Big 5-Run Cubs 6th Starts & Ends with Balaguert

Yasiel Balaguert laced a double into the left-centerfield alley and scored on a Ben Carhart single to get the inning started, and then ripped an opposite-field line-drive RBI single to right to drive-in Jacob Rogers with the final run of the frame, as the AZL Cubs sent 11 men to the plate and scored five times in the bottom of the 6th en route to an 8-2 victory over the AZL Royals in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

box score

The 19-year old Balaguert was a teammate of recently signed Cubs OF Jorge Soler on the Cuban Junior National Team before defecting in 2011 and signing with the Cubs last December ($400K bonus), and while he is not the offensive force that is Soler, he does occasionally show some upside at the plate. However, he has a long swing and is kind of a lug on the bases and in the field (he's not in the best of shape), so I think there probably is some doubt in some circles about whether he will ever be anything more than a AA player.      

20-year old 6'3 235 RHP Trey Lang (Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick by way of Mesa Skyline HS, Northern Illinois University, and Gateway CC) got the start for the Cubs and threw four shutout innings (50 pitches - 37 strikes, 6/1 GO/FO), allowing four hits (three singles and a double) and a walk with five strikeouts.

The husky ex-Huskie throws a mid-90's fastball and a hard slider when employed as a one-inning closer and profiles as a two-pitch late-inning reliever at the higher levels (he was a full-time slugging OF and part-time closer in HS and college), but it's not unusual for a Pitcher with Promise to be used as a starter early in his career in order to get as many innings as possible under his belt as soon as possible.

Cubs 26th round draft pick RHP Jasvir "Jazz" Rakkar (SUNY - Stony Brook) made his professional debut, throwing a scoreless top of the 5th. He allowed a lead-off single and a walk, but he also notched a strikeout. He labored a bit to throw strikes (16 pitches - 9 strikes), but then he hadn't pitched in a game since working in relief at the College World Series in Omaha more than six weeks ago. 

A member of the National Honor Society in Secondary School and the America East All-Academic team in college, Rakkar's pro debut was delayed while he applied for a work visa (he is a Canadian, and had been in the U. S. on a student visa while attending Stony Brook).   

While Lang and Rakkar were throwing goose eggs, Royals starter Miguel Almonte was doing likewise, as the teams were scoreless through the top of the 6th. But then the Cubs erupted for a five-spot, and never looked back.

Cubs 2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almora played CF and hit lead-off (he struck out swinging in his only AB), but he left the game after only two innings with an apparent leg injury. 

Jorge Soler played LF, hit clean-up, and went 0-5 (struck out swinging, three ground outs, and a pop fly out), although he did collect an RBI on a FC in the 6th and later scored a run in that same inning.     



Phil, Are Concepcion and Rosario rehabing at Fitch? Also, is Paniagua in camp? Thanks.

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 4:31am — Hagsag Phil, Are Concepcion and Rosario rehabing at Fitch? Also, is Paniagua in camp? Thanks. =================================== HAGSAG: I have not seen Jose Rosario or Gerardo Concepcion, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do surface in Mesa. Juan Carlos Paniagua is here.

New Jayson Stark column. "I've been in the game a long time," one veteran exec said. "And sometimes, even I can't believe the things that happen to the Cubs."

Thanks, AZ, hopefully Almora is okay. From Rosenthal, and ya I think this got posted elsewhere: "The four untouchables in the Dempster talks, according to major-league sources, were right-handers Zach Lee, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, and left-hander Chris Reed." I'm glad TheoCorp didn't cave to them. I still think Cubbery won this round, with Dempster turning down the Braves and Garza managing to get hurt, but it could have been worse.

It's also worth speculating that the Braves might not have ultimately coughed up both Teheran and Vizcaino, even for Demp, Maholm, and RJ. I agree, I give the deadline deals a B+ and the way mgmt handled them an A-.

The new Cubs Way buzz-line is "Preparation Takes Care of Results." But unfortunately that is not always true. Preparation is good, but it does not necessarily control the result.

There is no such thing as truly preparing for Cubbery.

Grades. I give the deadline deals a C. We got a top prospect in Vizcaino...who is 20, injured, and looks to project as a reliever. We got a bullpen arm in Chapman We got a "maybe" in Villaneuva....he's solid, but in Hi-A Ball. Hendricks might be Casey Coleman with better control. Brigham is repeating AA, and not lighting it up. Meh. We got.....some young players, but...woooooo..... On the bright side, maybe we'll see Jay Jackson, Chris Rusin, Brooks Raley, Josh Vitters, Dave Sappelt.....etc, before the season is over?

I think, as Beasley points out, that given the hand they had they did pretty well. Now, IF (and we don't know this) HoyStein botched up the communication (remember they have several "heads" on that thing now) between Demp and the Cubs o. the first Braves deal - you have to hold them accountable. But, I think based on their Boston experience they assumed all was well and who knew that not only would their top chip be injured, but the other one would take his time and exercise his Tito's rights to give permission when trade timing is absolutely everything? You have to believe there were multiple suitors for Demp down to the wire, and they did the best they could with this hand, imo.

I would LOVE to have a Casey Coleman with better control. Command of his pitches is what is causing his ineffectiveness.

Agreed. If it was Casey Coleman with better the major league level. We'll see if Hendricks marginal stuff and pinpoint control translates at the higher levels. At Hi-A ball, it's enough.

He seems like he could be a real sleeper to me. But either way, TheoCorp is doing what they said they'd do - stockpiling arms. There is no way to really know which kid will make it. All of them are a snapped tendon away from baseball purgatory. Any of the good get Prioritis at any time. So I really like the idea of getting them whenever the opportunity arrives. One or two of them ought to turn out, and when you play a numbers game like that you can never tell where the next Roy Halladay might sneak into your clubhouse.

In this group, I would settle for the next Ryan Dempster.....Roy Halladay? Maybe not so much.

Not in this group, probably. But TheoCorp is adding a lot of "groups". It's a numbers game. Keep collecting the rookie baseball cards and one of them will be worth a lot of money someday. Notes: Along with Coleman, the Cubs also recalled Cardenas and C Welington Castillo from Triple-A Iowa before the game. ... GM Jed Hoyer said it might not be long before Josh Vitters is called up from Triple-A. He was batting .298 with 15 homers. So much for that 162 game thing...

I'm pretty sure when it comes to the Cubs/Rizzo and maybe a couple other dudes in AAA the only purpose of the 162 game rule was to retain club control an extra year.

why wouldn't you want an extra year of Vitters? 162 games for him doesn't hit until sometime next year. granted Valbuena is a black hole of suck at 3b that LaHair wasn't when they could have called up Rizzo, but stick to the plan man. The way Vitters career goes, you're in for a good adjustment period anyway and I don't think they are going to be too competitive in 2013 anyway.

Carrie Muskat‏@CarrieMuskat #Cubs to call up Alberto Cabrera and Chris Volstad from Iowa. Coleman optioned back

More Volstad! Alriiiiiiggghhht!

Well at least Cabrera is getting a shot? Volstad....ergh.....

Guys named Cabrera seem to hit well.

Dempster 'splains his-self, wah-wah-wah...

WHAT AN ASSHOLE :emoticon: For what's worth, from Theo:

Well apparently moron's have rights too, and Theo has to respect them. That's what I get from that article.

Breaking News: MLB renames the "10-5 Rule", "Tito Rule" after famed Cub Reporter poster, and Ryan Dempster apologist, Tito. The poster could not be reached for comment, but a sign on his home page says, "F All of You Bitches!". Just messin' with you Tito.

I am perfectly fine with that change, and with my legacy being that I don't hate Ryan Dempster. It could be worse, I could be TRN.

This being the Internet, how do we know you're NOT TRN?

Or Silent Towel. End o'story

Dempster on radio Did not turn down "any trades" just asked for more " time to think about " Atl trade. Did not like hearing about Atl trade 2nd hand No problems w Theo now Would come back to Chi Wanted to go to LA to play w Lilly, "best friend" Thinks cubs in good hands w theo, want to win more then one championships

Bruce Miles tweets that he was told by Theo that Gerardo Concepcion is out of action because of Mononucleosis. --- my concern is that Mono cases vary in terms of how weak a patient gets but as we've seen with Hayden Simpson it can have long term implications.

my concern is that useless warm body being on the 40-man. i know some people still might not get why me and others didn't like this signing, but at this point you gotta at least have an idea. imo, it was a "walk away" deal the minute he wanted a roster spot...much less $7m bucks...hell, it was a walk-away moment for more than a few teams after he showcased the utter crap his arm had it in. it didn't come close to living up to the small amount of hype it had aside from the ROY award and youth-in-league pitching he went through in Cuba. it's not a huge's just a bad one. given his luck so far (aside from getting a gift-from-god contract) his mono is probably misdiagnosed valley fever. =p

Bruce Levine‏@ESPNBruceLevine Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson may be called this month. Both would play every day according to Sveum. Carrie Muskat‏@CarrieMuskat With 60 Gs to go, Sveum will meet with brass Thu to discuss roster. B Jackson could be called up.

As expected, Lendy Castillo's minor league rehab has been moved up to Daytona from the AZL Cubs, and he will likely remain with the D-Cubs through a week from tomorrow (August 9th). Castillo's 30-day minor league rehab (position players get a maximum of 20 days, pitchers get 30) began on July 11th and thus will expire on August 10th. While a player does NOT have to be reinstated from the DL once he completes a rehab assignment, if Castillo is reinstated from the 15-day DL no later than August 13th, he will be able to accrue 90 days on the Cubs active roster by the conclusion of the 2012 MLB regular season, and the Rule 5 obligations will be satisfied so that he can be optioned to the minors in 2013 (he will have three minor league options). If he is not reinstated from the DL on or before August 13th, Castillo will not be able to accrue 90 days on the Cubs active roster this season and he will remain a Rule 5 player into the 2013 season, until such time as he has accrued 90 days (total) on an MLB active roster. (The 90 days would include however many days he accrues this season plus next season, added together). If that were to happen (if he is not reinstated from the 15-day DL on or before August 13th and he remains a Rule 5 player in 2013), the Rule 5 restrictions would be removed immediately once he has accrued the required 90 days. So (for example), if he is reinstated from the DL on September 1st rather than August 13th, he would fall 19 days short of 90 days this season, and so he would have to spend 19 days on the Cubs active roster next season (probably the first 19 days of the regular season), and then the Rule 5 restrictions would be removed on the 20th day of the season and he could be optioned to the minors starting that day. In other words, he cannot be optioned to the minors this season even if he accrues 90 days on the active roster by mid-season. A Rule 5 player must spend the entire season following selection on the drafting club's MLB active roster and/or MLB DL (or else be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, and if he is not claimed, he must be offered back to the team from which he was drafted), but if he remains a Rule 5 player into the following season, he only remains under Rule 5 restrictions until he has accrued the required 90 days on an MLB active roster.

Given that the Cubs bullpen has been a suckfest for most of the season, 18 days of Lendy Castillo couldn't hurt that much....why not.

The Cubs have signed two minor league free-agents over the past few days. 29-year old OF-1B Jeff Frazier (who was playing in Mexico earlier this season) was assigned to Iowa, and 25-year old utility INF Vladimir Frias (who played in the Red Sox organization in 2010-11) was acquired from the Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League and has been assigned to Daytona. Frazier spent a number of seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization before getting a big league "cup of coffee" with the Tigers in 2010, and Frias was originally signed by the Giants.

Waves of waves coming in...

this is a lost year and all...nonetheless... SP and RP management is showing a trend...especially today after a game like yesterday's... this SP has not only not been's not been challenged. i haven't seen this many decent performances by a SP turned into sub-or-close-to-100 pitch outings in...ever, probably...especially with the cubs. the pen is getting a lot work for a part of the team that's one of the weakest. also, the pitcher hit for himself today before being replaced at the top of the next inning...not a usual trait for this's very lou pinella, though.

...and jeff baker rolls his wrist on a diving catch attempt. ow. he talked his way into staying in the game...too bad he didn't make the play.

I hope it doesn't affect his swing. Seriously, though, it looked scary, I'm glad he's OK.

Baker injured his wrist perfectly! He's hitting again . . .

Tom Ricketts to announce opening of Wrigley Field Chiropractor Services during away-games after this game.

ha...and he follows up his last hit (single, 2 sb) with a triple.

wow. elderly steve trout is a very large human being.

His voice is the same (semi-stoner!)

well, this game got crap real quick... 7-1, top 8, 0 outs...5 run top 8th and 0 7 hits in a row...maybe go get now? say g'bye to that 2.70era and 1.22 whip, dude. ...finally out of the game with men left on 1st/2nd and still 0 outs. not his day.

I don't criticize Sveum much, but Camp deserve's better than this. He's been the horse ... Shoulda got him earlier. Not cool, Dale.

he's been an awesome pickup for what he is...that guy who can put in 60-70+ appearances in a variety of middle relief situations while not embarrassing himself doing it.

a.cabrera MLB debut.


The Cubs tried earlier this year to sign Garza to a long-term contract without getting close to an agreement. Garza is seeking a contract in the neighborhood of a five-year, $90 million deal, according to industry sources.

Wow, I really hope the Cubs flip him for some good prospects instead of paying that. Advanced stats might refute this, but IMO he's a good #2 at best. That's a lot of years and a lot of cash for a guy who will likely never be dominant.

See Zambrano,Carlos


5/75 maybe.

Wow. I like Garza and think he's a good pitcher, but if I had $90 million dollars to spend on a starter, I wouldn't spend it on Garza.

8-4 game...0 out, bottom 9th. double, triple, HR, single to open the inning. ...and that's where the bleeding stops. PIT wins.

i think ozzie may have officially lost his mind...again. - M. Buehrle relieved C. Zambrano

What? I can't find that in the box score. Is that today? What I did find was Ben Sheets with a Whip of about 1.91 today with 11 hits in 6.2 innings (and a walk). But only 3 ER so pretty resourceful.

it was on the yahoo gameday box...but he's not in the boxscore anymore. it's probably a screw up. Bottom 7th: Atlanta - M. Buehrle relieved C. Zambrano - J. Francisco hit for L. Avilan - J. Francisco struck out swinging - H. Bell relieved M. Buehrle

Speaking of Yahoo, how tiny is Cespedes?

hey ladies...i'm a professional baseball, seriously...ladies...hey...hey!


You would think he would take more walks with that tiny strike zone.

this ana/tex game is pretty awesome. ...and it's over. good game.

2/3 of the way through the 2012 MLB regular season and as things stand right now (very much subject to change), here is the projected MLB Service Time through 2012 for the 39 players presently on the Cubs 40-man roster, plus the two players who are on the 60-day DL (this is presuming that no roster moves are made for the rest of the season, which of course won't happen). Remember... EXAMPLE: 2+014 means two years plus 14 days. 1. The MLB regular season runs 183 days, but 172 days constitutes a "full season" when calculating Service Time. 2. A player cannot accrue more than 172 days of Service Time in a given season. 3. If a player spends fewer than 20 days on optional assignment to the minors in a given season, the player gets credit for a full season. PLAYER AFFECTED: Tony Campana has spent 15 days on Optional Assignment so far this season, so as of right now he will get a full season of MLB Service Time in 2012. PROJECTED MLB SERVICE TIME THRU 2012 SEASON: Alfonso Soriano - 12+079 (signed thru 2014) David DeJesus - 8+146 (signed thru 2013 with club option for 2014) Shawn Camp - 7+170 (FA post-2012) Carlos Marmol - 6+084 (signed thru 2013 - then FA post-2013) Jeff Baker - 6+049 (FA post-2012) Matt Garza - 5+149 (eligible for salary arbitration post-2012 - then FA post-2013) Manuel Corpas - 5+024 (eligible for salary arbitration post-2012 - then FA post-2013) Ian Stewart - 4+050 (eligible for salary arbitration post-2012) Chris Volstad - 4+017 (eligible for salary arbitration post-2012) Jeff Samardzija - 3+028 (no options left - eligible for salary arbitration post-2012) James Russell - 3+000 (eligible for salary arbitration post-2012) Starlin Castro - 2+150 (likely will be eligible for salary arbitration as "Super Two") Luis Valbuena - 2+146 (no options left - likely will be eligible for salary arbitration as "Super Two") Justin Germano - 2+130 (no options left- could be eligible for salary arbitration as "Super Two") Joe Mather - 2+054 (no options left) Darwin Barney - 2+053 Marcos Mateo - 2+025 (on 60-day DL - no options left) Travis Wood - 2+003 (out of options in 2013) Tony Campana - 1+135 Bryan LaHair - 1+100 (no options left) Arodys Vizcaino - 1+050 Casey Coleman - 1+043 Scott Maine - 1+014 Steve Clevenger - 1+010 Lendy Castillo - 1+000 (Rule 5 player) Anthony Rizzo - 0+168 Blake Parker - 0+140 Welington Castillo - 0+128 (out of options in 2013) Adrian Cardenas - 0+114 Rafael Dolis - 0+089 (eligible for 4th minor league option in 2013) Jeff Beliveau - 0+074 Alberto Cabrera - 0+064 Dave Sappelt - 0+053 Blake Lalli - 0+011 Jake Brigham - 0+000 Jaye Chapman - 0+000 Gerardo Concepcion - 0+000 (eligible for 4th minor league option in 2015) Junior Lake - 0+000 Jorge Soler - 0+000 (eligible for 4th minor league option in 2015) Matt Szczur - 0+000 (eligible for 4th minor league option in 2015) Josh Vitters - 0+000

PROJECTED 2013 CUBS MLB PLAYER PAYROLL (as things stand right now): SIGNED: Alfonso Soriano - $18M Carlos Marmol - $9.8M David DeJesus - $4.25M Jorge Soler - $1M (plus second $3M installment of $6M signing bonus) Gerardo Concepcion - $500K SUB-TOTAL: $36.55M SALARY ARBITRATION (rounded-off to nearest $250K): Matt Garza - $13M? Starlin Castro- $4M? (Super Two) Jeff Samardzija - $4M? James Russell - $1.25M? Luis Valbuena - $750K? (Super Two) PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $23M? 17 pre-arbitration players to fill-out 25-man roster: PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $8.5M? (average $500K per player) 13 players (besides Concepcion & Soler) on optional assignment to minors: PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $1M? PROJECTED ESTIMATED 2013 TOTAL MLB PLAYER PAYROLL: $69M? NOTE: Although the Cubs 2012 MLB Opening Day payroll for 25-man roster was reported (accurately) as $88M, the Cubs 2012 MLB player payroll outlay is actually $120M, because of various legacy payroll obligations ($15M+ of Carlos Zambrano's salary paid to Marlins, Carlos Pena $5 deferred salary from 2011, Ryan Dempster $1.5M in deferred salary from 2011, and Carlos Silva $2M 2012 buy-out) and MLB signing bonuses and MLB salaries paid to Gerardo Concepcion and Jorge Soler ($7.5M combined total in 2012). ====================== MLB ARTICLE XX-B FREE-AGENT POST-2012: Jeff Baker (will NOT be tendered "Qualifying Offer") Shawn Camp (will NOT be tendered "Qualifying Offer") NOTE: BOTH ARE LIKELY TO BE TRADED BY 8/31 LIKELY 12/2 NON-TENDER Manuel Corpas Justin Germano Ian Stewart (could be re-signed to minor league contract with NRI to Spring Training) Chris Volstad LIKELY OUTRIGHT POST-2012: Casey Coleman (eligible for December 2012 Rule 5 Draft if outrighted) Blake Lalli (MLB Rule 55 6Y minor league FA if outrighted) Marcos Mateo (MLB Rule 55 6Y minor league FA if outrighted) Joe Mather (MLB Article XX-D minor league FA if outrighted) Blake Parker (MLB Article XX-D minor league FA if outrighted) 41-11 = 30 Therefore 10 roster slots should be open post-2012 for minor league FA, Rule 5 eligibles, and MLB free-agents MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS LIKELY TO BE ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER POST-2012 (if not earlier): 1. Brett Jackson, OF (lock) 2. Christian Villanueva, 3B (lock) 3. Kyler Burke, LHP (virtual lock - otherwise 6Y minor league FA) 4. Trey McNutt, RHP (was lock - now just very likely) 5. Brooks Raley, LHP (likely) ON BUBBLE FOR 40-MAN ROSTER POST-2012 (alphabetical): Frank Batista, RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Zac Rosscup, LHP Chris Rusin, LHP Nick Struck, RHP Logan Watkins, INF Rob Whitenack, RHP

I'm skeptical about Burke on the 40-man, and very skeptical about McNutt. In his second full year at Tenn, his numbers are bad: 80 innings, 87 hits, 37 walks, 52 strikeouts, 4.2 BB/9, 5.8 K/9, 1.55 WHIP. Iowa is starved for pitching, but McNutt can't help them. He needs 40-man protection about as much as Jay Jackson did. Forget about this guy. He's got a cool name, but these days there are lots of other ballplayers named Trey, including a couple in the Cub organization.

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 9:09am — VirginiaPhil I'm skeptical about Burke on the 40-man, and very skeptical about McNutt. =========================== VA PHIL: I doubt that the Cubs will let Kyler Burke walk away as a 6YFA post-2012.

Yeah, you may be right about Burke, since, as you stated clearly but I missed, he would be a free agent and not a Rule-5 candidate. Also his numbers are pretty good at Peoria and Daytona and we know he has a good arm. He has been used exclusively as a starter at Daytona, so that's probably the clincher. You're right about Burke.

CUBS POST-2012 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS Last updated 8-1-2012 ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT: Frankie de la Cruz, RHP Blake DeWitt, INF (elgible for salary arbitration post-2012 if added back to 40-man roster) Rodrigo Lopez, RHP (MLB Article XX-B FA post-2012 if added back to 40-man roster) Randy Wells, RHP (eligible for salary arbitration post-2012 if added back to 40-man roster) MLB RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGEN: SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA: Jim Adduci, OF Alfredo Amezaga, IF-OF Juan Apodaca, C Jairo Asencio, RHP Justin Berg, RHP Michael Bowden, RHP Kyler Burke, LHP Brian Esposito, C Jeff Frazier, OF Vladimir Frias, INF Diory Hernandez, INF Jonathon Mota, INF Ryan Rowland-Smith, LHP Nate Samson, INF Alvaro Sosa, C (player-coach at AZL Cubs) Matt Tolbert, INF PREVIOUSLY-RELEASED MINOR LEAGUE FA: Carlos Figueroa, INF (player-coach at Daytona) Michael de la Cruz, RHP ++++++++++++++++++++++++ NOTES: 1. A minor league player eligible to be an ARTICLE XX-D FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to MLB 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season. A player eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. 2. A minor league player eligible to be an MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by 5 PM (EDT) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.

CUBS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS ELIGIBLE FOR DECEMBER 2012 MLB RULE 5 DRAFT Last updated 8-1-2012 Jeffry Antigua, LHP Frank Batista, RHP Justin Bour, 1B Michael Brenly, C Michael Burgess, OF David Cales, RHP Esmailin Caridad, RHP Matt Cerda, INF Hunter Cervenka, LHP Evan Crawford, OF Willengton Cruz, LHP Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Ty’Relle Harris, RHP Brett Jackson, OF Jay Jackson, RHP Alvido Jimenez, RHP Austin Kirk, LHP Luis Liria, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP David Macias, IF-OF (player-coach at AZL Cubs) Nate Maldonado, C (player-coach at Tennessee) Trey McNutt, RHP Pedro Medina, RHP (ex-OF) Jose Montesino, INF A. J. Morris, RHP Enyelberth Pena, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Nelson Perez, OF Brooks Raley, LHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Rebel Ridling, 1B Greg Rohan, IF-OF Melvin Rosa, RHP Jose Rosario, RHP Zac Rosscup, LHP Chris Rusin, LHP Julio Sanchez, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Matt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF) Nick Struck, RHP Larry Suarez, RHP Francisco Turbi, RHP Christian Villanueva, 3B Brett Wallach, RHP Logan Watkins, INF Casey Weathers, RHP Rob Whitenack, RHP Ty Wright, OF NOTE: Player not eligible for selection if added to MLB 40-man roster by 11/20.

Thanks Phil, you are amazing!

Thanks Phil. Do you really think Valbuena will be tendered? I'd be happier if he didn't even make this west coast trip.

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 8:56am — QuietMan Thanks Phil. Do you really think Valbuena will be tendered? I'd be happier if he didn't even make this west coast trip ========================= Q-MAN: Yes, but with the idea that he would be the Cubs primary utiility infielder in 2013, not the starting 3B. Valbuena actually can play 2B-SS-3B (not just 3B), and unless the Cubs intend to sign a FA utility infielder (which really is a waste of payroll), Valbuena could be that guy in 2013. Adrian Cardenas is really an offense-first 2B (albeit without HR power) who needs to play everyday (but he probably won't get that chance with the Cubs unless Darwin Barney is traded), and I suspect Junior Lake will be moved to RF (perhaps as soon as next season). BTW, I also would expect the Cubs to sign a veteran FA 3B this coming off-season to hold the position until one of the 3B prospects emerges. Possibly Kevin Youkilis after the White Sox decline their club option for 2013, with the idea being that Youkilis would eventually shift to a 1B-3B-RH PH reserve role. I also would not be surprised to see the Cubs try and sign a veteran Maholm-type LH FA SP like Joe Saunders this off-season, and with only a projected $69M 2013 payroll (at this point), the Cubs could even be players for younger (under-30) FA starting pitchers like Zach Greinke and/or Anibal Sanchez if they so choose, since neither of them will get a "Qualifying Offer" (which would cost the Cubs a draft pick or picks) because they were traded mid-season 2012, and so their new clubs (LAA and DET) can't get compensation if they sign with another club.

Since you mentioned Junior Lake... Have you (or anyone else that would like to chime in) heard anything about his ability to hit breaking balls/off-speed pitches? I heard he murders fastballs but looks lost on everything else. Just trying to confirm.

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 9:54am — QuietMan Since you mentioned Junior Lake... Have you (or anyone else that would like to chime in) heard anything about his ability to hit breaking balls/off-speed pitches? I heard he murders fastballs but looks lost on everything else. Just trying to confirm. ========================================= Q-MAN: Junior Lake used to have a problem hitting off-speed pitches and breaking balls, but I haven't seen him after he left EXST in May, so I don't know if he has solved that puzzle or not. I will tell you that DSL Cubs #2 bonus baby INF Luis Acosta might be absolutely the worst breaking ball hitter I have ever seen. He was totally lost & confused at EXST, before he was sent back to the Dominican Academy. Hopefully he can figure it out.

This list may not be as hard as previous years. Jackson will be on the 40-man already, and then I would be careful to protect Villanueva, Raley and Rosscup. I would think about protecting Batista, Struck, Watkins and Whitenack. Watkins has quietly gone about having an excellent year at Tenn. Good on base guy, can hit doubles and triples, steady defense at second while still playing a little shortstop, steals twenty-plus bases. Looks like a major-leaguer to me.

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 9:24am — VirginiaPhil This list may not be as hard as previous years. Jackson will be on the 40-man already, and then I would be careful to protect Villanueva, Raley and Rosscup. I would think about protecting Batista, Struck, Watkins and Whitenack. Watkins has quietly gone about having an excellent year at Tenn. Good on base guy, can hit doubles and triples, steady defense at second while still playing a little shortstop, steals twenty-plus bases. Looks like a major-leaguer to me. ============================ VA PHIL: I would think that Logan Watkins will get a slot in the AFL, and how he performs there might be the final determining factor in whether he gets added to the 40 or is left-off.

Well, Watkins has 12 doubles in 450 PAs, so while technically he CAN hit doubles, he just doesn't very often. His only real offensive tool is his on-base ability. Looks like his ceiling is as an OK utility guy at the ML level while he's still cheap, with a Ryan Theriot career arc once he gets expensive.

"Watkins has 12 doubles in 450 PAs, so while technically he CAN hit doubles, he just doesn't very often." That's what I saw when I first looked at the numbers, but then I noticed he hits almost as many triples as doubles. There's a double inside of every triple. Watkins's OPS is .758 this year, .746 career. He's not a slugger, that's not what I said. But Theriot's career OPS in the minors is .692, and he raised it significantly the last couple years before he stuck with the Cubs at age 26. Watkins is 22.

Even adding his triples and HRs to his doubles, you only get 25 XBHs in 450 PAs, in AA. And hoping his power increases like Theriot's as he advances is a pretty bad bet, historically. Not bagging on Watkins -- I'll be rooting for him -- I just got excited when you mentioned him. I'd kind of lost track of him, and when you said "Looks like a major-leaguer to me" I was expecting more than what I found.

You never know when a Watkins or a Marwin Gonzalez is going to get nabbed in a Rule 5 draft. They're both decent packages. There are some differences--Gonzalez has a little more pop but doesn't steal bases, and he is also a better shortstop. It took the worst team in the majors to find an opening for Gonzalez; but they found one, and he filled it. I guess the odds are against anyone drafting Watkins to fill an open position in their middle infield next year. As I said at the beginning, I would consider protecting him.

Well...maybe one way of looknig at Watkins is this:the average hitter in the Southern League is hitting .252/.332/.375. Watkins is putting up .280/.368/.390. Not hugely above the average...but slightly? It seems he's got some speed, and will get on base a bit: career #'s .285/.368/.379. Well..his numberscompared to a Darwin Barney are a little better, with a little more speed. Maybe in 2 years he'll be a good utility guy..or riding the Iowa-Chciago shuttle

Jim Bowden gave grades to the teams participating in the trading deadline. The Angels got the only A (Dodgers, A-, WSux B+, Royals/RedSox/Dbacks all C-): Cubs: B plus
Chicago Cubs Notable additions: RHP Arodys Vizcaino RHP Kyle Hendricks, INF Charlie Villanueva, Notable losses: RHP Ryan Dempster, C Geovany Soto, OF Reed Johnson, LHP Paul Maholm Analysis: The Cubs were not able to move Matt Garza or Alfonso Soriano but still have a chance to do it during the waiver period in August or this offseason. They were able to get two power arms in Hendricks and Vizcaino, although the latter is recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Epstein/Hoyer administration continues to follow the blue print of building for the future and are making progress as demonstrated by Anthony Rizzo's performance at the major league level.

Wow . . . Bowden thinks Hendricks is a power arm? Everyone else seems to think he is an organizational type, sub 90mph, who pounds the strike zone. I hope he is right . . .

I'm Ron Burgundy?

Nice. Just spit my cereal across table...

Hmm..the Cubs added Charlie Villaneuva? He's not much of a rebounder, but he cn score at least?

I hope the Pistons sent a bunch of cash to cover his salary.

They're gonna have Charlie stand at the wall and try and goaltend homers. But let's not be so hard on espn, it must be hard to get the facts right when ALL (and I mean ALL) of their resources are focused on Tim Tebow. I mean wtf, it's like the Tim Tebow network . . . What's he doing right now? Let's check in. He missed a pass in mini camp! HE's SITTING DOWN FOR A SECOND. does he have a nuclear bomb or something? I can't explain it. The fucking Olympics are on and 40% of the footage is the Jets mini-camp about a backup QB. Does anyone care? He's a backup QB who more or less cant play. They should just rename the network.

I think they should focus their Tebow attention on how the fuck he didn't ball the shit out of his hottie girlfriend that he had. I understand the guy's religious, but that doesn't stop the rest of the Christian world out there.

Yeah, remember when Britney Spears was a "virgin"? Nice message for the kids or whatever, but I'm not buying it at all. The few people who actually save themselves for marriage end up getting married by 20-21.

And divorced by 30.

Funny stuff. I think it's the TMZing of America. There's a TV show on HBO called Newsroom (warning to arch conservatives - you will hate it) that really slams American media and news channels for the way they report the news. Written by Alan Sorkin if that means anything. Your Tebow remark reminded me of that show immediately.

arch conservatives will love it...they live for being picked on because they're the most attacked, taxed, verbally beaten up, and underprivileged people in the world. they are constantly being held back because people are jealous of how hard they work and how successful they are. wake up sheeple! lamestream media lies! english speaking white males 4 lyfe (the REAL minority)!

Dittos! Amen! (I thot I came to a baseball thread...wha happened???)

hahaha! You guys are funny!

I honestly really really don't get it. Where did the tebow rage start? Can someone explain this to me? Is it religious fervor, is that what's behind this? Did espn take a crack at a story last year for ratings, and it took off, or so they think? I can't trace the fascination to anything. It's like sports beatlemania and there's noone on stage when the concert starts. The least substantive obsession of all time.

It's media blowing up an athlete that is not good. He got lucky in a couple of wins and he was being compared with Brady and Manning. I don't blame him. It's like Kim Kardashian, no one knows what's she's famous for, but she and her leech family seek the camera and press at every turn.

I certainly don't blame Tebow either. But I wanna throw the tv when I hear reports all day on espn about nothing. That network is a shit show most of the time now. TMZ indeed

Sex tape and a big ass

That explains Tebow, but what about Kim K?

* 26 year old 1B/3B Greg Rohan with 2 HRs in AAA Iowa debut. Iowa Cubs stay consistent at sucking and lose 11-6. Jay Jackson's line in relief: 1IP, 6H, 6R, 1BB, 1KK. * 20 year old 3B (and future RF) Dustin Geiger ties club record with 8 RBI night serving as the DH in Peoria Chiefs' 12-11 victory. 3-5, 1st inning 3-run HR, bases clearing double in the 5th and 2-run HR in the 9th inning. Javier Baez 2-5, with a double, 2 run scored, 1 rbi, 1K. * Umpire tosses Daytona Cubs music intern during game for playing "3 blind mice" after somewhat controversial call at 1st base. Somehow, the Cubs still manage to win the game, 2-1. Lendy Castillo starts and goes 4IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 4K.

The umpire can toss the music guys? How? The music has nothing to do with the game.

The milb game recap article goes into (too much?) detail, but there is precedent: "It was not the first time the song led to an ejection at a Florida State League game. According to The New York Times, then-Clearwater Phillies organist Wilbur Snapp was tossed for playing "Three Blind Mice" during a game in 1985." Full recap at

Oh, Snapp.

Great update! I never realized you weren't allowed to play "3 blind mice" at a ballgame. That's hilarious. They tried to bury Rohan at Daytona but promotions don't seem to faze him and he's now got 19 home runs and 85 RBI. He could easily take Mather's place on the active roster if present trends continue. Speaking of RBI, Justin Bour hit a home run in a 1-0 win yesterday and now has knocked in 86. Oh, and Cub fans should forget about Trey McNutt and Jay Jackson and start focusing on Lendy.

WTF happened with McNutt? A glitch in development is one thing, but this guy imploded. Non-prospect indeed.

I believe it was Michael Barrett's fault.

Happy 23rd birthday Trey. Oh, by the way, you're washed up.

If you recall, Hendry publicly stated that they thought of McNutt as #1 and Archer 1A. So they were "confident" in including Archer in the trade for Garza. Maybe he can destroy the Yankees from within?

Another spit take! That last line got me Eman.

"WTF happened with McNutt?" I didn't criticize Hendry/Fleita at the time, but it would be pretty easy to make the case that both McNutt and Jay Jackson were rushed. By the end of his first full season at age 20, they had McNutt starting in the Southern League (AA) playoffs. Jackson actually made it all the way to Iowa in his first full season! The funny thing is, McNutt is still trying to figure out double-A hitters, while Jackson continues to struggle at AAA. Maybe a demotion or two would help at this point. It appears that a double demotion has finally allowed Hayden Simpson to get his bearings.

I always thought McNutt was something Ronald McDonald does with Grimace.


No! They just replaced pink slime with something called McNutt.

K Goldstein: "The Philadelphia Phillies have released LHP Bryan Morgado, a 4th-round pick in 2010." Had good numbers last year. Any idea if he was an injury risk, or high risk behaviorally or something weird? Should cubs look into signing? Anyone seen him pitch?

Former Cub Josh Hamilton having issues

ryan dempster can empathize...*cough* also, it's supposedly not a drug/alcohol thing also, his wife puts up with a lot of shit and has for too long.

Uh oh. Did he come down with hotnannyitis?

he's just an asshat when it comes to women...mark grace style... i like the guy, but he can't keep blaming constant cheating on "falling off the boat" and alcohol and Satan or whatever. it just keeps happening. his wife put up with a LOT of crap from him even after he put his bonus up his nose and it was looking like the rest of josh's paychecks would come from coaching and cutting grass. she's still putting up with a lot from him.

Has TMZ acquired TCR?

You've got opinions about their marriage.

i have facts in this case, f'sure. seen it myself, though many years ago...and others have seen it in person, not many years ago and more than once. saw his wife drag him out of a party, arguing, both pissed...never seen him strike a person, don't suspect that's going on. him and ladies, though...especially him and ladies when alcohol is around. i don't doubt they're in love, but josh could learn to respect something he claims to care about as much as he's learned to make an excuse for his actions. far as this being what's going on with his bat...hell, i dunno. some people are blaming his new "non-flying-bat" grip.

A little off the TMZ-like topic, but he sure helped save Dempster's ass last night. 10 RBI in the last 9 games.


Cough. Oh yeah hahaha, love it, diagnosis

bwhahahahhaha. oh man. i guess that flies in texas...whatever. jesus, god, forgiveness, and shots from girl's breasts in random bars on the pictures or chewing tobacco, please. im not saying that's not his issue...not at all...could be...i'm just saying he's got a hell of a forgiving wife and things aren't always as great as they should (seem to) be.

lulz @mlb FB feeds hacked a couple of hours ago...a bunch of teams got hit, including the cubs. <--- warning, language

This song did it first. Kinda.

lol... it's kinda sad, but i know more than a few "humor" sites that should hire this hacker....actually, it's very sad.

Starting with The Onion, which has never made me laugh, and I laugh a lot.

I think Bill Murray would love that one.

Carrie Muskat‏@CarrieMuskat Congrats to #Cubs Anthony Rizzo, named NL Rookie of the month for July

3 fucking 44 RT @daytonacubs: Just when you thought you've seen it all....Christian Villanueva blasts one over the batting cages in his FIRST cubs org at bat.

There is a very real possibility we're actually going to end up HAPPIER, in the long run, that the Dempster for Delgado trade didn't consummate. We'll have to wait longer for the payoff, since Delgado is at the 4A stage of development already, but I really like what we got from Texas for Dempster. Still unhappy with selling Soto for so little tho.........

BOOM. And another in his 2nd AB.

Wtf! Wow

At Daytona means Villanueva is basically a year behind Vitters, a year ahead of Baez, and two years ahead of Candelario on the depth chart. Maybe the Cubs should bring back Stewart on a 1-year deal for 2013 and start transitioning Vitters to play LF?

Daytona Bottom of the 1st Christian Villanueva homers (1) on a fly ball to right field. --- Daytona Bottom of the 3rd Timothy Saunders singles on a line drive to center fielder Daniel Ortiz. With Ronald Torreyes batting, Timothy Saunders steals (4) 2nd base. Ronald Torreyes homers (6) on a fly ball to left field. Timothy Saunders scores. Christian Villanueva homers (2) on a fly ball to left field. --- What is more impressive, Villanueva with 2 HR in 2 AB or Torreyes hitting his 6th HR?

Torreyes is putting together a great second half. Saunders holding his own in Hi A so far

Saunders over .300, as you say, he has been impressive. I wonder if he gets sent back down when Arismendy comes back.

If they want Saunders to play short, he (or Alcantara) will have to go to Tennessee and bump Lake up to Iowa. If they want Saunders to play third, he (or Villanueva) will have to go to Tennessee and relieve Cerda of his duties. Saunders could play second at Peoria, but they may not be ready to end the DeVoss experiment.

dumpster gives up 2 runs in his 1st inning as a ranger. ...and soto has a single in his 1st AB as a ranger. ...and in non-cubs news, mike olt has a single in his 1st AB as a ranger...and MLB'r. ha...standing O for him. the local media must have been serving up strong kool-aid before his arrival.

Dempster pounded for 7 runs through four. Betcha he wishes he was in the NL and possibly in Atlanta - instead of Arlington launching pad with that pesky DH and high powered AL west. Oooops

Ballpark Factor (HR) Turner Field, Atlanta: .801 Dodger Stadium, LA: .929 Ranger Ballpark, Arlington: 1.145

Dempster pulled: 4 2/3inn 8 ER 9 hits 3 BB 6 K

I blame Soto's game calling.

j.brigham AA cubs debut...that dude from the soto/TEX trade 3ip 5h 3bb 2k (2er, 3r)...65 pitches he walked b.hamilton (CIN) to lead off his cubs career...and promptly gave up 2 SB to him...119 SB so far, btw. followed by z.rosscup 5ip 2h 2bb 5k (1er)...59 pitches i dunno what they're trying to do with rosscup...they're keeping him stretched out, but they're not starting him (yet)...except that 1 start when he first got called up to AA. dunno why brig got a short night, either.

Can someone (Phil) explain how Soriano's 10/5 rights will impact a waiver claim. If a team claims him and the Cubs don't pull him back can he reject the claim? Also, can we assume that if a team claims Marmol the Cubs will not pull him back.

Soriano would still have to approve a move to another team. At the top of the page there's a link to AZ Phil's Corner. In that area there's a section on the 40 man roster. That section also has all kinds of rules information. Scroll down to the part on "Waivers". I would let Marmol go for nothing.


Fri, 08/03/2012 - 7:55am — Rob Richardson Can someone (Phil) explain how Soriano's 10/5 rights will impact a waiver claim. If a team claims him and the Cubs don't pull him back can he reject the claim? Also, can we assume that if a team claims Marmol the Cubs will not pull him back. ============================== BOB: Yes. Because he has "no trade" rights, Soriano can refuse a trade or a waiver claim. If it hasn't already happened (and I would think it probably has), the Cubs will absolutely positively place Soriano on Trade Waivers ASAP, and there is NO WAY that any GM in his right mind would put in a claim, because any club that claims him would be on the hook for Soriano's entire remaining salary (about $42M) if he were to waive his "no trade" rights after being claimed and the Cubs do not elect to withdraw the waiver request. Normally, if a player who does not have "no trade" rights is claimed after being placed on Trade Waivers, his club has a 48-hour "window" to try and work out a trade with the club that was awarded the claim (but ONLY with that club), and if a trade cannot be worked-out, his club can either withdraw the waiver request (but then the player cannot be placed on Trade Waivers again for 30 days, which is beyond the 8/31 deadline for playoff eligibility), or the club can do nothing and allow the claiming club to acquire the player for the $20,000 waiver price (but with the claiming club assuming 100% of the player's remaining salary). Note that if a player is claimed after being placed on Trade Waivers and then his club withdraws the waiver request, the player cannot be placed on Trade Waivers again for at least 30 days (that's 30 days from the datethe waiver request is withdrawn) AND a second Trade Waiver request cannot be withdrawn if the player is claimed (the waivers become irrevocable the second time). However, a player with "no trade" rights cannot be placed on irrevocable waivers unless he waives his "no trade" rights in advance, and without knowing which team might claim him, a player with "no trade" rights is not going to take that chance. But since Soriano will not be claimed (because of his albatross salary), this is not an issue. Since Carlos Marmol does not have "no trade" rights, if he is placed on Trade Waivers and gets claimed (and the Cubs might wait until later in August to put him on waivers, hoping that he gets "hot" and/or a contender loses its closer or #1 set-up guy to injury in the meantime), the Cubs would probably first try and work out a trade to see if they can maybe get a decent prospect back, but failing to do that, the Cubs might very well opt to just let Marmol go to the claiming club for the $20,000 waiver price (thus saving about $12M in payroll 2012-13). If Marmol didn't have $12M remaining on his contact, some GM would almost certainly claim him if he were to be placed on Trade Waivers. But Marmol is probably making too much money for any club to risk making a claim. That doesn't mean Marmol won't be traded this month, however, just that it's unlikely he will be claimed off waivers. teams will wait until waivers are secured, and trhen they will approach the Cubs about a trade (with the Cubs probably having to pick-up a significant part of Marmol's 2013 salary for a trade to happen). BTW, here is the procedure for awarding waiver claims: The procedure for awarding waiver claims is different depending on the type of waivers and the time of the year. For Optional Assignment Waivers, Outright Waivers, and Release Waivers, if a player is claimed by only one club, that club is awarded the claim. If more than one club makes a claim, the club with the lowest winning percentage (regardless of league) on the day the player clears waivers is awarded the claim. If two clubs with the same winning percentage make a claim, the club in the player's own league is awarded the claim. If two clubs from the same league make a claim and they are tied in the standings, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season is awarded the claim. If the clubs are still tied, standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie. However, in the case of Trade Waivers (only), if a player is claimed by more than one club, the club in the player's own league with the lowest winning percentage is awarded the claim, even if that club has a higher winning percentage than the club or clubs making a claim from the other league. So a player placed on Trade Assignment Waivers must first be "waived out of his own league" before he can be assigned to a club in the other league. For the purpose of determining the awarding of waivers claims, the previous season's standings are used during the off-season and up through the first 30 days of the following season. Then beginning on the 31st day of the season, the standings as of the date the player clears waivers are used to determine the awarding of waiver claims, with the previous season's standings used to break any ties. A club is not permitted to make a waiver claim and then trade the player to another club if the purpose of the claim was to prevent a third club from being awarded the waiver claim. (A waiver claim that is judged to have been made for this purpose will be revoked). One other thing about assignment waivers (Trade, Optional, and Outright): While an injured player on the 15-day or 60-day Disabled List can be traded (as was the case this week with Arodys Vizcaino), a player who is on the 15-day or 60-day DL cannot be placed on assignment waivers (like Trade Waivers) unless the minimum amount of time required for the DL assignment has elapsed AND the player is healthy enough to play. So if the Cubs had not made the deal with the Braves prior to the 7/31 non-waiver trade deadline, Vizcaino would have had to remain a "Player to be Named Later" until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, when waivers would not be required to make a trade.

You probably wanted Phil Rogers, but I'll take a shot. In their transactions going back to the Zambrano trade, the Cubs have consistently traded money for prospects. So, no, I don't think they will let Marmol (or Soriano) go without getting something in return (besides money).

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 9:00am — VirginiaPhil You probably wanted Phil Rogers, but I'll take a shot. In their transactions going back to the Zambrano trade, the Cubs have consistently traded money for prospects. So, no, I don't think they will let Marmol (or Soriano) go without getting something in return (besides money). ============================ VA PHIL: You don't think the Cubs would have let him go for nothing if the Marlins had agreed to pay 100% of Zambrano's 2012 salary ($18M)? I do. Same goes for Marmol and ESPECIALLY Alfonso Soriano ($42M!!!) As Henny Youngman used to say: Take Soriano... Please.

If the Marlins had agreed to pay $18 million to Zambrano for one season? That's not a real-world question. The Cubs asked for Volstad and agreed to pay $15 million. I don't think they were interested in leaving the room without a prospect and paying, say, $13 million. Apply the same 83% rule (with prospect) to Marmol and Soriano, as opposed to 70% but no prospect.

If the Cubs could cut Soriano or Marmol without having to pay the rest of their contracts, they would do so. If the Cubs could have cut Zambrano without paying any of his contract, they would have.

Yes, I agree with you. I read your question wrong the first time. Since no team would willingly assume Soriano's or Marmol's contract by claiming either player, I twisted your question into a different one, namely, would the Cubs release either player, to be rid of him, rather than continue to try to get a prospect back. That was my question, not yours, so--sorry to confuse the issue.

Sorry misunderstood. Clearly the Cubs aren't willing to release players for nothing, or at least they haven't been willing to do so so far.

I think, no matter your opinion on how the ending went down, Dempster should have earned our thanks for the last several years. I was not a Dempster supporter for a long time, but he won me both with his numbers but also with never complaining no matter what role he was put in. Can we at least all agree on that?

yup. no doubt.

@BruceMiles2112: 'Farm and McFleita' #Cubs minor-league blog. Lots of newcomer news.

.....and in a season going nowhere near 1st place, Valbuena is playing 3B instead of Vitters and LaHair in the OF instead of BJax because why?

Neither is harmed by more time in the minors so there is no reason to start their free agent clocks.

Right....and if Jackson and Vitters are such maligned, marginal, never going to be ready players, who cares when their clocks start? If they come up.....and get this year and next to prove themselves, and loss.

I assume they will both be up in September. I can wait 30 days.

I'd rather see them get 20-25 more games of playing time. Again, agree to biggie.

It seems from statements in the press that management is currently deciding what the best course of action is, so we will see.

Ronald Torreyes makes Baseball America's Hot Sheet: Team: high Class A Daytona (Florida State) Age: 19 Why He's Here: .483/.545/.828 (14-for-29), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBIs, 3 BB, 0 SO, 1-for-1 SB The Scoop: When Torreyes was hitting .184/.250/.259 at the end of May, it looked like the Reds had sold high on Torreyes by trading him to the Cubs in December in the Sean Marshall deal. Yet even while Torreyes was struggling, his contact rate still was superb. Whether it was a change in skill or just better luck, Torreyes has been one of the best hitters in the Florida State League the last two months, and he's batted .342/.402/.515 in 52 games since June 1. He may look like he'd be more at home atop a racehorse than atop a big league lineup, but don't underestimate Torreyes' ability to square up a baseball. He's one of the few players in the game who has not only more walks (25) than strikeouts (23), but also more extra-base hits (29) than whiffs. He's an unusual prospect, but he's also one of the most fun to follow.

I forgot Torreyes is only 19 -- at High A -- definitely encouraging.

BA Prospect Chat: Great to see Torreyes' bat coming around. How does his glove rate, and is Altuve a fair comp for what we might expect to see from him? Ben Badler: He's a good defender at second base. There are some similarities to Altuve, but there just really aren't any comps for a guy who's maybe 5-6, makes contact like he's hitting off a tee and can do some decent damage when he connects too. At the same age, Torreyes is more advanced than Altuve was, both offensively and defensively. Christian Villanueva hit 2HR in his first game with Daytona. Is he still a BA top 100 player by the end of the year? Is his prospect status increase this year? Ben Badler: Solid prospect, but there's enough questions from scouts on how much impact is there with the bat that I think he's on the periphery of that list going into next year. Once Vizcaino recovers, do you believe he'll be a SP or RP? Would you consider him the Cubs' top minor league arm at present? Ben Badler: The track record of his inability to stay healthy just screams reliever. That said, his stuff is absolutely filthy, so there's potential for him to be a dominant reliever. Given the lack of pitching in that system, yeah, I'd say he's the Cubs top pitching prospect. ive heard some good things about baez's power.. would you call me crazy if i compared it to sano's power? Ben Badler: I've gotten 70 grades on his power, but I'd still give the edge to Sano there. As a complete hitter, Baez all day. Any chance Cubs could have a top 5 system by next spring ? t hanks Ben Badler: That would surprise me. Will we see Cubs RHP JC Paniagua pitching this year? Ben Badler: His contract still has to be approved by MLB, so 2013 is more likely.

Top 5 system by next spring? I am surprised anyone could ask that. They really have very little in the way of impact pitching anyplace in the system. If a post-TJS Vizcaino is the best prospect, what else is there? Sickels' #5 and #6 preseason prospects were McNutt (who seems pretty screwed up) and Maples (who has pitched one inning). #10 was Dae-Eun Rhee, who has not pitched well. Ben Wells is hurt. Others to think about would be Raley, Struck, Francescon, Loosen and Jensen. While all of those last have pitched decently this year, none of them looks like top of the rotation starter.

They need this draft and 2013's draft to turn out good, and they need a profitable Matt Garza trade, to put them close to top 5, I would think. Top 5 by, say, September 2013 is possible. By next spring is not, unless they are going to pull off some doozy trades or several pitchers turn huge corners, uh, now.

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  • crunch 1 hour 15 sec ago (view)

    he -really- needs to cue into this is a cubs broadcast and not a national/neutral broadcast.

    dude...don't get excited about marlins 3-run homers.


  • crunch 2 hours 27 min ago (view)

    lot of people wanted him when len left.  he's got a long game calling history, but not too much for baseball.  he did host "baseball tonight" for ESPN for a quite a while, so the game isn't a mystery to him.

    i find him a bit boring/dry.  some people like that he has that oldschool "announcer voice" thing going on.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 45 min ago (view)

    He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.


  • crunch 2 hours 59 min ago (view)

    wow...chris myers calling the cubs game for some reason (boog out for the MIA series).

    he is a marquee talent, but he's not been used to call a game as far as i know.

    also, zach davies looks like a kid in pajamas in those dark blue "wrigleyville" uniforms.


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    tonight's game (thursday) is free game, btw.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have optioned RHP Robert Stock back to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHP Brad Wieck. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Mike Hauschild (ex-TOR) from Lexington (Atlantic League) and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa. 

    The Cubs are clearly beating the bushes of indepenent league baseball. Hauschild is the sixth player acquired by the Cubs from independent league teams in the last month (Jose Almonte, Tyler Ladendorf, Tim Susnara, Matt Warkentin, and Jarod Wright are the other five). 


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    (c) hendricks gives up at least 60 homers in the regular season

    seriously, though...wisdom has "slowed down" the past 10 days or so, but he still managed a couple homers.  he's got a damn good shot at 20+ even if bote+duffy come back to steal a little time from him.


  • Charlie 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    This Mets series is going poorly, so... off-topic question. Which of these outcomes do you currently think is more likely in 2021: (a) Javy hits at least 40 homeruns in the regular season, (b) Patrick Wisdom hits at least 20 homeruns in the regular season.


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    wow...and he's done for the night.  that's not good...well, for mets fans.

    "right shoulder soreness"


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings.  he's also got a RBI single.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    and d.smith gets HBP.

    this is high end next level strategy.  you beat degrom by injuring everyone until they have to forfeit the game.  moneyballs.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    ow...villar got nailed in the ear and the back of the head by a throw from lobaton on a stolen base.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: You are absolutely right.

    Granted there are existing rules prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances, but you don't change enforcement protocols suddenly in the middle of the season. Pitchers should be given an opportunity to make adjustments during the course of Spring Training before any new enforcement policy is implememted.

    This can and should be addressed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not now. 


  • Charlie 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    That was definitely my position prior to this year. But I am starting to buy into the claim that almost all pitchers are using something, even if it is rosin and sunscreen in many cases.