Rosey Debut for Cub Draft Pick in Mesa

Making his professional debut, Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick Neftali Rosario (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) belted an RBI double to drive-in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 5th, but the bullpen could not hold the lead as the AZL Mariners rallied to score six runs over the final four innings, defeating the AZL Cubs 10-6 in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this evening.

box score

The 17-year old right-handed hitting Rosario struck out in both of his first two at bats (and looked bad doing it), before delivering a laser-shot liner off the top of the LF fence on a 2-2 slider that drove-in Dong-Yub Kim from second-base, and missed being a two-run HR by inches.

Rosario also looped a single to right-center in the 7th, and lined a rocket (unfortunately) right at the third-baseman for the final out of the game.

Rosario showed-off his arm from behind the plate, too, nabbing two base-stealers, and throwing out another trying to take an extra base on a Wild Pitch.

On the negative side, while he has a strong arm, he has a lot of work to do on his catching mechanics & receiving skills. He was charged with one Passed Ball (could have been two), and was consistently unable to block pitches in the dirt, resulting in four Wild Pitches charged against Cubs pitchers.

Rosario also is a sucker for high fastballs, swinging through most every one he saw. But when he did connect, he displayed outstanding bat-speed and plus-power.

He reminds me a lot of Welington Castillo.

While the Cubs pitchers struggled throughout the game, the offense did not.

Playing 3B tonight (he moves around between 2B-3B-SS, but his best defensive position is 3B), Gioskar Amaya had three more hits, raising his slash line to 400/435/488 (he is now 4th in the AZL in hitting). The 18-year old Venezuelan also scored two runs, stole a base, and laid-down a picture-perfect textbook sacrifice bunt. He is a magician with the bat, an ideal #2 hitter.

With Taiwan Easterling having been promoted to Peoria and Zeke DeVoss having been moved up to Boise, 18-year old Dominican CF Oliver Zapata is back in his accustomed lead-off slot, where he has excelled all year. He reached base three more times tonight on two singles and a walk, and he also stole a base and scored a run. A 5'9, round, bowling ball of a young man with a Kirby Puckett-like physique, the speedy switch-hitting Zapata has taken the lead-off gig very seriously, shortening his swing and following each pitch into the catcher's glove, just like Pete Rose used to do. As a result, he leads the AZL in walks. He also has been running the bases with abandon, having stolen 10 (good for 3rd the AZL) while getting thrown-out just twice.

After missing six weeks with a broken hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch in the final game of Extended Spring Training, OF Jesus Morelli returned to the AZL Cubs lineup Monday night versus the AZL Dodgers, going 0-3 with a walk. But he had a very good game tonight against the Mariners, driving-in a run with an RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd, and clubbing a game-tying 400+ ft solo HR over the left-centerfield fence in the bottom of the 5th. He also threw out a runner trying to score on a fly ball out to LF. (Morelli has a RF arm, so it's almost "no contest" when the opposition tries runs on him when he's playing LF).

Morelli was seemingly destined for a return trip ticket to Boise when he suffered the broken hand (he spent most of last season at Boise, too), so he probably won't be staying in Mesa too much longer. It would just be a matter of clearing a roster slot for him at Boise. (Actually, when he leaves, he really should be going to Peoria).

And after spending most of the season on the AA Tennessee Smokies DL with a broken hand, OF Jim Adduci has finally returned to action over the past few days in Mesa, and he continued his rehab tonight, playing RF and getting five plate appearances for the AZL Cubs. He popped out, flied out, grounded out, singled, and was called out on strikes. While he looks like he is probably ready to return to Tennessee, there may not be room for him there at this time, what with Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Spencer, Ty Wright, and Nelson Perez all vying for playing time in the crowded Smokies outfield.

Comments

//Hendry scoffs at the notion that Chicago should overhaul its roster after the season. “Why would we trade anybody who we think is going to help us next year or the years after?” he said. Hendry is open to making some moves before the July 31 trade deadline. “I would say if we move anyone it would be somebody we clearly knew wouldn’t be back,” Hendry said. “We’re not going to move people that we think are going to help us.” Hendry wants to keep the Cubs’ youth in place, and he feels no pressure to dump payroll via trade. He already has rejected several potential deals. “Why would I trade Sean Marshall?” he said. “Why would I trade Darwin Barney? Those calls kind of stop quickly. It makes no sense.”//

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In reply to by navigator

Why on earth would Hendry think anybody on this team is untouchable? I've never heard of such a thing, on good teams or bad. Castro -- I'd keep him. But if Hendry is turning down reasonable offers for other players, he's an idiot. If he is that enamored of these players, then he should fire Quade immediately. Well, after yesterday's fiasco, he should anyway. I haven't been this disgusted with this franchise in my 40+ years of watching this team. Except, this year, I'm not watching this team. This is the first year, in fact, that I have watched this few games. I used to be a critic of "fans" like me, who jump on the bandwagon only when the team is good, but this backward ass movement into oblivion has shut me down. I still read about every game, but that's as far as I can go. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Ricketts is going to end up being a massively over-leveraged owner of a dying franchise if he doesn't wake up soon and have the light turn on for him. In this post-WGN era, I wouldn't even completely consider it an impossibility that he could manage to preside over Chicago becoming a White Sox town, as crazy as that sounds. By post-WGN era, I mean that, even though WGN still has Cubs games, they no longer carry them exclusively to help build the brand as one of "America's teams" like they did several years ago. I'm visiting Chicago in late August, on one of my yearly trips to see the family, and for the first time I'm not getting Cubs tickets. If Ricketts fired Hendry today, I'd buy some, believe it or not. If Hendry backed up the truck and filled the roster with minor leaguers, I'd buy some. But this status quo is unacceptable, and I refuse to provide revenue to watch Soriano strike out, Quade repeatedly mismanage a pitching staff, Blake DeWitt bat fourth, a lineup that has the lowest or near the lowest walk total in the league, and a generally horrific style of baseball play that is about the same quality as I see here at Round Rock Express games (I've seen enough games to at least make that observation). Gee, I wasn't expecting to go on this rant when I started.

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In reply to by navigator

I wonder if that includes players like Jeff Baker, John Grabow or Reed Johnson. I don't think there is certainty that we wouldn't want them back and they definitely can be helpful as role players. Assuming we can trade Aramis, he clearly should fit that category, though he would be the hardest person in the lineup to replace. The important point, raised by Rob Richardson below, is that Hendry should have few untouchables right now. It should be whether this will make us a better team for the future...we aren't winning in 2011 and I think winning in 2012 with the same roster (even if we replaced Pena with Pujols or Fielder) is a pipe dream. If a trade of an older veteran will provide one or more players who can be reasonably expected to be part of a winning team in the future, then it should be completed (assuming the players we receive are fair market value for the player we are trading). My points about trading Dempster, for example, goes in line with this concept -- don't trade Dempster unless you receive fair value for him (with "fair" including removing a $12mm pitcher from a terrible team), but don't hold onto him just because he is a good pitcher (most bad teams have some good players who are older veterans, but unless they can find a way to become a winning team with those players, the best move is to receive younger players in a trade and build for the future).

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In reply to by springs

I don't see why the Cubs would want Grabow back unless he comes at a drastic discount. As for Reed Johnson, the Cubs could probably trade him and still get him back next year if they want him then for some reason. He'll be a free agent, won't he? Jeff Baker might be the one piece they'd like to hold onto if they feel that he and Flaherty might platoon at 3B, 2B, or even 1B. Of course, they might use LeMahieu for similar purposes (although they might also be hesitant to relegate a 2nd round draft pick to short-side platoon role so quickly).

to me hendry's quotes in the local paper read like an embattled gm of a woeful team stuck on a farm system tour during a heat wave condescending to a media rep he figures he'll never see again...

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In reply to by Mike Wellman

I liked everything Hendry said in that interview. I also liked this statistic supplied by the interviewer: "Eleven players on Iowa’s roster are 24 or younger, compared to three on opening day." As for Hendry's being "stuck on a farm system tour," well, that's one way of looking at it. Another is that he's out touring the 2012 Cubs. Here are twelve Iowa players who could be on the Cubs next year: Gonzalez, BJax, LeMahieu, Flaherty, Castillo, Colvin, LaHair, Carpenter, Rusin, Coleman, Maine, Gaub. Coello and JJax could be added to the list, but they may not be as ready as the others. With the exceptions of Fukudome and Grabow, almost everybody on the current Cub roster could be back next year, but I have serious doubts about Hill, DeWitt, Ramirez, Johnson, Lopez and Ortiz, and milder doubts about Byrd, Soriano, Pena and Baker. If by some incredible stroke of luck none of these players returns, that leaves a core group of Barney, Castro, Soto, Campana, Garza, Dempster, Zambrano, Wells, Wood, Samardzija, Marshall, Russell and Marmol. That's thirteen names, only four of which are non-pitchers. (If Hendry was there last night, he saw LaHair hit his 28th.) If I was in Iowa now, I'd go to a lot of games. I'm surprised you're not happier than you sound. Earlier in the season, you were complaining that all the talent was in Tennessee.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

The goal is to become a spirited, hungry, speedy, mistake-prone talented half-decent young team on the way to becoming a normal good team with a core of home-grown players. I’m one of the greybeards here and I don’t remember any such Cub team. (The late-sixties team might have fit the description if they hadn’t traded Brock.) The first goal is to become watchable. How interesting is it to study the defects of older castoff players who are steadily deteriorating instead of improving? Daddy, Daddy, tell me again about the great Cub team of 2008, the team that was built on trades and free-agent signings that won 98 games! Oh, wait a minute. That team had Soriano, Fukudome, Ramirez and Soto in the starting lineup, just like the team that took the field today. (I forget which combination of Lee, Edmonds, DeRosa and Theriot made that team so great.) The top starters were Zambrano and Dempster and the closers were Wood and Marmol. That team burst like a bubble when they lost the lead in the fifth inning of game 1 of the NLDS on Loney’s home run. They never led again in the series. I recall that the 100-game-winning Angels lost the first two games of their divisional series that year, but unlike the spineless, spiritless Cubs they fought back, winning game three in Boston and losing game four in the bottom of the ninth.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

"None of them other than Bjax are the types of people a 130M payroll team creates spots for though." That wasn't actually the question. The question was whether they are better than DeWitt, Johnson, Baker, Hill, Lopez, Ortiz. I'm not as high on many Cub prospects as you might think. Vitters is a borderline prospect to me at best, since unlike most Wilken picks he's not strong on D. Jay Jackson has more than he can handle at AAA and is not on my radar. I expect Gonzalez, BJax, LeMahieu and Carpenter to be solid major-league players. Flaherty is a real middle infielder (unlike, say, DeWitt or Baker or Aramis) and there's no reason he can't hit well enough to play second, short or third for someone, maybe the Cubs. Coleman, Maine and Gaub are marginal but Gaub is a big talent--with a ten-cent head. LaHair can definitely hit in the majors but it's tough for a first-baseman, since teams don't carry two of them and there are only thirty teams. It helps if you can field like Pena. I don't know anything about LaHair's glove. Colvin will be a major leaguer and possibly a star but he may run out of time with the Cubs. (You don't have to be smart to hit, but it gets you there quicker.) Castillo can hit but he has one little weakness that will continue to hold him back: actually catching the ball. We saw him miss a shoulder-high fastball in Chicago, and he had a similar passed ball on a Carpenter fastball the other night that allowed the winning run to advance to third. This is not the stuff that catchers-of-the-future are made of. Rusin has excellent control and should have a Marshall-like career. On Tennessee I like Lake, McNutt, the two catchers, Clevenger and Flores, and relievers Rhoderick, Beliveau and Hatley. Lake may be the biggest talent in the system, but you won't like him because he's a free swinger. Last year at this time I was touting Chirinos and Guyer, and they're doing okay. I'm a long-time fan of Campana, and he's doing okay. With his skill set, there will always be 25-man rosters that he can make. Samardzija and Russell seem to be succeeding as major leaguers.

There was a report that Hendry has turned down several potential trades. Shortly after that, someone criticized Hendry, saying that he should not turn down reasonable trades for anyone. Both statements could be true, abut have nothing to do with the other. Just because Hendry turned down trades does not mean that they were reasonable trades. You could only determine that if you knew what the offers were, and we have absolutely no reliable reports, or even unreliable reports that tell us if the offers were good or bad. Yet we go forward on the assumption that Hendry did something wrong, and it will soon enter into the "common knowledge" aspect of the Cub Fan Culture.

I think most of the Cubs likely to be traded (Reed Johnson, Carlos Pena, Rodrigo Lopez, John Grabow, et al) will be dealt in August, as happened with Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot last year. And the Cubs will probably not be getting any organization's Top 15 Prospects back in a deal, either, although if they can get another Evan Crawford-type back (as happened in the Fontenot deal), that would be good.

Roger (Chicago, IL): Jim - Matt Szczur seems to be handling himself just fine so far in High A. If all goes right does he project to have a plus hit tool and hit for at least average power with good dee? Any comp that scouts or yourself liken him to? Jim Callis: He has a chance to have average power, but even if he doesn't, he should have well above-average speed with plus defense and a plus bat. Sounds like a righthanded-hitting Jacoby Ellsbury to me. ~snip~ ...Jim Callis: ...Top three prospects in order for me right now would be Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, Javier Baez. Could debate various combinations of those three, too. ~snip~ Re: Vitters Jim Callis: He's still only 21, and he still almost never takes a walk. I wouldn't get excited, but I do think he can be a big league regular. ~snip~ Navin (Pasadena, CA): How good a chance do the Cubs have of signing either Maples or Dunston? Jim Callis: I'm hearing they'll get Dunston done. Maples will be the tougher sign. ~snip~ Tony (Frederick, MD): Speaking of the Greinke deal, what was your take on the Garza deal back then (and how it compared to the Greinke deal), and what is your take on the Garza deal now? I am a big fan of Chirinos, who, after a bad April, has really swung a good bat, and Guyer has blossomed. Lee still garners the hype, and Archer still seems to have the stuff to make it in the pen, at the very least. Jim Callis: Thought the Cubs paid a lot, though the players they gave up were somewhat redundant in their system, but they had some sense of desperation in trying to make the big league club better. Thought it made perfect sense for the Rays with Hellickson ready to step in. The Cubs' season hasn't gone as they hoped, but I bet both teams would make the trade again. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/chat/2011/2612116.html

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In reply to by Rob G.

I definitely know about 10000x less about prospects than Jim Callis, but I don't really agree with his comments on the Garza trade. Not sure who HJ Lee is redundant with in the system and we definitely don't have a deluge of front-line pitching prospects (which, at the time of the trade, if not now, Archer had to be considered). I am a big Guyer fan and most likely overrate him, but not sure we have someone filling his role either, at least not until Sczur shows he is ready. The Garza trade made sense if we were close to being a competitor. We were terrible in 2010 and few rational prognosticators picked the Cubs higher than 4th in 2011 even after the Garza trade. If the Cubs would make that trade again, knowing what they know now, I think that is downright idiotic -- if you knew you were going to be 21 games under in mid-July, why would you trade 4 of your top 16 prospects?

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In reply to by crunch

That is fine, but my point doesn't change. If you know you are going to be terrible in 2011 (which is the assumption here), then you likely know (especially with contracts like Z, Demps and Soriano limiting our movements) that we likely aren't going to be great in 2012. So the question is, in that situation, when you are NOT going to win in 2011 (which was known under the assumption) and likely not going to be a playoff team in 2012, do you trade prospects for Garza? Garza is a good pitcher, a number 2 in the rotation type. But if that isn't going to make you a contender, why not build from within?

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In reply to by springs

i really don't know how to tell you that you have to accept that 2011 was not a punt year. you literally have to 100% accept that. it's not up for debate. it wasn't gonna happen...it probably never will happen... teams with payroll like that don't punt and it was 100% known the cubs were not going to punt. that's the starting point. base...ground floor... no one the cubs have given up have a role on the 2011 or 2012 cubs...archer sure as hell doesnt...guyer maybe could be a RF'r...chinniniooros bench...sam fuld is sam fuld besides that...unless you want to use that money saved to throw $18+m a year multiyear at cj wilson or $12+m a year multiyear to throw at m.buerlelele....then garza makes sense. having a pitcher with club control was stated in the media by the string pullers as being something they were looking for during this offseason trade adventure.

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In reply to by crunch

The reason for our disagreement is, I believe, we are taking different perspectives. You have stated more than once that "2011 was not a punt year". This appears to be a statement that the Cubs were going to make efforts to improve the team for 2011, regardless of predictions from every rational analyst that said those moves were not going to make the Cubs a contender. In other words, you are being a realist. I am stating that if you were in control and wanted to make moves that would have the best chance to make the Cubs a contender within the next five years, you do not make that trade. You say that no team with a payroll like this would "punt". I would disagree, if by punting you imply that any team with a high payroll and no chance of contending (again our assumption) would always trade some of its top prospects for a #2 pitcher. But even if you are correct and every team would do that, that does NOT mean it is the best way to get your team to respectability again. Garza is a nice pitcher and I would have loved to trade for him if we were in contention. But I don't care about CJ Wilson or Mark Buerhle, I would much prefer that the 2012 Cubs had Jackson and Cashner and, if he turns it around, McNutt and (if we didn't make the trade) Archer as prospects for the rotation than CJ Wilson. Why would I prefer that? Because when you are a bad team, you should give your prospects a chance, not trade them for someone who doesn't really make you a contender. I had no problem with Jamie Moyer and Greg Maddux each getting 30 or more starts in 1987 and going 12-15 5.10 and 6-14 5.61 respectively. Why? Because the Cubs were a terrible team. I am not saying that Jackson, Cashner, McNutt or Archer will have 1/3 of the career of either Maddux or Moyer. But I sure would like to find out and for them get experience rather than sitting in AAA while the Cubs send out Demps and Z and Garza to lead us to the second worst record in baseball.

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In reply to by springs

I know you'll disagree and all, but with this Cubs system at the moment, they should do 5 more trades like that and they'll be in contention a lot quicker than waiting for their prospects. I'll take above average players with 3 years of club control and under 28 anytime over 5 okay to slightly above average prospects. While the Cubs may have a lot of depth in their system, I don't see one guy that's gonna be a top 5 at his position year in and year out. Maybe Jackson and Szczur, but that's still a bit of a reach on them. If I were Hendry, I'd be fat, but I'd also be calling the Rockies right now and seeing what the Ubaldo Jimenez price tag is.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Would you have said that HJ Lee could be top 5 at his position? Seems possible with his midseason ranking. Thought Archer showed the same last year. This years' struggles aside, he has great stuff. Personally, when the Cubs are terrible (a not uncommon fate), I would much rather have the potential for the future than make trades to get slightly better (maybe .500) but have no prospects of note after doing so; it seems that following your plan would eliminate any players with huge upside, but get a few pretty good players on the major league team. Seems like that is what we have now. And then, when we get to 2014, all these players are getting to free agency, and we either resign them all and get stuck again with a $140+mm payroll with no championships, or let some of them go but have little in the minors left to replace them. IMO, either you are spending your resources/making trades for making a realistic run for the playoffs or you are building for a future run. Sometimes teams are uncertain where they stand, maybe having some veterans and being slightly over .500 in late June...they walk a balancing act between these two positions. But the Cubs are not in that position. They are actually quite bad. Unfortunately, they now appear to think the team is close to a run next year (next year was 2011 at the time of the Garza trade, now its 2012), and act like a contender. All that will do is drain the farm system and keep the championship drought going strong.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Rob G: I know you'll disagree and all, but with this Cubs system at the moment, they should do 5 more trades like that and they'll be in contention a lot quicker than waiting for their prospects. I'll take above average players with 3 years of club control and under 28 anytime over 5 okay to slightly above average prospects. While the Cubs may have a lot of depth in their system, I don't see one guy that's gonna be a top 5 at his position year in and year out. Maybe Jackson and Szczur, but that's still a bit of a reach on them. If I were Hendry, I'd be fat, but I'd also be calling the Rockies right now and seeing what the Ubaldo Jimenez price tag is. **** Exactly. Despite all talk about how great our farm system is, I don't see any true blue chippers. And if you can deal them for a younger player like Garza, who is a proven big leaguer, on a relatively cheap contract under team control for several more years, that's a no brainer. I liked the Garza trade at the time and I still like it, regardless of our team's record. I also said at the time of the Garza trade that Hendry likely also looked at projected possible 2012 free agent SP's and there just aren't any out there. And I still think HJL is only a Kaz Matsui type of hitter.

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In reply to by springs

"Not sure who HJ Lee is redundant with" Callis may be referring to the 21-year-old shortstop the Cubs sent to the all-star game. But I agree with you that Guyer, as a toolsy righty-hitting OF, was not redundant, and that without him the Cubs will have to reach down for Crawford or Szczur to replace Reed Johnson, whom Guyer might have beaten out in spring training last March! Of course, part of the void left by Guyer resulted from the demise of Fernando Perez. Incidentally, I noticed recently that Lee and Crawford have eerily similar offensive numbers in the same league. Both have played the same number of pro games, although Crawford played for Indiana U. and is two+ years older. And of course a projectable shortstop is worth more than a CF-LF prospect.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Wow. I've kind of felt for Quade at times, what with Zambrano saying "what manager," the arguments with Dempster and the media generally day in day out reminding him that he's out of his league. But this kind of comment tears it for me. Castro is the best thing to happen to this organization for a long time - at least as far back as the hope we all felt when Prior had an incredible rookie year - and for Quade to constantly media-fuck him is bullshit. Fuck Quade. I can't wait for Soriano to miss a fly ball and see what he says.

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In reply to by MikeC

I wouldn't agree with the statement that Lou made them play better baseball than what we are currently seeing. Lou's clubs the final year and half of his career were awful, and he frequently said in his post-game press conferences that he didn't know what else to try. I've been puzzled by how bad our defense is constantly, as far as making boneheaded errors for what seems like decades. The good teams, like the Yankees, etc., don't seem to have that problem. So what makes us different? Are our players stupid? I doubt it. Are they lacking in baseball smarts? I doubt that too. Do good teams practice fundamentals more, or perhaps stress fundamentals in the minors more strongly than the Cubs do? Do players on good teams get benched when they make a stupid defensive play, while the Cubs sometimes chew the player out but rarely bench anyone? Just what is it that makes the Cubs always have these fundamental problems, no matter who the GM is, who the manager is, who the coaches and players are? It's one thing to be bad and be outhit, outpitched, etc. But looking like a bunch of clueless dunces really drives me crazy.

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In reply to by Paul Noce

Castro has committed 18 errors in 448 chances, for an FP of .960. He's 21 and will improve, maybe dramatically. Barney has 9 errors in 375 chances, .976. Not sure there's a problem there. 16 errors at catcher, 8 by Soto in 583 chances (.986), 6 by Hill in 216 chances (.972), 2 by Castillo in 20 chances (.900). Maybe the Cubs do need a defensive upgrade at catcher, although Soto's .986 looks okay. Dewitt, 6 errors in 112 chances (.946). He's gone after the season, hopefully sooner. Pena, 6 errors in 750 chances (.992), nothing wrong there. Ramirez, 6 errors in 197 chances (.970). He's gone after the season or sooner. Soriano, 6 errors in 137 chances (.956). Hopefully his days as a regular are numbered. Garza, 5 errors in 22 chances (.773). Wake up, Matt! Nobody else has 3 errors.

Article from Phil Rogers today (link below) discussing Cubs trading Aramis to White Sox (in which case, it wouldn't force Ramirez family to move). Not really that great of an article (suggesting maybe Morel or Peavy as part of the deal). But towards the end he made a statement that I don't think is true and wanted to get people's thoughts: "I will throw in one qualifier, however. July trades benefit the sellers far more often than the buyers." Is that true? I guess it depends on how you define "benefit". Does "benefit the buyers" mean only they made the playoffs or that they performed better than they would have without the new player? Does "benefit the sellers" include salary savings or is it only the prospects received? The reason I ask is that if we are just looking at players moved, I would think the buyers benefit much more often than the sellers. Typicaly the acquired players have some good effect on the team (i.e. player is better than whomever they replace) while the prospects acquired rarely become something special, even if highly rated at time of trade. And this doubt comes from me, one of the bigger proponents of the Cubs trading veterans! Am I missing something, or is this just WW Rogers at his finest? Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/site/newspaper/sports/ct-spt-0721-basebal…

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In reply to by springs

First, Phil Rogers is an idiot. Only rarely does he say anything remotely true or not made up by him. Second, this might be one of the rare times I somewhat agree with him. Name off any player who was traded to a new team that made a huge difference for the new team and helped them win playoff games? Carlos Beltran to Houston. ARam to the Cubs. Sabathia to the Brewers. Cliff Lee to the Phillies and Rangers. Who else? I'm drawing blanks. There aren't a lot of individual mid-season trades you can say helped push a team into the playoffs. On the other hand, there are a ton of mid-season trades where you can point to a prospect(s) a team received that significantly helped the team in the future. A few I can think of off the top of my head: John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander. Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for Larry Williams. Lou Brock to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio. Jay Buhner to Seattle for Ken Phelps. Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to the Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. Freddie Garcia, Carlos Guillen, and John Halama to the Mariners for Randy Johnson. Jon Lieber to the Pirates for Stan Belinda. The list goes on and on. Probably because teams often overpay in prospects in deadline trades for marginal players, especially relief pitchers. On the other hand, not many true impact players are traded at the deadline. Did Jason Kendall help the Cubs make the playoffs in 2007? Probably. Would that be considered a big enough impact to add to the list of helping a buyer more than the seller? Jerry Blevins, one of the two players the Cubs sent to Oakland, has pitched for 5 years for Oakland and has been an avg. to slightly above avg. RP for them. Kendall is lone gone from the Cubs, and nobody would say he was an impact player when we got him.

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In reply to by Paul Noce

weird argument... the point of a deadline trade is to make your team better the rest of the way and make the playoffs, so simply what's the team's record before and after the trade, did they make the playoffs and of course how well that player actually played. You're talking 2 months of baseball and one or two players being added, it's not gonna be more than a handful of wins at most. The team knows they're giving away the future for the now. Derrek Lee had a .849 OPS for the Braves and they made the wild card, although they were a game or two under .500 after the trade. Do you think the Braves regret the trade even if Robinson Lopez or Jeffrey Lorick become major leaguers?

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In reply to by Paul Noce

Just a note: Jerry Blevins put together some nice stretches in the bullpen early on, but then I think we mostly lost track of him. But he has not been an average to above average relief pitcher for 5 years. He pitched just 4 innings in 2007, spent half the season in the majors in 2008, spent most of 2009 in the minors, pitched in the majors for all of 2010, and has spent most of this year in the minors again. So he's really had 1.5 good seasons in the majors (2010 and 2008). This year he has been optioned twice already and has allowed 70% of inherited runners to score. An A's blog sums him up his most recent demotion to the minors best: "Unsurprisingly, after pitching his two innings of work in which he allowed the required run that is a part of any Jerry Blevins outing."

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In reply to by Paul Noce

And for every John Smoltz there are about 100 prospects traded in deals that don't pan out. I mean, the Garza trade is still be debated on here, but my guess is in 3-4 years, Fuld, Guyer, Archer, Lee, and Chirinos will be thought of a lot like Gallagher, Donaldson, Patterson, and Murton are now. As much as we like them, most (the vast majority) don't pan out. And even if Lee becomes Jose Reyes in 5 years, so what, over the long term you gain more than you lose trading prospects for veterans like this.

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In reply to by crunch

Your position noted, I mention Archer every time. Of course, I suppose we could instead defer to your judgment of a 22 year old pitcher's future performance and prospect value based on 1/2 year minor league stats and write off Archer as never going to be good. Furthermore, the trade should be judged as of Archer's value at the time of the trade...we could have received more than Garza for what we gave up. It is the winner's curse of a bidding process, where we bid more than everyone else, even teams that could have used Garza for a playoff run. Your overall excitement for the Garza trade is quite amazing...we overpaid and so far he has helped us get the second worst record in baseball. Hopefully by the time he becomes a free agent, he puts up stats justifying what we gave up; we gave up the price for a number one pitcher and Matt Garza doesn't come close to that right now.

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In reply to by springs

im not writing off archer...it sure looks to be a great sell-high point on the guy, though. i dunno how you can't like the trade beyond your assumption that the cubs will not contend in 2011 or 2012 based on previous posts. right now it looks like the only piece of any importance that was lost was a young low-power SS. i'm not gonna pretend b.guyer is some mlb impact starter and i'm not gonna pretend chinirororos is one, either. you have to give things up to get a guy like garza with his 2011 price tag...because you don't think it should have been a trade to begin with doesn't make that matter moot. he came with $6m pricetag on a guy that's worth $10-12m, easy. he also comes with club control. he's also MLB-ready, young, and the type of pitcher rotations want.

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In reply to by crunch

I come across in my posts as disliking Garza...I don't. He is valuable. But I don't think he is as valuable as what we gave up. You said: "you have to give things up to get a guy like garza with his 2011 price tag" If Garza is valuable, why wouldn't the Rangers, on the cusp of a championship, give up more than we did? We overpaid. You do have to give things up, but shouldn't give more than his value, particularly when the Cubs weren't in a position where he as the last piece to get us over the top. By the way, the management's job is to judge the talent level and make decisions based thereon. It wasn't some crazy Karnac-esque fortune telling that predicted the Cubs wouldn't contend this year, with or without Garza. Rather it was every rational analyst out there. My prediction that the Cubs, with one of the worst teams in baseball over 2010 and 2011 (and without any other relevant factors to the contrary of our poor play), won't contend in 2012 isn't rocket science either. But to put it another way, why didn't the Astros make a play for Garza? Hell, why aren't the Astros trading prospects now to acquire another veteran player? Obviously, because they are terrible and their best option is to play for the future. The Cubs obviously think their strategy should be different from every other losing team in sports. Probably way they remain a losing team.

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In reply to by springs

Of course, I suppose we could instead defer to your judgment of a 22 year old pitcher's future performance and prospect value based on 1/2 year minor league stats and write off Archer as never going to be good. is anyone saying that? or are we saying that he's probably the #1 or #2 pitcher that people seem to think he was heading towards? personally I think he ends up in the pen as a set-up guy, maybe a closer. we could have received more than Garza for what we gave up you seem to state that as a fact. t is the winner's curse of a bidding process, where we bid more than everyone else, even teams that could have used Garza for a playoff run. generally, in an auction, the one to bid the most, wins, yes. Hopefully by the time he becomes a free agent, he puts up stats justifying what we gave up; we gave up the price for a number one pitcher and Matt Garza doesn't come close to that right now. you know Garza's in the top 10 in FIP and xFIP and would have 9-10 wins if not for blown bullpen games? that's not even getting into the bad defense and bad luck...he's pitched pretty damn close to a #1, just on a bad team that's given him no support.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Quote my Archer response related to: "hell, just a few months ago the sky was falling because the cubs dared to part with walk-happy chris archer...aka, God. now his name is barely mentioned." Sounds like he was being mocked and then written off to me. Pretty darn close to a number one? Say all you want about our bad defense (lots of which is his...can't blame that on others), but lots of good pitchers play with bad defenses. He had a great defense in Tampa, had one winning season. But hopefully the GM of any other team agrees -- I would gladly take the number one on many contending teams in exchange for Garza. Don't think Sabathia, Wilson, Jurrjens, Hamels, Halladay, Lincecum, Kershaw, Weaver or Verlander (some of whom have worse FIP, so perhaps you don't want them) are available in such trades. More importantly, I didn't see you mention FIP when discussing Dempster and his value. Why? He is 20th in the NL, certainly not $12 mm a year value. But for him, BABIP disparity is relevant. Cherry picking stats to justify bad performance doesn't really make a point IMO.

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In reply to by springs

tampa bay has to worry about money. they also had a surplus of starting. they didn't have a need to pay $6m to garza vs. trading him off now with teams in a bidding war that had a craptastic 2012 market to worry about. if texas would have gotten him they probably wouldn't be worrying about if they need to give cj wilson 3+ years at 16+m a year this offseason. back in 2010 people were talking about cc sab. opting out of his insanely high paying contract because of how bleak 2012 was looking.

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In reply to by crunch

If Texas gave up exactly what we gave up, I would have said it was a decent trade -- they are in contention, so if they overpaid it would be ok. You are right on the CC point in that I cannot predict the future performance of the Cubs. But it is the job of the GM to do so and make moves based on these predictions. I will go on the record right now and predict that the Cubs will not make the playoffs prior to Garza being eligible for free agency (i.e. not in 2012 or 2013). The team they have is terrible and there isn't significant help on the horizon. If you knew that before the 2011 season for certain (and, as I mentioned, there is no certainty as demonstrated by your CC point), would you still make the trade?

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In reply to by springs

it's fair to expect the GM looked at 2012 and said "wtf pitchers?" because having a guy with a contract or club control was an important part of snagging another starter for 2011. it's not fair to assume any GM on a team that spends $120-$140m a year telling the owner you want to punt for 2 seasons...or even 1 season...would be employed very long...or sell tickets...or merchandise... i find myself saying this for the 10th time or so in the past 2 days...teams like this don't punt. you just have to accept that. it's like getting pissed MIN never decides to add 40+m to a year's payroll because they "finally" (for what seems like every few years for a decade+) get the youth balance in they've been waiting on. you have to accept it. it's not irrational or radical thinking...it's done...a lot.

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In reply to by springs

whaaat? I believe I said Dempster's peripherals were on par with his last two seasons and definitely worth $12M. (this was before his last start) If his FIP is 20th in the NL, that's basically a #2 starter. He had a great defense in Tampa, had one winning season. he had 2 winning seasons in Tampa, he pitched 3 seasons for them. I would gladly take the number one on many contending teams in exchange for Garza. me too... Don't think Sabathia, Wilson, Jurrjens, Hamels, Halladay, Lincecum, Kershaw, Weaver or Verlander (some of whom have worse FIP, so perhaps you don't want them) are available in such trades. I don't think Garza is available either. I'd take Garza over Wilson or Jurrjens myself and probaly Jamie Garcia. I didn't say he was the best pitcher in the league. You said he hasn't pitched anywhere close to one, and the reality is that he has pitched close to some of them. There should be 30 #1's last I checked, 16 in the NL. Or are you on of those that thinks Daniel Hudson would be 10-5 if he pitched for the Cubs this year?

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In reply to by Rob G.

Winner's curse definition from Wikipedia: "The winner's curse is a phenomenon akin to a Pyrrhic victory that occurs in common value auctions with incomplete information. In short, the winner's curse says that in such an auction, the winner will tend to overpay. The winner may overpay or be 'cursed' in one of two ways: 1) the winning bid exceeds the value of the auctioned asset such that the winner is worse off in absolute terms; or 2) the value of the asset is less than the bidder anticipated, so the bidder may still have a net gain but will be worse off than anticipated." Common value auctions means the player is roughly equivalent in value for each team. I would argue that Garza is much more valuable to a team in contention than to the Cubs. Thus, the fact that we outbid contending teams would imply our overpayment would be even greater.

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In reply to by WISCGRAD

"my guess is in 3-4 years, Fuld, Guyer, Archer, Lee, and Chirinos will be thought of a lot like Gallagher, Donaldson, Patterson, and Murton are now." There's a good chance that the Cubs and their fans will come to regret losing each of the following: Guyer, Lee, Chirinos, Donaldson. Looking at Donaldson's offensive and especially defensive (throwing) numbers at Sacramento, I would put him at the head of the class among Cub catching prospects. (Castillo can throw, but can he catch?) Patterson and Murton were not real prospects because they didn't hit like left fielders and yet that was the only place you could put them. You didn't get much for them. The Cubs have better prospects today than they did in those days, and should sell higher accordingly. Gallagher looked like the real deal and turned out poorly, so I guess if you're able to predict that, he's the ideal trading chip. Maybe Archer will be the same way. (Let's hope so.)

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

I'll point out again that there is no free substitution in baseball. You have to play a defensive position. Murton was not a shortstop. The only position he could play was LF. Given the minimal defensive demands of that position, you usually want a slugger there. Let me give a few examples in the NL today. Best HR years: Soriano 46 Ibanez 43 Braun 37 C Lee 37 Ludwick 37 Burrell 37 Holliday 36 C Gonzalez 34 Murton had doubles power. His highest HR total of 13 came in 508 PAs in 2006. Colvin hit 20 in 394 PAs last year.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

Ramirez is .859, .840 career. Soto is .814 career. Colvin was .816 in a season in which he slumped in the second half. Reed Johnson is sitting at .940. Murton slugged .444 in his one full season before the Cubs signed a genuine slugger who could only play left. Now in his dotage, Soriano is still slugging .445, a shade higher than Murton's number. Also higher than Murton are Johnson (.567), Ramirez (.514) and Pena (.458). Castro is at .425. Colvin slugged .500 last year. Byrd slugged .459, .462 and .479 at Texas. Let's imagine that in left field in 2012, we had a choice of Murton, Lahair, Campana, Byrd, Flaherty or Colvin. I would pick Guyer, but more realistically I would prefer LaHair for power, Campana for speed, and Byrd and Flaherty as more or less equivalent to Murton but better defenders. Colvin is either worse than Murton or better, depending on whether he wises up. If Murton had been able to play third or second, he could have played here for a while. You can't just take his offensive numbers in isolation.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

And, of course Murton would never improved on his rookie year, or got better in any way. Reed Johnson's career slugging is .415, and comparing Murton to Ramirez or Pena? Oh..and Byrd slugged a robust .422 here last season, and cracked .400 once prior to going to Texas. The only real problem I had with Murton, was his defense..which was suited only for LF...never for RF of CF. Now Guyer is a player I'd have liked to have seen in LF for the Cubs....eh, oh well.

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In reply to by springs

I don't think anyone knows what the hell you mean by, "If you add in relative factors for offensive production based on speed, defense and position played." That is a whole lotta ifs and shoulda woulda couldas. Fact is Brandon Guyer wasn't a superior hitter in the minors, Murton was. Guyer is sporting nearly a 3 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio, which translates to a guy who will more than likely hit for a poor average in the majors unless they have amazing power which he doesn't have. Murton had a much better eye which leads to better overall hitter. And just to give you a point of reference Colvin has a worse strikeout to walk ratio and how is he doing? He fluked out last year and his power kept his average up. Now that the league has exposed his flaw and returned him to reality, there is no power to keep that average up and you become a player who will be looking for a new organization soon.

Anyone else read Wrongway Rogers' latest trade idea for the Cubs and Sox? Boils down to A-Ram for Brent Morel, and/or Jake Peavy..which then would "free Hendry to trade Garza to the Red Sox or other interested teams." Um....wow? So we can add $17 million to next year's payroll, for a broken down Peavy, add a 3B who has an OPS+ of 52....AND trade away Garza, who we just traded away a handful of prospects for this past offseason? LMAO.....I could use whatever drugs Rogers is taking....

Perhaps already posted...BA reports Cubs sign 13th round pick 18 yr old CF Trey Martin. Short review of Martin: He makes solid contact, is an above average runner, and is an athletic CF.

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

+++++++++++
 
37 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (three slots are open)  

Last updated 11-18-2022
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 20
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Mark Leiter Jr
Ethan Roberts 
Manuel Rodriguez
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Keegan Thompson
Erich Uelmen 
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

INFIELDERS: 8
Rylan Bannon 
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Alfonso Rivas
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 6
Kevin Alcantara 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

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