Fall Instructional League

40 Cubs are playing in Arizona now in a 3 week instructional week stint in Arizona. Apparently there are games involved. I'm sure there's someone out there who knows more about this than me. But here's the roster of players in case anyone cares. Pitchers RHP Alberto Alburquerque RHP Olivo Astacio LHP Alejandro Astorga RHP Justin Berg RHP Angelo Burrows RHP Marco Carillo RHP Julio Castillo RHP Robert Hernandez RHP Kyle Holden RHP Mark Holliman RHP Brett Jackson RHP Grant Johnson RHP Dary Maria RHP Jon Mueller LHP Mark Pawelek LHP Clay Rapada LHP Jayson Ruhlman RHP Roberto Sotolongo RHP Scott Taylor LHP Donald Veal Catchers Oscar Bernard Yusuf Carter Enrique Lujan Jake Muyco Mark Reed Infielders 1B Brian Dopirak SS Dylan Johnston 3B Scott Moore SS Jonathan Mota 1B Ryan Norwood 3B Elvin Puello SS Kyle Reynolds SS Joe Simokaitis 3B Brandon Taylor Outfielders CF Davy Gregg RF Ryan Harvey OF Wilson Inoa OF Victor Liriano LF Jesus Valdez LF J.D. Westphal -- There's a couple of recent trade acquistions like Justin Berg, Angelo Burrows and Olivo Astacio. A whole bunch of 2005 draft picks including 3rd rounder Mark Holliman, a RHP from Ole' Miss who never made it to any of the minor leage teams as he signed rather late. 1st rounder Mark Pawelek is there too, something I'm not so thrilled about. I'd love to trust the Cubs brass and think they know how to handle pitchers and their workloads, but I don't. I swear more of our pitchers get injured than stay healthy. Ryan Harvey and Brian Dopirak are both down there too. Maybe they can room together and discuss the finer points of looking good while striking out, maybe attend a guest lecture by Corey Patterson.


Scott Moore can join Dopirak and Harvey in discussing strikeouts. He had 4 less than Harvey and 27 more than Dopirak, who actually cut down on the Ks (and everything else). Johnston struckout in over half of his ABs in his professional debut. Is Norwood going to play? I don't believe he lpayed at all this season.

Don't know anything more than I posted. I think Norwood broke his leg right before the season began and then had all sorts of complications. Looks like he's back. "He'll be 100 percent for instructional league," said Oneri Fleita, the Cubs' director of player development. "That's going to be his year. It's unfortunate. He basically lost a year. Should of included Moore too, but he's not nearly the prospect that the other 2 supposedly are.

"Ryan Harvey and Brian Dopirak are both down there too. Maybe they can room together and discuss the finer points of looking good while striking out, maybe attend a guest lecture by Corey Patterson." But Corey doesn't even look good striking out. His flicking at high outside stuff looks more like someone from the 15th century transported here and asked to hit a whiffle ball. His big loopy cuts at inside breaking stuff make him look like a really terrible outfielder who doesn't have a clue. And he doesn't even do anything fun with the bat after fanning. He just walks back to the dugout with that same look that says, "Not bad for a three pitch at bat."

it was a joke, but... I think Korey has K'ing down. Swings hard, helmet slips down a bit, walks back towards dugout while adjusting the helmet, then looks back at the catcher, like, "Damn, swear I was going to hit that one that over my head, maybe next time". Manages to never look upset at himself or in any manner, way or form like it could have possibly been a mistake that he swung at that god-awful pitch for #500th time and missed it. Quite an art in my opinion.

Actually, he would be there to talk about the boos if they struck out too much in Wrigley. It could work to our advantage!

Rob G, i know it was a joke. I just wish Corey at least was able to strike out with some flair. Instead, he just seems like he'd rather be doing anything else than playing baseball.

Dusty Excuse No. 189 "Asked about the biggest obstacles he has faced at Wrigley that he may not have considered when he was hired, Baker mentioned the unpredictable wind. The wind blew out more often in 2004 (39-35) but blew in more often this season (45-28). "One of the primary obstacles is probably the element of the wind and which direction [it's blowing],' Baker said. 'It can change the outcome of a game. Some days the ballpark giveth, and sometimes the ballpark taketh away." The weather would be an obstacle--if the other team didn't have to play under the same conditions, you jack ass. In any event, I would have love to have heard Dusty say "giveth" and "taketh." Maybe that was journalistic embellishment. It was probably "givin' and takin', dude."

Dusty Excuse No. 190* "The Cards always have a solid team, and we have to play them like every other weekend. You know what I'm saying? We'd have 97 wins right now, if it wasn't for them. The Cubs, if we was in the NL West we'd have won the division easy--dude, clinched in June. Geography ain't doing us any favors. We need to give some thought to moving Wrigley out west--then we wouldn't have to worry about those West Coast road trips; they are always hard on a team down the stretch. Man, we'd be set." *not really

There are some unfamiliar names on this list like Inoa and others. Are there guys there form their Dominican summer team? I like the fact that they are doing this as it accomplishes many things, one of which is making them all feel part of the same goal, i.e. reaching Wrigley Field and the World Series. Although they can all talk about how if they get that far Dusty won't be playing them anyway. What a dreadfull thought- Dusty still managing the Cubs when these little Cubs are ready.

Alberto Alburquerque may be my new favorite ballplayer name.

***Caution Poster trying to look for a Silver Lining*** Patterson said Wednesday. "I learned there are things I definitely should work on." This season has showed CP that he has holes in his swing (really big holes actually). Now lets hope he can close them. Of course if this quote is any indication: "I'm not going to sweat the small stuff but try to get better." he may not really grasp the extent of the problem.

reporter asks a question, dusty answers it truthfully...OMG ITS AN EXCUSE!!!#!#! seriously...does it ever end?

Baseball Prospectus's Nate Silver had the following comment on Patterson on his article on the players who either exceeded or tanked their expected hitting statistics. "Patterson started taking more pitches toward the end of last season, to the extent that I thought he was a real breakout candidate and told friends that I wouldnít trade him straight-up for Andruw Jones (+15.6), even before salary considerations. The Cubs are probably right that he doesnít have a future in Chicago, although that leaves open the question of just how responsible they are for his demise. Iím not talking about "teaching plate discipline," which is probably impossible once a player has hit age 25 or so. But to play Wednesday Morning Armchair Psychologist, it would seem that the Dusty Baker tough love approach is incongruous with a moody player like Patterson; Patterson certainly didnít respond well after his demotion to Iowa. Next year, weíll get Felix Pie up here, and the cycle shall repeat itself."

Does what ever end? Dusty's excuses? Reporters' questions? Cubs' miserable performance? Fans disappointment over another crummy season filled with questionable choices and pitiful play by pampered professionals? It seems as if you want a blanket absolution for Dusty just because he's Dusty, Crunch. How do you know he is answering truthfully? Were you there? Did you look into his eyes and see if he is looking straight at you? Did his voice crack?

Next year, weíll get Felix Pie up here, and the cycle shall repeat itself. So true..

This season has showed CP that he has holes in his swing (really big holes actually). Now lets hope he can close them. Even if he manages to plug the holes in his swing, there's still that big one in his head.

"Alberto Alburquerque may be my new favorite ballplayer name." AlbAlb


"The Cubs are probably right that he doesnít have a future in Chicago" did i miss that news blurb?

"It seems as if you want a blanket absolution for Dusty just because he's Dusty, Crunch." well...if a guy answers a question as direct as the one posed...dusty cannot win, period. yeah, dusty's said some weird crap, but picking every single comment dusty says even when "asked about the biggest obstacles he has faced at Wrigley that he may not have considered"...well, how can he win? was he supposed to say "i cannot answer that question on the grounds that fans may believe its an excuse"? or would that response be an excuse, too? =p

Iím very reluctant to go there, because itís never even been whispered about Korey. But isnít there a possibility of performance-enhancing drugs entering the picture regarding his ascent the past couple of years and then his sharp decline this year, with MLB starting its crackdown on steroids? Perhaps itís just looser-fitting uniís, but Korey seems leaner this season (and not just his stats, if you know what I mean).

Steroids won't help you hit a ball thrown over your head or two feet off the plate. Corey's problem has a lot more to do with the fact that opposing pitchers have realized he has huge, gaping holes in his swing that he can't or won't fix.

Anyone else hear the rumor that Santo will only do home games next year. I imagine he would do the series at the BOB too since he does have a home in Phoenix area. Anyone have any thoughts on who the road guy would be? Karros would be my favorite. Do you think for home games they would do a 3-man booth or go with a Santo/new guy platoon?

"Anyone else hear the rumor that Santo will only do home games next year. " Screw that - force him into retirement. He really is hard to listen to. We deserve better.

I don't know about the Ron Santo rumor but he did appear more annoyed this year than any other. If it was secretly his last year, it would explain the frustration...

All we've got to fill in for Santo is Paul Popovich or Nate Oliver.

I'd like to see Dusty Baker up in the Booth, teamed with Hendry and McPhail. Kicked Upstairs.

So when is the rumor going to start that Baker got Santo sent packing?? :) Santo is very hard to listen to. The only time he is good is in a blowout game. Him leaving will be no big loss to me, actaully it might get me to bring a headset to the games I attend with my seasons as i could possibly bare listening to the broadcast on teh radio then.

crud, wsox clinched the division. I wonder if I can score tickets to them getting swept by the angels? (if tribe are the wc of course) actually should be a good series between the 2 if that's how it ends up. 2 good starting staffs, good defense, Angels have the better bullpen, offenses are both cruddy. I'll miss Santo, most color analysts make me want to turn the sound off as they just spout off cliche #1, then #2. Santo rarely bothered. It was like going to game with a buddy. If they land a solid color guy, who really is going to bring some insight, then great. Chances are it's an ex-Cub jock with little to say that we haven't heard before.

Jose Macias, 2B Neifi Perez, SS Derrek Lee, 1B Nomar Garciaparra, 3B Matt Murton, LF Jeromy Burnitz, RF Michael Barrett, C Corey Patterson, CF

3-7 has the best hitters...hmmmm Seriously, can we get a decent lineup? AT least nurton's playing

Jumbo, #7 is one of the best hitters??? What planet have you been on this year?

I'd say Barrett at #7 is a hell of a lot better than either of the guys batting #1 or #2. Actually, its safe to say he's the third best hitter in this lineup. He trails only Lee and Murton in both OBP and SLG.

and he's a robust .190 hitter this month...him and burnitz been hurting. along with the cubs now dissapeared 3rd baseman...where the hell is any ARam news anyway?

they said yesterday or the day before he was done for the year along with hairston...non-news that it is


Harvey and Dopriak AREN'T rooming together. Harvey is rooming with Ryan Norwood. You're right.. Norwood didnt play at all this season. He hurt himself in an expedition game against bradley university before the season started. He was then sent to Mesa for rehab and is intending instructional league because of it. I dont know if he's playing or not down there though. Havent asked..

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 19 min ago (view)

    20s sounds about right. Considering they have gotten pretty much nothing out of pitching development in the last decade and only number one picks and Bote on the hitter side in the same time frame, that's pretty telling. I guess Contreras falls into that too but he had been around quite a while before Theo and Jed


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 21 min ago (view)

    I was thinking that too, Phil. EJM failing so badly was another spectacular miss. Guess they should have let sleeping dogs lie when his first deal fell through (Dodgers or Giants, I think?)


  • tim815 6 hours 14 min ago (view)

    MLB.com rated the Cubs 22 out of 30.

    This season figures to tell quite a bit. No teams are terrible at player development anymore, and no teams look at the draft as a hopeless puzzle.


  • KingKongvsGodzilla 9 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Are these guys out of the org now? 


  • K Dub 14 hours 5 min ago (view)

    PHIL: Any velo readings on Ramos? Earlier reports also had him sitting 98-99. Thanks!


  • George Altman 20 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Phil, serious question: How good is the Cubs Player Development Department? Scale of 1 to 30 with 1 being best.  I mean, I can think of 5 teams right now who don't have near the Cubs resources but do better year after.

    I mean there are organizations across sports who seem to coach the crap out of their draft picks and signees. They just got 4 teenagers for Darvish, but do they have the coaches to get any of them to the show? 

    My pessimistic grade would be about 24.


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 20 min ago (view)

    DJL: How about Eddy Julio Martinez as a spectacular miss? A $3M signing bonus out of Cuba and he never made it out of AA. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Wow, that's a pretty spectacular miss. He was so highly thought of when he signed.


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 58 min ago (view)

    TIM: Richard Gallardo doesn't seem to be progressing as a SP, so he has apparently been moved to the bullpen.  He has a tendency to labor through innings and nibble too much and throw a lot of pitches. 


  • tim815 21 hours 12 min ago (view)

    Anything on Gallardo, of interest, from today?


  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 14 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released LHP Ryan Kellogg, RHP Alex Moore, 3B Fidel Mejia, OF Jose Gutierrez, OF Eddy Julio Martinez, and OF Zac Taylor from Minor League Camp. 


  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 20 min ago (view)

    And despite what you might read elsewhere, It was - NOT - a "hot" gun.  


  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 46 min ago (view)

    He certainly could have forced the Cubs to release him with full salary as termination pay, so he must like it with the Cubs.  


  • Charlie 23 hours 37 min ago (view)

    Follow-up on last week's discussion of Baez's contact and plate discipline woes. Another Fangraphs article notes that he is among league leaders in combined positive change in zone swing rates (swinging at more pitches inside the strike zone) and reduction in chase rate (swinging at pitches outside the zone). See the last table: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-look-at-some-earl...

    This makes his 45% strikeout rate and 1.7% BB rate all the more strange.


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    he may not be worth much to us as fans, but every indication points to him being quite popular in the dugout.  nice to see him stick around as an emergency callup catcher.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Tony Wolters clears waivers and is sent to the Alternate Training site in South Bend.