Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/11/12

As we hit the mid-season point for the minor leagues, all levels appear to be on the upswing as each level is near the .500 mark. Peoria had sparkling pitching performances from Gerardo Concepcion, Michael Jensen, and Kyler Burke to run its win streak to five. Greg Rohan continued on his tear through the Florida State League with Daytona, as they have won seven of their last ten games. Tennessee has won six in a row, with Logan Watkins and Justin Bour leading the way. Dave Sappelt’s bat has recently come alive, and Josh Vitters keeps coming up clutch for Iowa.

So sit back and enjoy some of the good news from 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 (30-32)
Pitching probably the finest game of his young career, Gerardo Concepcion and the Chiefs’ pitching staff were able to stymie Cedar Rapids 4-0 on Wednesday. Concepcion allowed only two hits and struck out four batters, as he held the Kernels scoreless over 5.2 innings. Starling Peralta and Austin Reed each pitched 1.1 innings, with Reed striking out three in the process. Yao-Lin Wang earned his sixth save by picking up the last two outs.

Taiwan Easterling had an evening that many thought would be the norm for him this season, going 3-for-4 including a home run and two RBI. Javier Baez matched Easterling’s performance at the plate, as he also was 3-for-4, driving in a run and tripling. Zeke DeVoss scored two of the runs, as he was 1-for-3 with a walk and a double.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Peoria was only able to manage two hits on Thursday, but they were enough as they beat Cedar Rapids 2-0. After Zeke DeVoss walked and moved to second on an error in the first inning, Taiwan Easterling (1-for-3) singled him home. Everything was quiet until the bottom of the eighth, when Easterling walked and stole second, coming in on an Anthony Giansanti (1-for-4) RBI double.

Michael Jensen was part of a three man shutout effort, as he struck out seven in five innings. Felix Pena had five punch outs in two innings, while Hunter Cervenka picked up his first save pitching two innings and striking out two batters.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Chiefs had a solid all-around effort on Friday, as they defeated Cedar Rapids 4-2. Pin-Chieh Chen led the offense, as he was 2-for-4 with a double, RBI, and stolen base. Anthony Giansanti also chipped in as he went 3-for-4 and an RBI. Wes Darvill had a run-scoring triple in going 1-for-4, while Yaniel Cabezas was 2-for-3.

Jose Rosario got the starting nod and went six innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out four batters. Sheldon McDonald got three strikeouts of his own as he pitched two scoreless innings. Yao-Lin Wang fanned two as he set the side down in order in the ninth to earn his seventh save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Make it five in a row as the Chiefs had thing in control from the beginning on Saturday in the 4-1 victory over Kane County. Starting pitcher Kyler Burke was dominant, as he struck out nine Cougars in seven scoreless innings. Larry Suarez was responsible for the only blemish, an earned run in his inning of work. However, Luis Liria set down the side in order in the ninth for his second save.

All of Peoria’s runs came in the first inning, as a double by Paul Hoilman (2-for-4) drove in one run, while another scored on an error. A Sergio Burruel (1-for-3) two-run single capped the scoring. Anthony Giansanti led all hitters by going 3-for-5, and Wes Darvill was 2-for-4 with a double.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (27-33)
Pitching held Bradenton in check on Wednesday, as Daytona’s offense was just enough to defeat the Marauders 4-0. John Andreoli has really blossomed since taking over the leadoff role, as he was 3-for-4 including a triple and an RBI. Since coming to the D-Cubs, Taylor Davis and Micah Gibbs have given them an offensive boost, as they were both 1-for-3 with an RBI, Davis hitting a double.

Matt Loosen has turned things around since an early season injury skewed his results. Loosen has brought his ERA down to 3.00 as he went 5.2 scoreless innings and struck out six batters. Eduardo Figueroa continues to be the jack-of-all-trades, as he had three strikeouts in his 2.1 innings of relief. Scott Weismann finished things up with a perfect ninth.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

It was a doubleheader day on Friday after Thursday’s rainout. In a low scoring affair, Iowa was able to get past Bradenton 3-2 in game one. Scheduled Thursday starter Robert Whitenack waited the extra day, as was able to go two innings, allowing an earned run. Piggybacking Whitenack was Hayden Simpson, who also gave up an earned run in two innings, but got credit for the win. AJ Morris blanked the Marauders for two innings, while Tony Zych set down the side in order for his fifth save.

There was not much to speak of offensively, except for All-Star Greg Rohan upping his league-leading RBI total to 51 with a double and his eleventh home run as he was 2-for-3. Nelson Perez, Micah Gibbs, and Rubi Silva also had hits.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

While Daytona was able to record ten hits in game two, they didn’t translate into enough runs as they lost to Bradenton 4-3. Arismendy Alcantara went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the offense, while Greg Rohan also drove in a run as he was 2-for-4. Ronald Torreyes plated the other run for the D-Cubs as he was 2-for-3 with a double. PJ Francescon got the call for the nightcap, and struck out six as he allowed three runs (one earned). Jeffrey Lorick was also the victim of an unearned runs as he pitched two innings, with two strikeouts.

Daytona was held to only three hits on Saturday, as they were shutout by the Tampa Yankees 7-0. Recording hits for the D-Cubs were Arismendy Alcantara, Ronald Torreyes, and Rubi Silva. Almost every Daytona pitcher was touch-up by Tampa, as starter Frank Del Valle struck out four and allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings. Eduardo Figueroa and Joe Zeller each gave up two earned runs in an innings pitched. Only Ryan Searle was able to solve Yankee hitting, tossing a scoreless ninth.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (30-33)
It seems as if some of the close losses from earlier in the season are beginning to turn around, as Tennessee eeked out another win 3-2 over Montgomery on Wednesday. Justin Bour remains the catalyst, as he was drove in two while going 2-for-3 with a double. Fellow All-Star James Adduci was 1-for-5 with a stolen base, while leadoff hitter Logan Watkins walked twice and stole his ninth base.

Starter Trey McNutt continues to progress, striking out three in 5.2 scoreless innings. Jeffry Antigua allowed an earned run in 0.2 innings before turning things over to the Smokies’ two other All-Stars. Kevin Rhoderick struck out two in an inning to lower his ERA to an almost microscopic 0.76. Tennessee relied on Frank Batista to get the five-out save, and after giving up an earned run, was able to come through with his eighth of the year.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Once again, the Smokies delivered a 2011-type win on Thursday as the defeated Mississippi 8-7. The offense was late arriving but nevertheless there, as the top of the order is now really beginning to click. Logan Watkins was 2-for-4 with two walks, an RBI, and three runs scored from the leadoff spot. Batting second, Jae-Hoon Ha was also turned it on as he went 3-for-5 and drove in a run. Junior Lake has moved down to third; he plated two runs as by going 3-for-3. The increased production has benefitted Justin Bour, who raised his RBI total to 48 with three more as he was 2-for-5. Also showing improvement has been Matt Cerda, who was 3-for-5.

Dae-Eun Rhee continues to struggle on the mound, as he allowed seven runs (five earned) in five innings. Casey Harman, Brian Schlitter, and Alberto Cabrera held the Braves in check the rest of the way, with Cabrera getting the win.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Hello, old friend! Tennessee had a mirror image of its previous night’s win as they led Mississippi early, and then hung on to win 4-3. Welington Castillo was welcomed back to the club, as he reported on a rehab assignment. Castillo provided some oomph to the offense, knocking in three by going 2-for-3, including a two-run homer. Logan Watkins continued to set the table, as he was 2-for-3, while Matt Cerda drove in the Smokies other run and was 1-for-3.

Nick Struck once again gave up the big innings, allowing three runs in the fifth, but also struck out three in his six innings of work. Now pitching more consistent ball, Marcus Hatley also struck out three in two scoreless innings. Kevin Rhoderick had a tough time with his control, walking three batters, but was able to escape any damage as he picked up his seventh save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Tennessee relied on unlikely heroes on Saturday, as they were able to stave-off Mississippi 6-4. Nate Samson got a start in left field and was in the middle of things offensively as he was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Michael Brenly provided some late inning heroics, coming on as a pinch-hitter and going 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBI. Rebel Ridling belted a two-run home run as he was 1-for-4, while Michael Burgess was 2-for-4.

Starter Dallas Beeler again pitched well enough to win, but was unlucky with receiving credit. Beeler went five innings and allowed three earned runs. Jeffry Antigua then came on and struck out three Braves in two scoreless innings. However, Frank Batista allowed Mississippi to tie up the game with an earned run in the eighth before collecting himself enough to close out the game and get the win.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (28-35)
After an off-day on Wednesday, Iowa was able to best Nashville on the Thursday 6-5 in a see-saw affair. In the second inning, Dave Sappelt (2-for-4) singled in Josh Vitters (2-for-3, double, RBI) who had walked earlier. Iowa added two more in the third as Chris Volstad (1-for-2) singled and Brett Jackson (1-for-3) doubled. Volstad came home on a Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3) force out, and Jackson scored on a double by Vitters. That’s how the scoring remained until Ty Wright (1-for-3) hit a homer in the bottom of the eighth with Vitters aboard.

While Chris Volstad helped his cause at the plate, he could have used a little more on the mound as he allowed four runs (three earned), but struck out seven, in seven innings. Jeff Beliveau and Scott Maine each pitched a scoreless innings, Beliveau receiving the win while Maine got his fourth save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Friday saw a doubleheader with Nashville, with game one looking like it was going into extra innings before the I-Cubs pulled out a 5-4 win. The heart of the order did the damage, as Anthony Rizzo slugged his 18th home run and was 2-for-4. Luis Valbuena also went yard, as he went 2-for-3 including a double. Josh Vitters drove in two as he doubled and was 2-for-4. Ty Wright joined the extra-base hit parade, with a double as part as a 2-for-4 effort, as his walk-off hit in the seventh provided the winning margin.

Rodrigo Lopez gave a solid effort, striking out six and allowing four earned runs in six innings. Mike MacDougal got into some trouble, giving up two hits and a walk, but was able to get out of the seventh for the victory.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Iowa must have used up all of their karma on Friday in game one, as the fell to Nashville 6-0 in the second game of the doubleheader. Brett Jackson was the only I-Cub with more than one hit, as he was 2-for-3 with a double. Dave Sappelt also doubled as he was 1-for-2, and surprise starter Ryan Rowland-Smith collected a hit. Rowland-Smith kept Iowa in the game by striking out four batters while only allowing an earned run in four innings. Newly assigned Michael Bowden was a different story, giving up three earned runs while only being able to last 0.1 innings. Jeff Beliveau was the victim of a Josh Vitters error, letting in an unearned run in the inning he pitched. Rafael Dolis struck out the only two batters he faced, and catcher Juan Apodaca had to pitch the seventh, allowing an earned run.

Another doubleheader was scheduled for Saturday, as Iowa was able to push across the game’s only run to defeat Nashville 1-0 in the opener. Matt Tolbert (2-for-3) provided all the offense, as his solo homer in the bottom of the first was the only score. Dave Sappelt was 2-for-2. Brooks Raley had a strong effort, scattering six hits and striking out six of the Sounds in a complete game shutout.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The nightcap had a surprise starter in Esmailin Caridad, who pitched well enough to win but Iowa would end up losing 3-2. Caridad went four innings and gave up two earned runs while striking out three batters. Just called up from Tennessee, Ty’Relle Harris took the loss as he allowed an earned run in his two innings of work. Scott Maine came in and tossed a scoreless seventh. Ty Wright was the leading hitter, as he was 2-for-4 with a double. Luis Valbuena and Josh Vitters each drove in a run.

News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned C Welington Castillo to the Tennessee Smokies. The Iowa Cubs placed RHP Frankie De La Cruz on the 7-Day disabled list; RHP Ty’Relle Harris was assigned to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies. The Daytona Cubs placed OF Matt Szczur on the 7-Day disabled list; activated OF Elieser Bonne from the 7-Day disabled list.

CCO’s Prospect Watch

  • Javier Baez (IF) – . 273, double, triple, two home runs, six RBI, four stolen bases (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – Extended Spring Training
  • Zeke DeVoss (2B) – .244, 11doubles, triple, two home runs, 15 RBI, 15 stolen bases (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Junior Lake (IF) – . 297, seven doubles, triple, three home runs, nine RBI, three stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .267, 11 doubles, three triples, home run, 13 RBI, 19 stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Ronald Torreyes (2B) – .210, eight doubles, two triples, home run, 14 RBI, four stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) – .280, 12 doubles, nine home runs, 29 RBI, stolen base (Iowa Cubs)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – Extended Spring Training
  • Robert Whitenack – 0-1, 5.86 ERA, 6.1 innings, 1 strikeout, 1 walk, 2.21 WHIP (Daytona Cubs)
  • Tony Zych (RHP) – 3-3, 3.23 ERA, 30.2 innings, 25 strikeouts, 5 walks, 1.11 WHIP, 5 saves (Daytona Cubs)

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Quote of the Day

"The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare." - Bobby Knight
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  • Tony_Hall

    Sparkling pitching performance by Concepcion….I thought we already decided to cut him….

    Tom – Great job as always on the minors update.  Really looking forward to the 2nd half of the season and reading the updates on the Boise team.

    Ronald Torreyes – last 10 days – 394/432/515/948 – Hopefully this is him getting adjusted High A level, and will continue to raise his average.

    • Aaron

       Great performance by Concepcion, but sorry, your assertion that nearly everyone was wrong about him based on 1 sparkling performance after a season full of dreadful starts for him…well….doesn’t make much sense.

      It’d be like someone saying that a good outing by Marmol the other week in which he struck out the side, somehow means that “he’s back”. I just don’t buy it.

      As much as I’d like to think Torreyes’ last 10 days are an indication that he’s going to be the hitter the Cubs thought they were getting……it’s still A-ball, and he’s still hitting .222/.284/.306. Yes, he’s still just 19 years old, but he has yet to play in a full season of games. The most he’s ever played stateside was last year in 67 games when Team Theo got a hard on for this kid just because he hit .356/.398/.457

      Plus side: he’s only 19; he has 13 walks vs 11 K’s
      Minus side: he only has 11 extra base hits; he only has 5 SB; and lastly, he’s just 5’8″, 140 lbs

      In other words, he projects to be about a Mike Fontenot player with average speed, but with far less power.

      I might sound jaded, pessimistic, or whatever you might label me, but I’m no longer buying into the “hype” game that so many executives play on just to make themselves look better with free agent signings, trades, or the draft.

      They have to prove it to me that they can do it on the North side.

      TRADES:
      Marshall-netted T. Wood, Sappelt, and Torreyes
      Cashner and Na-netted Rizzo and Cates (since placed at EXST)
      Colvin and LeMahieu-netted Stewart and Weathers (already DFA’d)
      Byrd-netted Bowden (already DFA’d) and Cervenka
      Zambrano-netted Volstad (already optioned)
      Carpenter and Kurcz-(Theo compensation) netted Boggaerts
      M. Gonzalez and Flaherty-NOT trades, but lost through Rule 5

      FA (not including minor league deals):
      DeJesus
      Johnson (re-signed)
      Wood (re-signed and since retired)
      Maholm
      Mather
      L. Castillo (Rule 5…on 15-day DL, likely to be extended to 60-day)

      DFA:
      DeWitt-twice
      R. Lopez
      Bianchi
      Weathers
      Bowden
      Corpas-since added to roster

      The only major trades they did were a mixed bag. The Marshall trade was downright awful, especially when you consider he was arguably the best lefty reliever in the game, AND the fact it was to a DIVISION RIVAL…in which case you’re normally entitled to a greater haul. T. Wood was awful, and was optioned, so he was seen as a “change of scenery” guy, while Sappelt was a 4th/5th OF at best, and Torreyes was the wild card. Everyone was hung up on his awesome stats from last year, but NOBODY considered the fact that he only played in 67 games, so it was a small sample size. With the Cashner-Rizzo trade, the Padres have thus far won that trade, because Cashner is in MLB and Rizzo isn’t, and the Padres just announced plans to move Cashner to the rotation (which makes it even more of a win for them, especially if Rizzo doesn’t come up soon and prove himself)

      The Colvin/LeMahieu trade for Stewart/Weathers has been an outright disaster. Stewart can’t even pass for an average offensive 3B. I hope I’m wrong about this trade in years to come, but Colvin and LeMahieu are actually contributing to the Rockies while Stewart can only claim he’s helping the Cubs with his glove (in other words, he’s Neifi Jr.), and Weathers couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn….still can’t…was DFA’d already, and I believe on the DL right now…so….

      Trust but verify is what I’ve said all along, and I’m not liking a single thing this crew has done.

      • cubtex

        I have said the exact same thing Aaron.

      • Calicub

        Idk if it matters but Cashner was optioned to AA and is no longer with the big league club

        • Aaron

           he was optioned so he could build up arm strength as a starter

        • cubtex

          He is being sent to AA to get switch back to a starting pitcher. I like Cashner and think he can be a very good starting pitcher…..but I like the upside Rizzo has. I would not say this was a bad deal. The only thing I was saying is that arms like Cashner do not grow on trees and with the Cubs lack of arms……he was very hard to part with.

        • Coachdon

           Only because they are stretching him out to be a starter, which in turn makes Cashner even more valuable.

      • paulcatanese

        I agree Aaron, especially with Stewart, who looks so totally out of place at third base. True he has the rep of a good glove, but havent seen it on a steady basis yet. And the bat? Forget the occasional long ball, he just dosent get it done.
        I would have much rather had LeMahieu at third, not bad with the glove and certainly a better hitter, and you are right a total disaster.

      • SuzyS

         Aaron, I firmly believe Concepcion was signed to make the Cubs a “friendlier” team to Soler.

        The Cubs have had some low level Cuban signings that are truly head scratchers…unless you view the signings from that perspective.

        • cubtex

          I don’t believe that one bit Suzy. They signed him because of the lack of arms in the system. It was a desperation signing and the Cubs overpaid for a mediocre prospect.

      • Tony_Hall

        Aaron – Never said that everyone was wrong…not sure where you came up with that one.  I was saying, “tongue-in-cheek” that I thought he was already cut, since so many on here have already called him a bust.

        The first line was a quote from the story above.

      • Tom U

        Aaron, Smokies website still reporting Casey Weathers on the 7-Day DL.

        http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ros&cid=553&stn=true&sid=t553 

  • Coachdon

    When Rizzo eventually gets to Chicago it looks like there is a quality line of succession ready to go. Would Bour, Rohan and Hoilman all get moved up a level?

  • cubtex

    Sparkling in low A ball. Let’s get a rotation spot ready for him :) For those not really sure about low A ball…..the competition is inferior to the top college programs that you are watching right now for the chance to get to Omaha.

    These are Concepcions numbers…

    38 IP  48 Hits  23 Walks  22 K’s and batters are hitting .320 against him.

    • John_CC

       Considering he is a college-aged pitcher and competing at a new level in MiLB vs. Cuba I’ll give him a little time to develop. Do you ever get tired of being on the constant negative attack?  I mean, why get worked up about a 20 year old pitcher? If someone wants to point out that he pitched a gem, which he did, who cares? It’s not hurting anything.

      • cubtex

        He is a low level prospect who was overpaid and is overhyped for the talent level he has. He wouldn’t even be mentioned if Theo hadn’t given him 6 mil and a 40 man roster spots. Look at his numbers.
        On another note…..OK point out that he pitched 5.2 IP with 2 hits and 4 k’s and 5 walks…..but the last part of that was what I was responding to(some on here were ready to cut him) For a guy with those numbers in low A ball……he isn’t even worth mentioning.

        • cubtex

          correction…4 walks. I don’t want TH to call me on that mistake lol

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with you on that point,total team wise the competition is better in the playoffs to get to Omaha, no doubt.

      On another note, I had noticed that a few people asked for my opinion regarding the one that you posted on Soriono and his playing right now.

      Here goes, Soriono is having a resurgance in his carreer right now.
      Is it due to the lighter bat?,,,,,, partialy, many players in August or around that time of year go to a lighter bat because of wear and tear on their bodies. Soriono has gone to one earlier in the year. That may have helped, at any rate it has not hurt.

      Is he hurt? Maybe, but as you say he has said his knee is feeling fine.
      I have to say that even at 20 yrs. old if hit in the kneecap it would put me out of commision for a while, and playing on it didnt help, and of course it hurts in taking routes to the ball, and of course I would be tentative in approaching certain plays.

      Has he always hit, yes he always has, streakier and not like this year, over a longer period of time.
      His defense has shown marked improvement this year, until he was hit, and since has slowed down a bit, but still the effort is better than it has been for a long time.

      Do I enjoy watching him this year, yes, he has been a bright spot among many dim ones.

      So what has he done thats different?
      Well for one thing, he has bought into the philosophy of the Cubs this year.
      Another, he has had positive feedback from Sveum. Every time Soriono has a big hit or a defensive play, who is there to greet him and pat him on the back? Sveum and the coaches.
      He is taking a much more intellegent approach at the plate, swinging at more strikes and laying off of a lot of pitches that he had struck out on earlier.
      Spring training this year showed that he is back and was hitting the long ball again.

      Soriono is still a little kid, and little kids relish in the positive attention he has been getting from his peers, he is responding.

      Do I think he should be traded? Of course, but only if the Cubs are truly trying to re-build. Soriono would make an excellent DH in the American League (have said that many times).

      In short Cubtex, you are correct in you’re assesment, I just expanded a little. And no-one knows how bad he’s hurt but Soriono himself, and it looks like he’s not saying.
      But for the reasons stated above its a combination of all of them.

      • cubtex

        agreed Paul. I think we both know the lighter bat helps a little……but it is NOT the only reason for his resurgance. Because he is not running 100% and being tentative does not also mean that his knee is not feeling better than it had in April. Some on here think it is like Roy Hobbs’ bat “Wonderboy”(hah…..kind of like Boy Wonder) that he is hitting HR’s. If you noticed….he is able to use his lower base much better now…..while earlier in the year…..he was basically swinging all upper body.

    • Tony_Hall

      Sparkling in low A ball…was a quote from the story above…

      A Ball is inferior to the top college programs.  How many of those players, on the top college programs will even make it to A Ball?  1/3 of the team…maybe.

      • cubtex

        Tony…..for those who have never had the opportunity to play college ball or beyond……the competition in low A ball is inferior to the better college programs. The Florida States, The Texas, The Florida, etc. The weekend starters on these teams are better than what you would face in low A ball and even high A ball.

        • Tony_Hall

          So how many of the players on those top college programs will even make it to A ball?

          I would really like to know.

          • cubtex

            How many players in low A ball would not even start on a major college baseball program? More than you can imagine! Ask someone who you might know who has played in the minors. The talent level that I faced on a consistent basis was inferior. Many foreign born players drafted because of athletic ability were terrible players. Many high school kids were not good players and couldn’t have made my college team.

          • Tony_Hall

            So why don’t the college players all start in AA?

            Last time I checked they go to Single A, or short season, and many of the college players (even from the top programs) never even play in A ball.

          • cubtex

            Some do…but as Tom will tell you it is about roster availability.

          • Tony_Hall

            Very, very few do, and very few actually make AA…ever.

    • Tom U

      Cubtex, I know Concepcion hasn’t been what everyone expected. Let’s just be happy he pitched well for once, and go from there :-)

      • cubtex

        I agree Tom but for what he was signed for and the hype that our front office had made about him being a top of the rotation starter…..he is what he is. A mediocre talent who doesn’t miss many bats.

        • SuzyS

           Cubtex,
          Aaron told us that the day he was signed…So I believe your assessment.
          I still find it hard to believe that Theo/Jed signed him to that contract without an eye towards Soler…It’s either that…or I have to accept our talent evaluators are horrible…desperate or not. 
          If our talent evaluators are that bad…then we are in deep trouble.

          • cubtex

            I have to believe that it was strictly a baseball decision to sign Concepcion. Remember….he is on the 40 man roster(as will Soler) A team can and will lose talent by having to DFA players by keeping players on here just to entice other Cuban players to sign with the Cubs. It was a desperation signing since Theo and Co. wanted to make an international signing this offseason and if you read what international scouts have said about the money Concepcion got…..they are shocked!

  • daverj

    Too early to tell anything long term about Concepcion.

    Hoping Soler becomes a Cub today.  He’d immediately become one of our Top 3 prospects.

  • John_CC

    Tom, while it seems apparent to the box score reading, e-rumor surfing, Cub-blogging brain-trust that Rizzo is “ready,” I’d like to hear it from you.  Is there really anything left for him to “work on” while devouring the PCL?  If there is still a hole in his swing, vs. the pitching he is facing it is about the size of a dime.  His OPS is over 1.000 vs. LHP and RHP.  That last homer he hit yesterday was a friggin’ lazer beam when it smashed into the scoreboard.

    I don’t really care if Epstein is waiting on the arbitration clock yet saying they don’t want to rush him. 

    But if there is a hole in Rizzo’s game somewhere, I am curious what it is. Because it’s never mentioned.

    Thanks, keep up the awesome work!

    • paulcatanese

      I will agree with you John, I don’t see any “hole” in this kids game, except what Theo and Jed feel about their own reputation if they bring him up and for some reason he bombs,(which I don’t think will happen).
      He already has had an injury (wrist) that could have been much more serious than it was.
      Letting him stay there serves no purpose except for financial ones for the Cubs (control).
      Bringing him up will of course not change things in the short haul, but will serve Rizzo more than to stay there and grow stagnant, or injured.

      • John_CC

         See Paul, I am completely OK with the Cubs waiting to be sure the get one more year of Rizzo before he becomes a free agent. Is it yet another BS quirk in the game, bargained by lawyers and agents? Yes, but it’s the way it is. So be it.  I’m not worried about Rizzo becoming stagnant either. He’s just 22 and I think hungrier to get on with his career with moonshot HR he hits in the minors.  It will the highlight we are waiting for in this dark, damp basement season. 

        • paulcatanese

          Sure hope so John.

    • Tom U

      Thanks John CC!

      Here are the splits on Rizzo, and they do look pretty good

      http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=&sid=t451&t=p_pbp&pid=519203 

      However, he is only fielding .987 this year, with seven errors (Josh Vitters is maligned for his defense, but he only has 9 errors for the year at a tougher defensive position). That has to get better.

      • paulcatanese

        Didn’t know that Tom, thanks, I thought Rizzo had a complete glove and was better than LaHair with the glove.

  • Texcubnut

    I have been out of sorts for a week or so but feeling better, so please excuse me for the dumb question I’m about to ask.
      Can anybody tell me if the Cubs have signed anybody from their draft picks? I know they haven’t signed Albert Almora but have they signed anyone? I keep reading about other teams signings including first round picks as well as supplemental picks being signed. I would appreciate any information you can give. Thanks.

    • SuzyS

       Check the last couple of threads…Aaron’s been reporting a few signings.

      • Texcubnut

        Thank you, Suzy.

  • Cloycub13

    Reports are starting to filter through the twitterverse that the Cubs landed Soler… I know Neil will report when it is official. If true, I am a happy Cub fan!!!

    • SuzyS

       YES!!!  Regardless of whatever the overpay is…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Joel Sherman is reporting the Cubs landed Soler, but he is the only report. Waiting for confirmation.
     

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Confirmed, no word on the terms.

      • John_CC

         MLBTR is reporting NINE years!?! 

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.  It was getting a little boring, so I broke out my list of adjectives. 

  • SuzyS

    mlbtraderumors.com reporting Cubs win the bidding on Soler.