Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 04/09/12

Welcome everyone to a new minor league season. This week, timely hitting, great defense, and some fine pitching performances allowed Peoria to start out 2-1 for the season. Rubi Silva and Arismendy Alcantara came out swinging in Daytona. Nick Struck pitched an Opening Day gem in Tennessee, while Brett Jackson showed why he is the organization’s number one prospect in Iowa.

To see how your favorite teams fared … check out this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Note: Monday’s reports will cover games from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday’s reports cover games Sunday through Tuesday.

Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (2-1)
The Peoria Chiefs began the season by taking care of the Beloit Snappers 5-2 on Thursday. The scoring waited until the third inning as Wes Darvill (2-for-4), Brad Zapenas (1-for-3) and Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-3, triple, RBI) singled to load the bases. Zeke DeVoss (1-for-5, RBI) then singled, driving in Darvill. Marco Hernandez (1-for-4, RBI) brought Zapenas home on a sacrifice fly. Paul Hoilman’s sacrifice fly plated DeVoss to cap the scoring. The Chiefs added another run in the fourth as a Pin-Chieh Chen sacrifice fly scored Taiwan Easterling.

Twenty-one year old Michael Jensen got the call as the Opening Day starter for the Chiefs, and delivered five scoreless innings and two strikeouts in his Single-A debut. Scott Weismann followed and allowed two earned runs in an inning of work. Kyler Burke returned to Peoria, reborn as a pitcher, and shutout the Snappers for an inning. Jeffrey Lorick then came on for two innings and struck out three to nail down the save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Peoria wasted a stellar effort by starter Patrick (PJ) Francescon on Friday, as they fell to Beloit 6-1. Francescon allowed only one earned run in 4.2 innings, while striking out nine Snappers. He was relieved by Luis Liria, who went scoreless over 1.1 innings and struck out three batters. However, after being on the verge of getting out of the seventh inning, the wheels came off for Willengton Cruz. After giving up a leadoff single, Cruz set the next two batters down before allowing Beloit to take the lead on a run-scoring double. Cruz then walked the next two batters to load the bases, and was replaced by Bryce Shafer. Shafer was then tattooed for a grand slam homer to put the Snappers ahead for good. For the Chiefs, Eduardo Gonzalez doubled home Peoria’s only run, while Reggie Golden was 1-for-4 with a stolen base.

The Chiefs closed out their opening series with a 6-2 victory over Beloit on Saturday. Peoria peppered the Snappers with ten hits, with the bottom of the order doing most of the damage. Zeke DeVoss led off the game with a double, and was singled home by Paul Hoilman. The Chiefs began the second inning with consecutive singles by Eduardo Gonzalez and Brad Zapenas, while Taylor Davis reached on an error. Pin-Chieh Chen then walked to force in a run, and DeVoss was hit by a pitch to score another. Two batters later, a Marco Hernandez sacrifice fly upped the lead to 4-1. Peoria added another run in the third, as Davis doubled home Zapenas, who had singled earlier. Gonzalez then capped off the scoring by slugging his first home run of the season in the fifth inning.

In was an all Single-A rookie effort by the pitching staff, with Jose Rosario starting things off. The 21-year old allowed two earned runs and struck out two over 5.2 innings. Yao-Lin Wang relieved, and also struck out two as he held the Snappers scoreless for 1.2 innings. Austin Reed and Andrew McKirahan followed, shutting down Beloit for an inning each.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (1-2)
The season started off a little wild for Matt Loosen and the Daytona Cubs on Thursday. Loosen (0.1 innings, three earned runs, four walks) walked three of the first five Manatee batters and hit another to put the D-Cubs in a hole 3-0 after one inning. Brett Wallach (1.1 innings, four hits, four earned runs, two walks) poured gas on the fire, allowing another four runs to push the lead to 7-0 in the second inning. Making his Daytona debut, Austin Kirk restored order, somewhat, giving up three runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings, allowing Brevard County to pull ahead 10-1 after six innings. Coming back from injuries in 2011, Brian Schlitter finally set the opposition down for an inning. Another pitcher returning from injuries, AJ Morris, finished the game by letting in an unearned run as Daytona fell 11-4.

Rubi Silva paced Daytona’s offense by going 3-for-4, and Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Ronald Torreyes was 2-for-5 in his organizational debut.

After an Opening Day stinker, Friday’s see-saw affair finally saw Daytona flexing their muscles, as they pulled past Brevard County 6-2. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the D-Cubs tied it up as Arismendy Alcantara singled home Greg Rohan. Alcantara wasn’t done for the evening, as his three-run homer in the eighth capped a 3-for-3, four RBI game. Rubi Silva also stayed hot, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. In his first start, John Andreoli showed a lot of patience, walking three times, singling, and stealing a base. Matt Szczur and Nelson Perez also had an RBI apiece.

Although he rose as high as Double-A in 2011, Friday was the Daytona debut for lefty Eric Jokisch. Jokisch rang up five Manatees and allowed two earned runs over six innings. Coming back from a devastating injury, Ty’Relle Harris tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Fourth round draft pick Tony Zych then shut down Brevard County for two innings to pick up his first professional save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Former first round pick Hayden Simpson made only one mistake on Saturday night, and it proved to be crucial as Daytona lost to Brevard County 1-0. Simpson struck out two in 4.1 innings, but allowed a home run as the games only earned run. Casey Harman and Larry Suarez held the Manatees in check for the rest of the game, but the D-Cubs offense was nowhere to be seen. John Andreoli continued to impress, going 2-for-3 with a walk, but Sergio Burruel and Greg Rohan were the only other Daytona players to get a hit.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (2-1)
Concerns about the Smokies offense to start the 2012 season proved to be unfounded, as Tennessee bats thundered for 12 hits in a 4-1 victory over Chattanooga on Thursday. The top of the order was especially lethal, with leadoff hitter James Adduci (2-for-4), Logan Watkins (3-for-5 with and an RBI and stolen base), Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-5 with a double and RBI), and Justin Bour (3-for-5, a solo home run, and two RBI). Matt Cerda also added a double, while Elliot Soto had a single and stolen base.

It looked as if pitching would carry the Smokies early in 2012, and returning starter Nick Struck answered the call. Struck went six innings and gave up only four hits and an earned run, while striking out 10 Lookouts. He was followed by another player returning to East Tennessee, Kevin Rhoderick. Last year’s set-up man was back in that role with the same effect, blanking Chattanooga and striking out two over two innings. Florida State League All-Star closer Frank Batista then came on to notch his first Double-A save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Following and offensive explosion the previous day, Tennessee fans were treated to a classic pitcher’s duel on Friday as the Smokies prevailed 1-0 over Chattanooga. Taking the hill for Tennessee was Trey McNutt, who went 3.2 scoreless innings and struck out three batters. McNutt was followed by a couple of hard throwers in Jeffry Antigua and Alberto Cabrera, who combined to go 4.1 innings while whiffing two apiece. Frank Batista allowed two baserunners, but hung on to pick up his second save.

The Smokies would get all the runs they needed off the bat of Michael Burgess, who slammed his first homer of the season and was 2-for-4 for the evening. Logan Watkins was also 2-for-4, with Matt Cerda picking up a hit.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Tennessee looked as if it was in control on Saturday, but some lack of control by the bullpen gave them their first loss of the season, 10-2 to Chattanooga. Dallas Beeler started for the Smokies and allowed only one earned run over five innings, striking out two batters. Beeler was staked to a 2-1 lead as Justin Bour and Jonathan Mota drove in runs. Dan Berlind relieved Beeler in the sixth, and gave up four earned runs before recording an out. Berlind would be charged with eight earned runs as Casey Weathers replaced him and let in his own earned run. Mota then mopped up with an inning of scoreless relief. Logan Watkins remained hot at the plate, going 2-for-5 while Jae-Hoon Ha was 2-for-4.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (1-2)
A new season and a new way of thinking debuted in Des Moines on Thursday, as the prospect-heavy I-Cubs defeated Round Rock 5-3. The offense was in tune, as they bunched ten hits. The 1-2 combination of Tony Campana and Brett Jackson were each 2-for-4 and a stolen base, with Jackson driving in two runs. Making his organizational debut, Anthony Rizzo was also 2-for-4 and a stolen base, adding another RBI. Iowa’s only extra base hit belonged to another newcomer, Dave Sappelt (1-for-4, double). Edgar Gonzalez, Josh Vitters, and Matt Tolbert also had hits while Adrian Cardenas drove in a run.

Former big-leaguer Randy Wells took the hill to start 2012 for Iowa, and went six innings and served up two home runs, three earned runs total. Another pitcher with a Major League pedigree, Manny Corpas, was scoreless for two innings to earn a hold. After missing the final cut to “The Show“, Scott Maine struck out two batters and picked up his first save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

A late rally fell short as the I-Cubs were done in by pitching as they lost 4-3 to the Round Rock Express on Friday. Starter Casey Coleman struck out five over five innings, but was taken deep on back-to-back homers in the fourth to put the Express ahead 4-0. Welington Castillo doubled home Ty Wright to earn back one of the runs in the bottom of the fourth. Iowa then loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth, and Brett Jackson walked to drive in the I-Cubs second run. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4, RBI) then singled in Alfredo Amezaga, but Tony Campana was thrown out trying to score the tying run, and ended the threat. Lefties Ryan Rowland-Smith and Jeff Beliveau shut out Round Rock for two innings. Esmailin Caridad showed good velocity as he struck out three over two innings to mop up.

It seemed like problems with the bullpen were affecting all levels of play in the organization on Saturday, as Iowa went down 7-2 to Round Rock. Starter Chris Rusin was doing well until the sixth inning, only allowing a solo home run while striking out three and picking off two runners. However, he got into trouble and gave up two more earned runs before giving way to Frankie De La Cruz. De La Cruz then served up back-to-back doubles to push the lead to 4-1. Nate Robertson followed and let in three more runs (two earned), while Blake Parker finished up with a scoreless inning. Brett Jackson continues to be the offensive star, going 2-for-4 with a double. Blake Lalli was also 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Anthony Rizzo also drove a run in.

News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs purchased the contract of RHP Rodrigo Lopez from Iowa and added Lopez to the 40-man roster; outrighted IF Luis Valbuena to Iowa.

According to Baseball America, the Cubs have released Marquez Smith, Matt Camp and Abner Abreu. Marco Carrillo has been outrighted to the Mexican League and Yoanner Negrin has been loaned to the Mexican League.

Justin Berg, David Cales, Marcus Hatley, Robert Whitenack, Gerardo Concepcion, Graham Hicks, Zach Rosscup, Micah Gibbs, Pierre LePage, Dustin Geiger, Junior Lake, Evan Crawford and Matt Spencer have been placed on the 7-day DL.

Note: Junior Lake is dealing with a back issue and is expected to be activated soon. Gerardo Concepcion was not able to begin the season on the active roster of the Daytona Cubs due to his long layoff. Reports from Mesa have indicated that Concepcion is fine. The Cubs wanted him to build up his arm strength in Extended Spring Training before he pitched in games.

CCO’s Prospect Watch

  • Javier Baez (IF) – is in extended Spring Training
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – is in extended Spring Training
  • Zeke DeVoss (2B) – .273, Double, 2 RBI (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Reggie Golden (OF) – .154, Stolen Base (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Junior Lake (IF) – is currently inactive
  • Dillon Maples (RHP) – is in extended Spring Training
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .083, RBI (Daytona Cubs)
  • Ronald Torreyes (2B) – .182 (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) – .333 (Iowa Cubs)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – is in extended Spring Training

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  • Zonk

    If Scott Maine keeps that up, we’ll be seeing him in Wrigley before too long. 

    It’s too early to draw alot of conclusions, but it is nice to see B-Jax start strong, including drawing 3 walks.  I would still like to see the Cubs keep him in Iowa until June to work on contact, and set the Super-2 status back a year.

    • cubtex

      Agreed. Thought he should have been on the team out of spring….but so far Russell hasn’t gotten into a game yet.

  • cubtex

    Has anyone noticed the Boston bullpen? Their closer Aceves has faced 5 batters all year and hasn’t recorded an out. He gave up a 3 run lead in the 9th and then Melancon blew it again in the 11th. Melancon has a 38.00 ERA. 173 million doesn’t buy much these days :)

  • Zonk

    I hope Rizzo justifies the front-office man crush on him.  Yesterday, Cashner’s fastball sit between 96-101 mph according to Pitch FX, and he touched 102 in ST.  Padres are trying to keep his innings down, but he looks like their closer of the not too distant future. 

    I would rather have a good 1B than a good closer any day of the week, though.  And Rizzo has hit initially in AAA, which is encouraging.

    • cubtex

      He might be moved back to a starter after this year. Heard Byrnes talk about him and they still think he could develop into a front of the rotation starter. Imagine if he does. They could have had a rotation of Garza, Cashner and Shark going into 2013.  

    • Aaron

       true about the 1B vs closer, but I still say it was the wrong move…First of all, the Cubs, after last year’s draft are absolutely loaded with 1B prospects in…
      Shoulders
      Vogelbach
      Jones
      Cuneo
      Hoilman
      Bour
      Ridling

      I’m sorry, but I find it HIGHLY unlikely that at least one of them wouldn’t pan out. Vogelbach looks like he might be ready even sooner than anticipated judging by his stats last year, plus his stats in Spring Training this year. He’s far advanced for his age with incredible plate discipline and above average power. Bour is about ready, and even Hoilman could be ready late this season. With LaHair already in there, it really didn’t make much sense to trade a power arm that could either be a frontline starter or closer for a position of strength. If the Cubs had made the deal prior to last year’s draft, then I would have absolutely agreed that it was the right move. But they added 3 big-time 1B prospects in the draft.

      If there’s any chance Rizzo can play LF, then I’ll agree with the move, as it’d allow Vogelbach to eventually take over….but that looks doubtful.

      • Zonk

        I still like the move, because a) Cashner was coming off arm troubles, and may very well end up as a guy with chronic problems, and b) Rizzo filled a huge need.  I would do this trade again in a heartbeat.

        I don’t think we’re loaded by any stretch at 1B.  Vogelsbach is the only one on that list that anyone thinks has a high ML cieling, and even then, he is very unproven.

        The other guys are just guys. 

      • cc002600

         That’s ridiculous.

        Vogelbach is friggin 18 years old. Are you kidding me ?
        The guy is 4 to 5 years away. MINIMUM.

         and as we have seen wiith a million other so called “stud prospects” that
        we’ve had in the past that turned out to be total busts, NOTHING is
        guaranteed.

         

        Cashner has a predisposition of shoulder problems. That is bad, bad, bad. It
        just doesn’t “go away”. 

         

        He’s already had shoulder issues, he will undoubtably have more.

        It was a good trade.

        really shocking that you didn’t like it. LOL

         

        • Zonk

          I think I said it a bit more politely, but yes, basically.  Vogelsbach is years away, and apparently is just a couple biscuits short of being really fat. 

          Bour and Ridling had nice seasons last year, but were both too old for their leagues, and didn’t really blow anyone away.

          • paulcatanese

            Remember John Kruk ?

        • cubtex

          That is a false statement. There are plenty of pitchers who have had shoulder “problems” and have had very long and durable careers. The pitcher going tonight Marcum is one but a great example is Roy Halladay. He was DL’d twice in 2004 with shoulder issues and I think he has had a pretty good career. I like Rizzo. You have to give up something to get something…but Cashner could end up being a very painful loss if he turns out to be a dominant starter. Any trade is a risk and this one is no exception.

          • cc002600

             well, sure, there are exceptions to every rule. I know smokers who have lived until 85, but that does mean its a good idea to smoke ?

            The RISK that he will have further shoulder problems is greater than normal given his short history of shoulder problems.  Nothing is guranteed, but I think its a good gamble to let SD deal with it instead,  while at the same time you get a good young 1B in return.

            and notice how SD is not putting him in the rotation ??  Just like I told you before.

          • cubtex

            I like Rizzo. I think it will be a good trade for both teams. SD will keep Cashner in the pen this year and re-evaluate what they will do for next. He could still end up in the rotation for them.

          • cc002600

             Maybe.
            But I bet they groom to be their closer.

        • cubs1967

          was castro 4 ot 5 yrs away?
          nothing stops vogelbach from being here in 3 yrs.
          just like the bomb of a trade for marshall; team theo did alot of questionable moves…..
          cashner for rizzo being one of them.

          • cc002600

             How many guys like Castro come up at 21 and make an impact ? 

            If you think that Vogelbach, who still has zits, will be our savior in 3 years than please call me, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

          • cc002600

             Vitters was drafted in 2007 as the 3rd overall pick in the nation, MUCH higher than Volgelbach.

            Just wondering, 5 years later, where is he now ? 

            How did that work out ?

            For every “Castro” that came up at 21, I’ll give you a 100 “Vitters”….

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

         My opinion on that is that before last years draft corner IF and power prospects were lacking in our system. To say that any of the guys that were since acquired  are going to make an impact very soon is a stretch. I also like a couple of the guys that the Cubs drafted but understand that Rizzo is going to be ready soon where most of the guys we are talking about even if fast tracked are at least 3 years away. In that case even though I hate giving up on a kid like Cashner I understand why the move was needed especially if there was any concern about his shoulder.

         This is just a strait baseball could work out for both sides type trade even though we are going to need Cashner in our Bullpen this year.

  • Aaron

    also, in case some of you missed my post from last night, I’ll re-post here regarding Marmol. I rarely do that, but it was so late when I posted (and I put a lot of time into the research) that I think most might’ve missed it:

     
    You probably already know this, but I think it’s worth mentioning RE: Marmol and his problems

    Sliders: put a lot of stress on the elbow. I wouldn’t be shocked if
    he has TJ at some point this year…there’s been an awful lot of stress
    on his elbow over the years, and it’s probably finally caught up to him.
    In order to get more bite on your slider (in other words,
    vertical-downward vs horizontal movement), you have to “stay on top”
    when you break the wrist. But when that happens, you technically stay in
    the over-the-top throwing motion, which…

    Curveballs: put a lot of stress on the shoulder when you complete the
    extension (note: it also can put stress on the elbow too, but the
    extension with a curveball is when the stress on the shoulder occurs).
    This is why Kerry Wood no longer throws his wicked 12-6 breaking ball
    with great frequency, and has opted for the slider and cut fastball.

    I’ve watched old tape of Marmol vs recent tape, and discovered that
    despite coming at hitters with both arms flailing, looking like he was
    almost throwing side-arm at times (that was an actually an illusion if
    you play tape in slow-motion), he was throwing over-the-top, and getting
    tremendous vertical-downward AND horizontal movement. In other words,
    his slider technically mimicked a traditional “sweeper”, also sometimes
    called a “slurve”, depending on who you talk to.

    That was then….but if you look at Marmol now, it appears that his
    whole arm angle is jacked up. When he throws his slider NOW, you’ll
    notice that he’s trying to get the “slurve” effect, and he drops his arm
    angle. Simple physics would tell you that the downward angle of the
    ball becomes much harder to achieve from that point.

    Neil took great video in his heyday during Spring Training 2008:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryLQxtMR5e8

    Here’s another great view of him getting on top of the slider circa 2007:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSQMbfS8Vio

    Now compare circa 2011 (again, compliments of Neil):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9VdRhd_cZo

    The difference is very subtle, so you have to pay attention, but if
    you look at the 2008 and 2011 side by side on your computer, you can see
    the difference.

    I believe they know this, but they might know something is wrong with
    his arm. I know I changed my arm angle when my shoulder was hurting, so
    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if something was wrong.

    In fact, I’m pretty good at picking things out. I remember seeing Jon
    Garland at Spring Training a few years ago with Neil, and I commented
    (don’t know if you remember or not Neil), but I said that something
    didn’t look right with his arm, and he looked like he was injured. Sure
    enough, he came down with a shoulder injury later that year.

    Pitchers compensate for EVERYTHING. If they’re experiencing “tired
    arm”, which is nothing more than overuse resulting in fatigue and drop
    in velocity, they often compensate with change-ups and breaking pitches.
    When they’re elbow is hurting, they’ll try to overload on the shoulder.
    When the shoulder is hurting, they try to create more zip on the ball
    by buggy-whipping the elbow. When a pitcher is getting fatigued in a
    game, he’ll often-times reach back for something extra, thus flaring up
    his lead shoulder, resulting in pitches up in the zone typically with
    less velocity that are usually pounded. (sometimes when they’re
    fatigued, they’ll bounce balls in the dirt, because they’re trying to
    buggy-whip with their elbow, but their upper arm is too tired to create
    the necessary power to get the ball over the plate). When a pitcher is
    experiencing leg problems (hamstring, calf, etc.), usually they end up
    with an oblique or shoulder injury from overcompensating.

    My whole point is there has to be a reason for Marmol’s arm angle.
    Also, the fact that his fastball has such a wide range from 90 mph to 96
    mph (which someone said on here), and I saw him as low as 87-88 mph
    with his fastball in Spring Training….usually that’s a dead giveaway
    that something is wrong, especially for relievers who are used to going
    max effort for 1 inning. With starters, that is far more common to see
    that wide range in fastballs.

    Anyway, hopefully I’ve made sense. If any of you have a DVR box and
    taped the game today, please try the slow motion button with Marmol,
    then look at the youtube videos I posted…..it’s very easy to see the
    difference.

    • Zonk

      That is pretty interesting, and I would bet anything the Cubs know there are some issues, and may not be saying anything.  Most pitchers have drops in velocity (Fangraphs today has good article on King Felix losing mph), but you can do that without losing stuff. 

       I am less concerned with Marmol’s fastball than I am with that slider, if he doesn’t have a good slider he is not a good pitcher.

      The Cubs have an investment in Marmol, so they have to see if he can work it out.  We aren’t going anywhere this year, so may as well try to fix it, as painful as that is. 

    • Ryan

      Aaron – I know many people disagree with some (ok, others disagree with all) of the stuff you post (Honestly, myself included but hey, we are all entitled to our opinons!).  But one thing is for sure, you have facts and reasoning (unlike some of the posters on here that argue stuff seemingly to upset other readers) to back up the stuff you post and this one is no exception.  Great research and thanks for sharing!  Btw, I absolutely agree Marmol is hurt and I have to look no farther than the significant drop in velocity on his fastball last year – you just dont simply lose 7-10 mph when you are in your prime.

    • JimBo_C

      Aaron,
      Thanks for the video. Good observation that his elbow is now higher than his shoulder. Is his arm dragging further behind his hips too?

  • Zonk

    Hardball Times has an interesting article on the efficiency of teams Farm System and FA signings, per dollar spent and WAR (win above replacement) acquired.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/free-agent-value-and-building-teams-from-within1/

    The results are surprising.  What they say about the Cubs is:

    –The Cubs have acquired more WINS through Free Agency than any team except the Yankees and Cards. 
    –Our FA spending is actually fairly efficient from a WAR standpoint; 6th in Baseball (does not account for FUTURE commitment though)
    –The Problem:  We have the worst track record with drafted/signed talent in all of baseball.  Our farm system has not been productive, and young players we have acquired provided less WAR than young players we retained.

    This surprised me, as I think about all the bad contracts like Soriano and Z (and, keep in mind this ranking has nothing to do with money in the future, which is the problem with Soriano’s contract.  In fact, Soriano his first couple years probably wasn’t a bad spend for WAR).  And I suppose, we have had some efficient FA contracts over the years (D-Lees, A-Ram, Lilly, Dempster all were decent in balance, and probably more than cancel turkeys like Miles and Grabow)

    • cc002600

       Come on, you didn’t like the Miles signing ?
      LOL

      • Zonk

        Not so much……..

        If you look at Hendry’s history, he actually didn’t spend badly early in his tenure.  Lilly was good value, so was Demp.  Maddux was good.  Moises Alou was a good return.  Even a couple not so great ones, like Burnitz or Eyre, were mitigated by the fact they were short contracts, so they really didn’t do damage.  We had some bargain finds, like Borowski and Demp (first contract).  Hendry’s track record early in his tenure was actually quite good on FA spending.

        ….until Soriano.  That contract seemed to put Hendry off the rails, and let to a series of bad decisions that we pay for to this day.

  • cubtex

    Tom….Any idea what Hayden Simpson was clocked at?

    • Zach

      He fastball was clocked at 86 mph, but apparently his breaking balls were really good.

      • cubtex

        thank you. I had a feeling his velocity was down since he only had 2 K’s.

        • Zach

          No problem.  I just hope that his velocity improves during the season.  It would be nice if his fastball was in the low 90’s.

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

             That is still a long way away from the high nineties that they claimed when he was drafted.

          • Tom U

            Really? I always heard low-to-mid 90’s. Do you have a source? That would be good to read.

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

             I just remember some one in the front office claiming he had 95 plus with movement. I don’t remember which of our great scouts was claiming it though.

      • Tom U

        Thanks Zach! I didn’t have that information, and am glad tat you were able to provide it.

  • cubtex

    David DeJesus is 0-16 career against Shaun Marcum. 
    Aramis Ramirez is 6 -12 career against Volstad with 2 2B’s and 1HR

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.