Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 08/22/11

It’s a brand new day for the Cubs’ Farm System. Here’s hoping for sunny skies ahead.
The system’s teams responded by going a collective 12-7 over the past weekend, buoyed by Tennessee’s five-game winning streak. Iowa has also won four out of its past five games, while Peoria and Boise each posted a 2-2 record. Brett Jackson continues to be on fire in Iowa, while Matt Spencer, Rebel Ridling and Justin Bour delivered key home runs. Chris Rusin and Ryan Searle also had top-notch pitching performances.

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

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (29-34)
After spotting rival Tri-City five runs on Wednesday, Boise came roaring back as Ryan Cuneo’s double in the bottom of the ninth scored Reggie Golden for a 7-6 victory. Cuneo was the offensive star of the game, driving in three runs with his double and second home run. Golden also stepped up for the Hawks, going 2-for-4 and scoring three runs. Mario Mercedes had a nice welcome back, plating a run while having a 3-for-4 evening. Paul Hoilman and Wilson Contreras were each 2-for-4.

Willengton Cruz had a difficult night, allowing five runs (four earned) in four innings. Juan Sandoval followed and gave up an earned run in 2.1 innings. Dustin Fitzgerald slammed the door on the Dust Devils with a scoreless 1.2 innings. Bryce Shafer was the beneficiary of the late inning heroics, as he struck out the side in ninth to set up the win.

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The bumpy road of the low minors just got a little bumpier for Ben Wells on Thursday, as Boise fell to Spokane 8-2. Wells was rocked for eight runs (seven earned) and eleven hits in his 3.1 innings. Kyler Burke came in and stopped the Indians in their tracks, striking out six in 3.2 scoreless innings. Charles Thomas, also a converted position player, went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Zeke DeVoss was one of the only offensive threats for the Hawks, going 2-for-4. Ryan Cuneo drove in two with a double.

Boise tied the game with Spokane at 2-2 in the ninth on Friday, only to lose in a 3-2 squeaker. Yao-Lin Wang provided both the good and the bad in his 4.1 innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out six batters. Sheldon McDonald struck out three in 3.2 scoreless innings. However, Hector Mayora failed to come through in the ninth, allowing the winning run while recording only one out. Dustin Harrington had the Hawks only multi-hit game, driving in Oliver Zapata, who had tripled earlier. Ryan Cuneo had a pinch-hit homer in the ninth to tie the score.

The Hawks brought out the big bats on Saturday, as they rode three home runs to a 7-3 win over Spokane. Brad Zapenas launched his first of the year to give Boise a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Ryan Cuneo (2-for-5, double, three RBI) stayed hot by hitting his fourth homer since joining the team. Wilson Contreras (2-for-5) also hit his first home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning. Pin Chieh Chen, Mario Mercedes, and Wes Darvill contributed multi-hit games.

Starter Juan Rosario had it working for him that night, as he struck out five and let in three runs (two earned), in six innings. Joe Zeller took the Hawks the rest of the way, striking out three in three scoreless innings for his third save.

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Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (55-69)
Three unearned runs turned out to be the margin of victory, as Peoria fell to Wisconsin 7-4 on Wednesday. Rafael Valdes’ fielding error in the sixth led to those unearned runs, although Valdes tried to makeup for it by going 3-for-4. Rubi Silva and Micah Gibbs attempted to get the Chiefs back into the game. Silva hit his second home run and drove in two while stealing his sixth base. Gibbs cracked his second home run as part of a 2-for-4, two RBI evening. Taiwan Easterling was also 2-for-5. Starling Peralta was the victim of the poor defense, as he allowed seven runs (four earned) while striking out three in 5.2 innings of work. Ramon Garcia remains un-scored upon, as he tossed 2.1 innings of relief. Robinson Lopez, back off the disabled list, had an uneventful ninth inning.

In a back-and-forth game on Thursday, Peoria repelled the invaders from the north as they defeated Wisconsin 5-4. Dustin Geiger had a big night for the Chiefs, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Micah Gibbs’ bat has emerged from a slumber, as he was 2-for-3 with a double and a run driven in. Rubi Silva and Richard Jones were each 2-for-5, while Anthony Giansanti coaxed three walks.

Luis Lira was given another chance at starting, and the results were mixed. Lira gave up three earned runs but struck out six in four innings. P.J. Francescon had one of his better outings, going three innings while only letting in an unearned run. Roderik Pichardo tossed the final two innings and was credited with the win.

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Some dominant pitching and more of the “new found” offense on Friday was the recipe for success in Peoria’s 8-2 victory over Wisconsin. Frank Del Valle returned to the form he displayed in Extended Spring Training, striking out seven in 5.1 scoreless innings. Alvaro Sosa continued the trend by blanking the TimberRattlers for another 1.2 innings. Pete Levitt allowed two runs (one earned) while finishing off the last two innings.

Richard Jones was the big wheel on offense, going 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Leadoff man Arismendy Alcantara went 3-for-5 with a triple and a run driven in. Dustin Geiger drove in two, while Rubi Silva and Jesus Morelli each contributed an RBI and had multi-hit games.

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The hard-luck story for pitcher Brett Wallach continued, as he suffered from shoddy defense in Peoria’s 6-2 loss to Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Wallach allowed five runs, but only two were earned as he struck out four in his 4.1 innings of work. Robinson Lopez served up a gopher ball in his 1.2 innings, while Yohan Gonzalez and Dan Berlind each tossed a perfect inning. Dustin Geiger provided half of the scoring for the Chiefs by belting his first Peoria home run. Richard Jones was 2-for-4 with a double.

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (72-51)
Daytona looks like they are ready to return to their slugging ways of earlier this season, as they pounded out eleven hits on Thursday in a 4-3 win against Brevard County. Evan Crawford paced the attack from the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 with his 13th stolen base and two RBI. Matt Cerda was 2-for-4 while plating a run. Justin Bour was also 2-for-6, while Elliot Soto scored two runs.

Casey Harman continued his rise as a starter, allowing two earned runs while striking out six in four innings. Aaron Kurcz harpooned the Manatees for two scoreless innings, striking out two batters. Kyle Smit continues to have his ups-and-downs, allowing an unearned run in two innings. With his 24th save of the year, Frank Batista closed out the victory.

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There wasn’t much to “The Angel Guzman Factor” in Friday’s game, but that didn’t prevent the D-Cubs from being nipped by the Dunedin Blue Jays 3-2. Angel Guzman couldn’t make it past four outs, giving up an earned run. Dae-Eun Rhee was called on early and flashed his stuff, striking out 11 but giving up two earned runs in 6.2 innings. Jordan Latham mopped up by striking out two in the ninth. Logan Watkins provided half the offense by blasting his fourth home run; Jake Opitz walked and later scored on an error.

Daytona tried to slug toe-to-toe with Dunedin on Saturday, but came up short as they lost to the Blue Jays 8-5. It what seemed like a “bullpen day”, Jeffrey Lorick went only three innings and gave up three runs (two earned). Eduardo Figueroa let in a run in his 1.2 innings, while Brent Ebinger was tagged with two unearned runs in 1.1 innings. Juan Serrano also suffered an unearned run in two innings of work, and Kyle Smit gave up an earned run in an inning. Jake Opitz tried to keep the D-Cubs in the game by going 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Elliot Soto was also 3-for-4. Logan Watkins was 2-for-5 with a double, and Justin Bour cracked his 22nd home run in a 2-for-5 evening.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (75-50)
In Eric Jokisch’s Double-A debut on Wednesday, Tennessee turned to a veteran line-up to secure an 8-6 win against Jackson. Jokisch showed his inexperience, allowing five runs (four earned) in four innings. Oswaldo Martinez and Jeff Stevens each had two inning stints and halted the Generals. Marcus Hatley gave up an earned run in his inning of work.

James Adduci made sure ‘the new kid” had some run support, as he was 2-for-4 with a double, home run, and two RBI. Nelson Perez also supplied two RBI and a double in going 2-for-4, while Rebel Ridling put up identical numbers, minus one RBI. Josh Vitters and Steve Clevenger were each 2-for-5.

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Tennessee turned to “The Thunder from Down Under” on Thursday to bring home a 4-1 victory over Jackson. Australian Ryan Searle, who has been going deeper into ballgames since being converted into a starter, went seven innings and gave up only one earned run while striking out six batters. Jeffrey Beliveau finished the game off by shutting out the Generals for two innings.

Junior Lake was installed back into the leadoff spot and paid dividends, going 2-for-4 with a double, home run, and two RBI. Rebel Ridling smacked his 17th round-tripper, and also went 2-for-4. Jae-Hoon Ha had a double and drove in a run.

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On Friday, fans got to see glimpses of the Trey McNutt many were expecting this season, as the burly right-hander mowed down Jackson in a 3-2 victory. In one of his longest outings, McNutt struck out five while allowing two earned runs in seven innings of work. Marco Carrillo did what he does best … get people out, with a scoreless eighth inning. Only a walk marred Marcus Hatley’s near perfect ninth, earning him his fourth save.

Junior Lake’s RBI double put the Smokies on the board in the seventh inning; Nelson Perez followed with his eighth home run to put them ahead for good. Steven Clevenger was 2-for-4 with a double, and scored the first run.

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Tennessee flexed their muscles and came up big in an extra innings affair on Saturday, beating Jackson 7-4 in 11 innings. Team home run leader Rebel Ridling moved into fifth in the Southern League by going deep twice as part of a 3-for-4, two RBI game. Junior Lake made it two home runs in the past three games with a two-run shot, while Ty Wright plated three with a pinch-hit double in the top of the 11th.

Larry Suarez continued to work on getting stretched out from his former relieving role, as he pitched five innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out three batters. Kevin Rhoderick has scuffled a little lately, giving up an earned run in an inning. The bullpen then demoted the Generals the rest of the way, with Jeff Stevens, Jeffrey Beliveau, and Oswaldo Martinez allowing no runs and only two hits over the remaining five innings.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (59-69)
From the Harry Caray dictionary, “the big opossum walked late” again on Wednesday, as the I-Cubs scored four runs in the top of the ninth to pull out a 9-7 victory over Salt Lake. In the thick of it was Brett Jackson (2-for-4, triple, RBI), who walked and scored the go ahead run.

However, it was Luis Montanez’s big night, as he was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI, one of his doubles driving in Jackson. Not to be overshadowed was Bryan LaHair going 2-for4 with a double, two runs driven in, and his 34th home run. Marwin Gonzalez also chipped in, plating a run in a 2-for-4 evening.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx’s return to Triple-A was more of the same from him, seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings, but six earned runs, including three home runs. Hung-Wen Chen returned from loan to the Mexican League and went 1.1 innings with an earned run and two strikeouts. Carlton Smith held the Bees in check for an inning, while Scott Maine, back from a whirlwind call-up to the parent club, struck out five in two innings.

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A fresh approach helped bring about another Iowa victory on Thursday, as they buzzed Salt Lake 8-7. Marwin Gonzalez was installed behind Brett Jackson in the batting order, just as they were in Tennessee, and produced similar results. Jackson was 2-for-5 with a double, stolen base, and two runs scored. Gonzalez had a sacrifice, and RBI double, and drove in another run. Deuces were wild that night, as Scott Moore, D.J. LeMahieu, Ryan Flaherty and Chris Robinson each went 2-for-4, Flaherty with two RBI.

Unfortunately, Alberto Cabrera was, well, Alberto Cabrera. He allowed six earned runs and struck out four over 4.1 innings. Fortunately, the rest of the bullpen brought their “A” game. Robert Coello hurled 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Justin Berg gave up an earned run in his inning, while John Gaub picked up his seventh save, striking out two in the ninth.

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Chris Rusin found whatever he was missing during his last start on Friday as the I-Cubs completed a four game sweep of Salt Lake City win a 4-1 win. Rusin struck out four and allowed one earned run in seven innings. Blake Parker held serve with a scoreless inning, while Scott Maine struck out the side for his 11th save.

D.J. LeMahieu is finally getting his stroke back, as he was 3-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Luis Montanez was 3-for-5 with an RBI. The new minor league version of the “daily double” also clicked, as Marwin Gonzalez brought home Brett Jackson.

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In the midst of a 3-3 tie on Saturday, Iowa gave up seven runs to Oklahoma City in the seventh inning, then rallied but fell short in an 11-10 loss. Matt Spencer was the hero of the attempted comeback, as he whacked a pinch-hit grand slam for his first Iowa home run. Brett Jackson continues to set the table, as he was 3-for-5 with a double, while D.J. LeMahieu was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Scott Moore and Ryan Flaherty were each 2-for-4, and starting pitcher Nick Struck contributed a single. Struck actually left the game with a lead, as he allowed three runs (one earned) and struck out four in six innings. He gave way to Carlton Smith, who promptly gave up six earned runs in 0.2 innings. Hung-Wen Chen poured gas on the fire, serving up a home run in his 1.1 innings. John Gaub let in the game-winning run in the top of the ninth.

News and Notes
Iowa C Welington Castillo was placed on the inactive list (birth of child), activated 3B Marquez Smith from the 7-Day disabled list. Catcher Carlos Romero was assigned to Iowa from the AZL Cubs. Peoria placed OF Smaily Borges on the 7-day disabled list. Outfielder John Andreoli was assigned to Peoria from the AZL Cubs. First baseman Ryan Cuneo was assigned to Boise from Peoria. Right-handed pitcher Hector Mayora was assigned to Boise from the AZL Cubs. Left-handed pitcher Graham Hicks assigned to AZL Cubs. Shawon Dunston, Jr. and Javier Baez reported to the AZL Cubs.

Top Prospect Watch

  • Michael Burgess (OF) – .224, .322 OBP, .733 OPS, 23 Doubles, Triple, 16 HR, 62 RBI, Stolen Base, 10 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) – .251, .365 OBP, .686 OPS, 11 Doubles, Triple, 2 HR, 24 RBI, Stolen Base, 26% Caught Stealing (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Reggie Golden (OF) – .241, .333 OBP, .718 OPS, 9 Doubles, 5 Triples, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 5 Stolen Bases, 5 Outfield Assists (Boise Hawks)
  • Jae-Hoon Ha (OF) – .259, .289 OBP, .680 OPS, 15 Doubles, Triple, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 4 Stolen Bases, 2 Outfield Assists (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Brett Jackson (OF) – .316, .387 OBP, .986 OPS, 9 Doubles, 2 Triples, 8 HR, 20 RBI, 5 Stolen Bases, 8 Outfield Assists (Iowa Cubs)
  • D.J. LeMahieu (IF) -.284, .317 OBP, .680 OPS, 6 Doubles, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 5 Stolen Bases (Iowa Cubs)
  • Trey McNutt (RHP) – 3-5, 4.56 ERA, 79.0 IP, 40 ER, 56 K, 31 BB, 1.65 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Hayden Simpson (RHP) – 0-3, 8.04 ERA, 15.2 IP, 14 ER, 10 K, 10 BB 2.04 WHIP (AZL Cubs)
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .254, .287 OBP, .671 OPS, 7 Doubles, 2 Triples, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 Stolen Bases, 2 Outfield Assists (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) -.283, .318 OBP, .760 OPS, 24 Doubles, 2 Triples, 12 HR, 67 RBI, 4 Stolen Bases (Tennessee Smokies)

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Cubsglyph

    It’s Harry Caray, not Harry Carey.

    • John G

      As long as it isn’t harakiri.

    • Tom U

      Sorry for the typo.

  • Richard Hood

    Good Update as always Tom.

  • cubtex

    The lack of starting minor league pitching who are close to helping at the mlb level is scary. There is noone who will even compete for a spot in the spring. Aaron brought up Marshall yesterday….and to me that seems like the most logical move. With Russell,Maine and Gaub they have 3 lefties to try and fill Marshall’s role. The Cubs do not have any lefties in the rotation and he has the pitches to be an effective starter. CJ Wilson turned out pretty good going from relief to starter. They would still need to add at least 1 preferably 2 more arms…..but Demp, Garza, Marshall and hopefully Cashner would be a better start than where they are at today!

    • Richard Hood

      Haven’t we already been here? I would rather see Shark stretched  out at this point just because every time Marshall started he couldn’t get the same guys out twice.

      I do agree that we have a serious lack of rotation quality arms that are ready or even almost ready. We need to be getting guys ready to start in the majors instead of pitching everyone in the minors like they are destined for the bullpen. That would be a huge step in the right direction.

      • John_CC

        I don’t know.  I would actually like to see what Marshall could do starting once more.  He’s gained a lot of experience since his last shot at the rotation.  If he were stretched out and it didn’t work, it’s easy to put him back in bullpen.

        Shark, on the contrary has only just found his groove.  Frankly, with his less than stellar “stuff”, I would be much more worried about him going through a batting order 3 times than Marshall.

        But who knows?

      • cubtex

        Yes Richard but look what they have going into next year. Demp and Garza are the only 2 sure things imo. Casner would be huge if he is healthy and returns to starting. Who else? Wells? Please! Coleman? No way! They have 3 spots to fill if Casner cannot be one. They need to look internally as well as externally

        • Ripsnorter1

          Not expecting Cashner to return to rotation due to injury. I could be wrong……

          Wells will most likely be here since we have NOTHING else to bank on. He could be your #6 or 7 starter if you can find four or five more starters.Dumpster could break down anytime. He’s aging. He’s really due for an off year next year, not that this year was so stellar…….

          Shark to close, or at least, setup the 8th inning. I personally don’t want to stretch him out, but maybe they will and it will work. He was throwing 99 MPH yesterday, and his stuff moves, so he’d make a nice closer someday if he can keep control……….

          Marshall a starter? WHOA! Not in my book. The second look at him and he is getting lit up. He really hasn’t been lights out as a 8th inning man, either. 5-5 record. Been there. Done that. Forgetaboutit. He is another Russell in my book: can’t start a lick. 

          • cubtex

            I hope Wells is at best a 7 for next year. I am just considering options to look at. They need a lot of help Rip! They don’t have a Brett Lawrie who could net a Marcum. They need at least 2 new starters. Free agent market is weak. I might look at Edwin Jackson as a #4 but he is not someone who will knock your socks off. As I mentioned yesterday…..I would love to aquire Anibal Sanchez from the Marlins but he will be costly.

        • cubtex

          Out of all the Zambrano rumors…the one that makes the most sense is Z for AJ Burnett. After Burnett’s last start having some words with Girardi and how poorly he has pitched this year….I can see them wanting to dump his contract. Z will be back with Rothschild and AJ will have a fresh start in NL.

          • Richard Hood

            I kind of like that but I still think that Z is going to be albatross hanging over our heads well into the winter. The best option might be thinking about moving Barney to get some young arms in the system while his value is high. I hate to do it but I still have problems seeing him as an everyday player.

          • cubtex

            I think they need to consider moving several players in both the majors and minors to try and aquire some starting pitching.

          • Richard Hood

            The new GM probably will but right now I do not know what will be available till winter. The place I would be looking is LA. There is going to have to be some movement there with so many guys inching towards Free agency at the same time.

          • studio179

            I don’t see the Yankees and Rothschild wanting any part of Zambrano. As far as Cashner in the rotation, I don’t know. I am not set either way on this one. I get what you have been posting because the Cubs have no options next year. Unless the new GM can get three starters and none named Wells or Coleman, the Cubs might be stuck with Cashman in the rotation.

    • Tom U

      I would like to see both Chris Rusin and Nick Struck get a few starts with the big league club before the season ends.

      • cubtex

        Couldn’t hurt but Struck doesn’t have good numbers. High WHIP and gives up alot of hits per innings pitched. I would like to see Rusin since he is lefthanded. They both look like their ceiling would be back end of the rotation guys.

      • cubtex

        Rusin sure has a funky delivery!

        • Tom U

          It looks like he throws like an outfielder.

  • John_CC

    I just listened to the Tom Ricketts bit while he was in the booth last night. 

    I have to say that I am quickly warming up to this guy as our team’s owner.  Maybe I just never heard him talk much before, but I love his candor.

    He said “player development” at least three times.  He mentioned that they went the extra mile with this year’s draft.  Said it was a “process” and big job to turn this boat around.  It won’t happen over night.  Etc.

    It sounds like he will have a new GM in place shortly after the Series is complete. 

    More good things to come!

    • Richard Hood

      There was reports last week that Ricketts was looking at a Oct 1st date so that they can hit the offseason running right out after the series, I think that is a great thing.

      One thing I was very wrong on. Friedman with Tampa stayed there this year without a contract. That means in negotiation terms that we do not need to get anyones permission to talk to him or even interview him. It also means that if he is named the GM tomorrow that the Rays have no choice but to honor it because they never gave him an extension.

  • woody34

    Here’s a long shot.  I know he has been pitching with a bum arm for years and been successful but what are the chances Woody could go back into the rotation?  Anyone know if there has been any talk of this or any likelihood?  He still hits upper 90s, I don’t know how his stamina would be.  Possibly try stretching him out in the spring and see how it pans out.

    • cc002600

      not in a million years will that happen

      He’s a setup man, nothing more….and a good one….I sure hope they bring him back.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I don’t think he has the health to start even one game anymore. He’d be burnt up and finished for life to throw 90 pitches at one time.

  • John_CC

    LaHair’s line through 119 games is pretty amazing:
    .329BA / 85 / 34 / 95  with an OBP/SLG/OPS slash of  .406 / .652 / 1.057 !!! 
    101 K to 57 BB.

    Tom, you might know, but how many players in AAA have a season line that good.  What the hell does it take for someone that is killing that ball in every sense to get a chance?  He should just go to Japan and make some money for a few years. 

    Also, Jackson is so ready. 

    Do you think Ricketts will now send down the mandate to Bush – who is now simply there to do Ricketts’ bidding – to call up Jackson and order Byrd to sit? 

    • paulcatanese

      He may send it to Bush, but the implemantation of that would be Qua, and he hasnt been to anxious to play the youngsters to this point. I would love to see a replacement in center for Byrd.

    • Tom U

      Those are great numbers, and it is hard to come up with ones that compare. But I’ll give it a whirl:

      Bryan LaHair – .308/71/25/81  .385/.557/.942   125 games
      Brad Snyder – .308/97/25/109   .381/.568/.949  132 games

      Jake Fox – .409/44/17/53   .495/.841/1.336  45 games

      Micah Hoffpauir – .362/63/25/100   .393/.752/1.145  71 games
      Jason Dubois – .307/62/25/56   .399/.664/1.062  76 games
      Andres Torres – .306/91/11/51   .391/.501/.892  118 games
      Casey McGehee – .296/68/12/92   .345/.429/.774  133 games

      Geovany Soto – .353/75/26/109   .424/.652/1.076  110 games

      Dubois also had a very comparable year in 2004, but you get the point.

      What do all of these players have in common. While many can come up with several answers, from my point of view, none of them (except Soto) were given a fair chance by the Cubs.

  • Griffnbell

    Has anyone heard of possible managers available next year besides Sandberg? I know the new GM will determine what direction we go but I’m not sure who’s available. Do we hire an up and comer or a vet? If we are going with youth I don’t see someone like Bobby V being a good fit.

    • Griffnbell

      Plus we need to find a replacement for Riggins. Is Mike Maddux available?

    • paulcatanese

      Actualy I see any one of the two you mentioned and add Brenly to that mixture. I think Valentine to be a good fit and he has the youth in his head, very entertaining as a manager. Anyone of the three and I would be happy, and even the bat boy over Qua. And you mentioned Mike Maddox for pitching coach if available, a great choice, again if available.

      • Gramps

        I am hoping for a younger guy to manage…..Sandberg would be one of my high choices. How about Joey Cora, the bench coach for the White Sox? I want a guy that will teach fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. Did I mention fundamentals? If it was an older guy, I would take Brenly. I don’t want Valentine….too flashy and too much of a mouth. 

        • paulcatanese

          Dont know anything about Cora, so I couldnt comment about him. I would be fine with Brenly or Sandberg, again anyone but Qua.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Castro was lucky last night not to catch a line drive off of the side of his head. 

    I have to say I’ve never seen a ML SS in a deeper coma that he was. He was eating his supper and had his back turned to the batter when the ball was pitched. He’s lucky he doesn’t have a headache right now……

    • paulcatanese

      That was amazing to watch that, being relaxed and not show pressure is one thing, but that was a joke. He did deserve a ground ball of line drive to wake him up. Qua didnt see that?

    • paulcatanese

      And he is not in the starting lineup for tonight, wonder where those directions came from? Maybe Castro got traded? Ha!!

  • Neil

    Chiefs welcome back Dallas Beeler, also add RHP Yoanner Negrin. Frank Del Valle promoted to Daytona, Daniel Berlind to Iowa.

  • Neil

    Boise Hawks 1B Ryan Cuneo Northwest League Player of the Week.
    .375/.444/1.042 in 7 G. 9-for-24 with 4 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 5 R

  • roseyc

    Marshall doesn’t need to be a starter anymore …I think our bullpen should help Shark and Cashner come along…They can’t be afraid not to put Cashner in the rotation. The rotation should be Garza and Dempster and ???(FA) Cashner and Shark. Wells and Coleman are journeyman pitchers at best.The bullpen will be better with Lopez and Russell for the sixth Marshall and Wood for 7th and 8th and Marmol for the 9th. Shark should be given a shot at starting now for the rest of the season along with Carpenter. Beside Dempster and Garza starts it should be like spring training all over again. We shouldn’t care about any starter going 5 innings we should be evaluating our players at this point but that starts with Quade going away.first.

  • cubtex

    Carlos Pena placed on trade waivers today.

    • cubtex

      I wonder if the do look to trade Pena, I am sure Randy Bush will be having Ricketts on speed dial before making a move.

      • Richard Hood

        Of course he will run everything upstairs before saying yay or nay on any move. It is the way things work when you have “interm” GM on you desk title. If he wants a future in this business though he had better make some noise because this could be it if there is anything else negative attached to his brief run.

        • cubtex

          Makes you think they might make a run at Fielder or PuJols?

          • Richard Hood

            That is taking a big step in logic. They just put Pena on waivers now he has to wit his 2 days to see if anyone takes a bite. The one that would be telling is if Byrd gets put on waivers today.

            The Pujols/Fielder conversation is a lot different then waiver claims in August. I just hope that if there is some movement it is to get some pitching in here my goodness we need it badly.

          • John_CC

            I just saw the news and posted below before seeing your note. 

            But I was thinking the same thing.  At the very least it is Ricketts saying that the 33 year old $10MM .225 hitting first baseman is not the way the Cubs are moving.  Thank the good lord.  I think he is just trying to make room so whoever it is can come in with the cleanest slate possible.

            Same goes for stating that they are willing to pay a considerable chunk of Soriano’s salary to his new owner. 

            I bet we’ll see some of the vets play a little harder now that their careers are on the line with the Cubs.

            At least that is what I want to believe.

          • cubtex

            We’ll see how this plays out. I don’t like long term contracts for a first baseman and I am sure Ricketts is not either with that mess he inherited.

    • diehardcubfan

      I think Randy Bush will now try to trade Pena.  It is time to give LaHair a shot. 

      Maybe we can get at least something decent for Pena.

  • paulcatanese

    Good nite ahead, get to watch the Cubs on the computer and the Bears on TV at the same time, going to order a Pizza 1/2 sausage and 1/2 mushrooms and split it between the two games.

    • cubtex

      Sounds like a good night. Enjoy!

  • John_CC

    Rosenthal has reported that Pena was placed on waivers, today. 

    I just have a really hard time believing that Randy Bush is making any of these decisions. 

    Maybe Ricketts wants to see LaHair for the last month!!

  • paulcatanese

    I see Qua got to talk to Bobby and benched Castro today, or did Ricketts see the TV last night and Qua couldnt avoid taking him out of the lineup?

    • John_CC

      Or maybe he “talked to Bobby, [found] out what he saw”…or stop pretending like you are buddies with Bobby Valentine and just go re-watch and listen to the whole thing on one of those innernet things.

      Valentine’s comments were great. But does it seem insincere to anyone else to bench him basically because of nationally broadcast tongue lashing?  I mean Quads even admitted he didn’t see it. 

      So flipping lame. 

      • paulcatanese

        Agree John, I expect that Qua will say its just a long deserved rest for Castro and had been meaning to do it for some time now. I as you do not think he would admit that he talked to Bobby, or even admit he watched the replay.

      • studio179

        Quade gets on Castro all year for everything but does not see all of what Valentine was talking about during the game. Unbelievable.

        No new GM is going to keep Quade around. They should have let him go by now and just let Listach or someone else manage the rest of the year.

  • Neil

    Scott Maine and Justin Berg to DL for AAA Iowa. Maine has sprained ankle, Berg sore right elbow.

  • paulcatanese

    Qua said he watched the tape on Castro on “mute” and did not listen to Bobby before making a decision? Why was he or any of his coaches watching live as
    to what was going on? His statement is ridiculous. Maybe this explains why he is
    always a day late and a dollar short in all of his choices.

    • John_CC

      where did you read that, Paul?

      • paulcatanese

        John, it was on Bruce Miles comments.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments

  • Dorasaga

    A few things to ponder, Tom,

    – Do you want to see what Andrew Friedman can do with the resources that the Chicago National Ball Club has?

    – McNutt will be Major-ready coming into spring training 2012, right?

    – I don’t know if the Evil Empire, a.k.a. Yankees, will take any Cubs player. I thought they are done with signing above average players after the whole Pavano thing. Only the Cubs and GM Hendry got into that habit of signing so.

    – If McNutt is not ready, who else is to fill this broken rotation? Marshall is hardly the answer. The Cubs can trade BOTH Barney AND Marmol for top prospects, you think? The Angels and the DBacks seem to always be “two or three moves away” from the playoff…

    – I’m surprised H. Chen could be loaned to the Mexico League. I guess I’m learning something new everyday here on CCO… Was that like a way to temporarily clear roster space for a minor team?

    Thanks for your generous service to all fans, Tom.