Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 05/07/12

Thrills, chills, and spills abound in the roller coaster ride that was the Cubs minor league system this week. Blowouts occurred, but who was on the winning end? The tightrope act that is the Tennessee Smokies kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Paul Hoilman now sports an 18-game hitting streak, while Nelson Perez had a career day. And don’t look now, but those objects appearing in your rearview mirror and coming up fast are Taiwan Easterling and Elieser Bonne.

All that and more are in today’s Down on the Farm Report …

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

Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (11-18)
On Wednesday, the Chiefs flashed some leather at times, but defense and pitching became their undoing as they lost 6-3 to Kane County. PJ Francescon was in command for most of the game, striking out five in seven innings. However, one got away from him, and the cost was a three run homer in the second inning. Francescon was aided by several defensive plays, including a leaping grab by Zeke DeVoss (1-for-5, double, RBI) and an outfield assist by Taiwan Easterling (1-for-4, double), who, with DeVoss’ relay, nailed a runner at the plate.

With the game tied at three in the eighth, Yao-Lin Wang struggled mightily with his control, only recording an out as he walked two and allowed three runs (one earned). The unearned runs came on third baseman Wes Darvill’s (1-for-4) error. Andrew McKirahan displayed some wicked breaking pitches, striking out a batter, but couldn’t make up for the error as he gave up a two-run single. Peoria scored first as Darvill came home on a double by Paul Hoilman (2-for-4, two doubles, RBI). Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-3, stolen base), scored the other two runs.

Peoria was able to turn the tables on Thursday, as they took advantage of mistakes by Kane County in order to post a 4-3 victory. The Chiefs were down 3-1 in the top of the seventh when Rafael Lopez (2-for-4, double) and Oliver Zapata (2-for-4) were able to score on an error by the Cougars on a grounder by Yaniel Cabezas (1-for-4, RBI). Peoria would take the lead on a single by Marco Hernandez (1-for-4, RBI). Pin-Chieh Chen was also 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base.

Jose Rosario labored through 5.2 innings, giving up 10 hits and walking two, but was able to strike out six batters and kept Kane County to three runs, one being earned. Austin Reed was at the top of his form, blanking the Cougars for two innings with three strikeouts. Jeffrey Lorick made things interesting by giving up two hits in the ninth, but hung on to record his third save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Manager Casey Kopitzke rolled the dice on Friday night, and came up snake eyes as Peoria lost 4-3 to Kane County. Kopitzke gambled by placing first baseman Ryan Cuneo in left field, who played a fly ball into a double in the bottom of the seventh to allow the Cougars to take the lead at 3-2. Kane County scored first as starter Kyler Burke gave up a solo home run in the fifth inning to give them a 1-0 lead. Burke went 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out three batters. The Chiefs came back in the seventh on a triple by Marco Hernandez (2-for-4, triple, RBI) that plated Taylor Davis (0-for-3, walk). Hernandez latered score on a passed ball. Peoria tied it in the ninth as Paul Hoilman (1-for-4, double) led off with a double and came home on a wild pitch two batters later. Luis Liria worked out of jams in the sixth and seventh, holding Kane County scoreless for 1.2 innings with a strikeout. However, Bryce Shafer came on in the ninth and gave up a free pass and a walk-off single. Taiwan Easterling helped keep the Chiefs in the game by going 2-for-4 with a double and an outfield assist, his fourth of the series.

All I can say is…whoa! Peoria pitching allowed 23 hits and 20 runs to cross the plate on Saturday as they were thoroughly embarrassed by Quad Cities 20-5. After allowing 12 earned runs in his last two starts, Gerardo Concepcion was taken off the hook a bit with errors by Wes Darvill and Marco Hernandez accounting for five unearned runs. However, Concepcion still gave up four hits and a walk after the errors, ending his night with seven runs allowed (two earned) and two strikeouts in an inning. Willengton Cruz didn’t fare much better, giving up seven earned runs with two strikeouts in 2.2innings. The misery continued with Yao-Lin Wang letting in four earned runs in two innings, as he is now struggling with his command. Andrew McKirahan had been more reliable lately, but even he wasn’t able to get the job done and gave up two earned runs in 0.2 innings. Finally, Jeffrey Lorick was able to solve Bandit hitting, working 0.2 of a scoreless inning. The most effective pitcher of the night was first baseman Ryan Cuneo (2-for-4), who set down a probably tired Quad Cities club in order in the eighth. Along with Cuneo, Zeke DeVoss and Taiwan Easterling were the only hitters of note, each going 2-for-5. Paul Hoilman extended his hitting streak to eighteen games by going 1-for-3 with a triple and driving in two runs.

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (9-20)
Frustration appears to be heading to the surface for Daytona, as they dropped Wednesday’s game 6-4 to Clearwater. Starter Eric Jokisch showed the highs and lows of his season, as the Florida State League’s fourth best strikeout pitcher recorded seven in six innings, but allowed two home runs (second in the league). Jokisch finished with a total of three earned runs for his appearance. Down by a run in the sixth, Rubi Silva (0-for-3) was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Things then compounded in the seventh as an error by Richard Jones (1-for-4, double, RBI) paved the way for two unearned runs. Scott Weismann made his D-Cub debut and struck out two over two innings. Daytona tried to rally with a run in the seventh and another in the ninth, but AJ Morris allowed an earned run in the top of the ninth to seal the deal. John Andreoli and Greg Rohan each ended the day at 2-for-4 with a double.

There were finally some positive signs in Daytona on Thursday, as the D-Cubs stormed back to claim a 6-5 victory over Clearwater. Matt Loosen got the start and continued to be limited, pitching only three innings and giving up three earned runs while striking out two batters. But the first bright spot of the day was Hayden Simpson, who struck out four in four scoreless innings to record his first win of the season. Tony Zych made things closer than necessary by allowing two earned runs while striking out three in his two innings of work, as he picked up his third save.

Rubi Silva was able to shake off a poor showing the previous day by going 2-for-4 with a home run, stolen base, and an RBI from the lead-off slot. Nelson Perez was also 2-for-4, driving in two while adding a solo homer. Arismendy Alcantara put Daytona in the lead for good, as his three-run blast in the sixth completes his 2-for-4, three RBI day.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Things got off to a good start on Friday, but a good offensive effort was spoiled as Daytona lost 6-5 to Jupiter. The D-Cubs received contributions from Rubi Silva (1-for-4, double), Greg Rohan (2-for-4, two doubles) Nelson Perez (1-for-3, two RBI) and John Andreoli (1-for-4, triple) to go up 4-1 over the Hammerheads. However, starter Zach Cates wasn’t able to hold the lead, allowing four earned in three innings. Joe Zeller was able to restore some order, but got tagged with the loss. Zeller went three innings and gave up an earned run. Eduardo Figueroa and AJ Morris held Jupiter scoreless the rest of the way, but the offense couldn’t manage any more than a run in the third.

It appears that the bats have begun to awaken in Daytona, as a good, old-fashion laugher on Saturday saw them defeat Jupiter 11-1. Keeping the Hammerheads in check was starting pitcher Frank Del Valle, who’s only blemish was a solo home run in six innings. Left-handers continued to dazzle Jupiter, as Scott Weismann struck out four in two scoreless innings. Ty’Relle Harris mopped up in the ninth, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out a batter to shutout the visitors the rest of the way.

Now, for the happy totals on offense: It clearly must have been one of the best days in Nelson Perez’s career, as he was 5-for-5, including his fifth home run and two RBI. Hitting symmetry continued with Arismendy Alcantara and Elieser Bonne, who were each 4-for-5 with a triple, RBI, and a stolen base. Matt Szczur was 3-for-5 with two doubles, while Richard Jones drove in three as he was 1-for-4 with a double.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (13-17)
After a disappointing loss on Tuesday, the Smokies’ bats came back with a vengeance on Wednesday, as they pounded out 13 hits in route to a 9-5 win over Mobile. The top of the order did the damage, as Logan Watkins and Jae-Hoon Ha were each 3-for-5, with Watkins hitting his third triple of the season. Justin Bour drove in two, as he was 2-for-4 with a double. Swinging a hot bat, Jonathan Mota stroked his third homer of the season, as he was 3-for-4 and three RBI. James Adduci added a solo shot as he was 1-for-3, plating two runs.

Benefitting from this outburst was Nick Struck, who allowed four runs (three earned) while striking out three over his 5.1 innings, in what was not his best performance. Casey Weathers has been settling down, as he held the Biscuits scoreless for 1.2 innings. However, Casey Harman let Mobile back into the game, as he gave up an earned run in his inning of work. Alberto Cabrera had good command, as he retired the side in the ninth on 10 pitches, including a strikeout.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Smokies couldn’t overcome a rocky third inning, as they lost 7-4 to Montgomery on Thursday. Errors by Matt Cerda (1-for-3, double) and starter Trey McNutt opened the floodgates, as six runs streamed across home plate for the Biscuits. McNutt would be lifted after going 2.2 innings, with two of the five runs he allowed being earned. Ryan Searle wasn’t able to limit the damage, as he let in another two earned runs in 4.1 innings. Jeffry Antigua was the lone Tennessee pitcher to go without giving up a run, as he struck out two in two innings. Jae-Hoon Ha continued to build on his recent success. Ha was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Justin Bour (1-for-4) plated three runs by slugging his third home run of the season.

It was more of the same on Friday, as three unearned runs were the deciding factor in Tennessee’s 8-7 loss to Montgomery. The Smokies’ offense answered a 1-0 deficit in the second inning by putting up five runs in the bottom half. Leading the charge was Matt Cerda (2-for-3, home run, two RBI). Cerda’s two-run homer was his first of the season. Nate Samson was 2-for-4 with a double, while Logan Watkins was also 2-for-4 and an RBI. Jae-Hoon Ha has a modest four-game hit streak. Ha had a double and two RBI in a 1-for-5 evening. Justin Bour laced his fourth homer of the season, as he also was 1-for-5. Dallas Beeler was the unfortunate benefactor of errors by Elliot Soto and Nate Samson, allowing six runs (three earned) over five innings. Marcus Hatley and Casey Harman each gave up an earned run, as they worked one and three innings respectively.

On Saturday, it appeared as neither pitching staff wanted to win the game, but fortunately, Tennessee’s offense wanted it more as they sweated out an 8-7 victory over Montgomery Smokies’ hitters had their “patience caps” on, as they drew nine walks off of Biscuit pitching. Showing the way was lead-off hitter James Adduci, who was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks. Jae-Hoon Ha also drew two walks, and extended his hitting streak to five as he was 1-for-3. Justin Bour (1-for-4) drove in three runs with a double and Rebel Ridling went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Starting pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee had a good beginning, holding Montgomery scoreless and striking out two batters in the first three innings. He fell apart a little over the next two innings, allowing three earned runs. Rhee ended up pitching six innings and striking out three while giving up three earned runs. Alberto Cabrera relieved and always seemed to be in trouble, with three unearned runs coming in two innings off of errors by Elliot Soto and Matt Cerda. Kevin Rhoderick tried to close things out in the ninth, bringing the Biscuits within a run after another error by Cerda led to an unearned run. Rhoderick then picked up his third save by striking out the final two batters to preserve the win.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (11-16)
While Iowa brought the thunder on Tuesday night, their bats were surprisingly silent on Wednesday as they were edged out 2-1 by Memphis. Casey Coleman became the hard-luck loser, as he allowed two earned runs and struck out two in 3.1 innings. Manny Corpas picked up the slack, as he tossed 2.2 scoreless innings. Jeff Beliveau kept the I-Cubs in the game, as he delivered two shutout innings with two strikeouts. Iowa batters could only manage three hits, as a solo home run by Luis Valbuena (1-for-3, RBI) provided their only scoring. Adrian Cardenas and Anthony Rizzo were each 1-for-3, with a double being part of Rizzo’s total.

The I-Cubs failed to hold a four run lead on Thursday, as Memphis was able to pull away and give Iowa a 7-6 loss. Blake Lalli (2-for-4, home run, RBI) started the scoring in the second with a solo home run. Alfredo Amezaga (2-for-3, triple) followed with a triple, while Brett Jackson (1-for-5, RBI) singled home Amezaga and Chris Rusin, Jackson taking third on a throwing error. Dave Sappelt (2-for-3, double, RBI) then doubled to bring in Jackson. Two more runs would score in the third, as Josh Vitters (1-for-4, home run, two RBI) tagged his first home run of the season, a two-run shot. However, Rusin was not able to deliver, as he ended up allowing six earned runs, while striking out three, in 6.1 innings. Frank Batista was hung with a blown save, even though he remains unscored upon since being promoted, as he went 1.2 innings. Esmailin Caridad coughed up the winning run in the ninth.

In a game high in tension, but low in scoring, Iowa scooted past New Orleans 1-0 on Friday. Tapped to start, Rodrigo Lopez did a good job by going shutting out the Zephyrs and striking out three in three innings. Frankie De La Cruz followed suit, posting five scoreless innings and striking out a batter. Blake Parker received the gift win by providing a scoreless ninth. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4, double) was the hero, as he raced home with the winning run on a wild pitch after reaching on a double. Luis Valbuena was 3-for-4 in his return to the starting line-up.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

It wasn’t as close as it looks in the box scores, as Iowa dropped a 7-3 loss to New Orleans on Saturday. Randy Wells continued his pitching descent, as he allowed three earned runs in five innings, including a two-run homer, as he struck out four batters. A surprise promotion, Dan Berlind poured gas on the fire, as he gave up four earned runs in only 0.1 innings. Manny Corpas, Esmailin Caridad, and Scott Maine blanked the Zephyrs the rest of the way, but the damage had already been done. The I-Cubs managed two late runs to make the score appear close, with Ty Wright the only hitter of note as he was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Randy Wells and LHP Scott Maine to Iowa; recalled LHP Travis Wood. The Tennessee Smokies activated C Luis Flores from the restricted list. The Peoria Chiefs placed RHP Ben Wells on the 7-day disabled list retroactive from May 3; LHP Sheldon McDonald was assigned to Peoria from Extended Spring Training.

Jonathan Mota was assigned to Triple-A Iowa. Junior Lake was activated from the DL and assigned to Double-A Tennessee.

CCO’s Prospect Watch
Note: Outfielder Reggie Golden is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Replacing Golden on the list is the next highest player available in the fan vote: pitcher Tony Zych.

  • Javier Baez (IF) – Extended Spring Training
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – Extended Spring Training
  • Zeke DeVoss (2B) – .255, six doubles, triple, two home runs, 11 RBI, five stolen bases (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Junior Lake (IF) – Activated from the DL Sunday, assigned to Double-A Tennessee
  • Dillon Maples (RHP) – Extended Spring Training
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .239, seven doubles, two triples, six RBI, 15 stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Ronald Torreyes (2B) – .193, three doubles, two triples, five RBI, four stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) – .244, three doubles, home run, 10 RBI (Iowa Cubs)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – Extended Spring Training
  • Tony Zych (RHP) – 0-1, 3.68 ERA, 14.2 innings, 11 strikeouts, three walks, three saves

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
Share on Fancred
  • Ripsnorter1

    Sorry to say it but the only player I really wanted in the Marshall trade, Torreyes, is hitting .193. He’s always been able to hit. I wonder what’s wrong. Is there an injury nagging him? We are getting past the “it’s early” excuse stage. Some players already have 20% of their yearly AB totals. 

    Jim Bowden, when the trade was made, wrote an editorial on the trade and commented that he didn’t think Torreyes would make it to the bigs, or if he did, would only be a backup, due to his size. I want Bowden to be dead wrong on this one. 

    Likewise Sappelt has always be one to hit for average. On him I wonder about his confidence levels. Confidence is incredibly important to the success of a ML player.

    • Chadaudio

      I completely agree Rip.  I was more interested in Torreyes than any of the other players acquired in the Marshall trade.

      I never thought Torreyes would be an everyday player, but I thought he could be on the Fontenot level of player… guess not?

    • Zonk

      In Torreyes’s defense, he is 19 at A+; that is pretty young for that level.  Maybe the Cubs rushed him a bit, though I guess you can’t blame them for that, since he raked in A-ball last year.

      Guess we’ll see

      • Zonk

        PS:  For hitters, I always watch the jump from A to A+.  A is really a hitter’s league, so many many times performance there doesn’t translate to success at higher levels.  Remember Brian Dopirak?

        A+ is really the first of the “Big Boys” leagues

    • Tom U

      Rip, another factor that I put in the top prospect reports was that he only played in 50 games at Single-A last year, and there was no really good explanation as to why. 

      Without giving too much away, what I heard is that the organization wants the rosters to stabilize a bit before they address any movement. Remember, there have been a lot of players in the system out with injuries. Some of these guys are playing where they shouldn’t be right now.

  • Ripsnorter1

    If 
    Adrian Cardenas is called up today, as expected, I wonder if he doesn’t just take Barney’s job away from him. Barney has been projected as a ML utility player, and currently is hitting .245. Since the All-Star break last year, Barney has hit .240.

    I am thinking that the Cubs may see if Cardenas can just take the job at 2B away from Barney completely. If he does, it won’t be because of his glove……

    • Tedtop16

      I feel that we are starting to see the start of the pruning process. They have had a month to observe the Hendry guys and slowly they are moving them out. It is interesting that many of the top draft choices are still in extended spring training. I would think they would be assigned to teams by the end of May. We all know that it is going to take time. I really wonder how many of our top prospects are really major league caliber players?

      • paulcatanese

        Agree Zonk, and I have not heard much about Gretzky, and a few others from that group.

    • Chadaudio

      I sort of hope that is the case… Barney has really cooled off, and I hope they give Cardenas every chance to succeed.

      • Coachdon

         Barney has a flaw in his wing. He finishes very high, like a golf swing. Tends to cause pop ups and swing and misses. Where the heck is Rudy on this?

        • Ripsnorter1

          Last year Rudy was credited with messing DeWitt up so that he lost the job at 2B….

          Sometimes it’s better if Rudy isn’t too close…..

      • Aaron

        I don’t think anyone other than Jim Hendry thought Barney was an everyday player. In fact, I recall someone in the new regime (Theo, Hoyer, or Sveum) specifically leaving Barney’s name out as a future regular. 

        The jockeying back and forth with DeWitt, etc., had more to do with finding a guy to challenge him than simply gaining a roster spot. The Cubs had lost Flaherty, Gonzalez, and LeMahieu in a matter of weeks, and claimed Bianchi (subsequently lost), and Cardenas to challenge both DeWitt and Barney.

        The most disappointing thing about Barney, which ironically should be his strongest trait, is his poor defense this year. How many botched double plays have we seen from the middle IF this year. It’s NOT all Castro’s fault if you look at the replays….that has to be one of the most damning things for Barney this year, and will likely lead to an early exit from the starter’s spot if Cardenas can even remotely produce like he should.

    • Zonk

      I think Cubs will play Cardenas alot, and find out.  I have always been in the camp of Barney is not a starter.  On a winning team, Darwin Barney is a great guy to have on your bench, he is an MLB player IMO.  But he just will never hit enough to be a long-term starter.  Period.

      I don’t think the Cubs ever thought Barney was really an answer at 2B, he has the job because of lack of better alternatives, and he won’t embarass you there.  He is a good fielder and makes contact, but is really a hacker at the plate when it gets down to it.

  • Chadaudio

    Side note: Is anyone else getting really concerned about Wellington Castillo?  I mean, he did this when he was called up last year too… just doesn’t look comfortable at all.

    • J Daniel

      Maybe why they have not traded Soto.  Maybe they know a little more than we do.

      • paulcatanese

        I think you are right on the money. Until Clevenger comes back and is ok, they could not trade Soto.
        Not saying who is better between Castillo or Clevenger just that they must have two catchers on the team.

    • Aaron

      Yes…I don’t understand it. He raked all spring, and at Iowa, then comes up, and looks lost at the plate. To his credit, his game-calling is MUCH improved, and he has a cannon arm too.

    • Zonk

      It’s a small sample size, but what is everyone expecting out of Castillo?  He has a carerr .267 BA, with a 23% K-rate in the minors, and that K number figures to go up in the majors.  He has some pop, but has always struggled to make contact.  This is why he has never been regarded as a top prospect.

      If things go well for him, offensively he projects as the next Henry Blanco.  Don’t get too excited.

  • Zonk

    Nice to see Szczur doing alot better.  From what I have read, he’s a very hard worker and a bright kid, just needs to refine baseball skills.  Hope he makes it.

    The only thing going for Vitters is that he’s 22, but I wonder if a trip back to AA is in his future.  Many were dubious before this year that he would amount to anything, and it looks more and more like he’s a bust.  He would probably be demoted already if there was a 3B at AA pressing him.  Sad.

  • Zonk

    Theo gets ripped around here (less now), but let’s give some credit.  From Schoenfield’s blog article on LaHair, here is what Theo told Jerry Crasnick in Spring Training:

    “There are a lot of good players who perform all the way through the minor leagues who fail in limited opportunities in the big leagues and never get a longer look. When those players eventually do get a longer look, they have success. I think it benefits us to see what he can do. We think he’ll hit big league pitching, so we’re going to find out.”

    He was right obviously.  Of course it was Hendry who had the foresight to pick him up, but here is one instance we out-smarted someone.

    The Mariners, meanwhile, have struggled to score runs for years.  They had a solution right under their nose, didn’t see it.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Zonk,

      What was Barney hitting this time last year? .326

      What does that mean?It means that early on, when it is cold, the pitchers do not have full command of their breaking stuff. It isn’t as sharp because they cannot get a real good feel for the ball. When the weather warms, the breaking stuff gets sharper, and it becomes more difficult to hit. 

      Also add in the fact that the scouts have had a limited amount of time to study LaHair. Scouting is one of the big differences between AAA and MLB. They will scrutinize a player until they find some weakness to exploit. 

      LaHair, Rizzo, Brett Jackson–any rookie–they all have to be given a year to see if it is real. Look at Soto. Great first year, and then the league adjusts, or he smoked, or both, and now….

      • cc002600

         I disagree with you on the weather. Yes, its harder for pitchers to get a grip on the ball when its cold, but they still have CLEAR advantage over the hitters.  When it warms up the ball will fly. 

        And just look at wrigley with the wind….in the summer, it will blow out, when its cold it will blow in.

        • Ripsnorter1

          It’s perfectly fine that you disagree. However I was listening to Steve Stone say what I posted just last week…..

        • paulcatanese

          I think if you check the weather at Wrigley for the whole year it has been said that the wind blows in more than out. The lake cause’s a lot of it.

          • cc002600

             Agree. but GENERALLY speaking, in the summertime, the wind will come from the south, which means it will be blowing out. and vice versa, when its cold in the spring and Sept.

            Again, this is a general statement, obviously, this doesn’t always happen.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree with that on a general basis. On the other hand when attending games there in the summer, Always sat on the first base side, I would pray that the wind would come in off the lake and cool things off.
            Another thing I remember, if I didn’t like the weather, just had to wait a few minutes and it would change.
            The fact that the wind would blow out would help the pitchers with sliders and curve balls throwing into the wind,and especially with knuckle balls.

      • paulcatanese

        Rip you make a good point, the colder the weather the harder the ball feels in the hand, almost slick.
        Same thing with a golf ball, when its cold one would use a softer compression ball and when its hot a harder compression, the difference being a baseball is not designed for different compression and is harder to grip in cold weather.
        Also in cold weather, hitters get stingers from not hitting the ball solid, wheras in the summer heat that does not happen.
        (I sent my report to Steve:)).

    • paulcatanese

      Again, I agree and to add to that list, so far, Theo and Sveum are looking good with the decision to play Campana, even if its only a stop gap until June.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I don’t think you’ll see Brett Jackson in Wrigley before September, and more likely than that, June of 2013. I could be wrong, of course, but to me,  he doesn’t look ready just yet. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reports out of Iowa are that Adrian Cardenas headed to Chicago to replace DeWitt as backup infielder

    Will post once made official

    • Zonk

      Not surprising.  I did wonder if they would go with Valbuena, for the reason that he can play SS, and Cardenas really can’t.  But they probably want to see what Cardenas can do.  Valbuena isn’t really a prospect, though he is having a nice year down there.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cardenas at Iowa, 2012…..

    11 BB with only 5 K…now I like that.

    18 RBI in 94 AB…clutch hitting in AAA PCL league….

    .521 slugging

    .319 BA

    2 HR….

    .376 OBP….

    all very nice stats…

    FIELDING is okay at 2B…not so good elsewhere.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tom,

    Congrats on the correct call saying that you expected several middle INFs to be released. You named both DeWitt and Gonzalez, and–sure enough–they’re gone, gone, gone.

    • Tom U

      A blind squirrel gets a nut!

  • Zonk

    How does the DFA work now for DeWitt now that his $1.1 mil contract is guaranteed?  Is this the deal?:

    First, all clubs can just take his contract as-is and add him to their roster.  This is unlikely.  If a club really wants him, they can work out a trade with the Cubs in the next few days.  Anything the Cubs get will be a bonus.

    If noone claims him and there is no trade, DeWitt has a couple options:

    a)  Accept an assignment to Iowa.  He will still get paid on his $1.1 mil

    b) Refuse the assignment, and become a FA.  He will also still get paid the $1.1. mil, but is now free to sign with any team.  Any team that signs him will pay him the ML minimum, (around $500K rate), and Cubs will still be on hook for remainder

    Do I have it right?

    The Cubs expect DeWitt, it seems, to clear waivers and accept an assignment to Iowa, which he did before.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs recalled Adrian Cardenas, optioned Travis Wood to Triple-A Iowa

    • Zonk

      I’m going to be at the game tonight, I bet he starts against Hanson. 

    • Tom U

      Here’s what I have seen of Cardenas’ play at Iowa. 

      He is definitely  going to be an asset offensively, as he has better batting skills than DeWitt. However, like DeWitt, he won’t provide a lot of speed or power. 

      While he doesn’t look clumsy in the field, he is deliberate in his actions, almost robotic. He hasn’t made any web-gem type of plays, but he makes the routine ones.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.