Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 08/15/11

Tennessee and Daytona each guaranteed a winning season, as both teams collected their 70th win as part of a system sweep on Friday. The minor league organization was a collective 11-7 to end the week. Great pitching performances from Eric Jokisch, Frank Del Valle, Matt Loosen, Casey Harman, Dae-Eun Rhee, Ryan Searle, and Casey Coleman were the highlights, as well as Josh Vitters emerging as a clutch performer.

All of that, and more, in this edition of the CCO’s Down on the Farm Report.

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (26-30)
Boise relied on veteran leadership to bounce back from a two-run deficit to defeat Eugene 4-2 on Wednesday. Dustin Harrington was 3-for-4 with a double and two driven in on the evening. Wilson Contreras and Pin-Chieh Chen were each 2-for-4 with a double, with Chen adding an RBI and his 15th stolen base. Wes Darvill also had a steal, while Brad Zapenas picked up the Hawks’ other RBI.

Juan Rosario had a good outing in his third start, going five innings and allowing two earned runs while striking out five batters. Lefty newcomer Sheldon McDonald blanked the Emeralds for two innings, while Dustin Fitzgerald added a scoreless inning. Bryce Shafer had a perfect ninth to pick up his ninth save.

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On Thursday, the Hawks should have asked for the slaughter rule as they were drilled by Eugene 17-6. Austin Reed was the first victim, giving up seven runs (five earned) in two innings. Colin Richardson followed and coughed up another five earned runs in two innings. Su-Min Jung had a little more hard luck than the others, letting in five runs, but only two earned, in three innings of work. Charles Thomas mercifully ended the game with two scoreless innings. Boise tried to make a game of it, but they were too far in the hole. Paul Hoilman was 3-for-5 with a double and his league-leading 12th home run. Reggie Golden and Oliver Zapata were each 2-for-5 with and an RBI, with Golden hitting a double.

Boise shrugged off Thursday’s loss by exploding for six runs in the first two innings on Friday, and then hanging on to a 7-5 victory over Eugene. Boise hitters were able to collect eight walks, as Zeke DeVoss led the attack by going 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and his 10th stolen base. Wilson Contreras was 2-for-4 with a double.

Willengton Cruz struggled for the Hawks, allowing four earned runs in two innings. Juan Sandoval didn’t fare much better, giving up a run in 3.1 innings. Joe Zeller stopped the Emeralds by blanking them for 2.2 innings, earning the victory. Bryce Shafer struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

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Down 6-3 to Eugene in the bottom of the fifth inning on Saturday, Boise stepped on the gas and didn’t let up until they came away with a 15-8 victory. Paul Hoilman continues to dominate the Northwest League’s power categories, adding to his home run lead with his 13th while being tied for the league lead with his 23rd extra base hit. Hoilman is also third in RBI with 38. Wilson Contreras was 3-for-4 with four runs driven in, while Oliver Zapata and Blair Springfield were each 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. Wes Darvill also got himself back on track a little by going 2-for-5 and an RBI.

Starter Ben Wells must have thought he would be the victim of poor defense again, as his own errant throw was one of six errors that helped lead to five runs (three earned) in four innings. Wells struck out six and was replaced by Kyler Burke, who also experienced shoddy fielding as he allowed three runs (two earned) in two innings. Dustin Fitzgerald slammed the door, shutting out the Emeralds over three innings, striking out three for his second save.

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Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (53-65)
Peoria ran into a buzz-saw on Wednesday, facing the Midwest League’s leader in ERA in Kane County’s Greg Billo, as they dropped a 6-0 loss to the Cougars. Starter Austin Kirk couldn’t match Billo, and was rung up for 10 hits and five runs (four earned) in 4.2 innings. Alvaro Sosa uncorked two wild pitches, allowing Kane County to score an earned run in his 2.1 innings. Pete Levitt came on in the ninth and was throwing gas, with a strikeout in a scoreless inning of work. The offense couldn’t get string together any hits, as singles by Arismendy Alcantara and Dustin Geiger mounted a threat in the seventh, but the Chiefs weren’t able to touch the dish.

After losing an early lead, Peoria came up with three runs in the 11th inning to top Kane County 9-6 on Thursday. Anthony Giansanti (2-for-6) doubled in Rubi Silva (2-for-6, double) and Richard Jones (3-for-5, double, home run, three RBI) for the go-ahead runs. Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-6, two RBI) singled in Giansanti for insurance. Smaily Borges was 2-for-6 with a run driven in, while Ben Klafczynski was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Starling Peralta toed the bump for the Chiefs, and gave up six runs (five earned) in his 4.2 innings. Ramon Garcia came on to stop the bleeding, and remained unscored upon as he struck out three in his 3.1 innings. Yohan Gonzalez kept the Cougars at bay for another two innings, and Dan Berlind pitched a perfect 11th for his fourth save.

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Eric Jokisch powered the Chiefs with his ninth victory, as Peoria took out the Kane County Cougars 7-2 on Friday. Jokish went 5.2 innings and struck out eight as he allowed two earned runs. Roderik Pichardo followed with 2.1 scoreless innings. P.J. Francescon was on top of his game, as he blanked the Cougars for 1.1 innings to pick up his second save.

Manager Casey Kopitzke put Arismendy Alcantara in the sixth spot, and he produced in a big way going 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run, and three RBI. Anthony Giansanti also had a big night, hitting his 11th home run while going 3-for-5 at the plate. Rubi Silva, Sergio Burruel, and Jesus Morelli joined the hit parade … each player collected two hits.

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Peoria was nursing a 1-0 lead going into the eighth inning on Saturday, only to give up three runs over the next three innings to lose to Clinton 3-1 in ten innings. Frank Del Valle baffled the LumberKings over six innings, allowing two hits while striking out five over six scoreless innings. Luis Liria was probably left in one inning too long, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out five in four innings. Rafael Valdes was 2-for-4, while Rubi Silva went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

High Class-A Daytona Cubs – (71-47)
Weather postponed games on Tuesday and Wednesday, with one game ending up being cancelled. Thursday brought a doubleheader with Lakeland. Game one saw a continuation of “The Angel Guzman Factor“, with Jeffrey Lorick its latest victim as Daytona lost 6-0. Guzman started and pitched two scoreless innings, then yielded to Lorick. The lefty allowed all six earned runs in the final four innings. The D-Cubs’ offense couldn’t mount an attack, as they strung out five hits. The only offensive highlight was Logan Watkins’ 16th stolen base.

In game two, Daytona held Lakeland to three hits as they shut out the Flying Tigers 4-0. Matt Loosen struck out eight and spaced out two hits. Frank Batista pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Evan Crawford got back into the groove, as he was 3-for-4 with a double, while Chad Noble was 2-for-3. Greg Rohan continues to put up big numbers, as he was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.

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The two runs Daytona scored in the third innings held up, as the D-Cubs reached their 70th victory with a 2-1 win over Clearwater on Friday. Casey Harman continues to throw well in the starting role, going six innings with only one earned run while striking out four batters. Eduardo Figueroa also continues to be a rock in the bullpen, tossing two scoreless innings. Frank Batista set down the Threshers in order, with two strikeouts, in the ninth for his 23rd save.

If Daytona is scoring, then Greg Rohan is usually involved, as the big right-hander was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Leading hitter Evan Crawford contributed an RBI single.

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Battling weather conditions on Saturday, Daytona put four on the board early then hung on for a 4-3 win over Clearwater. Dae-Eun Rhee had his good stuff going, striking out six while allowing two runs (none earned) in six innings. Aaron Kurcz continued to baffle the Threshers, striking out four in 1.2 innings. Kyle Smit allowed an earned run in his 1.1 innings, but picked up his second save.

Evan Crawford was almost a one-man gang, going 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer. He had a little help from Matt Cerda, who was 2-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. Justin Bour was also 2-for-4 with a double.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies – (70-49)
On Wednesday, starter Brooks Raley wound up on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel, as Tennessee stumbled to Jacksonville 3-1. Raley went seven innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out five batters. Jeff Stevens followed with two innings of one-run ball. The Smokies’ only run was provided by Blake Lalli’s (2-for-3) ninth home run.

In a seesaw affair on Thursday, Tennessee made good use of having “last raps” as the edged past Jacksonville 8-7. Marco Carrillo took the hill for the Smokies and went six innings, allowing four earned runs while striking out six batters. Brent Ebinger then served up three earned runs in an inning to allow the Suns to take the lead. Jeffrey Beliveau then blanked Jacksonville for an inning, and the Smokies survived a wild ninth by closer Rafael Dolis, who walked three but allowed none to reach home.

Tennessee fans may begin to call him “Mr. Clutch“, as Josh Vitters (2-for-5) singled in Ty Wright (2-for-4) in the bottom of the ninth for the game winner. Vitters also had an RBI single in the seventh inning to help tie the score, while Wright hit a solo homer in the fifth inning. James Adduci and Junior Lake where each also 2-for-4, and Blake Lalli was 2-for-3 with a double.

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For the team’s 70th victory on Friday, Tennessee won in a very un-Smokie-like fashion. Tennessee coaxed six walks and took advantage of two Jacksonville errors in defeating the Suns 5-4, while getting only three hits. Ty Wright was the big stick again for Tennessee, going 1-for-1 with two walks, two RBI, and his sixth home run. Josh Vitters took sole possession of second place in team RBI with his 64th.

Ryan Searle had his longest outing of the season, going seven innings and striking out four while allowing three earned runs. Marcus Hatley picked up his second victory, giving up one earned run in one inning. Rafael Dolis recorded his 13th save in a 1-2-3 ninth.

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The Tennessee offense is sputtering again, as they were only able to manage four hits on Saturday in a 3-0 loss to Jacksonville. Starter Trey McNutt pitched well enough, striking out six while allowing three earned runs in six innings, but just didn’t get the run support. Oswaldo Martinez and Kevin Rhoderick blotted out the Suns the rest of the way. No extra base hits for the Smokies, with Ty Wright, Rebel Ridling, Steve Clevenger, and Junior Lake collecting hits.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (55-66)
With an off day on Thursday, Iowa took advantage of the rest to pound Tacoma for 15 hits in a 9-3 victory on Friday. Brett Jackson (1-for-5, three RBI) started the I-Cubs off right by slugging his eighth home run to leadoff the game. Luis Montanez (2-for-6) followed by going deep with a two-run shot in the second inning. Ryan Flaherty was the hot bat for Iowa, as he was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Brad Snyder was 3-for-6 with an RBI, while Marwin Gonzalez and Chris Robinson each collected two hits.

Casey Coleman improved his record to 5-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.65 with five scoreless innings, striking out five batters. Robert Coello continued the scoreless streak, also striking out five in his two innings. Justin Berg gave up Iowa’s only runs, allowing three earned in his inning of work. John Gaub got the final three outs, striking out two batters.

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The I-Cubs couldn’t overcome a bout of wildness from starter Alberto Cabrera on Saturday, as Iowa lost to Tacoma 8-3. Cabrera walked three and gave up four hits in allowing five earned runs in two innings of work. Carlton Smith had his second poor outing since coming over in a trade, letting in three earned runs over four innings. Blake Parker and Scott Maine stemmed the tide the rest of the way. Ryan Flaherty started the scoring for Iowa by drilling his third homer, while Bryan LaHair added his 31st big fly. Matt Spencer collected his second RBI since being called to Des Moines.

News and Notes
Iowa RHP Dave Bush declared free agency. Iowa activated IF Marquez Smith and C Welington Castillo from the 7-Day disabled list. Tennessee activated RHP Marcus Hatley from the 7-Day disabled list. Infielder Jonathan Mota and C Steve Clevenger were assigned to Tennessee from Iowa. Tennessee placed C Luis Flores on the restricted list (50-game suspension). Left-handed pitcher Brent Ebinger was assigned to Daytona from Tennessee. First baseman Ryan Cuneo was assigned to Boise. Left-handed pitcher Sheldon McDonald was assigned to Boise from the AZL Cubs. Left-handed pitcher Cameron Greathouse was assigned to the AZL Cubs from Boise.

Top Prospect Watch

  • Michael Burgess (OF) – .221, .321 OBP, .731 OPS, 21 Doubles, Triple, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 9 Outfield Assists (Daytona Cubs)
  • Chris Carpenter (RHP) – 2-3, 6.28 ERA, 28.2 IP, 20 ER, 28 K, 22 BB, 1.85 WHIP 3 Holds, Save (Iowa Cubs)
  • Micah Gibbs (C) – .245, .362 OBP, .665 OPS, 10 Doubles, Triple, HR, 20 RBI, Stolen Base, 25% Caught Stealing (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Reggie Golden (OF) – .253, .350 OBP, .750 OPS, 9 Doubles, 5 Triples, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 5 Stolen Bases, 5 Outfield Assists (Boise Hawks)
  • Jae-Hoon Ha (OF) – .281, .315 OBP, .740 OPS, 14 Doubles, Triple, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 4 Stolen Bases, 2 Outfield Assists (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Brett Jackson (OF) – .303, .394 OBP, .999 OPS, 7 Doubles, Triple, 8 HR, 17 RBI, 4 Stolen Bases, 5 Outfield Assists (Iowa Cubs)
  • D.J. LeMahieu (IF) -.262, .296 OBP, .611 OPS, 5 Doubles, HR, 12 RBI, 4 Stolen Bases (Iowa Cubs)
  • Trey McNutt (RHP) – 2-5, 4.75 ERA, 72.0 IP, 38 ER, 51 K, 27 BB, 1.65 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Hayden Simpson (RHP) – 0-2, 8.56 ERA, 13.2 IP, 13 ER, 10 K, 9 BB 2.12 WHIP (AZL Cubs)
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .237, .269 OBP, .646 OPS, 6 Doubles, 2 Triples, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 Stolen Bases, 2 Outfield Assists (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) -.282, .316 OBP, .766 OPS, 24 Doubles, 2 Triples, 12 HR, 64 RBI, 4 Stolen Bases (Tennessee Smokies)

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Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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  • bpot92

    So Hoilman seems to have hit the ground running. Does anyone have his line other than his power categories (avg, obp, slugging, walks vs. k ratio, etc)

    • Tom U

      The line on Hoilman:

      .262/.403/.524/10 doubles/ 13 HR/ 38 RBI/ 41 BB/78 K/2 SB/4 E

      Hoilman has only played 1B or DH.

    • http://twitter.com/JamesDaBear James L. Crockett

      FanGraphs does

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5sy63IaFuM  2010 Paul Hoilman College Home Run Derby! This guy is one big dude.

  • Redlarczykg

    Tom,

    You forgot to mention that today is the last day for signing 2011 drafted players.  Cubs have only sign 3 of their top 10.  How is that building from within?

    On another issue, the Cubs are very weak on power arms for future starters. Jeff Samardzija, I beileve should be streached out and given to chance for the rest of 2011 to see if he could cut it now as a starter.  What do they have to lose?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      They have a couple maybe as many as 6 draft contracts that are signed at the Commissioners Office waiting for MLB to allow them to announce the signings because of slot money. We will know more today as these contracts start trickling out with league approval today. Callis for Baseball America stated that he thinks both the Cubs and the Jays will come close to beating the all time record for money spent. We will have to wait and see.

    • Tom U

      Thanks for pointing that out, however, I’m not as well schooled on the draft as some of the other posters, namely Aaron and Cubtex (now THERE’S an odd couple!). 

      I plan to work on that part of my game, so I’ rather let others who know more provide the information than to try and pretend that I know.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Hoilman has walked a ton but 78 strikeouts in 187 AB is a huge concern especially coming in Boise. In his jr. year he hit .420 something with 25 hr and was drafted in the 49th round by the Rays. So obviously he has a hole in his swing otherwise he would have been drafted much higher with his amount of power.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Baseball America: Bonus for Cubs 25th-rounder Rock Shoulders was $294k.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LHP Eric Jokisch promoted to AA Tennessee

    Chiefs activated Robinson Lopez from DL

  • paulcatanese

    God synopsis Tom, and the Cubs are going to need these guys, only if they are played at the Major League level and at this point have not been. Qua has seen to that.
    Qua came to the Cubs based on his record of last fall, and he did win, or rather the vets as usual in the second half of the season produced.
    This year no real changes were made and again players who were brought up were really not given the opportunity to show what they could or could not do. The vets held the upper hand with the beginning of the season.
    The absence of any hitting at all from Aram, Pena, Soto, Byrd proved to be part of the downfall along with mis management of the pitching staff.
    Now they are hot and winning some games. But how long will it last?
    Qua is doing wonders with the relief core here. How many games must Marmol pitch in a week before his arm falls off. The same is true for the Shark and Marshall.
    Qua must think their is an unlimited supply out there. Wood is used sparingly and Lopez, what is his role? Starter, or reliever? Bring in Ortiz and Grabow, wow.
    The Cubs cannot go on the way they are, and will soon self destruct.
    They do have people in the minors who could help, but wont be allowed to, as Qua will not play them anyway.
    Unfortunatly the only option that is here for the youngsters is to be traded to an orginization that believes in youth, and agives the Cubs worn out free agents in return.
    I cant get too excited over recent signings as I can guess wht the future holds for them, develop and be traded. For as long as present management is here this is the easiest thing they know how to do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I beg to differ on a couple points Paul.

      1. “This year no real changes were made and again players who were brought
      up were really not given the opportunity to show what they could or
      could not do.”- @4593dbdf82aec1823f3480ca6c76370f:disqus
       2 names for you Barney (who everyone thought was at most going to make the team as a back up), And Samardja everyone thought was going to be horrible had a terrible spring and just looked over matched but he got better in a hurry once the games counted. So now a half season in you think that he is a grizzled vet and was given a shot over someone more deserving ? That is not even mentioning Russell who is dang good at being  a LOOGY or Cashner. So yes the Cubs have let the kids that perform play this year just not everyone that sees the roster.

      2. ” Unfortunatly the only option that is here for the youngsters is to be
      traded to an orginization that believes in youth, and agives the Cubs
      worn out free agents in return.”

      Most teams do not just turn over there whole roster to rookies and young players and the ones that do are HORRIBLE. Not bad all time bad. Most good teams like say Boston and Phillie when they rebuild bring up 2 or 3 guys each year and flush out the old as they go. They do not hit the panic button and jettison the whole roster because they understand that the damage done to young kid could kill their careers. Again I will point out the Detriot Tigers and the fact that there is now only one person on that team that is currently on a MLB roster. So why don’t you go ask Pena about what a really bad idea it is to turn over a whole team to rookies and young players.

      Also the way to upgrade our core is the exact way you are talking about. You trade your depth from your system to get a guy that is a year or 2 years from Free Agency. That is the quickest way to get superstar/allstar talent. So say we trade DJ or Flahtery to get some better pitching that is close to the end of Arbitration I say good deal. Guys like Matt Garza are needed to build up this club quicker than waiting on guys like Trey McNutt or Archer to finally get it.

      • cubtex

        Agreed 100%. You win with starting pitching….something the Cubs are severely lacking. Look what the Brewers did last offseason….the aquired Greinke and Marcum thru trades. The Cubs have middle infield depth and catching depth in the minors. I wouldn’t have a problem trading from a strength to aquire starting pitching. The only players to bring back anything from the Cubs are Marmol,Marshall and Soto. Castro in untouchable. With this years draft class,they can move the LeMahieus,Vitters,Flaherty,Jay Jackson. None of those 4 are ready to be everyday players next year so if you can aquire a solid #3….do it! IMO….they need 2 starting arms for next year and just like the Brewers this year…they can be back in it next year.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          I still think that we need to keep a hold of Vitters because he is young and he seems to improve the 2nd year though every level. which means next year will be his first at Triple A at 22. That is still VERY VERY young to be at Triple A. Unless he just doesn’t get it and  has to be moved back down he will be up in late 2013 or 2014 at 24/25. Think of Ryan Howards path. I think that is what we are looking at with him. Is he the Answer at 3rd? I don’t know anyone that at 21 is the answer anywhere other than the select few that move up real quick.

          The only way I would think of moving either Vitters or McNut at this piont is for a number 1 starting pitcher. There upside is still just too huge to think about moving for anything less.

          • cubtex

            I am a fan of Vitters if you have read my posts but he also has more value than LeMahieu and Flaherty. Will Flaherty a 25 year old utility player bring back a decent starting pitcher? Will LeMahieu with his 6 extra base hits in 163 PA? You need to give up value to get value. With the rumors flying around on how the Cubs are breaking the bank to sign Vogekbach,Maples,etc…you can trade some of the surplus.

          • Tom U

            Vitters still needs a lot of work on his defense.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

            I agree with that but he is so young for the level he is at. Castro spoiled us. We expect every kid to just get it, be major league in at least one aspect of his game and just jet through the system that is not reality. I do not know if his future is as a corner outfielder or 1st or 3rd but he is a future major leaguer. I just hope that the Cubs don’t give up on him before his promise and potential starts to come of age.

        • cc002600

          I agree with you, but none of those guys (DJ, Vitters, Flaherty, Jackson) have that much value.  You may be able to get a middle of the road starter for some of these guys, but nothing more.  None of these guys project to be stars, so why would anyone give you one back, who is already proven ?

          Too many people on here tend to overrate our players in what they can fetch in trade market. Remember what I told you about Fukudome ?  Completely worthless player with ZERO value.  I think you saw that in terms of what we got.

          Don’t confuse quantity with quality. 

          • cubtex

            Of course you would have to package those players with other pieces. We don’t have a Brett Lawrie. Remember, I was all for the Garza deal. I am for trading prospects for proven major league talent as long as you don’t trade a 100% guaranteed star in your system like Bryce Harper.

          • Tom U

            I agree cc002600 that the system doesn’t have the jaw-dropping type of prospects that blockbuster trades are built around, yet. However, all the players you mentioned, I feel, will turn out to be very good players. 

      • paulcatanese

        Like the response Richard,Barney was the only rookie to male it this year and I thought he would, right from the beginning, Then again he may not have if DeWitt had a good spring training. That aside, I totaly agree they need pitching in a bad way. But how do they get it without trades and where do those people come from?
        I honestly dont know what imput Pena would have except he did not get it going for quite a while and he and the others the same, when it was too late to salvage any kind of season.
        Their was no panic button pushed by the Cubs, they were set in their ways and still played the vets, until they started to get it. They still dont get it, if they continue down the same path, I still cant see where they will be a force this year, next year and maybe the one after that. I would rather they dealt primarily with their own minor league system instead of free agents for a lot of money
        At least they would have an idea what they have.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jon Heyman: Alfonso Soriano has cleared waivers. #cubs willing to pay a major, major chunk of $50M-plus left. hes really a dh now

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Scott Maine on his way back … at least until Wednesday

  • Demitri

    A lot of people think Ryan Flaherty will help the big league club. What do you think about that Tom?

    • Redlarczykg

      Flaherty may help some day, but he struggling at AAA Iowa hitting only .213 with 102 AB and 2 HR

      • Demitri

        Thanks. I know he recently got promoted so we just got to give him some time

    • Tom U

      I don’t think that Flaherty is ready at this point, but if he continues to work hard at Iowa and maybe in the winter leagues, he can follow in the footsteps of Tyler Colvin and Darwin Barney and have an eye-opening spring training.

      By the way, only Brett Jackson and DJ LeMahieu are ready for the show right now. Josh Vitters has matured a great deal and is quietly putting together a very good season in Tennessee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    Wow Zych signed that is unexpected.

    • cubtex

      A Louisville blog was reporting that he was going to sign over a week ago so I thought he would.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        I really didn’t expect him to sign because Louisville is such a good team right now.

        • cubtex

          He is a Chicago kid. To me it is not worth the risk being a hardthrowing pitcher to pass up 400K and return to school and risk blowing out your arm. It was wise of him to sign. Imo

          • cubtex

            I say this because he has a violent delivery if you have seen video on Zych.

          • paulcatanese

            Ought to be interesting if he and Marmol could be together in the bullpen.

          • cubtex

            I hope they trade Marmol before Zych makes it to the show Paul. I would like to see them try and move Marmol this offseason.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree,while they can get something. He was used what 3 out of the last 4 days in a row, or maybe it was 4-5 cant remember but a lot. I worry he may have problems.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Baseball America: Cubs sign 4th-rder Tony Zych for $400k. Louisville RHP has big arm (94-97 to 99), possible closer if he refines his slider

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.