Volstad Act Prohibits Giants from Scoring

Anthony Rizzo crushed a tape-measure two run home run, Chris Volstad and Jay Jackson combined to throw six innings of five-hit one-run ball, and the Cubs withstood a late San Francisco rally, edging the Giants 5-4 in Cactus League action at warm & sunny Scottsdale Stadium this afternoon.

The game was scoreless through the first two innings, but the Cubs put two runs on the board against Giant LHSP Madison Bumgarner in the top of the 3rd. Starting pitcher Chris Volstad lined a lead-off single to RF, advanced to 3rd base on a David DeJesus double to the 430-foot sign in dead center (normally would have been a stand-up triple for DeJesus, except Volstad was “clogging the bases” in front of him), and then scored on a Darwin Barney ground out, with DeJesus moving up to 3rd. Starlin Castro then knocked-in DeJesus with an RBI single grounded through the 5.5 hole and into LF.

The Cubs scored another run off Bumgarner in the top of the 4th, as Steve Clevenger lined a single to right, and Josh Vitters ripped a pinch-hit opposite-field two-out RBI triple into the right-centerfield gap to score Clevenger from 1st.

Meanwhile Chris Volstad, Scott Maine, and Jay Jackson were shutting-down a mostly “A” team Giant lineup (Pagan-M. Cabrera-Sandoval-Posey-Huff-Belt-Theriot-Crawford), allowing just one run on six hits (and no walks) over the first seven innings.

Volstad and J. Jackson were particularly effective, each breezing through a three-inning stint.

Volstad threw three shutout innings (39 pitches – 25 strikes), allowing just one hit. The 6’8 right-hander had the Giant hitters beating his sinker into the ground throughout his three innings of work (7/1 GO/FO).

J. Jackson also threw three innings (37 pitches – 23 strikes, 5/3 GO/FO), surrendering a run in the 5th on an Angel Pagan two-out RBI triple (bad break on the ball and a poor route taken by CF Dave Sappelt), but he finished strong, retiring seven of the last eight men he faced. J-Jax's likely destination will be the Iowa Cubs starting rotation, but he has been very impressive so far this spring.

The Cubs added two more runs in the top of the 7th, as Adrian Cardenas ripped a two-out double into the RF corner, and scored when Anthony Rizzo clubbed a towering two-run 450+ foot HR over the Charro Party Pavilion well beyond the RF fence. (It was so obviously a homer run that none of the SF outfielders moved an inch, and the ball itself was last seen headed for Don & Charlie's for an early-bird special).

Battling for a job in the Cub bullpen, RHP Andy Sonnanstine fared poorly in the bottom of the 8th. The ex-Ray allowed three runs on five hits (including back-to-back ringing doubles leading off the inning), but one of the other hits was a nifty squeeze bunt single, and another should have been scored a FC because 3B Blake DeWitt tried to tag a runner going from 2nd to 3rd (he missed him), and then threw late to 1st base (there were two outs at the time… just throw the friggin’ ball to 1st base, Blake!).

23-year old RHP Alberto Cabrera (like Jay Jackson, also likely destined for Iowa) had a shaky 9th, but did manage to retire the side and pick-up the save (leaving the tying run stranded at 3rd).

Cubs 2012 Spring Training sensation Joe Mather got the start at 3B today, a position he has played before, although not much in recent years. Mather was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals out of HS as a shortstop, and was moved to 3B after his rookie season in the minors. He played 3rd base for the next three seasons in the minors after that, before being moved to corner OF and 1B.

The 29-year old Mather would obviously have a much better chance of making the 25-man roster if he shows the Cubs that he can play 3B and CF in addition to 1B-LF-RF, but wouldn’t you know it? Despite the ten Giant ground outs in the first five innings, Mather had only one ball hit to him at 3B (which he handled flawlessly, BTW) while he was in the game. (Mather was replaced by Blake DeWitt at 3B in the bottom of the 6th).

The Cubs return home to Mesa tomorrow, where they will be playing the Milwaukee Brewers at HoHoKam Park.


Well, lots of good news here, no? Volstad pitching well again and getting ground ball outs; Jay Jax looking like he is back to solid prospect status; Josh Vitters hitting; Rizzo hitting; Castro producing; DeJesus finally with an XBH; Mather still not embarassing. Sounds like the only negative is Sonnanstine, and he is/was a long-shot to make the roster anyway. [Edit: looking at the box score, 0-3 with 3 K's for LaHair also not so good. Oof.] Two things Phil: (1) What exactly is the deal with the contract the Cubs gave Sonnanstine? It's not your everyday minor league invite deal made to a fringey veteran, because he is on the 40-man right now. Are the Cubs on the hook for anything here besides a bit of money if they just release him before Opening Day? (2) It sure looks like Clevenger has the inside track to the backup catcher's job. Does he have any options left if the Cubs take him north, and then change their mind in favor of Castillo or Jaramillo later in the season?

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 7:29pm — Jim Hickmans Bat Two things Phil: (1) What exactly is the deal with the contract the Cubs gave Sonnanstine? It's not your everyday minor league invite deal made to a fringey veteran, because he is on the 40-man right now. Are the Cubs on the hook for anything here besides a bit of money if they just release him before Opening Day? (2) It sure looks like Clevenger has the inside track to the backup catcher's job. Does he have any options left if the Cubs take him north, and then change their mind in favor of Castillo or Jaramillo later in the season? ========================================== JIM H: 1. Andy Sonnanstine reportedly signed a non-guaranteed major leaue contract (salary not reported yet) that pays him a lesser minor league "split" salary (also not reported yet) if he is optioned to the minors (and he does have one minor league option left). NOTE: Manny Corpas got a similar deal, but he was subsequently outrighted to the minors prior to the start of Spring Training. So the Cubs could option Sonnanstine to the minors (and pay him his minor league split salary) if he doesn't make the Opening Day MLB 25-man roster, although (because his anniversary date for being added to an MLB 25-man roster for the first time is more than three years ago) he would have to clear Optional Assignment Waivers (which are revocable if a claim is made the first time the waivers are requested in a given waiver period) before he can be optioned. NOTE: Because Optional Assignment Waivers are (like Trade Waivers in August) revocable the first time they are requested in a given waiver periiod, players are rarely (if ever) claimed off Optional Assignment Waivers, , but the waivers do need to be secured before the player can be optioned. Or the Cubs could try and outright Sonnanstine to the minors (presuming he isn't claimed off Outright Waviers first, which are NOT revocable, BTW), and if Outright Waivers are secured (meaning he is not claimed), the Cubs could outright him to the minors (thus removing him from the 40-man roster) and would only have to pay him the minor league split salary while he is assigned to Iowa. However... Because Sonnanstine has accrued more than three years of MLB Service Time (he has 4+022 MLB Service Time), he would (like Blake DeWitt last month) have the option to refuse an Outright Assignment and become an Arctcle XX-D minor league free-agent immediately (in which case his contract wiould be terminated and the Cubs would owe him nothing, not even the minor league split salary), or he could accept the Outright Assignment and opt to defer free-agency until the conclusion of the MLB regular season (unless he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior the conclusion of the MLB regular season, in which case he would not be eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent after the season). But unlike Blake DeWitt (who had a $1.1M guaranteed major league contract that he would have lost if he had opted to be a free-agent upon being outrighted), Sonnanstine would only lose his minor league split salary (probably somewhere around $250K) if he gets outrighted and opts to be a free-agent immediately (meaning Sonnanstine would be more-likely than DeWitt was to refuse an Outright Assignment and become a free-agent immediately). Or the Cubs could just release Sonnanstine, and because he has a non-guaranteed contract, the Cubs would only owe him 30 days pay (1/6 of his minor league split salary) if he is released by next Monday (3/19), or 45 days pay (1/4 of his major league salary) if he is released after next Monday and prior to Opening Day. Bottom line is, if the Cubs plan to release Sonnanstine, they should do it by next Monday. 2. Steve Clevenger was just added to the Cubs 40-man roster last September, so he has all three of his minor league options (he hasn't used any yet). If the Cubs decide Clevenger is the #2 catcher coming out of Spring Training and then change their minds later, he can easily be optioned to the minors and replaced by either Welington Castillo (who has one minor league option left) or Jason Jaramillo (who is out of minor league options). Jaramillo is signed to a minor league contract, so being out of options would not matter if the Cubs decide to send him to Iowa to start the season. (He is technically already on the Iowa roster). Jaramillo being out of options would only matter if he is added to the Cubs 25-man roster (and 40-man roster) and then the Cubs decide to replace Jaramillo with Clevenger or W.Castillo. At that point Jaramillo could be sent back to the minors only after Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured.

Honestly Phil, if the Cubs' front office people don't have you on speed dial, they're morons. You should make contact with them and get a modest retainer for your efforts, you're helping the organization save $$ if they'll just take the assistance.

I don't get this. Why is the assumption that the Cubs front office doesn't know something as simple as roster rules? That's silly.

Thanks....while I love AZ Phil's work on roster stuff for TCR, I think it is pretty silly to think that the Cubs front office don't know this stuff.

I think this is rollover frustration from the Hendry days, in which the front office behaved as if they didn't understand roster rules. Though there were a few head-scratchers from Theo's regime this winter, too.

Wed, 03/14/2012 - 11:03am — big_lowitzki Thanks....while I love AZ Phil's work on roster stuff for TCR, I think it is pretty silly to think that the Cubs front office don't know this stuff. ================================== BIG LO: Here are some examples of screw-ups made by people you think can't make these kind of mistakes because it's silly to imagine that they don't know this stuff... 1. Back in 1984, the Cubs made a big trade at what was (at the time) the trade deadline (June 15th). The Cubs acquired RHP Rick Sutcliffe, RHP George Frazier, and C-1B Ron Hassey from the Indians for OF Joe Carter, OF Mel Hall, RHP Don Schulze, and minor league RHP Daryl Banks. A very famous Cubs trade. Because it was an interleague deal, all of the players who were on an MLB 40-man roster (Banks was not) had to clear what were then known as Major League Waivers before they could be traded to the other league. (Non-waiver interleague deals could only be made during the Winter Meetings back then). Unfortunately, Cubs Assistant GM John Cox (who should have known the rules, right?) had forgotten to secure waivers on Joe Carter and Mel Hall at the beginning of the waiver period (GM Dallas Green had assumed waivers had been secured when he made the trade), and so the deal had to be put on hold while the Cubs tried to secure waivers on Hall and Carter. (Hall and Carter were in limbo for two days while the Cubs sweated it out). As it turned out, none of the other clubs claimed Hall or Carter, but if they had (and any club easily could have made a claim), the Cubs could have withdrawn the waiver request and retained Hall and Carter (because Major League Waivers were revocable), but the deal would have been voided, and Sutcliffe would have had to return to Cleveland. Afterward, Dallas Green was interviewed and he said he did not intend to fire John Cox because of it, because he (Dallas Green) was the GM, and it was his responsiblity to make sure the waivers had been secured, even though the job had been delegated to the Assistant GM. 2. In 1990, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost two of their top prospects (Wes Chamberlain and Julio Peguero) off waivers to the Phillies when GM Larry Doughty (who should have known the rules, right?) put the players on the wrong type of waivers (irrevocable Outright Waivers rather than revocable Major League Waivers). The Phils did Doughty a favor by expanding the transaction into a "trade" (Carmelo Martinez to PIT for Chamberlain, Peguero, and Tony Longmire), but the story behind the "trade" leaked out (in Baseball America), and Doughty got fired the next year. 3. On November 7, 2007, the Angels selected the contract of RHP (ex-OF) Warner Madrigal from Cedar Rapids, ostensibly adding him to their 40-man roster to keep him from becoming a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (6YFA). Problem was clubs cannot add a minor league player eligible to be a 6YFA to the 40-man roster by selection after 5 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series, and the 2007 World Series concluded on October 28th, and so the deadline for adding players eligible to be 6YFA to the 40-man roster by selection in 2007 was at 5 PM on November 2nd. Madrigal was declared a free-agent and he signed with Texas instead. 4. In September 2008, the Colorado Rockies reinstated iB Todd Helton from the 60-day DL on 9/12, and to make room for him on the 40-man roster, they DFA'd RHP Pedro Strop, believing no other club would want to claim him and put him on their 40-man roster because he was rehabbing from a broken arm. Unfortunately for the Rockies, injured players cannot be outrighted to the minors or claimed off waivers during the MLB regular season, and the 10-day DFA period for Strop expired a week prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season. (The Rockies claimed they thought because Strop's minor league team's season had ended, the season was over for him). So the Rockies had to release him. No other option. And once he was released, the Texas Rangers immediately signed him to a 2009 minor league contract. 5. In January 2011, the Cubs placed RHP Brian Schlitter on waivers to make room on the 40-man roster for FA RHP Kerry Wood, and Schlitter was claimed by the New York Yankees. Subsequently Schlitter went back on waivers (the Yankees needed his slot on the 40-man roster) and was claimed by the Phillies. However, Schlitter was returned to the Cubs after it was discovered that he had a pre-existing medical problem (elbow injury) that the Cubs knew about going back to the end of the 2010 season, and an injured player who accrued MLB Service Time the previous season cannot be outrighted or claimed off Outright Waivers except during the period of time extending from the conclusion of the MLB regular season up to November 20th. (Only players who accrued no MLB Service Time the previous season can be outrighted or claimed off Outright Waivers up to the 15th day prior to the the next season's MLB Opening Day). So the Cubs ended up spending $414K in 2011 payroll on Schlitter while he spent the season on the 60-day DL (and at Fitch Park), when the fact that he had a pre-existing injury would not have mattered (and they would not have had to take him back) if they had just put him on Outright Waivers by November 20th, or non-tendered him on 12/12. BOTTOM LINE: If you talk to the MLB baseball operations guys who make these types of transactions (and supposedly know all the rules), you would find (apparently much to your amazement) that these mistakes happen frequently. You might assume that they know the rules, but they still make mistakes anyway. It really is silly.

I'm trying to figure what the point of all that was. Are you saying that in their place you wouldn't make mistakes? That baseball management shouldn't make any mistakes? I'm just curious what exactly you're refuting. The main point being that every time you post information, someone massages your balls and wonders why baseball hasn't snatched up your baseball mind. I agree in that I don't understand why others assume that just because you know something, management must be ignorant of it. That has absolutely nothing to do with mistakes, which occur in every business. Has your ego grown to such epic proportions that your armchair management would translate to error-less cubs management?

Are you serious just now? He's just making a point. He never said he was perfect or doesn't make mistakes.

No, that was an elaborate ruse. Of course I'm serious. If you read the call and response you might see that that is exactly what he is implying. But, giving the benefit if the doubt, I phrased the inference as a question for clarification. Here is what I read (often): Phil: ((detailed baseball info)) Disciple: Wow! ((slurp slurp)) The cubs don't know this and are stupid for not hiring you." Challenger: They probably know this, too. Phil: Oh yeah?! Well, here are five examples of baseball teams making mistakes.

You know something, you're a bona-fide douchebag. Every time you post on this blog as "The Joe," which is not often, you are attacking a poster or being a general smart-ass. Your posts are inflammatory, are not Cubs-related, and I hope Rob is as sick of your trolling as I am. How about you go play on a blog where such douchebaggery is more common or even sought after? I can think of at least one Cubs blog where you'd fit right in. Here....not so much.

See, I think he's a funny and astute poster. But I just think he's flat-out misreading AZ on this one. Phil: ((detailed baseball info)) Disciple: Wow! ((slurp slurp)) The cubs don't know this and are stupid for not hiring you." Challenger: They probably know this, too. Phil: Everybody fucks up. Here are some examples. For the record, I honestly believe the Cubs and most other teams have all the same info AZ does. But most TCR readers, such as myself, don't, and I love having it broken down. If you don't, and you want mindless bullshit talk about the org, there are plenty of blogs to service that need.

You may be right! I also enjoy having it broken down for me. While I was agreeing with WISGRAD and big_lowitski in the assumption that Phil's knowledge is exclusive to him and the Cubs don't have it, I was mainly criticising Phil's unrelated response.

Hey douchebag asshole ... spell my name right! But seriously... As I said in my original comment, I love his work for TCR on roster management issues, and it has absolutely helped me better understand how this stuff works. But my comment had little/nothing to do with AZ Phil. It had everything with those around here that think that AZ Phil has some kind of exclusive knowledge about roster management and prospects.

You know something, you're a bona-fide douchebag. Every time you post on this blog as "The Joe," which is not often, you are attacking a poster or being a general smart-ass. Your posts are inflammatory, are not Cubs-related, and I hope Rob is as sick of your trolling as I am. Maybe there's a lowercase "the joe" that we're confusing people with...Cause uppercase "The Joe" is far from a douchebag(although that last comment may have been a little). As for the point at hand, I would prefer folks not go after AZ Phil in principle because I like to keep him happy and he's probably the most unique Cubs writer in the blogosphere. Now I understand he's not going to be everyone's style. And it's probably a bit presumptious to think management just doesn't know the rules, but we're all a bit presumptious when discussing baseball execs. "oh how could they make that trade", "they're idiots for calling that guy up" and so on, when there's always some logic behind the move. Just not a logic that's necessarily conveyed to the masses. Same probably goes for a lot of these alleged roster fuck- ups. There's as good a chance they know the rules but had other reasons for doing what they did, but the ramifications are so minor that no one with access is ever going to bother to ask or knows the rules well enough to ask. Or they really do eff up and the cubs lose Casey McGehee. My two cents....

Fair enough Rob, I'll refrain from waking the beast. I was fully aware (and now moreso) that criticizing Phil brings the ire of the masses. I think Phil is very knowledgeable an I love skimming through his posts as he clearly knows much much more than I. And to clarify, I personally I consider myself more of an asshole than a douchebag. Tight shirts don't look good on me.

no worries... now let's discuss Toy Story 3 again.


douchebag. (sarcasm font)

asshole. and moneyball was so much better than toy story 3. maybe. if I watched it.

I loved Toy Story 3 but had to look past all of the inaccuracies and dramatic liberties.

Knock it off you assholes!

The guy who played Totoro was miscast and they dropped the ball on representing his charisma.

Totoro Great movie, by the way. And Carlos Pena wasn't even sullen in it.

Wow "the Joe"....who the hell pissed in your Wheaties?

Take a pill!

Seems like LaHair hasn't done much this spring. Good to know Rizzo is waiting in the wings. I have to assume he's the real deal prospect-wise, since TheoHoyer have acquired him three times now. They're basically stalking the dude. That home run would have been fun to hear in that Arizona air at the ball park.

it sucks to lose carp, but a legit power bat was something the cubs needed.

A carp is a fish. Fish have fins. Fins are five dollar bills. That's Cash!

What does carp have to do with Rizzo?

think he meant cashner

cashner...my bad...got my 100mph'rs mixed up. at least the cubs got a ballplayer for cashner.

AZ Phil: from your observations at camp, etc., does Sceczur (sp) generally favor the Theriot approach to hitting to RF or does he take inside pitches to LF. Saw him for the first time over the weekend on wgn, so not much to go on . . . As always, thanks again for the excellent game-day wrap ups.

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 7:30pm — Eric S AZ Phil: from your observations at camp, etc., does Sceczur (sp) generally favor the Theriot approach to hitting to RF or does he take inside pitches to LF. Saw him for the first time over the weekend on wgn, so not much to go on . . . As always, thanks again for the excellent game-day wrap ups. ============================= ERIC: Szczur definitely looks to hit the ball to RF, but I think that comes more from inexperience than anything. Once he gets more ABs under his belt, he should start to spray the ball line-to-line and to all fields with more regularity. In other words, I doubt that he will be The Riot Redux.

What are your thought's on Szczur's power, Phil? He certainly seems like a strong guy, and he hit 10 HRs in 480 PAs last year. If he learns to use the pull-side of the field with more regularity, are we looking at a guy who might knock out 20+ HRs, or does 10-15 seem like the ceiling due to his swing?

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 7:49pm — Charlie What are your thought's on Szczur's power, Phil? He certainly seems like a strong guy, and he hit 10 HRs in 480 PAs last year. If he learns to use the pull-side of the field with more regularity, are we looking at a guy who might knock out 20+ HRs, or does 10-15 seem like the ceiling due to his swing? ==================================== CHARLIE: I don't think Szczur's HR ceiling can be determined yet. He is stronger than some people think he is. But if I had to make a guess, I would say 12-15.

Thanks, Phil. Thoughtful as always. That makes it very difficult to goad you into wild speculation. . . :)

"Am I concerned? No," Sveum said. "Breaking balls like his aren't going to do a lot down here in Arizona. You're always going to struggle with it, and then you're going to try to throw harder and make it spin more, and it's actually a countereffect. ~snip~ "Closers are meant to be closers because they can handle those last three outs," he said. "It's not easy to find people. They may have the stuff, but they don't have the makeup to get those last three outs." http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

John DeWan, from Baseball info solutions and The Fielding Bible... comes up with a new way to measure how much Alfonso Soriano sucks in LF:
One of our biggest undertakings in the last three years has been to convert Good Fielding Plays and Defensive Misplays into Runs Saved.
Take, for example, Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs. He’s now 36 years old and a below-average outfielder, according to Good Plays and Misplays. In fact, his 13 runs lost on Good Plays and Misplays in the last three years is the worst among all outfielders. He had 22 Good Plays, 73 Misplays and 25 Errors. That’s 76 more misplays and errors than good plays. The next worst left fielder is exactly half as bad.
Summary: Soriano's Runs saved is -13 (the best in LF was +7)
The biggest problem Soriano has, according to Good Plays and Misplays, is "Mishandling the ball after a safe hit", where he cost his team four runs since 2009.

comes up with a new way to measure how much Alfonso Soriano sucks in LF: Sorianometrics


Nice to quantify his 'suckiness' but there are some things in life and baseball that a blind man could see at midnight in a snowstorm.

Keith Law speculates on how long it will take several rebuilding teams to contend (Royals 2014, Cubs 2015, Padres 2015, Mets 2016, Astros 2018) excerpt...
Chicago's farm system is thin up top but has a lot of high-risk, high-upside players in its lowest levels; even their extended spring training club will be fun to watch this year. But the Cubs' best chance to engineer a turnaround will probably come from trades, starting with Matt Garza but perhaps extending to players such as Geovany Soto or Carlos Marmol if they can re-establish their value with solid 2012 performances; they bought low on Ian Stewart and Chris Volstad and could end up selling high if either player fulfills his former first-round promise in the next two years. By the 2013-14 offseason, they'll have a significant amount of cash to spend but only a handful of less expensive players in significant roles, so cashing in Garza for the maximum return looks like the critical step in their rebuilding process. They will most likely contend next in ... 2015

That's crazy talk. Law's "exercise" might work for the Royals and Padres, but teams like the Cubs and Mets only need a small amount of high-bargain (read: league-minimum service time) contracts and not more than a few low-bargain (read: overpaid major-league free agent) contracts to contend. Especially in the NL Central, with Milwaukee's window closing, Pittsburgh's tiny payroll ceiling, and Cincinnati's numerous limitations, stating the Cubs cannot likely contend as early as 2013 is preposterous.

You are correct. They may not get to unrestricted free agency, and even if they do, the Cubs may not be high bidder, but the Cubs could EASILY afford all three of Greinke, Cain and Hamels next year (for example) if they chose to go along that path. Instant contender. Hence, Law's extended period of diaspora as surmised for the Cubs and Mets is just plain stupid. What's so odd right now is that I can't remember the last time ALL THREE of the major market teams in the NL were on a simultaneous down period. Cubs, Mets and Dodgers could each lose 90 games this year, when is the last time that happened? Ever?

Sorry to bring up football again, but I woke up to an alert on my phone that Brandon Marshall got busted in NYC for punching a woman in a nightclub Sunday night. I knew the guy was a diva, but I had no idea just how long his rap sheet is. 6 arrests so far, including that incident that left a friend dead in a drive by. I wonder if Miami knew about the Sunday incident, and that's why the price paid was so low.

I would probably punch someone in the face if my wife got hit in the face with a bottle too.

For me, I'm not so sure. I would need to know the circumstances. My wife can get pretty mouthy.

Ryno: My wife can get pretty mouthy. ----------------------------------------------- We know, Ryno.

high five


On the other hand, the guy is 27, and in an NYC night club at 4 am. Time to move on to the Dancing With the Stars phase of his diva lifestyle.

From yesterday's Bruce Levine chat: Brian in Virginia Beach [via mobile] Have the Cubs given up on Josh Vitters? Bruce Levine (1:26 PM) No, they haven't given up on him, but even the new group has noticed they he needs more maturity. He was late to the first meeting between the mangers, coaches and players, and that was a red flag for the new management. At 22 he's still a prospect, and most scouts think he's going to hit, but he's going to have to show he will work harder on his defense in order to move up. http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chicago/chat/...

outrighted by Marlins, how far they fall. His K/9 rate went from 2005 (missed 2007 season): 9.9, 7.6, 8.2, 9.1, 7.2, 5.8 once a Top 100 BA prospect

Eamus Catuli sign apparently missing: http://www.thewrigleyblog.com/2012/03/eamus-c...

is the reason to watch the Cubs this year https://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.ph... (article on one reason to pay attention to the non-contenders) It's easy, in light of the offseason the Cubs have had and the players the Cubs have, for the kind of people who read Baseball Prospectus to get more caught up in the movements of the front office as it goes about trying to rebuild a franchise than in the men who wear the uniforms. If you want something to watch besides the (d?)evolution of Starlin Castro, then keep an eye on Quad-A superstar Bryan LaHair, a first baseman with Triple-A TAvs of .293, .320, and .335 over the last three years. He's 29, though, and he has a grand total of 219 major-league PAs, so he's going to have to seize his chance to have a semblance of a career ahead of the ascension of actual prospect Anthony Rizzo. I always root for these types of players—maybe it hearkens back to the glory days of my A's fandom, before the baggage of the playoffs and Moneyball weighed everything down. Geronimo Berroa's not walking through that door in Oakland, though, so my transferred affections go to LaHair.

willie mo pena is awesome and he's...oh, lahair. yeah.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects... Signed: C Nathan Maldonado Removed from 40-man: RHP Casey Weathers (outrighted to Triple-A) According to a piece in the West Valley View, Nathan Maldonado served as the Cubs' bullpen catcher last year. The Arizona native even participated in the All-Star Game festivities last year in Chase Field, catching bullpens for American League pitchers and also serving as one of two receivers for the home run derby.

he's everything most of us would want to be. he wasn't even good in highschool, a bench player on his own team. after graduation he up'd his game with paid instruction and got a job coaching/teaching at the very place he was getting instruction from. next thing you know he's a minors pen catcher and participating in the allstar game catching during the HR derby. he's still young. ...found the referenced article in the blurb...evidently he worked for the angels, too. he really wants to be part of the game and seems to have realistic (if not modest) expectations. http://www.westvalleyview.com/m/Articles.aspx... "You give one person an autograph and the next thing you know there's 80-100 people behind him screaming at you," Maldonado said. "I remember when I went to games with my dad, I had somebody sign a ball and I had no idea who it was, but if they were on the field wearing a jersey, I was excited out of my mind. Just to see all the little kids and every time you gave them a ball, how nuts they went, it was fun."

free audio feed @cubs.com

Anybody know who is catching for the Cubs today? Gameday has this lineup: RF DeJesus CF Byrd SS Castro 3B Stewart 2B Baker C Soriano (!!!!?) LF Johnson 1B Rizzo SP Wells I'm guessing it's actually another player in there and that Soriano isn't even in the game.


Thanks. Looks like they've corrected it now.

C Soriano (!!!!?) --- Sotoriano C-LF, saw that in a Bugs Bunny Cartoon once.

Why not? I get away with shit like that in OOTP. So it can work, right?

3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER no Braun for Brewers

T. Wood in, K's Morgan, but walks Weeks who steals a base off him and Soto, then walks A. Gonzalez. Time to look into living arrangements in Iowa there T. Wood. -edit- Kottares with a 3-run double off Wood after HBP to Gamel

crapis wood might lose his spot to r.wells at this point. 3 runs in...still going. reed johnson not helping him out with a soriano-like off-the-glove error.

5-0 on a double...neat. ...make that 6-0 on a single by r.wolf...and wood is done.

then Reed Johnson pulls a Soriano, comes in on a line drive, misjudges it, jumps for it and misses it.

holy crap...ian stewart actually puts a ball into LF. amazing. off the glove (on a jumping attempt) and ruled a double.

double, double, single, out via a leaping catch by morgan, single...corners, 1 out, 6-2. randy wolf trying to give the runs back. ...and rizzo K's on a pitch in the dirt... bobby scales about to hit a 5 run homer, though. ...or a comebacker to the pitcher...whatever. he should call a do-over.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i... "I don't see that opportunity the way the roster is configured," manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. "You don't want the guy to sit on the bench. He needs to go play still. Unfortunately there isn't an opening right now for that to happen." ~snip~ "You still have to remember that developing is just as important as anything else, too," Sveum said. "There are just no job openings, unfortunately for him. It's just one of those things, timing and a numbers thing. "But he will spend a lot of time here [eventually], and part of that development plan is that he hasn't spent a whole year in Triple-A. We have to see what's going on and what's happening after the halfway mark and make your decisions in Triple-A."

lendy castillo (converted position player to pitcher) with a 1-2-3 inning.

Wells 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K T. Wood .1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP Corpas 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K Coleman 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K Miller 1.1 IP, 0's across the board L. Castillo 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

t.campana continuing his effort to start the season in AAA. wonder if r.johnson still has the legs for CF...someone has to back up CF. also on the if-marmol-fails front, it seems that the cubs don't view k.wood as a guy who can go back-to-back games too often.

it seems that the cubs don't view k.wood as a guy who can go back-to-back games too often. ----------------- who does?

carrie muskrat was talking about how they view him like that on the radios today.

consider the source

i know people give her a hard time, especially about her lame "mailbag" but she gets huge access and a lot of direct quotes others don't get. that said, unless wood is taped together with duct tape he'll probably do whatever is asked of him.

I think Sappelt can play CF reasonably well from what I've heard, but would think if Byrd was going to be out for any length of time they would just bring up BJax to play. Supposedly, Mather can play all positions in IF and OF - how well, I don't know.

someone massages your balls --- Trying to start an Urban Legend? http://www.golfspelledbackwards.com/2008/10/u...

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  • Hagsag 13 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Phil, is the 3 weeks camp going on now?


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 43 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Stephen Gonsalves to a 2022 minor league contract.

    If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2022, he has no minor league options left and he has Article XX-D rights (he can elect free-agency if outrighted).

    So 78 Cubs minor leaguers are now eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft.

    Also, the Cubs off-season minor league Domestic Reserve List now stands at 173 (17 slots are open).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: That's correct.

    Under the new rules, the 38-man AAA reserve list is now only used beginning on the date reserve lists are filed in November and extending up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Then after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, everybody goes back into the off-season 190-man Domestic Reserve List hopper. 


  • jdrnym 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Phil, can you settle a Twitter discussion? A team can only select players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft until its 38-man Triple-A reserve list is full, correct? Don't believe this changed with the latest Major League Rules that introduced the Domestic Reserve List and eliminated individual level reserve lists during the offseason.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    "Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that Carlos Correa's agent has been contacted by the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Braves.

    It's not clear when the contact took place or what level of interest each club has."

    ...with the yanks and dodgers both with piles of cash and a bit of need, i wouldn't get too stoked...but at least there seems to be some interest in what his market is.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Stroman's salary escalators apply to 2024, so if Stroman reaches 160 IP in either 2022 or 2023 (but not both) it adds $2M to his 2024 salary, and if he reaches 160 IP in both 2022 and 2023 it would add $4M to his to 2024 salary.

    So he gets $25M in both 2022 and 2023 (that's locked-in), and then either $21M, $23M , or $25M in 2024, depending upon whether he reaches his salary escalators in 2022 and/or 2023. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: I should also mention that the Cubs cannot outright David Bote while he is injured or rehabbing from an injury, except during a window starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the day that off-season reserve lists must be filed (normaly 11/20, but it was 11/19 in 2021 because 11/20 fell on a Saturday, and it will be 11/18 in 2022 because 11/20 will fall on a Sunday). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: The Cubs can outright David Bote (if he is not claimed off waivers) once the transaction freeze is lifted. That's not a problem. 

    If he is outrighted and then elects free-agency, he would forfeit what remains of his contract - AS LONG AS - the contract is not fully guaranteed. 

    If the contract is fully guaranteed he would likely elect free-agency and the Cubs would be on the hook for what remains of his salary, offset by the MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB deal with another club.


  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    kristin call has been named GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  she's been the assistant/associate GM for a few years and was formally a marketing director for the team.

    she's been involved in baseball for a living for 16+ years.


  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Hey Phil - Could David Bote be outrighted at any point before the start of the season (obviously not now while players are being locked out). I wonder because if someone claimed him, oh well. If he elected free agency, wouldn't that void his contract? These are the thoughts going through my head as I look to open up another 40-man spot, and Bote will be out until at least May.

    I've read your 40-man tag for him, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure this out! :) Thanks!


  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, sources tell ESPN. He’ll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. It includes $2M escalators for 160 IP in ‘22 and ‘23.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have re-signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P.J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts, presumably with an NRI to MLB Spring Training. 

    They will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible, if and when there is a Rule 5 Draft. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze. 

    Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day. 


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.

    backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners.  i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core.  NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...


  • Sonicwind75 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Stroman, a pleasant surprise.  Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.