AZL Cubs Conclude 2010 Season With Victory

Scoring a run in the bottom of the 7th to take the lead and then seven more in the bottom of the 8th to put the game away, the AZL Cubs closed out their 2010 Arizona League season by coasting past the AZL A's 11-4 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa Sunday night.

box score

RHP (and ex-3B) Charles Thomas made his second AZL game appearance as a pitcher in tonight's game, throwing one scoreless inning (16 pitches - 12 strikes) and striking out two (both swinging). Thomas is no stranger to the mound, having been used as a "two-way" combination 3B/RHRP at Edward Waters College prior to being selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2009 Rule 4 Draft. At 6'4 230+, Thomas is a load. He looks a bit like Lee Smith, and he throws just about as hard, too. He has good command of the strike-zone  and he looks like he knows what he's doing out there. The son of a high-ranking U. S. Naval officer, Thomas spent most of his first two seasons in pro ball playing 3B, where he hit 244/297/357 in 88 games (342 PA) combined between the AZL Cubs (2009) and Peoria (2010), before getting sent down to Mesa from Peoria and making the move to the mound about a month ago.    

In AZL Cubs roster news, RHP Tarlandus Mitchell (groin strain) has completed his rehab with the AZL Cubs and has rejoined Boise. and RHP Dallas Beeler (2010 41st round draft pick out of Oral Roberts U.) and RHP (ex-C) Alvaro Sosa have been moved up to Boise from the AZL Cubs, with more promotions possible tomorrow, what with the AZL season having concluded while Boise continues to play for another week. Beeler had TJS in 2009 and hadn't pitched much when he was selected by the Cubs in a lower round in this past June's draft, but he got an "overslot" bonus ($150,000) to sign. From what I have seen of him, he can throw three pitches for strikes, and he's a lot more polished than I would have expected for a guy who missed so much time over the past year.  

The AZL Cubs finished the 2010 season 26-29, good for third place in the AZL East, 8-1/2 games behind the 1st place AZL Giants. The AZL Giants will advance into the AZL playoffs, playing the AZL Reds (AZL Wild Card) in a one-game playoff tomorrow night in Scottsdale to determine which team advances to the AZL Championship game Tuesday night against the winner of tomorrow night's game pitting the AZL Rangers (AZL North champion) against the AZL Brewers (AZL West champs) in Maryvale. 

The 2010 AZL Cubs were not your typical Cubs offensive unit, leading the AZL in walks(!) and finishing 3rd in batting average and 4th in stolen bases, but only 10th in triples, and 11th in doubles and Home Runs, in a twelve-team league. The 2010 AZL Cubs were the epitome of an "opportunistic" offense, using walks, stolen bases, bunts, opponent's errors and mistakes, and situational hitting to score runs in drips and drabs (and watching this team was a bit like watching paint dry, too). Tonight's game was a perfect example, as the Cubs took advantage of seven walks, four errors, five wild pitches, and a passed ball, combined with ten singles (and no extra-base hits), to plate 11 runs.

Cubs 2009 5th round pick SS Wes Darvill (Canadian Junior National Team - Langley BC) is the most improved player, and 2B Pin-Chieh Chen is the best player down here who hasn't been promoted to Boise. (Darvill actually was demoted from Boise to AZL Cubs in July, at which point he started to play with confidence), and I would expect the Cubs to move them along together, just as they are doing with Hak-Ju Lee and Logan Watkins. Oddly, Chen has a shortstop's range and a strong arm, but it's scatter-gun so it plays better at 2B. while Darvill has a Ryan Theriot type arm that would probably be a better fit at 2B, but Darvill just plays better and with more confidence when he plays SS. Like Logan Watkins, Chen is a slap hitter and an outstanding bunter, but he needs to work on his base-stealing technique. Darvill looks like he might develop some power as his body matures (he's not there yet, but he's only 18), but he already can steal bases with ease. Both Darvill and Chen are very patient hitters (especially Darvill), and both are not afraid to go deep in the count and take a walk.     

Another player who improved a lot during the course of the AZL season is 3B Dustin Geiger (Cubs 2010 24th round pick out of Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL). Drafted as a RF after playing 3B in HS, Geiger insisted on being allowed to remain at 3B before he would sign (he had accepted a scholarship to Central Florida and was expected to be a "tough sign"), and it looks like he knows himself pretty well. He has very good reactions to balls hit to 3rd base, and he has a plus-arm (a real cannon), too. If Josh Vitters could play 3B as well as Geiger does right now, the Cubs would not even be thinking about moving him to 1B. Geiger looks like he could develop HR power eventually, because he has plus-bat speed (he just needs to learn to elevate his swing a bit and maybe turn on inside pitches). He could really benefit from the coaching he'll get at the AZ Instructional League.

RHP Austin Reed (2010 12th round pick out of Rancho Cucamonga HS - Rancho Cucamonga, CA) is probably the top pitching prospect who finished the AZL season in Mesa. Reed's older brother Addison is the #1 starter at San Diego State and most scouts figured Austin would follow his brother to SDSU out of HS, but the Cubs enticed him with an over-slot bonus, and it looks like they got a good one. Reed has problems with his mechanics from time-to-time, but when he's got his release point & arm slot in the right places, he has electric stuff and is virtually unhittable. Looks like he might be another another Nick Struck.


Very intersting article. Looks like the organization dosen't show great interest in finding guys with power. Seems like most of the contenders all have a couple left handed hitting bashers in the middle of the lineup-the exception being the Rays. AZ Phil for GM! Chuck

Orlando Hernandez left Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday after he was told that he was not going to join the Nationals in September. "He asked me directly: 'Will I be a September call-up?' and I said, 'No, but we want you to finish out the season.' And he said, 'No, I'm not going to,'" ----------- cold...

What was he doing in AA ball anyway? He's not pitching well enough to even be in AAA? ----- His numbers are good, but he's only pitched a total of 23 games in the last 3 seasons, all in the minors. I don't remember if he was hurt or what.

working his way back from injury #18918192. he's in his mid-40s. his career is probably done. i dunno what he was throwing or how hard, but he was K'ing guys in his limited R/AA innings.

via the best #7/8 hitter in the game... #Cubs C Geovany Soto to have MRI on right knee. Woke up and it was sore Monday sigh... story from paw sullyvan...

Cubs pre-game show just said the same thing. No further updates yet.

"manny could show up in a wheelchair with no bat...he's in the lineup." - ozzie

2B Baker, SS Castro, CF Byrd, 3B Ramy, 1B Nady, LF Sori, RF Colvin, C Hill, P Zambrano

Can we not see Baker start for the rest of the season please?

I am torn between him and Nady being more upsetting as a starter. I have to go with Nady, though, because there's a chance that Baker getting hot in a platoon role will give him enough value to be traded. Hopefully tomorrow is the last time we see Nady start a game (assuming trying to get something for him is the goal).

PWSullivan: Geo's MRI turns out OK. Just minor swelling in knee. He's day to day... like all of us.

Why NO TV of tonight's game??

Now it's streaming, altho there's still no link to the video.

what no one in parachat?

No one in the Bleachers either. Healthy crowd in the grandstand tho. Strange.

Attendance - 29538

Ah ha!!Screw you Maholm...Haha..ha.heh. ahem. m I-Cubs score even more than the parent club in a blowout win vs the Springfield Isotopes.

Memphis (STL AAA) also won last night, so the I-Cubs remain a half game in front of the Redbirds going into play tonight. Big four-game Labor Day Weekend showdown series at Des Moines between Iowa and Memphis starts Friday night.

Does the rivalry continue to the AAA clubs? I mean Ryno is the Iowa manager... Just curious. Wellman? Phil?

i'm sure the players, those that remain from the core group, will be jacked for the showdown but there is never any sense of rivalry in the stands @ a nashville or memphis/iowa game that is even a scaled version of the ones in chicago/milwaukee/ st.louis...btw, snyder @ 99 rbi's & fuld had 5 hits in last night's onslaught...i-cubs running on fumes as they lunge for the finish line...

If 20 runs is running on fumes - we need to send some empty tanks up to Chicago.

I think what MW might be saying is that the parent club swiped the 1-or-2-hole hitter, Barney, and the cleanup hitter, Hoffpauir, while the team was trying to win a division. Camp has filled in okay for Barney and Dubois got hot just at the right time in place of Hoffpauir. I suppose it's always better to promote guys, but I can't help noticing that Hoff and Barney are just benchwarming.

Well, the pitching is probably more the problem than the bats - but how could you expect Hoffpauir and Barney to get opportunities ahead of guys like Nady and Baker, particularly in critical games with playoff implications against teams like the Pirates?

I don't mind Coleman and Diamond getting called up. Coleman has certainly been put to good use, and Diamond has been doing okay in the pen, hasn't he? Besides, when Diamond came up, Carpenter moved up from Tennessee to take his place. McNutt took Carpenter's place and will probably start playoff games in AA in his first full year as a pro. That's a little like Starlin Castro.

Hey, the Big (cheap dumbshit owner) Guy wants to fill positions with cheap minor leaguers so Hendry is obliging. So far this year we've got Castro Colvin Barney Castillo Hoffpauir Coleman Cashner Atkins Russell Samardzija Gray Maine Mateo Stevens Schlitter Berg & Caridad ...and it's not even September yet. did I leave anyone out?

I don't have a problem with Castro and Colvin, who have out-performed a lot of the higher salaried guys. Samardzija is not cheap. The Cubs are paying him $3 million. I think you can criticize the Cubs for a lot of things, but not for being unable to spend money. You can criticize them for not spending it wisely, but not for not spending. They've shed some contracts, but they're still up there in terms of total spend. Frankly, when the wheels fall of, as they have, I think it makes sense to look at what you have in the minors.

Agreed, I'd much rather roll the dice with ML kids this season, than to waste ABs and innings on guys with absolutely no cub future.

As if those were the only two options this year... The truth is, Ricketts and Hendry went cheap with a major market team and this is the result. Another disastrous record and EMPTY SEATS up the wazzoo. They knew they were slow and weak defensively, they knew or should have known Lou quit on the team last year and shouldn't have been brought back, they knew Derrek Lee was in the last year of his contract, they knew Aramis wasn't near 100%, and they knew the glaring hole in team was middle relief.... But all was not bad. They were the beneficiaries of outstanding starting pitching --near the top of the league in quality starts, Silva shocked, Colvin slugged out of his mind, Alfonso Soriano returned to reasonable form, Geo picked up where he left off his rookie year, Castro and Byrd are contending for the batting title, and Fukudome is looking like the player he was supposed to be. All these riches have been turned into absolutely nothing primarily because the Cubs didn't sign Matt Capps and give him the closer job, didn't tell Marmol he was most valuable as the bullpen fireman and setup pitcher (jobs he continues to do besides close by the way), and didn't keep Sean Marshall for middle relief and spot starts. Instead, Ricketts and Hendry put their hopes in an old manager who quit on them for the second year in a row, in sore armed relief pitchers who developed ...sore arms, and ultimately a raft of not ready for primetime minor league pitching untalent.

140m team, yo. would have been nice to see pen added. hendry wants to develop pen from within and his pen signings bite him in the ass, but going into this season with this pen was as pathetic as the outcome. too bad caridad and gray got injured...

Dude raised payroll from 130 to 140 Million. The problem is that all the previous backloading of contracts painted this team in a corner. Can't fault the owner for not raising the Payroll to 200m. I'm honestly glad they didn't listen to the "local media" and empty the farm for Granderson and Heath Bell. Now we are looking at 110 in payroll commitment going into 2011. So if Ricketts keeps a 140 payroll. We can make lots of moves going forward.

Yes, Matt Capps is worth 20 games in the standings... Look at what he did for Washington and Pittsburgh!

Seriously? The problem with the Cubs was not getting Matt Capps? Come on... The problem with the Cubs were, in no particulate order: a) Derrek Lee, b) Aramis Ramirez, and c) Carlos Zambrano. This season had nothing to do with Rickets and Hendry going cheap.

The problem with the Cubs is that they have large contracts to players that are on the decline.

With the Arizona League season over, three more AZL Cubs were promoted to Boise yesterday: 2B Ping-Chieh Chen, OF Cody Shields, and C Chad Noble.

via paul sully "Welington Castillo is up in case Geo has to go on DL, but won't be activated today."

Submitted by crunch on Tue, 08/31/2010 - 3:37pm. via paul sully "Welington Castillo is up in case Geo has to go on DL, but won't be activated today." ============================================ CRUNCH: Which doen't make any sense if Castillo isn't activated for tonight's game, because beginning tomorrow rosters expand to 40 and nobody would have to go on the DL. If Soto's knee is too sore to catch and Castillo is in Chicago, then Castillo should be activated today (8/31). If the Cubs don't want to place Geovany Soto on the DL because they think he can return to action fairly soon but also don't want to go into tonight's game with just one healthy catcher, they can bring up a catcher and option Casey Coleman to Daytona prior to the game (the D-Cubs have one slot open on their roster), with Coleman physically remaining in Chicago, and then the Cubs can recall him from the optional assignment next Monday (Daytona's last game is Sunday, and they are unlikely to make the FSL playoffs). Because of Thursday's off day, the Cubs won't need a 5th starter until next Tuesday.

But does Hendry know any of that?


Angel Pagan is 2nd in the league in SB, and is hitting .294. Sigh. On the other hand, Sean Gallagher is pitching middle relief for the Pirates.

statistical twins: Soriano: BA .259 OBP.316 SLG.510 OPS.826 Colvin: BA.258 OBP.317 SLG.510 OPS.826 Soriano: BB/PA .073 Colvin: BB/PA .075 Soriano: 5 steals 1 CS Colvin: 5 steals, 1 CS Soriano strikes out about 23% of his PAs. Colvin about 26% (they are first and second on the team in this statistic). Colvin hits ground balls more frequently than Soriano does.

What about those financial stats?

(And defensive.)

Dr. Aaron B. told me a few days ago, "I think Soriano is a good player." So he must like Colvin.

I've been very happy with the way Colvin has played this year. I really hope he can keep up this level of production. His ML stats in no way support that it will continue, But who knows?

Samardzija has given up 11 earned runs in four innings tonight. This was the suspended game where the I-Cubs were up 4-0 in the first. This type of performance is why you want to see these guys in pressure situations.

This type of performance is why you want to see these guys in pressure situations. Or maybe he just had a bad day.

Maybe. He'll probably get the ball again this weekend, so we'll see.

dumpster brain farts the double play...4 runs later... great start cubbies. is it april yet?

Valiant comeback, anyway. Albuquerque hung on, 11-10.

man on 1st...0 out...Z pinch hitting. lou taught you well, quade. also, screw this team...down by 7 runs in the 3rd...awesome.

Phil - You are way too smart to be involved with anything regarding the Cubs! I love it! There is no way Hendry (who I am a supporter of) can figure out how to send Coleman to Daytona!!!! Thanks for your last two articles - I am finding myself spending hours looking over them both!

some pathetic douche dove into the CF shrubs to snag a PIT HR ball...and is now being promptly removed from the park. actually, being down 11-2 in the 6th to PIT is pathetic.

Meh. When a quality team like Pittsburgh gets embarrassed by a rag-tag bunch like Chicago, it's natural for the real pros to come back out the next night and teach a lesson.

Bill James loses -- and finds -- his wife under tragic circumstances (and a lot of stuff):

not the baseball stats guy, bill james. tragic nonetheless

Horrible story, missing a lot of details too but I'm not sure I want to hear any more of them.

Sorry about the fake-out, guys. It was kind of a strange item and the addition of the "Bill James" name to the story made it too hard to resist.

I was half hoping to read they found the wife buried under that old green and white computer paper with stats on 1981 Toronto Blue Jays batting averages during the day.

After losing 11-10 to Albuquerque in the suspended game where Jeff Samardzija gives up 11 ER, the Iowa Cubs rally to win the regularly scheduled game 8-6, as Marquez Smith blasts two homer runs and an RBI single. Memphis lost their game, so Iowa leads Memphis by one game with six to play in the PCL American North.

in the PCL American North. Is there a PCL Canadian or Mexican North?

no, & there's no pacific coast in des moines either...

I'm heading out to Kane County tonight to see Peoria take on the Cougars. I want to see Hak-Ju Lee. Anyone else down there I should pay close attention to? Brett Wallach just started on the 29th, so he won't be going tonight.

Submitted by Paul Noce on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 10:24am. I'm heading out to Kane County tonight to see Peoria take on the Cougars. I want to see Hak-Ju Lee. Anyone else down there I should pay close attention to? Brett Wallach just started on the 29th, so he won't be going tonight. ==================================================== PAUL N: SS Hak-Ju Lee is one of the Cubs Top 5 prospects, and 1B Justin Bour, 3B Matt Cerda, LF D. J. Fitzgerald, OF Jae-Hoon Ha, and 2B Logan Watkins are all legitimate prospects to some extent, though maybe not Top 15 prospects. Bour is a big dude left-handed hitter who is developing a power stroke, Cerda is a VERY patient hitter who knows the strike zone better than most of the A-ball umpires do, and if he develops fully all the way down the line he will likely morph into a Blake DeWitt type player, Fitzgerald is a good pure hitter, but he probably doesn't have enough power to play LF at the higher levels and he is a defensive liability no matter where he plays, Ha is an athletic defender and very good (but also hyper-aggressive) hitter with power, and Watkins is another athletic kid with speed (former HS QB) who can play 2B-SS-CF. Among the pitchers still at Peoria, LHP Austin Kirk is the best one, a tough-as-nails lefty with power K-stuff (his father played in the NFL, BTW).

Thanks, AZ Phil and Rob for the heads up on who to look for.

Well the game didn't go well for Peoria, they lost 7-0. Carlos Silva made a rehab start and looked pretty good, holding Kane County down until a big 3 run hr. Silva lasted 4 2/3. Then Robinson Lopez came in, the main pitcher in the DLee trade. He was throwing hard but I couldn't see the MPH scoreboard because a light tower was in my way. It didn't matter though, Lopez was rocked with a capitol R. Liner after liner. Kane County beat him around for a couple of innings until he left. Hak-Ju Lee was impressive. He had a nice line drive swing and all four balls he hit were up the middle. He looks like he has a nice arm but there weren't many balls hit to him. He's fast. Logan Watkins looked impressive defensively, making a couple of very nice plays at second base. He looks so tiny, though. Jae-Hoon Ha was in RF has a very strong arm and looked impressive. Those were really the only guys to stand out.

Thanks PAUL NOCE. Hak Ju Lee is the fastest Cub in the minor league system according to the scouts last year.

I've been impressed with Jae-Hoon Ha. Last night he was 3 for 5 including a double that was crushed off the left-field wall. His average is up to .324 and he has surprising power. He doesn't steal much, but has very good speed. He plays RF and has the arm for it, but his speed seems to be a more natural fit for CF. I believe he was a catcher in high school, but AZPhil indicated that he was VERY raw! Lee has been solid at SS despite the elevated error total (33). He has virtually no power, but does tend to spray liners to all fields. He has plus speed, but his SB attempts seem to be on the decline (only 2 SB attempts in last 10 games despite .390 OBP). Honestly, I have been disappointed with Logan Watkins and DJ Fitzgerald. Watkins has plus speed, but little else to offer offensively. Fitzgerald swings the bat well at times, but appears completely overmatched at others. I sincerely hope that DJ gets it figured out, but I have my doubts.

that memphis loss snapped a 7 game win streak; good to cool them a bit before the showdown in des moines over the long weekend...carpenter pitches the opener for the i-cubs friday night; hasn't looked good since the call-up...

from the trib: Hendry was in Albuquerque on Tuesday to watch Triple-A Iowa and to begin the managerial interview process with manager Ryne Sandberg, so he didn't have to witness the drubbing.

Gonzalez is at the to of Hendry's list:

chubby hispanic mark grace

imagine hendry saw all he cared to of young jeff too...

jeff baker out (achilles), aram day off...darwin barney at 3rd

Today is Sept. 1, we have no 3B to speak of ... no Bobby Scales love? /disappointed

Submitted by John Beasley on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 10:55am. Today is Sept. 1, we have no 3B to speak of ... no Bobby Scales love? /disappointed ================================== JOHN B: Blake DeWitt is a natural 3B and so he should be playing there today, with Darwin Barney at 2B.

Well if the plan is to have DeWitt play 2nd regularly, or to evaluate him as a regular second basemen, leaving him at second is fine. Just like pitchers, wanting to know their role, hitters may like the same thing.

yeah, it seems barney is our SS/2nd/3rd of 2011, but his arm is too pathetic for 3rd, imo.

Once Daytona is eliminated in the Florida State League, several of their players (Lemahieu, Flaherty, Ridling, and/or Brenly) could be moving up to Tennessee, with some accompanying movement from Tennessee to Iowa (Campana, Guyer, B. Jackson, M. Spencer, and/or T. Thomas), and then the Cubs can bring some players up from Iowa, even if the I-Cubs are still alive in the PCL.

Interesting idea, Phil, but the positions don't fit. You're replacing Tennessee outfielders with infielders from Daytona. At this point, I would leave Tennessee and Iowa the way they are, see how they do the rest of the way. At 82-51, the Smokies have the third best record in the minor leagues, behind the Midwest League (low-A, Dodgers) Great Lakes Loons, 85-48, and the International League (AAA, Rays) Durham Bulls, 85-52. At 79-59, the I-Cubs have the best record in the 16-team PCL. At some point, many of these players will have to come to Chicago and learn how to lose, but there's no reason to rush it.

...Great Lakes Loons... If TCR ever put together a company softball team, too bad that name is already taken.

Back in September 2005, Ryan Theriot was brought up to Chicago from AA West Tenn while the DiamondJaxx were in the middle of the SL playoffs, when Ronny Cedeno went on the DL with a broken thumb and the Cubs were down to just one healthy SS. Somebody asked Theriot (who was West Tenn's starting SS) if he would have rather stayed in West Tenn and help the Jaxx win the Southern League championship rather than come up to Chicago just to sit on the bench on a team that was out of contention, and The Riot replied "Are you nuts? I'd rather be in Chicago." So if the Cubs need back-up help at 3B or catcher or some other position, Jim Hendry is not going to think twice about disrupting the chemistry of the Iowa Cubs or the Tennessee Smokies if it means helping the Chicago Cubs, even if the Cubs are going nowhere. No matter how well they are playing, minor league clubs are always first & foremost slaves to the parent MLB club.

yeah, i love minor league baseball, but kids want to get off that bus, off that pay scale, and not have to sit through circus sideshows every 1/2 inning via some promotion or family event the team's owner is pushing.

Ha... last week I took my kids to a game (Ft. Wayne Tincaps, Low-A level) and in between innings they had people compete to see who could make a giant human-sized Wendy's cheese burger, in which the people dressed up with large brown pillows were the buns, the fastest.

haha! What is a "tincap"? Is this like a Wizard of Oz head apparel? Unless you meant "tin cup", or "tin can"?

I guess Ft. Wayne has something to do with Johnny Appleseed, and apparently he went around with a pan on his head or some dumb shit like that. All I know is because of that we get a ball team called the Tin Caps.

What happened to the Ft Wayne Wizards? Are they still around?

Two years ago they tore down the abominable old ball park and built a new one downtown amidst controversy regarding the cost and location. The new ball park is gorgeous. The old ball park was okay if you are a fan of concrete. Anywho, when they moved, they changed names. If you are ever in the area, I recommend going to a game. You can get amazing seats for $9 and cheap beer on "Thirsty Thursdays".

You know Johnny Appleseed was not real. /science

What do you mean not real??

Here in Memphis they have similar promotions between almost every 2nd inning. -Guy eating an 8lb burger -Hot dog races -Cheerleaders -Guy in Red Bird outfit with a Quad and a T-Shirt gun -Some local little league or beer league team on the field. Sometimes it feels like Arena football on a baseball diamond.

Why was Gorzelanny pulled after 2.2 innings?

hand injury, comebacker...pitching hand

Serious or is it too soon to tell?

too soon, but he was hanging all his fingers down and not clinching up the fist much. xrays should be done before game end i'd imagine.


another double switch (soriano left last time)...awesome quade. this time baker is in at 3rd, barney moves to 2nd, and dewitt is out. im really starting to question how he handles this team beyond keeping everyone comfortable and loose. there's been a lot of screwy substitutions, pinch hitting, lineups, and exits, imo.

What?!?! I thought managers didn't matter!

yeah, that's retarded guy. i'm not explaining myself for the x-th time.

len/bob have been tracking foul balls all game caught by adults seeing if they'd give it to a kid. only 1 so far... bob is disappointed in adults.

Bob is disappointed in lots of things.

I caught a ball from Garrett Jones last night and gave it to a kid. Of course, it was my friends' kid, but it still counts.

OK- maybe it's time to admit that the Jeter comparisons were pretty good. He still looks physically like Renteria to me, but he seems to have a little better idea of how to hit and a little more pop than the young Renteria did.

renteria is a lot of what he reminds me of, but's too early to even say what he'll end up. heck, he might even grow a few more inches before he's done developing...

castro with error #382 on the season. ...and quade with a 3rd double switch. aram in at 3rd, baker out, marshall out...this one makes much more sense, though. hehe...

Going into today's game, Baker was 3 for 57 vs. righties. Unreal.

Koyie Hill is envious.

Quade lost me with his Lou-like Marmol in the 8th inning tomfoolery in a meaningless game. With all those Sept 1st call-ups, he can't find 1 (one) to get 1 (one) out without giving up 2 (two) walks and 1 (one) run like Marmoldy usually does? Bring on number 23!!!

Did Fredi Gonzalez wear 23?

He won't for the Cubs. I am getting a little tired of the Cubs becoming Hendry's old crony network. Hopefully Gonzalez is just the token minority... Aren't Italians minorities? Is there some sort of melanin level required to count as a minority, or can it be like 3rd generation the way Piazza qualified to play on the Italian national team?

3 double switches in that game too, including the last one with Marmol and bringing in Aramis Ramirez in the 8th on his day off. ARam had a big annoyed looking smile on his face while he was taking warm up throws.

Submitted by Paul Noce on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 10:23pm. 3 double switches in that game too, including the last one with Marmol and bringing in Aramis Ramirez in the 8th on his day off. ARam had a big annoyed looking smile on his face while he was taking warm up throws. ========================================= PAUL N: This is what one might expect from a career minor league manager--lots of smoke & mirrors, and an irresistible compulsion to over-manage.

It would be completely different if we were in a pennant race, but I think the expression on ARam's face summed it up. Over-managing a game that only has meaning to an interim manager trying to get a full-time job.

From what I recall, Aram was off from April to July this year.

gorz (hand) xrays inconclusive...better imaging tomorrow.

Barney made a couple of nice plays today, reminding me how he looked the couple of times I saw him in ST. If my eyes didn't deceive me, he fielded a ball that hit third and deflected farther away from him. Then he made a bullet throw to second for the force. If you missed it, watch SportsCenter.

The ball missed the bag and the throw barely got to second, but it was a nice play. Have to agree that his arm is closer to David Eckstein's than Shawon Dunstan's.

He is really scrappy though. I bet he'd be one of the best bunters in the league.

Yeah, defense is for wimps, Doc. The only good defense is a strikeout. Ask any pitcher.

Huh? How do you go from "scrappy" to "defense is for wimps?" Your baseball "logic" and "analysis" are baffling.

How do you go from a dazzling defensive play to scrappy and "good bunter"? Scrappy is a pejorative around here, in case you haven't noticed. Here's a clue about my logic: it's not based on fantasy baseball, where defense doesn't matter.

I'm sorry, but I must have missed where someone said defense doesn't matter. Can you point out where someone (anyone?) said that?

Down 9-1 after four innings and losing 13-6 going into the top of the 9th, the Iowa Cubs--knowing Memphis had already won its game--storm back with a nine-run 9th inning capped by a Marquez Smith three-run home run, and defeat the Albuquerque Isotopes 15-13. Jason Dubois belts two three-run homers, Brad Snyder rips two doubles, and Jeff Stevens throws a scoreless bottom of the 9th for the save.

Ricketts told reporters before Wednesday's game that he's hands off on the manager search. Hendry can hire whomever he wants. Ricketts will interview the finalists but the choice should be who will win games, not sell tickets. Sounds good. I would hope Sandberg could win games though. I wouldn't be against putting him on the next coaching staff if they hire a big league experienced manager.

I'd love to see Girardi, Sandberg, Tramell, and Maddux all on the same bench (with Jaramillo, perhaps), but that's just me being a dork. I am really amazed the Cubs haven't commit to Sandberg yet. That seemed to have been the deal: ride the buses until we have an opening (unless you prove yourself incapable at minor league level, which I can't tell that Sandberg has).

You're a dork.


I think there's a lot of confusion over this "big league" bench thing. Sandberg's sat on the big league bench for years - why does he need to do it for three more years to become a manager? Did Joe Girardi spend any time as a manager before getting his first big league gig? Did Trammel, did Gonzales? Or is it that the Cubs are special, and they cannot hire anyone without experience to be their manager? In almost every case a manager who has experience has been fired or let go - two of the 'top' guys we're talking about here got let go by the Marlin. Sure, we've got this career Cubs guy with an excellent track record of winning in the minors, and 15 years of big league experience - but let's replace him with a some third base coach that Bobby Cox likes. I am 95% positive it's all just smoke and mirrors to build hype for Sandberg's anouncement, thankfully, but can anyone explain with a rational explanation why Sandberg wouldn't be the guy?

Hendry: "Hiring a manager is like signing a free agent. The best course of action is to spend a lot of money and get someone that people have heard of. That makes my job safe."

TRN -- agree. I'm not 1000% sure Sandberg is the guy, but I sure as hell don't know who else is (other than maaaaayybe Girardi) and I have no idea how the hell Fredi Gonzalez got into the damn conversation with the lone exception of what you say -- make it look like we (JH) searched high and low and Sandberg was the right answer all along.

Maybe Fredi Gonzalez got into the conversation because Hendry thinks he's a good manager? Just a thought.

Girardi was the bench coach for Joe Torre for one year before he got the Marlins job.

And he managed in the minors for how long?

You're changing your argument. I'm all for Sandberg getting the job, but I understand the argument that the Cubs job has become a beast due to the fans and media and that hiring an experienced manager is a good idea. Dealing with the media and fans even in Florida has to me more of a responsibility than running a minor league team.

Sequence of events. 1. " Did Joe Girardi spend any time as a manager before getting his first big league gig?" 2. "Girardi was the bench coach for Joe Torre for one year before he got the Marlins job." 3. "And he managed in the minors for how long? 4. "You're changing your argument." I hope you can see that I didn't change the argument. The Marlins hired him with 0 managing experience, he spent one year in the intense scrutiny of Miami, was laid off and then was prepared for the most intense market in the world. Now, if the missing skill that Sandberg has is talking to the press, how does that skill get addressed being a bench coach? Do bench coaches give interviews to the media after each game?

That Iowa comeback was a great story, but when Adduci's liner ripped through the webbing and the guy needed a new glove, it got too improbable for Hollywood.

Len mentioned this yesterday on the air, but Barney and Snyder were named to PCL all stars. Chirinos, Campana and Guyer named to Southern League postseason team. Daytona Cubs on FSL postseason team: LeMahieu, Ridling, Brenly. (No pitchers.)

yeah, the adduci ripped glove thing is right out of 'the natural...' then, w/ his team still down 13-12, sandberg calls for a double steal w/ fuld & adduci; pretty ballsy! before this road trip the i-cubs were 0-42 when trailing after 8; they've won 2 in the 9th this week on the road w/ a stripped-down roster & a hot team breathing down their necks...managerial?

On a Cubs' days off(well, more than all the other ones they've taken this year)... Am I the only one that thinks this gripe that the Marlins have against Nyjer Morgan stealing second and third after getting plunked is pretty ridiculous??? I certainly am not trying to say that Nyjer is a great guy, but what is the problem with taking out frustration about being hit by stealing bases? I am also not trying to defend Nyjer for his reaction when thrown behind in his next AB...

I think a suspension and fine for the Marlins manager and the pitcher, of about 15 games each is appropriate. Morgan kept his response in the context of the game, and I've never heard of the unwritten rule that you can't steal when you're down by a lot. I've always had a problem with catchers blocking the plate. They're like "we got all this armor on, so we will block the plate." when no one else is allowed to do it. If you're going to block the plate like that, you get what you deserve. If you simply apply the tag like they do at 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you don't get hurt.

Are the catchers allowed, by rule, to block home plate?

p. 20 OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. p. 66 7.06 When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal “Obstruction.” (a) If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter-runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, if there had been no obstruction. (Further down p. 66) NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.

Thanks. I was looking for "blocking" and "home plate". It certainly implies that the guy with the ball can stand where ever he likes, doesn't it? Still, if you're going to stand between a guy and the base, that's your choice. He doesn't have to meekly get tagged out. I don't like it when they go for forearm shivers to the faceeither, but a nice two cleated slide - one to the chest, one to the plate is cool with me.

If you've already got the ball, fine, block away. The problem is when catchers choose to block the plate before they get the ball.

morgan's taken out like 2-3 catchers who didn't have the ball over the past few weeks. the marlins catcher he took out separated his shoulder. he's already got a suspension pending for throwing a ball at a fan in the stands a while ago.

It was two catchers, and at least one of them was pretty legitimate. The injury to the catcher is completely irrelevant. As for the suspension from throwing the ball at a fan, it appears that there is more to the story, including other fans vouching for Morgan. And last night was complete bullshit, and completely the fault of Volstad.

Ok. Unless the fan in question threatened his life, or to rape his mom...or something, there is no..NO excuse at all for throwing a ball at a fan.

He threw the ball to a kid, and it hit someone else who wasn't paying attention. If you look on youtube you can find him doing the same thing.

That's not what MLB and the witnesses claimed. They say he was being heckeled, turned and whipped the ball into the stands towards the heckler(s) and instead drilled an innocent bystander in the head. Now how that's only 7 games, and the Cueto kicking is only 7 games, I'll never know. I remember a Blackhawks player in the early 80's, Tom Lysiak, I think, who had a penalty called on him and he skated over fast and slammed on the brakes but bumped the ref, most likely intentional. The NHL suspended him 20 games, that's approximately 1/4th of the season. Cueto was intentionally kicking players while wearing metal spikes, trying to hurt people, and was basically punished by missing one start. Morgan acts like a complete ass and tries to hurt a fan and only gets 7 games. It's crap. Morgan should have gotten at least 20 games for that. Charging the mound after the Marlins threw at him twice is a different story and understandable.

Well this guy is a witness, and I hate to be prejudiced, but if there are people more likely to lie about this sort of thing than Philly fans, I don't know who'd they be.

Sarah Palin followers?

Lysiak intentionally tripped a linesman immediatley after a faceoff (meaning, instead of playing, he went to the ref and tripped him).

I always think that if I were a catcher and the ump was really squeezing my pitcher, I may call for a high fastaball and "accidentily" whiff on catching it... surprised I've never seen it happen.

I've seen it happen in high school ball. It doesn't get results.

It must be hella satisfying, though.


Up to 92. If he's still got that power curve, he could pitch in the majors with that. Hopefully Dibbs won't be his pitching coach.

I'm so rooting for this guy to make it back.

Mark "Sissyphus" Prior

...It's a mythology reference.

Rolling a big pile of towels up a hill for all eternity.

I am leaning towards the CRUNCH camp, in that I just am getting more and more ambivalent on how many wins a manager is responsible for. Or losses. Hendry got the "coveted" guys. No World Series. We have had "Riggs", "Zim", Frey, Durocher, Marshall, Lockman, Gomez, Gene Michaels, Lefevre, on and on and on. ONE pennant?! ONE World Series from the bunch?! This is a problem much deeper than one guy, imo. Too many Day games, money, bad luck, bad farm club, poor advance scouting, poor scouting, shit facilities at the big club, I could go on - but you all know the story here. I was hoping Ricketts would just hit "Re-Boot" and buy top management first - with a proven track record (John Schuerholdz, Epstein, Jocketty) but it is clearly not going to happen in 2011.

Where's the "like" button?

I originally thought that Ricketts' plan was to make Hendry be the GM who suffered through the immovable contracts for a few years before handing over the team to a GM who could fix the team with a reasonable amount of resources. Once I saw the committed money for 2011, 12, 13, 14 I realized that there's only one more year of dealing with so many of these contracts. Any really good GM could start fixing the team even with the immovable contracts of Soriano and co. Somewhere I heard or read that Hendry staying on is the Ricketts family giving the fans the middle finger, and in a way I understand that. But I think the family actually believes that he's good at what he does, or more likely, that he has a good player development staff with Fleita and Wilkin.

I guess I'm missing why the new owner of the Cubs would be giving the fans the middle finger about anything. Can you elaborate?

I think in a way Ricketts already gave the fans the middle finger by raising ticket prices to the highest in MLB. The fans are giving him the finger back by not going. :) But I agree with Tito, it makes no sense that a new owner would try to alienate the fans.

I meant that by allowing Hendry to continue to be GM the Ricketts were inadvertently and symbolically giving Cubs fans the finger. Instead of keeping Hendry, the fans should expect Ricketts to go hire someone like Epstein, Schuerholtz, Jocketty, etc.

Iowa lost to the Isotopes 13-3 last night...and now they are tied with Memphis with 4 games in Iowa vs Memphis to wrap up the season. The Memphis Redbirds beat New Orleans (Zephyrs) 3-2. But the I-Cubs chances for the playoffs are worse than one might think. For them to go to the playoffs they have to win 3 of 4 (splitting the series doesn't get them a play-in game):
Iowa and Memphis will play the final four regular season games Friday at Principal Park. The Cubs and Redbirds' head-to-head record this season is tied at 6-6. In the event of a tie, Memphis would clinch the tie-breaker because their division record is better than Iowa's.
Division Record Memphis 22-22 (4 remaining) Iowa 18-26 (4 remaining)
this was written before Thursday's results...
If Iowa wins and Memphis loses tonight, the Cubs would clinch the division title with two wins in the final four games against Memphis. The same scenario is true if both teams would lose tonight. If Memphis wins tonight and Iowa loses, they would need to win three of four games from Iowa to win the division outright.

Like father, like son.

sandberg to be named pcl manager of the year today...

Ball is in your court Hendry!

Yes. If somehow Hendry can gain entry for the Cubs into the PCL AND hire Sandberg as manager... what a coup!

First of a Series
5-5-2010 The Rickettses have already started changing the culture—or trying to. One of their first moves was to purge the clubhouse of (Lou's beloved) ice cream, soda and candy. They also hired a nutritional consultant. This was at the behest of Todd Ricketts, Tom's brother, a fitness enthusiast, who rightfully wondered whether a healthier, more energized team didn't stand a better chance of optimizing performance.
Yeah, that really worked. But then Fail is Todd Ricketts' middle name. As far as I can tell Todd has never had a real job. He used to list his occupation as "homemaker." Dad gave him a pile of money and he invested part of it in his sister's fake travel agency which evaporated and in a friend's bicycle shop. Apparently this makes him a fitness expert.

ugg...let the managers manage...let the owners write checks and sit in their boxseats and suites.

Sure, but why the hell did professional athletes who earn no less than six figures a year have ice cream, soda, and candy in their place of work anyway?

A real nutritionist won't keep you from eating sweets before you exercise, but nutrionits think they need to justify their existence by telling you everything you're doing is wrong (the same thing one of those exercise coaches will do at the gym if you're foolish enough to hire one). If they were eating that crap after the game, though... that's not so good.

Why would they need ice cream in the clubhouse? And why would anyone eat ice cream before the game? That's plain dumb.

imo... it's bad enough the players have to deal with the craphole that is the cubs lockerroom and clubhouse. when you start taking perks away (hopefully they weren't being abused) things get a little more cramped and a little less home. if they take gum away there will be a mutiny =p yeah, they're making 400K-400billion dollars and shouldn't complain blah blah blah, but they can make that elsewhere, too, without putting up with the baggage that comes with playing at wrigley...from the crap facilities to all the day games.

I have a hard time believing that not eating ice cream in the club house is a big blow.

when you're in the crap shack known as wrigley field i wouldn't want to see any perk go away unless it's being abused. morale in a confined space is pretty important, imo. at least the bullpen rookie won't have to carry a full backpack.

Sometimes little things can be pretty frustrating. For example, I used to work at an office where the kitchen was always stocked with bottles of water, coke, diet coke, bagels, fruit, cookies, etc. It was great. I've been in enough offices to know that's an exception rather than a rule, but after awhile you really get used to it. Then one day, they had to cut costs and the stocked kitchen went away. Of course that's not a huge deal, and it's not going to make anyone quit, but it was pretty damn annoying. I think a good rule of thumb for any organization is to never provide a benefit you don't intend to keep forever. No matter how small, people are going to be annoyed/pissed when you take something away from them that they're used to getting.

Seems like his lack of success was preordained with a middle name such as "Fail" :)

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  • crunch 5 hours 22 min ago (view)

    hah!  also uggg...i wonder what $20m-ish of k.bryant after a down season and uncertainty of april-june for "normal" baseball is worth to a team.  we will probably find out in a month or 2, though.


  • Charlie 8 hours 19 sec ago (view)

    What's that, crunch? Kris Bryant for Robinson Canoe? Bold call!


  • George Altman 10 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Phil, you used to put out a Top 10 or 20 Prospect list around the end of the AFL. Sometimes you would update mid year if trades or draft warranted. This is not false praise...your lists were more impactful than BA, MLB, BP to me, let alone the Cubs fan board lists. Today, the only thing I give any credence to are your evaluations and Fan Graphs Top 40. If the evaluator has only watched video then, hell, I can watch video.


  • crunch 14 hours 1 min ago (view)

    there is no way the 2-3 guys that created most of those cubs reports have seen much more than youtube video footage as far as "live" scouting.

    they seem very dedicated and eager, but there are some questionable things in their scouting reports.


  • Wrigley Rat 14 hours 47 min ago (view)

    I'd REALLY enjoy reading Phil's list with scouting reports!!! I'd definitely trust his ratings more than most!

    Here is what the website says about seeing the players: "Our evaluation team has spent countless hours filling these boards with highly in-depth scouting reports from live looks and film study."

    Either way, in my opinion, it's good to read other people's evaluations, even when they vary from our own. It gets us thinking about how confident we are in our valuations and how much we're willing to modify them based on other people's reports!


  • Hagsag 16 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Phil, I am sure you could put together a more realistic list.


  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 37 min ago (view)

    No offense intended, but did anybody at this site actually see these guys play? 

    Chase Strumpf has only "40" power?!! Andy Weber even has more power than Strumpf? Seriously? Strumpf actually has plus-power. In fact, HR power is his #1 attribute. His power tool is probably at least "60" (maybe "65").   

    Both Ronnier Quintero and Aramis Ademan are "45" run? Really? Ademan has average speed ("50"), and Quintero is Miguel Montero 2.0. His run tool is probably "30" (on a good day). Quintero's plus raw tools are arm and power.  


  • Hagsag 21 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Thanks for the info.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    I just discovered this site: (Sorry if you all know about it already!). 52 Cubs prospects listed with scouting reports! Really enjoying this one! :)


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    we all knew trades were coming...getting rid of 1-2 of the core, but at this point i wonder how much (if any) of that free'd up loot is going back into the team.


  • Charlie 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    He clearly did not want to be remembered for selling off the core and then walking away from the team a year later. Can't blame him.


  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    every other contender is full of rumor news for who they'll sign...and the hot cubs rumor is kris bryant won't be traded before the wednesday arb offer deadline.  wee.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: The MLB contracts that are tendered on 12/2 via Central Tender Letter are are non-guaranteed contacts.

    And a player signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released prior to MLB Opening Day receives 30 days salary (paid at the minor league rate for players with split contracts) if the player is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day, or 45 days salary (paid at the MLB rate for players signed to split contracts) if the player is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day as termination pay. 


  • jdrnym 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    If a player signs one of those deals that allows a split salary or incentives to be included, does that get treated like an arbitration salary in that it's only partially guaranteed until Opening Day?


  • bradsbeard 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Great info. Thanks! 


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: What happens on 12/2 is each club submits what's called a "Central Tender Letter" to the MLB LRD listing which unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) are being tendered a contract and which unsigned players are not being tendered a contract. 

    The CTL is sufficient as far as providing proof of contract tender.  

    For players being tendered contracts, the CTL must list the club's MLB salary offer, a minor league split salary offer (if the club so chooses), and performance bonuses (if any) the club is offering to the player.