Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus two players are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players on MLB RESERVE LIST are ACTIVE, plus six players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors, seven players are on the 15-DAY IL, and one player is on the 10-DAY IL

Last updated 5-18-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Hayden Wesneski

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
Christopher Morel
Patrick Wisdom

* Cody Bellinger
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
Brennen Davis, OF
* Matt Mervis, 1B
Luis Vazquez, INF

10-DAY IL: 1
Dansby Swanson, INF

15-DAY IL: 7
Yency Almonte, P 
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P 
Daniel Palencia, P
* Drew Smyly, P
Keegan Thompson, P 
* Jordan Wicks, P

60-DAY IL: 2
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Cubs Assign Seven to Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League (AFL) preliminary rosters have been announced, and the Cubs have assigned seven players to the Mesa Solar Sox (MSS). Present minor league assignment is in parenthesis: 

Zach Cates, RHRP (AA Tennessee)
Gerardo Concepcion, LHRP (A+ Daytona) 
C. J. Edwards, RHSP (AA Tennessee) 
Jake Hannemann, OF (A+ Daytona) - see NOTE
Ivan Pineyro, RHSP (AA Tennessee) 
Addison Russell, SS (AA Tennessee) 
Dan Vogelbach, 1B (A+ Daytona) 
NOTE: Hannemann is assigned to the MSS "Taxi Squad," so he is eligible to play in AFL games on Wednesday and Saturday only. 

In addition, Daytona pitching coach Ron Villone has been assigned to Mesa as the Solar Sox pitching coach. (The Cubs were required to supply the MSS pitching coach this year). 

Cates, Concepcion, Edwards, and Pineyro are Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2014, and so the Cubs may be using the AFL to get a better look at Cates, Concepcion, and Pineyro (especially Pineyro) before deciding whether to add any of them to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) post-2014. (C. J. Edwards is considered the Cubs #1 pitching prospect, so he is a "lock" to make the Cubs 40-man roster in November no matter how he performs in the AFL).

Russell played for the Mesa Solar Sox while a member of the Oakland A's last year, so this will be his second trip to the AFL, but in a different uniform. He will be sharing shortstop with A's SS prospect Daniel Robertson, who was Russell's rival in the Oakland system prior to Russell being traded to the Cubs in the Samardzija/Hammel trade. Russell missed considerable time this season as the result of a hamstring injury suffered prior to being acquired by the Cubs, so playing in the AFL will give the young shortstop some additional reps before he (presumably) gets moved up to AAA in 2015.

Both Edwards (shoulder) and Pineyro (forearm strain) were on the Tennessee Smokies Disabled List for lengthy periods of time this season, so pitching in the AFL will help them to make up for some of their "lost innings." 

Remember, the AFL rosters announced this week are preliminary rosters only and are incomplete.

In the case of the Mesa Solar Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays have not named any of their four pitchers yet, and because Dwight Smith Jr has been assigned to the MSS "Taxi Squad," the Blue Jays still need to assign another position player as well. The Oakland A's have yet to name their fourth pitcher, and because Jake Hannemann was assigned to the MSS "Taxi Squad," the Cubs need to assign one more position player to the Solar Sox roster. 

At present there are four outfielders, seven infielders, and two catchers on the MSS Active Roster (not including Jays OF Dwight Smith Jr, Cubs OF Jake Hannemann, and Angels SS Eric Stamets, who are assigned to the MSS "Taxi Squad"), so Toronto or the Cubs have to supply either the third catcher (there are always three catchers assigned to AFL teams) or a second third-baseman (Kaleb Cowart is the only 3B on the MSS preliminary roster). 

If the Cubs need to supply a third-baseman, it would probably be either Kris Bryant (2013 AFL MVP) or Christian Villanueva (if he doesn't play winter ball in the Mexican Pacific League), or a utility infielder who can play 3B (like Wes Darvill, who has played in the AFL before). Mike Olt has too much MLB Service Time to be eligible to play in the AFL, even if his hamstring injury has healed by the time the AFL begins play in October.

If the Cubs are supposed to supply the third catcher, they may be in the process of deciding whether to assign 2014 1st round draft pick Kyle Schwarber to the AFL or send him to Instructs instead. If he goes to the AFL it's all about getting AB and playing in games, but at Instructs it's much more about instruction. 

Rafael Lopez (presently assigned to AAA Iowa) would probably be the other most-likely catcher-option to go to the AFL if Schwarber goes to Instructs, since Lopez is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2014 and the Cubs might want to use the AFL to help them decide whether to add Lopez to their 40-man roster. However, if Lopez is called up to Chicago as the "3rd catcher" in September, the Cubs will have already added Lopez to the 40 and would not need to use the AFL to evaluate Lopez further. In that case. Victor Caratini (the catcher the Cubs acquired from Atlanta in the Bonifacio/Russell trade) could get assigned to the AFL (but again, that's only if Schwarber goes to Instructs instead of to the AFL).


The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is a developmental league operated by MLB.

The AFL operates for six weeks after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, and it features a 32-game "regular season" schedule plus an All-Star Game (formerly called the "Rising Stars Game," but now known as the "Fall Stars Game") at the end of the 4th week and the AFL Championship Game (pitting the winner of the East Division versus the winner of the West Division) at the end of the 6th and final week. 

There are three games scheduled every day Monday through Saturday during the AFL regular season (there are no games on Sunday), beginning with Opening Day on the second Tuesday following the conclusion of the MLB regular season (which is October 7th in 2014) and extending up through the Thursday of the 6th week. (No regular season games are scheduled the day of the Fall Stars Game).  

Here are the current AFL eligibility rules & restrictions (NOTE: Some of the eligibiility rules & restrictions have been changed over the past couple of years): 

1. There are six AFL teams, and each AFL team is affilated with five MLB clubs. KC (Peoria Javelinas), TEX (Surprise Saguaros), LAD/CHW (Glendale Desert Dogs), AZ/COL (Salt River Rafters), CUBS (Mesa Solar Sox), and SF (Scottsdale Scorpions) are the "host organizations" for the six AFL teams, but the affiliations of the other 22 MLB clubs can vary from year-to-year. Besides the Cubs, the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2014 will be LAA, OAK, TOR, and WAS. NOTE: The home stadium for the Peoria Javelinas in 2014 will be Surprise Stadium. 

2. Each MLB organization must assign a minimum of seven players to its AFL affiliate, including a minimum of four pitchers (preferably one pitcher capable of starting plus three relievers) and a minimum of three position players (specific positions needed to be filled by each organization TBD by a conference call "position draft" between the Player Development Directors of the five MLB organizations affiliated with that particular AFL team).

3. An MLB organization can assign additional pitchers and/or players to its AFL team's "Taxi Squad" (players assigned to an AFL team's "Taxi Squad" can be activated on Wednesdays and Saturdays only, but a player can be transferred from the Taxi Squad to the 35-man Active Roster to replace an injured player).

4. A player can be selected to play in the AFL more than once, as long as the player continues to meet eligibility for selection.

5. MLB players (including Rule 5 players) with less than one year (1+000) MLB Service Time accrued (not including time spent on a Disabled list) as of September 1st are eligible.

6. Any player on a AA or AAA Active Roster (or Disabled List) on August 15th is eligible.

7. Two players on an organization's Advanced Class-A (A+) affiliate's Active Roster (or Disabled List) on August 15th can be assigned to the AFL.

8. Two additional players who were on the Active Roster (or Disabled List) of a minor league affiliate below AA (A+, A, SS-A, R) on August 15th can be assigned to the AFL.

9. Internatiional players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and/or Australia are eligible only if the player is not on the reserve list of a Winter League club from the player's home country. Otherwise, there is no maximum limit on the number of international players an MLB organization can assign to its AFL team.

10. A player on the Restricted List, Military List, Disqualified List, Ineligible List, or Voluntary Retired List is not eligible to participate in the AFL. 

11. A player who was on a minor league or MLB DL at the close of the regular season is eligible to play in the AFL as long as the player has been reinstated, but there can be no special limits or restrictions placed on the player's playing time (other than the automatic restrictions imposed on a player sssigned to an AFL team's "Taxi Squad").

12. A player cannot be assigned to the AFL on a Minor League Injury Rehabilitation Assignment by a club participating in an MLB post-season series (LDS, LCS, and World Series). 

13. Players assigned to the AFL do not accrue MLB or minor league service time, each player receives the same salary, and the salaries are paid out of a special fund managed by MLB. 

Each MLB organization provides either the manager, pitching coach, hitting coach, or athletic trainer to its affiliated AFL club (assignments rotate every year).  



Phil, can you evaluate Eloy Jimenez first season? Thanks. Also your thoughts on Conway's work at Boise.

HAGSAG: Eloy Jimenez has as much raw power as any player in the Cubs system, but he needs a lot of work both at the plate and in the outfield. I think he will probably move rather slowly (but hopefully steadily) through the pipeline, probably staying at Extended Spring Training and then going to Boise in 2015, then Kane County in 2016, Daytona in 2017, etc.  

Josh Conway has recovered to where he can pitch but his velocity was down and his slider was mediocre at Extended Spring Training and he apparently hasn't been fooling too many hitters at Boise, although he has been reasonably effective. I always thought Conway projected as a late-inning reliever because he had two power-pitches (93-94 MPH fastball and hard slider), but he has got to get his velocity back to where it was pre-second elbow injury to reach his ceiling. (He did get his velocity back after the 2012 TJS and he looked great at Minor League Camp and EXST in 2013 up until he suffered the stress fracture in his elbow while throwing off a slippery mound at Maryvale, but he didn't show much at EXST this year).

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Wasn't Alcantara about Jimenez's age when he signed? I don't remember that signing but his age and time spent in the minors suggest he was about that age, maybe a year older. I suspect a 17 year old won't be fast tracked. Gleyber Torres sounds like he's a bit more advanced at about the same age, but I doubt he'll be challenging for Addison Russell's position at short for the Cubs next year. Boy, this is fun!

"He's always going to be a player who has extremes in his game," Cubs president Theo Epstein said Wednesday on "The Carmen & Jurko Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "Extreme bat speed, extreme raw power, extreme home run output and probably some extreme swings and misses. And extreme strikeout totals to go with it. That said, whenever he gets to a new level he hits a couple of home runs then gets overwhelmed, they find some of his weaknesses and (they) attack them. He never backs down from a challenge, never shirks away from it. He just works harder and adjusts. I think you'll see a lot of that in the big leagues. That's why we called him up now."…

the article then tries to make some weak-ass Adam Dunn comp and to focus on his HR and OBP, but you don't really want to focus on Baez's OBP.

Off-topic, but, as Len and JD are seeming to find their rhythm...I watched the end of the Sox game last night, just for something to do -- wow, is it uncomfortable to listen to Hawk and Stoney. No conversation at all, virtually ignoring each other, with long periods of dead air.

According to wscr's "cub sources" Soler actually has a" printed list" from Manny with points on how to be MLBer and other baseball tips. /Mannyoda

Turner allegedly touched 96 in that first inning, 94-95 mph for the most part...on his 2-seamer.

HR Soler in first at-bat.

423 feet to dead center.

Latos drilled Bryant in AA rehab game after he homered off him, so be prepared Soler.

Soler #1 This shit is not real.

Turner being Turner in 2nd: BB, single, flyout to right advances runner to third, RBI double, RBI groundout and groundout.

David Price has given up 9 straight hits to the Yankees in top of the 3rd...


Hello, question for AZ Phil. What are your thoughts about SS/2B Ho-Young Son? Showing some hit ability and was known for his defense when he signed.

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In reply to by brentcarmona

BRENT: Son is a contact hitter with a line-drive stroke... good bunter... no HR power... has above-average speed and is a good baserunner and base-stealer... athletic but erratic middle-infielder with above-average range and decent arm strength... definitely better at 2B than SS... needs to work on the finer points of infield play...  I think he got promoted to either Daytona or Tennessee on Wednesday, but the transaction hasn't been announced yet...   

Really nice to see Baez come through in that RBI situation despite some erratic homeplate umping and an intimidating power reliever on the mound.

8th inning WOW. Baez gets a shit call on the 1st pitch, keeps his composure and rips a double - punished the ball to the wall and never got more than 8-10 feet off the ground. Starlin hits a 403 foot moon shot off the center field wall and doesn't run. Ends up at first. Will cut him some slack with what he's been through, but he made 3 solid mental errors today. Dang. Valbuena sucks ass with a big run sitting on 3rd and K's with nobody out. Frickin Soler with a beautiful single through the left side to plate Baez, but of course the tying run Castro doesn't score because he was at first instead of 2nd like any other player on the planet would have been. Castillo double play and we fall a run short. Props to Watkins and Coghlan for great at bats to start the inning and incredible base running, especially Coghlin to score from first on Baez's double - he got an AMAZING jump on a line drive over short that would have frozen a lot of runners.

Grimm having a very nice August -- 2ER in 12 innings, only 1 BB. It would be nice if he could develop into a reliable option, so Ramirez/Strop/Rondon don't have to pitch every game the Cubs lead.

That was a fun last AB heat against power - batter represents lead run - caught deep on warning track. Baez is mercurial alright. Last two AB had promise. What a character.

Cubs hire Baseball Prospectus writer Jason Parks (ProfessorParks) as a scout.
Seven-plus years, several hundred articles, and several hundred thousand miles of travel later, I have finally arrived at the professional destination I started traveling toward on that backfield morning, and I am proud to announce that I have been offered and have accepted a scouting position with the Chicago Cubs. Needless to say I’m both humbled and honored to join such a storied franchise, a team rich with tradition and sorrow, one on a special trajectory with special hands now steering the ship. I will be disappearing into the shadows of my dream profession, moving my life and my understanding and supportive wife to the baseball landscape that is Arizona, where I will evaluate talent at the pro, amateur, and international levels at behest of the heads of those respective departments. Basically, this is a dream job that even my dream job couldn’t dream of.

Baez almost took a low slider out of the park. I know he wants to hit those, but to be successful he'll really need to start laying off those because they're reaching the point where they can throw them in the dirt and he swings at them. Those high fastballs, too. I do think it'll come but sometimes he makes me worry. That was a nice double, tho. I liked the Renteria consolation routine. He also almost went deep on Chapman, just got under it a bit and popped out to the wall - that's a pop out when Baez makes contact with a Chapman pitch. Soler sure starts out with his front leg way out - weird, but it works. Fun to watch his swing. My favorite young player from a swing perspective is probably Adam Jones. Soler has a different swing but reminds me of Jones a bit with the smoothness. It'll be nice to get Rizzo back in the lineup. Seeing Valbuena bat fourth is not fun.

Seeing Valbuena bat fourth is not fun. --- Any word on Mike Olt's injury, rehab, possible return this Sept?

"I think because we have so many young players that are going to be cost-controlled over the next several seasons, we have tremendous flexibility built into our roster as it is," Epstein said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. "We'll be able to field a pretty good nucleus with a very low payroll associated with that. "That in of itself -- and some of the savings that we made over the last offseason, for example -- will allow us the flexibility to be very aggressive if the right player or players present themselves to us."…

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In reply to by Charlie

there are more important things to spend the family fortune getting your kid elected to office and strategy sessions for getting the president out of office. then there's all the lobbyists and lawyers so they can put up more signage outside the park. i'm sure the advertising bridge that carries neither cars or people might cost a few dollars. seriously, though...if they are billionaires playing cheap in the 3rd largest market in the nation then they need to check their priorities as far as this fan is concerned.

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In reply to by crunch

I'm not sure I'm getting your point unless you believe that because the Ricketts family are upper '1%rs' that their money should supplement the Cubs payroll budget. The Wrigley family never did that; the Tribune never did that (until the Cubs were up for sale); and if I wanted to take the time to research the other 29 MLB teams, I could probably come up with 5-10 more examples. You're certainly entitled to throw rocks at how Ricketts has budgeted the Cubs and Theo has implemented 'The Plan' for the last 3 years, but I challenge whether anyone else in MLB could take this wreck of franchise in 2011 to the state it is in as 2014 ends and 2015 planning begins. I mean, honestly, their top prospects in 2011 were BJax, Vitters, and McNutt. I'm not drinking the Theo-KoolAid, but I am impressed with legitimate MLB position candidates in their top prospects. If Theo is successful (as he mentioned on WSCR today) in making Schwarber a catcher in AZ Instructs (even 4-5x/wk), their 2016 lineup of Rizzo, Baez, Russell, Bryant, Almora, Soler, and Schwarber should rival anyone for offense and cost-controlled position players. This in turn gives Theo plenty of money to spend on pitching. If you (or anyone) doesn't believe he'll do that (or have enough payroll dollars), then that's another discussion. I started this watch on Theo three years ago with a 'Well, no one else has anything resembling a plan for 100 years except Dallas Green' and now I'm at 'Oh, so that's why they've been cornering the best position prospects they can draft, sign Int'l, or trade for'. I can finally see this team winning 80-85 games in 2015, and probably contending for the playoffs annually beginning in 2016. And I don't think being the pragmatist I am that that's in any way overly optimistic.

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

I think his point is 1. annoyance with the Ricketts' connections to some unfortunate politics- mm, okay, maybe that plays in Omaha, but in Chicago, where the people live, it's looked at as backwards and I share crunch's chagrin with the politics of the Ricketts and it's too bad the Cubs have this connection. And 2. the point about the money- I think I get his point, this is a Chicago team, this isn't sleepy San Diego or Kansas City. Put some money on the field. However, I don't quite agree with crunch on this- first, because I do see them spending- spending on things like rennovations, player development, and draft signings. Also, crunch, you know as well as I do that high priced free agents aren't the answer to the Cubs problems. I'm much more willing to cut the club some slack on the spending side.

[ ]

In reply to by Ryno

the fact the front office is talking about squirreling away money last season that will help out this season when the owners are billionaires, the team is in the 3rd largest US market, and the team has coast-to-coast national appeal is a bit "are you fucking kidding me?" that was the point of that. also, there is nothing that means spending money means "the plan" is thrown out the window. one doesn't negate the other. besides, this front office is being paid good money to be talented enough to find those deep 1st and later round picks along with timely trades that benefit the team rather than trading the entire team away while collecting yearly top 1st round picks. they've got their core of kids, some extra youth trade material, cheap contracts for years, and a tanked let's get on with playing chicago baseball.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

"timely trades that benefit the team rather than trading the entire team away while collecting yearly top 1st round picks" I for one, have been glad to see them trade the entire team. The team consisted of journeymen and other crap players I had no interest in watching. I've been fairly critical of the Ricketts clan myself, but the free agent market is not what it was during the 80s and 90s. The kind of guys that can help turn around ball clubs are simply not available. The only guy I was marginally interested in as a fan last year was Cano, and we know the kind of silly contract he signed. Did you want the Cubs to get that guy instead of start the process of bringing up their stud infielder prospects? If you did, that would be an interesting discussion. You and I have had a very different approach to watching this team as it has gone through this painful (for fans) transition. You've had your eyes glued to the TV, watching every play. I've pretty much just watched when I can, which isn't often. So most of your misery is really your fault, although I am glad you are sacrificing yourself for the cause so I can see your frequent updates. This year I've seen parts of more games than I have the last few years. As they get more interesting, I watch more. It's that simple.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

i have little to no issue with what theo/jed have done, but as far as the "fans, wait until we build our core" thing goes (and the 3 years of tanking to do it) that's done as far as i can tell. they got what they've asked the fans to wait for. beyond that...and what got me interested in this part of the thread...i don't wanna hear about how they're scraping together pennies in the budget from season to season. this is a top large-market team with billionaire owners.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

We have to get over "this is Chicago" bs. Yes, it is and in the long run will prove beneficial for both owner and city. But they came into a situation with an old neglected stadium that can not be modernized without approval from the state, city and neighbors even though owner is using their money. Tell me where else outside North Korea and Cuba does that situation exist. The farm system was in shambles, minimal scout system, and bloated underachieving major league team. But yeah they should have signed Prince Fielder and this would have been all better. It's happening, the team is turning a corner on the field, in the minor leagues and with the stadium. There will be a day you thank God the Ricketts bought this team and the foresight to hire Theo.

[ ]

In reply to by jacos

But this is Chicago!!!!!


might add the fancy TV deals and publicly financed new stadiums that most teams are using to bolster their payrolls these days are not available to the Cubs at the moment.

but yeah, they should totally throw more of their personel wealth into the situation to be a .500 team. Good long-term strategy...

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In reply to by George Altman

the number of owners using their personal fortune to upgrade their sports hobby is somewhere under less than 5%.

I think knowledgeable fans know this, some less than knowledgeable clearly do not. The team has a plan and as Theo said, it is wise to put themselves in a vacuum, isolated from the mouth-breathers.

Fans will be there when they start winning and the winning is coming soon.

I think next year they flirt with .500 for most of the year, I think 2016 and beyond (2017 at the latest), they'll be in pennant races consistently.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

yet pete ricketts has spent about 15+ million running for office (and counting) on a few occasions...the elder ricketts spent 10 million+ (that's known of) in anti-obama attack ads as well as his millions-of-dollars superPAC...and this is just an isolated political example from the ownership group. everyone has "hobbies"...some people invest in one hobby over another. some people can afford to have multiple hobbies, pump whatever they want into it, and it still doesn't effect their quality of life or impose a risk upon their wealth. it's not theo's's not jed's money...they do have to live with what is handed down to them to work with, though.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

One thing I'll give Crunch on the Ricketts front is that had they not taken a fast food franchise approach to running the team, they probably would have avoided Tarpgate. The cutting of the hours of the grounds crew to avoid Obamacare is a pretty ghastly way to run a business. I'm not a big fan of the Ricketts. I'm a pretty good fan of Theo - but I'm not convinced that Theo is still not facing considerable financial constraints. This is a very heavily leveraged team thanks to the way the finances were structured in the Zell deal. Zell is the gift who keeps on giving, and the grounds crew thing reveals a morbid fascination with treating people badly in order to save a few dollars. Only time will tell if Theo actually gets the money he needs to finish the job. He does tend to keep moving the goal posts on that timeline, and I'm pretty sure in his last interview he said something like being able to spend money on pitching in the next 18-24 months, which is a ways a way. That said, I'm not a big fan of modern free agency, anyway. Especially pitching. If Theo can pull off building this team from the ground up with few to no free agents, all the power to him. This decision to build around position talent, instead of building it around young pitching like the Giants did during their youth movement, is a gutsy one, and I really like it a lot. So overall I'm a big optimist, but when it comes to Ricketts, I think they're kind of dicks. But if I stopped watching teams because I didn't like the owners, I'd never watch a Bulls game, I'd have blacked out my TV on the Bears years ago, etc. etc.

I really hope Ricky takes this opportunity to have tough talk with Castro about admiring base hits. Put your dMn head down and run. An while he's at it, he can have the same conversation with Rizzo- I've seen him admiring his home runs, too. Frustrating.

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In reply to by Ryno

Agreed. Castro may have cost us the game, not that it mattered. His look was so weird long frozen when he hit it that I thought it was foul. I also think Hamilton faked out Baez pretty good. Those two characters (Castro, Baez) might drive us nuts when the games matter.

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In reply to by Carlito

I also think Hamilton faked out Baez pretty good. Those two characters . . . Wait a minute. Baez had to tag from second if the ball was caught. Did Castro have to stay close to home for some reason? And Castro was the tying run. You'll have to cite an instance of Baez not having his head in the game before you sic Bobby Valentine on him. Swinging at bad pitches doesn't count. There's a lot of guesswork in hitting, but not so much in knowing whether to hustle.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

Not trying to be unfair to Baez, in real time I thought that Hamilton made it look like he had a chance to catch it which in turn made Baez stay close to second base in case of tag up. Watching the replay just now my interpretation looks iffy. When I watched it live it looked like when Hamilton faced the infield it have the impression he had a chance when he ultimately did not. As far as my judgement of Baez on the base paths it may have been unfair. Apologies. But I was more referring to each of them kind of being live wires and slightly unpredictable at times. Including at the plate. Unique dudes.

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In reply to by Carlito

Actually, if anything, I'd say that if Baez was higher up the food chain he'd have given Castro a few words about watching that hit. If he is a successful player, I think he'll be the kind that will give players shit for that kind of move. He can't now, obviously. I base that a lot on some of what AZ Phil said about Baez when he saw him play, and also his demeanor on the field.

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In reply to by Ryno

“The best thing we can do is set it aside (the outside noise). As much as we care about our fans and how they feel and what they think, we really need to set (their noise) aside when it comes to our decision-making process and create a vacuum. We just assume the fans will be happy if we’re playing baseball in October just about every October … So we focus all our energies into trying to make that happen.”

Still, Epstein is a realist. He acknowledged the Cubs won’t get every perfect piece they want at the right time when it comes to making a splash in free agency one of these seasons. At some point, Chicago must take a gamble of sorts — one that’s likely to come in the next 18 months as the Cubs look to acquire more pitching talent.

“We’re going to make moves at some point that are sort of exceptions that you have to swallow hard and look away and just do them,” Epstein said. “Because baseball’s not a free market place. You can’t find players the right age all the time. You can’t find players on the right contracts all the time.”

Epstein somewhere else mentioned that the 2016 potential FA pitching class might be more appealing...Price, Samardzija, J. Zimmermann, Porcello, I. Kennedy, Latos, Gallardo, Fister, Cueto, Iwakuma. Obviously many will not make it to free agency.

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In reply to by Rob G.

I'm impressed with how Theo put this thing together. In hindsight, it's a simple formula- for the past two years, he would pick up cheap free agent guys who he knew would be useful to a team in a pennant race, not because they were particularly useful to the Cubs (I'm talking Bonifacio, for instance) and then, mid-year trade them for a prospect or two.

WTF Jake?? Another reminder why baseball is the riskiest sports ticket -- Arrietta vs. Axelrod, with the Reds playing terribly -- and Jake rolls out a stinker while the Cubs bats sleep. Yuck.

Daytona won last night and appear to have fought off a strong challenge from the Tampa Yankees, who had won six in a row before blowing a 9th-inning lead last night and falling 9-7 in 11. The Cubs now lead Tampa by three games with three to play in their bid for the playoffs. The Yankees actually have four games left. I guess that's life in the rainy FSL. In any event, the Tampa website says they have to win all four games to advance to the playoffs. Three are in Daytona. So if Boise can hang on to their two-game lead over Salem-Keiser through Monday, we should have three teams in the playoffs next week. Tennessee I'm not counting on.

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

A scout goes out to find prospects and then reports back to the Scouting Director on which prospects show enough ability for another set of eyes. The cross-checker is that second set of eyes. He gives another perspective, a second reference, to the Scouting Director. A cross-checker is a step-up from a scout.

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In reply to by crunch

Former Cubs Player Development Director Oneri Fleita used to yell at Cubs minor leaguers from the Tower at Fitch Park (with a few choice "f-bombs" thrown in), but I don't recall ever hearing a scout yell at a player from the stands. In fact, scouts are usually exceptionally quiet and unassuming.

Perhaps the cross-checker enjoyed a libation or three prior to the game.

g.torres (BOI) goes 4-5 (3 singles, triple) t.ihrig had another good, yet unspectacular start for kane county (6ip 5h 2bb 3k, 1r/er). it'll be interesting to see him in AA next year (though he'll probably start in A+ and have to earn his way to AA).

Let’s start with the strikeouts. Baez has fanned 43 times in his first 99 plate appearances, a 43.4 percent clip. No other player with as many PAs in 2014 has topped 40 percent (although, as most Cubs fans could tell you, Mike Olt has come close). According to data from Baseball Prospectus, if Baez strikes out in his next trip to the plate, he’ll set a record for the most K’s in the first 100 plate appearances of a nonpitcher’s career since at least 1960. If he doesn’t strike out, he’ll merely tie for first on the list, with Russell Branyan and (brace yourself, Cubs fans, because this is cruel) Brett Jackson.

...However, we have to acknowledge that the rising leaguewide K rate has spoiled strikeout-related fun facts forever, or at least required that we keep some caveats in mind. The average strikeout rate in the majors this season is 20.3 percent, the highest it’s ever been. If Baez strikes out in his next at-bat, his rate will rise to roughly 217 percent of the league average. If we calculate strikeout rate relative to MLB average — K%+ — for every player on the “first hundred PAs” list, Baez is no longer near the top. In fact, he falls just outside the top 50,…

"The Cubs plan to use a six-man rotation in the month of September, with Felix Doubront remaining after his spot start on Saturday." also, ruggs is done for the year after having left ankle surgery.

Justin Ruggiano will miss the remainder of the 2014 season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle.

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In reply to by waveland

That was a nice at bat. And Baez said it was his best at bat of the year. Not any of this homers, that one. So it shows he knows he needs to work on the swings and misses. I don't think his slider was working well at all last night, though, or it may have been a different outcome. He did try to make Baez fish - I think it was on the 1-2 count, and Baez laid off. Nice at bat and if we start seeing more of them this year things are gonna really look up.

That reminded me of that old cartoon where the ball is screaming as it flies out of the yard. Good god.

Rizzo must be like - um - get me back on the field. Cubs fans we might be having a fun decade or so of baseball starting to peek around the corner.

The pitcher's immediate reaction to Soler's 2nd HR is somehow indescribably funny to me ... He didn't know how to react and just kinda puffed out his chest and walked toward home plate. Priceless.

Damn it Take the wife to a chick flick tonite and I miss the second coming

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In reply to by jacos

MLB.TV. I think I replayed that home run 20 times, out of pure shock and awe. And if you have Amazon Prime and their Kindle.TV, rewinding is much easier than on most apps. Picture quality is pretty good, too. Finally I can see the Cubbies on my big screen. I tried Chromecasting MLB.TV but the thing stalled most of the time.

Was it just me, or did it seem last night that Baez was talking to Castro about not looking at the pitching coach when he was trying to leg out a triple. The way Baez was motioning his hands around in the dugout and talking to Castro right afterwards. He was clearly not chewing him out, just looked like he was probably saying something like, "maybe it would have been better to not run while looking over your shoulder?" I can see those two helping each other out, unless Starlin gets traded for helping to promote Cubbery.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

I saw that and I thought of your comments about Baez / Castro. It was impressive because he looked like what you said - a very balanced discussion. Also you and Virginia Phil and others are right I think: I saw a determination and awareness in Baez last night that was very impressive and NOT flakey. Even sprinting to first base on a 'sure out' - a lot of awareness.

Why the EFF is Soler out of the lineup???? Doubleheader or no. Sheesh...better rest him after 3 games?

Soler on "game count" according to Gordon Wittenmeyer to monitor his hamstring this season Rizzo will be back for home stand.

doub isn't getting punished for it through 4ip, but he's throwing a lot of crap today. also, it's kinda crazy to watch baez swing (and badly miss) on stuff s.sosa or cpat wouldn't even swing at. there isn't a low pitch he won't offer at no matter how far outside the zone...crazy.

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In reply to by crunch

Batting Javy #2 makes sense if the goal is to get him ABs and see a lot of pitches -- but the theory that he was going to see a lot of fastballs hitting #2 always seemed flawed to me -- once it was established he would chase virtually every slider, why would anyone throw him fastballs, no matter where he hits in the order? Also, in classic Cub fashion, they basically told everyone that they were batting him #2 so he would see fastballs -- pitching coaches are not stupid.

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In reply to by billybucks

BILLY B: Exactly.

The only value batting in front of Rizzo is if the hitter has a good eye and doesn't swing at pitches out of the strike zone. Then he will see mostly fastballs. So (eventually) Addison Russell and Jorge Soler would be the two hitters among the "Fab Five" you would most want to hit in front of Rizzo (and Bryant).   

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In reply to by billybucks

the idea of lineup protection has been debunked so many times it's not worth finding the links. The players don't even believe it (look up Joey Votto thoughts). Or check Miguel Cabrera's numbers before and after Prince Fielder. About the only time a pitcher will attack a hitter in a different way is if a really fast runner is on first base, then you'll likely  see a few more fastballs. And of course most of those guys don't get on enough, but by all means if you can get an Ellsbury or a Henderson in their prime, Cubs should go for it.

I just thought I'd point out that Soler has a 0.6 WAR in only his first 3 games, according to Fangraphs. (Just imagine if we extrapolated that over 162 games!!!!1!!! Clearly he'll be worth 32.4 WAR next season. Barring injury, of course.)

20 pitches in and rosscup far from has gamer stuff tonight...and no one up in the pen...with the bases loaded and 0 outs.

soler sits (legs) Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Alcantara CF, Watkins RF, Valaika 1B, Baker C, Wood P

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    unreal.  be crazy to see where this goes in a month or 2....unless it gets too crazy to ignore at the mlb level.

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    And another solo shot in the third. He’s not hitting cheapies either. Definitely capturing my attention at this point.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    He is on a serious heater right now 

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Brennan Davis two out first inning grand salami for Iowa.

  • crunch (view)


    walkoff win!  morel has been involved in at least 4 walk-off wins this year by my count.

    his bWAR is tied for next to last on the team (-0.1)...just saying.

  • crunch (view)

    ha.  the mccutchen AB where he almost homered in the 6th (foul) got me thinking about the mccutchen/furries thing.

    it's a coincidence, but mccutchen does VERY well at the plate when pittsburgh's annual furry convention (Anthrocon) is in town and there's a home game.  all 4 days of the convention will be home games for PIT.

    be on the lookout for mccutchen's twitter account to simply post "Furries" during the week of the convention.

    he's aware of the coincidence and plays into it.

    baseball is weird.  social media is weird.  furries are also weird, but whatever...ya'll do ya'll.…

  • crunch (view)

    i love that wrigley is packed, but you can tell a lot of these fans are new(ish) to in-person baseball.

    pop outs that don't even reach the warning track are getting huge fan pops as possible homers.

    that said, it's good there's so much fresh eyes on the field product.  the game needs a constant influx of newer fans.

    i noticed a lot of 20-somethings really getting into baseball during the covid era.  they also really got into baseball cards, but that's another side show in itself.  the baseball card boom died down a bit, but the interest in baseball overall seems to have stuck around.

  • crunch (view)

    "The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports the Mets offered first baseman Pete Alonso a seven-year, $158 million contract extension last summer."

    22.5m a year.  on one hand, no way his agent would sign that.  on the other hand, the mets obviously see some warning signs long-term...most likey his lack of body conditioning.  he's got a very pre-roids era slugger build.

  • crunch (view)

    "we gave a manager 8m dollars a year." - jed

    "lol, patrick wisdom gonna lead off." - counsell

  • crunch (view)

    imanaga walking the leadoff man on 5 pitches.  really rare for a dude that hates to walk anyone in any situation.