Ho-Hum Bryant Takes #5 Out to Lunch


So I packed a PB&J and an apple this morning and planned to take my lunch break at the ballpark. Beautiful day here in Des Moines. It took forever to weave through pregame traffic and get into the lot where I park right next to the main gate. Just in time for the first pitch I slid into a spot and enjoyed the sandwich while I listened to the game on the radio. Bryant’s homer du jour (off of Dodger prospect Zach Lee; remember the Dempster trade rumors?) was described as the first one so far that maybe didn’t look like one right off the bat. It’s 335 down the RF line and #5 only went 336. Musta hit it off the very end of his scepter. Anyway, I got out of the car to toss my garbage and as I approached the trash bin I noticed something white in the middle of the green plaza between the box office and the river that swallows everything knocked out of play down the right side. There were plenty of folks still on their ways inside. I don’t understand why none of them noticed the ball that was fouled out their way but I appreciated it. When I got back in the car I set it on the seat right next to the apple that I’m about to eat. Except for one black smudge on it the ball still looks pristine. It’s #4 for the year so I’m only one behind but I don’t think I can keep pace with The Kid. For one thing I had to come back to work and he’s got a few more AB’s coming this afternoon. For another, this is the last game of the home stand. By the time the I-Cubs return the one-trick-pony will have left me in his magic dust.



Time to rest Bryant, all he hits are homers. Time to start getting him some good matchups and ease him into the new level. Playing every day can only make this situation worse.

In other news - I think Chris Bosio is a BADASS pitching coach. Everyone (except E Jackson and washed up closers) seems to really thrive under his tutelage!

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In reply to by crunch

I get the sense that McLeod is more than a figurehead, and same with Theo. They seem to be pretty woven together. It's a much better situation than the McFail thing, where it seemed to me at the time that they made what seemed like this great hire and he turned around and made Lynch the main go to guy, and he was just terrible.

Sometimes when I see Lake with a good AB like that I think, he's still young, he just may end up a decent player. Then the next day he takes a major fishing trip.

Castro hit hbp on hand. Seems okay. Throwing hand. 4-0 turn&Coughlin looks lost at the plate, Olt was benched for less

Rizzo at the plate is very reminiscent of Lee the year he hit .345, just a giant presence that is ready to cause malice.

w.wright sighting! i keep forgetting the cubs signed him. 1st appearance in 4 games. he had 4 games off before that 0.1ip appearance, too. he's pitched 3 innings over 7 appearances this month (3ip 1h 0bb 2k, 0r/er). that's easy money. ...and w.wright is pulled after pitching to 1 batter and giving up a single... neat.

can someone check renteria's meds to see if he's taking too much or not enough or something? guy is burning through the bullpen with wild abandon to the extent that he's bringing in pitchers who haven't even warmed up properly. 4th reliever in the inning coming in...men on 1st/2nd, 2 out, no runs given up in the inning, no injuries forcing any of the pitchers out...go figure.

Olt is toast. In the 8th, for his 3rd K, he missed a hanger and two 86-mph down-the-middle fastballs. His swing doesn't look right. Please, make Coughlin go away and play Lake every day. Please.

[ ]

In reply to by billybucks

Those were some pretty awful at bats for Olt last night. He reminded me a young fella named Brett Jackson. That said, the kid never plays. Send him to Iowa to get some at bats if you're gonna keep the league leader among rookies in HRs and RBI out of the lineup on a regular basis. He's a fooking kid (Irish accent), of course his swing is out of whack.

I really like JD -- I hope he and Len can figure it out. Right now, there is no flow to their conversation at all. JD seems to really know baseball and is genuinely funny -- Len is coming across more and more like a Ted Baxter-like anchor.

[ ]

In reply to by billybucks

JD was good/great in HOU...there's something about him and len which leads to a lot of stalling, dead air, jokes not picked up, references not picked up, set-ups not getting picked up, etc... it truly is an awkward flow more often than it should be. it's not joe carter/chip caray bad (that was bad...especially carter), but it's spinning wheels in the same place rather than progressing as a duo.

That pitch Rizzo hit in the 8th inning? I honestly said to myself, how the hell does he do that? That was a really good pitch. He should have swung and missed if I'm Cincinnati. No wonder Votto has gone from being a Cubs hater to a Rizzo admirer. That was some impressive sheet.

The Cubs added LHP Tsuyoshi Wada to their MLB 40-man roster last Sunday (June 22) and then immediately optioned him to AAA Iowa because he had a July 1st opt out clause in his contract, but the fact that they chose to make the move on June 22nd instead of waiting a week might be significant because by optioning Wada to AAA on June 22nd, he can be recalled on July 2nd (an optioned player must remain on Optional Assignment for at least ten days unless he is traded, or is called up as a 26th man in a doubleheader, or is replacing another player on the 25-man roster who is placed on the DL or another MLB Inactive List). 

And July 2nd (the earliest date Wada can be recalled unless there are unusual circumstances involved) is also the first day of the 2014-15 International Signing Period and it's also the first day that 2014-15 International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) Signing Bonus Values (SBV) can be traded, and so it's the day when Jason Hammel (and perhaps others) will most-likeky get traded. (The Cubs traded Scott Feldman, Carlos Marmol, and Roni Toreyes on July 2nd last season, and in each case the deal involved ISBP SBV). 

So if the Cubs trade Hammel on July 2nd, Wada can be recalled at the exact same time to replace him, because July 2nd is exactly ten days after June 22nd, and Wada was optioned to the minors on June 22nd. 

BTW, the Cubs will be able to recall a "26th man" for the DH versus Washington on Saturday, It will likely be a starting pitcher, probably Dallas Beeler (since he is already on the 40-man roster and it would be his turn to start for Iowa anyway). Tsuyoshi Wada would be pitching on three-days rest (he started yesterday) so he probably would not get the call, although getting recaled to serve as the "26th man" in a DH is one exemption from the ten-day minimum rule on Optional Assignmments.  

Here is the rule on the 26th man: 

Beginning on MLB Opening Day up through August 31st, a club can temporarily add (recall or select) a 26th player to its MLB Active List on any day where two games are scheduled, as long as the second game was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. If the second game was scheduled less than 48 hours in advance, a 26th man can be temporarily added to a club's MLB Active List for the second game of the doubleheader only. 

1. The "26th man" must be on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or has to be added to the club's 40-man roster that day. 

2. The "26th man" does not have to be a pitcher. 

3. In the case of a doubleheader that is scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, the 26-man Active List limit is in effect for both games of the doubleheader, but the "26th man" cannot be switched between games. 

4. A player can be added to a club's Active List as the "26th man" even if he has not spent the minimum required 10 days on optional or outright assignment prior to being added. 

5. The player who was recalled as the "26th man" can remain on the Active List and a different player can be dropped the next day, as long as the "26th man" was not called up prior to spending at least ten days on optional assignment. NOTE: A player called up as the "26th man" prior to spending at least ten days on Optional Assignment could remain on the 25-man roster if the player replaces a player who is placed on the Disabled List (or other MLB inactive list) the day after the doubleheader.

6. If a player is recalled as the "26th man" and is optioned back to the minors the next day, the "10-day rule" clock (prohibiting a player from being recalled until he has spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment, unless he is replacing a player who is placed on the DL or other MLB inactive list) does not start over again. However many days toward ten that the player spent on Optional Assignment prior to being recalled as the "26th man" counts.

7. A player recalled as a "26th man" accrues one day of MLB Service Time.


The Blue Jays are big international FA spenders, so a 7/2 deal involving Hammel plus one or two of the Cubs 2014-15 ISBP SBV would not be too surprising. The Jays have a couple of LHSP prospects (Nolin and Norris) that would probably interest the Cubs.   

Cubs announce official signing of Mark Zagunis and mention that they have signed 21 of first 22 picks with Dylan Cease being the outlier.

David Price's Cardinals audition went swimmingly, 8.1 IP, 5 H, 11 K, 1 BB, 1 ER vs. the Pirates.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-ricketts-confide… Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said Wednesday that he remains confident the team’s $575 million plan to renovate Wrigley Field and develop the surrounding area will receive the necessary approval from the city. “Yeah, I think we’re looking forward to just moving forward,” he said. “Like I said, we’ll just respect the process and follow through.” [ ] Ricketts also didn’t want to speculate on when construction could start. “We’re just focusing on getting to the landmarks committee and making sure it all goes fine there,” he said. [ ] In his address, Ricketts broke down the team’s rebuilding strategy, saying that the team wanted to rebuild through the draft to develop talent and to minimize free agents because they are often past their prime and rarely meet expectations on the field. At one point, Ricketts displayed a graphic of overlapping bell curves that showed the peak years for players is 29 to 30 years old. He said a key strategy is signing players into long-term deal earlier in their career before they can become free agents. [ ] “The idea is to maximize the value you get out of players in the first six years, before they become free agents,” he said.

Our turn&coughlin nightmare has been suspended Hard to believe that Lake is an improvement at top but ehh? Lake Sweeney (ugh) Riz Castro Valbuena Sureouts Baker soon to be delivering pizzas Jackson

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In reply to by jacos

when your ingredients are from the bottom of the dumpster, the main dish is inevitably going to suck no matter how you prepare it. A lot of bitching about lineups (well mostly from one person) without any real solutions about what would make it any better.

Lake at the top is dumb vs. a righty, guess it's a speed thing and maybe he'll see more fastballs.

Best thing is to put Castro and Rizzo next to each other and hope the rest get lucky.

If you look at June OPS numbers, it's Rizzo, Castro...then Coghlan (.800), Valbuena (.713), Lake (.648), Ruggiano (.626), Barney (.570), Schierholtz (.564), Sweeney (.445).

Open up the timeframe and it doesn't get much better, about only change I'd do is go Valbuena, Castro, Rizzo (or Valbuena, Rizzo, Castro) as top 3 and use Dusty's Dugout Dice for the rest.

But, it's about item #25 out of #26 of things the Cubs need to fix before getting competitive.

Soon to be delviering pizzas? You are going to need to be more specific that is like 1/3 of the roster.

Credit due helluva relay throw by Barney to get Votto He'll be able to throw the newspapers from his car without stopping at his new job.

"let's get some runs and watch the goldbergs at 8pm wednesday nights on abc." awesome.

must be fun for opposing pitchers when they realize they get to face the equivelant of a pitcher for 5/9 of the lineups whenever they face the Cubs

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In reply to by Rob G.

I'm sure Epstoyer were expecting 2013 performance from Schierholtz instead of this year's meh. Here's what I don't get about the 'Plan': if you don't have the cash to sign a couple of productive bats to go with Rizzo, Castro & Castillo (and maybe Valbuena), then why not shitcan your platoon crap and play Castillo, Valbuena (2b), Olt, Shierholtz/Lake (Rf), & someone like Watkins or Vitters for 500 ABs to go with Rizzo & Castro. I mean Sweeney, Coglan, Barney shouldn't be getting more than 175 PAs/year and Baker maybe 110 PAs tops. You knew you were going to suck, your plan was to suck, so why not find out if at least some of your minor league graduates can play at this level. When Alcantara, Baez, Bryant, & Schwarber are ready, it's not like any of these guys are going to be blocking them.

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In reply to by George Altman

The plan so far is shit. In my opinion, all the talk about the great farm system is just that, talk. Lots of teams have stellar farm systems. So what? What is the percentage of successful callups from even the best systems? And, even if the Cubs match that, or hell, exceed it, are the other 10 or so organizations with excellent farm systems not going to be bringing up good players at the same time as the Cubs are? Filling up the roster with these half assed journeymen while asking Cubs fans to wait is an insult. What if we wait and nothing happens? It's really a preposterous way to run a major league team. I'm with you 100% on just bringing up as many kids as possible (BRING THEM UP!!!!) and seeing what they can do. Olt is the perfect example of the insult they are bringing to us fans. Here is a kid leading the league in HRs and RBIs among rookies, well last time I looked but, shit, with his lack of ABs the last week that may no longer be, and yet he doesn't play, at all. Has he been all kinds of suck lately at the plate? Hell yeah. So what? Play him while you have a chance. The way that Bryant kid is hitting he's going to be putting pressure on TheoCorp to bring him up sooner than they want to. Play Olt. See what he's got. If he hits .040 for three weeks, so be it. Bring up Alcantara, play him at second, leave him there until the end of the season. I can watch rookies struggle. What I hate is watching the Chris Coghlans and Sureouts of the world flail around the plate and rip off the customers paying good money to see a major league ball club.

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In reply to by Carlito

That seems a fair assessment of Mike Olt before the beanball/concussion/eye issue. He hasn't been the same since that event. Look at his AAA numbers from last year, sub .200 hitter. I hope for his sake and the Cubs he can get back to the player he once was but I've personally really lowered my expectations. That being said, give him some playing time, either at the majors and minors, and see if he can get back on track.

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In reply to by Sonicwind75

Yes the evidence is damning. Though he had 40 AB in 2012 at the MLB level. I am just putting my *opinion* out there from observing him when he was in a groove and playing every day in spring training training, and his truly impressive power when he's been on this year. Again my theory is he could not succeed they way he's been used this year. What if Baez had been platooned at AAA because of his slow start coupled with some political BS wouldn't it mess with his head? What about Bryant batting intermittently now at AAA because he only hits HR's? ... Olt came out of the gate fully functional and has been fucked with since day 1 of this season. Does anyone here really think a player is supposed to succeed this way? Rizzo was piss poor for San Diego in his rookie exposure. Glad the Cubs snatched him up. Isn't baseball hard enough without a total managerial/front office mindfuck?

So does Mueller get props for Rizzo/Castro, or sacked for the rest of the team's performance??!!

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In reply to by Rob G.

Hard to even complain about Sureouts and Olt. We all hoped that Olt would turn it around, but it's entirely possible that he has chronic vision problems or something of the like. And Sureouts may be worse than expected, but he also had that terrible second half last year. (I will still complain that Olt is not playing every day somewhere, especially when it means that Barney gets more plate appearances. Olt off the bench against that 101 Chapman fastball was comical.)

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

Yes that was kind of Captain Compassion to give him that "matchup designed to help him succeed." This is what pisses me off: even if Captain Lineup is holding Olt back to play the supposedly tradable players, why does he consistently bat him 7th when he does play, pinch hit for him after 3 AB, and sit him even if he is on fire (which admittedly only happened once or twice). It's still wickedly bizarre. Maybe Captain Quirky thinks because he was a journeyman during his playing career that everyone is? I would argue any commodity they might get for Barney or Sureoutz won't be more valuable than the AB Olt could have had when he still had a little self esteem in the tank. "Welcome to the bigs son, where everyone is bigger, stronger faster and more consistent. Now have a seat like so many before you and learn this game from this aluminum throne I've built for you in this hole in the ground. When I throw you to the wolves it'll be just like in batting practice. Same thing. I promise."

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In reply to by Carlito

I vote for props. The rest of the team is a can of suck. I don't much care about the influence of a hitting coach on journeymen like Sureouts or Coghlan, but I do think they have some impact on a guy like Castro or Rizzo. They've both done really well and that alone calls for another year. Rizzo is starting to show signs of absolute mastery of the plate. His ceiling may be quite something. I honestly would not have predicted it last year. This year, I've seen him hit what I have thought are somewhat unhittable pitches. Curvy, diving stuff slipping out of the strike zone as he begins his swing, and instead of missing it, he jacks it against the wall or something.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

Right now the only pieces of the lineup worth keeping are Rizzo and Castro. The pitching has been exceptional this year. What I don't know is if it will last on the pitching side to go out and get some bats. But geez that lineup is a bunch of suck. And yet the team is still surprisingly competitive.

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In reply to by MikeC

I bitch a lot about Renteria's lineups and especially the confounding refusal to put Olt in the lineup for 60 days or so, just to see if he is going to be as bad as the rest of the lineup, but even with that he seems to be doing a decent job. The team plays good fundamental baseball, something that a dumb ass bunting contest was not able to accomplish, and it is something I haven't honestly seen from a Cubs team in a long time. If a manager can get a team to play the fundamentals well, he's a keeper in my book, and he gets a pass this year on the lineups anyway. And keep Chris Bosio, please.

Remember Brian Bogesevic? I was just curious what happened to him after the Cubs traded him to the Marlins for Ruggiano. He has spent the entire season in AAA and has a .246/.330/.361 line. But of course he only costs about 500K whereas Ruggiano is costing the Cubs $2 million.

Ryan Sweeney LF Justin Ruggiano RF Anthony Rizzo 1B Starlin Castro SS Luis Valbuena 3B Welington Castillo C Junior Lake CF Darwin Barney 2B Travis Wood P

AZ Phil,

The Cub-loving Twitterverse is wondering if you know what has become of Soler? Reinjury?

Junior Lake out of game after greeting metal door with his face.

At least he walked off field on his own, smiling.

it was actually wrist, knee and then head...video is on MLB.com gameday if you get off on watching car wrecks.

3rd round pick Mark Zagunis made his debut yesterday at catcher for the Arizona Cubs, going 1-3 with a 2B, BB, Run, and RBI. Schwerber continued his hot hitting, going 2-3 with a 2B, BB, 2 Runs, and an RBI, up to .455 on the season for the Cougars, and .524 overall with his Boise stats. Almora was 1-3 and his batting .308 in his last 10 days, perhaps signs that he is adjusting. Villanueva is now 12-33 (.364) since being demoted to AA In the AAA double header, Baez was 4-8 overall with 2 doubles, Bryant was 3-6 with a double and 2 walks, Alcantar was 3-7 with 2 doubles and a homerun, and a nice start by Hendricks (6IP, 2ER).

I see a number of recent drafts making their debuts in Arizona the last few days. Overall, the following are already playing in the system at Arizona, Boise, or, in the case of Schwarber, Kane County: Kyle Schwarber (1st round, C) Mark Zagunis (3rd round, C) Brad Markey (19th round, RHP) John Tomasovich (20th round, IF) Charles White (21st round, OF) Joey Martarano (22nd round, 3B) Tyler Pearson (25th round, C) Calvin Graves (27th round, CF) Andrew Ely (32nd round pick, 2B)

from BP...
HITTER OF THE DAY: Arismendy Alcantara, 2b — Triple-A Iowa (Cubs) Fresh off his first appearance on the Prospect Hot Sheet, Alcantara continued a blazing June with a 4-for-6 night that included his 10th homer and four RBIs. Forty-one of Alcantara's 87 hits this season are for extra bases. In June, the 22-year-old is slashing .340/.391/.560. The Cubs are salivating over a future infield that could include some combination of Alcantara, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and/or Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.
(hint: insert O&B comment here) TEAM CLASS PLAYER, POS AB R H BI AVG CHC AAA Alcantara, Arismendy 2B 6 3 4 4 .302 HR (10) CHC AAA Baez, Javier SS 5 2 1 1 .236 BB (19) CHC AAA Bryant, Kris 3B 6 2 3 1 .303 2 2B (3) CHC AAA Szczur, Matt CF 4 2 2 0 .247 BB (21) CHC HiA Vogelbach, Dan 1B 2 1 1 0 .272 BB (35) CHC LoA Candelario, Jeimer 3B 4 0 1 0 .185 CHC LoA Hannemann, Jacob CF 5 2 2 0 .254 2 SB (26) CHC R Soler, Jorge RF 2 1 2 0 .583 BB (3) TEAM CLASS PITCHER IP H R ER BB K ERA CHC AAA Rivero, Armando 2 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 CHC LoA Johnson, Pierce 7 1 2 2 1 6 2.45

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In reply to by Cubster

CHC R Soler, Jorge RF 2 1 2 0 .583 BB (3) Good enough. Bring him up, and screw sample size. Besides, if he's going to be hurt 75% of the time, Cubs need to start getting their money's worth. One thing about that infield. There's one too many. How do they resolve that? I think for now, I'd bring up Alcantara now and see how does at lead off here, and let Baez sort out his Oltishness in the minors.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

As if having one too many has ever actually been a problem other than possibly picking the wrong guy to trade away. more likely one of those isn't as good as we want them to be. A good farm system also means good trading chips. Red Sox traded away a lot of good talent for great talent over the years.

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In reply to by Rob G.

They're also already prepping Alcantara to play CF. And Alcantara, Baez, and Bryant are all super young and will probably take some time to settle into MLB production, even if we get super lucky and they all end up being productive MLB regulars. I agree with others that Baez looks to be the farthest from MLB right now, so Alcantara should have at least a few months to show whether he can handle MLB pitching and whether he can defend 2B or CF.

Bring up Alcantara and Daury Torrez too! I think Daury might turn out to be the best pitching prospect we have before he is done.

Seems to me that both Alcantara and Javy began performing better once Bryant arrived.

shwarb 3/4 with 2hr. shwarb 4/5 with 2hr and a double. it's about time for a promotion to A+/daytona. he's got 8hr and 5 doubles in 50ab between 2 levels...half his total hits. speaking of daytona...vogelbomb hit a HR today and his recent hot streak has brought his numbers up across the board. also, bryant 3/4 (all singles) and baez 0/3, but he did have 2 walks. also also...in case anyone missed the link or never knew it...here's the cubs system minor league scores page on milb.com - http://www.milb.com/scoreboard/index.jsp?sid=milb&org=112

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In reply to by crunch

MILB also has an app where you can add your favorite teams and get a box score, and watch live a pretty good selection of live and/or archived games. There's a subscription price, but the hitting is better than what we see at the major league level with this team, so it's probably worth it.

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

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

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

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

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


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents