez at Hi-A Daytona. 

One thing I would do right at the start of Spring Training is move Starlin Castro to 2B and have Darwin Barney and Donnie Murphy compete for the starting SS job. The winner is the SS and the loser is the #1 utility infielder. Having Castro at 2B and either Barney or Murphy playing SS would allow Baez to come up and move right into the SS job whenever he's ready, without having to cause a conflict with Castro mid-sesaon. And if Baez isn't ready for the big leagues next season, it's no big deal.

I only wish Theo/Jed would act on your move to 2B for Castro. As you noticed years ago, it's his natural position anyway. Then two top prospects can remain at their natural positions (Baez and Bryant). I can't stand writers/commenters who think Bryant, Baez, et al can just move to the OF. Watch how easy playing Fenway is for 'outfielders' in the WS. Lake is a work in progress out there. Fix the infield and then worry about the outfield after Almora and Soler get here.

cross your fingers and hope baez improves at SS next year...i know i am. he took a rather dramatic step backwards defensively last year in a season he was expected to improve. he actually improved moving up from A+ to AA in 2013, but he was doing so poorly in A+ that it's still not a "bright side" to the issue. 13 errors in 50 games in AA...31 errors in 73 games in A+ (wtf). he made 17 errors in 75 games between A/A+ in 2012 and was expected to improve in 2013, not regress.

I think we have gone over this many times on here before and most would agree that: 1) Yes, Baez needs to improve his defense. He has great instincts and range, but makes too many simple mistakes. 2) A move for him elsewhere on the diamond might be in his future, and the Cubs front office has said alluded to that on numerous occasions. 3) But minor league fielding statistics are not a great measure of much at all. Ozzie Smith had 23 errors in 65 games during his one season at Low-A. You can look it up. And there are plenty of other examples of players who develop into serviceable or even great major league defenders with some poor defensive seasons in the minors--where they don't know the pitchers and hitters well, diamonds are sometimes poor, and their bodies are still changing as they develop, etc.

i'm not counting him out at SS at all...he's very young. also, minor league fields (even though improved from the past) are notoriously fast/hard and prone to a lot more bad off-bat routes...especially low minors.

I seem to remember reading that scouts and commentators felt more convinced he could stay at SS this year than the year prior.

2003 Jason Dubois Dooby Dooby Do /ah parachat memories

I was talking to someone at an AFL game the other day, and he asked me what was there before the AFL was founded in 1992.

Prior to 1992, the Florida Instructional League (founded in 1958) and the Arizona Instructional League (founded in 1960) operated like the AZIL & FLIL and the AFL (together) operate now, but with ALL of an organization's best prospects (including AAA guys and players fresh out of HS and college) playing together on the same team.  

When the AZIL was founded in 1960, it was a four-team league  (Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, and Orioles), with teams playing a 52-game schedule (which is about equivalent to what the schedule would be if you combine the number of games played by the AZIL Cubs and AFL Mesa Soler Sox in 2013). The AZIL & FLIL played their games from mid-September to mid-November, and standings were kept as were player stats, just like in the AFL. 

The Cubs were one of the founding members of the AZIL, and the creation of the AZIL post-1960 season corresponded to the Cubs inplementing the "College of Coaches." While the College of Coaches was a failure at the big league level (an Athletic Director & a rotating Head Coach just didn't work with veteran big leaguers), it was in many ways a template for the post-season instructional leagues.  

Instructors and coaches dedicated to outfield play, baserunning, infield play, bunting, hitting, and pitching were all consistent with the concept of a College of Coaches. In fact, even after the Cubs dissolved the College of Coaches at the big level when Leo Durocher was hired as the Cubs manager after the 1965 season, they continued to operate the College of Coaches at the minor league level for another 10 years.

And in fact the post-season instructional leagues in Florida and Arizona even today are a de facto College of Coaches.

The AFL was founded by MLB in 1992 as an advanced developmental league designed for an organization's best prospects (mainly AA and AAA), but with the two instructional leagues continuing to operate for players below AA (and scaled back to about three or four weeks instead of 8-9 weeks),

Over the past 20 years of the AFL, rules have gradually been changed to allow clubs to send more of their best younger and less-experienced prospects (which is why Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Wes Darvill, and Lendy Castillo can all play in the AFL, even though none of them were on AA or AAA rosters on August 15th), making the instructional league even more of a "rookie & rehab" league. 

I think it is time for the AFL to change and expand from six teams to ten teams, and utilize all ten of the Arizona MLB Spring Training facilities instead of just six of the ten (at present, Tempe Diablo, Phoenix Muni, Maryvale, and Goodyear do not host AFL teams).   

If the AFL was expanded to ten teams, each AFL team would consist of 12 prospects (seven pitchers and five position players) provided by each of the AFL team's three associated MLB clubs, instead of the present seven players (four pitchers and three position players) assigned to the AFL team from each of the five associated MLB organizations.

Among other things, this would mean that the AFL managers would only have to deal with "input" (meddling) from three MLB farm directors instead of from five, more opportunities for organizations to see more of their better prospects playing against the better prospects from the other 29 MLB organizations, and more players on a club's 40-man roster "bubble" could be assigned to play in the AFL to help a club decide who to protect and who to leave unprotected at the November 20th pre-Rule 5 Draft 40-man roster deadline. 


Riverview  Gila Monsters (Riverview Park - Host team: Cubs)
Mesa Solar Sox (HoHoKam Park - Host Team: A's)
Salt River Rafters (Salt River Field - Host teams: Diamondbacks & Rockies)   
Scottsdale Scorpions (Scottsdale Stadium - Host team: Giants)
Tempe Diablos (Diablo Stadium - Host team; Angels)

Glendale Desert Dogs (Camelback Ranch - Host teams: Dodgers & White Sox)
Goodyear Road Runners (Goodyear Stadium - Host trams: Indians & Reds)  
Phoenix Jackrabbits (Maryvale Stadium - Host team: Brewers)
Peoria Javelinas (Peoria Stadium - Host teams: Padres & Mariners)
Surprise Saguaros (Surprise Stafium - Host teams: Rangers & Royals) 

AZ Phil you are a wealth of knowledge. Much like Shakespeare I am starting to think you are a team of individuals, as no one person can harness all this info.! :D

I have met the illustrious AZ Phil (was in Mesa last week watching Arizona Fall League and AZIL games). He does exist and he is indeed only one person. In our conversations, he talked about much of what he has been writing here. Truly a knowledgeable and interesting guy.

To quote the Internet, Instagram or it didn't happen.

Left my camera in the car?

the cubs may have been one of the first teams linked to an interest in choo (before the season even ended), but it currently seems like 29 other teams are currently linked to him. everyone from HOU to NYY are strongly linked...and all points in between.

according to the past few hours of coverage on the MLB Network leading up to game 1 of the WS it's a matchup between THE GLORIOUS, LONG SUFFERING, FENWAY PARK DWELLING BOSTON RED SOX vs. whoever that other team is.

Sigh. Ridiculous . . .

You could watch something else. Most TVs have lots of channels these days.

Wait, are you Chris Berman?

Man, that's a low blow.

Dana Demuth is blind

it was was right in front of him and in no way obstructed. least it was reversed and they got it right...and good on the umps for not tossing matheny afterwards.

But the rest of them aren't, evidently. And a Napoli double (dooble? Anybody remember?) makes it 3-0 Boston in the bottom of the 1st. Yay.

Lester is a strike-throwing machine so far tonight. Two innings, 22 pitches, 17 strikes and 3 K's. 6 up, 6 down.

lulz @wainright/molina. classic.

STL's D through 1.1ip has been worse than 2013-MIL-level bad. 3 errors and another 2 misplayed balls.

s.robinson's error in the 2nd has been changed to a hit for s.victorino m.adams returns STL's error total to 3 in the 7th, though.

BA minor league transactions Oct 16-23 Chicago Cubs Signed: RHP Ryan Searle (re-signed) Released: RHP Ethan Elias, LHP Luis Villalba

j.soler returned to mesa (AFL) lineup after a few days off...goes 3-4 (all singles) no bryant/almora/darvill a few cubs pitchers got work in today...continuing their not-impressive-not-horrible streak.

holy epic fail breslow...turning a tie game into a STL lead with a horrible throw.

...and then gives up a single to give STL another run. awesome...not.

Yeah, basically giving tonight's game away to the Cards after they gave it away last night.

Lovulio/Renteria updates from the Tribune, Mark Gonzales. Looks like Renteria got a 2nd interview this week:
Lull on Lovullo? Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo said he had yet to hear whether the Cubs have asked permission to interview him for their vacant managerial position. This isn't surprising because the Red Sox are playing in the World Series and manager John Farrell wants to keep distractions down until it's over.
But one Red Sox staffer wondered whether the Cubs are waiting too long should they wish to interview Lovullo, who has interviewed for managerial positions in the past with the Dodgers and Pirates. The source said Lovullo is more than qualified to be a manager and could attract interest from the Tigers, who have an opening with Jim Leyland's retirement.
Meanwhile, there are some parallels between Lovullo and Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, who was scheduled to have his second interview with the Cubs this week. Lovullo, like Renteria, was a highly touted prospect who ended up as a journeyman infielder and managed in the minors.

Wedge will get an interview next week, too. Gammons reported, Wittenmeyer confirmed.

this was fun

got a paltry 7 of 10

9 of 10. Some of the brain cells still work.

only missed the 1983 Phils vs Orioles. You know, one of those teams that beat the WSux. D'oh.

missed Twins vs. Dodgers, Pirates vs. Indians and Mets vs A's.


10 for 10 /nerd

7/10 here . . . But I was sure of very few of them. Blew the White Sox / Giants one as well ...

"Darwin Barney, Brandon Phillips and Mark Ellis have been named finalists for the National League Gold Glove at second base." "Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rizzo have been named finalists for the National League Gold Glove award at first base."

nats to hire matt williams. weird stuff. i wonder if he'll have to sell his minority share of the dbacks. btw, his only managing experience is 2 months in AA and an AFL stint. there's an almost league-wide "thing" about not caring about "name brand" managers going on lately. about time.

fox needs a yankees vs. dodgers WS next season...

bryant 3-5, 2 doubles and a triple almora 0-4, 1bb soler 2-4, hr

i missed this one from a couple days ago... cj edwards named minor league starting pitcher of the year by the staff at (ty blach (SF), fan pick) ...garza was a highly prized trade candidate by more than a few teams, but i still can't believe he fetched olt + cj edwards + neil ramirez + grimm for 2 months of work. neil ramirez (93+mph + great curve + developing changeup) was a hell of a PTBNL (even though it wasn't much of a surprise he was part of the PTBNL package) and grimm out of the pen (short sample size) looked like a guy who might flourish there if the cubs get tired of trying to make him a starter.

Agreed, was thrilled with that haul. Getting four like that was a great move, because then even if just ONE works out (given the Cubbery factor, etc.), it is still a win for losing 13 starts of Garza in a lost season anyway.

Conversely, from the Rangers pov, they didn't make the playoffs wih all of those high-paid talents.

Forget Tanaka. Wrongway Phil is hyping him for the Cubs.
Tanaka, according to Major League Baseball sources, has become a top priority for Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts and his baseball group, headed by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. He is expected to be offered up for the posting process by the Golden Eagles after the Japan Series, and the Cubs will bid heavily on it.

also... "Representatives from the Yankees will be on hand for Game 1 of the Japan series on Saturday, as they continue to scout Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka."

I hate Joe Buck. Starts talking by saying how the NL rules are a big deal for the Red Sox who are "built around Big Papi at DH, the greatest player in the history of baseball to ever play that position." I'll take Edgar Martinez any day. But even if you think Ortiz is the best, it is not clear cut and you can't, as a legitimate media member, say it like it is fact. It's just one over statement after another from him from pre-game to post.

Imagine a giant two-sided scale. Your job is to stop it from tipping over. Now, on the other side, is Tim McCarver, using a giant skyscraper-sized crane to dump unfathomable piles of bullshit onto his side of the scale as fast as the crane's jaw will move. All you have are words - sweet, nonsensical words, arranged in whatever order you can muster. Yeah, his ego's too big, but it's really a shit job.

Nice image making. We need to be rid of both of them and a lot of other announcers as well. Or maybe we just need a massive paradigm shift in baseball announcing as a profession.

This is it for McCarver. He's retiring.

Thank God

John Arguello in his Cubs Den blog makes some bullish comments on AJ Hinch who gets a 2nd interview next week (with Renteria). David Kaplan hates Hinch and loves Ausmus (who doesn't seem to be a candidate unless he's the mystery 7th candidate). Arguello implies they are somewhat comparable picks with Hinch having more experience that comps with current Bosox manager John Farrell pre-manager experience in player development. I sort of didn't like the Hinch pick but honestly, I have no clue about him and only know Ausmus as a smart guy without much managing experience (seems to not matter these days) but another backup catcher who couldn't hit. Neither seem to have the checklist item about relating to Latin ballplayers but I guess if that's an issue it gets worked around with other staff coach picks, particularly the bench coach.

Hinch speaks Spanish. I know there's a difference between that and what you said, but just to be clear.

Horseshoe, meet Cardinal hinie.

dear fox, quit trying to make "almost human" happen. your robocop-meets-blade-runner tv show is coming soon, i get it. also, wtf that ending to tonight's game. ^This Tigers fan wants to trade Max Scherzer to the Cubs for Barney, B. Jackson, and Ha. I guess that'd be OK with me. =| Edit: He also mentions possibly getting Jorge Soler in the deal, which is a step closer to reality.

Here's my unsolicited response to this wild fan speculation: Obviously, Scherzer would be a steal even if it took Barney, Jackson, Ha, and Soler--that's way less than the Rangers gave up for a few months of Matt Garza. But the Cubs seem extremely unlikely to be in on Scherzer at all, since he'll be a free agent in 2015 just when the Cubs ought to be thinking about being real contenders. I wonder if there is a foolish GM out there who overvalues Barney as much as some fans do and some commentators appear to (which might be b.s. to fill air time).

I think it's a situation where you would trade for the guy, then give him a 9-figure extension. A team in a rebuild doesn't trade a prospect like Soler for a rental. Hell, I couldn't even justify trading a semi-interesting prospect like Ha for a rental at this point.

I could see that. But why not just sit back and wait for him (or someone comparable) to hit the free agent market? I just don't see the Cubs in on something like this unless they love him or think he's being undervalued. And, of course, in that situation it's going to take Soler + other real prospects.

I'm not a fan at all of giving pitchers huge multi year deals no matter how good they are, but to answer why not wait, the answer would be because somebody else will trade for him and lock him up, maybe.

I'm sure the Cubs would love to get guys like Scherzer, Price, and Kershaw in free agency and not give up propsects, but those dudes rarely make it there anymore. Plus it'll cost way more cash, plus even though you keep your prospects you lose a good draft pick which is like losing one good prospect anyways. If this team is going to compete this decade, sacrifices must be made. If they don't think Scherzer is the guy, then it has to be someone else, but it has to be someone.

I agree over all. I just don't see the Cubs trading for Scherzer this offseason and then signing him to a long term deal. You do that if you think you can compete in 2014 and going forward, because then its worth the loss in prospects. But if you are building toward 2015, you don't part with prospects for value in 2014 and then throw money at a player to give you value in 2015 and beyond. You might as well wait until 2015 to try to trade for someone like that or hope you can pick someone up in free agency. In the meantime, you get to watch your prospects advance through the system and (probably) pick up value.

the cubs potential logjam at 3rd (which would benefit heavily from olt flourishing to really be an issue in 2014) could lead to some nice trading potential for pitching, but i don't see it coming up this offseason. vogelbomb could make the expendable-yet-legit prospects situation even more interesting once he gets out of A-ball, especially considering he seems to not be able to play LF and rizzo is establishing himself as a GG 1st baseman. no one's value seems to be as high as it could be in-season or after 2014, though.

especially considering he seems to not be able to play LF --- If Soriano (pre-Dave McKay) can play 2B then LF, then anyone with a potent bat can play LF. Hell, Jonny Gomes is playing LF in the World Series tonight.

i would agree if not for the fact that before vogel was even drafted there were questions about whether he was even good enough to play 1st or would be best suited to be a DH. rumor had it that if not for how bad he looked anywhere in the field he would have been a 1st rounder. his power showcase performance put him every team's radar yet he made it all the way to pick 68. btw, he hit .467/.571 avg/ob% with 19 HR as a highschool senior in 34 games...also, he was 5/1 in sb/cs (lulz).

and as if on cue, Jonny Gomes hits a 3 run HR in game 4, 2013 WS. I'm keeping Vogelbomb, thank you.

"Another area of need the Cubs could help with would be in the outfield, where they have a glut of young, capable players. The two I’m most intrigued by (excluding Cuban stud Jorge Soler) are former top prospect Brett Jackson and Jae-Hoon Ha." if those 2 intrigue him at all...much less "most intrigued by"...he's got some issues with handicapping the cubs system. b.jackson is nearly worthless except for a trade "toss in" at this point and j.ha is interesting, but uninspiring as a starter. j.ha may end up a starter one day, but he doesn't look like a guy who could even sniff an all-star team even if he contributes enough to stay a starter. i'm not calling j.ha worthless, but he seems reed johnson-ish (who was good enough to start for many years).

Yeah. Maybe we can toss in Szczur and Darvill and get Fister in return as well. On my Playstation, friend.

lulz...tonight's game ends on a pickoff at 1st. i guess tomorrow night's game is going to end on a wild pitch...the one after that on a dropped ball in the IF...then the 7th with a base loaded HBP. series tied 2-2.

bryant 1-3, HR, 1bb soler 1-3, single, 1bb

bryant leads in avg, HR, rbi, runs, doubles...while having 14Ks in 45ab. LaTroy Hawkins helps subdue unruly passenger on flight to South America. The passenger has not been identified, but it's safe to assume that it's not Victor Diaz.

david (11-15) ortiz is a f'n beast this series...

...and it's down to the Cardinals needing to sweep to avoid a Red Sox championship. Tough fought series so far.

i hate rooting for an AL team...but i hate seeing the cards triumph so much even more. i was rooting for STL in 2011...but i was also on a lot of really strong painkillers.

The Cardinals next pennant should be the year after Hell freezes over. Grow up a Cubs fan 90 miles from STL and you'll really understand a hatred for their mouth-breathing fans.

David Ortiz: the MLB's Kris Bryant.


BA posted minor league rankings and the Cubs are 5th (tied with KC). Top 4 (Boston, Houston, SD, Tex)
Chicago is swimming in position players—OF Albert Almora (6 MWL) and 3B Kris Bryant (1 NWL) didn’t even crack the top five—but their long-term outlook might be most dependent on the development of pitchers such as Johnson and Edwards.

that ranking/points system is weird as hell... i "get" it...but i'm not sure i like the system compared to the more standard "known prospects" weighed with "fringe prospects" weighed with "actual production" along with how well the prospect pipeline distributes throughout the system.

p.goldschmidt beats out rizzo for GG @1st b.phillips beats out barney for GG @2nd

Ben Jedlovec on ESPN says it was the best gold glove voting results ever. However: "An interesting case can be made against Brandon Phillips, whose reputation as an elite defender is well established. However, defensive metrics are curiously ambivalent about the Reds' second baseman. Phillips has consistently struggled on starting and turning double plays, and not all of the defensive metrics included in the SDI consider double plays. The ones that do, however, unanimously see Phillips as well-below average in that regard. Baseball Info Solutions rated Phillips dead last on double plays this season; in fact, he has rated above average only once since 2003. Although the impact is relatively minor (minus-3 runs saved this year, minus-11 runs saved in his career), other NL second basemen present a more complete package. Fellow finalists Mark Ellis and Darwin Barney would have been better selections." I just think Barney's bat was so bad that (perhaps correctly so) he shouldn't *have* been playing full time. So they passed on him this year. Still 4 errors all year?

Paul Sullivan and Carlos Zambrano make for strange bedfellows...both should give it a rest.

David Kaplan on twitter...he's been banging the drum for Ausmus:
Acta seems to be out of running. Brad Ausmus seems to be rising. People in Cubs organization are very high on Ausmus. Hope Theo and Jed are.

"Former Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge on Tuesday became the fifth candidate to interview for the Chicago Cubs managerial position, according to a source familiar with the situation."

bryant hit his 6th HR. 1-5, 2K soler 0-4 almora 1-4, 1bb

Fenway Park will host its 28th World Series game tonight (Game 6). Game 5 in St. Louis on Monday night was the 10th World Series game at Busch Stadium, while Wrigley Field has only hosted 13. Full List (active only): 28 Fenway Park (thru Game 6 2013) 20 Dodger Stadium 16 Oakland Coliseum 13 Wrigley Field 10 Busch Stadium 7 Kauffman Stadium; AT&T Park 6 Rogers Centre; Progressive Field; Citizens Bank Park; Rangers Ballpark 4 Chase Field; Angel Stadium; Comerica Park 3 Yankee Stadium 2 Turner Field; U.S. Cellular Field; Minute Maid Park; Coors Field; Tropicana Field

Adrian Cardenas - turned The New Yorker writer. Discusses his reason for quitting baseball. Eloquently. Heads' Up courtesy of Brent at BleacherNation.

That was a nice piece of writing.

I thought so as well...

no almora, bryant, or soler...darvill playing. darvill goes 1-5, single

I would put money on it that your new Cubs manager is Lovullo. The reason they haven't hired anyone is they were just waiting for the Series to finish.

so like...30 minutes from now? =p

They'll wait until the morning.

they might have to wait longer...i don't think you can sign legal contracts while drunk. 3 outs away for BOS...5 run lead. is it april yet?

We only have to wait until March 31 next year ... 151 days from today ... plus there's Olympic hockey this winter, which helps kill about 8 of those days pretty easily. Learn a new language or how to build a table or something.

it only took til the 2nd question for ken rosenthall to bring up the boston bombing...thanks dr. buzzkill. dumpster has a ring after throwing 1ip during the entire WS and 3ip total in all 3 playoff series.

Very happy for Demp. Lucky too for the Sox that he did not have to pitch in any high stress situations (he pitched in the 8-1 drubbing this series)

Congrats Boston...better than the Cardinals.

60% of the Boston's World Series roster were acquired by Boston before Theo left.


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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 50 min ago (view)

    He played in the big leagues longer than he played any other level of organized baseball combined.


  • crunch 12 hours 53 min ago (view)

    al kaline has died at age 85.

    from highschool to the majors without touching the minors...22 seasons, all with DET...18x all-star...3000 hit club.


  • Charlie 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Currently at a near full-time job that just barely covers my monthly expenses if nothing emerges.

    I make more than that.


  • crunch 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is considering opening the season in empty spring training parks -- with no fans and all players quarantined.

    The plan would have all teams stationed in one centralized location -- likely Arizona"


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   


  • JustSayin' 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.


  • Hagsag 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 


  • JustSayin' 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.


  • crunch 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.


  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement.